The Justice League collection from Hero Within works subtle DC hero insignia (Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hal Jordan) into hoodies, blazers, and pea coats. Costs range from $150-$250; coats ship in December. Read the rest
In a brand new series for the Webby Awards where I'm editor-at-large, I commissioned the talented comic artist Andy Warner to illustrate the wild history of the Web, from inspiring eureka moments to crackpot ideas that changed the world to fantastic failures.
The first comic in the series is: "Twitter's First Chirps"!
And for more of Andy's work, I highly recommend his absolutely wonderful book just out this week, Brief Histories of Everyday Objects, the illustrated stories behind life’s most common and underappreciated items. Read the rest
Vertigo has tapped Cecil Castellucci (previously) and Marley Zarcone to reboot Shade, a Steve Ditko character last rebooted as a weird 1990s comic book about a transdimensional alien shape-shifter poet who used a "madness vest" in his quest to stem the tide of insanity leaking from Earth into his dimension; in Castellucci's capable hands, the new Shade is a fugitive who steals the madness vest in her escape to Earth and finds herself in the body of a Megan Boyer, a comatose mean girl who was about to have the plug pulled on her. Read the rest
Chloe Eudaly, whose zine emporium Reading Frenzy (previously) and publishing makerspace the Independent Publishing Resource Center are PDX institutions, is running for Portland City Council, campaigning on affordable housing for all in a city whose longterm residents are being left behind by runaway rents and spiraling housing prices. Read the rest
Today marks the launch of Spill Zone, a graphic novel from Uglies creator Scott Westerfeld (previously) and Alex Puvilland: the tale of a brave photographer who ventures into strange, uncanny lands created by a mysterious catastrophe, and returns with images of those worlds that she sells to keep her scarred little sister whole. Read the rest
Work, today's XKCD installment, hypothesizes the latent, invisible human effort that went into the everyday things around us, from the hours of meeting-time to decide upon the length of the stem of a goose-neck lamp to the career-ending engineering argument over where to put its switch. It's a kind of preview of what augmented reality could bring, the embodiment of the spime idea, where the full costs and histories of the things around us cluster around them in complicated, emotional clouds -- an idea that's been around since at least 2006, but that is feeling increasingly likely with the passage of time. Read the rest
Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito Viz Media 2015, 224 pages, 5.8 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches (hardcover) $12 Buy a copy on Amazon
Fragments of Horror is a collection of eight wonderfully grotesque and creepy short stories. A seemingly bright and pretty architecture student terrorizes a family while having a bizarre relationship with their house. A boy tries to hold his body together after cheating on his girlfriend. The number one fan of a novelist finds herself in a sick situation trapped in the writer’s basement. A young woman who just eloped can’t understand why her new husband won’t come out from under his futon covers.
Written by horror manga artist Junji Ito, whose influences include H.P. Lovecraft, the stories are as weird as they are original, while the art is crisp and expressive. What I love is the way these stories, set in modern Japan, are about seemingly normal lives that take a twisted turn into the bowels of darkness. They remind me of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, the ones that start off in a stylish, mid-century modern house or office where sharp-looking people go about their ordinary lives… until a crack in normality suddenly appears, the creep factor sets in, and they enter the twilight zone. My only regret is that there aren’t more stories here, but fortunately Ito isn’t new to the genre and has many other titles that I’ll be picking up soon. – Carla Sinclair
Drinky Crow Drinks Again by Tony Millionaire Fantagraphics 2016, 128 pages, 10.8 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches (hardcover) $19 Buy a copy on Amazon
Captain Maak (captain of the ship), Uncle Gabby (the Irish monkey), Gunslinger Jesus, Phoebe Bird, and everyone’s favorite violent, binge-drinking, suicidal avian anti-hero, Drinky Crow, are all back and more beautifully bizarre than ever in Maakies: Drinky Crow Drinks Again. From the confident, well informed, but often fevered hand of well-known American weekly comic strip artist Tony Millionaire, comes this new Fantagraphics landscape hardback collecting recent syndicated strips (along with some additional material). The book is as handsome as you’d expect, coming from this artist and this publisher (even if it’s the first Maakies collection not designed by Chip Kidd).
You never know what you’re going to get from Tony Millionaire, but you know it will never be boring and it will always be beautifully rendered. Even more so than most, Millionaire’s comic strips feel like you’re mainlining the author’s own insane membrane, watching him think out loud and exorcising his demons with pen and ink on paper.
The incredibly meticulous old-school draftsmanship, the many allusions to old comic strips and classic art, lots of clever twists and brilliant pay-offs, strips that dead end, and ones that go completely off the rails, often ending in violence or suicide – it’s not always the smoothest ride, but it’s one you’re compelled to take, even if just for the gorgeous scenery. Luckily, Tony Millionaire, Maakies, and Drinky Crow have far more riches to offer than that. Read the rest
Graphic novelist and sometime Boing Boing contributor Gene Luen Yang has joined the ranks of the small number of brilliant comic books artists and writers (Alison Bechdel, Ben Katchor, Junot Diaz, and Ta-Nehisi Coates) to be given the prestigious Macarthur genius prize, which is awarded to "individuals who show originality and dedication in their creative pursuits." Read the rest
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
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