If you care at all about comics, you need to go here, now.
Ok, there’s some cool stuff at the top there….some great illustrations, some preview pages, some cartoonist-y chatter….
Oh hey! What’s this at the bottom? King City 2, Chapter 1?
For those of you not in the know, King City Vol. 1 is 2007’s breakout graphic novel by Seattle cartoonist Brandon Graham, whose previous works include the Elevator collection from Alternative Comics, and a handful of erotic comics for Amerotica. The book came seemingly out of nowhere, filling the minds of comics readers everywhere with a vision of a dirty, streetwise future in a sprawling sci-fi city populated by spies who use cats as weapons,veterans who can’t forget the zombies they fought in Korea, and addicts whose bodies slowly become the drug they consume. It’s a wildly imaginative book that packs bizarre asides and puns into a story that’s actually heartfelt and sensitive.
These first pages from King City Vol. 2 showcase the wild flights of fancy that Graham’s story often takes, highlighting the main character’s training as a cat master (a spy who uses a cat like Batman uses his utility belt and gadgets), along with plenty of eye candy (the overhead establishing shot of the King City freeways is particularly nice) and background puns (”cervix entrance”….heh).It’s definitely a book to look forward to.
And that’s where this gets bittersweet. See, King City Vol. 1 was put out by Tokyopop, and their recent shakeups have left the future of King City, like many of their other OEL manga books, in doubt and maybe in search of a new publisher. That’s if the company decides to release the rights to these books back to their creators.This aprticular book has a confirmed publisher for it’s french language edition, but the non-francophone among us will have to wait and see what happens before we get to sink our teeth into a print version.
Silver linings? With no deadline, the book is getting longer, with scenes that weren’t originally going to make the cut being reconsidered and added back in. Also, it looks like we’re going to be treated to new chapters on his Livejournal periodically, until a deal is worked out, or until it’s all online. Or, I guess, until he changes his mind. Also, Multiple Warheads, his Eisner nominated floppy-format serial that’s being published by Oni Press, is still safe and set to reappear soon, so the world won’t be deprived of his talent for too long.
No comment | Categories: Artist, Commentary, Linkdump, Publishers, Seattle | Permalink
Inconsequential update: Hellacious, ass-kicking quarter complete. Commence catching up with comics and whining about not making it to San Diego for Comic-Con. While drinking beer. And maybe playing Katamari Damacy.
While I mentally compile and organize my unread books (starting with The Hot Breath of War by fellow NorCal rad guy Trevor Alixopulos that has been staring at me since Stumptown), I wanted to do a quick linkdump to direct you to some cool interweb things that have delighted me…
Etsy.com interviews Jessica Abel
Tatiana Gill and her adorable illustrations
BeaucoupKevin takes beautiful photos at MoCCA, which reminds me how much I suck for missing this event every year.
How to separate feminist and psuedo-feminist comic fans and maintain moral superiority
Hope Larson debuts Chiggers at MoCCA, which gets me like a sucker punch as I was able to fawn over her preview copy at Emerald City.
No comment | Categories: Linkdump, Slacking, Whine, Complaining, & Griping | Permalink
Wow, things have been quiet here. No apologies, as we are both alive and kicking. One of us has been busy changing jobs, and is working within the sphere of The Evil Empire. The other has been busy learning about worldwide oppression and communication theories. I’m not telling which is which.
A few things of note:
Tatiana Gill has a blog! We heart her, and look forward to reading her witticisms and peeking at lovely art. Her blog already has some gems, so go and take a look. As a bonus, she makes cool sculpted art that people should buy. Bug her about it.
Our annual trek to San Francisco to attend APE has been thwarted by evil schedule changes. The sizable and aching hole has been filled by two spectacular cons - Stumptown and Emerald City.
Why you should go to Stumptown:
- Pre-registration already sold out. This means no empty tables and sad faces.
- It’s not just indie faces this year; big names like Gail Simone and Pia Guerra will rubbing elbows with some of the greatest cartoonists in the industry.
- Don’t let the fabled rain dissuade you - Portland is lovely in the spring.
- We will be there. Duh.
Why you should go to Emerald City:
- As lovely as Portland is in April, it has nothing on Seattle in May.
- We hinted at our displeasure with the con last year in our wrap-ups. Someone obviously cared about our opinion, as this year there is a nice indie representation, including the recently announced Bryan Lee O’Malley and Hope Larson appearances.
- Jordan Crane exhibit at Fantagraphics
- We will be there. Duh. I might even buy you a beer at my favorite pub if you are nice to me.
Real reviews to follow soon. No, really.
No comment | Categories: Convention, Linkdump, Slacking | Permalink
Here’s something that’s probably already been agreed with, disagreed with, ridiculed, praised, dismissed, dismantled, and distilled by every comics blog out there, but I figured I should note it here.
Steve Gaynor, a video game level designer according to his masthead, posted this thoughtful piece recently about the relative cultural significance of video games. Why is that interesting to readers of a comics blog (assuming there are any left visiting this poor site)? Because he draws some pretty astute comparisons between the two mediums.
I went into this article a little skeptical, imagining the worst sort of mouth-breathing dismissal. Comics are for kids!!! Superheroes are the be-all, end-all of the medium!!!! I was pleasantly surprised to find a knowledgeable and sensitive look at the similarities, one that encompassed the boundary pushing and forward thinking work taking place in comics and video games, but not shying away from examining their failures to gain broad cultural relevance.
Do yourself a favor and read the article. Even if you disagree, there’s a lot of interest to be found there.
2 comments | Categories: Commentary, Linkdump | Permalink
The previous litmus test for superhero status as a comics artist was the 24-hour comic, a grueling trial of artistic output. A 24-hour comic, for those who don’t know, is a 24 page comic, created from scratch in a single 24-hour period, usually with the aid of a large quantity of coffee, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, etc. Having tried this before, I can attest to the fact that it’s a difficult ordeal, fraught with the perils of exhaustion, delirium, and questionable artistic choices.
But look out. There’s a new challenger in town.
John Campbell (stereotypist on livejournal) is currently creating hourly comics, consisting of 2 panels drawn for every hour he is awake in the month of January. He’s done this a few times in previous years, and the results are all available on the Hourly Comics website, sorted by day. The end result is similar to American Elf or Snakepit, but at a much more granular level. Like those daily comics, some installments feature almost no notable action, while others veer into the unexpected and absurd. You develop a sense of intimacy, despite the relatively crude drawing style. Like XKCD, the subject matter transcends any limitations the art might create.
If you enjoy the hourly comics, you’ll probably also enjoy his 50 Answers project, absurdist comic strips drawn as responses to reader-submitted questions. There’s plenty of other material on his Livejournal page to indulge in as well.
No comment | Categories: Artist, Linkdump | Permalink
Webcomics can be a real downer. The pace of putting up a comic on a regular schedule can make the most motivated and ambitious of cartoonists weep, and it usually shows in their work. That being said, there are definite exceptions and they give the format an excitement and originality. I have a couple favorites and it is my comic loving duty to spread the word.
Bellen! by Box Brown (M-W-F)
Yes, it’s a love story. And yes, it can be excessively saccharine. But riding the lows and highs of the strip mirrors the changes in a relationship and this makes it feel very geniune. The tears and pain are balanced with tenderness, which makes this a great read.
The Rack by Kevin Church and Benjamin Birdie (M-Tu-W-F)
You’ve heard of it. The marketing machine that is Kevin has made sure you have. And if you aren’t already, you should also be reading it. The Rack is a smart story with likable characters in a comic store that feels very much like the one you visit every Wednesday. Church and Birdie, who have previously worked on Boom! Studios webcomic Nitrogyclerin, have definitely hit their stride with this comic. And you may even find a kinship with the typecast characters. Lydia tickles my fancy, but probably because I would toss back a few drinks with her and talk shit about all the surrounding patrons and collectively swoon over Phonogram backissues - CAUSE THAT’S HOW WE ROLL.
SMILE (A Dental Drama) by Raina Telgemeier (W)
I love Raina. And if you don’t share the same sentiment you are cold, cruel, insensitive creature that barely deserves to breathe. She’s sweet and talented and smart and…dentally impaired? The diary format allows her to tell the tale of prepubescent woe brought on by braces and not feeling like the others. It has lost a bit of luster with consecutive weeks of guest strips, and with The Big News she will most likely leave this one to die a slow, painful death. It is too bad.
Girls with Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto (M-Tu-W-Th-F)
There is a little bit of everything for every reader: romance, sexuality, machismo, drunken louts, mid-twenties angst, and even a talking cactus. The art is good and the humor is better. It’s been nice watching this strip gain momentum, as Danielle has cast off the schlepping of wage earner status and has set up a PayPal donation bucket to assist her readership support the story they love.
Cat and Girl by Dorothy Gambrell (Tu-Th-F)
Everyone loves this webcomic. I’m not even sure why I feel compelled to list it here. It’s a given that everyone reads this, along with Diesel Sweeties and Penny Arcade, right? If not, shoot me an email and I will categorically interrogate you on how you could have survived this long in the world with your overwhelming lameness.
DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Diary by Erika Moen (Tu)
Not only is she a super awesome Pacific Northwest cartoonist that we’ve been able to make paper stars with at Stumptown, but she’s also a fascinating artist. Her style is thick and lucid and beautiful. Plus she can write a story, which is more elusive than it should be. I wish she would post more, but I’d take quality over quantity any day.
1 comment | Categories: Linkdump, Reviews | Permalink
After a few days of recovery after APE, I’m still unable to do a proper round-up. Why? Because it’s as awesome as it always is. Not much else to report beyond that. So rather than take my lack of enthusiasm as any negative reaction to the con, I’ll just do a link dump:
The Daily Crosshatch pt.1 and pt.2
Ian Brill’s PW coverage
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s food journal
Fart Party’s pt.1 and pt.2
Brent Warnock’s wrap-up
To ensure this isn’t total waste of data space, I can say that for the first time we felt popular. Bryan Lee O’Malley and Hope Larson both recognized us. The Hot Mexican Love Comics guys both thanked me for the review last year and criticized my dismissal of the low rider story as “standard fare.” I’ve never been asked to justify my opinion, particularly to the artist, so that was an awkward moment for me. We ran into Sophie from Gumpop, which was as pleasant this year as it was last year, despite some overt fangirling over a sketch that Hope did for her.
1 comment | Categories: Convention, Linkdump, Travel | Permalink
I refuse to acknowledge this dumb “holiday” today, so rest assured there will be no mention of love or flowers or romance.
Okay, I totally lied. There may be a little bit of love. Of the fictious variety.
Local awesome guy and publicist for Fantagraphics, Eric Reynolds, jokingly threw in his name as a potential father of a daughter of a certain fallen hero to white trash around the world (I cannot bring the name to my lips for fear of my internal rage).
No comment | Categories: Linkdump, Seattle | Permalink
Seattlest, a blog recounting local news, responded. My only explination is that the excess in coffee consumption makes us a bit jumpy. And hilarious.
Being incredibly bored as I usually am at work, I just hopped on Myspace (beware: it is time-suckage gone ugly). Upon logon, I saw a bulletin that Corey Lewis posted which informed everyone he put new content on his Myspace page. Which he did do. And included in this new content is a quote from the review I posted on Peng. Neat. I’m glad the good word got back to him because I did, and still do, enjoy the crap out of his comic.
And on this note, if you haven’t read Peng yet you deserved to be spanked with a wet noodle. And don’t come looking here for said spanking. You are now officially left to your own devices on that one.
No comment | Categories: Linkdump | Permalink
Just thought I’d mention a couple of new (to me) comics blogs that I’ve been loving for the last couple of days:
Gumpop: comic books are totally the new indie rock! An excellent, vibrant blog by Sophie Yanow, who’s background (comics and indie rock, whodathunk?) seems similar to my own.
Comics Fairplay: a comics and pop culture blog by Heidi Meeley that’s been running an excellent series of Favorite Female Comics Character posts, that are in-depth, interesting, and fun. This one covers a lot of comics that I’m not particularly into, but the writing is good enough that it doesn’t matter. And besides, who would want to read blogs that only cover material you’ve already read?
OK, just a little hit and run post. I’m busy re-creating my 80’s pop megamix that I lost n a disastrous hard drive crash a few months ago, and reading the new Acme Novelty book. Cheers!
2 comments | Categories: Linkdump | Permalink