Twitter jerks, the webcomic


Gerard Way -- former frontman for My Chemical Romance and creator of Dark Horse's brilliant comic Umbrella Academy -- sent me this funny and somewhat uncomfortable comic about the sociopathy of jerks on Twitter.

Some considerations for potential XKCD phone purchasers

Randall Munroe's xkcd Phone has the greatest warning label of all time: "Presented in partnership with Qualcomm, Craigslist, Whirlpool, Hostess, LifeStyles, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Manufactured on equipment which also processes peanuts. Price includes 2-year Knicks contract. Phone may extinguish nearby birthday candles. If phone ships with Siri, return immediately; do not speak to her and ignore any instructions she gives. Do not remove lead casing. Phone may attract/trap insects; this is normal. Volume adjustable (requires root). If you experience sudden tingling, nausea, or vomiting, perform a factory reset immediately. Do not submerge in water; phone will drown. Exterior may be frictionless. Prolonged use can cause mood swings, short-term memory loss, and seizures. Avert eyes while replacing battery. Under certain circumstances, wireless transmitter may control God."

Kickstarting the final five episodes of Baman Piderman

The wonderful, funny Baman Piderman cartoon (previously) was shelved after two seasons. The creators, Lindsay and Alex Small-Butera, are kickstarting $50K (or more) to finish the series, which has a definite ending that they intended to reach all along. It seems uniquely tragic to get all this way into the series and not finish it, especially a series as full of whimsy and haphazardly voiced superhero parodies as these. Plus those Small-Buteras are freaking adorable. I'm in.

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The Sculptor: Scott McCloud's masterpiece, finally in production


If you care about comics and/or literature, you have probably read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, a book of media theory on par with McLuhan's Understanding Media. If you're smart, you've finished Understanding Media and intuited that McCloud probably makes some pretty incredible comics himself, and may have moved onto something like the brilliant ZOT!. And if you did that, you've probably been immensely frustrated by the lack of recent new graphic novels from McCloud.

The dry spell has ended. A new graphic novel, more than five years in the making, is at hand, and it's called The Sculptor.

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Humble Image Bundle: name your price for Walking Dead, Saga, Chew and more; benefit CBLDF too!

The latest Humble Bundle teams up with DRM-free indie comics leader Image Comics, offering nine digital titles from Image on a name-your-price basis. You can also divert some or all of your payment to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a vital free speech organization that helps comics publishers, creators and sellers who face censorship and even jail for daring to create cutting-edge media.

The bundle includes some of my favorite comics, including the comics version of The Walking Dead (even better than the TV show); the spectacular Saga (a delightfully unhinged effort from Brian Vaughan, who also created Y: The Last Man); and the genuinely demented Chew.

As with all the Humble Bundles, the Image Bundle is an object lesson in the trustworthiness of audiences, and the value of giving people what they want at an unarguably fair price (since you get to name your own) with a creator-friendly deal that lets readers and creators connect more directly than ever before in publishing history. I just bought in!

Humble Image Comics Bundle (pay what you want and help charity)

New Disruptors 70: Puzzle Maker Chris Yates

Chris Yates is a polymath. A sculptor, artist, woodworker, cartoonist, entrepreneur, dog-kennel assembler, musician, and more. He's best known now for his handmade jigsaw puzzles. He's on the show to talk about his zigzag path to making a niche for himself.

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Kickstarting a new Girl Genius collection

Phil Foglio writes, "Woo hoo! Excitements abounds! Today Studio Foglio flipped the Big Red Switch and we have launched our latest Kickstarter. This one is for Girl Genius Volume 13- Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City. Now, as some people might remember, we had a very successful Kickstarter last year. successful enough that you might be excused asking 'So what for do you need more money? Did you blow it all on coke' (On this point, you can rest assured. No one who does coke stays as fat as we are.) No, we calculated how much it would cost to get all of our books back into print, make tchotchkes like pins and patches and travel stickers, and hire us a business manager, and that is where the money went."

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My daughter Poesy reviews Hilda and the Black Hound


Luke Pearson and London's Flying Eye Books have published the fourth Hildafolk kids' graphic novel, Hilda and the Black Hound. Like the earlier volumes (reviews: Hildafolk and Hilda and the Midnight Giant and Hilda and the Bird Parade), it's nothing less than magical, a Miyazaki-meets-Moomin story that is beautifully drawn and marvellously told.

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The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation, a nuanced and moving history of race, slavery and the Civil War


The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation sat in my pile for too long, and it shouldn't have. I loved The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, the previous effort by Jonathan Hennessey and Aaron McConnell, so I should have anticipated how good this new one would be. Having (belatedly) gotten around to it, I can finally tell you that this is an extraordinary, nuanced history of the issues of race and slavery in America, weaving together disparate threads of military, geopolitical, technological, legal, Constitutional, geographic and historical factors that came together to make the Civil War happen at the moment when it occurred, that brought it to an end, and that left African Americans with so little justice in its wake.

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Captain America bathrobe with hood/mask

If I could, I'd live in loungewear: pajamas, bathrobes, etc. If there's one thing that makes a terry bathrobe even more comfy, it's a hood. And if there's one thing that makes a hooded terry bathrobe even more cool, it's eye-holes and Captain America livery so that you can hang around on the sofa all day in your robe, rising only to role-play moments from the new Captain America movie, which is really quite good despite several egregiously stupid plot-points involving computers and the Internet, which I will be detailing at great length when I get an afternoon free to do so.

The robe's from Thinkgeek, it's 100% cotton, and it costs $70. It's got Captain America's shield embroidered on the back!

Captain America Terry Robe

Kickstarting SCHMUCK: a comics memoir of "trying to date NYC"

David writes, "Award-winning photographer Seth Kushner is renowned for his photography book of portraits of comic book writers and artists (Leaping Tall Buildings). Seth Kushner spent much of his 20s dating, or trying to date, in New York City. For the last 6 years, Kushner has been writing a semi-autobiographical webcomic called SCHMUCK chock full of equal parts tragedy and comedy."

$9 gets you a download of the book, $25 gets you a print edition.

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Documentary "Stripped" shows the past and future of comic strips

Glenn Fleishman on a crowdfunded journey into the history of comics in America

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Elfquest Gallery Edition

Dark Horse is releasing a "Gallery Edition" of the first five issues of Elfquest (previously), my favorite fantasy comic book of all time.

These are high-quality reproductions of the original art boards, right down to corrections, construction lines, pencil smudges and the grain of the paper: "Each page is carefully scanned from Wendy Pini’s original art to capture every stroke and detail. At 12 1/8" by 17", it’s as close to holding Pini’s original art as a fan can get."

The first two issues of the new Elfquest series are available in comic stores, or online on DH's website/iOS/Android app.

Elfquest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition [Amazon]

Interview with the creators of Stripped, feature-length doc about comic strips [New Disruptors Podcast #68]

Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder created the movie Stripped about the past, present, and future of comic strips and their creators. Dave is the creator and cartoonist of two webcomics titles, Sheldon and Drive, and the co-author of How To Make Webcomics. He is one of a small but growing group of webcomics artists who are self-sufficient. Fred is a veteran cinemographer, nominated for Best Cinematography at Sundance for his work on Four Sheets to the Wind. He has been shooting commercials for much of his career.

Together, they matched Fred's filmmaking skills with Dave's personal knowledge of the field and his contacts to create the first feature-length documentary on the topic, funded in part through two Kickstarter campaigns. They don't pull punches about the difficulties of being a comic-strip artist, but they show all the joy and love that goes into the work along with many potential bright lights already illuminating parts of the field and shining on the horizon.

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Exclusive excerpt: first three chapters of "The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza"

Yesterday, I reviewed James Kolchaka's new graphic novel for kids, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, which made my six year old daughter laugh until she cried (I liked it too).

Today, I'm delighted to bring you the first three chapters of Glorkian Warrior, an exclusive courtesy of publishers FirstSecond.

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