Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
She Died In Terrebonne is a hard-boiled noir webcomic by Kevin Church. The Rack, The Loneliest Astronauts and his other comics can be found at Agreeable Comics.
Louis C.K. has what most artists dream of: total creative control over his show.
The First Four (Harry Potter) Books: Illustrated by Lucy Knisley [Previously] Contains Spoilers
Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. Here's the store locator.
Alien Loves Predator makes an (abridged) map of NYC movies. Can you name all 91? (via) [more inside]
Peanutweeter: pairing off-color tweets with panels from Peanuts.
Mindless Ones is a surreal, cerebral comics blog filled with essays about Grant Morrison and Batman villains. Still not enough? Too Busy Thinking About My Comics takes comic book overthinking to another level.
Mimi & Eunice is a comic by artist Nina Paley (who you may remember as the artist behind Sita Sings the Blues). The comic touches on Free Culture, artistic struggles, internet drama and of course poop.
The Airtight Garage (some images may be NSFW) is a blog that explores the artwork of Moebius (Jean Giraud), France's most acclaimed comic book artist. It is named after The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius, a comic loosely based on Micheal Moorcock's protean hero. Moebius was recently the subject of an appreciation in Comics Alliance.
"My NY Mets sketchbook. I create an entry after each Mets game or commentary on the crazy stuff going on around the team."
The AV Club has been writing in-depth recaps of Batman: The Animated Series. They were originally written by Leonard Pierce but after a small scandal Oliver Sava has taken over the write-ups. They've already covered some of the series best-loved episodes, including Feat of Clay, Heart of Ice, and the Mask of the Phantasm film. [more inside]
Mitch Clem, author of the late, lamented punk comic Nothing Nice To Say, is back with Turnstile Comics. The first issue is a collaboration with Jesse "Swan" Thorson from Minneapolis punks The Slow Death and includes a 4 song EP from them. It's printed in a 7 by 7-inch square to help fit with your record collection.
An interview with Chris Ware from May 2010 at the international Copenhagen comics festival. Ware is the creator of Acme Novelty Library and Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. (via kottke) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Social news site Reddit recently held their "Best of Reddit 2010" awards honoring key players in the site over the last year, including the progenitor of the Rally to Restore Sanity, the clever drive-by cartoonist Sure_Ill_Draw_That, unofficial image host Imgur, and feel-good story of the year "Today you, tomorrow me." But perhaps most interesting was the winner for Best Big Community: FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU! Originally inspired by 4chan's popular Rage Guy meme, F7U12 (for short) is a clearinghouse for user-made web comics, slice-of-life affairs that tell a story or share a common frustration using a small collection of crudely drawn yet highly evocative facial expressions. Several have become small memes in their own right -- the wily Trolldad, the doormat Okay, the prideful Fuck Yea, the melodramatic Gasp. And one comic, inspired by the warped text randomly generated by reCAPTCHAs (previously), has given us Lord Inglip -- god of a dark religion now rivaling FSM whose cryptic commands marshal loyal armies of gropagas, falcows, Sellicks, and... canary into exploits both monstrous and inconvenient (timeline, wiki). Obey him -- or else! More fun with F7U12: rage face origins, rage faces in real life, Twitter feed, search comics, create your own (alternate).
Contrary to a lot of idle criticism, Bungie's Halo series of video games has a surprisingly rich backstory -- a universe complex enough to support seven bestselling novels, a wiki with over 7,000 articles, and one of the most successful ARGs in history (including a full-fledged radio drama). The series has also turned out sweeping audiovisual work, from the games' cinematic cutscenes and epic music (lots of free previews) to top-shelf anime and the Hollywood-quality short films -- ODST, Believe, Deliver Hope, Landfall -- that were made to promote the games (the latter of which, produced by Neil Blomkamp, inspired District 9). And that's apart from all the material produced by Bungie's dedicated fan base: genuinely hilarious machinima from Red vs. Blue, professional-level graphic novels (table of contents at the top), gorgeous artwork, hours of recorded dialogue, complete transcripts of hidden apocrypha, and more factual analysis, story speculation, and casual discussion than you can shake an energy sword at. But most of these pale in comparison to the latest and greatest exercise in Halo beanplating: the Svmma Canonica, a 40-page, 17,000-word formal treatise on the nature of canon in the world that Bungie built, and how it will fare once Bungie moves on and the franchise is managed by 343 Industries. Discussion over at Bungie's official site, or at decade-old fan forum Halo.Bungie.Org.
reMIND is a webcomic that updates on Mondays.
The Word made another helper from fire to be its hands as it toiled on its creations. The Word gave them free will. Although they did not know their name, they were called the Jinn... Iblis, a webcomic take on the Islamic tempter figure by Kelli Nelson. [more inside]
If you were trying to decide which online cartoon creation myth you wanted to read today, Nick Edwards's First and Last Project should do the trick. (via) [more inside]
Nothing is Forgotten, a lovely little wordless comic about loss, fear, kindness, and memory.
Forming (NSFW - cartoon nudity) is a webcomic by Jesse Moynihan (NSFW) that tells the history of the evolution of man via the machinations of various alien entities whose familiar names (and unfamiliar stories) have been recorded in various religions throughout time. [more inside]
Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four was one of the most controversial television programmes of its time. Broadcast live, it made "unusually extensive and imaginative use of filmed inserts (14 in total). These sequences bought time for the more elaborate costume changes or scene set-ups, but also served to 'open out' the action." And now you can watch it too! The full version is currently on Youtube. Short of the John Hurt film released in 1984 being posted online, the 1954 BBC TV adaptation is about as doubleplusgood as it gets for now. [more inside]
True American Dog is where I go for my silliness these days. It's a single panel photoshop comic about animals. And what animals! There's Kooly the Bear, Eagle, Dog and many more. It's about as silly as it gets, in a good way.
Peter Chung, the animator who gave us Aeon Flux, The Maxx, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, The Animatrix: Matriculated and Reign: The Conquerer, has a new comic-to-film adaptation aimed at more mainstream audiences premiering Wednesday on Cartoon Network (US): Firebreather. Official Site. Trailer. (Caution: Some links in this post autoplay video) [more inside]
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's unemployed... It's Unemployed Man. There was a snazzy flash feature on the main site, www.unemployedman.com, but it cost $20 a month and being unemployed, the authors couldn't afford it... Hence the main link to a preview thread on CNN. A comic about the Adventures of Unemployed Man and his heroic colleagues Wonder Mother, Good Grief, and Fellow Man.
PORTRAIT-DEX! Cartoonists create Pokémon self-portraits, with all three evolved forms. Featuring, among other fine artists, Scott Kurtz (PVP), Box Brown (Everything Dies, Bellen!), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), and Steve Wolfhard (Cat Rackham), who also runs the project.
Randall Munroe of xkcd has created a second, updated Map of Online Communities. (His first map.) You can find MeFi Island in the Troll Bay, just off the coast of Twitter. [more inside]
Sir Norman Wisdom - Charlie Chaplin's 'favourite clown' - has died, aged 95. For some reason YouTube isn't playing sound for me right now, so I'm finding it hard to collate clips for y'all, so maybe the hive can help me out here. But Sir Norman was a complete childhood hero to me and, I would imagine, many other English (and Albanian!) MeFites, and I'd hate to see his passing go un-noticed.
Never mind the bullets A parallax comix script powered by HTML 5. The art is OK, but the interface is mesmerizing.
When the Tea Party takes over the comics page. - Comics reimagined by Ward Sutton for the Boston Globe [more inside]
Everyday Cute: Is Cute Everyday.
Photographer Froggy Bottoms specializes in photographing celebrities with their biggest fans. Rick Springfield, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Patrick Stewart and many many more.
Caring about something is about taking the pain and the joy. The pain is hard. Taking the pain, facing it, dealing with it are the ways I think we can show we really care. That we know we care. --Bob, the story of a dog.
A day after stand-up comic Louis C.K. posted a series of drunk tweets from an airplane, including a series of ribald tweets about Sarah Palin, he found himself sitting next to Palin's daughter Bristol on the Tonight Show. At a screening for his new comedy special "Hilarious", he talked about the experience and compared Palin to an early Hitler.
The Digital Comic Museum, a site for downloading free public domain Golden Age Comics. [more inside]
Ah, digital comics. Originally viewed with a wary eye by the American comics industry, the rise of mobile devices has started to turn a few publisher's heads. We may look back and see 2010 as the year digital comics reached the tipping point.
The comic series Ex Machina [PDF preview] was started in 2004, created by Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Tony Harris. The main character, Mitchell Hundred, is an ex-superhero who hangs up his jetpack and successfully runs for mayor of New York City in an alternate post-9/11 timeline. The last issue (#50), released this week, concluded the series with a harsh yet wonderfully written view of Hundred's political fate. BKV talks about the final issue with IGN [Spoilers].
Monster Commute: A webcomic about the hell that is driving to work in the cute Orwellian steampunk monster-infested mirror universe of Monstru. [more inside]
Andrew Hussie's latest comic enterprise at MSPaintAdventures.com (previously), Homestuck, has been hurtling along at a truly absurd pace. Designed as a pastiche and parody of videogames in general and text-based graphical adventures in particular, updates are structured as a hypothetical game's response to your typed commands, such as "Examine room." The art may not look like much up front, but it enables AH to maintain his multiple-updates-every-day pace for weeks at a time; it also lets him modulate the quality where appropriate for the storytelling. It's sort of a multimedia extravaganza: the story is told using static and animated gifs, narrative text, dialogue presented as instant messaging chat transcripts (click the Show Pesterlog button to see the text), flash-based static animations with music and/or sound effects, interactive vignettes reminiscent of console RPG-style combat, interactive sound mixers and animation compendia, GameFAQs walkthroughs, an enormous hyperlinked synopsis presented by the author himself during a highly indulgent self-insertion into the story, multiple webcomics within webcomics, and in at least two cases, an entire miniature action/adventure game. [more inside]