Brian Heater (@bheater ) is a senior editor at Engadget and the founder of indie comics site, The Daily Cross Hatch. His writing has appeared in Spin, The Onion, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Press. He hosts several podcasts and shares an apartment in Queens with a rabbit named Sylvia.
The end of the year is near, and we have lots of comics to read and best-of lists to compile. Also, it’s getting cold outside, and working our way out from under the stack seems like as good an excuse as any for avoiding chapped-lipped East Coast winters. In this edition of Boing Boing's Comics Rack roundup, we have Greek gods, autobiographical wolves, nightmare goats, and punk rockers.
I made a sound of audible excitement when a new Jesse Reklaw book showed up at my door a couple of weeks back. His dream strip Slow Wave has rightfully won him a fair amount of acclaim in the nearly 20 years since its inception, and Applicant is really a perfect one-off zine, assembled from discarded files of PhD applicants. Couch Tag, on the author hand, is a sort of family autobiography, assembled from countless loose threads centered around objects and things, discarding any semblance of chronology. It’s painful at times, like childhood itself, but Reklaw is mostly an objective tour guide through the strange and seminal moments of his youth.
Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of longform conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types. In this episode, Brian speaks to hacker and musician Travis Morrison, best known as the lead singer of The Dismemberment Plan, described by Rolling Stone as "indie heroes." The band reunited in 2010 after breaking up in 2003 and released their first album in 12 years, Uncanny Valley. In the podcast, Travis makes some pretty solid arguments in favor of getting Bob Mould to appear on The Simpsons.
In this episode of Recommended if You Like, a conversation with Peter Bagge, the Harvey Award–winning author of the '90s alt-comic "Hate." We met at Seattle's Whisky Bar and discussed the life of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who is the subject of a new biography by Bagge, "Rebel Woman."
And previously in Boing Boing podcasts: Mark's Gweek interview with Bagge, in which the cartoonist shares his take on a number of interesting books and records on the Boing Boing radar.
We happened to swing by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's office the same day the digital rights organization filed a challenge to Personal Audio's podcast patent suits. Thankfully, Julie Samuels (a Senior Staff Attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents for the EFF) and her dog Daley took the time to meet with us.
Two quick things at the top, both somewhat New York-centric (apologies, everyone else): First, The latest issue of Gabe Fowler’s Smoke Signal comics newspaper has a typically incredible cover from sequential art’s resident over achieving genius Chris Ware. And if you live here, you can pick it up for free in his fantastic Williamburg comics / art shop, Desert Island (among other places). For the rest of you, however, it runs $5. Also, a quick mention of a cool thing I found at a Brooklyn Mini Zine Fest, the other month. Alisa Harris' Rock On is dedicated to bygone New York City rock clubs -- a topic that always makes me a little misty-eyed. Because, come on, the new Knitting Factory is fine and all, but magical? Hardly. You can pick that one up online through Alisa’s site, if you’re the sentimental-type.
Palookville’s a bit of a strange proposition, these days. At issue 20, the pamphlet became a book. The 21st issue is compromised of three distinct segments. The first pretty much precludes any recommendation for the uninitiated, continuing the Clyde Fans storyline Seth has been serializing since the late-90s. The next two, on the other hand, offer some fascinating insight into the sometimes guarded cartoonist -- one a standalone feature on yet another of the artist’s cartooning experiments, and the other the first part in a new on-going sketchbook serial. Seth introduces "Rubber Stamp Diary," explaining that it began as an attempt to speed up the process of daily diary comics -- dreamt up, fittingly, on a phone call with the notoriously glacial Ivan Brunetti. And, certainly, the creation of several rubber stamps to cut down on extra drawing feels like the perfect Seth solution.
In this mini-episode, Comedy Bang Bang co-host Reggie Watts discusses not practicing, live experimentation and the most serious song he's ever written. (Note: we are catching up with RiYL podcasts that have been previously published.)
This American Life's director of operations takes us behind the scenes at the radio show to talk NPR, podcasting and working down to the wire. (Note: we are catching up with RiYL podcasts that have been previously published.)
Lisa Hanawalt's comics are about horses and cats and genitals and things. Some of her less racy work has appeared in The New York Times. Here we talk about pitching TV shows, making minis and the depressing dangers of working from home. (Note: we are catching up with RiYL podcasts that have been previously published.)
Portland's Martha Grover is an artist and the publisher of the zine The Somnambulist. We spoke with her about her book, One More for the People, as well as fundamentalism, fears of the apocalypse, zine making and life with an incurable disease.
(Note: we are catching up with RiYL podcasts that have been previously published.)
As one might expect from the original Gang of Four bass player turned interactive brand strategist, Dave Allen's got something fascinating to say about just about everything, from cars to music royalties to the fireplace on Led Zeppelin's jet. (Note: we are catching up with RiYL podcasts that have been previously published.)
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Leslie Stein draws comics, listens to old time radio shows, and plays records in her home in Brooklyn, NY. She also plays guitar in the band Prince Rupert's Drops. She joined us in Union Square to discuss mixology, performance jitters and nostalgia for New York City record stores.