Batman nail-art

DeviantArt's KayleighOC has created some outstanding (and snag-prone) batnails.

Na Na, Na Na, Na Na, Na Na, Batmaaan! (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Moebius documentary

Here's a one-hour BBC documentary on Moebius, the French comics artist whose passing we lamented this weekend. The doc, "Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures," includes interviews with Stan Lee and Jodorowsky.

Moebius – a life in pictures Read the rest

Taxonomy and history of rage-faces

On Ars Technica, Tom Connor does a great job producing a taxonomy and history of rage-faces, showing how they evolved from a set of proscribed, orthodox uses on 4chan to a wider set of uses and meanings in several online communities.

Rage faces slowly migrated from 4chan into other communities. There, they gained popularity and expanded their numbers as artists introduced new faces, and particularly humorous comics went viral in their communities. Though the faces were no longer exclusive to any single forum, they stayed true to the originals in style.

More people got involved, the cartoons mutated and evolved, and like any successful species, they adapted to fit into a wide variety of habitats. "You can trace back the origins to 4chan so you can say [the faces are 4chan's] baby, but it's evolved on such a wide scale that it's gone beyond anyone's single ownership," Swanson said. "Mostly the original faces are from 4chan, but a lot of the newer faces have come out of F7U12, or other places like FunnyJunk."

Fffuuuuuuuu: The Internet anthropologist's field guide to "rage faces" Read the rest

Newspapers moot dropping Doonesbury during transvaginal ultrasound plot

As Doonesbury tackles mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds for women considering abortions, rumours abound that newspapers will drop or substitute the strip:

In the "Doonesbury" strip, a woman goes to a Texas clinic to have the procedure and is forced to get a sonogram, Roush said.

The cartoon ends with the woman going home to wait 24 hours before having the abortion, as the Texas law requires, Roush said. The woman is a new character in "Doonesbury," she said.

Editors from about a dozen newspapers have reached out to Universal Uclick with questions about the strip authored by Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Trudeau, with some newspapers asking about whether an alternate strip will be offered, Roush said.

"I would imagine that some will make that choice" not to run the abortion-related strip, Roush said.

Doonesbury Pulled Over Rick Perry’s Transvaginal Exams (via The Mary Sue) Read the rest

RIP, Moebius

Jean Giraud, the comics artist who worked under the name Moebius, has died at the age of 73. Moebius defined the style of Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal, a surreal, madcap, sometimes grotesque science fictional visual style that is often imitated but which Moebius himself produced to high spec and in such great amounts. On Tor.com, art director Irene Gallo remembers him: "He was a particular favorite among his fellow artists. Many creatives and readers will mourn his passing." Neil Gaiman also has words on his passing:

I couldn’t actually figure out what the Moebius stories were about, but I figured that was because my French wasn’t up to it. (I could get the gist of the Richard Corben Den story, and loved that too, and not just because of the nakedness, but the Moebius stories were obviously so much deeper.)

I read the magazine over and over and envied the French because they had everything I dreamed of in comics - beautifully drawn, visionary and literate comics, for adults. I just wished my French was better, so I could understand the stories (which I knew would be amazing).

I wanted to make comics like that when I grew up.

I finally read the Moebius stories in that Metal Hurlant when I was in my 20s, in translation, and discovered that they weren’t actually brilliant stories. More like stream-of-consciousness art meets Ionesco absurdism. The literary depth and brilliance of the stories had all been in my head. Didn’t matter.

Read the rest

Meet Slovak Batman

Zoltan Kohari, known as the Slovak Batman, poses in his home in the town of Dunajska Streda, 34 miles (55 km) south of Bratislava. Kohari, who is 26 years old, lives alone in an abandoned building without water, heat or electricity. For local residents he became known as "the hero in a Batman's costume." While he has not fought crime yet, he does believe in justice and wants to help the police. In the mean time, Kohari, who is poor, does what he can to help the residents to make their daily life easier. In return, some of these residents give him food. (REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa, photo dated March 8, 2012) Read the rest

Westerfeld's Uglies continues in manga form: Shay's Story

I've written several times here about Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, a collection of outstanding dystopian YA science fiction novels about a world where everyone is forced to undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of 16. Westerfeld concluded the series in 2007, but now he is revisiting the world in manga form, co-creating a series of graphic novels with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings.

The first of these volumes, Uglies: Shay's Story came out this week, and it's a fantastic, fast-paced addition to the Uglies canon. As the title implies, Shay's Story retells some of the key events in the series from the point-of-view of one of the minor characters from the novel, Shay, giving her her due (she was always one of my favorites). In so doing, Westerfeld and co illuminate more of the Uglies world -- and bring to it a set of visuals that flesh out and enhance the original novels.

You can certainly enjoy Shay's Story without reading the Uglies novels first, though each series (Shay's Story is the first of several volumes) contains a few spoilers for the other.

Uglies: Shay's Story

 Uglies: young adult sf that perfectly captures adolescent anxiety ... Conclusion of Westerfeld's Uglies and Pretties trilogy is out - Boing ... Scott Westerfeld's Extras - a superb volume in the Uglies series ... Scott Westerfeld's ass-kicking, bestselling YA novel UGLIES as a free Read the rest

Hand-knit superhero costumes gallery show in Knoxville

Mark Newport, whose hand-knit superhero costumes have been mentioned here before, has a gallery show at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Ewing Gallery. I really love these pieces -- they'd make great jammies (or, without the legs, hoodies).

IN ACTION: Mark Newport (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Archie Comics confronts breast cancer

Via ComicsAlliance blog, news that 'Life With Archie' features a character with breast cancer in this month's new issue.

"That character is Cheryl Blossom, the redheaded spoiler in Betty and Veronica's love triangle with Archie."

More in an Associated Press item here.

As an authority on the subject, I can tell you the artist definitely got the "chemo-fatigue" look down right.

(thanks, @penguinchris)

 The diagnosis - Boing Boing News reporter's on-camera mammogram results in breast cancer ... Shit girls say to girls with breast cancer - Boing Boing "What breast cancer is, and is not" - Boing Boing Breast cancer awareness ads feature superheroes giving ... Read the rest

iZombie books 2 and 3: stylish comedy-horror comic goes from strength to strength

Last March, I reviewed the first iZombie collection, a new series of stylish, fun horror/comedy comics from Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. The series' premise is that Gwen Dylan is a recently risen zombie who isn't a mindless revenant, but rather is in full possession of her faculties, and will remain so, for so long as she keeps eating fresh brains. Not wanting to kill people, she gets a job as a gravedigger and snacks on the clients. While hanging around the graveyard, she befriends the ghost of a mixed-up hippie chick in go-go boots, and they add a were-terrier with a serious crush on her to their retinue, and now they're ready to start solving mysteries.

I just caught up with the next two volumes in the series: iZombie, uVampire and Six Feet Under and Rising and I'm pleased to report that iZombie moves from strength to strength, taking a kitchen-sink approach to eschatology that incorporates vampires, mummies, proper BRRRRAAAAAINNNSS zombies, poltergeists, and a sewn-together golem who has been scheming for centuries to bring about the end of the world by means cthulhoid.

The stories are both fun and suspenseful, and the creators are clearly going to great lengths to top each other with new kinds of clever weirdness. Each volume ends with a bunch of little metacomics that tell the back-story while borrowing the visual and storytelling styles of Casper the Friendly Ghost, Scooby Doo, and other comedy-horror forebears of the genre.

Having finished book three, I've pre-ordered book four at my local funnybooks emporium. Read the rest

Comic: meeting the Monkees' Davy Jones

At Spin, cult cartoonist Ward Sutton illustrates a memorable encounter with the Monkees' Davy Jones. Read the rest

Friends With Boys: graphic novel about fitting in at high school, seeing ghosts

Faith Erin Hicks's new graphic novel Friends With Boys launches today. It's the story of Maggie, who is about to follow her three older brothers to the town high-school after a lifetime of home-schooling. Maggie is understandably nervous, because everything in her life is unsettled: her mother mysteriously left the family at the start of the summer, her twin brothers have begun to fight with unprecedented viciousness, and the ghost that she's seen off and on all her life has begun a much more persistent haunting than ever before.

What follows is, in some ways, a classic story about misfits in big schools, but it is handled with such deftness and charm by Hicks that it feels fresh. In any event, the fitting-in-at-school plot is just a skeleton which Hicks hangs with fresh tissue: a series of mysteries about simmering rivalries, her missing mother and the ghost that haunts her are the real tale.

As with Hicks's earlier work, Friends With Boys shines in part due to the engaging and lovable character work, personified with a fine and expressive illustration style. Maggie's best friend, a daffy punk girl called Lucy, has my vote for one of the great punk comic characters, right up with Tank Girl. This is a great comic for young people and grownups alike.

I've been a fan of Hicks's work since I picked up her graphic novel Zombies Calling, and it's a pleasure to find her continuing to produce top-notch work. You can preview Friends With Boys in its webcomic incarnation. Read the rest

Kickstarter success for DRM-free webcomics, reader-funded long-form journalism

Some heartwarming news on the Kickstarter front: fans of the Diesel Sweeties webcomic have oversubscribed R. Stevens's DRM-free ebook, for which he was hoping to raise $3,000, and brought the total up to nearly $40K. Meanwhile, Matter, the startup that wants to fund long-form journalism online, blew past its $50K target in two days, and is now sitting at 81K. Read the rest

Batman matrioshke

Russian sculptor Katya Malakhova created a set of Batman matrioshkes that -- judging from the description -- actually nest. I wonder if the ears are hollow?

Batman doll (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Goats webcomic book IV: the Kickstarter edition

Jon Rosenberg, creator of the entirely demented Goats webcomic sez, "Just wanted to let you know that it looks like I'm going to be able to do a fourth Goats book, and I'm doing it without a publisher -- this one is going to be wholly funded by the readers themselves. The Goats Book IV Kickstarter met its fundraising goal only eighteen hours after it launched, which has made me a bit giddy. The money is nice, but the ability to do projects without big companies backing them is superb." (Thanks, Jon!) Read the rest

Marvel Comics to US gov't: mutants are not human (and should not be taxed as such)

Radiolab covers the strange saga of Marvel Comics's fight against the US customs authority over whether X-Men dollies were "dolls" or "toys" -- the difference being that dolls (which are defined as characters that represent humans) are taxed at twice the rate of "toys." The case turned on whether a mutant was, indeed, human, or whether they were monsters. Despite Professor X's long advocacy for the essential humanity of mutants, his corporate owners argued that he and his cohort were mere monsters (for tax purposes).

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Reporter Ike Sriskandarajah tells Jad and Robert a story about two international trade lawyers, Sherry Singer and Indie Singh, who noticed something interesting while looking at a book of tariff classifications. "Dolls," which represent human beings, are taxed at almost twice the rate of "toys," which represent something not human - such as robots, monsters, or demons. As soon as they read that, Sherry and Indie saw dollar signs. it just so happened that one of their clients, Marvel Comics, was importing its action figures as dolls. And one set of action figures really piqued Sherry and Indie's interest: The XMEN, normal humans who, at around puberty, start to change in ways that give them strange powers.

Here's the actual court opinion (PDF).

The solomonic court divided the mutants into varying degrees of humanness. In the human camp were the Invisible Woman, Punisher, Daredevil, U.S. Agent, Peter Parker, and Jumpsie were humans. The remainder (including the Fantastic Four) were mutants.

Mutant Rights (via MeFi) Read the rest

Polygon Heroes: low poly-count 3D superhero posters

James, a photo retoucher in New Zealand, makes these "de-touched" "polygon hero" posters, 3D representations of familiar comics icons, downrezzed to abstract jaggie forms.

Polygon Heroes (Thanks, danielpresling!) Read the rest

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