Inside Death Row: [New York Times] Between 2014 and 2015, the editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and his wife, the journalist Anne-Frédérique Widmann, invited death-row inmates in the United States to draw their personal experiences in prison. Last year, the couple curated the drawings in an art and documentation exhibition in Los Angeles called “Windows on Death Row.” The prisoners’ stories became the basis of this five-part graphic journalism series. [more inside]
It's hard to imagine Frank Miller anticipating that his story, with that introduction, would ever fall into the hands of an 11-year-old, mixed-race girl. Susana Polo (Twitter) begins with reading Batman: Year One at 11, then follows Miller's output, and her career and life, from there.
Robert Sikoryak is turning the iTunes terms and conditions text into a beautiful graphic novel, a document full of mind-bending legalese that everyone agrees to without comprehension. A new page appears each day, in which our intrepid hero Steve Jobs dramatically imparts the otherwise soul-destroying passages in various scenes, rendered in the style of different cartoonists. [more inside]
Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra creator previews new graphic novel Threadworlds [Entertainment Weekly]
Imagine five planets that share a single orbit. Imagine an inquisitive young scientist, curious about the world, setting out on adventures across the universe. That’s the grounding for Threadworlds, a new graphic novel by Bryan Konietzko, best known for creating the internationally acclaimed animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Published by First Second Books, Threadworlds is Konietzko’s graphic novel debut and takes you on a science fiction journey that promises to inspire you, captivate you and thrill you all at once.[more inside]
Terms of Service is a a graphic novella about privacy and surveillance in the Internet age, by Josh Neufeld and Michael Keller, and presented by Jazeera. It combines elements of oral history, opinion journalism, and diary comics. The comic also advertises Pulp, a free and open-source library for webcomic layouts, maintained by AJAM.
The Last Saturday by Chris Ware [The Guardian]
" A brand new graphic novella by the award-winning cartoonist Chris Ware, tracing the lives of six individuals from Sandy Port, Michigan, published in weekly episodes on this page."The page always shows the latest instalment and a new part appears every Friday. Use the arrows beneath the strip to read previous episodes.
Four years after finishing his incredibly successful comic book series, and its somewhat less successful movie adapatation, after a prolonged delay, Bryan Lee O'Malley is back with a new graphic novel, Seconds. [more inside]
"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" an upcoming graphic memoir from Roz Chast is excerpted in the New Yorker online.
What Combat Feels Like, Presented in the Style of a Graphic Novel. An animated film based on a true story by Iraq veteran Colby Buzzell (previously).
A REDTAIL'S DREAM Two years ago, Minna Sundberg was an art student who aspired to write and draw graphic novels so she decided to create a 'practice comic' while still in school. It was a fantasy adventure based upon Finnish mythology - not like Norse Gods, the omnipotent entities here were spirit animals, including an irresponsible young fox spirit who messed up the Northern Lights (also known as 'Fox Fire') and pulled the population of a rural village into a Limbo-like 'dream bubble' between Life and the Afterlife. [more inside]
A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
Let's think back to the 1960s, when more people were writing surreal, paranoid themes. Now place Jim Henson in that context, and you get Time Piece (YouTube, excerpt; behind the scenes clip, YT). Add in collaboration with writer (and puppeteer) Jerry Juhl and you have The Cube (YT, full film), as well as the setting for the hypnagogic story of a man pursued in the desert, called Tale of Sand. This was first written up as a screenplay and pitched as a movie in the late 1960s, then revised and re-pitched in 1974. But no one bit, so the screenplay was shelved, and then Jim gained fame for Sesame Street and The Muppets. Elements of Tale of Sand appeared in The Muppet Movie (YT, full movie) and other places since then, but the work was largely unseen and forgotten. Jump ahead three decades, and the Henson Company teams up with Archaia, first releasing Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal comics, then digging in the Henson Company vault to bring Tale of Sand to light with cartoonist Ramón Pérez. You can see a preview of the graphic novel on Graphicly (including a nice dynamic display) and Amazon (static images, but more pages in the preview). [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
Though homosexual activities weren't a crime under Italy's fascist regime, there was persecution and blackmail of men of "dubious virility." The hidden threat of homosexual men was so strong that the attempt to criminalize homosexuality failed because to pass such a law would only "publicize" homosexuality (Google books preview). It was in that context that Benito Mussolini declared Italy too masculine for homosexuals to exist, rounded up around 45 men believed to be homosexuals, and sent them into "internal exile" on San Domino, in the Isole Tremiti archepeligo. [more inside]
While some of Marvel's superheroes are busy fighting the forces of dry, aging skin, Publisher's Weekly wonders if Marvel's decision to release original graphic novels (OGN) after years of refusal is a game changer for the industry.
Paul "Mozchops" Phippen has been working as a concept artist and designer for major companies in the video-game and media industries since 1996. Two years ago, he made an intensely vivid graphic novel set in an imaginary world of insects and flora, with a story in rhymes that are somewhere between Seuss and Carroll. You can see four galleries of illustrations from Salsa Invertebraxa on Behance (one, two, three, four), and read some of the poetry on io9. You can also see some more of his art on Deviant Art.
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?
"There’s a lack of pretentiousness to the word ‘comic book’ that I think suits the medium itself very, very nicely."
The NYT Book Review just named it one of the 5 best fiction books of the year. The AV Club helpfully posted a video to show you what happens when you open it. Actually, lots of folks posted videos to show you what happens when you open it. Other folks raved in print about the author and his career. The Comics Journal asked a dozen critics of the author's work to send in reviews; this one focuses on the role of disability in the narrative. This one notes the book "is in a very primary sense a comic about women and the private lives they lead, and it investigates more fully than any other comic I have ever read the way they age, fall in love, explore their sexuality, come to terms with compromises they’ve had to make as they’ve grown, accept their limitations, confront squandered ability, have children (or choose not to have children), marry (or stay single), and make sense of the world around them." You might find Chris Ware's Building Stories worth a look or two. Or fourteen. [more inside]
On November 3 1957, Лайка, also known as Laika The Space Dog is launched into orbit around the planet earth. A small mongrel chosen for her patient temper, the Soviet Space Program gloried in her achievement, but when she was sent into space, there was no plan in place for a proper re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. When pressed for details, the USSR media eventually claimed that she was peacefully euthanized with drugged food after six days in orbit. Documents released years later revealed that after six hours and four orbits, she died from a faulty heat-shield malfunction. Her spacecraft disintegrated five months later... But what if Laika didn’t die? [more inside]
"People don't like their beloved childhood memories messed with, and when you adapt a classic like Wrinkle, that's what you're doing." An interview with Hope Larson, whose graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s "A Wrinkle in Time" was released earlier this month. More: "How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Was Made Into a Graphic Novel." Even more (with lots of images): "‘A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel’: Hope Larson inks a classic."
Picture a tiny Italian woman gesturing continuously as she uncorks a full brain dump (from a very, very creative mind) on all of the little things that many people never think of when photographing others.
"... the first time I had to photograph someone that wasn’t myself, I spent the night before puking, and it was half a disaster. Ten years later, these are the things I wish someone had told me back then."Sara Lando's On Photographing People: Pt. 1, the first in her three-part series on photographing people on Strobist. [more inside]
So a Persian writer, an Arab artist and a Jewish editor walk into a room…
Zahra's Paradise is a webcomic inspired by the work of the late Zahra Kazemi (previously) and based on reports by Iranian bloggers. The author and publisher describe their experiences here.
Zahra's Paradise is a webcomic inspired by the work of the late Zahra Kazemi (previously) and based on reports by Iranian bloggers. The author and publisher describe their experiences here.
In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan. Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour. As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants," and the power of intrepid journalism can defeat. More: Read the first issue (or three) - browse images from the new artbook - Tor's read-along blog (another) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals" - dozens of original sketches and sample pages - timeline - quotes
Armstrong is an online graphic novel in 3 parts (with more potentially to come), each on a long-scrolling 'infinite canvas'. 1, 2, 3. It has everything, Superheroes, Zombies, Pirates, Cowboys and Cooties. Cooties? Well, it is set in a playground full of 4th graders. [more inside]
Transient Man. "Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
Join MetaFilter's own TangoCharlie (Tony Cliff) for an illustrated adventure of swordplay and wordplay set in Turkey in the 1800s, in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (updated on Saturday mornings with four to six new pages). What is currently a full-color serialized graphic novel in four chapters started as a short self-published greyscale comic, which was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2008. As a bonus, Tony shares tips and lessons learned in the making of Delilah Dirk on his blog. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Welcome to Boney Borough, a place where the unit of currency is credits or creds; the most popular (and illegal) sport is DieBall, a game in which the players rub an adhesive, gooey, and brain-damaging substance called Die Gunk on their hands and bodies to help them hold on to the ball; and where one itinerant, nicotine-patch addict, self-proclaimed botany professor, Professor Panther, spreads his knowledge of hallucinogenic plants throughout the town like wildfire. Oh, and did I mention that Boney Borough and its inhabitants are also being watched over by aliens, who are using the townsfolk as guinea pigs in a single-minded experiment? Or, it might be best to say, like ants in a colony.... This is BodyWorld, a comic by Dash Shaw. And it's all online. [more inside]
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
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.
Someone's made a short film out of Charles Burns' Black Hole. [contains nudity, profanity, mildly annoying interface] (via io9)
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.
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].
The sixth and final Scott Pilgrim graphic novel, subtitled 'Finest Hour' is being released tonight. There is a block party in Toronto to celebrate this fact. While waiting for your copy to arrive or the party to start, why don't you... [more inside]
The Phoenix Requiem - a graphic novel by Sarah Ellerton. The story is five volumes and has a planned ending. It should be around 800 pages long... but there's enough there already for an all-day archive binge.
Sailor Twain, Or, The Mermaid In the Hudson is a serialized graphic novel with new installments every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
When the Jessamine* County Public Library acquired a copy of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, two library workers conspired to keep it out of the patrons' hands, checking it out for an entire year. After an eleven-year-old girl put a hold on the book, they removed the hold; upon discovering this, the library director fired them. [more inside]
King of an Endless Sky is a new graphic story by Teetering Bulb, AKA Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. A new page every Thursday, published at Tor.com. [more inside]
NAWLZ: A science fiction flash-based graphic novel 'experiment in interactive storytelling' that's pretty cool. Now up to 13 'issues'. [more inside]
An Artist's Guide to Human Types "If I needed to draw someone from [a] specific part of the world, what would I need to know about his or her physical characteristics?" The author, a well-traveled Lebanese artist, also has a graphic novel online.
"Drawing Power", by Bob Thompson of the Washington Post. "What I want to know is: How did this formerly ghettoized medium [graphic novels] became one of the rare publishing categories that's actually expanding these days?"(single page)
Shake Girl, a collaborative project by students in the Stanford Graphic Novel Project. [more inside]
Poetry's turn to go graphic. The Poetry Foundation has invited a few graphic novelists to illustrate poems from its archive. Via.
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