"It wasn’t just Modern Tales. Keenspot, already established as the big name in webcomics sites, had members out in full force at that Comic-Con. A little group called Pants Press, consisting of a half-dozen Disney-loving teenage girls and one grown man, met in person for the first time after finding each other online, and the Pants Press girls wove in and out of the Comic-Con crowds in a blur of watercolors and cosplay fabric. Every member of that group is now a major talent in comics or animation or both. That summer, it was certain for the first time that webcomics were going to be a thing. A good thing. " -- As pioneering webcomics host Modern Tales has shut down, Narbonic creator Shaenon Garrity reminisces about how Joey Manley got it all started, back in 2001-2002
The 75 greatest Superman stories of all-time: 75-26, 25-1 - celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's debut of the character in ACTION COMICS #1. Everything you need to know about Superman in four panels. The Actual Best Superman Writer Ever Happy Anniversary Lois Lane. The $130 Check That Bought Superman.
It Will All Hurt [Part 2, Part 3] is "a weird, sad, silly, sketchy, fantasy adventure strip with magic and science-fiction and some fighting action." By Farel Dalrymple [more inside]
Bartkira is a collaborative effort of several cartoonists to adapt the manga Akira in to the world of The Simpsons. Here are a few panels from artist Cameron Stewart.
The adventures of Wonderdick, Toronto's beloved urbanist blogger as he explores the miracles of North America's most exciting and largest metropolitian landscape (outside the USA or Mexico), now available at Cartoon Machine. Also available, the hilarious hijinks of Pair Bond, a twentysomething couple caught in the grip of a dying relationship, and the Time Professor, sending his young assistant on a murder spree through history to save the future, or so he says. All from the febrile brain of Mike Winters, who occassionally also does more serious comics about the grim struggle in in 1942 between von Paulus 6th Army and the courageous Russian defenders of his beloved hometown, Edmonton.
Fully Dressed Redesigns of Superheroines. Artist Mike Lunsford redesigns several prominent superheroines' costumes to show a lot less skin while retaining the feel of their original outfits.
The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
"All of which is admirable, but that's not actually the speech Havok gave. Havok's speech makes a huge leap from, "my minority identity doesn't define me" to a rejection of minority identity. Havok is a mutant, but he says the word is divisive and that it represents everything he hates. He asks people not to use it. He is, definitively and explicitly, self-loathing about his identity." -- Comics Alliance's Andrew Wheeler talks about the identity politics in the new Marvel comic Uncanny Avengers. [more inside]
Batman: Year One recoloured, from original art to colour guide and final artwork as compared to the original comic.
25 YEAR OLD RECENTLY OUT ARTIST CHRONICLING HIS ADVENTURES INTO THE WORLD OF GAY. Just a regular guy who happens to like other guys. Currently living in NYC. Work in animation, write and draw for a living. Hopeless romantic. Things I like: cartoons, writing, drawing, uke, piano, basketball, pokemon.He's dorky, awkward, and struggling with a bit of the ol' internalized homophobia, but I think he's going to be OK.
Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
Attention budding cartoonists, want to become rich and famous? You have two choices. You can either become a newspaper cartoonist and let a syndicate help you get in the papers, as explained in this 1950ties public information film styled video. Or you can choose to cut out the middlemen and put your cartoons on the web, which if the video is to be believed, is not unlike an eight bit video adventure game. Either way, uncounted riches await you.
Windsor McCay was one of the first superstars of the American comics strip, a pioneer in both cartooning and animation, massively prolific. All of his work is in the public domain, but where to start? Over at Robot 6, Chris Mautner provides the lowdown in the first installment of a new series of Comics College, "a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work". [more inside]
For generations both societies lived apart from humanity, united in their common experience as outcasts. But as so often happens when downcast but fanatical groups find themselves in the ascendancy, today their factionalism is exposed and the rivalry has erupted into open conflict. [more inside]
Canadian cartoonist and animator Michael Deforge has been furiously productive over the past few years, producing a seemingly endless series of minicomics, four issues of his increasingly influential one-man anthology series Lose, short pieces for magazines, concert posters, and dozens of one-off illustrations, blog posts and anthology contributions. His comics are a queasy mix of body horror (reminiscent of his countryman David Cronenberg), creeping anxiety, and surprisingly sharp humor. [more inside]
Ant Comics. (nsfw for giant ant queen sex).
Every issue of Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, is now available for free download from his creator David Boswell's side. For those who haven't had the pleasure to encounter Reid yet, here's an 1991 interview with Boswell, courtesy of CBC's Midday, as well as a 2011 appreciation of Reid Fleming by Tom Hawthorn for the Globe & Mail, written when Boswell was induced in the Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.
Last year, freelance cartoonist and illustrator Wardell "War" Brown drew a daily sketch of a different Black hero, both fictional and real life, starting with Storm and ending with Muhammad Ali. For those clever clogs who'd now like to point out 2012 was a leap year, he got you covered.
Superman is a good guy. More than that, Superman is the best guy. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932, he's the archetypal superhero, a man of enormous power who places himself in service to the powerless. To borrow a famous phrase from the 1940s Superman radio serial, he stands for "truth, justice and the American way". - Why Orson Scott Card isn't the right man to write Superman. [more inside]
“The DON ROSA COLLECTION is a deluxe 9-volume set of books published by Egmont that tells the story of my life with comics, particularly the $crooge McDuck and Donald Duck comics for which I have become best known... As part of the special texts in the series, I wrote an autobiography of my life, at least as it pertains to comic books. As a conclusion to those texts it was always planned that I would write a sort of ‘epilogue’ to my career, the subject of which would obviously be the reasons for why I quit... At the last moment the Disney Corporation refused to allow my text to appear in a book series that was published under their license... So I agreed to allow set #3 to go forward as long as I would be allowed in volume 9 to direct interested readers to the ‘epilogue’ as it is appearing on this private website.” Don Rosa: “WHY I QUIT” [more inside]
In 1954 Fredric Wertham wrote Seduction of the Innocent which, in no small way, led to the Comics Code Authority. Carol Tilley, a professor of library and information science, has proven that the book misrepresented and altered the original data. (previously, previously)
What happens to comics if newspapers go away? Garry Trudeau imagines a terrifying void. Webcomic artists think Garry Trudeau is silly. But if you, too, fear the vast abyss of a world without newspaper funnies, and lack the patience to search for all the treasures of the webcomic world, what you want is a comic that never ends. Pandyland and Mezzacotta each offer an infinite supply of three-panel comics, so that you'll never have to go without a brief moment's amusement. Sure, 99% of the comics you see might be crap, but there are gems amidst all the rubbish.
HaterfreeWednesdays, a new tumblr to help comics fans find shops that are friendly to those of us who aren't straight white guys. [more inside]
What happens when you’re a crimefighter and your sidekick grows up to be an arrogant, ungrateful douchebag? What on Earth could draw the two of you back together again?. Insufferable is a new web comic from Mark Waid (writer of Captain America, 52 Kingdom Come and Daredevil among others), creator of Irredeemable, and ex-chief creative officer of Boom Studios) being offered via Thrillbent, a platform he he and others hope will revolutionise digtial comics. Waid's goal in the long run: to create a collective of new creators and industry veterans who want to aggregate their content and use the digital medium in new and different ways. [more inside]
On a mountain top somewhere in the Andes mountains, a small group of very, very, very old nuns maintains a cozy orphanage. The kids have lost their families, and it may never stop snowing, but there's always a fire in the fireplace and a never-ending supply of snowballs just outside the front door. It's Snowflakes, a comics series in 5 Acts, by James Ashby, Chris Jones and Zach Weiner.
"As near as I can tell, throughout DC Comics' more than 75-year history, the publisher has only ever hired two black women writers on monthly titles: Felicia Henderson on Teen Titans and Angela Robinson on The Web, both in 2009. That should be put in some perspective: If those numbers are accurate, it would mean that DC has more white women writing monthly books for them right now than they've had black women in the same role in more than three quarters of a century. That said, they are potentially doing better than their principal competition: Try as I might, I cannot find a single black woman who has ever written a monthly ongoing comic for Marvel in the publisher's history." -- Joseph Hughes talks about the lack of Black comics writers at Marvel and DC both right now and historically. [more inside]
We might not get laughed out of the room, but the question is: would we want to be stuck in it with some guy who would ask: Since we already have Aristophanes, who needs Kurtzman? Since we have Erasmus of Rotterdam, why would we want Steve Martin? With Wagner still available, who cares about the Firehouse Five? Furthermore, would we let that guy organize the party music?Eddie Campbell on fallacies of comics criticism.
What appears at first to be taking a more stringent view is in fact applying irrelevant criteria. It dismantles the idea of a comic and leaves the parts hopelessly undone.
For their Comic Books are Burning in Hell podcast Joe McCulloch, Tucker Stone, Matt Seneca and Chris Mautner take on Tim Vigil and Faust. Featuring extensive notes and artwork perhaps not suitable for viewing at work. [more inside]
In order to make it easier on himself during the Holiday season last year, Tom Spurgeon ran a series of interviews with various comics professionals on his site: the complete archive is now available. Interviewees range from Alison Bechdel to Mark Waid and from Joe Sacco to Carol Tyler, providing as wideranging a cross section of American comics as you're likely to get anywhere.
Huib van Opstal at Yesterday's Papers on illustrator-writer George du Maurier's work for Punch and the earliest international origins of comic books and strips.
"It looks all but inevitable that Twitter, who acquired Posterous last year, will be eliminating the blog platform. This means that all my blogs will vanish, which is a shame, because all my blogs are actually compendiums of very specialized comic book material, meant to be permanent galleries, available forever."
Scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute successfully encoded several different file formats onto strands of synthetic DNA, which were then sent to an American lab and sequenced to extract the data. Selections included Shakespeare, audio of Dr. Martin Luther King, and photos of their lab. If the idea sounds vaguely familiar, you've probably been reading Dresden Codak.
In 2010, journalist David Axe spent a month in the Congo reporting on the Lord's Resistance Army. When he returned, he wrote a book titled "Army of God: Joseph Kony's War in Central Africa", illustrated by Tim Hamilton and edited by Matt Bors. The book first appeared online, but the paperback rights were acquired by publisher Public Affairs, with plans to publish an expanded edition in 2013. The deal included an advance, which was wired to Hamilton's account. That's where the U.S. Treasury department comes in. Specifically, The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). [more inside]
Saveur's utterly charming "Recipe Comix" features illustrated recipes/short stories by some of the web's best cartoonists covering a wide range of meals.
The everyday life of comic book legends: grabbing a bite, scratching an itch and getting it on (NSFW). See also: Paper Heroes. Artist: Greg Guillemin.
Texts from superheroes. (SLTMBLR, does what it says on the tin.)
The Comics Buyers Guide was founded in 1971 by Alan Light, morphing over the decades (not in the least due to postal regulations requiring a certain amount of editorial content) into the most widely read industry newsletter, highly influential in its heyday under the editorial guidance of Don and Maggie Thompson in the eighties and early nineties. Now its run has come to an end as it will stop publishing with its March 2013 issue. [more inside]
In 2010, Marvel Comics artist Steve Bunch posted an anonymous page to his blog that featured X-Men frontman Wolverine inexplicably encountering Queen frontman Freddy Mercury, an art submission originally sent to Darren Auck, then head of Marvel's art-correction team, in the 1990s. Portland-based comics artist Colleen Coover read Bunch's post, and in 2012 she decided to do something about it: she decided to recreate the page, adding color (both literal and metaphorical) to the meeting of these two (actual and arguable) mutants. Since then, other comic artists have decided to recreate the historic meeting depicted on that original, baffling/brilliant page: Some are magical; some are professional grade (pages one and two); some are prosaic; some are, frankly, adorable. Not all of them are on Coover's page. Do you hold the secret to this story? Coover would like to see your take: "I invite other artists to do the same, by which exercise we may one day come close to the fictional Truth of the matter."
Europe has a long-standing comic tradition, at least equal to that of America. Beyond Tintin and Asterix, there are hundreds of fantastic titles with astonishing art, most of which never see the shores of the USA. However, when a lucky title does get the nod, something bizarre happens when European sensibilities face American censors. [more inside]