Today's XKCD, "The Pace of Modern Life," is a lovely collection of 19th century and early 20th century quotations about the hurried pace of modern life, the atomisation and trivialisation of knowledge thanks to modern media, the disobedience of children (again, thanks to modern media) (this topic was a favorite of Socrates's!) and other hand-wringing editorial subjects frequently chosen by modern critics of the Internet age. A great companion piece to Tom Standage's wonderful catalog of moral panics through the ages.
The Pace of Modern Life
Chris Weston's poster for a notional "Carry On X-Men" has me wanting very badly to inhabit his alternate universe. He says of the film, "Despite the bawdy humour, 'Carry on X-Men' is in many ways more faithful
to the source material than Bryan Singer's films. Definitely one of the best of the later 'Carry On' films."
Carry On X-Men poster
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
KayLynn-Syrin's Tank Girl cosplay is just about the greatest bringing-to-life of one of my fave comic characters I've ever seen.
Ad agency JWT Brazil created a "Superformula" to fight cancer. Here's a video explaining the project. They worked with the A.C. Camargo Cancer Center in Brazil and another agency client, Warner Bros., to transform chemotherapy into "superformula" with hopes of changing child patients' negative perception of the treatment.
As someone who has gone through the hell that is chemotherapy as an adult, I love this idea and wish I'd had some myself.
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Meltdown, my favorite Los Angeles comix shop, is currently exhibiting "Damn Fine Coffee: An Artistic Tribute to Twin Peaks." The show of work by several dozen talented artists runs through June 21. Above, Kate Freund's "Bob the Bunny" (plush) and Sara Pocock's "Diane" (digital print). You can also check out the art right here!
Carl sez, "Remember Digger, Ursula Vernon's Eisner award nominated/Hugo Award winning webcomic about a wombat searching for a way home? Publisher Sofa Wolf has launched a Kickstarter for an all-in-one omnibus edition. It's currently available in six individual volumes or free online, but this will put it all in one convenient book. Plus it's the first kickstarter to offer a wombat-sized pickaxe as a reward (in foam or metal)."
Back in April, I reviewed Akissi, a delightful kids' comic about a mischievous little girl in Cote D'Ivoire, translated from the original French. Back then, it was only available in the UK, but as of today, you can buy it in the USA, too! Here's my original review:
Akissi is a French-language comic about the adventures of a little West African girl, now available in English translation thanks to the astoundingly excellent Flying Eye, a new kids' imprint of London's NoBrow. It was created by Marguerite Abouet, whom you may know from Aya, a series of comics for adults set in Cote d'Ivoire, widely available and appreciated in English translation.
Akissi's adventures are both universal and absolutely particular to her milieu. My young daughter -- born and raised in London -- has never kept a pet monkey, had a tapeworm come out of her nose, or had to contend with an older brother who wouldn't take her pigeon hunting; but Akissi's struggles with authority, her close friendships, and her misunderstandings are immediately recognisable to my daughter and her friends when they come over, and I've read the book aloud to them a good half-dozen times since I brought it home last week. It's the perfect combination of gross-out humour, authority clashes, and general mischief to capture a kid's interest.
Akissi comprises seven short stories, each of which stands alone, and, as with all of the NoBrow titles, it is a beautiful package -- great binding, endpapers, paper stock, and spine -- suitable for both your own library and as a handsome gift.
AKISSI [Flying Eye]
When the 17th Walking Dead collection came out last December, I called it "grim," and mentioned that Kirkman and co had introduced some new bad guys that made the Governor seem like a Smurf. Well, now Book 18: What Comes After is out, and the new badguy, a psycho named Negan, is back, and holy. frigging. hell. is he ever evil. Seriously. Hannibal Lector is a comforting Mister Rogers figure next to him. If you like the TV show and haven't read the comics, do. You can get the entire emotional rollercoaster punch of a whole season in one or two volumes you'll be able to inhale in about an hour. By the time you get to book 18, you're basically mainlining it, distilling it to pure granules and letting them dissolve under your eyelids. And book 18 is special, even by those standards.
The Walking Dead 18: What Comes After
Warner Bros. announced production of a live-action Archie film. According to the Washington Post, "Glee" writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is working on the script that Jason Moore ("Pitch Perfect") will direct. And lest we forget the last time this was tried, here is a clip of the 1990 TV movie "Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again," which you can also watch in full here. (Gotta love Jughead dancing to The Replacements though.)
I missed this back in March 2012, but it bears re-visiting. Here's a series of Doonesbury strips that some newspapers refused to run in spring 2012. The strips criticize Republican state legislatures' plans to require transvaginal probes for women contemplating abortion, with special emphasis on Texas governor Rick Perry.
Trudeau wrote: "Ninety-nine percent of American women have or will use contraception during their lifetimes. To see these healthcare rights systematically undermined in state after state by the party of 'limited government' is appalling. "In Texas, the sonograms are the least of it. The legislature has also defunded women's health clinics all over the state, leaving 300,000 women without the contraceptive services that prevent abortions in the first place. Insanity."
Trudeau is dismayed by the newspaper reaction. "I write the strip to be read, not removed. And as a practical matter, many more people will see it in the comics page than on the editorial page," he wrote.
"I don't mean to be disingenuous. Obviously there's some profit to controversy, especially for a satirist. If debate is swirling around a particular strip, and if its absence creates blowback, then I'm contributing to the public conversation in a more powerful way. But I don't get up in the morning and scheme about how to antagonise editors. Some of these folks have supported me for decades."
Oh, Texas... This is why I want to leave you.
Beast Academy is a set of grade three math textbooks and practice books structured as comic books about monsters. The books are "aligned to the common core state standards for grade three," if that matters to you. What's more significant is that they're actually really good math textbooks that introduce their subjects in a clear and easy-to-follow fashion, carefully linking each concept to the last; and the exercises are lively, fun, and built around stories that dovetail smoothly into puzzles, games, and other ways of putting the knowledge into practice. The monsters are great, too -- wonderful illustrations from Erich Owen, whose work you may recognize from the graphic novel adaptation of my story I, Robot.
Beast Academy 8-book set
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Joel sez, "TRIPWIRE
is a magazine that for over two decades has covered comics, genre and related fields. Described by Guillermo Del Toro as 'the touchstone of comic book culture in the UK and one of the leading periodicals dedicated to this narrative art form', this year sees the publication of TRIPWIRE 21
, a book that celebrates 21 years of covering comics and its related culture. TRIPWIRE treats comics with the respect and depth that the field deserves."
The new Deluxe Edition of Watchmen landed in my post-box today. It's a very well-made hardcover edition of one of the canonical modern graphic novels. Everyone should have at least one edition of Watchmen on the shelf, and this is a pretty nice one to have -- the classy, matte-finish dustjacket goes over a set of full-color boards with the traditional Watchmen cover-image. There's a couple dozen pages' worth of early sketches for the book, and a fascinating intro by illustrator Dave Gibbons. All told, a great package -- perfect for a gift, or to replace your tattered paperback.
Watchmen Deluxe Edition
This list of the components of Satan's Spiritual Structure appears on handouts given to attendees at San Diego Comic-Con by evangelical picketers. It seems to originate with a Jack Chick Tract, though I'm not sure if the protesters elaborated on the original or if it came from ChickCorp itself. Still, it's a great party game: I scored 20. How'd you do?
: Mark posted this last year
and it turns out it's a hoax handout, parodying those infamous Chick tracts. Too good to be true, I suppose.
This terrifying Ronald McDonald/Joker mashup cosplayer was snapped at San Jose's FanimeCon 2013 by David Ngo.