Review: "Liebestrasse" is a frighteningly relevant LGBTQ graphic novel set in the Weimar Republic

Liebestrasse is a new original digital graphic novel from Comixology, but it follows more in the European tradition of small, character-focused slice-of-life stories than the bombastic speculative fiction that's made the American graphic novel field so popular. In less than 100 pages, it tells the story of an American businessman named Sam who takes a job in Berlin during the Weimar Republic, where he meets and falls in love with an art dealer named Phillip.

Of course, the dramatic irony abounds. As readers, we know what Germany's immediate future holds—and soon enough, that other shoe does indeed drop. But also as readers, it's easy to get wrapped in the simple tenderness of burgeoning romance and ignore the warning signs that lurk in the shadows—just like Sam and Phillip.

The rapport between the two lovers is charming and realistic, with Phillip's witty flamboyance playing perfectly off of Sam's strong silent Americanisms. Artist Tim Fish does tremendous work with the subtleties of facial expressions; though the style is slightly more cartoonish than what most American readers might expect, I found myself consciously commenting on the acting as I read through the pages, as if these were actual people rather than drawings. I read a lot of comics, and that's something rare and unique, at least in the American market. The color palette by Hector Barros also gives the story a very classical comic vibe that fits the time period. Though the pigments are digital, the simple, solid color patterns evoke a more innocent era. Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 3, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 2, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 1, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Akira volume 2, Cartoonist Kayfabe Commentary

What better way to celebrate 2019, the year before the Neo-Tokyo Summer Olympics, than to revisit Katsuhiro Otomo's classic manga in a book club format with the Cartoonist Kayfabe crew, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli . Miss the earlier videos? No problem:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel Read the rest

Cartoonist Kayfabe Show and Tell 08: Ed Piskor's Strategy for Publishing His First Graphic Novel

A comic book can go through many stages before it reaches its final form. This Show and Tell episode with your hosts Ed and Jim tracks Piskor's comic, Wizzywig, from its humble beginnings as a xeroxed zine shipped from his mama's basement to the more familiar hardcover graphic novel that's easily found in your local comic shop.

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Grab your Cartoonist Kayfabe merchandise at our new storefront Read the rest

Strong Female Protagonist, Book Two: the hard philosophical questions of superheroism and compassion

It's been nearly four years since the first crowdfunded collection of Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag's webcomic Strong Female Protagonist was published; the second volume, published this week, traces not just the evolution of its protagonist, the superhero Alison "Mega Girl" Green, but of its creators, who have found new and amazing depths to plumb and heights to soar to.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, a graphic diary

Emil Ferris' My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the diary of a 10-year-old's investigation into the monster-filled murder of her upstairs neighbor. Read the rest

Black Science, Vol. 1

If you liked Rick Remender's Fear Agent, you'll love his pulpy, break-neck paced, dimension hopping adventure Black Science.

Anarchist scientist Grant McKay has created a device that allows travel between alternate universes! The hope is that his team, comprised of other scientists and his family, will find great advancements in science, and medicine, the sad reality is that McKay's anarchist ways have sent them careening through time and space.

Volume one is packed with non-stop action, creepy aliens, and amazingly retro-themed artwork by Matt Scalera and Illustrator Dean White. Black Science reminds me a lot of Lost in Space meets Time Tunnel. The series has a strong feeling of those old 1960s space dramas, and Saturday morning cartoons, but with an updated, adult story.

CBR did a great interview with Rick Remender, and shares additional art work.

Black Science, Vol 1 by Remender, Scalera, and White via Amazon Read the rest

John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China, Volume 1

If you are anything like me, at all, you frequently wonder what happened next to Jack Burton and the rest of the Big Trouble in Little China gang? John Carpenter, Eric Powell, and Brian Churilla's Big Trouble in Little China graphic novels tell the tale!

I've just started reading these BTiLC graphic novels, they pick up right where the movie left off. I could not be happier! The humor, the characters and the artwork are exactly what I'd have hoped for, if I had any idea these books were being published!

You can get the first 3 volumes now, volume 4 is available for pre-order, and releases later this year.

Big Trouble in Little China Vol. 1 via Amazon

Big Trouble in Little China Vol. 2 via Amazon

Big Trouble in Little China Vol. 3 via Amazon

Big Trouble In Little China Vol. 4 via Amazon Read the rest

First Second Books: a look back at ten years of world-changing graphic publishing

First Second Books celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2016. From its inception, First Second was known for high quality graphic novels – books that told great stories for every age of reader, from kids to adults. Throughout the years, First Second has published graphic novels as diverse as Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamai’s This One Summer, Lucy Knisley’s Relish, and Faith Erin Hicks’ Friends With Boys. And First Second has broken ground with its publishing, bringing unprecedented acceptance and awards to the graphic novel form for kids and parents, teachers and librarians. The graphic novel market looks much different today than it did ten years ago!

Last Man 2: epic French manga gets even better

In March 2015, Firstsecond books published its English translation of the first volume of Lastman, the spectacularly successful French martial arts comic; they're bringing out the rest of the books on an aggressive schedule, with Book 2: The Royal Cup coming out today.

Yes, an Iranian vampire western film noir

It's in Farsi, it's beautifully-shot film noir, it has a female lead, and you have to see it. Read the rest

Katusha: Girl Soldier of the Great Patriotic War

Amid the real war reporting on Medium's online magazine War Is Boring is a profile of comics artist Wayne Vansant, who, at 65, is still drawing wartime comics with his signature attention to accuracy and detail. Read the rest

GENIUS: beautiful graphic novel about inspiration, Einstein, and self-doubt

Genius is a new graphic novel written by Steven T Seagle and drawn by Teddy Kristiansen and it's not really like any other graphic novels I've read. In a very good way.

Ted Marx is a physicist, and he's a genius. That's what he's been told all his life, ever since he started skipping grades in elementary school. It's only natural that he'd be recruited directly out of grad school and into a world-famous physics institute, but once he reaches it, he flames out. Ted Marx appears to have had all his significant physics insights while he was still an adolescent, and whatever well he visited for those insights has run dry. He's terrified of losing his job. He needs the money to shelter and feed his two adolescent children, his dying and terminally grumpy father-in-law, and his wife, whose persistent headaches are about to take a turn for the worse.

Ted worships Einstein, and frequently holds imaginary conversations with him, so imagine his surprise when he learns that his hateful, spiteful, senile father-in-law was once military guard to Einstein, part spy, part confessor. And what's more, the old man says that Einstein entrusted him with an idea that he never told anyone else, an idea that he's kept secret, true to his oath, for all these years. And if there's one thing that Ted really needs, it's an idea.

Genius is a remarkable book about some very difficult-to-illustrate subjects: creativity, inspiration, and yes, genius. Kristiansen's moody, impressionistic watercolor illustrations -- not usually my kind of thing -- perfect for the material. Read the rest

Symbolia: new tablet zine for comics journalism

Illustrator-journalist Susie Cagle shares news about a new tablet magazine of comics journalism, Symbolia, that launches Monday, Dec. 3, and includes some of Cagle's own excellent work. Symbolia editor Erin Polgreen explains,

Graphic novel-style investigative journalism now has a home and its name is Symbolia. This Mon. 12/3, the premier, double-length edition of Symbolia will be available for the iPad in the App Store. The first edition includes work by Susie Cagle, Sarah Glidden, Andy Warner, and more, and will be available next week for free.

Symbolia subscriptions cost $11.99 for a six editions over the next year, or $2.99 for a single issue. Each issue of Symbolia is packed with ground-breaking, insightful stories by world-class illustrators and journalists, plus stunning info-graphics, video reports, exclusive audio, and more.

Check 'em out. There's a PDF edition too. Read the rest

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