Osvaldo Oyola: "Oglaf uses humor and fantasy to throw off the banality of typical sexual fantasy by taking it to its absurd ends. If there is one recurring theme it is how our desires, when allowed to become wishes in a world where wishes can be granted, lead to the most bizarre consequences. And while some of those consequences would be as undesirable as a horn growing out of the back of your head, the humor and openness of the series reminds the reader of the very queer possibilities of all sex.
" — Rob
It's been 14 years since MAD Magazine's Don Martin passed away, and if there's one way you can be sure he'd want to be remembered, it's with this alphabetical listing of all the weird noises that ever appeared in a Don Martin cartoon.
One of the best things about living in the 21st century is that you can own a giant, boxed, two-volume edition of the complete collection of Don Martin's work for MAD -- all 33 years' worth of it. It is my sure-fire cure for the blues.
Back in October, I predicted that I would love the long-awaited Hyperbole and a Half book, adapted from Allie Brosh's absolute treasure of a webcomic. One of the highlights of my winter holiday so far has been gobbling up this book as quick as I could cram it into my eyeballs, a task complicated by being frequently convulsed with laughter -- at least when my heart wasn't being torn out.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Legendary underground artist Paul Mavrides, part of the ZAP Comix axis, a collaborator with Gilbert Shelton on The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and a founder of the Church of the SubGenius (praise Bob!), is holding his first gallery show in a decade. Mavrides' new painting exhibit, titled "Art Work Makes You Free," opens this Saturday (1/4) at San Francisco's Steven Wolf Fine Arts gallery. The new series features oil paintings scavenged from thrift stores and dumpsters that Mavrides has emblazoned with short, provocative, acerbic, cutting, biting, scathing, caustic, bitter, acrimonious, abrasive, harsh, terse, and critical phrases. Paul Mavrides: "Art Work Makes You Free"
It's a hefty $299, but it's moulded leather (rrrr), and it's the Batman backpack. A senior toy industry person said to me recently, "Do you know why Batman is such a killer toy, an evergreen seller, and yet Superman is not? No? Externalities. Batman is you - with externalities, like the car, the belt, the cape. (The backpack). Superman's power comes from within, you can never replicate it, but Batman's is all without. You can't be Superman, but you can be the Batman."
Go be the Batman.
Fashion Beast was a ten-issue comic created by Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren -- the impresario behind the Sex Pistols, who "invented Punk as a Situationist prank." The project began as a screenplay written at the time that Moore was writing Watchmen, and was never produced. Thirty years later,
Moore Antony Johnston re-adapted the work for comics, and last September all ten issues were collected in an amazing graphic novel, which I have just inhaled.
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Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types. - Mark
Marie Javins is known for hating houseguests. She's also known for writing, editing, and coloring comic books. She started as a (paid!) intern at Marvel comics in the late 1980s and has gone on to color over 2,000 pages. In this interview, she discusses living in Australia, Barcelona, Uganda, Namibia, New Jersey, Kuwait, and Cairo, and how the comics business has changed over the years.
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I read Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For in various alternative weeklies and online for about 15 years. I always found it enjoyable, sometimes very funny, sometimes a bit raunchy, always very political. Really my kind of thing. But I've just read The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, a massive, nearly-400-page tome collecting nearly (see below) every single DTWOF strip from its 20+ year run that wound up in 2008, and I've come to realize just how flat-out brilliant the strip was, ranking with Bloom County and Doonesbury in blending incisive editorial with charm and humor.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt announced via Twitter that he will adapt Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel (recently reprinted in a leatherbound, two-volume omnibus edition) for feature film. Tor.com reports that he will also star in the film. This is very promising news indeed!
Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Direct and Star in Sandman Movie
Comics creator Paul Dini did a guest appearance on Kevin Smith's podcast "Fatman on Batman" podcast, and talked, in part, about the gender considerations of execs in new animation/superhero kids' show design, Vi transcribed the relevant piece, in which Dini recounts conversations he's had with execs who insist that they don't want any girl fans of their shows, because girls don't buy toys. And to keep girls from watching the shows, they make sure that girls are always presented as sidekicks, "one step behind the boys." It's absolutely infuriating.
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The $30 kids' superhero raincoats come in Batman and Spider-Man -- but the Batman is the clear winner, with its own cape. Bonus: the logos glow in the dark.
Kids' Superhero Raincoats
The Internet Archive has a marvellous trove of scanned work from Warren Publishing, the maverick house behind such classic magazines as Creepy. The introduction of the Comics Code, following Fredeic Wertham's scientific fraud purporting to show a link between comics and crime, gutted comics for half a century. But Warren Publishing avoided the Comics Code altogether by changing formats and publishing as a magazine, bringing us such classics as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Eerie, and Help! magazine (which employed Gloria Steinem!). Here's the Wikipedia summary of Warren's amazing run:
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UPDATE: I was had! This piece by writer AS Hamrah and illustrator R. Sikoryak was a brilliant hoax that first appeared in 1999 in the excellent Hermenaut magazine. Forgive me while I continue to believe that it's all true.
Unlikely pen pals: Nobel Prize-winning novelist/playwright/poet Samuel Beckett and artist Ernie Bushmiller, creator of one of my favorite comics of all time, Nancy. In 1952, Beckett struck up a correspondence with the cartoonist that was recently uncovered while Bushmiller's estate was prepped for auction. The American Reader published some excerpts and analysis. The conversation starts with Bushmiller's panel, seen above, riffing on some gag ideas for Nancy that Beckett sent him in a letter that is unfortunately lost:
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After an uncommonly long hiatus, there's a new Walking Dead graphic novel: Walking Dead 19: March to War. It's been eight months since volume 18 and its introduction of Negan, a psychopathic villain who makes the Governor look like a pussycat by comparison.
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Zack sez, "Jeff Smith of BONE and RASL fame takes to the web with this new webseries about a prehistoric man who becomes the first human to leave Africa. It's colorful and inventive, and very different from his past work -- but with plenty of its charm and suspense."