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Winner of the Remix "The Fifth Beatle" giveaway

I recently reviewed the incredible graphic novel biography, The Fifth Beatle: The Brain Epstein Story, written by Vivek J. Tiwary and illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker. (It was just nominated for two Eisner awards!)

Last week I announced that Wink (a paper book review website that my wife Carla Sinclair edits) was holding a giveaway of the rare signed, numbered, slipcased "Limited Edition" of The Fifth Beatle, which is limited to 1500 copies, signed by all three creators and comes with an exclusive tip-in page of art. Entrants to the giveaway were asked to write their own text for the word balloons in the panel above. (Clockwise L-R John Lennon, George Harrison, Brian Epstein, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney. NOTE: John has 2 balloons.)

The entries were judged by Vivek J. Tiwary himself, and he selected a winner for the limited edition and a runner-up for a regular edition.

Here are the winning entries

Gweek podcast 142: the funniest living American

In each episode of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. Our guests this week are:

Ruben Bolling, author of the weekly comic strip Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing, and pre-premiers for members of his Inner Hive, which you can join by going to tomthedancingbug.com.

Nick Carr is a New York City movie location scout. On his blog, Scouting New York, Nick says he’s been pretty much everywhere, from the highest rooftops to the deepest subway tunnels, from abandoned ruins to zillion-dollar luxury penthouse apartments.

This episode is brought to you by:

NatureBox, makers of delicious, wholesome snacks delivered to your door. Go to NatureBox.com/gweek to get 50% OFF your your first box.

iFixit, the world’s free online repair manual for everything.. Use coupon code GWEEK at checkout and get $10 off your order of $50 or more.

The Boondocks. Season 4 starts on Monday April 21 on Adult Swim.

Nick's picks:

Best Bathroom - Highly recommended app for anyone coming to NYC

K2 - Great board game from Poland I’ve been playing recently

Ruben's picks:

Paul has a Summer Job, by Michel Rabagliati

Henry Speaks for Himself, by John Liney

Dean's pick:

Love and a Sandwich -- stuffed animal monsters

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Tell Me Something I Don't Know 027: cartoonist and zinemaker Nicole Georges

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is Boing Boing's podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the practical side of how they do what they do.

Nicole Georges is a cartoonist, writer, zinemaker, teacher, aerobics instructor (?), and pet portraitist. When she was a child, Georges’ mother and family told her that her father died when she was a baby. When she was 21, a palm reader told her that her biological dad was still alive. She called conservative talk show host Dr. Laura for some advice. She chronicles what happened next in her graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura.

Based in Portland, Georges has been making comics and zines including “Invincible Summer” for over a decade. She also teaches at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, which provides access to tools and resources for creating independently published media and artwork. Georges tells us about teaching Riot Grrl history and zinemaking to teenagers, and finding value and self-empowerment through self-expression. When we talked to Georges, she was in the middle of a 9-month fellowship at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.

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A video history of Last Gasp comics

[Video Link] Last Gasp comics has posted the first video in a series called "This Moment in Last Gasp History." This one is about publisher Ron Turner's involvement in a scandalous political fundraising party that resulted in the following New York Times headline: "Political 'Party' Goes So Far, Even San Francisco Is Aghast."

In a recent episode of Gweek, Last Gasp marketing director Janelle Hessig told me: "Ron Turner regularly stops by my desk at Last Gasp and tells me crazy stories about Last Gasp history (smuggling comics into the Hanoi Hilton, smuggling comics to Fidel Castro, Last Gasp sponsoring a Formula 1 race car, goats in taxi cabs, weird 70s sex parties, you name it). I don’t have the means to write Ron’s biography so I’m turning some of these stories into short videos."

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 026: Teenager X

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is Boing Boing's podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the practical side of how they do what they do.

Two years ago, we recorded a conversation with a 16 year-old high school student. Not someone famous, but someone who is, to you, a random teenager. So that he could feel free to speak candidly about friends, school, and culture, we gave him the pseudonym Teenager X. He told us about being more tech-savvy than his teachers, he described his hectic schedule, he vented frustrations about learning to drive, and shared a funny anecdote about being kicked out of an online Metal Gear game.

Two years later, we revisit Teenager X. He's 18 now and mere months away from high school graduation. He talks about high school "busy work", modern jazz, and nerd culture. He tells us about a brief stint reviewing rom-coms for his high school newspaper and ponders his plans for life after high school, work, college, and girls.

Also: We've got a T-shirt bearing TMSIDK's smart aleck logo! Challenge people with your shirt to tell you something you don't know. Everyone loves a know-it-all.

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RiYL podcast 047: cartoonist Box Brown, "Andre the Giant: Life and Legend"

Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

In this episode, we speak with Box Brown, the artist behind the newly-released graphic novel Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. By way of background, he also designed RiYL’s logo, so in a sense he’s been part of the podcast since the beginning. I’ve been aware of his work since the earliest days, when he first began exploring the medium. He posted his loosely autobiographical comics on message boards of established cartoonists like James Kochalka. He put his work out on floppies and webcomics. Those early strips were really rough.

I can’t think of a single cartoonist whose work I’ve watched progress from such an early stage. And it was no doubt that exact drive to put his stuff out in the world that helped Brown improve, culminating with the forthcoming release of his first full-length book, Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, which examines the man who became professional wrestling’s largest legends.

Brown and I met up at a coffee shop next door to Locust Moon, my favorite comic shop in Philadelphia. We discussed giving it all up to pursue your dream — and, like zine publisher (and friend of Brown) Robert Newsome before him, the cartoonist was more than happy to discuss his lifelong love of professional wrestling with a podcast host who’s only just beginning to familiarize himself with the subject.

Oh, and as we approach episode 50, I’m asking listeners to let me know which RiYL episodes have been their favorite, thus far. Please send any feedback to riylcast@gmail.com

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My favorite history comic books, by Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide

[Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide, has a new historical comic book out, called The Harlem Hellfighters, about the historic black 369th infantry regiment from WWI. Here's an exclusive essay that Max wrote for Boing Boing about his favorite history comic books. It's a terrific reading list! -- Mark]

History is boring, and I say that as a former history major. In high school, history was the only subject I was any good at. It kept me focused, it kept me engaged. It probably kept me off drugs. To this day, the “life story of the human race,” to quote one of my college professors, is nothing short of a lifelong passion. However, it’s a passion I share with very few people. And why? Because history is boring. Or, to be more accurate, it’s too often presented in a boring way.

Too often teachers do nothing more than preach fact regurgitation, while using uninspired texts. They numb the brain and extinguish the heart with a flood of intricate details without ever taking the time to tie those details together. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great history teachers, and what made them great is that they always started with the BIG PICTURE. They introduced their subjects in the broadest, simplest, most easily digestible manner before diving into the specifics. That big picture thinking kept me as focused as the finished image on the box of a jigsaw puzzle, and it’s a method I continue to use whenever I tackle a new subject.

Before cracking a one ton tome by David McCullough or Doris Kearns Goodwin, I always try to find a big picture primer for their subject, and through the years, I’ve found no better primer than comic books. The visual aspect of illustrated work has always made history come alive for me. To see the clothing, hairstyles, architecture and technology in vibrant color (or even black and white) serves as an instant time machine.

Sometimes I’ve found all the information I’ve needed on a subject within a comic book’s pages. Sometimes those pages have served to stoke my interest. Sometimes they’ve even taught me something the prose volumes have missed.

Here are few examples of the illustrated books that have taught me about what once was. They are:

Read the rest

Gweek podcast 138: From Russia with Doubt

In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were:

Ramez Naam, a computer scientist and the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of three books, including the sci-fi thriller Nexus, which has been optioned as a film by Paramount and director Darren Aronofsky. The follow up title, Crux, came out in August.

Dean Putney, Boing Boing’s software developer and Gweek regular, whose self published a book of his great-grandfather’s World War I photos.

Danimal Cannon, a touring chiptune and heavy metal musician who occasionally composes music for indie video games. His album Parallel Processing was recently launched as the soundtrack for the new game Wave Wave on iOS.

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by:

Lynda.com, with over 2,000 high-quality and engaging video courses taught by industry experts. Visit lynda.com/gweek to try lynda.com free for 7 days

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Show Notes:

Ramez's picks:

Geekomancy and Celebromancy by Michael Underwood: Fun, witty, insider-joke filled geek urban fantasy.

How to get the most out of Facebook & Twitter: It’s all about Lists. And an app: TweetDeck.

rubtr: A browser plugin that lets you rebut pages that are inaccurate, and see rebuttals that have been made.


Dean's picks

Wave Wave - upcoming iOS game by Thomas Janson built around a fantastic chiptune album by Danimal Cannon.

The ArtisanVideos subReddit


Mark's picks:

From Russia With Doubt: The Quest to Authenticate 181 Would-Be Masterpieces of the Russian Avant-Garde A couple of amateur art collector brothers buy $40,000 worth of paintings on eBay, and they are appraised at $50 million.

My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External Hard Drive I have replaced my external desktop hard drives with these. They are small, quiet, and inexpensive.

And much more!

Real Stuff: "Them Changes"

“I’ve often wondered what made me such a violent teenager… But whatever the reason, by the time I was in my mid-teens I fancied myself a pretty tough customer.” Originally published in Real Stuff #6, April 1992. Illustrated by Seth and Chester Brown.

Read the rest

Gweek podcast 137: The Horrors of Ancient Medicine

In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were:

Janelle Hessig, a bay Area cartoonist and writer and the marketing director at Last Gasp Publishing.

A.J. Jacobs, a writer, a human guinea pig, and the author of four New York Times Bestsellers, including the Year of Living Biblically, for which he followed the hundreds of rules of the Bible as literally as possible, from the 10 commandments to growing a huge beard.

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by:

Lynda.com, with over 2,000 high-quality and engaging video courses taught by industry experts. Visit lynda.com/gweek to try lynda.com free for 7 days

Audible, the Internet's leading provider of spoken audio entertainment. Visit audiblepodcast.com/gweek for your free audiobook download today.

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Show Notes:

Janelle's picks:

Prisoner art & inventions. I used to receive a lot of unwanted mail from prisoners in the 90s. An exhibit of prisoner inventions assembled by the Chicago artist collective Temporary Services collaborating with an incarcerated artist named Angelo changed my outlook and, in time, the quality of my prisoner mail. From bedsheet murals to paper mache chess sets, I’m fascinated with the ways that artists adapt with limited resources and compromised humanity while incarcerated.

"This Moment in Last Gasp History" is a video series I’m launching next week. Ron Turner regularly stops by my desk at Last Gasp and tells me crazy stories about Last Gasp history (smuggling comics into the Hanoi Hilton, smuggling comics to Fidel Castro, Last Gasp sponsoring a Formula 1 race car, goats in taxi cabs, weird 70s sex parties, you name it). I don’t have the means to write Ron’s biography so I’m turning some of these stories into short videos. Read The Origins of Last Gasp.


A.J.'s picks

There's lots of new stuff to report about the Global Family Reunion The crowdsourced genealogy movement is fascinating. I wrote a piece about it for the NYT. I'm a big fan of the World Family Tree (which is now up to 75 MILLION people) but it's very controversial, because of invasion of privacy concerns and also accuracy concerns.

The Horrors of Ancient Medicine. I'm writing a piece for Mental Floss about the horrors of ancient doctors. My favorite: the smoke enema. Where you literally blow smoke up the ass. That's where the phrase comes from. It was supposed to cure all sorts of things, like stomach ailments.


Mark's picks:

Wink is a new website from Kevin Kelly, Carla Sinclair (my wife), and me. It’s about remarkable books that belong on paper and wouldn’t be good as an ebook. We review one new paper book each weekday.

Figurines of Fletcher Hanks’ comic book characters from Golden Age Figurines

David gave me this CD: Devo: Hardcore: 4-track Demo tapes made in Akron from 1974 to 1977. Fantastic early work. The members of Devo were peaceful hippies until the Kent State massacre (Amazing interview with Jerry Casale).

And much more!

Creepy old Simon and Kirby comic: Nasty Little Man

I read this Golden Age Simon and Kirby comic about a malevolent leprechaun when I was a kid. I think it was in a black and white paperback anthology; but I’m not sure. I do remember being thoroughly creeped out by it. “Nasty Little Man” is included in the newly issued Simon and Kirby Horror anthology, which is loaded with wonderfully bizarre stories. Enjoy the full story here on Boing Boing!

Read the rest

Pigeon Press features original art from some of my favorite cartoonists

Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Ivan Brunetti... three fantastic artists who are part of the new Pigeon Press Gallery, founded by Alvin Buenaventura (editor of The Art of Daniel Clowes). Pigeon Press sells original art and limited prints. They will also be publishing comics later this year, and I'm looking forward to this, because Alvin published a bunch of great books and comics (as well as the stupendous Comic Art magazine) in years past when he ran Buenaventura Publishing.

Pigeon Press

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 025: Stephanie Buscema

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is Boing Boing's podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the practical side of how they do what they do.

Stephanie Buscema is a painter, illustrator, cover artist, and comic book artist. She studied cartooning and illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In our conversation, she tells us what it was like to grow up with artist role models in her family. We discuss the influence and importance of illustration greats Mary Blair and Marie Severin. Stephanie walks us through her process for creating killer Red Sonja comics covers, and talks about the benefits of working on a variety of projects in different formats, and the sacrifices necessary to be a working artist.

Also: We've got a T-shirt bearing TMSIDK's smart aleck logo! Challenge people with your shirt to tell you something you don't know. Everyone loves a know-it-all.

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The Best of Wonder Wart-Hog

That Gilbert Shelton’s name isn’t immediately recognized by everyone who reads these words is a shame, one Knockabout Comics has spent the past half-dozen years working hard to correct. In 2008, the UK-based publisher issued The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Omnibus, followed a year later by a collection of the delightful spinoff series, Fat Freddy’s Cat. The company took a couple of years off from the Shelton racket, issuing books by, among others, the cartoonist’s better known peer and fellow French transplant, Robert Crumb.

Late last year, however, the company returned with the final piece in Shelton’s puzzle: Wonder Wart-Hog. Like Shelton himself, the bestial hero is mostly forgotten outside of sequential art faithfuls and those who followed his skewed super heroics in sporadically issued comics collections throughout the 60s.

Read the rest

Gweek podcast 136: Zombie Jughead

In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were:

Michael Goodwin, a freelance writer and the author of the comic book Economix: How the Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) in Words and Pictures. Like many freelance writers, he lives in New York City with cats.

New York Times best-selling novelist Scott Sigler, author of Ancestor, Nocturnal, and the Infected Trilogy (consisting of the books Infected, Contagious and Pandemic).

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by:

99designs, the world’s largest online marketplace for graphic design. Visit 99designs.com/gweek and get a $99 Power Pack of services for free.

Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create you own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10% off go to Squarespace.com and use the offer code UNIZILLA

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Show Notes:

Michael's pick:

Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works, a comic book by Jonathan Gruber and Nathan Schreiber
Scott's pick

The First Law, Joe Abercrombie

Mark's pick:

Sugru Magnet Kit

And much more!