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

75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen

There is a certain novelty in trying to leaf through a book that is bigger and heavier than the coffee table it rests on. Thankfully, the hernia is worth it, with Marvel teaming up with Taschen and putting out a gorgeous repository of comic book history guided by Marvel Comics veteran, Roy Thomas. The book thankfully takes advantage of its massive size, reprinting iconic scenes from Marvel’s history in the original large format that artists draw their pages. This allows the reader to be able to enjoy the details hitherto not possible, especially for those images from older issues which suffered from poor production and printing processes. Definitely a purchase well worth it for anyone who is interested in seeing how much the company has changed over these past 75 years. However, you should be warned that the information within is so engrossing that loss of blood-flow to your legs may happen thanks to the mighty book’s weight! – Ahmed Bhuiyan

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

The Fade Out - Anthology of a great Hollywood noir comic book

I reviewed the first issue of The Fade Out last year. Now, Image has released the first four issues in one volume. Read the rest

Avengers Vault: origins of Marvel Comics’ mightiest heroes

The Avengers Vault

covers the histories and origins of Marvel Comics’ mightiest heroes, The Avengers. Read the rest

Understanding Comics delves into the history and modern interpretations of graphic literature

On my first trip to a comic shop as a complete novice, I asked where a person should start if they were completely new to the world of comics and graphic novels. After a quick crash course, the girl behind the counter handed me a book: Understanding Comics. Read the rest

Classic superhero bodies photoshopped for believability

I love the "reverse Photoshopping" of these comics -- digitally adding normal physiques -- as performed by The group says it wants to call attention to bodies so far out line with those of most Americans.

Via Robot6 Read the rest

How the best Donald Duck story of all time skewered capitalism

Like any masterpiece, Carl Barks' 1949 comic book story "Lost in the Andes" means many things to many critics, each one finding something new with every reading.

Angry Youth Comix - like Beavis and Butthead, only stupider

Angry Youth Comix is a beautifully designed and produced hardcover book containing the complete run of an infantile, ridiculous comic book called Angry Youth (published from 2000–2008). Read the rest

Listen: interviews with Scott McCloud and Jim Woodring

On his RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviewed two extraordinary comic book people: Jim Woodring and Scott McCloud. Read the rest

Unkept Promise: Anti-alcohol comic book from 1949

Ethan Persoff has a website called Comics with Problems where he posts old comic books about VD, diabetes, segregation, birth control, poison prevention, etc. His latest find is a doozy. Read the rest

The Silver Age of Comic Book Art manifests the magic and majesty of the Marvel and DC classics from 1956-1970

The Silver Age of Comic Book Art is a sparkly remastered new version of the long-out-of-print coffee table book that first came out ahead of its time in 2003, before all the beautiful Chip Kidd-designed superhero books, before many do-gooders depicted in these pages – Captain America, The Flash, Thor, Green Lantern, The Avengers, Dr. Strange, Green Arrow, Nick Fury and more – made it to the big & little screens. IMHO, more so than any other book on the subject, and more even than the bombastic blockbusters, this book manifests the magic and majesty of the Marvel and DC classic comics and characters from The Silver Age (1956-1970) and does so by focusing due attention on eight artists responsible for their creation: Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko, and Neal Adams.

By way of uberdynamic spreads chockfulla judiciously juxtoposed images, ouvre-compressing cosmic collages, and the hubris-if-it-wasn’t-done-right method of replacing words in original comic balloons with choice quotes from the artists themselves, Schumer achieves the fantastic feat of making the reader experience the awe a kid in 1964 must have felt upon first gazing upon an earth-shattering Jack Kirby spread in Fantastic Four, or having Neal Adams’ art in Green Lantern / Green Arrow punch you in the face with its wrenchingly emotional realism, or being thrown off-kilter by the angular other-dimensionality of Steve Ditko’s Dr. Strange.

Appropriately, two of comics’ most influential writers wax testimoniacal, in their signature styles, about this sublime celebration of super artists:

Alan Moore: “A lovingly crafted tribute to the superhero comic of the 1960s, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art recaptures the four-color visionary surge of the era, its jet-age psychedelic rush of imagination and the titanic, luminous figures, both real and imaginary, that glittered in its firmament. Read the rest

Interview with Elfquest's Wendy and Richard Pini

In my spare time, when I'm not protecting wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation or guest-blogging for Animal Planet and here at Boing Boing, I'm also the co-host of a podcast called The Elfquest Show, about one of America's longest-running fantasy series, with my fellow uber-geek Ryan Browne.

I was lucky enough to sit down with series' creators Wendy and Richard Pini to record this interview for the show. We talked about the events of the latest Elfquest story arc called The Final Quest, the difference in fan reactions today versus 36 years ago when the series premiered, and a lot of other juicy tidbits.

If you're an existing Elfquest fan, or are just curious about the series, give it a listen.

Boing Boing will remember that The Final Quest story arc of this epic, long-running fantasy series launched right here a couple of years ago. The series is now several issues in and is published both in print and digitally by Dark Horse Comics. Read the rest

Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio

The names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are synony­mous with comic books, and their partnership ush­ered in the Golden Age of comics starting in the 1940s. Together they created memorable characters such as Captain America and Sandman, invented romance com­ics, and raised the standard for the genres of western, crime, and horror comic books.

Festus Rotgut: Zombie Cowboy -- 6-pack comic book

Presented for your entertainment: a complete zombie comic story, told on beer bottle labels. By Jason Aaron and Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore.

WATCH: How to tell if your copy of Action Comics #1 is worth 5 dollars or 3 million dollars

Heritage Auctions created this video to teach you how to tell the difference of an original Action Comics #1 from a Famous First Edition reprint.

I have the $5 one! Read the rest

Spider-Man #300 original cover art could bring $250,000+ at auction

Why would anyone be willing to pay $250,000 for Todd McFarlane's original cover art for Spider-Man #300? Because only it's the only cover appearance of the web-slinger sporting the black Venom symbiote suit, silly!

Todd McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man #300 Original Cover Art (Marvel, 1988), one of the most important and memorable comic images of the 1980s, is expected to bring $250,000+ when it crosses the auction block on Friday, Nov. 21, in Heritage’s Comic and Comic Art auction.

“No artist of the Modern Age has had a bigger impact on Spider-Man than Todd McFarlane,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “He defined the character for an entire generation. We've sold some of his great Spidey covers in the last several years – including one that is still tied for the record of most expensive piece of American comic art of all time – but none more iconic than this cover, an absolute classic.”

The piece features Spider-Man in one of the very last times he would ever wear the black costume, as it turned out to be an evil alien symbiote, which would go on to create many different kinds of havoc for Spider-Man over the years.

This is the art that graced the cover of the 25th anniversary issue of Spider-Man that marked the first full appearance of Venom, a combination of Eddy Brock and the black costume symbiote.

“Covers just don't get any more memorable,” said Hignite. “Reproduced and paid tribute to endlessly, this one is burned into the collective imagination of all comic fans from that period and it’s one of the most impressive covers to come to market from any period in recent memory.”

Read the rest

Megahex - An occult-dressed stoner comic

Megahex, by Simon Hanselmann, is a collection of his Megg and Mogg strips, first featured on his Girl Mountain Tumblr. The comic is an existential stoner tale that is part Furry Freak Brothers, part Beavis and Butthead, and part Jean Paul Sartre (with some Jackass thrown in for good measure).

The comic concerns Megg, a green-skinned witch, her familiar/friend, the cigarette and weed puffing black cat, Mogg, and a whack-a-doodle supporting cast: Owl (an anthropomorphized owl), Mike (a warlock), Robot (guess), Booger (a female Boogeyman), and Werewolf Jones (who likes to cheese-grate his scrotum). This bizarre group of friends do little more than sit around, bong-ripping themselves into oblivion, while playing cruel pranks on each other and pontificating on the state of their miserable lives. The witch, warlock, and other horror movie “dress,” at first seems superfluous (the series takes its name and affect from the 70s Meg and Mog comics, about a witch and her cat). But after awhile, it’s obvious that the monstrous nature of the characterization is an outward expression of crippling alienation and how they truly feel about themselves. They are not monsters, they just feel that way.

It would be easy to dismiss Megahex as another stoner comic. But there’s so much lurking beneath the seemingly superficial surfaces – questions about friendship, loyalty, love, drug addiction, sexual identity, and hopelessness. There are plenty of hysterical Darwin Award-worthy situations in Megahex, but that’s not likely to be your takeaway. And what you’ll leave with is far scarier than any spook house frights; the fear of looking deeply at yourself in the mirror and finding a monster (or nothing) in your place. Read the rest

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