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.

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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."

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. Canadian politicians take their marching orders from the cheerful ghosts of dead terriers.

This is a comic about not taking anything too seriously—even the things we love to geek out about.

I you don't already read Hark! A Vagrant online, you should. If you've been reading for a while, buy this book.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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Comic book introduction to Arduino


Jody Culkin's made a great, CC-licensed comic-book introduction to the Arduino platform and to electronics projects in general.

Introduction to Arduino, PDF link

TOM THE DANCING BUG: George Lucas Revises the Decade Since 9/11!

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TOM THE DANCING BUG: Billy Dare, in "Captain CEO's Fate!"

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Feynman: comic biography of an iconoclastic physicist

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick’s Feynman is an affectionate and inspiring comic biography of the legendary iconoclastic physicist Richard Feynman. I’ve reviewed Ottaviani before (I really liked T-Minus, a history of the Apollo program, as well as his Dignifying Science: Stories About Women Scientists) and I expected great things from Feynman.

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