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Peter Bagge comic about Ayn Rand


Cartoonist Peter Bagge did a funny one-pager about Ayn Rand for the December issue of Reason.

Peter Bagge on Ayn Rand

Peter & Max: the Fables comics jump to novel

The Fables comics are an infinitely entertaining and moving series of comics about a world in which every fable, legend and belief of humanity has been chased from the worlds of fantasy to exile on Earth, hiding in a secret side-street in Manhattan. The chaser is The Adversary, an evil emperor, and his numberless goblin shock-troops. This is such rich material, as it allows for tellings and retellings of every beloved story of humanity.

In Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, writer Bill Willingham tells a key piece of the story in prose form, and proves that he's every bit as wonderful a prose-writer as he is a comics-writer. Peter and Max is the story of two brothers, Peter (Piper, also Pumpkin Eater) and Max (the Pied Piper), who grow estranged from one another on the eve of the Adversary's invasion of their homeworld, and lose themselves in a blood-soaked Black Forest, where they are both fired by the crucible of war and magic into men whose innocence will never be recovered.

Max is the villain here, jealous of Peter's inheritance of Frost, the magic flute of their father. Max acquires Fire, another powerful magic flute, from Frau Totenkinder, the evil witch of the Black Forest, and he and Fire warp each other into something monstrous.

Peter, meanwhile, is orphaned in Hamelin, where he becomes an accomplished thief, escaping from the worst circumstances with the help of Frost, and forever pining for his lost love, Bo Peep, disappeared into the evil woods.

The action moves from this mythic backstory to a contemporary tale in which Max has come at last to contemporary Fabletown, and Peter must hunt him, even though it means his certain doom.

As with the Fables comics, Willingham manages to merge the gentle, meandering feel of fairy tales with a breakneck, contemporary pacing -- a very clever trick indeed. The characters and stories are very engaging, the tension real, the mythos powerful. There's everything to like about Peter & Max, even if you've never cracked a Fables comic (though you probably will, once you've finished reading the book).

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel

Pigeons From Hell: Robert E Howard's classic horror story adapted for comics by Joe R Lansdale

pic Joe R Lansdale's comic book adaptation of Robert E "Conan" Howard's classic horror story Pigeons From Hell has everything going for it: a spooky original story to adapt, a masterful horror writer on the adaptation, and terrifying art and colors by Nathan Fox and Dave Stewart. Together, they are a potent mix of gore, suspense, folklore, and terror.

Howard's original story is a much-loved gothic bayou horror classic, about a haunted house where the blood of slaves and the cruelty of their masters wreak a curse on a huge, rotting mansion. Lansdale's update of the story -- the new protagonists are a pair of sisters descended from the slaves who inherited the house from their masters; they go to take possession with their friends in a kind of Scooby Doo pack -- only lightly changes the material, leaving the scare intact.

But best of all is Fox's art and Stewart's coloring, which are blood-soaked, entrail-laden, and painted in an eerie palette.

If you like a good scare -- and creepy, gothic art -- then this is your thing. Many thanks to Dark Horse for supplying a review copy.

Pigeons From Hell

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook: inspirational kids' science comic

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook is Eleanor Davis's kids' comic glorifying science, invention, and the joys of personal exploration. Julian Calendar is a bright 11-year-old who has moved to a new school where he is determined to fit in by masking his voracious intellect, but instead he finds himself (gladly) fallen in with two other science kids -- Greta Hughes, a "bad kid" with a reputation and Ben Garza, a "dumb jock" who shines on the basketball court but chokes on tests. Both kids are, in fact, natural scientists (as is Julian), but they aren't the right kind of smart to get ahead in school.

Together, the three of them form The Secret Science Alliance, complete with an underground lair chock full of marvellous inventions, and they set out to create the most wonderful things they can imagine.

But then the sour old R&D chief from down the block begins to steal their inventions, and the three find themselves embroiled in a caper that requires all of their skills.

Funny, inspiring, and wicked-nerdy, The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook is filled with hyper-detailed drawings of secret lairs and scientific inventions, and handles the idea of multiple intelligences with a good deal of grace and compassion. The author says the book is enjoyable by kids 8 and up -- and as a 38 year old, I can affirm the "and up" part! I'm grateful to Ms Davis for sending me a review copy.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

Harold Hedd creator Rand Holmes retrospective art show trailer

Patrick Rosenkranz, author of a great history of underground comics called Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution, sent me this trailer for his Rand Holmes Retrospective film.

Unfurling: Isabel Rucker's 400-foot-long graphic novel scroll

Rudy Rucker sez, "'Unfurling' is a graphic novel drawn on a scroll of paper by Isabel Rucker, going on display from November 5-27, at the SOMArts gallery in San Francisco. 'Unfurling' stretches over 400 feet long, is a foot high, and is drawn in black ink pen with watery washes. The comic panels vary in length (up to ten feet long) to mirror pauses, vast scenery, or thought patterns. The seven-year project began in 2002, when Isabel decided to free herself from the size of regular pieces of paper, canvas or sketchpad. The opening party for the 'Unfurling' show " is Thursday, November 5, 2009, 6 p.m.-11 p.m."

"Unfurling" by Isabel Rucker (Thanks, Rudy!)

Video: Robert Crumb talks about his illustrated Genesis

Elizabeth says: "Robert Crumb hasn't been doing any TV interviews, and is only doing one radio interview, but we did tape his B&N event in New York last week.  It's pretty much the only visual record of what he thinks of Genesis, and is a great look into his creative process.
The video of Robert Crumb's dialogue with Francoise Mouly at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square filmed on 10/23 is now available on The 47-minute video features Crumb discussing his childhood, early life, married/family life, and his new book THE BOOK OF GENESIS ILLUSTRATED.

R. Crumb in Conversation with Francoise Mouly

Hallowe'en night out as floppy disk and XKCD Cory

Hayley and Rachel went out this Hallowe'en dressed, respectively, as Cory Doctorow (as depicted in the XKCD webcomic) and a floppy disk. GREAT costumes, folks!

Look, it's Michael Geist! (Thanks, Rachel!)

The Blue Flash: Nuclear Accidents and the Origins of Superhero Origins

There’s been an accident. The young scientist–or, perhaps, his lab assistant or friends–stands stunned. He knows he’s been washed in a massive dose of radiation.

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Mickey Mouse comics drawn by concentration camp prisoner

Avi sez, "'Mickey Mouse in Gurs' is a tragic 'comic' book made by Horst Rosenthal in 1942 while incarcerated at the Gurs internment camp in France. Rosenthal uses Mickey Mouse as a kind of subversive Virgil to guide us through the hellish experiences of the concentration camp. Horst Rosenthal was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942."

Horst Rosenthal: Mickey Mouse in Gurs (Thanks, Avi!)

Life and Times of Martha Washington: the whole Frank Miller GIVE ME LIBERTY saga

Dark Horse just sent me a review copy of The Life And Times Of Martha Washington In The Twenty-First Century, a gigantic, slipcased hardcover containing the full run of the Give Me Liberty comics and associated titles.

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XKCD's eye-watering Geocities tribute

T sez, "I know you folks follow xkcd as good alpha-geeks should, so you won't have missed today's dose of nostalgically eyeball-searing brilliance [ed: a tribute to the soon-to-be-shut-down Geocities]. Just wanted to make sure you took an extra couple minutes to "view source" on the site's "redesign" though. Well worth poring over the lovingly crafted neolithic HTMLer in-jokes there. <FONT COLOR="#88FF88" STYLE="FORTHRIGHT">srsly.</FONT>"

COMIC TITLE: Nachos (Thanks, T!)

Jack of Fables versus Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu meets Fables

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Animating the XKCD "I Love the Internet" strip

I Love xkcd from NoamR on Vimeo.

Noam sez, "There are so many things to love in this world, so just to point a few of them I've animated the xkcd comic xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel. Singing by the amazing Olga Nunes."

I Love xkcd (Thanks, Noam!)

Essential plot twists for writers

Ape Lad sez, "Dresden Codak, a very funny webcomic, has this handy chart of '42 Essential Third-Act Twists' for writers."

42 Essential 3rd Act Twists (Thanks, Ape Lad!)