Carla and I had a nice time at the 2009 San Francisco Zine Fest on Sunday. This week, I'll share some of the photos I took of the zinesters who came to sell their comics and zines. (Yesterday I wrote about Sean Logic and his zine, The Great MySpace Swindle.)
This is Hellen Jo and Calvin Wong. Helen was working on this amazing watercolor while she was there (a commission, she said.) Click on the photo for a closer look. It's beautiful.
Hellen and Calvin were selling their comic books. They're both very talented artists and storytellers. Calvin's comic book, Ramble On is a humorous heavy metal sci-fi fantasy story about a guitar playing beaked critter who battles a grumpy giant tree. Helen's comic, Jin & Jam #1 is about a couple of chain-smoking high school girls who pal up with another girl who gets in a fight with a pair stylish but nasty-tempered conjoined twins. Both comics are excellent. I see good things ahead for both of them. (Also, check out Calvin's interpretation of Cher's pre-Cher song "Ringo, I Love You")
From the incomparable nerd-toon XKCD, the "Tech Support Cheat Sheet" -- a print-and-save for the techno-clueless to keep by their monitors.
Tech Support Cheat Sheet
The Robot Comics folks have been industriously converting my Creative Commons licensed IDW graphic novel, Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now
(which collects six of my short stories adapted to comics form by an array of talented writers and editors) to a multiplicity of mobile phone platforms. This is all under the auspices of the CC license and all the resulting comics are free -- there's stuff for Android, the Nintendo DSi, and the iPhone/iPod Touch (Apple finally caved and decided that the panel depicting an orc in a video-game being decapitated didn't disqualify the comic of Anda's Game from being included as a freebie in the iPhone store).
Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now reaches 60,000 downloads
BB reader Jeannine (@j9drost) tweets, "My brother helped illustrate a 25-page Afghan election manual. More civic education materials here."
Above, a detail from the Pashto version of "Your Voice. Your Vote. A 25-page manual designed for instructors teaching adult learners about issues, candidates, and appraisal of elected officials' performance." PDF Link. (Author: National Constitution Center, afghanelections.org)
This election is only the second to take place in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
"What We Become," Volume 10 of the fantastic and wrenching zombie comic The Walking Dead
keeps right on shambling relentlessly toward the total annihilation of the human race. I read it in about 30 minutes, shivered for 10, then read it again. Then shivered some more.
Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn are masters of pacing, and as the survivors push on towards Washington and the possibility of some explanation, or even salvation, the story never lets up once. This volume focuses on the horrors of war and disaster, and what people become through necessity or weakness, and I can't wait for volume
The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become
Link to Volume 9,
Link to Volume 8,
Link to Volume 7,
Link to Volume 6,
Link to Volume 5,
Link to Volume 4,
Link to Volume 3,
Link to Volume 2,
Link to Volume 1
Here's a great interview with Eightball's Dan Clowes that didn't make it into Mike Sacks' book, Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers On Their Craft.
Q: Were you even a fan of Cracked?
Shown above, Dan Clowes cover for DC's Bizarro Comics, which was rejected. I thought it was fitting for this rejected interview.
A: No one was ever a fan of Cracked.
Growing up, my friends âˆ’ okay, "friend" âˆ’ and I used to think of Cracked as a stopgap. We would buy Mad every month, but about two weeks later we would get anxious for new material. We would tell ourselves, Okay, we are not going to buy Cracked. Never again! And we'd hold out for a while, but then as the month dragged on it just became, Okay, fuck it. I guess I'll buy Cracked.
Q: It was like comedy methadone.
A: Right. Then you'd bring it home, and immediately you'd remember, Oh yeah, I hate Cracked. I don't understand any of the jokes, and [Cracked mascot] Sylvester P. Smythe is the most unappealing character of all time.
Dan Clowes interviewed by Mike Sacks
Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller sure looks happy!
Heidi MacDonald says:
I have a post you may enjoy, from the ever wonderful Life Mag/Google
Archives. It's from 1950 and it shows the artists of Nancy, Smokey
Stover and so on drawing on scantily clad young models. It's kinda
creepy but sort of endearing in that old time girdle fetish way, too.
It reminds me of an event Craig Yoe
A bunch of old school strip cartoonists draw on the bathing suits of comely young models
The Architects Journal compiled a top 10 list of "the greatest illustrated urban spaces" from comic books. Above, panels from Moebius' The Long Tomorrow and Herge's Tintin. Also featured: Radiant City, Metropolis, Ubicand, Gotham City, Daredevil's New York, From Hell's London, Chris Ware's Chicago, and Mega City One. Top 10 Comic Book Cities (via Drawn!)
MTV Splash Page blog editor Rick Marshall says, "I interviewed Stan Lee during Comic-con, and asked him about that late-'90s deal that almost had him and Michael Jackson buying Marvel Comics. During his response, he mentioned that Jackson wanted to buy the rights to Spider-Man so he could make a movie... or possibly to star in it?! It's an intriguing "What If?" scenario, if nothing else." Neat video of Mr. Lee's reply to that odd question is here: What If Michael Jackson Made 'Spider-Man'? Stan Lee Explains How It Almost Happened!
Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci's wonderful anthology of nerdy fiction and comics, Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
was a great read: the short fiction ran the gamut from soul-searing angst to high comedy and all the territory in between. Of particular note were Scott Westerfeld's "Definition Chaos" (a story about a gun-toting gamer and his nutsy ex-girlfriend transporting $80,000 by train to Florida to pay for a con's hotel deposit); Garth Nix's "The Quiet Knight" (a disabled LARPer finds his true self in boffer armor); Lisa Yee's "Everyone But You" (a baton-twirling midwesterner reinvents herself in a Hawaiian high school); Kelly Link's "Secret Identity" (the book's top piece; a novella about a girl who travels to New York to hook up with a man she met in an MMORPG, despite the fact that doing so will reveal to him that she has lied about her identity); and Libba Bray's heartbreaking "It's Just a Jump to the Left" (a girl discovers she can't escape her life at Rocky Horror)
Intercut with the stories is a series of charming one-page comics drawn by Hope Larson and Brendan Lee "Scott Pilgrim" O'Malley.
All told, Geektastic is a cliche-busting, smart, and funny book about celebrating your inner mutant. Highly recommended.
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
In addition to meeting comic book historian Craig Yoe last night, I was also lucky to meet artist Dean Yeagle, who was in attendance. Dean is an incredible illustrator with an impressive resume. I've long been a fan of his work and was thrilled when he gave me a copy of his new book, Mandy Godiva, which was a big hit at Comic Con last week.
The images above are from Mandy Godiva (click images for full size), and are some of the only pages that wouldn't get a NSFW label.
You can see more of Dean's work and buy his books at his website, Caged Beagle.
This year's ComicCon featured a strong contingent of steampunk cosplayers, as evidenced by this gallery at KPBS.
Steampunks At Comic-Con International, 2009
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
The first four issues of Michael Kupperman's awesome comedy comics zine
Tales Designed to Thrizzle
have been collected into a single hardcover volume that is a superdense wad of funny, surreal, bent humor, including The Buzz Aldrin Mysteries (the radio operator has been murdered, any one of the seven people on the moon could have done it!); two cowboys kicking the hell out of each other for 10 panels while shouting "I'd say comics are serious literature" and "I say they ain't"; the World Famous Apairy Hat (Girls Love it, Bears Want to Stick Their Paws In It!); a thirties nostalgia comic about an unemployed former courtroom ghost who is shrunk down and has nothing but amoebas to eat for two years; and a video game called Big City Marathon ("Keep your finger on the forward arrow key for 26 hours to win"). This is weird, funny, Subgenius-esque toilet reading that will keep you very regular.
Tales Designed to Thrizzle
A fun time is in store for adult intellectuals who visit Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 29.
Comic book historian Craig Yoe will be signing copies of his book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Shuster. And the world-famous Suicide Girls have kindly offered to join in the festivities by donning fetish outfits and acting out scenes from the book.
Secret Identity party at Meltdown Comics in LA, Wednesday, July 29 (Google Calendar link)
So, two Jokers walk into a Comic-Con...
More pics of toys and misc. Comic-Con collectibles over at BBG