Time again for our monthly survey of what's bustin' heads on the comics internet....
(holyshit, Frank Frazetta sketchbook page!)
- My boy George Elkind started a comics blog, and he's kicking out the top-drawer criticism with downright wild abandon. Seriously, guys: Broken Windows is already primed to be the new big destination on the comics internet, and George gets better every time he posts something. If you don't know, now you know. So go.
- Johnny Ryan gives with some killer comics-as-criticism on the book I love to loathe, Chester Brown's Paying For it. LOLZZ.
- If you're a fan of art in any capacity, you need to get hip to Rodin's erotic watercolors yesterday. But ESPECIALLY if you're a cartoonist (aspiring or otherwise), absorbing the quick gestures, flat painted color, and above all the godlike confidence on display in these drawings comes close to revelatory. It's the human figure as cartooned -- yes, cartooned, simplified and rendered into a basic assemblage of pure shapes -- by the hands that sculpted some of the most famous bodies of the modern age. That is to say, cartooning by a dude who knows his shit better than anyone to ever have worked in comics. This stuff is up there with Kirby, with Herriman, with Moebius. Worship.
- As the DC relaunch soldiers on, I get more and more skeptical that superhero comics were ever actually a proposition that had something of value to give to the art form. And more and more when I think of the good ones, I think of Bill Jemas era (2000 to 2003, roughly) Marvel Comics. Then I figure that it's just because those were the books I myself was reading when I really fell in love with monthly hero books. Luckily, bona fide Dangerous Minds Tucker Stone and Noah Berlatsky just teamed up for an epic inter-blog discourse on the Cable comics of that time period, and yeah, those things were objectively good. Read to remember/find out why.
- Anybody who knows what this Brendan McCarthy "Ark" comic is (or if it is/was anything at all), drop the knowledge please.
- Michel Fiffe puts together an exhaustive history of the alt-comix world's close encounters with the superhero genre, in an article that's as fascinating to read as at least half the comics it discusses.
- Adam McIlwee put together my favorite comics-related blog post of the year with his Blaise Larmee profile, but I already linked to that one. Fear not: there's a sequel, and it gets so much better.
- My own reaction to the Larmee/McIlwee duel can be seen here.
- If the new Kramers Ergot isn't the upcoming comic whose release you're anticipating most breathlessly, you must know about some shit I haven't heard of. I read this Tom Spurgeon interview with Kramers compiler/prime mover Sammy Harkham to whet my appetite, and then I read this one too. Workin' on an article about Kramers right now, as it happens. When it comes around it'll knock your socks off.
- After forever changing Daredevil and the work of Jim Steranko, the inimitable Robin Barnard turns his xerox-machine-like gaze on... um, me. I got the originals of these in the mail the other day, and good heavens, to behold such beauty is unlike anything but sweetest love...
- Secret time: I read a lot more fashion blogs than comics blogs these days, and this one is my all time fave. Mary Eng probably influenced my writing style more than any other blogger -- she's slowed down on the couture writing lately in favor of equally interesting culture blogging, but the stuff from like mid to late 2010 on is really incredible. Have fun.
- My webcomic Affected continues apace, with chapter 4 having just wrapped up and chapter 5 begun just this morning. Get onboard while the getting's good! I also just posted yet another brightly colored "comic about a girl" to my other webcomics site, should such things be of interest to you.
- Finally, on a more serious note: Dylan Williams, publisher of the excellent Sparkplug Comic Books, has passed away far, far too young. A fellow alumnus of Comic Relief in Berkeley, Dylan first got in touch with me last winter and has comped me Sparkplug books ever since. I got back to LA from New York a few days ago and the latest envelope full of cutting-edge sequential art was sitting on my doorstep with his name on it. A little more than 24 hours later, I found out he was gone. The world's lost a great guy, and comics has lost a hugely important publisher (as well as a heck of a cartoonist). Listen to his Inkstuds interview here, buy some Sparkplug comics here, then raise your glass. That's what I'll be doing. Rest in peace, Dylan.