Check out Barrett’s Graphic Design set on Flickr.
Check out Barrett’s Graphic Design set on Flickr.
With the economy as it is, there’s been little to celebrate lately. Fortunately Jon Adams doesn’t believe in things like the economy, or money, or really anything made out of paper. But he does believe in celebrations, and that’s why he’s throwing a party devoid of paper invitations. Instead, the invitations are just these words on a computer screen. Your computer screen, probably, which is where the party will take place.
April 1st marks the one-year anniversary of Jon Adams’ Eisner-nominated Truth Serum in its webcomic format. To celebrate, the weekly comic will temporarily become a daily with each strip rendered by a guest artist. Those lending their varied and inimitable talents include J. Chris Campbell, Al Columbia, Dave Johnson, Sean Murphy, and Rob Walton.
Please join us and some other people on computers around the world for a week-long celebration, beginning April 1st. It all happens at citycyclops.com
Hey, hey, print this out and walk into your local comic book shop and I promise that they won’t laugh at you. Why? Because you’ll be buying comics in this economy.
Everyone likes to go dancing with their friends, but when a famous DJ comes to Metropolis’s biggest after-hours “rave” party, Jimmy Olsen becomes…Lost In The K-Hole!
Superman’s Girl Friend has traveled through time and space, seeing things that nobody else could imagine, but is even she ready to join the newest outsider movement and become Lois Lane: Cyberpunk Princess?
Superman has his hands full thanks to an automotive club where thrills are more important than safety and a quest to finish first leads his pal to the other side of the world in Jimmy Olsen: Tokyo Drifter!
Your mom and dad sure wouldn’t “get” the new wave of girl groups cropping up around the country, but one reporter gets in deeper than she expected when she fronts up and coming band L7! Find out what happens when Lois Lane Joins…The “Riotgrrl” Movement!
Being Superman’s pal has made Jimmy Olsen the most famous teenager on the planet, but is even he prepared for the fireworks when MTV comes to Metropolis and Pauly Shore Steals Lucy Lane?
Superman finds himself with a new rival for Lois Lane’s affections when the future of law enforcement joins the Metropolis police department! Can the last son of Krypton compete When RoboCop Comes To Town?
I used to have a really good mix CD called “The Night Before / The Morning After” and this strip reflects the second half of that name.
…but Chris Mautner and crew asked me to participate in this week’s “What Are You Reading?” column over at Robot 6, where I talk about the new Mark Waid comic for BOOM!, a decade-old book from Alan Moore, and manga about sake among other things, anyway.
…is so freakin’ psyched he got his own Marvel Value Stamp, you guys!
Example: Everyone knows that “Video Killed The Radio Star” was the first video played on MTV.
Put yours below.
Birdie titled the latest strip, OK? Not me. He did. So, you know, if you’re, like all bromanced out, well, then maybe you shouldn’t look at the new installment of The Rack.
Trekmovie.com has a nice selection of European posters if you want to look at that sort of thing. This one really stands out to me as it feels very futuristic while not being over-rendered and photoshoppy, plus it uses lots of white space. I’m a sucker for lots of white space.
Here’s a link to the latest strip. (If this were Penny Arcade, we’d have a six page essay here.)
The last issue of 100 Bullets still isn’t on Diamond’s list, but the staff at Yavin IV carry on.
Congratuations to Jeff Lemire for not only putting out a new OGN through Vertigo, but getting a new ongoing series, Sweet Tooth, written and drawn by him with coloring by Jose Villarubia, with a first issue that will only set you back a buck. You can read more about it on his blog.
“Alcoholics are complicated,” Manga creator Hideo Azuma muses near the end of Disappearance Diary, his by turns amusing and sobering account of the multiple occasions when he dropped off the grid times due to work and other pressures. Azuma’s cartoonish art makes for an interesting contrast to some of the pretty chilling material included here, such as his months-long stretches as a homeless person (complete with dumpster-diving,) becoming a manual laborer after abandoning his wife, and his stint in a hospital’s rehab wing. While I’d normally be tempted to say that the material is undermined by the relative lack of nuance presented by the visuals, they serve to distinctly mark the work as his story, told in his voice, using an art style familiar to readers of his work. There’s a few stretches where I sort of questioned what Azuma was doing (the too-detailed description of his life working for a the gas company for instance, killed a lot of the emotional momentum for me) but I found this to be a very satisfying read overall. The only real problems I have with the work were more the fault of Fanfare/Potenent Mon than anything else. The quality of the translation was frequently lacking, yanking me out of the material by a too-stiff phrase, and the slipshot lettering compounded things, with some basic tenets of comics grammar ignored for the sake of a quick cut-and-paste job. (Yes, it involves the Barried “I”. It always involves the barred “I”, guys.)
Amazon, of course offers it at a discount, if your local library or comics shop can’t provide.
I’d like to thank Deb Aoki for pointing this book out to me after I’d mentioned my anger at Whole Foods’ summary firing of a good employee after he’d set aside a sandwich that was to be thrown out. Wasting perfectly good food drives me up the wall, and she thought I’d find way Azuma discusses this practice interesting. She was right!
Another day, another strip where two guys stand behind the counter.
OK, here’s the last part of my look at webcomics that were sent to me by their creators over Twitter. Thanks to everybody that participated and I’ll likely ask people to shoot me some URLs again sometime next month for the second round. If you’ve not caught up, here’s part one and here’s part two.
Strange Candy by E.Snodgrass, A. Brownlow, K. Olympia, and J.Baird
A fantasy humor manga with no shortage of in-jokes and cultural references for those in the know. From someone on the outside looking in, it’s like a glitter-covered tax form: confusing and shiny. It has been going on for eight years, however, so there must be something going for it.
Strip For Me: Complex by Douglas Noble
Smart, apocalyptic science fiction with a rough-hewn look to the art that builds the mood very nicely. This one’s in its infancy but looks to have a lot of potential.
Supertrue!!! by Max Huffman
Max Huffman’s journal comics are a scream. He needs to do more. Someone get him on that.
Tech-Diff by Donna McGarry and David Shirley
This purports to be “A comic following the life and trials of Crag Smashface, his long suffering room mate Mel and his idol the world’s greatest super hero Emo Man.” In reality, it seems that there’s no real characters, no story, just “jokes” that frequently require an intimate knowledge of whatever the creators are into at any given time.
The Black Cherry Bombshells by John Zito & Anthony Trovarello
I’ve never quite clicked with this popular Zuda strip about post-apocalyptic Las Vegas and the titular girl gang. The storytelling seems very choppy to me, depending more on the next high concept than anything else and while the art has improved dramatically, it rarely manages to pull off the action sequences this series thrives on.
The Elves of Lleu Garnock by Irene Pitcairn
A longform, derivative fantasy comic. If the title appeals to you, then you’ve got nothing to lose by taking a look. I will say that the art gets cleaner and stronger over the run, reminding me a bit of both Linda Medley and Colleen Doran.
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats by Adam Koford
An unstoppable juggernaut of meme-meets-classic-cartooning that I very much enjoy. It’s amazing how he’s built two characters that speak almost exclusively in sampled soundbites. I discussed Koford’s new book previously.
The Mighty Jambo by George Beedham
A superhero-slacker comic that, frankly, starts off pretty dire but improves massively once it becomes about the punching and shooting. Beedham’s art improves along with the story with his storytelling becoming stronger as the strip continues, but I will say that his adherence to comic book art makes for occasionally odd webcomic moments, such as the frequent double-page spreads that require the reader to click to view them in another window.
The Night Owls by Peter Timony and Robert Timony
Oh, this is a heck of a thing that the Timonys are doing. A retro strip that moves along at a fair clip, with each individual page containing at least one and sometimes multiple plot beats. It looks downright gorgeous too.
The Suckerboys by Jim Thorpe
A very nicely-drawn strip that doesn’t really do anything new, as it features two slackers with nerdy inclinations, but chugs right along anyway. Thorpe’s art is a high point: his facial expressions are dead on and his characters’ body language serves as a nice primer to other creators.
Things Change by Derik Badman
I’m sort of shocked I’ve never come across this one before. A thematically-dense comic that circles around the idea of metamorphoses with art that’s greatly accentuated by Badman’s use of two-tone color schemes on the majority of pieces. The beginning seems a bit “and now it’s time for the author to masturbate about how great he is,” but after that it’s a very engaging, very human piece of work.
Willow’s Grove by Karl Kleese
Cute animals get kidnapped by aliens and try to find their way back to Earth. The art seems a bit stiff to me, but there were enough chuckles to keep me going through the entire archive so far.
Xeno’s Arrow by Greg Beettam and Stephen Geigen-Milller
There’s something very 1980s-black-and-white-indie about this science fiction comic, and I mean that in a good way. The dialogue’s feels a bit contrived, the setting (a group of aliens escape a massive intergalactic zoo) a bit too familiar, and the art hits a lot of the same notes that Keith Giffen did after he discovered MuÃ±oz’s work, but it all comes together just so to make a comic that’s comfortable and interesting. Funny, how that works out.
Thanks to Ron Moore, David Eick, Harvey Frand, Ron French, Mark Verheiden, Jane Espenson and the rest of the writing staff for managing to keep me engaged over four seasons. Thanks to all of the actors (especially Katee Sackhoff and Edward James Olmos – I completely lost it in the penultimate episode when he said that he knew who she was despite everything) for consistently selling me every single plot point. Thanks to Stephen McNutt and the visual effects team for making television science-fiction look better than it ever has before. In fact, thanks to everyone who worked on the show. It was obviously a series where craft and heart merged well, and the fact that plot sometimes took backseat to the story couldn’t make me happier.
I can’t imagine a show having a better finale, one that ensured that story conquered all and that all of the characters I’ve come to care about had the sendoff they deserved. While they may not have answered all of the plotholes that beancounting fans have demanded be handled, humanity triumphed, which means more to me than anything else.