After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
"This symposium explores the relationship of superheroes to questions of power, ideology, social relations, and political culture. It represents the first time that a political science journal has devoted sustained attention to the superhero genre as it is reflected in the pages of comic books and graphic novels, and on the big screen." -- PS: Political Science & Politics holds a symposium on The Politics of the Superhero. [more inside]
'Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs. A new cartoon from Gavin Aung Than's Zen Pencils inspired by the late, great Roger Ebert. (Zen Pencils previously)
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?
Political PBF: The seminal webcomic twisted into terrible political cartoons. It was something that just had to be.
Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory to face that face. But who is the true anarchist?
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
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
Smilin Stan Lee, co-creator of everyone from Spider-Man to Striperella, is teaming up with Arnold Schwarzenegger for a comic and cartoon called The Governator. According to the article, Athe Governator will have a fleet of super vehicles at his disposal, a closet full of “Super Suits” that allow him to fly and perform other super stunts, and a team of colorful sidekicks, such as Zeke Muckerberg, the precocious 13-year-old computer whiz who acts as the Governator’s cybersecurity expert. Naturally, there will also be recurring supervillains — including an evil organization called Gangsters Imposters Racketeers Liars & Irredeemable Ex-cons (or G.I.R.L.I.E. Men, for short). There's an excerpt on the EW site. Excelsior!
A 3 hour podcast interview (part 2 here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law and numerous other comics. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton, being Irish-English, Sláine and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
The 99 (previously), the Islamic-inspired superheroes which have met both praise and somewhat batshit controversy, are crossing over with the DC Universe.
Fizzboomski the Anarchist tries to blow upsk the Prime Minister-a-vitch.
Terrence Nowicki, Jr. is different than most political comic writers. Many political comics today are more about kneejerk satire as part of a zeitgeist than exposing politicians and the tragicomic predicaments of the United States. Yet, the format is capable of so much more. Terrence Nowicki, Jr.'s This Is Historic Times is not your usual comic. In his comics, profligate use of explanatory words are gauche, and the message has to reverberate. [more inside]
The political cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman lampooned American politics from the era of Grover Cleveland to the Truman administration. If he's known today it's mostly for having originated the teddy bear. While some of his cartoons have scant relevance today, many remain surprisingly relevant. Of the many historical events he drew there are women's suffrage, the 1948 election and the 1912 Republican primaries between Taft and Roosevelt.
Meet Brent Rinehart: Conservative Republican. Active Christian. Roads Scholar. NOT a homosexual pedifile. [PDF] The controversial mix of comics and politics are back in the news this week. So are Oklahoma's homophobic politicians, with the amazing comic book adventure of Brent Rinehart. [more inside]
...even after five agonizing years of the Iraq War, a summer blockbuster isn't prepared to say that not only is its action hero is corrupt, he's corrupt because America has become corrupt.
Iron Man, who represents an imperial America, can only win Pyrrhic victories. Spencer Ackerman of Tapped Online has a nice history of the Iron Man comics that reads the character's alcoholism, Civil-War overzealousness, and persistent blundering "into a hell of unintended consequences" as a symbol and subtle critique of American exceptionalism and what Jonathan Schell among others has called "impotent omnipotence".
Challenge of the Super Duper Friends looks great, judging from the teaser trailer. Obama as Captain United is probably my favorite.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is pumping out a pile of podcasts that have covered the importance of offensive comics to Art Spiegelman, 600 bands over 54 shows, Captain America versus the American government, Amy Sedaris and geekdom, the journey of young immigrants, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Harper's publisher John MacArthur discussing Europe and America perspectives since 9/11, the after life, sex with monkeys, what radio producers do, the french word "corps", Bonnie Fuller's "The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)", Veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas and some other bits & bobs [Breakdown inside]
Of course, you've seen Get Your War On the comic strip, but have you seen Get Your War On, the Musical? It's playing in Austin, apparently to rave reviews and sold out shows. They even have photos of a performance.
Bush Junta: A Field Guide to Corruption in Government - A substantial visual document (200 pages of comics from Fantagraphics, fact-checked with an extensive bibliography; the link goes to a number of sample pages) on the Bush Dynasty, from its beginnings benefitting off of Hitler and WW2 (that entire piece, which is printed in english, is posted in its original dutch online here), to the Bush's connection to Reagan's assassination, CIA and Iran-Contra, ending with the unsettling origins and profiles of the current administration. A great election primer, featuring comics and art by Steve Brodner, Ralph Steadman, Spain Rodriguez and many others. (Amazon link provided for a better description)
The Spiders, Part 3.5 (al Djinn), the latest installment in Patrick Farley's alternate history of the Afghan/U.S. conflict, is live. If you encounter a "Temporarily Unavailable" error, try the mirror server. There were previous threads on Part 1 and Part 2.
1957 atomic revolution comic book. Quite a find for 1950s atomic memorabilia enthusiasts. Creepy and educational. Has anyone here ever heard of M.Philip Copp?