10 reasons why Fletcher Hanks kicks ass

Fletcher Hanks comics are incredibly violent, incredibly stupid, and incredibly beautiful. His first published work appeared in 1939, only months after the first Superman story ran, and his last work appeared in 1941. Then he disappeared. All 53 of his batshit crazy tales have been reprinted in “Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks.” They are likely to pop your eyes, blow your mind, and leave you speechless. Shortly before his death, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, “The recovery of these treasures is in itself a major work of art.”

Artist turns Trump quotes into comic book covers

Comic artist R. Sikoryak, known for his Masterpiece Comics and his graphic novel version of the iTunes user agreement, is now creating faux comic book covers using tweets and speech excerpts from our High School Bully-Elect. Sikoryak is known for doing his art in the style of other artists and here he pays homage to the likes of Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead), Jack Kirby, Bob Montana, Chris Houghton (Adventure Time), and others. Here are a few of his covers. See all of the covers to date on his Tumblr blog. Read the rest

Houseguests, technological literacy, and the goddamned wifi: a single chart

Randal Munroe nails it again in an XKCD installment that expresses the likelihood that your houseguests will be able to connect to your wifi (I confess to having been the "firmware" guide -- but also, having been reminded to do something about my own firmware when other difficult houseguests came to stay). Read the rest

Webcomic explains how weakening the Voting Rights Act led to voter suppression in 2016

On The Nib, Andy Warner posts a quick primer on the Voting Rights Act, which was weakened in a 2013 Supreme Court case that struck down the requirement for districts with a history of racist voter suppression to get federal oversight for changes to their voting procedures; of note is the section on Jeff Sessions, whose Attorney General confirmation hearing is underway right now. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

The real story of Sea Monkeys

Harold von Braunhut (1926-2003) was the inventor/marketer behind X-Ray Specs and Amazing Sea-Monkeys. (Apparently von Braunhut was also a nasty racist who, even though he was Jewish, supported the KKK and other white supremacist groups.) Above is the story of von Braunhut's magical brine shrimp that sold themselves through illustrator Joe Orlando's wonderful comic book illustrations of unreal humanoid sea creatures living the life of Riley.

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Watch this Bloom County Christmas special from 1991

Based on Berkeley Breathed's 1991 children's book A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story, this TV special aired on December 18 of that year. In a 2003 Washington Post interview, Breathed responded thusly to a question about where one could find a VHS or DVD copy of the cartoon:

Hopefully in the rubbish pail. We can do better than that and we will with an eventual Opus film... but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I presume your family was on speed when they watched it. I would imagine it helps.

(Wikipedia, thanks UPSO!)

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Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chang's Papergirls: like an all-girl Stranger Things, with time-travel

Brian K Vaughan is one of my very favorite comics creators, though the erratic schedule of Saga, the psychedelic, sexy space opera he and Fiona Staples created has frustrated me at times -- and then I remember that Vaughan is so erratic because he's so busy, creating new titles like 2015's Paper Girls, which Image Comics began to collect in two volumes this year: Book 1 last April, and Book 2 on December 6.

Vision: the Marvel reboot Ta-Nehisi Coates called "the best comic going right now"

When ex-CIA agent Tom King teamed up with a group of extremely talented writers to reboot Marvel's "Vision" in 2015, he had a lot of material to work with -- the character had begun as a kind of super-android in the 1940s and had been reincarnated many times, through many twists and turns: what King & Co did with Vision both incorporated and transcended all that backstory, in an astounding tale that Ta-Nehisi Coates called "the best comic going right now." With the whole run collected in two volumes, there's never been a better time to see just how far comic storytelling can go.

Name your price for Gaiman rarities and support UN Refugee Agency, Comic Book Legal Defense fund and others

Neil Gaiman writes: "A little over a year ago I released my rarest, earliest, and hardest to find work -- books and comics -- through Humble Bundle to fund charities that do good work. People were all so generous and enthusiastic that we broke records. More importantly, they made it possible for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and for the charities supported by the Gaiman Foundation, including the CBLDF, to help make things better for people." Read the rest

A heartwarming story about a comic clerk who helped a "baby gay" teen customer come out through Supergirl comics

Mary (AKA @sapphicgeek) works in an Indiana comic shop, and Saturday, she met a customer, a distraught teen girl, looking for Supergirl. Read the rest

Good Comic Book Legal Defense Fund gear for #GivingTuesday

Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund writes, "CBLDF is raising money to prepare for a busy 2017 this #GivingTuesday by offering exclusive Comics Are For Everybody merchandise created by Jordie Bellaire (@woahjordie) and Steven Finch (@fonografiks). Comics should be an art form that welcomes and encourages all voices and viewpoints. CBLDF's efforts to protect the First Amendment are essential in creating a climate ensuring that remains the case." Read the rest

Kickstarting Soviet Daughter, a graphic novel memoir of coming of age in Ukraine after the Revolution

Elly from Microcosm publishing writes: "Our next book has been in the works for years, but as we launch our Kickstarter we find it's become terrifyingly current: Soviet Daughter is a rather swashbuckling story of her great-grandmother Lola, who came of age in the Soviet Ukraine, in the wake of the October Revolution." Read the rest

Homestuck was the "internet's first masterpiece"

Andrew Hussie's Homestuck was a vast, sprawling, impenetrable, hostile webcomic, and it only become harder to define as its popularity grew and its volume stretched toward a million words...

If you ask a fan, you get a flood of enthusiastic nonsense: It’s… well, it’s a webcomic, but sometimes it’s more like an old-school text-based roleplaying game. It’s about a group of kids who are playing that game, and also cause the end of the world…. It’s about growing up, but there’s also time travel, and of course we can’t forget about the alien trolls! and there’s like, complex four-dimensional romance! and really touching moments, and surreal humor, and so many callbacks, self-references, and running jokes I don’t know what it’s even about except for itself, I mean, the author appears as a character, and then gets killed, and the fourth wall isn’t just broken: fourth walls are a tool used by the characters to travel from the… well, see there are lots of universes, and dream universes-

What it was, writes Ben Tolkin, was the first true work of internet art. Participation in the vast, sprawling, impenetrable, hostile subculture around it was an integral part of the storytelling experience.

Homestuck is the first media directed at people for whom the Internet is a way of life, the constantly connected, information-rich community, rather than the individual viewer. Homestuck may not have been written by all of us, but it was written for all of us; since its beginnings as a forum game, Hussie’s writing can only be read by a team constantly supplying each other with knowledge.
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Roller Girl: Newberry-honored coming of age graphic novel about roller derby and difficult tween friendships

Victoria Jamieson's 2015 graphic novel Roller Girl won the prestigious Newberry Honor Award and it's easy to see why: Jamieson's story of a young teen's interest in roller derby is the perfect vehicle to explore the difficult and even traumatic way that girls' friendships change as they become teenagers, while never losing sight of the core story, about personal excellence, teamwork, and hard-hitting, girl-positive roller derby.

Nimona: a YA graphic novel that raises serious, unanswerable moral quandries with snappy dialog and slapstick

I first encountered Noelle Stevenson's work through her groundbreaking, brilliant comic Lumberjanes, but before the 'Janes, Stevenson was tearing up the webcomics world with Nimona, which was collected and published by Harper Teen in 2015.

Listening to each other at election-time: a one-page comic

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Spectacular marching band tribute to superheroes

On Friday, the Ohio State Marching Band performed this fantastic halftime show right at the intersection of two powerful geek subcultures: comic fans and band geeks.

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