Comic about the complexity and decline of copyright

Sam sez, "Copyright laws are supposed to spur innovation by protecting creators' rights. But after 400 years of legal wrangling, and the complexities of new technology, the law has become muddied. Instead, it's now being used to protect powerful corporations and maintain monopolies. This new Appropriart! shows the story of copyright law's decline." Read the rest

Nursery Rhyme Comics: Great comic illustrators do Mother Goose

FirstSecond's new Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists is one of those rare parental treasures: a picture book that kids and parents can really enjoy together. Editor Chris Duffy invited some of the greatest names in comic illustration to choose their favorite Mother Goose classics and illustrate them to their taste.

The result is an absolute delight from the first page to the last. How can you not love a book that includes Jules Feiffer's "Girls and Boys Come Out to Play"; Lucy Knisley's "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" (a fantastic rock-n-roll reinterpretation of the original); Richard Thompson's "There Was An Old Woman Tossed Up in a Basket"; Gahan Wilson's (!) "Itsy-Bitsy Spider"; Mike Mignola's "Solomon Grundy"; Jaime Hernandez's "Jack and Jill"; Jordan Crane's "Old Mother Hubbard"; Vera Bosgol's "There Was a Little Girl"; Gilbert Hernandez's "Humpty Dumpty" and Gene Yang's "Pat-a-Cake"?

That's nothing like a comprehensive list, by the way -- the table of contents for this set my mouth watering as soon as I saw it, and the live-fire bedtime exercise has been an unqualified success. My three year old is all over this like fudge on sundaes.

FirstSecond were kind enough to let me include a selection of opening pages from the book -- click through below to get a preview!

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists Read the rest

Old Superhero costumes

This small gallery of "original" superhero costumes have a nice tactility to them, looking like they've been crafted from naturally occurring fibers, a far cry from the seamless, shiny lycra aesthetic of contemporary superhero getups. Read the rest

Uncle Six Eyes: a bust

I really like "Uncle Six Eyes," a 10" high bust based on Travis Louie's painting of the same name.

Uncle Six Eyes

(via Super Punch) Read the rest

Man undergoes extensive plastic surgery to look like Superman

A Filipino man named Herbert Chavez has undergone extensive surgery to make himself look like Superman: a nose job, a chin implant, collagen in his lips, and (randomly) hip implants.

Pinoy goes under knife to look like Superman

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Comic about upcoming referendum on muni broadband in Longmont, CO

Chris from Telecommunications as Commons Initiative sez, "There's an upcoming referendum in Longmont Colorado on providing municipal Internet service over existing fiber. We know that the incumbents (mostly Comcast) will spend a lot to derail it, so I'm hoping this comic can make the rounds and 'prime' people so the anti-government mailers and robo-calls will be less effective."

I think it's a pretty good freshman effort; I like the GYWO style! Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: "Governor Rick, Science Hick," starring Rick Perry!!!

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MetaMaus: the secret history of Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning Maus

More than a quarter-century since its inital publication, Maus, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning graphic novel history of his father's Holocaust experience, is still counted as one of the seminal documents in the history of comics, of memoir, and of Holocaust stories.

MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus, just released, is an in-depth look at the art, the psychology, the history and the politics of Maus. It consists primarily of a long interview with Speigelman, in which he describes the artistic influences he took to his task, the artistic challenges he met, the familial frustrations he dealt with in interviewing his father, the political, social and professional fallout from Maus's success, and many other subjects.

Spiegelman is well-spoken and insightful, and is one of those rare creators who can talk coherently about his own work and process. His recollections and analysis are complemented by interviews with his wife and children, as well as a transcript of some of his original interviews with his father. MetaMaus is thoroughly illustrated with excerpts from Spiegelman's sketchbook, from the original source materials he used when creating his book, and news clippings and other ephemera from the books' storied history.

The book is accompanied by a DVD with about 4GB of video and audio, including the interview that makes up the book, the original interviews with Speigelman's father, and several videos and images of the source material. The DVD nominally requires a Mac or PC to view, and the media files are hidden on the disk, which makes it hard to move the MP3s of the audio to your portable player. Read the rest

XKCD: Why you should give bad reviews to hotels you like

Today's XKCD proposes a strangely optimal strategy for reviewing the hotels you love, provided you don't mind being a jerk. He calls it the "tragedy of you're a dick." Read the rest

Why I love Kate Beaton's "Hark! A Vagrant"

On April 6, 1909, Robert Peary claimed to be the first person to reach the North Pole. Of course, there were some issues with his claim. For one thing, Inuit had almost certainly been through the area before. For another, a guy named Frederick Cook said he'd reached the Pole in 1908. And, last but not least, the first person to the Pole out of Peary's own party wasn't even Peary—it was Matthew Henson, an African American explorer, sailor, and navigator who actually planted the U.S. flag at the Pole while Peary was stuck in a dogsled, too sick and/or frostbitten to walk.

This is why I love cartoonist Kate Beaton, whose second collection, Hark! A Vagrant, was published this week.

There are precious few artists who would (or could) turn the story of Peary and Henson into a hilarious comic strip. And even fewer who could do that with a style that combines careful realism and broad-stroke cartoonery. Would the strip be as funny if Beaton wasn't able to shift so effortlessly from serious Henson in the top right panel to the muppetish grin he wears in the lower right? I doubt it.

Really, the contrasting style of art Beaton uses kind of sums up Hark! A Vagrant as a whole. This is a comic strip that seamlessly blends the high-brow with the madcap. Sirens make MySpace ducklips at a horrified Odysseus. A tiny version of Gene Simmons sews glam shoes for a medieval cobbler. Jules Verne sends creepy fan mail to Edgar Allen Poe. Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: On Re-Fighting The Wrong Wars

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Wizzywig hacker history comic finishes

Ed Piskor, creator of the wonderful Wizzywig hacker history comic, has finally finished the story, which now runs to 412 installments. Ed's done three printed collections of the comic to date, and now promises to finish it in paperback and in limited edition hardcovers. Ed's a great writer, a great storyteller, and a great history of the Internet and hackers, and Wizzywig stands with books like Levy's Hackers and Bruce Sterling's Hacker Crackdown in the annals of hacker lore.

BOINGTHUMP! Chapter 1 Page 1  Wizzywig: nostalgia hacker comic – Boing Boing Wizzywig 3: “Fugitive” — hacker history comic turns up the heat ... Phreak/hacker history comic now a free download – Boing Boing Color palette of glorious hues of the golden age of comics – Boing ... Graphic novel about phone phreak history – Boing Boing The Beats: A Graphic History — unflinching and wonderful history of ... Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Charley the Australopithecine On The Hunt For a Job!

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Habibi: graphic novel is blends Islamic legend, science fiction dystopia, love and loss

Craig Thompson's new graphic novel Habibi is an enormous and genre-busting graphic novel that blends Islamic mysticism, slave/liberation narratives and post-apocalyptic science fiction, creating a story that is erotic, grotesque, and profoundly moving.

Habibi is set in an atemporal Middle Eastern country that seems at times to be caught in classical times, but whose landscape is dotted with derelict jeeps, poisoned water awash in rotting consumer goods and other elements from out of time. Dodola, a child bride, is captured by slavers who murder her older husband, a scribe who had reared her on the stories, sutras and legends he was paid to calligraph. On the run, she rescues a younger slave boy, Zam, and the two become refugees together. They find a new home in the desert, a strangely out of place wrecked ship amid the sands, which they make into a snug home. Dodola raises Zam as her son, and to feed them both, she must prostitute herself to the caravans that pass by their hiding place.

When violence comes again -- when Dodala is enslaved to a capricious sultan's harem -- Zam is on his own, and is also soon in trouble. The story veers into Scheherazade territory as Dodola tries to charm the sultan into releasing her, but with the dark threat that usually lurks in the background in Scheherazade brought to the foreground. Zam is battered by life and circumstance, mutilated and enslaved, and still the two pine for each other.

Habibi is told in a dreamlike, non-linear, dense style, with asides for swirling Islamic legends, the theory and practice of magic squares, the hidden meanings in Arabic calligraphy, jumping from time to time and place to place, giving the book a deep, mythic resonance. Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: What Will Counter-Earth Obama Do To Get Sun and Wind?!!

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SVK Warren Ellis/UV ink comic is back on sale

SVK, the fab Warren Ellis/D'Israeli comic published by London's BERG with hidden UV ink action, sold out in hours. The second printing just came back from the printers and it's back on sale. Read the rest

Zahra's Paradise: graphic novel about Iranian uprising is a story and a history

Zahra's Paradise, a new book from FirstSecond, collects in one volume the serialized (and brilliant) webcomic, written by two pseudonymous Iranian dissidents. It's the gripping story of a Medhi, a young man kidnapped by Iran's secret police during the election-season demonstrations of 2009, and it is a heart-rending tale of loss, hope, technology, revolution, politics, bravery and resilience. Told form the point of view of Medhi's blogger brother (who has previously been arrested for publishing political material), it features an in-the-round look at the power and limits of technology to effect revolution. Its cast includes bloggers, secret policemen, brave copy-shop/Internet cafe owners, influence peddlers, disgraced bourgeois, broken prisoners and a family devastated by loss.

And while Zahra's Paradise is an informative (if fictionalized) account of the Iranian election uprising and a vivid condemnation of the stern, joyless Khomeniest version of Islam, it is also a fantastic story, a graphic novel that races to its conclusion. The webcomic was serialized in 12 languages (including Farsi and Arabic) and the print edition is available in a dozen countries from today.

Zahra's Paradise Read the rest

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