RiYL podcast 038: Columbia librarian Karen Green


Peter Poplaski's cover for The Spirit Magazine # 30 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1981).

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

Strange to think, more than twenty years after Maus became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer, the concept of comics as academic pursuit still seems foreign. Standing in front of Columbia's collection of bound sequential art, however, the day when comics are widely regarded as some of the finest literature and art available doesn't seem too far off after all. When Ancient and Medieval Collections librarian Karen Green started work at the university, Columbia's comics collection was a scant three titles. Now, thanks to her work, it's an impressive thing to behold.

In December, Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library acquired the archive of Kitchen Sink Press, which includes over 50,000 letters with cartoonists and "200 linear feet of material including editorial and business files, original art, handwritten letters and drawings."

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Cannon: 27-page preview of Wally Wood's sex-and-violence comic strip

More than a few comic book aficionados rank Wally Wood as the greatest cartoonist of all time (he's in my top five, along with Carl Barks, Jack Kirby, Robert Crumb, and Daniel Clowes). This Fantagraphics anthology of Wood's Cannon is being widely praised in advance of its release. Love and Rockets' co-creator Gilbert Hernandez says, "Cannon is like a punch in the face with a cement-filled giant salami." There's no finer testimonial than that.

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Comics Rack: January's best comic books

Philadelphia’s surely got more comic shops than a city of that size requires — and book and record stores for that matter. And of course I love the city of brotherly love for it. I stumbled upon this fact by accident, traveling there for week between jobs a few years ago and cataloging a massive walking trek to all corners of the city, focused on each and every comic place I could find in between. I liked the sentiment enough to repeat it last week before starting my new gig at Yahoo — though a nasty post-CES flu abridged the trip length significantly — and the number of comic shops visited as well.

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Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn by Carl Barks: Excerpt

Fantagraphics has announced the latest volume in its exemplary Carl Barks Disney Library. These full-color hardbound anthologies contain some of the very best comic book stories of all time. The latest volume is called Trail of the Unicorn and is available for pre-order. In the meantime, enjoy this 21-page PDF preview!

The Beatles in comics

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The Beatles in Comic Strips collects more than two hundred strips that feature the Fab Four, from Richie Rich and Archie to Spawn, Batman, and The Invisibles. Juxtpoz has a gallery of images and you can buy the book here: The Beatles In Comic Strips

Gweek podcast 128: 3D Printed, Science-Based, Mickey Mouse Color Sundays

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In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. My guests this time were 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, and 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. We talked about Scouting New York, Mickey Mouse Color Sundays, The Nib, Science Based Medicine, Figure by Propellerhead Software, the Teenage Engineering OP1 Portable Synthesizer, A.J.'s Mental Floss column, and much more!

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Real Stuff: "Dinner at Dale's"

“Dale and I weren’t real close friends in high school, so I was a bit surprised one day when he invited me to dinner at his house.” Illustrated by Julie Doucet. Originally published in Real Stuff #6, April 1992.

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RiYL podcast 034: Mark Frauenfelder

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

The Boing Boing / Make Magazine / Cool Tools editor and I found the quietest corner we could at the recent Engadget Expand event in New York to discuss the importance of curation in the digital age, the lost art of print media, podcasting and the magic of Art Bell.

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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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