40 Days in the Desert - timeless, eternal mythical tale by Moebius

When you are trying to imagine the details of an alternative world, try Moebius. Moebius (one of the pseudonyms for the French artist Jean Giraud) practically invented the now-common idea of a well worn future – that place far ahead that is gritty, patched up, organic, and old and new at the same time. Think Star Wars, cyberpunk, Blade Runner. Moebius is a fabulist. His strange drawings, designs and comics have shaped movies such as The Fifth Element and Alien, and influenced directors such as Fellini and Miyazaki. Moebius was a prolific artist, starring in his own series Heavy Metal, and appeared in many other publications, yet little of his work remains in print in English. Out of all Moebius’ (Giraud’s) work, I suggest this book, 40 Days in the Desert. Long out of print, and rare even when first published, this is an extended visual poem. The version of the book that I have is Japanese, but that is okay because there are no words in this story. It is timeless and eternal and other-worldly. With thin sure lines, this wordless sequence tells a mythical story in some alien place. There are about 100 drawings depicting surreal worlds with an ominous tension. Something is about to happen, or just happened, but you are not sure what. All you know is that you have never seen anything like this, and that maybe it is true. It makes me want to unleash my imagination.

40 Days in the Desert by Moebius Asukashin-Sha 2009, 152 pages, 6.5 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches $49 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest

Interview with 10-year-old cartoonist Sasha Matthews, author of "Sitting Bull" and "Pompeii"


I loved this interview with 6th-grader cartoonist Sasha Matthews, creator of two historical comic books: Sitting Bull (which we ran on Boing Boing) and Pompeii: Lost and Found. You can buy copies of her comics here.

Read the rest

This poster for the Cincy Comicon pays homage to old comic book ads


Cartoonist Tony Moore (co-creator of The Walking Dead comic book series) designed this very fun poster for the Cincy Comicon (September 12-13), which pays homages to the old comic book ads for novelties and practical jokes. He did such a good job that I asked him to write a bit about it. Read the rest

Alien creature hunt (1963)


House of Mystery (No.130, Jan 1963)

Cover art by George Roussos

[via] [via] Read the rest

Ant-Man, the Physics of Shrinking, and the Higgs Boson

It's simply a cross-interaction between the Higgs field and the Pym field!

10 Comic-Con announcements that are actually about comics

The sun has set on San Diego, and we've put together the most interesting news that fans of comics -- you know, the books -- shouldn't miss.

Giant book of scanned art from Jack Kirby's best comic book series: Kamandi


Born in 1917 as Jacob Kurtzberg, Jack Kirby is recognized as the most important person in comic book history. One could make a good argument that the title belongs to Carl Barks, Robert Crumb, Stan Lee, or Wally Wood. They are all inarguably giants of the comic book world. But take a look at the characters Kirby created or co-created over a career that spanned nearly 50 years: Captain America, Sandman, The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, and the Silver Surfer. Who else can boast of such a star-studded stable of comic book characters, all of whom are global household names? Only Kirby!

My favorite Kirby character is one of his less well-known creations, at least among the non-comic-book-reading public. I was 12 years old when I discovered Kamandi in early 1973 at a friend’s house in Boulder, Colorado. He had the first three issues of the comic. The first issue’s cover showed Kamandi paddling a life raft through a flooded and abandoned New York, with the Statue of Liberty tilted like the tower of Pisa. It was a rip-off from the ending of Planet of the Apes, the 1968 movie that was (and still is) one of my favorite films. Nevertheless, the image was powerful and exciting. I opened the comic book and started reading.

I read all three issues twice that afternoon, sprawled on my friend’s living room floor. It was the greatest thing I’d ever read. Kamandi was a teenager, the last surviving human on a post apocalyptic Earth now under the control of different animal species that behaved, dressed, and walked like humans: dogs, tigers, wolves, rats, lions, and apes. Read the rest

For that college student who wants to ban non-Batman comics: we've got your Batman comics right here


"I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography." For Crafton Hills College student Tara Shultz who was expecting to bone up on Batman and Robin instead of being forced to read four award-winning graphic novels that offended her, we are happy to provide this cheat sheet of some of the Dynamic Duo's finest moments!

Another quote from Tara Shultz: "At most I would like the books eradicated from the system. I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage." Read the rest

The Art of Osamu Tezuka: Astroboy's God of Manga


The kamisama of manga. The Japanese Disney. The godfather of anime. Tezuka-san has had many labels bestowed upon him both before and after his untimely death, but very few do justice to his contributions to a truly transatlantic medium, one which has dramatically surged in popularity in the last decade.

A doyen of over 500 individual print titles and scores of feature films, his creations – numbering amongst them the maverick doctor of Black Jack, the epic treatise on immortality Phoenix (Hi no Tori), and the all-conquering, sci-fi inflected Pinocchio retelling of Astro Boy (Mighty Atom) – are adventurous, topical, riotously funny and fundamentally human.

Part biography, part showcase of a lifetime spent in creative abandon, author Helen McCarthy traces his early inspiration drawn from Disney's wide-eyed characters – a look that would define manga's similarly neotenous bent – to a public, if officially unacknowledged repayment in the form of Kimba The White Lion re-imagining The Lion King. Packaged with a DVD of Tezuka at work, and a relief cover of the aforementioned Mighty Atom, Osamu Tezuka: The God Of Manga is a compelling and comprehensive work. – Nick Parton

The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga by Helen McCarthy (author) and Osamu Tezuka (illustrator) Harry N. Abrams 2009, 272 pages, 9 x 12.2 x 1 inches $25 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Action packed 1950 comic book cover


From the Dr. Bronner school of illustration: Journey Into Unknown Worlds #36, September 1950. Artist: Russ Heath. Read the rest

Watch: Mark interviews Ghost World cartoonist Daniel Clowes


Last night I went to Meltdown comics in Hollywood to interview Daniel Clowes, the creator of Eightball, which is one of my favorite comic book series (check out the amazing new 25th anniversary slipcase edition of Eightball!). The room was packed, and Dan shared hilarious anecdotes about his career as a comic book artist and screenwriter (Ghost World, Art School Confidential). He could have had a career as a low-key standup comic in the vein of Bob Newhart.

Dan talked about his surreal experience with Shia LaBeouf, who plagiarized one of Dan's stories and issued a bunch of plagiarized fauxpologies. He also shared details about the upcoming movie Wilson, based on his graphic novel. Dan wrote the screenplay and it will star Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern.

Below are some photos from last night's event as well as a link to my 2012 interview with Dan at Meltdown. (I'm wearing the same shirt! Hahaha.)

Read the rest

Cartoonist Joe Matt's porn problem follows him to Los Angeles

A story from Drawn and Quarterly's new 800-page 25th Anniversary Anthology

Drawn and Quarterly's lavish doorstopper of a book on 25 years of indie comics

It’s hard to imagine what contemporary culture would be like without the existence of the comic, graphic novel, and low-brow art publishers Last Gasp, Fantagraphics, and Canada’s small press darling, Drawn & Quarterly. In Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years, D&Q are given their due. This lavish doorstopper of a book contains numerous historical essays about the company, with lots of great photos, a timeline, reminiscences, interviews, and more. The rest of the book is mainly comprised of full strips and excerpts from some of the many award-winning and pathbreaking comics and graphic novels that D&Q has published over the past quarter century. Some rarely-seen comics are included. Peppered throughout are appreciation essays from the likes of Jonathan Lethem and Margaret Atwood along with many artists appreciating the fellow creators of the delightful devil’s picture books known as comics. Artists featured in the collection include Seth, Julie Doucet, Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, Lynda Barry, Chester Brown, Peter Kuper, Tom Gauld, Daniel Clowes, Anders Nilsen, Ariel Bordeaux, and dozens more.

Again, imagine for a minute a world in which the work of these talented artists had never reached the masses, and how far less rich, interesting, and strange our world would be as a result. Congrats to Drawn & Quarterly for bringing these artists to us, for celebrating 25 years of beautiful high weirdness, and for producing this impressive and yummy book. The ink smell of it alone will make a book nerd’s eyes roll back in her head.

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Bring your 3D printers to Meltdown comics for a Dan Clowes toy-printing event


Professional toy designer Ryan Whearty has come up with several cool 3D designs featuring the Meltdown Comics mascot, which was designed by cartoonist Daniel Clowes. To celebrate the Daniel Clowes book launch event at Meltdown in Los Angeles on June 5th, the store is inviting owners of 3D printers to bring their machines to the store and participate in a group toy-printing session.

If you'd like to participate, send email to meltdown3d@gmail.com.

Read the rest

Seconds - a humorous graphic novel about a mushroom that allows a young chef to “revise” her mistakes with unexpected consequences

If you had the power to erase your mistakes, what would you do? Would you change big things, little things? How about every single seemingly insignificant thing you did today? That’s the question in Seconds, when Katie, a young chef aspiring to own her own restaurant, discovers a magical mushroom that allows her to “revise” her mistakes. Immediately she uses the power to course correct every aspect of her life, from arguments with friends to bad business decisions. As you’ve probably guessed, things quickly spiral out of control, often in humorous ways.

The book itself is pretty; the full-color artwork is drawn in a style similar to the Scott Pilgrim cartoony-ness that made author Bryan Lee O’Malley famous. The pages have a painted quality and the panels are bordered with a ton of white space on the top and bottom so you can never forget that you’re reading a book. This design feels thematically important to the story, as Katie is constantly forced to question her reality and we are constantly reminded that the story isn’t “real.” A handful of full page illustrations creep in to surprise you with how awesome they look: the two-pager of the Seconds basement is something I would hang on a wall. The book has a cool hardcover design with a dust jacket that interestingly does not cover the entire book, making this a great addition to any bookshelf. – Alex Strine

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

More posts