Patrick Farley reboots Cloverfield

The great (and maddeningly erratic) Patrick Farley has a typically awesome new comic up: "Cloverfield Rebooted," in which the monster's true nature is revealed.

Cloverfield Rebooted (via JWZ) Read the rest

Comic legend Mark Waid on the medium's future

Turnstyle's Noah Nelson interviewed comic book great Mark Waid, longtime creator of adventures for Superman, Batman, Spider-man and The Incredibles. He's now mastering the format's transition to digital media such as the iPad.

“That doesn’t change the image but it completely changes the context of what the story is.”

Take the comic Waid wrote for Marvel’s new “Infinite Comics” line. A hero hurtles through space, a red-orange blur behind him. When the reader swipes the screen, the page doesn’t turn. Instead the image shifts focus. The blur becomes the fiery cosmic Phoenix, the X-Men’s most deadly foe.

“I got news for you, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and this is the hardest writing I’ve ever had to do,” Waid said.

Be sure to play the audio at Noah's article: it's fantastically produced. Read the rest

Doonesbury has a new protagonist

Doonesbury has an official new lead character: Alex Doonesbury, the daughter of Mike Doonesbury, who has been the comic's protagonist for more than 40 years. Writing for ThinkProgress, Alyssa Rosenberg does a great job of summing up Alex's appeal, and what it means to have a new generation at the fore of one of the most significant, long-running comic-strips in America:

Daily cartoon strips may not get as much credit as they ought to for shaping the cultural zeitgeist, but throughout her life, and mine, Alex Doonesbury’s been one of the best female characters, of any age, in any medium. She’s a child of divorced parents with a complicated relationship with her mother that made her mature and self-protective rather than the victim of cliche trauma, and loving, collaborative tie to her stepmother, a Vietnamese refugee adopted by American Jews. In addition to both of these women, Alex has a father who spars with her on politics, works with her on business projects, and treats her like a mature person with worthy ideas. She’s been a full member of the cast almost from her birth because she was that important in Mike’s life, and she became so in ours. Alex is a computer genius without falling into sexy hacker tropes, and her skills brought her closer to her parents and all the way to MIT, a point of pride so fierce that MIT students rigged the voting to win her as a fictional fellow student. And her love story with Toggle, a disabled veteran with less education and a decidedly different family background from Alex’s own, has been part of Doonesbury’s transition into a more expansive portrait of American life.

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Comics Rack: The Hypo, Snake Oil #7, Drama and Turtie Needs Work

Happy Read Comics in Public month! In honor of the world's fourth favorite made-up geek holiday (August 28th -- happy early birthday, Jack Kirby!) here are some picks to help you get started on your outdoor sequential art consuming skills. This time out, we've got something for the history buffs, something for the kids, something for the metal heads and, of course, something for the unemployed turtles.

The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln By Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics Books

That’s short for “hypomania,” Lincoln’s self-prescribed melancholy, a lifelong battle with depression that hit like a ton of bricks in the young lawyer’s mid-20s. For those who have had some trouble accessing one of the most mythologized figures in American history (a category I'd imagine applies to most of us), Noah Van Sciver offers a pretty good place to start -- a young Lincoln moving to a new city, confused and awkward in love and life, given to bouts of darkness and moody poetry. It’s a short small snapshot of the future president’s life -- and it’s in this limited scope that the book finds its success, not beholden to the birth to death summations that often entrap graphic biographers. Instead, The Hypo's relatively limited scope afford the cartoonist the ability to approach the historical giant as a human, offering an empathetic examination of a troubled individual destined for greatness. Read the rest

Music industry, in sum

In three four short panels, the Oatmeal does a fine job of capturing the problem and promise of the music industry in the 21st century.

The state of the music industry - The Oatmeal (via Reddit) Read the rest

Your coloring-in assignment for the evening

I looked at this and thought, "there is probably a lawsuit going on somewhere over who owns this art", then began laughing hysterically. Ah, but no! It just sold at auction for $657,250.

Todd McFarlane’s original art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 (Marvel, 1990) brought a World Record $657,250 on July 26 as part of Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction in Beverly Hills. The artwork, showing Spidey demonstrating his awesome new powers on the Hulk, is now the single most valuable piece of American comic ever sold at auction.

“This is an earth-trembling cover illustration and an equally magnificent price,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “McFarlane’s art brims with the raw energy that sky-rocketed McFarlane to the top of the industry and, now, the top of the auction world.”

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Trying to hack the rules of wishing

Today's XKCD, the "Eyelash Wish Log," is a bit of design fiction that implies the story of a too-clever-for-his-own-good protagonist who tries to hack the rules and regulations of wishing. It reminded me of Stephen Gould's excellent YA novel Jumper, which rigorously and thoroughly maps out the possibilities of teleportation (which was adapted into a movie that, unfortunately, omitted most of its charm).

Eyelash Wish Log Read the rest

"Childhood Sale," a video about letting go of your comics collection

[Video Link] Filmmaker Casimir Nozkowski, whose work we regularly feature on the Boing Boing in-flight TV channel on Virgin America, tells Boing Boing:

I just made a new short movie about me trying to sell ALL of my childhood comics... IN AN EPIC STOOP SALE.

Here are some of the emotional states I went thru while making this movie: nostalgia, liberation, catharsis, melancholy, confusion, elation, regret, enthusiasm, depression, somewhat dazed...

And finally confirmation that at 35 it's good to get rid of childhood things and not bad to feel a little sad doing it.

Read the rest

XKCD reveals your visual perception quirks

Today's XKCD, "Visual Field," is a terrific mind-bender: a series of optical experiments to try with your computer's screen and a rolled-up piece of paper that demonstrate the quirks of your visual field: your blind-spots, your ability to perceive detail, night vision, the ability to perceive polarization, sprites and floaters, color perception and so on.

Visual Field Read the rest

Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

The latest installment in Bill Willingham's astonishingly, consistently great, long-running graphic novel series Fables is volume 17: Inherit the Wind.

The premise of Fables lets its creators use any mythos, any tradition, any narrative, and mix and match as necessary, and Willingham and his illustrators continue to show that these possibilities are indeed endless. While the long arc of the story continues in this book -- movingly along very snappily and satisfyingly -- the real delight is that what that Oz, Dickens, and highbrow narrative theory all climb around on top of each other in a squirming puppy-pile of greatness.

If you've been following the story for all these volumes, then you can rest assured that the Fables are really cracking along -- but you can also be assured that you'll find all the characteristic funny asides, meandering noodly mini-tales that are there for the sheer exuberance of the thing, and sly asides are not set aside for mere plot.

I'm told that this story definitely has an end, but it's hard to imagine. As Fables subsumes literally every other story ever told, and as Willingham shows no sign of boring with his creations, I can easily imagine reading this until Willingham breathes his last (and may that day come a very, very long time in the future). If he keeps writing them, I'll keep buying 'em.

Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

See also: My reviews of the previous volumes Read the rest

Will Eisner's 1968 M16 rifle manual

How to Be a Retronaut has a complete scanned copy of The M16A1 Rifle Operation and Preventative Maintenance, a US Army manual created by Will Eisner in 1968.

The M16A1 Rifle Operation and Preventative Maintenance Read the rest

Walking Dead vol 16: A Larger World

The sixteenth collection of the astounding graphic novel series The Walking Dead, A Larger World, is recently published, and the creators continue to vindicate my decision to follow this one for years and years and years. As I wrote of the 15th volume, The Walking Dead has sucked me in through several narrative techniques: it opened with the action-packed violence of the zombie outbreak; settled into a long run of stories in which hope dwindled away by a thousand cuts, leaving me in a kind of eternal misery for the plucky, flawed heroes I'd come to love; and has finally moved into a kind of twisted glimmer of hope, though there's still no guarantee that hope won't be cruelly snatched away.

Kirkman has spent his years of zombie storytelling to go to a place where few writers have dared -- a story of a kind of zombie cold war, where zombies move from being "problems" to being "facts." These books are populated by scarred and wildly imperfect people who are trying very, very hard to do the right thing, and even when the reader can foresee their upcoming disaster, it's easy to understand why an intelligent person in the characters' shoes would take the awful course of action. This is horror without the idiot plots, without the "let's split up and run to different secluded places" tropes, in which bad guys and good guys are all all-to-believable. It's the only kind of horror that can really sustain itself at this length, and it's a marvel. Read the rest

Political cartoonist angry

Cartoonist Donna Barstow often broaches political themes.

Paging Charles Carreon! Someone on the internet wants money from mocking critics, but may need a hand with the legal not-so-niceties.

Slate cartoonist Donna Barstow railed on Monday at online forum Something Awful, whose denizens often repost her work and subject it to withering ridicule. Though one of many artists to find their work attacked online, Barstow is fighting back, demanding payment and accusing the site of copyright infringement. Read the rest

The descent of Petey

Bird and Moon comics offers this helpful illustration of how evolution screwed over the parakeet.

See the full comic, "Evolution Sucks"

Via David Ng

Read the rest

From A to B and Through to Z: Brilliant, grotesque illustrated alphabet

Philip Harris's beautiful illustrated alphabet, From A to B and through to Z is a grotesque wonder of animals acting out different trades, and each drawing is more fabulous than the last. Mr Harris has graciously provided us with five of these, at a high enough resolution that you can really see the awesomeness:

D is for Docks M is for Market P is for Performance U is for Underground W is for Worship

Philip Harris Comic "From A to B and through to Z" Read the rest

New comic series by Love & Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez

I had no idea that the great Gilbert Hernandez released a new comic book mini-series today. It's available on iTunes and Android, and at your local comic book shop.

Comics luminary Gilbert Hernandez envisions his strangest, most thrilling future yet! A drug called "spin" offers the wildest trip imaginable, followed by its users' inevitable, rapid deterioration into undead flesh eaters. Despite the side effect, the drug is so popular that the human population is dying out! With no cure to be found, the beautiful, lovesick Fatima may be the only thing standing between the survivors and the apocalypse. Get ready for four issues of zombies, drug lords, and gorgeous women!
Read the rest

King City: awesomely weird, silly/funny sf comic

King City collects Brandon Graham's magnificent Tokyo Pop comic serial in one mammoth, $11 (cheap!) trade paperback edition, and man, is that a deal.

Take the sprawling, weird, perverse cityscape of Transmetropolitan, mix in the goofy, punny humor of Tank Girl, add ultraviolent gang warfare, the impending resurrection of a death-god, and a secret society of cat-masters whose feline familiars can serve as super-weapons and tactical material, and you're getting in the neighbourhood of King City.

Graham's black-and-white line drawings have the detail of a two-page spread in MAD Magazine and a little bit of Sergio Argones in their style, if Argones was more interested in drawing the battle-scarred veterans of a Korean xombie war who consume each others' powdered bones to drive away the madness.

Despite the fact that this is a very, very funny story, it manages to be more than a comedy. Joe the cat-master's lost love, Pete the bagman's moral crisis, and Max the veteran's trauma are all real enough to tug at your heart-strings, even as you read the goofy puns off the fine-print labels on the fetishistically detailed illustrations showing King City and its weird and wonderful inhabitants.

JWZ wrote "It's the best comic-book-type thing I've read in quite some time. The trade is a huge phonebook-sized thing and it's awesome." He's right.

King City (via JWZ) Read the rest

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