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Tell Me Something I Don't Know 021: John Peña

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. In episode 21, we speak to multi-disciplinary artist John Peña. Each day for the last five years, he has made a drawing about some aspect of his day. He calls this project Daily Geology, and presents it online in a form that resembles a webcomic. We talk with John about how he makes a living as an artist, comic artist Julia Wertz’s artist statement, faking happiness until you are actually happy, teaching, and the business of art education.

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Comics Rack: December's best comic books

You didn't get everything you wanted for Christmas? Good. Go out and buy Fantagraphics’ new Peanuts Every Sunday collection. It’s big and it’s beautiful and it’s great. The first volume spans ’52 to 55, so you get all the wonderful charm of those early Peanuts collections from a few years back (baby Linus! Baby Schroeder! A Snoopy that looks like an actual dog! Glorious, glorious Shermy!), only in full color.

In seasonal depression news, the terrific Brooklyn-based indie art book and comic book publisher Picturebox is ceasing publication come the new year. There is a silver lining for you, the consumer, however: enter the coupon code “sale” and you can get half of their entire stock. I bought three books the other week, like the vulture I am: one on Sun Ra, one written by Michel Gondry on the topic of filmmaking and a Brandon Graham book I’ve been eyeing for some time. Also recommended from the new pile is Matthew Thurber’s Infomaniacs, a surrealist science fiction story about an over-connected, absurdist world.

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Gweek podcast 125: Make Me a Woman


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, I was joined by Ruben Bolling, the 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. I was also joined by Vanessa Davis, a cartoonist and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She is the author of Spaniel Rage and Make Me a Woman. See what she's up to at Spaniel Rage. Shownotes: Korak, Son of Tarzan, Volume One, a Gold Key comic book from 1964 by Gaylord DuBois and Russ Manning. QuizUp, an addictive iPhone trivia game. The Rockford Files on Netflix. Ski Tracks iPhone app, for tracking your day of skiing. When You Reach Me a middle school novel by Rebecca Stead. The Dan Clowes comic book story that Shia LeBeouf plagiarized, available in The Daniel Clowes Reader.

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This episode of Gweek is sponsored by Warby Parker. Try out 5 pairs of prescription eyeglasses for free and get three-day shipping with the offer code GWEEK.

Archie comics CEO being sued for calling employees "penis"

Male employees are suing Archie Comics' CEO Nancy Silberkleit for gender discrimination. Her alleged workplace behavior, reported in the New York Daily News, is bizarre:

- refuses to call male employees by their names and instead refers to all of them as “Penis.”

- frequently yells “Penis! Penis! Penis!” in staff meetings.

- invites Hell’s Angels into the office to intimidate employees.

- frequently inquires about the location of a handgun and 750 rounds of ammunition she believes her late husband kept in the office.

- stalks employees and their families

"Silberkleit contends that the case should be tossed out because white males are not 'a protected class.'"

(Thanks, chellberty!)

Archie's Furry Christmas

Archie's Christmas Stocking #1, 1993. Art by the great Dan DeCarlo. (Via Fantasy Ink)

Gweek podcast 124: visionary artist Jim Woodring

My guests are author Peter Bebergal and cartoonist Jim Woodring. We talked about the eccentric genius Polish artist Stanislav Szukalski, Jim's oeuvre of incredible wordless graphic novels about "The Unifactor" including his latest book, Fran (and the beautiful Spanish edition of Fran), the Brand Library in Glendale, CA, Peter Bebergal's favorite albums of 2013 (records by The Sons of Kemet, Fuzz, Teeth of the Sea), Boing Boing's upcoming feature film The Immortal Augustus Gladstone, the book God is Disappointed in You (the Bible as told by a know-it-all teenager), and lots more!

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This episode of Gweek is sponsored by Rick and Morty the new Adult Swim animated comedy from Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the creator of Community.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 020: Joe Lupo and the The Invincible Iron Man

In this episode of Boing Boing's Tell Me Something I Don't Know podcast, we speak with Joseph Lupo, a printmaker and professor at West Virginia University. His work focuses on how writers and artists communicate through comics. For more than a decade, he has deconstructed and examined a single volume of The Invincible Iron Man comic book: Volume 01, Issue 178, published in 1984.

"It is a different kind of superhero issue for a few reasons," says Lupo. "For one, never in this story does the superhero Iron Man ever directly appear. Also, this issue is split into two different story lines."

Using that single issue as source material, he invited 23 nationally-recognized artists to create new work inspired by that original comic. The result: a curated group exhibition, "Shame of the City: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Comic Book Narratives," which opens at Future Tenant in Pittsburgh on December 13, 2013.

We speak with Lupo about the show, and what we can learn about communication from studying comics.

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Apps for Kids 053: Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel

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Apps for Kids is sponsored by Little Blueprint: Personalized and ready-made children's books based on brain science, empowering kids to thrive through life's challenges and celebrations.

Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we set down our smartphones to talk about the Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel, in which two kids team up with Crazy Dave, the deranged zombie prepper, to rid Neighborville of the invading horde of undead humans. Jane also grabs my staple remover that I was repairing with Sugru and messes it up.

And, we present a new "Would you rather?" question:

If you're an app developer and would like to have Jane and me try one of your apps for possible review, email a redeem code to appsforkids@boingboing.net.

Jane and I love to get your emails with questions about game, gear, and tech. What's your question?

Listen to past episodes of Apps for Kids here.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 019: Ed Piskor and The Hip Hop Family Tree

Cartoonist Ed Piskor's latest book, The Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphic Books) collects his non-fiction comic strip history of Hip Hop, serialized weekly here on Boing Boing. The Hip Hop Family Tree follows the success of his debut graphic novel last year, Wizzywig (Top Shelf Comics), the tale of a computer hacker. Piskor has a special knack for creating comics that appeal to audiences beyond those of us who frequent comic book shops and bookmark webcomics for daily reading. We caught up with him after a busy month of promotional activity for the new book, including stops at Miami Book Fair, Chicago Ideas Week, Brooklyn Book Fair, and the Small Press Expo.

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Comics Rack: November's best comic books

The end of the year is near, and we have lots of comics to read and best-of lists to compile. Also, it’s getting cold outside, and working our way out from under the stack seems like as good an excuse as any for avoiding chapped-lipped East Coast winters. In this edition of Boing Boing's Comics Rack roundup, we have Greek gods, autobiographical wolves, nightmare goats, and punk rockers.

Couch Tag
By Jesse Reklaw
Fantagraphics

I made a sound of audible excitement when a new Jesse Reklaw book showed up at my door a couple of weeks back. His dream strip Slow Wave has rightfully won him a fair amount of acclaim in the nearly 20 years since its inception, and Applicant is really a perfect one-off zine, assembled from discarded files of PhD applicants. Couch Tag, on the author hand, is a sort of family autobiography, assembled from countless loose threads centered around objects and things, discarding any semblance of chronology. It’s painful at times, like childhood itself, but Reklaw is mostly an objective tour guide through the strange and seminal moments of his youth.

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Gweek podcast 123: Kerbal Space Program


I had three, count 'em, three guests on Gweek this week: Dean Putney, Boing Boing's coding and development wizard, who updated us on his wildly successful Kickstarter project to publish a book of photographs that his great grandfather took as a German officer in WWI; Dannel Jurado, a developer at Etsy who blogs about 8-bit music and knows about a lot of cool stuff; and Glenn Fleishman, host of the New Disruptors podcast, who has a Kickstarter to publish an anthology of articles from the online publication he edits called The Magazine.

We discussed the T-shirts of Seibei, Jeopardy champ Bob Harris' books: The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time and Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!, The Android Netrunner card game, Richard Garfinkle's science fiction novels: Celestial Matters and All of an Instant, Hatch, Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree book, Brooklyn Radio's The Rub's Hip-Hop History, the Kerbal Space Program computer game, the iPhone game Hatch, and much more!

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This episodes's sponsor is Cards Against Humanity: a party game for horrible people (available at Amazon).

Real Stuff: "Three in a Bed"

A NSFW comix noir tale from the fetid depths of Dennis P. Eichhorn’s troubled soul, illustrated by Mary Fleener. Originally published in Real Stuff #5, February 1992.

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Gweek 122: Save the Adventure!


The great illustrator Danny Hellman joined Josh Glenn and me to talk about his illustrious career, including his tenure drawing covers for Al Goldstein's Screw magazine in the 1990s. Josh talked about his successful Kickstarter for a project to save old adventure novels and make them available as monthly e-books. And we recommended three books for the holidays: Josh's Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, Danny's Typhon, and Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities.

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This episodes's sponsors: Cards Against Humanity: a party game for horrible people (available at Amazon). And Hostgator, offering premium web hosting at low costs, and 24x7x365 phone, chat and email support. Show your support for Gweek and get an extra 25% off by using coupon code WEEK.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 018: Jacq Cohen of Fantagraphics


Jacq Cohen is the publicist of Fantagraphics Books. Before that, she was an assistant publicist at Dark Horse Comics and interned at Top Shelf Comix. Fantagraphics Books has been a proponent of comics as a legitimate form of art and literature since they started publishing the Comics Journal in 1976. Since then, they’ve published some of the greatest cartoonists in history including George Herriman, Charles Schulz, Carl Barks, the Hernandez Brothers, Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, and many, MANY more (including TMSIDK's own Ed Piskor).

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Gweek 121: The Return of Ape Lad


Any year that Adam Koford (aka Ape Lad) publishes a new book is a good year. The Disney artist joined Dean Putney and I to talk about his newest book of cartoons, Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, which he self-published so he could have more control over its design. And Dean tells a similar story about his forthcoming book of World War One photos taken by his great-grandfather, called Walter Koessler 1914-1918.

We also talked about the amazing Briggs & Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Roller, and the equally amazing Kickstarter project for the Heirloom Chemistry Set. And much more!

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RiYL podcast 027: cartoonist Peter Bagge


In this episode of Recommended if You Like, a conversation with Peter Bagge, the Harvey Award–winning author of the '90s alt-comic "Hate." We met at Seattle's Whisky Bar and discussed the life of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who is the subject of a new biography by Bagge, "Rebel Woman."

And previously in Boing Boing podcasts: Mark's Gweek interview with Bagge, in which the cartoonist shares his take on a number of interesting books and records on the Boing Boing radar.

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Gweek 120: Cartoonist Peter Bagge


Peter Bagge is the Harvey Award–winning author of the acclaimed nineties alternative-comic series Hate, starring slacker hero Buddy Bradley, and a regular contributor to Reason magazine. He got his start in comics in the R. Crumb–edited magazine Weirdo. My co-host Peter Bebergal and I talked to him about his latest book, a graphic novel biography of the reproductive rights activist Margaret Sanger, called Woman Rebel.

We also talked about: Paul Kwiatkowsi's photobook/novel about "delinquent magic and chaotic adolescence" in "South Florida's lush and decaying suburban landscape," And Every Day was Overcast; and the singer/songwriter of The Shaggs' first album in 44 years, called Ready! Get! Go! And lots more!

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Jack Kirby's Eternals vs. Ridley Scott's Alien

Peter Bebergal points out the uncanny similarity between this panel from Jack Kirby's The Eternals #1 (1976) and the fossilized "space jockey" in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979). I have a feeling Kirby was inspired by the Mayan space jockey image that Erich von Däniken touted as proof of alien visitation in his crackpot science classic, Chariots of the Gods (1968)

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library: Vol 5

Bless Fantagraphics for publishing Carl Barks' duck comics. One of the three original inductees into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame (along with Eisner and Jack Kirby), Barks was known for many years only as the nameless "good duck artist" in Walt Disney comic books. His stories read like Indiana Jones adventures, and the art is superb. Just looking at a Barks page make me feel good. My kids and I read Barks' duck comics together, over and over again.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Christmas On Bear Mountain is the fifth book in Fantagraphics' Complete Carl Barks Disney Library. Fantagraphics went all out with the production quality in this series: the pages were shot from the original art, and the re-coloring carefully matches the original colors in the comics.

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Gweek 119: How much is your reputation worth?


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Joshua Klein gave one of the most watched TED Talks of all time (about vending machine to train crows to exchange found coins for peanuts). He joined me on Gweek to talk about his new book, Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know Is Worth More Than What You Have. I also welcomed the return of Michael Pusateri, a television technologist, inveterate tinkerer, cooking geek, and cycling enthusiast. He blogs at Cruftbox.

We talked about: Jim Woodring's hallucinatory comic book masterpiece, Fran; The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J Martinez; and L-Theanine, a pill I take when I drink coffee, and more!

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Fantagraphics Kickstarts its 2014 spring season

Fantagraphics (who are tied with Drawn and Quarterly as my favorite publisher) just announced a Kickstarter to fund their 2014 spring season. The premiums they are giving away are amazing. I got myself a signed copy of Heroes Of The Comic Books: 75 Portraits Of The Pioneering Legends Of Comic Books, by the great caricaturist Drew Friedman!

Fantagraphics 2014 Spring Season: 39 Graphic Novels & Books

Comics Rack: picks for October 2013

Two quick things at the top, both somewhat New York-centric (apologies, everyone else): First, The latest issue of Gabe Fowler’s Smoke Signal comics newspaper has a typically incredible cover from sequential art’s resident over achieving genius Chris Ware. And if you live here, you can pick it up for free in his fantastic Williamburg comics / art shop, Desert Island (among other places). For the rest of you, however, it runs $5. Also, a quick mention of a cool thing I found at a Brooklyn Mini Zine Fest, the other month. Alisa Harris' Rock On is dedicated to bygone New York City rock clubs -- a topic that always makes me a little misty-eyed. Because, come on, the new Knitting Factory is fine and all, but magical? Hardly. You can pick that one up online through Alisa’s site, if you’re the sentimental-type.

Palookaville #21
By Seth
Drawn and Quarterly

Palookville’s a bit of a strange proposition, these days. At issue 20, the pamphlet became a book. The 21st issue is compromised of three distinct segments. The first pretty much precludes any recommendation for the uninitiated, continuing the Clyde Fans storyline Seth has been serializing since the late-90s. The next two, on the other hand, offer some fascinating insight into the sometimes guarded cartoonist -- one a standalone feature on yet another of the artist’s cartooning experiments, and the other the first part in a new on-going sketchbook serial. Seth introduces "Rubber Stamp Diary," explaining that it began as an attempt to speed up the process of daily diary comics -- dreamt up, fittingly, on a phone call with the notoriously glacial Ivan Brunetti. And, certainly, the creation of several rubber stamps to cut down on extra drawing feels like the perfect Seth solution.

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Gweek 118: The Weirdo Years


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In 1981, Robert Crumb launched Weirdo, a magazine-sized comic book that was inspired by Crumb's own underground comics and the post MAD-era magazines of Crumb's mentor Harvey Kurtzman. Weirdo was a launch pad for many talented cartoonists, including Peter Bagge, Dori Seda, and Dennis Worden. Crumb's own comic stories were the highlight of every issue, and Last Gasp (publisher of Weirdo) just released all of Crumb's Weirdo comics in a handsome 256-page anthology, entitled The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb: 1981-'93. I spoke to Janelle Hessig, a Bay Area cartoonist and writer and the current marketing director at Last Gasp Publishing, about Weirdo, and what became of some its the lesser-known contributors. Janelle also recommends the scandalous Life and Times of Little Richard, by Charles Wright. She calls it a "truly great oral history which includes a three-way with Buddy Holly, a childhood spent pooping in jars, and heeding the call of the Lord."

We were joined by returning Gweekster Rob Walker. He's a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo News, a regular contributor to Design Observer, and he recently started a new “watercooler therapy” advice column called The Workologist for the New York Times Sunday business section. His Procrastinaut blog is a must-read.

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"Destruct Room" from Jack Kirby comic book becomes a reality

The "Destruct Room" in Jack Kirby's comic book OMAC (1974) was a place where stressed-out people could act on urges to smash things. Forty years later, there's a real Destruct Room.

Break Club is a club in Buenos Aires, Argentina where members (predominately women) go to break shit with a stick, shatter bottles against the wall, kick stuff, and all around have the best fifteen minutes of their day. It's like a one-sided Fight Club.

A Club For People To Go Smash Things, Vent Anger

Memory Palace Comic! "A Gas Gas Gas"

“There, beneath his bedroom window, while his wife slept just inside, was a strange figure dressed in black crouching in the darkness.”

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"Robot Woman," a 1952 Basil Wolverton comic book story

"You, Fozzmo, are the most brilliant scientist and inventor of the century! The whole world has acclaimed your genius at creating amazing mechanical contrivances!…" A story from Weird Mysteries, told in the rare second-person narrative mode.

Read the full story at Cartoon Snap

Real Stuff: "Our Thing"

“When I was a junior in high school, I suffered from a condition that troubles many teenagers: not much money and no way to get booze.” — From Real Stuff #4 (Fantagraphics, November 1991).

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Gweek 115: Year Zero


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In this episode of Gweek we talk about DIY book publishing vs traditional book publishing, music designed to trick your lizard brain, software that turns photos into talking cartoon characters, a board game that teaches preschoolers about computer programming, and more!

This episode's guests:

Dean Putney, Boing Boing’s software developer and Gweek regular, who’s now self-publishing a book of his great-grandfather’s World War I photos thanks to Kickstarter.


Rob Reid, a writer and technology entrepreneur based in California. He wrote Year Zero -- a novel about aliens with a mad passion for human music – and founded the company that built the Rhapsody music service.


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Here's what we talked about in this episode:

Rob's novel, Year Zero is on sale for 99 cents in ebook formats. Get it here on Amazon, or other formats here.


Dean's self published book about his great-grandfather's collection of a World War I photos, Walter Koessler 1914-1918.


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Gweek 114: Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion


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In this episode David and I interviewed Brett Gurewitz, the guitarist and songwriter for the band Bad Religion. Brett joined the band when he was a high school student in 1979. Today, he is still in the band and still writing and recording music with Bad Religion, but he also runs the Epitaph record label as well as a number of other labels, with an impressive artist roster including Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Booker T, and Mavis Staples. More recently, Brett became a partner in a new comic book company born out of the Occupy Comics kickstarter, called Black Mask Studios. We talked to Brett about all this and more.

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The artists of Weirdo: where are they now?

Weirdo was one of my favorite magazines of the 1980s. Started by Robert Crumb in 1981, it's where I learned about The Church of the SubGenius, Stanislav Szukalski, and lots of amazing artists. Over at the Last Gasp blog, Janelle has written a "Where are they now" post about the artists of Weirdo.

She writes, "There were about 85 contributors over the course of Weirdo’s 28-issue run. Some of these artists went on to have life-long comics careers (Dan Clowes, Gary Panter, Peter Bagge, etc) while others have faded into the shadows, their work in Weirdo being all the more precious as a result. Although I may prove not to have the fortitude (read: masochism) to track down all 85 Weirdo contributors, I’d like to start by checking in to see what some of my favorite Weirdo artists are doing now…"

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