'Justice League Honest Trailer' doesn’t pull punches

DC’s Justice League movie was a bit of a mess, so Screen Junkies has plenty to make fun of in this new Honest Trailer—especially Henry Cavill’s weird CGI lip (thanks for that Paramount).

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XKCD's security meltdowns for the coming year

Over at XKCD, Randall Munroe's predicted the Critical Vulnerabilities and Exposures for 2018, with some pretty solid predictions (especially under the tooltip, which finally reveals a secret that many of us have kept mum about for literal decades -- damn you, Munroe!). Read the rest

Century-old comic accurately depicts the nightmare of cellphones

Going viral this evening is a marvelous comic strip by the legendary W.K. Haselden, as published in the Daily Mirror on March 5, 1919.

Without formal training his drawings first appeared in a couple of short lived publications but in 1903 he was taken onto the staff of the Daily Mirror, which was then a ‘Ladies’ newspaper, in the true Edwardian sense.

His daily cartoons on the fads, fashions, foibles and follies of the age soon earned him a large following. His style was gentle, subtle and his tone conservative. His targets were the upper middle-class householder and his family, and he was greatly exercised by the advances made by women, their careers, their voting rights and their increasing independence from the corset, both the physical and the metaphorical one of male domination. A viewpoint with which at the time the majority of his readers would have approved.

Each year between 1906 and 1935 around 100 of these cartoons were published in paperback under the title of ‘Daily Mirror Reflections’ and it was a stack of these from 1918 to 1931 that I unearthed. His pioneering work with the large single frame divided into four or more panels connected by a single theme gave him the title, according to his Times Obituary, ‘the father of British strip cartoon’.

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What living in a dictatorship feels like, and why it may be too late by the time you notice it

Comics writer G. Willow Wilson, who previously lived in Egypt and wrote for the opposition weekly Cairo Magazine, writes movingly and hauntingly on Twitter about the experience of a living in a state that is transitioning into dictatorship, which does not feel "intrinsically different on a day-to-day basis than a democracy does," but rather is marked by "the steady disappearance of dissent from the public sphere. Anti-regime bloggers disappear. Dissident political parties are declared 'illegal.' Certain books vanish from the libraries." Read the rest

Make your own Oh No comics

I'm a big fan of Alex Norris's webcomicname, and now you can make your own by randomly mixing up panels. P.S. I recently realized that the dark magic of the Oh No comics is that the final "Oh No" actually restores hope in the absurd joy of life's struggle. Nothing is more savage than Oh No without the Oh No. For example:

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Comic-strip contracts, so no one argues they’re too confusing to be enforceable

University of Western Australia Law professor Camilla Baasch Andersen has helped businesspeople draft legally binding contracts that take the form of simple comic-strips, arguing that their simplicity not only promotes understanding, but also insulates companies from the risk of courts finding their contracts unenforceable because they were too confusing (an Australian court has forced insurers Suncorp and Allianz to refund AUD60m paid for insurance that was of "little or no value," but which Australians purchased thanks to confusing fine-print that made it hard to assess). Read the rest

A Monster Manual-inspired zine and art show

Secret Headquarters, Los Angeles's best comics shop (previously, has published "Monster Manual," a limited-run, 64-page zine collecting the art from their show of the same name, in which artists were challenged to create their own rue and satirical entries for a notional Dungeons and Dragons bestiary from an alternate timeline. Read the rest

Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design

Have you read "Grand Design", Ed Piskor's remix of the X-Men's epic history? You must, even if you're not into Marvel's legendarium, because it's amazing work. Not just a more engaging distillation of the characters and their history than the movies, either. With Ed's style and wit, it's like something from a parallel world where the X-Men were alt comics. Truly uncanny!

When you’re taking 8,000 pages of material and turning it into a 240-page story, there isn’t an infinite amount of room for exposition and character stuff. So it’s Piskor style. It’s documentarian...

I come from hip hop, and in hip hop, the core of everything is sampling. I have an ego into the stratosphere, no doubt. But I also recognize that if Neal Adams draws the Sentinels flying into the sun, that is such a beautiful, mind-bending composition…how can I compete with that? Most of the comic is my doing my interpretation of things. Whenever there’s an iconic moment, it’s an iconic moment. I might pay very close homage to that. Sampling is hip hop, and I’m hip hop to my core. Just because I’m working on a different comic doesn’t mean I stop having that kind of mind.

Even if you think about the work I did in issue #1 with Magneto on the cover where he’s levitating and power is gravitating from his hand, I just scanned in a piece of wood so I could get the wood grain to look like a warped magnetic field. It’s the same thing.

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Saga Volume 8: the best space opera in comics tackles abortion, gender identity, and vengeance

Saga is the best space opera in comics, a masterpiece of serial storytelling from Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan, whose character designs -- a cross between Vaughn Bode and the Mos Eisley Cantina -- and fearless war-scenes combine with masterful cliff-hanger storytelling to weave a tale that hurts even as it makes you bellow with laughter. The eighth collection in the series ships today and the story shows no sign of slowing down.

Marvel to launch "Create Your Own Comic" app, but "social issues" and "alternative lifestyle advocacy" are banned

Marvel is launching a website that allows visitors to create their own comics using the company's pantheon of famous characters. They insist, however, that certain topics not be addressed: social issues, death, farts, and so forth. You wonder: if the trap is so obvious, why walk into it?

Here are some highlights from the very long list of no-no’s: “Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children.”Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements.Contraceptives“Suggestive or revealing images,” including “bare midriffs” “Sensationalism,” which is not defined but elucidated with the examples “killer bees, gossip, aliens, scandal, etc.” “Obscenity, bad or offensive language” or “proxies for bad or offensive language.” E.g. no “X@#%!” “Noises related to bodily functions.” No politics, including “alternative lifestyle advocacies” Death “Misleading language” “A copy or parody of current or past Marvel advertising creative” Any “controversial topics,” including “social issues” Double entendres Any amusement parks that aren’t Disney amusement parks Any movie studios that aren’t “affiliated with Marvel” Guns

I can't wait to play with this.

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Lumberjanes 7: friendship, courtship, gender conformity, and kittehs!

Lumberjanes is the hilarious, sweet, exciting series of graphic novels created by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen and energized by a roster of brilliant collaborators. The latest collection, Lumberjanes Vol. 7: A Bird's-Eye View, is a delight to read, brought a tear to my eye, and features intergenerational conflict, giant mythological birds, some great genderbending, and a whole menagerie of superpowered, supernatural kittens.

The Wild Storm: Warren Ellis reboots DC's Wildstorm

Wildstorm started life as an independent, creator-owned comics universe of enormous verve and originality; following its acquisition by comics behemoth DC in 1998, it grew moribund, leading to its shuttering in 2010. Now it's back, in a revival helmed by Warren "Transmetropolitan" Ellis, who has reimagined the complex geopolitics of this paranoid superspy/shadow government/black ops world into a brutally fast-paced, dynamic tale that's full of real bad guys and ambiguous good guys who may or may not be trustworthy. The first six issues are collected in The Wild Storm Vol. 1, out this week.

Comics for a Strange World

Cartoonist Reza Farazmand of Poorly Drawn Lines fame has a book that came out today, called Comics for a Strange World. Filled mainly with single-page stories consisting of four panels each, Farazmand's comics make fun of humankind's tendency towards pessimism, apathy, absurdism, gullibility, group-think, and envy. It's one of the funniest books I've read this year.

Here are a few sample pages:

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Jake Likes Onions: damned funny webcomics

My latest Twitter follow is @jakelikesonions, whose bi-weekly cartoon of the same name has been going since 2015, and represents a very deep set of funny stuff to lose yourself in. Some recent gooduns below: Read the rest

Comic about Melania Trump as a secret agent fighting against cyberbullies

From The New Yorker: "Ward Sutton illustrates a satirical comic strip envisioning Melania Trump as a secret agent who went undercover in the U.S. to fight cyberbullying." Read the rest

Fan outrage kills Marvel's deal to promote real-world arms-dealers in Avengers comics

On Saturday at New York Comic-Con, Marvel was scheduled to do a splashy launch event announcing the crossover between the Avengers and Northrop Grumman, a notorious arms dealer whose stealth bombers and drones have been front and center in the US campaigns of assassination in many theaters of war, declared and undeclared, in which literally uncounted civilians have been collateral damage. Read the rest

Incredible Doom: a new Patreon-supported comic about "teens in the 90s getting into life and death situations online"

Matthew Bogart's new comic Incredible Doom launches today, online and in print, "about a group of teenagers in the 90s getting into life and death situations over the early internet." Read the rest

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