Australian library releases free, remixable webcomics maker


Australian libraries and games guy Matt Finch (previously) writes, "This year the Queensland State Library has designed and built a drag and drop comic maker for Fun Palaces and released the code on Github too. Read the rest

Mighty Jack: a new series from Ben "Zita the Spacegirl" Hatke

Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl trilogy was one of the best kids' comics of the new century (and it's headed to TV!), and he's been very productive in the years since, but his new series, Mighty Jack feels like the true successor to Zita: a meaty volume one that promises and delivers all the buckle you can shake a swash at, with more to come.

Cat Rackham comics are as miserable as they are wonderfully addictive


Cat Rackham by Steve Wolfhard Koyama Press 2016, 124 pages, 7.3 x 10.1 x 0.6 inches (hardcover) $20 Buy a copy on Amazon

Cat Rackham is an anxious, scruffy, navel-gazing kitty who sometimes likes adventures. But mostly he likes to stare. And sleep. And stare some more. An existential Ziggy, if you will. He has a couple of friends, but he is usually by himself. He doesn’t have good luck, and his stories don’t have especially happy endings, but they’re weirdly charming and, dare I say, humorous. Cat Rackham used to have his own web comic series, created by Adventure Time storyboard artist Steve Wolfhard, until it disappeared for no apparent reason. Fortunately, Koyama Press has just released Cat Rackham, a collection of these comics that are as miserable as they are wonderfully addictive. Read the rest

Kickstarting a new edition of Villains & Vigilantes, a superhero RPG

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I discovered Villains and Vigilantes in 1982, with the publication of the game's second edition, and 11-year-old me played it like a fiend; I still remember long hours of designing costumes on the super-cool character sheets that came with the game (we'd sneak into the school office and run off more of these from blanks; ditto for hex-ruled paper for Car Wars and all the best stories from that month's Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine). Read the rest

XKCD's massive, vertical climate change infographic

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Randall Munroe once again shows that he's one of the web's most talented storytellers, inventing ways of conveying information that use the web's affordances to novel and sharp effect (there's a reason he won a Hugo award). Read the rest

Margaret Atwood's new comic book is "bonkers"


Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, has completed her first graphic novel, Angel Catbird, with Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain, about a superheroic anthropomorphic winged feline. It's bonkers, but... Atwood, it isn’t strange at all. Before she a venerable elder stateswoman of literature and the winner of the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, she told me, she was a comic book fan who grew up devouring superhero books about heroes like Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel. “I’m a child of the ‘40s and that’s when superhero comics were really, really big,” said Atwood. Nor is she a stranger to making her own sequential art; she wrote and illustrated a children’s book called Up in the Tree in the 1970s, and published an intermittent series of autobiographical strips called “BookTour Comix” on her website. “I’ve been making my own comics since I was little,

A wonderful quote: “I’m so old. Why do anything that isn’t fun?” Read the rest

The origin of that familiar "font" used in comic book lettering


Decades before the banality of Comic Sans, there was the fantastic hand-lettering of Artie Simek, Sam Rosen, and a handful of other artists with beautiful penmanship.

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Starve #2: Brian Wood lands the tale in a screaming dive and a perfect touchdown

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Brian Wood's Starve, Volume One (collecting issues 1-5) was the best, meanest new graphic novel debut since Transmetropolitan; now, with Starve, Volume Two (issues 6-10), Wood brings the story in for a conclusion that is triumphant and wicked and eminently satisfying, without being pat.

Heart and Brain have extremely different view points but always remain best buds


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection by Nick Seluk Andrews McMeel Publishing 2015, 144 pages, 6.5 x 8 x 0.4 inches (softcover) $9 Buy a copy on Amazon

Heart and Brain is a wonderful collection of the lovable characters from Nick Seluk’s The Awkward Yeti webcomic. This special print edition features over 75 exclusive comics, as well as dozens of previously published fan favorites. The exclusive comics are the real draw, since they’ll be totally new to you even if you’ve read every single comic online.

If you’re new to Heart and Brain, the title says all you need to know about the characters. Brain is the rational one, always looking out for the logical, safe thing to do, while Heart is all about passion and seeking out the things he loves. Seluk creatively captures the constant push-and-pull between these forces in us all and externalizes them in some of the most endearing characters in comics. It’s hard to not fall in love with Brain’s neurotic over-worrying, and Heart’s blissful aloofness. They’re a perfectly matched odd couple because they come from such extremely differing viewpoints, but they always manage to meet in the middle.

The comics themselves are hilarious. I don’t think a single joke misses the mark in the entire book, which is pretty incredible. Seluk understands his characters on such a fundamental level that everything they do and say feels authentic. They’re just as endearing as other comic duos like Calvin and Hobbes, and their stories have the every day simplicity of Peanuts. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman's nonfiction: what makes everything so great

The View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman's mammoth collection of nonfiction essays, introductions, and speeches, is a remarkable explanatory volume in which Gaiman explains not just why he loves the things he loves, but also what makes them great.

The Greatest of Marlys! is the Lynda Barry book we've been waiting for

I started reading Lynda Barry's "Ernie Pook's Comeek" in the back pages of NOW Magazine as a teenager, and it is forever linked in my mind with Matt Groening's Life in Hell, which ran on the next page over. Today, Drawn and Quarterly publishes The Greatest of Marlys, the expanded and updated version of the giant collection that, 16 years ago, was the definitive record of one of the most extraordinary comics ever to grace newsprint.

Random webcomic generator


Pandyland generates random comics featuring two generic-looking webcomic dudes. The stricter formula of panels and texts gives it a nastier, less computer-zany vibe than most "humorous" comic generators. Lots of unsafe combinations. Read the rest

Everything is not fine

not fine

KC Green updated his classic "everything is fine" comic to reflect the manifest fact that everything is not fine. Read the rest

An oral history of the Suicide Squad


Zack Smith writes, "With the film of SUICIDE SQUAD out Friday [ed: alas, it looks like a turkey], you might enjoy this oral history I did of the 1980s series with writer John Ostrander and most of the artistic and editorial team from throughout the book's run. Along with some fun surprises, it includes some never-before-seen script and original art pages from the creators' personal collections." Read the rest

Video: Why Alan Moore's Watchmen is "unfilmable"

Kristian Williams created this compelling video essay analyzing why Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen was "unfilmable" without, well, ruining it.

"If we only see comics in relation to movies then the best that they will ever be is films that do not move," Moore once said.

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RIP, MAD Magazines's Jack Davis


Davis had been with MAD since its first run in 1952, and his illustrations helped define the look of satirical art for generations. Read the rest

Cosplay at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International: 10 amazing fan portraits

A cosplayer at Comic-Con on July 22, 2016 in San Diego. Source: IMGUR, photo by Matt Cowan

San Diego Comic-Con International has concluded for 2016, but these amazing photos of dedicated cosplayers at the event will live on.

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