Boing Boing 

"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). Read the rest

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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On the auction block - Creepy magazine fan club button and membership card

Creepy and Eerie were black-and-white comic story magazines from the 1960s that absorbed the talent from Tales from the Crypt and EC's other comics after bluenosed panic merchants put them out of business. Heritage Auctions is offering this fine specimen in their Sunday Internet Comic Book auction. Current high bid is just $9!

(Dark Horse has reissued the stories from these great magazines in nice hardbound editions.)

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 015: Evan Dorkin & Peter Bagge


Peter Bagge and Evan Dorkin began making alternative comics in the 1980s.

Peter Bagge began his career on R. Crumb’s Weirdo magazine as a cartoonist and then editor. He created Neat Stuff and Hate for Fantagraphics Books along with works for DC Comics, Marvel, and Dark Horse including the titles Yeah! (with Gilbert Hernandez), Apocalypse Nerd, and Other Lives. His latest work is the biography, Rebel Woman: The Margaret Sanger Story.

Evan Dorkin is best known for Milk & Cheese, Dork, and Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest (he also wrote and drew Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book). He has written for a number of TV shows including Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Superman, and Welcome To Eltingville. He is the co-creator of Beasts Of Burden (with Jill Thompson).

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Incredibly detailed parody research paper explains Wolverine's regeneration ability

Please enjoy this six-page scientific research paper — complete with figures, graphs, and (possibly real) references — discussing the discovery of a novel protein linked to regeneration of tissue in the human mutant known as Wolverine. Apparently, it's very similar to a tissue-regeneration protein found in the axolotl.

There are some real gems in here, including references to the (I would say decidedly lax) Xavier University Research Ethics Board. I would also question why very-real biochemists Sigrid Alvarez, Emma Conway, and Leonard Foster would choose to work with Scott Summers, of all people, rather than Henry P. McCoy, who, I would assume, has a much longer and more impressive CV.

(Via David Ng)

Image: wolverine, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from pyxopotamus's photostream

The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 17: Cave Wimp

Fantagraphics posted a bunch of photos from the pages of the new printing of The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 17: Cave Wimp. Above, the first page to Crumb's 1989 love letter to MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman.

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Comics Rack: picks for September 2013 - Crumb, Bagge, & more

It’s getting chilly outside -- curl up with a good comic. We’ve got a good cross section for you below, from a hefty collection belonging to one of the all-time masters, to a pamphlet-sized volume discussing the peculiarities of scents in ants.

The Weirdo Years
By R. Crumb
Knockabout

Essential reading, obvious, from a oft-overlooked era. As the press material helpfully points out, Weirdo was, in many ways, the antithesis of Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman's comics-as-art anthology, Raw. Not that Crumb strays entirely from such things. Crumb's 80s / 90s Weirdo took an openly schizophrenic approach to storytelling, with the legendary cartoonist tacking whatever happened to strike his fancy that day, from a Philip K. Dick memoir outlining strange messianic visions brought on by painkillers, to adaptations of a late 19th century guide to “psychopathia sexualis” and the work of Jimi Hendrix. This beautifully-assembled collection showcases Crumb’s thinly-veiled id in its purest, unrestrained form. And it is, just as you’d imagine, some dark, dark shit, not for the weak of stomach.

Knockabout has done a fine job tossing in full-color reproductions of the series’ covers, along with a number of Crumb photo comics that seem, more than anything, a chance for the artist to galavant with his usual selection of generously-proportioned females. You’ll be poring over this one for weeks to come.

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Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One 10th anniversary edition

Drawn & Quarterly has reprinted cartoonist Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One, which came out in 2003. It's a terrific look at the "loose" work of one of the world's best living illustrators.

Acclaimed cartoonist Chris Ware (Building Stories) reveals the outtakes of his genius in these intimate, imaginative, and whimsical sketches collected from the years during which he completed his award-winning graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon). Acme Datebook Volume One is as much a companion volume to Jimmy Corrigan as a tremendous art collection from of one of America’s most interesting and popular graphic artists. Chris Ware has a passion for drawing that is infectiously wide-ranging in style and subject. Acme Datebook Volume One surprises the reader on every page with its spontaneity, its mordant humor, and its excellent draftsmanship. Architectural drawings from Chicago and interplanetary robot comics collide with cruelly doodled human figures, quietly troubling figure studies, and innumerable notes to self detailing artistic doubts and ideas.

Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One (And they've reprinted Volume Two, too!)

Gweek 111: Smarter Than You Think


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

This episode's guests:

Clive Thompson is a science and technology journalist, whose new book just came out: Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (website). He’s a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Wired, and blogs at Collision Detection, and can be found on Twitter as @pomeranian99. (Photo of Clive by Tom Igoe)


Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids' field guide to serious fun. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction's Radium Age.

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Here's what we talked about in this episode

MAD #1 is free as a Kindle e-book

My friend Jon Lebkowsky (an editor at bOING bOING and the co-founder of Fringe Ware) says, "Your Popeye post sent me to Amazon, where I discovered you can acquire old original issues of Mad Magazine (and various other comics, including Batman #1 and Superman #1) for the Kindle. Best of all, Mad #1 is free!" (It's also free on Comixology)

Excellent Popeye comic book reprints from the 1940s and 1950s

Archie was created by Bob Montana, but Dan DiCarlo gave Archie and his pals the looks and personalities we are familiar with. Someone at Walt Disney Studios created Donald Duck, but it took cartoonist Carl Barks to transform the sailor-suited waterfowl from a screechy ill-tempered time bomb into a scheming, but good-hearted uncle to three industrious ducklings. And E.C. Segar created Popeye, J. Wellington Wimpy, Olive Oyl, Sweepea, and Bluto, but Bud Sagendorf's incredibly entertaining comic books about the one-eye sailor are the canonical Popeye (at least to me), on par with Little Lulu (created by Marjorie Henderson Buell and brought to life by John Stanley) and Barks' Uncle Scrooge.

My friend and cartoon historian Craig Yoe has been editing collections of Sagendorf's Popeye comics books, published as reasonably-priced hardcovers by IDW. Popeye Classics Volume 1 came out earlier this year, and Volume 2 is forthcoming. Like Uncle Scrooge and Little Lulu, these are great comics to read with your kids. Below, a couple of sample spreads.

Read the rest

RiYL podcast 012: Ellen Forney

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir is that sort of book that makes you want to immediately spark up a conversation with its creator. Thankfully, that's what podcasts are for. In this episode, I interview the creator, cartoonist Ellen Forney, who was nominated in 2007 for an Eisner award for her reality-based comic, I Love Led Zeppelin.

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Tell Me Something I Don't Know 014: Frank Santoro


Frank Santoro is a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist. He self-published his first major work, Storeyville in 1995 while living in San Francisco. Upon its republication twelve years later, Tom Spurgeon wrote, "Frank Santoro's Storeyville may be the book of 2007, which is doubly amazing when you realize that it may have been the book of 1995 as well." After spending time in the New York art scene, where he painted and assisted painter, Francesco Clemente, he returned to making comics in the early 2000s with Cold Heat - an unfinished collaboration with Ben Jones. He cofounded the influential comics criticism blog and publication, Comics Comics, with Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler. In 2011, he founded the Santoro Correspondence Course. He writes a weekly comic for tcj.com and runs comicworksbook (currently in the midst of the comicsworkbook Composition Competition 2013). This fall, Picturebox, Inc. will release Santoro's new graphic novel, Pompeii -- a historical romance set in the days before the eruption.

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Gweek 109: Peter Bebergal and Koichi


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This episode's guest:

Peter Bebergal, the author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and writes frequently on the speculative and slightly fringe. He is currently writing Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock & Roll to be published by Tarcher/Penguin. He blogs at mysterytheater.blogspot.com.


Koichi is the editor of the Japanese language and culture blog Tofugu and the author of Japanese language resources, WaniKani and TextFugu.


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Comics Rack: Boing Boing's comics picks for July & August 2013

JULY -- Listen, I know it’s hard to resist the lure of Powell’s on a trip to Portland (believe me, I was there twice in a three-day period), but if don't visit Floating World Comics when you’re in the Rose City, it’s time to sit down and take a serious look at your life. I went to both places, of course. We hit Seattle and San Francisco on the trip as well, so my suitcase was around 10 to 20 pounds heavier than it was on the way in. It’s a sickness, really. I mean, I’m writing a comics column to partially pay for a comics habit. Maybe it’s time for me to have a serious look in the mirror, as well -- but if you really thought I was going to leave that store without picking up the new issue of Henry & Glenn Forever, you’re just kidding yourself, really. We all fill the hole of missing Comic Con in our own way.

Calling Dr. Laura
By Nicole Georges
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Okay, I’m about six months behind on this one -- and I also learned an important lesson about reading comics on a Kindle (don’t), but man, I liked the hell out of Nicole Georges’s book. Her artwork has improved by leaps and bounds from the scribbled early days of her wonderful Invincible Summer zine, which I also revisited on a recent trip to Portland, to bone up before an interview with her for an upcoming episode of my RiYL podcast. In that volume, Georges expressed interest in working on something book-length, if only she could find the right story -- at the time she was considering doing something about dogs, I think.

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Robert Crumb illustrates the Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick

The early 1980s were an exciting time for alternative comics. Shortly out of high school I discovered RAW, which was launched by the husband-and-wife team of Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, and Weirdo, launched by the husband-and-wife team of Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb. It was in the pages of Weirdo that I discovered The Church of the SubGenius, Stanislav Szukalski, and a bunch of great cartoonists.

Crumb wrote and drew at least one story in each issue of Weirdo (which was published by Last Gasp from 1981 to 1993) and drew every cover. The covers are reminiscent of Humbug, a late-1950s humor magazine created by Crumb's mentor, Harvey Kurtzman (also the creator of MAD):

Some of Crumb's best work came out during his Weirdo period. In Weirdo #17, Crumb illustrated an 8-page story called "The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick," based on a 1978 undelivered speech Dick wrote called "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" and from passages in an out-of-print book called Philip K. Dick: The Last Testament.

Crumb's story focuses on Dick's bizarre hallucinatory experience of March 1974, in which Dick went back in time to the era of the apostolic Christians. Dick spent the rest of his life trying to figure out what these visions meant. Here's the first page:

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Tell Me Something I Don't Know 013: Rob Liefeld


Rob Liefeld is the creator of Deadpool, Cable, X-Force, Youngblood, Supreme, Bloodstrike, Prophet, and Glory! He founded Image Comics in 1992 with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, and Marc Silvestri. Currently he oversees the Extreme Universe titles at Image. Follow Rob on Twitter @robertliefeld and see more of his art on robliefeldcreations.com.

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New biography of MAD editor Al Feldstein

Al Feldstein began working at EC comics, publishers of Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear in 1948. Soon he became editor of most of EC's titles. He typically wrote and illustrated a story in each title and drew many of the covers, a mind-bogglingly prolific output. Eventually he stopped doing the art for stories and stuck with editing, writing, and cover illustrations. According to Wikipedia, from "late 1950 through 1953, he edited and wrote stories for seven EC titles." I've always loved his signature, which features elongated horizontals on the F and the T, and an extended vertical on the N.

After MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman got in a fight with publisher William Gaines over ownership of the comic and left EC in 1956, Gaines put Feldstein in charge of the humor magazine, where he remained as editor until 1985.

This month, IDW released Feldstein: The Mad Life and Fantastic Art of Al Feldstein!, a 320-page biography written by Grant Geissman (who is a far-out jazz guitarist in addition to being a biographer of comic book luminaries). My copy is in the mail. In the meantime, enjoy these sample pages below, swiped from Bhob Stewart's Potrzebie blog.

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When I Was a Kid, funny memoir about growing up in Malaysia

Cheeming Boey is an animator, best-known for drawing on disposable coffee cups. His new book, When I Was a Kid (published by our friends at Last Gasp), is a revealing memoir of his childhood.

Told in a series of one- and two-page comic strips, Boey describes his life growing up in Malaysia: finding a condom in his parents' bedside drawers, "fishing" for his dogs by tying a biscuit to a string and dangling it off a stick while standing on his balcony, making a tiny matchstick kite with his dad, fighting with his sister in the backseat of the family car while his mother reaches back to try to pinch their legs to make them stop, learning how to use a plastic bag to catch spiders, crying until his mother retrieves his favorite (but worn-out) pillow from the trash where she'd tossed it, falling out of love with his He-Man doll when he gets his first computer, and and dozens of other funny and sometimes poignant slices of life.

The art is simple, but effective, and I finished the book hoping he'll do a sequel. Read a sample story below.

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Book about MAD artist great Jack Davis

Without a doubt, Jack Davis is one of the greatest cartoonists ever, and one of the most highly-recognizable. With a career that started before the early days of EC's MAD and its sci-fi and horror titles, Davis's distinctive work has appeared on movie posters, book covers, and on a famous poster of Frankenstein's monster. IDW's artist's edition is a 176-page, 11-pound monster-sized collection of Davis' comic book work, reprinted at the same size as drawn - the two-page spreads measure 30 x 22 inches!. (Shown above: the variant cover edition).

Jack Davis' EC Stories Artist's Edition

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Tell Me Something I Don't Know 012: Shelton Drum, owner of Heroes Aren't Hard To Find


Shelton Drum is a first-generation outlier in the world of comics retail and convention organizing with his Charlotte NC store, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, celebrating 30+ years in existence and Heroes Con growing stronger over a similar span of time. The TMSIDK gang traveled to Heroes Con 2013 to record the show live and the conversation spans the history of comics from the mid-60s forward through the eyes of a store owner who's seen it all.

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Photos of my copy of The Best of EC Artist's Edition

In July I wrote that I'd ordered a copy of the giant-sized book, The Best of EC Artist's Edition, a collection of original arts scans from the great EC comics of the 1950s. I got my book and it's worth every penny. Below, some iPhone snaps of the book.

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Walt Disney's Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret, by Carl Barks

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: The Old Castle's Secret is the third book in Fantagraphics' Barks library, and it contains all of Barks' duck work from 1948, a very good year for duck comics. Fantagraphics went all out with the production quality: the pages were shot from the original art, and the re-coloring carefully matches the original colors in the comics. In addition to a number of great stories, like “The Old Castle’s Secret” (a 32-page story that marks Scrooge McDuck's second ever-appearance) and “Rocket Race to the Moon,” there are a number of nice essays from Barks' scholars and aficionados.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret

The Daniel Clowes Reader

Daniel Clowes ranks among the top three of four greatest living cartoonists. I've been following his work since 1986, when I came across his Fantagraphics comic book Lloyd Llewellyn, about a retrofuturistic detective with a misanthropic streak.

Clowes is not only an amazing artist, he's also a fine observer of human behavior, which make reading interviews with him as much fun as reading his comic books. This month Fantagraphics published The Daniel Clowes Reader: A Critical Edition of Ghost World and Other Stories, with Essays, Interviews, and Annotations.

I'm relishing all 358 art-laden pages. They include the entire Ghost World story (made into a movie directed by Terry Zwigoff) with annotations, plus a number of rarely seen stories. Several of the twelve essays about Clowes' work were new to me, and I enjoyed re-reading Joshua Glenn's sharp interview from a 1990 Hermenaut interview. This is an essential book for all serious readers of Clowes' work.

The Daniel Clowes Reader: A Critical Edition of Ghost World and Other Stories, with Essays, Interviews, and Annotations

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 011: Jon M. Gibson, co-founder of iam8bit


Jon M. Gibson is the co-founder/co-owner of iam8bit -– a production company, creative think tank, art exhibition, and gallery space in Los Angeles. iam8bit’s projects include a music video for Radiohead, A Really, Really Brief History of Donkey Kong for the King of Kong DVD, Street Fighter Club, a custom vinyl picture disc for Tron Evolution, and marketing and artwork for Mega Man 9. After the success of the initial iam8bit shows (hosted at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight), they opened their own space and have continued to produce a variety of art exhibitions in addition to their work in the video game, film, fashion, and music industries.

Tell Me Something I Don't Know is produced and hosted by three talented cartoonists and illustrators:

Jim Rugg, a Pittsburgh-based comic book artist, graphic designer, zinemaker, and writer best known for Afrodisiac, The Plain Janes, and Street Angel. His latest project is SUPERMAG.

Jasen Lex is a designer and illustrator from Pittsburgh. He is currently working on a graphic novel called Washington Unbound. All of his art and comics can be found at jasenlex.com.

Ed Piskor is the cartoonist who drew the comic, Wizzywig, and draws the Brain Rot/ Hip Hop Family Tree comic strip at this very site, soon to be collected by Fantagraphics Books and available for pre-order now.

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Aquaman's costume would look different underwater than above

Water filters light. The more water that's above you, the more light is filtered out before it can reach your eyes. The deeper you go, the more this effect alters which colors you can see and how those colors appear, writes Andrew David Thaler at Southern Fried Science. Even at a depth of just 5 meters, reds and oranges become difficult to distinguish from one another.

William Stout's Monsters Sketchbook at Comic-Con

One of these years I will go to Comic-Con, just so I can buy the artist sketchbooks. I love the Jack Davis tribute that William Stout drew for the cover of his Monsters Sketchbook!