Egypt Urnash (AKA Margaret Trauth) is kickstarting a third print collection of her webcomic Decrypting Rita (previously), "about a robot lady who's dragged outside of reality by her ex-boyfriend; she's got to pull herself together across four parallel worlds before a hive-mind can take over the entire planet. It's a slickly-drawn story that plays around with narrative in ways only comics can do; those four parallel worlds run beside each other on the page, twining around each other in various ways."
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For the past couple years, the "new, hipster
" Archie has been pushing the envelope on what can be done within the confines of an old, beloved (and outdated) media brand: there was Kevin Keller, a gay character
; Jughead coming out as asexual
; a seriously scary zombie story
; Sharknado spinoffs
; a breast cancer storyline
; even a guest appearance by Jaime "Love and Rockets" Hernandez
: but Chip "Sex Criminals
" Zdarsky's run on Jughead, illustrated by Erica Henderson and just collected in a trade paperback
shows just how much fun
the new normal of Archie can be!
Stop what you’re doing and buy the new omnibus graphic novel of Teri S. Wood's 1990s comic series Wandering Star. It's amazing. Splendtacular, even.
Set in the future, it is the tale of Cassandra Andrews, daughter of the President of Earth, and how she became embroiled in a galaxy-spanning war for freedom from tyranny. Wood takes what could be a generic science fiction trope and creates something new and different by weaving in hard, realistic racism, xenophobia, religion and philosophy (which are shockingly and sadly relevant to current world events) paired with well-defined and incredibly likeable—and hateable—characters. In fact, the characters and story are so strong and relatable the scifi setting becomes a simple backdrop, the room in which the tale unfolds. The plot is tight, marching forward chapter by chapter, without excess or unnecessary tangents. It is humorous, horrific, endearing, and heart-crushing all in equal measure.
The art is just as good as the story. Wood is a master cartoonist who has a command of human anatomy and understands how to bend, squash and exaggerate it to create visually charming characters, both human and alien alike. Her lines are fluid and alive and playful. I marvel at the stippled, hand-drawn pen and ink effects she puts into every page that make the art in Wandering Star
so unique. What’s more, Wood knows how to use sequential art and camera angle to deliver both side-splitting comedy and emotional gut-punches. (And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the rad 90’s pop culture and indie comics references hidden in the background details of the art.)
While the series has been collected into graphic novels in the past, those editions are long out of print and nowhere near the quality of this new omnibus. Read the rest
Archangel is a five-part science fiction comic written by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith and illustrated by Butch Guice; Issue #1 came out last month and sold out immediately, and IDW has only just got its second printing into stores this week, just ahead of the ship-date for #2, which is due next Wednesday.
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Hope Larson is a comics genius, the woman hand-picked to adapt Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle In Time
for comics, who furthermore just nailed it
, and whose other projects
are every bit as rich and wonderful. Today she begins a new young adult series, Four Points, whose first volume, Compass South
is a treasure-chest of swashbuckling themes and action.
R Crump's "Point the Finger" series of comics about his disgust with America appeared in the first run of Hup! in 1989.
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Jesse Orion writes, "This is Jean 'Moebius' Giraud's '40 Days in the Desert B' recreated page by page with characters from Charles Schulz' 'Peanuts'!"
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Toby Morris (previously) uses animated gifs in his regular cartoon strip for a NZ website; this week, he writes, "I interviewed Hussam, a 16 year old Syrian refugee about how he escaped."
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This week, Marvel Comics published the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers in which it's revealed that since his earliest days, Captain America has been a double agent for Hydra, the thinly veiled allegory for the Nazis; in an epic Twitter rant, Livejournal alumnus and Dreamwidth cofounder Denise Paolucci explains the way that perpetual copyright and business concentration has neutralized the ancient custom of collective storytelling of epic narratives, magnifying the harm from bad corporate decisions.
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Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Rita Smythe, of Chagrin Falls, USA, has some trouble getting into the ladies' room.
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's creator-owned comic Sex Criminals is a filthy, hilarious heist story about a couple who discover that they can stop time while orgasming, and keep it frozen until they become horny again -- so they use their power to rob banks in order to rescue a library from foreclosure (naturally). The first two series of the comic are collected in Big Hard Sex Criminals
, a fabulous hardcover whose plain pink wrapper comes off to make it look like you're reading a book on DIY pet euthanasia.
Brian K Vaughan's varied career in comics has had numerous and diverse hits like Saga
, the epically weird and sexy space-opera; Y: The Last Man
, an end-of-the-world story; now, with We Stand on Guard
, Vaughan dramatically ups his body count in a tale of an American resource war that's a lot closer to home than the invasion of Iraq.
Following on the hugely successful publications of books one and two, Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a third volume, collecting the excellent sex advice, erotica, and reviews from their brilliant webcomic.
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Today marks the publication of Rebels: A Well-Regulated Militia
, the first collection of Brian Woods comic about the American revolutionary war that tells "the epic story of the colonists, explorers and traders, wives and daughters, farmers and volunteer soldiers who, in a few short, turbulent years, created the brand-new nation of America."
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater
by Eric P. Nash
2009, 304 pages, 8.6 x 9.2 x 1.1 inches
$29 Buy a copy on Amazon
Manga Kamishibai tells and shows the fascinating history of Japanese paper theater, a lost storytelling form and the link between Edo-era Japanese ukiyo-e prints and modern day manga and television. I say “and shows” because this art form combined the spoken word with compelling visuals in uniquely Japanese storytelling performances and this book is rich with many wonderful reproductions of the hand-painted artwork.
Picture this: In devastated post-WWII Tokyo, a man stops his bicycle on a street corner. On the back of his bike is mounted a large, sixty-pound wooden box. The man flips a few panels around to reveal a stage-like picture frame. He noisily clacks together two wooden sticks, hiyogoshi, to call the neighborhood children. As they gather to see and hear the free show, the man sells them home-made penny candies, including a not-too-sweet taffy that’s pulled and stretched using a chopstick (like today’s movie business, the real money is in the profitable concessions!). The paying customers get a front row seat to the performance. The man slides a sequence of large, colorful panels in the frame “screen” as he tells adventure stories, quizzes the audience, and weaves tales of suspense, all with character voices and sound effects. As the story ends on a dramatic, to-be-continued cliff-hanger, the man packs up his two-wheel theater and pedals away ... Read the rest
I'm late to the party on Lumberjanes: I bought the first collection
when it came out last summer, then promptly lost it in my overseas move; last weekend, I read it and the next two
books and fell head over heels in love with this series of graphic novels for kids and adults.
Starring pop culture characters that many of us can identify with, this comic
hits home. It is a brutal look at how abusive families shape their childrens' future relationships—but also shows the reality of what triggers
are, and what effective therapy looks like. Finally, it shows that even when our parents don't get us, things turn out okay if they love us and let us be who we are. Read the rest