Neil Gaiman interviewed about The Sandman audio adaptation

Audible · The Sandman | "Death Isn't Happy with Dream"

Eventually, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman will make its way to Netflix as the TV series announced last year. Meanwhile though, we can listen to a new audio adaptation of the classic comic. Released this week on Audible, the audio drama features the voices of Gaiman as narrator, James McAvoy as Morpheus, and Kat Dennings as Death. Listen to a clip above. From an interview with Gaiman in Entertainment Weekly:

You’ve previously done audio adaptations of your novels Neverwhere and Good Omens. What was the difference translating a comic book into that format?

NEIL GAIMAN: The biggest difference is they are made up of words, while comics have pictures. Having said that, comics are weirdly close to audio drama. They sort of work in very similar ways. One of the first adaptations of my stuff I ever did was taking the graphic novel Signal to Noise, which I did with Dave McKean, and doing it for BBC in the mid-’90s. We’re proud of what we’ve done. One of the things I was able to do was give Dirk Maggs, who did all of the heavy lifting on this, the original scripts for Sandman. I had to go into long-forgotten parts of my computer and wander down dusty corridors with cyber cobwebs to find files in Word Perfect 4.1 format, and translate them out of Word Perfect and send them over to Dirk. What was great about that was Dirk got to take instructions I had written 30 years ago for artists to tell them what to draw, and take lines from that to me as the narrator.

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Cory reviews Stepping Stones By Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley is one of my favorite cartoonists (here are past posts about Lucy). She's written a number of excellent autobiographical comix, and her newest work is a graphic novel memoir for young adults called Stepping Stones. Cory Doctorow reviewed it on his blog, Pluralistic:

Graphic novelist Lucy Knisley's memoirs are classics of the field – drawn with the straightforward lines and character designs of Raina Telgemeier, told with the wrenching pathos, nuance, comedy and complexity of Lynda Barry.

In Stepping Stones, her first foray into YA literature, Knisley fictionalizes her own girlhood, when, following her parents' divorce, she and her mother moved from NYC to a remote farm, accompanied by her mother's tone-deaf, bossy boyfriend.

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Duncan Jones is raising money for a great looking graphic novel follow-up to "Moon"

Director/writer Duncan Jones — whom you may know from his hyper-focused, small cast sci-fi films like Moon and Source Code, or the larger-scale Warcraft film that I admittedly never saw — has a new project out in the form of a graphic novel. Madi: Once Upon A Time In The Future is written by Jones and author/letterer Alex de Campi, with a huge team of artists including Ed Ocaña, Pia Guerra, James Stokoe, RM Guéra, Chris Weston,  Rufus Dayglo, Annie Wu, David Lopez, Christian Ward, Matt Wilson, Nayoung Kim, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and many more. Here's a brief synopsis:

Madi Preston, a veteran of Britain’s elite special operations J-Squad unit, is burnt out and up to her eyeballs in debt. She and the rest of her team have retired from the military but are now trapped having to pay to service and maintain the technology put into them during their years of service.   They're working for British conglomerate Liberty Inc as  mercenaries, selling their unique ability to be remote controlled by specialists while in the field, and the debts are only growing as they get injured completing missions. We meet Madi as she decides she’s had enough.  She will take an off-the-books job that should earn her enough to pay out her and her sister, but when the piece of tech she’s supposed to steal turns out to be a kid, and she suddenly blacks out... she finds herself on the run from everyone she’s ever known.

Madi is supposed to the final part of a trilogy comprised of Jones's other M-productions, Moon and Mute; while each story exists independently, they're also part of a loosely connected universe. Read the rest

Casting announced for the upcoming Audible adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman"

The 75-issue Sandman comic book series was of course Neil Gaiman's first big foray into fame. What began as a story in the DC Comics Universe about Morpheus, the Avatar of Dreams, eventually spawned its own separate interconnected comic book universe, as well as DC's adult imprints like Vertigo (RIP). It's a sprawling story about dreams, passion, and stories that's absolutely worth reading (if you somehow haven't already).

Audible will be releasing an audio drama adaptation of the first 3 graphic novel collections — Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll's Houseand Dream Country — on July 15. And the casting so far looks pretty phenomenal, including Neil Gaiman himself as the narrator.

Here's the official synopsis from Amazon:

When The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus—the immortal king of dreams, stories and the imagination—is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three "tools" that will restore his power and help him to rebuild his dominion, which has deteriorated in his absence. As the multi-threaded story unspools, The Sandman descends into Hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), chases rogue nightmares who have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including: Inmates of Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare (Arthur Darvill), and many more.

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Two fun Little Archie comic book stories

Love and Rockets' creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez have mentioned in interviews that they loved Little Archie comic books when they were growing up. Little Archie was started in the 1950s and stars the characters from Archie comics as little kids. The earlier stories were written and drawn by Bob Bolling, and they're regarded by people who know and love comic books as some of the best stories in comic book history.

The Big Blog of Kids' Comics has two excellent Little Archie stories. Mykal Banta, who runs the blog, says:

Bob Bolling has that rare gift few cartoonists have -- his character design is just funny on sight. Howie Post (of Harvey fame) and Milt Gross had it, as does modern animation master, John Kricfalusi. It's a quality that can't be taught. Throw great scripting and wonderful layouts into the bargain, and you have classic stuff. Last time I checked, Mr. Bolling was still turning out high-caliber Little Archie stories for Archie Comics! These two Bolling stories come from Little Archie No. 3 (Summer 1957).

Read the stories here.

If you like these stories and want more, I recommend The Adventures Of Little Archie Volume 1 and Volume 2 Read the rest

Box of Bones -- "Tales from the Crypt Meets Black History"

Here's a Kickstarter for a cool graphic novel project by Ayize Jama-Everett, John Jennings, et. al. called Box of Bones, described as "Tales from the Crypt Meets Black History."

When my friend Mark Dery let me know about this project, he wrote, "Jordan Peele remixes Lovecraft? Zora Neale Hurston meets EC Comics? Pulp voodoo in the age of Trump, Black Lives Matter, and white supremacy’s death rattle? I’m guessing all of the above, conjured up by Jama-Everett’s evocative prose and Jennings’s dynamic, Kirbyesque illustrations."

When Black graduate student, Lyndsey, begins her dissertation work on a mysterious box that pops up during the most violent and troubled time in Africana history, she has no idea that her research will lead her on a phantasmagorical journey from West Philadelphia riots to Haitian slave uprisings. Wherever Lyndsey finds someone who has seen the Box, chaos ensues. Soon, even her own sanity falls into question. In the end, Lyndsey will have to decide if she really wants to see what’s inside the Box of Bones.

Described as “Tales from the Crypt Meets Black History,” Box of Bones is a supernatural nightmare tour through some of the most violent and horrific episodes in the African Diaspora.

Volume 1 contains art from John Jennings, Sole Rebel, Damian Duffy, Frances Olivia Liddell-Rodriguez, Tommy Nguyen, Jarmel and Jamal Williams, and Bryan Christopher Moss with covers by Stacey Robinson!!!

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Year of the Rabbit: a graphic novel memoir of one family's life under the Khmer Rouge

In 1975, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia after expelling a US puppet regime, surviving a brutal US bombing campaign despite the massive asymmetry between the Cambodian forces and the US military. Tian Veasna was born three days after the Khmer Rouge took power, and spent his formative years in forced labor camps as his family were beaten, starved, tortured and murdered. Today, Veasna is a comics creator living in France, and in Year of the Rabbit, Veasna creates a coherent story out of his family's narratives, giving us a ground-level view of the horrors of the Pol Pot regime, whose campaign of genocide led to the deaths of more than a million people.

Watch the new trailer for Netflix's upcoming "Locke & Key" adaptation

I'm a huge fan of the Locke & Key graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Set in the coastal town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts (changed to Matheson, MA for the series), the comics tell the story of the Locke family as they relocate to the family estate, the Keyhouse, following the murder of their father. The grieving kids soon start to discover a series of magical keys that work in conjunction in the house and give them abilities to enter peoples' minds, resurrect the echoes of the past, change their gender, transform into animals, separate their souls from their bodies, and so much more. And of course, it all ties back to an ancient Eldritch horror at the center of this quaint New England town.

I first read the Locke & Key books over Christmas week at my in-laws a few years ago. I burned through the entire series in 2 days, and was utterly emotionally devastated at the end. I remember my mother-in-law turning to my wife and joking, "Your husband has been reading comic books on his iPad and not talking to anyone and now his crying. Are you sure this was a good choice?" Dear reader, it was an excellent choice, because I had the same response when I re-read the series, and when I listened to the full-cast soundscape "audio graphic novel" adaptation of the series.

In other words: I am very much looking forward to this show, which will be on Netflix starting February 7, 2020. Read the rest

After more than a decade, Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg's YA classics The PLAIN Janes are back!

[I adored Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg's YA graphic novels The PLAIN Janes and Janes in Love, which were the defining titles for the late, lamented Minx imprint from DC comics. A decade later, the creators have gotten the rights back and there's a new edition Little, Brown. We're honored to have an exclusive transcript of Cecil and Jim in conversation, discussing the origins of Plain Janes. Make no mistake: this reissue is amazing news, and Plain James is an underappreciated monster of a classic, finally getting another day in the spotlight. If you haven't read it, consider yourself lucky, because you're about to get another chance. -Cory]

Girl on Film: a graphic novel memoir of a life in the arts and the biological basis for memory-formation

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.

Stargazing: Jen Wang's semi-autobiographical graphic novel for young readers is a complex tale of identity, talent, and loyalty

Jen Wang (previously) is several kinds of excellent comics person: from her debut graphic novel Koko Be Good (a complex and heartfelt take on "manic pixie dream girls") to her award-winning, bestselling, brilliant genderqueer fairy tale The Prince and the Dressmaker, to In Real Life, the middle-grades comic she adapted from my story Anda's Game to the unmissably fantastic annual comics fair she started in LA, she is versatile, smart, compassionate and immensely talented. Now, in her latest, Stargazing, a semi-autobiographical graphic novel for young readers, she brings the action closer to home than ever, and yields up a tale of friendship, identity, talent and loyalty like no other. Read the rest

Revisiting Jonathan Coulton's album/graphic novel "Solid State"

Lou Cabron writes, "Jonathan Coulton re-visited his album/graphic novel 'Solid State' (previously) over the weekend with new comments about how it applies to today's world. 'When I started work on Solid State, the only thing I could really think of that I wanted to say was something like, 'The internet sucks now',' Coulton said in 2017 (in an epilogue to the graphic novel). So what does he think today?" Read the rest

Akira to be re-released in high definition

I love comic books and graphic novels. I'm not ashamed to say that dig me some cartoons. Sadly, I've never been able to get into anime and manga. It's a shame: I know that there are a ton of series available to watch, stream or buy online that I might potentially enjoy. I loved Robotech when I was younger. However, when I re-watched it recently, it didn't hold up for me. Every time I attempt to invest in something new, like Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist or Bleach, I quickly lose interest. I think it's more about my tastes in entertainment than it is about the medium--there's lots of folks who love anime. I'm just not one of them.

One of my earliest flirtations with anime was Akira. I was maybe 13, at the time. An arthouse theatre in the town I grew up in was playing it. I was drawn to the poster: Shotaro Kaneda astride his badass ride, holding what I thought looked like a bazooka. I bought the ticket and took the ride. I was way too young (or maybe too dense?) to be able to follow what the hell was going on. A few years later, I discovered the Akira manga, translated into English. I gave them a go. Better, but I still preferred Green Lantern. Also, I'm pretty sure that all the mutant blob weirdness gave me nightmares.

But hey, maybe it's high time to give it another try.

From io9:

Announced yesterday evening at Otomo’s panel at Anime Expo, Akira will be reborn across two different initiatives: first, an ultra-HD remastering of the original movie, which is set to release on blu-ray in Japan on April 24, 2020, with a western release coming at a later date (interestingly timed, given that Warner Bros.

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Man-Eaters Volume Two: Fleshing out the world where girls turn into lethal werepanthers when they get their periods

Volume One of Man-Eaters, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk's scathing, hilarious, brilliant comic about girls who turn into man-eating werepanthers when they get their periods, is the best comic I read in 2019, and Volume Two, just published by Image comics, continues the brilliance with a set of design-fiction-y fake ads and other collateral that straddle the line between a serious piece of science fictional world-building and Switfian satire. Read the rest

Dennis the Menace in Hawaii, Cartoonist Kayfabe Commentary

Dennis in Hawaii by Alan Wiseman and Fred Toole

One of the most popular comics in American history gets the Kayfabe book club treatment with Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli.

In 1958, Pines and Hank Ketcham sent the Dennis the Menace comic book crew to Hawaii to research a 100 page Dennis the Menace special. The resulting comic book went on to phenomenal success and 9 printings over the subsequent decade.

Jaime Hernandez and Dan Clowes both sing its praises. What makes this comic book so special and how does it look 60 years later? Join us to find out!

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

"A Fire Story": a moving, beautiful memoir of the Calistoga wildfire in comics form

In 2017, cartoonist Brian Fies lost his northern California home in the Calistoga wildfires; in the days after, working with the cheap art supplies he was able to get from a surviving big box store, he drew A Fire Story, a strip about how he and his wife barely managed to escape their home ahead of the blaze, and about life after everything you own (and everything your neighbors own) is reduced to ash and slag. The strip went viral, and in the months after, Fies adapted it into a deeply moving, beautiful book. Read the rest

Cartoonist Kayfabe on Wizard Magazine issue 19, March 1993

Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg continue to dissect the turbulent comic book speculator boom on the 1990s while looking through antique copies of Wizard Magazine.

Some of this issues contents:

* Jack Kirby comes back to comics via his line of Topps Comics * Palmer's Picks. Rick Veitch *Jae Lee's Youngblood Strikefile is on the horizon! * Larry Hama's origin story * Mike Mignola talks about drawing the Topps adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula * Dave Sim writes an issue of Spawn

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel for more vids celebrating the medium of comics. Read the rest

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