Archive for the ‘independent’ Category

Hello, I still exist.

July 14th, 2013 by Susie
A recent comment got me feeling all warm and fuzzy for read comics. I’ve been reading over some of my old posts. I did love posting here, though dear lord I had a serious comma addiction. I’ve been through treatment and mostly have it under control.
I haven’t been over here for a while since I’ve mostly been blogging on my own site about many things not just comics. I’ve been working on getting my writing career off the ground. It’s still pretty much on the ground at the moment, but it’s on a bit of an incline.
Since I’m here I should talk about comics. Even though I haven’t been writing about them, I’m still very much reading them. I can quit abusing commas, but comics is a habit I can’t kick.
One of my last posts was about the upcoming new Sandman miniseries. It now has a release date and is due to hit stores in October of this year. I can’t wait!
As for what I’m reading, staples Fables and the Unwritten continue to explore the secret life of fiction in new and imaginative ways. Buffy Season Nine is winding down. It hasn’t reached the heights that season eight did early on, but it’s also hasn’t been nearly as inconsistent. Meanwhile I’m enjoying spinoff Angel and Faith a little more than the main title, but both are building to what looks like strong conclusions. Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga is probably my new favorite monthly series that premiered since I stopped posting here regularly. Here is an article that pretty much sums up my feelings about it and why you should be reading it. Another series I’ve been enjoying is Rachel Rising by Terry Moore. Like Echo was his take on a super heroes, this is his take on horror. And like Echo it’s been going in directions I couldn’t possibly predict. At times very creepy directions. His art as always is immersive and haunting. I also picked up at the library the first trades of Gail Simone’s Batgirl and Brian Michael Bendis’s All New X-Men. I quite enjoyed both. Barbara Gordon is one of my all time favorite characters and Simone’s take on her could easily become iconic. I haven’t read many X-Men titles, but I felt I knew enough to understand and enjoy Bendis’s time travel story. I’m looking forward to the next volumes of each.
I’ll try to come back to Read Comics a little more often, but this site is and always has been open to the public. Anyone with something to say is welcome to post.

Exciting News!

January 5th, 2012 by Susie

At least it’s exciting to me.  A short story I wrote was recently published in the anthology Horror, Humor, and Heroes Volume 3.  Im not posting about it because I’m proud of being published (okay maybe a little because of that) but because the story, titled Sister, is about superheroes and was heavily influenced by comic books.  I thought the readers of this blog might like that.

It’s available in paperback here:

Horror, Humor, and Heroes Vol. 3: New Faces of Science Fiction [paperback]

And on kindle here:

Horror, Humor, and Heroes Vol. 3: New Faces of Science Fiction [kindle]

The kindle edition is only $2.99, which is a pretty good deal for 24  stories.  Please note, I’m not making a dime off the sales of the anthology, I just want as many people that might want to read it to know about it.

We will return to our (not) regularly scheduled comics rambling, ranting, and spoofing in the next post.

Epic Doctor Who Fan Comic

January 21st, 2011 by Susie

This has been out there on interwebs for awhile, but I only just discovered it last week.  A cartoonist going only by Rich, has created a Doctor Who fan comic spanning 247 pages, called the Ten Doctors.  He clearly has a deep affection for Doctor Who, because the comic is very much a labor of love.  It took over three years to complete, and is a very complex, but entertaining adventure.  As the name implies, it features all ten incarnations of the doctor, through David Tennant.  It was completed before Matt Smith debuted as Doctor Eleven, so he is absent.  It also features countless past companions, aliens, and enemies.  I got into Doctor Who with the new series, so I was only really familiar with the characters from the ninth Doctor’s era and onward.  My experience with old school Who, is composed only of two Tom Baker serials, and short youtube clips, of the other Doctors.  So I did not recognize all the companions, or enemies, or plot elements refferenced, but it didn’t really matter, the story was told well enough that I could infer the most of what I needed to know.  Whenever I did get confused, I could just scroll down to that page’s comment section, and there was usually someone who had posed my question already, and an answer from either Rich, or another reader.  Each doctor, and most of the companions gets a moment to shine, over the course of the comic.  Based just on reading of this comic, I now am a fan of Doctors two, and five, and the companions Jamie, the Brigadier, Ace, Romana and Leela.  (I was already a fan of nine, ten, four, and eleven, and all their companions)  There are plenty of humorous moments, and quite a few touching ones as well.  It is drawn in an animated style, with rough pencils as the finished version.  Someone on Devient Art is going through it, and inking and coloring the pages, but has only reached the sixth page, last time I checked.  Regardless, it is quite is an impressive accomplishment.  Rich has a few other comics, featuring original characters.  Based on the qulity of the Ten Doctors, I plan on checking them out.

You should be able to click on the following image to be taken to the first page of the Ten Doctors on Rich’s website.  If you are anything like me, you will spend the next few days reading the whole thing.

ReadComics Podcast #048 – Minneapolis Indie Comic Expo

September 14th, 2010 by Martin

In this episode, Marty, Jason, Florence, Sharyn and Susie talk about the Minneapolis Indie Expo, a one-day comic book festival/convention that took place in Minneapolis on August 21st, 2010. We plug far too many artists and creators to list them all in this blog post, and we probably only listed half of the cool stuff we saw at the con.

Listen to Podcast Episode #048 (25 MB, 54 minutes)

Go pick up Love and Capes #13 …today!

May 1st, 2010 by Martin

Today is Free Comic Book Day, (as probably most of you know), and I was looking forward to all the free comics, but of course I have a special place in my heart for Love and Capes, and I have to say issue #13 absolutely did not disappoint. Author/creator Thom Zahler has just an amazing knack for making the lives of his characters feel incredibly real, and also incredibly funny. This is (in my opinion), the best kind of superhero story.

It just goes to show that free comic book day comics can be really good! Love and Capes has been one of my favorite comics since back in 2007, when I picked up issue #4 in a stack with all the other Free Comic Book Day comics. I’m not sure, but I think there may have been a L&C issue in every free comic book day since then. interviewed Zahler for our first — and so far only — creator interview. If you haven’t read any Love and Capes, I highly recommend picking up the first couple trade paperbacks. (You probably don’t have to read them from the beginning, but it is a continuous story, so not only would you be spoiled, but you’ll definitely enjoy them more if you do.)

Anyway, after I got back home from braving the lines of comic book fanatics at The Source this morning, I devoured issue #13, laughing out loud every other page, and biting my tongue so as not to read every punchline out loud to Florence and Susie. When I finished the comic, I was excited to read in the back of this issue that Zahler is finally getting a chance to give Love and Capes the dedication and regular attention that it deserves (13 issues in how many years?) with the announcement that IDW will be picking up L&C for a monthly five-part miniseries! But that announcement also came with some bad news, as apparently Zahler is going to “take a break” from L&C for a bit after that. I hope to be reading L&C long into the future, at least until Mark and Abby become empty-nesters. Here’s to another fantastic issue of Love and Capes.

Next Comic Book Club: Echo #1-13

August 23rd, 2009 by florence

Echo 8 My next comic book club selection is Terry Moore’s Echo, issues #1-13. The first 10 are collected in two trade paperbacks already.

Echo is his latest creation, but I have been a fan of Terry Moore’s earlier series, Strangers in Paradise, since college.  I am looking forward to hearing everyone else’s opinion about how this new story plays out from the beginning.

We’ll meet on Sunday, September 20th* at 3PM at Florence & Marty’s apartment.

*We are postponing from the 13th to the 20th to protect visitors from our flu.

spam subject lines and iPhone interactive comics

August 3rd, 2009 by Martin

29_09spam21While I was out of town, a co-worker sent out a link to these awesome one-liner comics inspired by spam email subject lines. As you can see, an ironic meaning is often illustrated, rather than the one the often broken english subjects are meant to invoke. The illustrations/comics are drawn by graphic designer Elliott Burford, whose other projects (in the site’s navigation) are well worth checking out.

Also in my inbox this morning, (or, perhaps in my twitter stream) was a link to Opertoon‘s iPhone/iPod Touch app Ruben & Lullaby, which is a self-described: “digital comic/game (we call it an “opertoon”) that lets you shape the emotions of a quarreling couple with a touch”. I haven’t downloaded this yet, but I will be checking it out sometime in the near future. It looks quite interesting.

Grieving behind a plastic lion mask: Mother Come Home

April 25th, 2009 by Susie


I picked up Paul Hornschemeier’s Mother Come Home from the library because I vaguely remembered someone somewhere giving it a good review. I found it to be a profoundly sad and beautiful study of how children process loss. The core of the story is about seven or eight year old boy coping with the death of his mother and the resulting mental breakdown of his father. A subject that hits rather close to home for me. The loss of mother of the title has uprooted his father from reality, he loses track of anything other than his overwhelming grief, and the boy, Thomas finds himself in the care taker role. Thomas creates his own myths to explain his altered life, and clings to invented rituals to anchor himself in his now unstable world. The climax of the story involves his need to fix his father’s problem, and therefore fix his own life, which fails utterly. The book is narrated by an older Thomas, and it is his more mature understanding of the events that he is relating that keeps the story from being completely devastating. The art suits the story perfectly. It is straightforward and grim but at the same time innocent and childlike. I would recommend this to anyone who would claim graphic novels can’t have the same emotional impact of prose.

Sex, Blasphemy, and Gay Marriage, Oh My!

March 14th, 2009 by Susie

It’s time for me to finally do the post about webcomics I have meant to do since Christmas.

Here are three I don’t think have been mentioned on this site yet.

Anders Loves Maria

I love this strip!  It is about a young Swedish couple who are having a baby, and probably shouldn’t be.  Given that Anders can’t stop getting involved with other women, and Maria can’t seem to grow up.  It is wickedly funny and terribly authentic.  The art work some how manages to be simplified, and sophisticated at the same time.  I was really tempted to buy an original page, but unfortunately the I did not get my tax return before the half off sale ended.  It should be mentioned that even though the people are drawn in a very non photo realistic manner, 60% of the strips have included extremely explicit sex, that is probably not safe for work.

Sister Claire

This strip is only a few months old.  It follows the adventures of a very naive young girl who was raised by nuns.  It is drawn in the style of  kwai(cutesy) anime.  Claire  wants nothing more in life than to be the best nun ever, while still getting to indulge in all things sweet and cuddly.  Unfortunately for her a sexy messenger from God disrupts her cloistered existence.  I am totally digging it!

Finally we have Finn and Charlie are Hitched

It is a slice of life styled strip centered around a gay male couple and their circle of friends.  It is not as serialized as the previous two I mentioned, going with the more traditional 3 to 4 panels leading to a gag format.  It is consistently funny and done by local Chicago artist.

Comic Book Club: PS238

February 3rd, 2009 by florence

PS238 Volume 1Our next Comic Book Club podcast will focus on PS238 Volume 1: With Liberty and Recess for All, by Aaron Williams.  This book is about a school for superpowered kids, and we’re looking forward to hearing everyone’s opinions about it.

We’ll start with Volume 1, but since some of us have already read ahead several trades, so we’ll be happy to talk about the entire run so far.

PS238 Volume 1:
With Liberty and Recess for All
Monday, February 9th 7PM
Florence&Marty’s place

Blotchmen and other Watchmen Parodies

October 29th, 2008 by Martin

I’ve been meaning to write something about a whole slew of Watchmen parodies that have started cropping up all over the net in anticipation of the movie, and seeing Kevin Cannon’s Blotchmen today reminded me of this endeavor. Blotchmen was created as part of the 24 Hour Comics Day event right here in Minneapolis. (I should have at least stopped by to check it out while it was happening. Maybe next year.) I think it’s especially cool because as well as parodying Watchmen, it also pays homage to a couple of my favorite children’s books at the same time. Just go read it!

Back when I was looking for this stuff, I discovered the official watchmen movie site hosts a feature/page they call The Gunga Diner, that looks to basically just aggregate all the Watchmen parody stuff it can find. It’s cool, but what I don’t like is that there are a lot of entries that don’t cite their sources. Maybe they just had the stuff emailed to them, but the Watchmen Peanuts sketch they host can easily be found to have originated from Evan “Doc” Shaner’s DeviantArt account. (Looks like it wasn’t a totally original idea, as Jeff Parker did something similar a while back.) Likewise the Lil’ Watchmen comic Gungan Diner hosts can be found (with quite a bit more digging necessary) over at the Silver Rage Archive/TOC.

An image that Gunga Diner doesn’t actually have listed is this awesome Jay Ward’s The Watchmen sketch by Jay Fosgitt, AKA, Four Panel Hero. (Jay Ward created Rocky and Bullwinkle.)

KO Fight Club, who I have linked to before, because it is a board gaming webcomic, has a whole page devoted to how they parody Watchmen (and another page about why).

Here’s a cool illustration of Watchmen Watches.

The Watchmen Movie site also hosts a page that links to a bunch of Watchmen fan films. I haven’t really watched them all yet, so I don’t know if that page is better about sourcing its material.

And finally, if you haven’t seen it already, the Mad Magazine folks made a seven page Watchmen Parody (PDF format) in their signature style. It was apparently distributed at San Diego Comic Con earlier this year.

This Week’s Pull

October 23rd, 2008 by Martin

Florence and I have decided to do reviews of new issues from our pull list as they come out each week. Beware of spoilers, as we’ll be discussing the comics in depth. So far, as you can see, we have a fairly lame and generic title. Let us know if you have any suggestions in the comments.

This week it was just two issues, the new Echo and Invincible. Enjoy.

Echo #7

Florence: Moore’s art has really developed over the years, especially on men, since I’m more used to him drawing women. I feel like he’s doing a good job creating more than one male face. I really like his style, but he does sort of tend to have one face for all women, even though he does woman’s body shapes in more variety, which I really appreciate. I’m most intrigued by the character of Ivy Raven right now. When we were first introduced to her, she was a very sweet and loving mother, and now she’s clearly very formidable. In one panel we see her anger, and it’s scary. It shows that no matter what level of calm she exhibits, she’s dangerous. The last panel of the comic was very difficult to decipher.

Martin: I agree about the last panel being confusing. I won’t describe it for fear of giving it away, but I probably couldn’t if I wanted to, since I have no idea what happened. The old guy on the cover was the only other person at the crash site where Julie got her metal breastplate. Obviously he’s got some of whatever she has stuck to his hand. We only see him for about half a page in the whole comic, which felt weird since he was so prominently featured before we opened the book. I do feel like this was consistent with the rest of the story telling in the series, but the pace seemed to slow down quite a bit here. Not as much happens in this issue, and I guess I was a little disappointed by that.

Florence: That’s really just in contrast to the pacing he’s set already with the other issues in this title. That’s not compared to any normal comic’s pacing. This one has just started big and kept going. He’s set us up to expect that from every issue.

Martin: That’s true, but I guess I did feel like there were unnecessary scenes in this comic. If it doesn’t turn out that there’s a reason for the missing dog, then her asking about it was only to further highlight the stupid pet monkey that’s chained outside their motel room. The monkey got way more panels than necessary, IMHO.

Invincible #54

Florence: It’s your turn to go first.

Martin: Ha! I’m the one typing, and it looks like you were wrong about that prediction! Seriously, WTF? Invincible has sucked for like 4 or 5 issues now. I don’t even remember the last time it was cool. What ever happened to stuff happening in this comic?

Florence: I have detected no deterioration. I think it’s nice that he’s dating Atom Eve. I could have done without the four page spread of their relationship. It seemed to be both past and present. Like a montage.

Martin: I was going to say that, damnit. It was totally a montage! Montages are lame in all their forms. Except when used to make fun of montages, like in Team America: World Police.

Florence: Really though, if this just disappeared and I got twice as many Walking Dead issues, I’d be fine.

Martin: Totally. I never thought it would get to this point. I used to love Invincible SO MUCH. I do have hope for the future though. Maybe someday they’ll get back to the plot line with that one-eyed alien, and Invincible’s dad…

Florence: Now that I think about it, I did really like the future stuff, the stuff with Immortal. It seemed like a plausible path for him.

Martin: I guess this was sort of like a one-off book. I think Kirkman should have written it as an Invincible spin-off with a different title. Maybe another Invincible Presents Atom Eve… No, that one actually had a cool story, and stuff happened in it. Maybe it should have been called Atom Eve loves Invincible.

Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight

October 16th, 2008 by Martin

I’ll admit to having read and dismissed Achewood in the past. As webcomics go, it felt a bit too much like one of those continuing comics where you have to know the characters and have a sense of the whole story in order to “get” what’s happening in the comics. It turns out, that seems to be mostly just Chris Onstad‘s wry and absurdest sense of humor at play. When Sharyn asked if I wanted to read The Great Outdoor Fight, I remembered basically nothing about Achewood, and thought, sure I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll also admit that before I read this, but after I read the two mock non-fiction introductions about the history of The Great Outdoor Fight, I didn’t honestly know whether the event was real or not. Yes, I had to google for it. Then, I wikipedia’d for it. The answer: No. It is not a real fight. It is just a funny premise for this comic.

This physical collection is supposed to contain some material not found on the website, including the two aforementioned introductions, and some stuff in the back of the book, like a page of recipes, some fighter/character biographies, and some blog posts written by one of the characters in the comic. If I were an Achewood fan, I would be really happy to own this collection.

Even admitting that I’m not really all that much of a fan, I still enjoyed this book more than I expected to, and would probably recommend it to anyone who wants to read a silly story about a giant brawl that takes place annually over the course of three days.

ReadComics Podcast #020 – Interview with Thom Zahler

October 14th, 2008 by Martin

Tonight we had the immense pleasure of interviewing Thom Zahler, writer artist and creator of Love and Capes. He’s the self-professed “hardest working creator you’ve never heard of”. (It does sound like he works pretty hard. He was still the acting Mayor of his town for the duration of our interview.)

We had a lot of fun talking with him about his extensive experience in the comic book industry, as well as his opinions about everything ranging from sitcoms to the state of comics today. We talked about his inspirations and aspirations for the future. We even got him to sing a little for us.

Listen to Podcast Episode #020 (26.1 MB, 57 minutes)

Kingwood Himself

October 8th, 2008 by jason

Kingwood Himself, by Reynold Kissling

Delightfully twisted, this comic reminded me a lot of the more surreal cartoons and kid shows I watched growing up.  The main character, Emily, is very reminiscent of Little Lulu, going on trips to cities in the clouds  and undersea kingdoms.  There’s also a touch of Krofft thrown in, as I expect HR Pufnstuf to come around the corner with Jimmy and his Golden Flute in tow.

I love the solidity of the art, the characters looking like you could reach in and pick them up by their round heads.  The detail and design in the cul-de-sac, and of the various houses makes me want to try to find my way there; it could be in the wooded grove just a block over it seems like.  Guudo’s room is like the fantasies you have of shrinking down and swimming in the fishtank, with the miniature castle and diver for company.

Reynold put this together as a nice looking comic as well.  The front and back cover feature full-page color images from what look like Emily’s continuing visits to the cul-de-sac, and the inside-cover features thumbnail drawings of several of the characters.  There’s a nice little Easter Egg when you go to his website and view Kingwood Himself online:  the cover image extends further then in the hard copy.  While you’re there, check out the rest of his comics.  I particularly like Commute.

More Political Comics – Steal Back Your Vote!

October 7th, 2008 by Martin

Another political comic book is getting distributed, this one called Steal Back Your Vote!, and you can download it after you donate something via paypal (as little as a dollar). The art is by Lukas Ketner, (who also does this Witch Doctor comic), and Lloyd Dangle, (who has a pretty political comic called Troubletown).

There’s actually a lot more text inside than there is comic book, but you can see a couple of example pages on flickr: Vote Theft for Idiots: Lesson 1 and Lesson 2.

Completely coincidentally, I have been meaning to post a link to The Pain–When will it end?, which is the site for the (mostly political) cartoons of Tim Kreider. It appears to be updated more or less weekly, and the archives are very definitely worth a look. If I had a complaint though, the images are pretty damn large, and scrolling is not really an option so much as an obligation. Good stuff though.

Comics on the iPhone

September 11th, 2008 by Martin

Both Florence and I have iPhones, so it seems natural to want to view comics on them… however, Florence has said she doesn’t think it makes sense for anything other than strip comics, because the screen is too small. But a couple of applications are trying to get people to read comic books on the iPhone, and while I have yet to install the 2.0 upgrade that allows you to add 3rd party applications to your iPhone, (so I haven’t tried either of these out), I thought I’d mention them here anyway.

The first is perhaps the most interesting because there is quite some controversy. Infurious Comics has created an app for the iPhone that allows you to view their comic Murderdrome. They tried to have it added to the iPhone application store (app store), and were denied, because it’s not suitable for all audiences (via Hypergeek). Here’s the video of the comic in action:

But Infurious didn’t let the Apple’s denial (some are calling it censorship!) stop them. They were, after all, developing a comic book application. So now sometime soon they’re releasing a new comic called Eye Candy. You can watch one of the developers demo that comic on youtube or the Infurious Blog. They added some new features to the app itself, including the ability to color the comic pages. They’ve also said they have more comics in development. Oh, and Eye Candy is going to cost $.99 in the app store.

There is another comic book application on the iPhone called ClickWheel that’s trying to be more of a comic book platform rather than just single issue comics. Check out their online demo (which is pretty amusing, but took me a few minutes to realize you could click and drag the comic to get to the later panels). Or you can watch this (not so flattering) demo off youtube:

I’ll probably try both of these out at some point in the near future, and I’ll report back if I find anything else interesting about them.

Addicted to War

August 21st, 2008 by Martin

Addicted to War: Why the US Can’t Kick Militarism, is available now in its entirety online, is a history and criticism of US militarism and military policy.

Apparently this is being used in some schools as a history textbook, and I can attest (from what I’ve read–so far just the first 10 pages out of 77) that this includes a ton of interesting quotes, citations, and even some photographs, in amongst the illustrations. I used to have a copy of The Cartoon Guide to Physics laying about somewhere, and I guess I’m reminded of that because this is also non-fiction and written in a similar matter-of-fact style.

It looks like author/illustrator Joel Andreas has only really ever written political comics. I think it might be interesting to write a “long-form comic books and politics” blog post sometime, but I am not particularly qualified.

Having the book online is really just a self-professed ploy to get you to purchase a physical copy, so if you really like it, go ahead and buy a copy or fifty. (They sell boxes of 56 for $175.) I found out about it from True Majority, where you can buy a single copy for $8.

Marvel Zombies fan film

August 19th, 2008 by Martin

This fan film is not for the weak of stomach.

Originally found by Rurik on Bam! Kapow!, where you can find some other fan films. (Not as many, of course, as you can find on youtube, where there are literally hundreds.)

Echo, issue #5

August 14th, 2008 by Martin

I loved this issue for a lot of different reasons.

But an Einstein quote printed in the inside of the front cover has been making me think about it for days:

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” –Albert Einstein

The first time I was reminded of it, I was totally confused. I’m in the process of reading the novel Iron Sunrise, by Charles Stross, and all of a sudden the quote is utterly relevant, and I start paging through the book looking for it. I didn’t remember at first that it had been from this entirely unrelated source.

Then later I was thinking about the first Fear Agent TPB that got me all in such a tizzy last week, (I do, finally, have TPB 2 & 3 waiting for me to read them) and I realized the quote is relevant there also, although it’s a bit more of a stretch. Maybe this is just the month for time travel and death in hard science fiction for me. But surprising that it would come from Echo, which, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with time travel (thus far) whatsoever!

Other reasons that I loved this issue: The pacing has really picked up. Things are happening fast. Also, the characters! Such interesting and varied characters have appeared that I immediately want to know their backgrounds and stories. Almost badly enough to permit time taken away from the incredibly fascinating story that is unfolding. In general, this issue is more of the same, and by that I mean REALLY REALLY GOOD. I know I tried to read Strangers in Paradise at some point long, long ago. That was well before I’d read many comics, and I just didn’t get into it. Echo is so good that it makes me want to try again.

El Gorgo: 1

August 5th, 2008 by Stephanie

El_Gorgo_Issue_01_Page_01.jpgEl Gorgo by Mike McGee and Tamas Jakab

El Gorgo is published online in a standard 28-page (well, really 56, being a double digest and all) format, in PDF and Comic Book Archive formats.

And it’s…. well, I’ll be honest. I just don’t know what to make of it. Is it satire? Is it campy?

I think it’s both– it’s a campy satire about the amazing adventures of a super-ape/Mexican wrestler/millionaire/novelist time traveling superhero. Yes, really. It is that campy!

But it’s also fun! With references to H.P. Lovecraft to fill in for those needing a bit more “meat” to their storyline, there’s a definite sense of the “potluck storyline” going on here, with an almost ADD-like bouncing in place, time, and character focus. We have eldritch cults, big fancy celebrity events, a love interest, time travel, and, of course, dinosaurs.

How can you not love a Mexican wrestler in a throwdown with a Tyrannosaurus Rex?

Besides, I only need two more UPC codes before I can send in for my Deep Ones sea creatures (advertised in the back of this clever parody).

My only complaint? The PDF is laid out with 2 pages side by side, which makes it hard to read the text without scrolling both horizontally and vertically. This issue is resolved if you read it in the Comic Book Archive format.

ElfQuest goes online

July 29th, 2008 by Martin

ElfQuest, to celebrate their 30th anniversary, is putting the entire catalog of ElfQuest comics online.

They appear to be going up at a rate of about five comics a week, but the entire first 21 issue series is already available. The quality of the scans is very nice from what I’ve seen, and I intend to read them all… someday.

All this via a rather old post on boingboing. But some more recent news is that there is a movie in the works, to be directed by Rawson Thurber (who directed Dodgeball). I think it’s a bit early to be announcing this, frankly, as a script hasn’t been written yet, and the format is also yet to be determined.

I’ve only just read the first issue so far, so if you’re at all knowledgeable about ElfQuest, please forgive my inadequate summary, but from that first issue, it seems that the premise is essentially that elves are descended from an ancient civilized alien race who somehow found themselves on earth. (That first issue isn’t terribly clear on whether they close Earth as their home, or whether it was a magical appearance, or what.) Anyway, these descendants are in constant in fear of destruction from the evil humans.

I’m sure some of this will become clearer as I read more, since there is a handy ElfQuest Timeline, and those first issues are somewhere in the middle of it. Enjoy!

MUTO–Stop animation graffiti

May 16th, 2008 by Martin

Blu, who is, I believe from Bologna, created this absolutely amazing stop animated video that you just have to see to believe. Are animated videos comics? If so, this definitely qualifies as a live-action comic. (Hmmm. This may take more thinking to categorize.) But anyway, it’s well worth a watch!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
(Via BoingBoing.)

Faeries are comfort food

May 1st, 2008 by florence

After picking up my pull from The Source a few weeks ago, I was milling around waiting for Marty when the last issue of the Suburban Glamour miniseries caught my eye. I have to admit, I usually stick to known favorites or hand-picked recommendations from my sister Susie or friends, but this time I just picked up something new and immediately felt like I had stumbled upon a treat- a story about faeries. Not just faeries, but a teenage faerie changling in our world- a girl who never quite fit in and suddenly discovers that she is special. I have read many many variations on this story, it is my ultimate comfort food literature, and even though I am far past the age of pubescent transformation, it still makes me feel giddy and transported.

Realizing that the issue said ‘4 of 4’, I resisted reading too much. I searched the store for back issues, but only found #2, so I had the missing issues ordered for me. Last week I picked up the completed arc and immediately devoured them, bumping them in front of my hefty to-read pile. I was not disappointed. I won’t spoil the story, but anyone who shares my love of this genre already knows exactly what happens. The art, by creator Jamie McKelvie, was lovely, the main characters relatable, and the story of a girl having her world turned upside down- comfortingly familiar.

Lutefisk Sushi

April 28th, 2008 by Martin

In my “grab bag” at Micro-Con last weekend was a postcard for the opening reception this Friday for Lutefisk Sushi C, which is the third collection of Minnesota comics from our local chapter of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy. I hope to make it down there for a bit, leaving my own games party to do so!

Go read the show details over at the site, because they built their site in flash, so I can’t copy/paste any of the event details out of it, and I’m too lazy to type them all out myself.

UPDATE: Steven Stwalley was kind enough to post the details in a comment, so here they are:

Lutefisk Sushi Volume C Opening
Friday May 2nd, 7PM-10PM
Altered Esthetics (
1224 Quincy St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

He also said “The show will be open all month, with special events during Art-A-Whirl May 16th-18th.” So if you can’t make it this Friday, you can still see the art!

Adam Among Gods

April 10th, 2008 by Martin

Adam Among the GodsI have to say that I really enjoyed this one-off single issue comic. I wish everyone could have the experience I had reading this. I picked it up in the shop, read the first couple of pages, and the premise was interesting enough to bring home with me. Basically, Adam is the first genetically modified human, grown in a vat, and considered by these future humans to be the first of their kind. Because the generations that came after Adam never die. They don’t get sick, and they don’t have genetic “defects”. It’s basically a utopian society, and everyone is beautiful, because nobody is flawed. This was all I knew when I brought the comic home and opened up to where I left off. We hadn’t yet seen Adam, our narrator.

Extremely mild spoiler after the link:

Insane Jane #1

April 3rd, 2008 by Martin

Insane Jane #1This was an impulse buy while comic shopping this week. I basically read the whole thing after picking it up, not because it was short or anything, but because it drew me in right away, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted it until I got to the end.

I liked the art right away. Florence had picked it up, and thought it looked too “cartoony”. I don’t mind cartoons, and this book is not really all that cartoon-ish anyway. The art is a bit bubbly, I guess, with everything drawn in thick lines. And the coloring is obviously computer-applied, with solid colors or gradients mostly, but it looks good anyway! I guess what I liked most about the art was how it was all in black and white, with the exception of the main character (Jane). This was probably meant to indicate that it was a “memory”, but I still liked it stylistically.

The story was good. Interesting. Basically a girl decides she wants to be a superhero because she realizes she really likes helping people. She’s a bit of a flibbertigibbet, but otherwise doesn’t seem terribly insane. I’m not sure where they’re going to go with it, and that is appealing in some ways.

Big Brain Comics hosts local creators’ releases

March 31st, 2008 by jason

Saturday afternoon, I went to Big Brain Comics, the last comic shop standing in downtown Minneapolis, to attend a release event for a couple of local comic creators. Lars Martinson and Tim Sievert were both on hand, chatting with customers and signing copies of their new graphic novels. Lars had copies of his hardcover, Tonoharu: Part One, while Tim’s softcover, That Salty Air was also available.

As a release event, there wasn’t really all that much going on, no reading, no presentation, but both Lars and Tim were very approachable. I got a chance to talk to both of them, nothing really in depth, just conversational. Lars talked about the Star Tribune article, where the story the reporter recounted about the girl he met was the last thing that Lars wished he had put in there. We talked about how the Strib also screwed up the title of his book in its typesetting, both in print and on the web, and how, unfortunately neither Lars or Tim will be attending Microcon. Lars will be traveling back to Japan to study calligraphy, and Tim will be at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Oregon. I bought both of their books, and wandered about the store a bit while they signed and sketched in my books. Coming back a few minutes later, Tim handed me his book and apologized to me, saying that he was sorry, this was the first book he’d ever signed. I handed it back to him and said “Write that down in there!” Lars joked about how I could now sell it on eBay for a lot of money.

I was only there for about half an hour, and they admitted that the release was kind of thrown together somewhat spontaneously. I suppose for many graphic novels, a reading without the use of an overhead projector is a little awkward. I’ll be reading both books this week and will post reviews afterwards.

Off Kilter Comics — show at MCAD next week

March 28th, 2008 by Martin

Off Kilter show postcardI picked up this postcard at The Source when I was there yesterday. I think the show sounds really interesting. Lots more information, including artist bios and location/time info is on MCAD’s site. I already have plans next Friday, but Jason, this is within blocks of your house, so you should go!

Fortunately, the show is being curated by Onsmith, who will also be signing comics and stuff at big brain the next day. Who wants to go with me?

Acclaimed comic artists Ivan Brunetti, John Hankiewicz, Onsmith and Zak Sally will deliver a gallery talk at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) for the opening of “Off-Kilter Comics” at MCAD Gallery on Friday, April 4, 2008.

Mojo the Sock Monkey: Curriculum Vitae

March 21st, 2008 by Martin

Mojo the Sock Monkey: Curriculum VitaeMy co-worker Sharyn saw my previous entry on Kevin Cornell, and loaned to me this, the second collection of Mojo the Sock Monkey.

Mojo is more a comic strip comic than a comic book comic. Each page contains its own mini Mojo story, each about Mojo performing a different job (that he then promptly loses). The sock monkey has a strange sense of humor, a strange sense of decency, and basically no sense of duty. The art is great, clearly hand-drawn, with a “look” that seems watercolor, but is more likely computer-applied.

The stories are mostly funny, some more so than others, but many are interesting more than they are humorous. Like when Mojo sleeps with a giant bird that he lets into the hotel while working as a doorman. That is one of the few stories that continues onto more than one page.

A bunch of Mojo comics can be found on Brear Skin Rug by searching for mojo. If you like those, you’ll definitely like Curriculum Vitae.