This week the greatest comic of all time is my favorite thing to come out of the 1960s' Bay Area underground comics boom, Greg Irons' under-recognized masterpiece of psychedelia Light. I ended up having an really good time talking about the permanent stamp the underground-comix boom left on the area I grew up in, Irons' prefiguring of the Heavy Metal and RAW styles, and just how awesome a comic this thing is. So go check it out right here! How can you refuse something that features pictures like THIS:
More to love: here's this week's episode of the Comic Books Are Burning In Hell audio hour, featuring myself, Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, and Tucker Stone talking about what fine artists we wish would have made comics (Pettibon! Diebenkorn! Guston! Titian! more!), Jesse Jacobs' new graphic novel By This Shall You Know Him (shortlist for best of the year), and the new collection of Chester Brown's Ed The Happy Clown ("hot stuff", according to one of our podcasters). Listen up here, and read Joe's show notes here!
This week the greatest comic of all time is my favorite one to come out so far this year, Secret Acres' collection of Dutch artist Michiel Budel's gorgeous, mind expanding webcomic Slechte Miesjes, aka Wayward Girls. There's not really any way to succinctly describe Budel's work, so you better just check that link to it and then read what I had to say. There's even a soundtrack component! Have fun....
They just keep getting better, I think. The big draw on this week's episode of the Comic Books Are burning In Hell audio hour is the addition of special guest Chris Mautner to our ranks. He'll be back next week too! Other than that, it's a whole lot of talk about Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo's less-seen work, the atrocious new Batman graphic novel Death by Design, and then Jog throws in some weird video game stuff at the end. Listen up! And follow along as always with the show notes, in which Joe does more and better writing on Otomo than I can remember seeing anywhere else.
I've been digging deep into Daredevil now that I'm staring the end of Affected dead in the face, because my next comic's gonna be something involving the Man Without Fear. Much as Frank Miller's run on the character is the one that (deservedly) gets the most love, I've got a huge soft spot for the run by David Mazzucchelli and Denny O'Neil that directly precedes Miller's Magnum opus Born Again. The best issue of the lot is #220, which I think is the first comic to really bring out the tremendously bad vibes that hit superhero comics in full effect once Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen were released the following year. Plus, holy shit dude, Mazzucchelli could really draw. I wish he still did stuff that looks like this. Anyway, I pick apart the first-ever "grim and gritty" superhero comic on this week's installment of my Robot 6 column, which you can read by clicking right here.
The latest and greatest. You probably know the drill by now? Click here for an hour of Joe McCulloch, Tucker Stone, and yers truly talking about our favorite superheroes (Adam Strange kill them all, fools), Eddie Campbell's new book (I haven't read it), and some abstruse topic I came up with having to do with pictorial representation -- like, what kind of pictures "work" in a comic book and what kind don't. Hot stuf. Don't forget Joe's show notes either; they're wonderful as always.
This week on my Robot 6 column, I talk about the comic book that's probably been more inspiring to me as an artist than any other: Frank Santoro's 2005 masterpiece Chimera. To my mind, nobody's mixed comics and painting, plot and abstraction, or the classical and the modern, better than Frank does in Chimera. It's an astounding piece of work, one that always stays with me at the drawing table. I've wanted to write about it since the first time I saw page one, and I'm very pleased to have finally done so. Read about it here.
For realz, this is gonna happen every week. Yes folks, it's time for the third installment of the Comic Books Are Burning In Hell audio hour, a podcast by Tucker Stone, Joe McCulloch, and yours truly. This time, thanks to the assistance of Mr. David Dedrick (whose own Sneaky Dragon podcast can be heard here), you can actually hear us all talking, too! You can also hear the debut of our brand new theme song, penned and recorded by Nina Stone, whose new album you should help to crowdfund by clicking here. This is the episode where everybody but the real G's abandons ship, as it's pretty much hardline art-comix talk from start to finish -- though two of them are art-comix about Wolverine and the Suicide Squad, so you know. For posterity, here's the list:
- Aidan Koch's webcomic The Blonde Woman, which you can and should read here while you listen to us talkin' about it,
- The new Wax Cross book from art collective Tin Can Forest and Koyama Press,
- Michael Comeau's Hellberta #2, which is a deadly serious contender for comic of the year right now,
- and hometown boy/official CBABIH entourage member Michel Fiffe's new bootleg Suicide Squad comic Deathzone!, which is also kind of the best thing ever. I did not get a chance to talk about the art in there on this episode, but holy shit. The part where it goes to all pencil rendering and every tiny little stroke is going exactly in the right direction. Also the page where Deadshot and Count Vertigo are both fighting the monsters and the camera's moving away from Vertigo and in on Deadshot... and the COLORS, dude... Fiffe is a fucking beast right now. You better get that one here. Yes, the print comes with the comic.
Listen up! And as ever, follow along with Joe's fantastic show notes right here.