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
Comedian Patrice O'Neal passed away on Monday evening, following a stroke suffered in October. A few clips. Rest easy, Big Man.
Sick. Parts 11, 12, 13, and 14. [NSFW] An incredibly dark, raw, self-aware, and often insightful look into the depressed mind of a cartoonist evaluating his life.
Depictions drawn from regrettable accounts of the less fortunate for purposes of instruction; so that one may avoid similar missteps.
Stephen Strange was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie since Marvel was purchased by Disney. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman, a draft script by Alex Cox (1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review), and a draft script by Bob Gale (January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles, or YT playlist). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid. Depending on who you ask, it's a more or less entertaining/accurate take (warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online.
Battlepug is a webcomic about cute dogs and barbarian warriors. It's by Mike Norton, best known for his work on Runaways and Young Justice.
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]
SVK (Special Viewing Kit) is a collaboration between writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Crooked Little Vein, RED), artist Matt "D'Israeli" Brooker (Stickleback, Lazarus Churchyard, 2000AD) and London-based design studio BERG. It's a comic that features hidden text that is revealed by the included UV flashlight thingy (and also, apparently, a foreword by William Gibson). (wired article)
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]
What if Spider-Man served in Vietnam? A short comic by intricate artist James Stokoe, best known for his drippy fantasy comic Orc Stain. (Last two links may be NSFW)
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]