My buddy Dave Ganjamie and I have been collaborating on comics for a few years now. Not all of our brainstorm-and-sketch sessions end somewhere exciting, but we did have one fun idea that came to fruition. It was the fall of 2013, and Dave half-jokingly challenged me to write him a — his words, and I quote directly from our GChat — "cyber-craftian Eldritch-punk time travel" story.
I assumed this was meant to be deliberately absurd. But I'm never one to back down from a challenge. So we pitched the idea to Grayhaven Comics for one of their sci-fi anthology collections — and much to our surprise, they gave us the greenlight. With only 3 pages to work with, we were fairly strapped with space to express our ridiculous concept. But we did the best we could, and ultimately came up with something pretty cool.
Some day we'll get around to finishing our Evil Academy concept, or dramatize that time at New York Comic-Con when we found ourselves in an Abbot-&-Costello, Who's-On-First routine at a party with Kieron Gillen and Karen Gillan. In the meantime, Dave is probably still pissed that I made him draw all those suckers on the bottom of the tentacles (even though it was technically his idea in the first place). So enjoy the fruits of our labor: "iCthulhu!"
"iCthulhu" — art by Dave Ganjamie, words by Thom Dunn. Originally published by Grayhaven Comics. Read the rest
Legendary underground cartoonist R. Crumb in a rare video interview recorded a few months back during the Louisiana Literature festival at Humlebæk, Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. From a summary of Crumb's comments:
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“I was so alienated when I was young, that drawing was like my only connection to society. That was the only thing that I could see was going to save me from a really dismal fate of God knows what.” Crumb describes his social skills as a young man as being “completely nil.” At the same time, he was driven by his “fucked-up ego,” and he had to balance those two sides. Drawing became a way for him to deal with reality, and in the 1950s, where “being a comic-book artist was the lowest level of commercial art,” he pushed toward a more personal use of the medium: “At a certain point I decided I don’t want to be America’s best-loved hippie cartoonist. I don’t want that role. So I’ll just be honest about who I am, and the weirdness, and take my chances.” Consequently, Crumb alienated a lot of people with his often provocative content: “It was just too disturbing for most people, too weird.”
Crumb has an urge to question things and is acutely aware that he’s going to get hell for what he’s doing – even lose friends – but he is willing to take the heat for it. He feels that he plays with images, emphasixing the word “play.” Nowadays, he argues, there’s a tendency to take everything at face value – including his artwork: “The artwork I did that used those images and expressed those kinds of feelings, I stand by it… I still think that that’s something that needed to be said and needed to be done… It probably hurts some people’s feelings to see those images, but still, I had to put it out there.”
The Hellboy 25th Anniversary show opened December 14th at Copro Gallery. The artwork above is by Dos Diablos; David Igo, Kelly O'Neill, Anthony Mestas; and Natalie Hall. Here are a few more gems from the show:
Amilcar Fong, Casey Love.
Bill Sienkiewicz. Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH the plucky little boy president Donald checks in on his many, many imaginary friends.
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH the Donald J. Trump Historical Players present the True Story of the Drafting of the U.S. Constitution!
If you happen to have the 2009 or 2018 issues of The Best American Comics lying around like some of us do, flip to any excerpts in there by Ted Stearn. Hopefully the appeal is instant. But for those who are limited to search results and the attached images above and below, let's dive a little deeper. Reading "Fuzz and Pluck" is a bit like being stuck in a semi-lucid dream where you suspect something is a bit off but the world carries on as it was, indifferent to your suspicions. Flip to just about any page and you'll find speech bubbles caressing character's heads, panels cascading into each other and a cantankerous plucked chicken (Pluck) bullying his best friend (Fuzz) into doing mostly horrible favors for him. More often than not, these errands result in grievous, though by the next chapter, reversible cartoonish bodily harm to Fuzz.
While Fuzz and Pluck is Stearn's best-known and most highly acclaimed work, the "The Forgotten Dream of a Melancholy Chef" from Zero Zero is also worth taking a long look at. All of Stearn's work is lovingly rendered in pen and ink and utilizes an impressive academic application of hatching, crosshatching, and masterful linework. The whimsical design of the characters provide a really funny, offbeat contrast to the absurd and sometimes disturbing storylines.
Unfortunately, Stearn passed away earlier this year. He left behind a great body of work that was much loved by Matt Groening, Chris Ware, Gary Panter, and hopefully you, too. Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH spunky little boy president Donald and his imaginary publicist John create an imaginary foxy world where Donald is a selfless hero!
Cecil Castellucci (previously
) is a polymath artist: YA novelist, comics writer, librettist, rock star; her latest book, Girl on Film
, is an extraordinary memoir of her life in the arts, attending New York's School for the Performing Arts (AKA "The Fame School") and being raised by her parents, who are accomplished scientists.
With The Watchmen now on teevee, I hope that many more people will dive into the magickal brilliance of Alan Moore who co-created the original comic in 1987 along with other seminal works like V for Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke. Over at the Daily Grail, Greg points us to a fantastic web video series of 5-minute mind grenades with Moore. Below are two of my favorite segments in the 8-part series, titled "Inside Alan Moore's Head." You can also view them on YouTube.
image: Fimb (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH is presented the Good News about Donald J. Trump, in the Newest, Best, Third Testament
I've been a fan of cartoonist, novelist and memoirist Lynda Barry for decades
, long before she was declared a certified genius
; Barry's latest book, Making Comics
is an intensely practical, incredibly inspiring curriculum for finding, honing and realizing your creativity through drawing and writing.
Loot is a Brooklyn comics "store" (463 Court St, Floor 2, 11231) that is oriented around encouraging local kids to become comics creators. Adults are only admitted if they're with kids, and the store sells $30/month memberships that entitle kids to use copious art supplies and meet with artist-mentors, as well as to borrow comics from the store's library.
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, Richard Littler has been publishing Scarfolk
, a darkly comic series of brilliantly photoshopped artifacts from a dark and brutal English town trapped in a loop between 1969 and 1979; Littler published his first Scarfolk book in 2014
, a pretty straight-ahead best-of anthology that was a sheer delight, and since then, he's taken a brilliant detour into animation
, while still keeping up on Scarfolk, which has now spawned its second -- and even better -- book: The Scarfolk Annual
One of the great moments of my adulthood was my discovery -- courtesy of Mark's posts here on Boing Boing
-- of the incredible work that Ernie Bushmiller did on Nancy
from 1933 until his death in 1982. He was succeeded by a series of station-keeping cartoonists, some of whom were very adept at aping his unique comic timing, sense of the absurd, and confident draftmanship, but none of whom every made me have that aha
moment -- until 2018, when the mysterious, pseudonymous Olivia Jaimes took over, kicking off a run of astoundingly
great new Nancys that have been collected into one of the greatest new comic-strip collections I've read in a decade
[Before he was a crime writer, Alex Segura was busily overseeing the edgy, amazing reboot of Archie Comics. Now, he's murging his murder-mystery career with his comics life, in The Black Ghost, a new noir comics collaboration with Monica Gallagher. It's a delight to offer this conversation between Alex and Monica. -Cory]
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Over the years, there have been numerous proposals by the likes of MTV and HBO to bring Peter Bagge's seminal comic Hate to the screen. Here is a 1996 pilot short, directed by Steve Loter. While the art looks great, the voices are just... wrong. SO WRONG. Yeesh.
(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest
Paper Girls is Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang's outstanding, Stranger Things-esque all-girl time-travel adventure comic, and after four years, the pair have completed the story, tying up the increasingly complicated braided timelines of their tale in a fantastically satisfying bow.
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