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.
"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]
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
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]
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
Poetry's turn to go graphic. The Poetry Foundation has invited a few graphic novelists to illustrate poems from its archive. Via.
The Center for Cartoon Studies, nestled in the historic village of White River Junction, Vermont, will learn you up good on how to be a comic artist/graphic novelist. They operate under the charter of the National Association of Comics Art Educators; Charles Schulz's widow Jean hooked them up with funding for a library in town. When you apply for admission, don't forget to include that story about you, the snowman, and the robot. A photo tour of the Center and its surroundings can be seen here.