Syndicated strip or graphic novel? Lynn Johnston on doing For Better or For Worse in the internet age

In honor of the Library of American Comics' publication of For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library, Vol. 1 (Volume 2 is out this summer), we are delighted to publish this essay by Lynn Johnston, contemplating the nature of writing a serial for decades and how she might approach her life's work today.

Monsters Beware! is the long-awaited sequel to Giants Beware! and Dragons Beware! and it is AAAAAAMAZING!

Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre's middle-grades graphic novels Giants Beware! and Dragons Beware! are two of my family's favorite books: Rosado and Aguirre's character design, comedic dialog, plotting, and scenarios are so charming, so funny, so overwhelmingly, compulsively great that we've re-read these dozens of times; now we've got Monsters Beware, the third volume in the series, where the mysteries of Mont Petit Pierre and the intertwined lives of the huge cast of characters from the previous volumes come together.

Thinking in Bets: a poker-master's Jedi mind-trick for being less wrong

Annie Duke dropped out of a PhD in cognitive psychology to become a professional poker player; now she runs a nonprofit devoted to improving decision quality by merging the practical cognitive tools of the world's greatest poker players with the leading edge of cognitive psychology, a method she describes in an excellent and charming new book called Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts.

Briggs Land 2: Lone Wolves, in which Jim Briggs tries to seize control with neo-Nazi funding

In the first volume of Briggs Land, DMZ-creator Brian Wood set up a gripping scenario: a leadership struggle in a far-right separatist cult whose leader has languished in prison for decades. Now, in the second collection Wood and his collaborators are playing out the story for all it's worth.

The Warrior Within: a tight science fiction novella about a warrior who contains multitudes

We've featured Angus McIntyre's short fiction here before (see 2015's Someone to Watch Over Me), and now I'm delighted to recommend his debut between covers: a novella called The Warrior Within.

Survivor, a story from Black Candies: The Eighties

Black Candies: The Eighties (published by So Say We All Press) features 23 stories of analog horror that slice through the late-night whirr of VHS, the big hair, and neon parties to prove that nostalgia is the real murderer behind the mask.

Sarah LaBrie’s story "Survivor" from Black Candies: The Eighties reexamines the relationship between the masked killer and his victim, a lively take that usurps the "final girl" trope from ‘80s slashers. Enjoy!

Jonathan Coulton's JoCo Cruise was mind-blowingly great

Because you are a Boing Boing reader, you probably know who Jonathan Coulton is. He was a computer programmer who happened to be a wonderful singer/songwriter. In 2005 he quit his coding job and became a full-time musician, writing and recording catchy songs that won the hearts of nerds around the world.

Eight years ago, Coulton invited his fans to join him on a cruise ship. His idea was to have a week-long floating "summer camp" for geeks, with lots of tabletop gaming, cosplaying, music, comedy, comic books, science fiction readings, panels, presentations, and workshops. About 375 "Sea Monkeys" took him up on his offer. It turned out to be something people loved, and so the “JoCo Cruise” became an annual event. I was invited this year as a performer (doing talks, panels, and workshops), joining 1,600 other Sea Monkeys to take over an entire cruise ship (Holland America's ms Oosterdam) for a trip from San Diego to Baja California, Mexico. It was the eighth JoCo Cruise, and Carla and my daughter Jane came with me.

Photo: Jonathan Coulton, by John Scalzi, used with permission.

This was the second cruise in my life. I’d taken one with Carla about 25 years ago. It was on a Carnival Cruise ship, a cruise line that David Foster Wallace describes in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again as the “Wal-Mart of the cruise industry, which the other lines refer to sometimes as ‘Carnivore.’” I didn’t have a great time on that earlier cruise, so I wasn’t looking especially forward to the living-on-a-boat-and-eating-crappy-food part of the trip, but as soon as we boarded the ms Oosterdam in the Port of San Diego I realized this was going to be a lot better than the Carnival Cruise. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Andy Warhol's issue of ASPEN MAGAZINE and "Loop," the first pressed Velvet Underground single.

In 1966, John Wilcock contributed to ASPEN MAGAZINE, an arts project dubbed "The Magazine in a Box" for its unconventional format. This same issue featured design throughout by Andy Warhol and the first single to ever be released for the Velvet Underground, entitled "Loop".

Cult of Personality: Two crime writers discuss the allure of cults in their own dark fiction

I’ve always been intrigued by cults. The idea that someone would be willing to give up everything: their wealth, family connections, personality or livelihood, to be a part of something presumably greater, something more all-consuming than religion, fascinated me. I knew, at some point, I’d want to write about it. I didn’t get the chance until I started my fourth crime novel, Blackout, which hits in May from Polis Books—the latest in a Miami crime series featuring recovering alcoholic private investigator Pete Fernandez.

Beneath the Sugar Sky: return to the world of "Every Heart a Doorway" for a quest through the land of Confection

Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third novella in Seanan McGuire's wonderful Wayward Children series, following from 2016's Every Heart a Doorway and 2017's Down Among the Sticks and Bones, chronicling the lives of the children who've accidentally returned from the magical kingdoms they adventured in, who haunt Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children praying that the door to their true homes will return and they can vanish into it forever.

Jen Wang's "The Prince and the Dressmaker": a genderqueer graphic novel that will move and dazzle you

I love Jen Wang's work: her debut graphic novel Koko Be Good was thought-provoking and challenging and beautiful; "In Real Life," her adaptation of my story Anda's Game took the tale to places that delighted and surprised me -- today, Firstsecond publishes The Prince and the Dressmaker, which I believe will be her breakout graphic novel.

No one's coming - it's up to us: it's past time for technologists to be responsible to society

Last autumn, I was invited to Foo Camp, an unconference organized by O’Reilly Media.

Canada's SOPA moment: Canadian telco giants pushing for site blocking without court orders

SOPA may be a distant memory for the Internet community, but Canada now finds itself in its own SOPA moment. Telecom giant Bell leads a coalition of companies and associations in seeking support for a wide-ranging website blocking plan that could have similarly harmful effects on the Internet, representing a set-back for privacy, freedom of expression, and net neutrality. While that need not be the choice - Canada’s Copyright Act already features some of the world’s toughest anti-piracy laws - the government and the CRTC, Canada's telecom regulator, are faced with deciding on the merits of a website blocking plan that is best described as a disproportionate, unconstitutional proposal sorely lacking in due process.

Charles Stross's "Dark State": transdimensional, nuclear-tipped mutually assured destruction by way of a first-rate spy novel

Dark State is the sequel to Empire Games, a reboot/latter phase of Charles Stross's longrunning, excellent economic science fiction/high fantasy Merchant Princes series.

Empire Games: Charlie Stross starts a new phase in the Merchant Princes series, blending spycraft, Leninist thought experiments, and parallel dimensions

Charlie Stross's longrunning Merchant Princes series are a sneaky, brilliant techno-economic thought experiment disguised as heroic fantasy, and with Empire Games, the first book of the second phase of the series, Stross throws in a heavy dose of the noirest spycraft, an experiment in dieselpunk Leninism and War on Terror paranoia.

Reviving the Independence of Cyberspace

In a bizarre twist of facts, the FCC has claimed this week that its annual report proves the repeal of Net Neutrality has made the Internet better for all of us. The report is an exercise in contradictions, claiming that "advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans," and quoting the phrase "in a reasonable and timely fashion".

How a kid cartoonist avoided Scholastic's digital sharecropping trap

I'm an 8th grade middle school student at a public school in NYC. In my humanities class we are studying muckraking journalism, and we have an assignment to write a muckraking article about a modern issue. (For those who didn't pay attention during class, muckraking journalism is journalism that became prominent in the late 19th century. A muckraking article digs up and exposes problems in society.) Coincidentally, I recently had a personal experience with a muckrake-able issue. I chose to make lemonade out of lemons, and got a very interesting topic for my assignment--and one that I could write about both professionally and privately. So, I'm posting my homework here.

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