no cape no mask

who needs a costume when you have words?

Month: October, 2013

Need To Know… 28.10.13

only what you need

only what you need

This week, a healthy dose of patriotism. And no, that doesn’t mean coverage of MCM Expo. Comica’s Fall 2013 programme is underway, which means this Saturday is your twice-yearly small press feast: Comiket. Perhaps you’ll see some faces there who entered the Observer Graphic Short Story Prize, and attendant comics awards… Either way, it’s a timely prompt to look at the great work being done in UK comics. And that work is being appreciated outside comics, too, as part of our cultural heritage, an aid to scientific inquiry, and, of course, unprintable unpatriotic filth. That last one is interesting, ever hear of printers refusing to print a comic? More positively, Thought Bubble looms, and here are a few of the gems launching there. And next year, what will Ellis + Shalvey =?

You may also have heard that a couple of the original British invasion’s lynchpin titles are returning, so here’s Gaiman and McKean on Sandman, and Moore on Miracleman, in three parts. More progressively, does it take a Brit to realise Loki’s true nature defies gender? Or just Al Ewing?

Hopefully by now you’ve read Pretty Deadly #1. Did you rip it up? More to the point, do you care if someone else did, or is this another comics storm in a teacup? Also, Five Ghosts is back! Sorry, those two aren’t connected really, beyond both being great reads. To craft your own great read, perhaps you should consider 3 point plotting?

If you missed Head Lopper the first time around, fret not, the second volume is on Kickstarter now, so there’s still time! While you’re there, though, you might want to peruse Vito Delsante’s projects, as they both seem intriguing and full of heart. There’s a lot of temptation in there, possibly too much, so instead, lets celebrate more artists doing DC better than DC does!

Other treats include a preview and interview for a memorable summer’s tale from Tamaki and Mariko via First Second (Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy is a great webcomic), a first look at this scheduled CAB launch from Zejian Shen, an introduction to the Coal Mine school of comics (not what you think), and this rare new interview with Jim Woodring. Have you read Fran yet? Never mind, try some Passion Fruit. Or some Scandinavian sound effects with PEOW studios!

In terms of retrospective delight, Comics Alliance gives us an excuse to perv on Steranko, Kirby, and others with these classic movie-to-comics adaptations (one of which is replicated in inimitable style by Robin Barnard here), and since we’re waxing nostalgic, Bernie Wrightson is 65 and sharing art (but not release dates for more Frankenstein Alive, Alive yet).

Orbital Comics screened a Jeffrey Jones movie last week. Here’s why you might be interested. Sticking with movies, here are Paul Pope, Kagan McLeod, Sam Hiti, and Frederik Peeters all drawing live on camera and a terrific Osamu Tezuka documentary.

We leave you with the birth of superheroes, in a lyrical and thoroughly researched essay.

And Frederic Wertham, Champion of Nudists. In my head, anyway.


Need To Know… 21.10.2013

It’s been three weeks, three weeks where holidays, cons, and technical issues have conspired against Need To Know… But today, I’m back with a bumper crop of links, so… forgive me?

Let’s kick off with one of the year’s high points, the announcement of the Notables for the Best American Comics of 2013. Though they’re runners up, they’re all worth checking out, and lists like these are treasure troves for comics lovers. Since the only thing better than one list is two lists, here are the SAW (Sequential Art Workshop) micro-grant winners, courtesy of The Comics Reporter.

For those of you who prefer your new creators introduced in a little more depth, meet Owen Michael Johnson and Raygun Roads, and Howard Hardiman of The Lengths fame (its out now in a well-deserved hardcover). There are re-introductions available for a couple of more familiar names, too, as Paul Pope recorded an Inkstuds podcast, and Neil Gaiman was in evidence at the Edinburgh Book Fest (with Hannah Berry), then championing literacy at the Reading Agency by dismissing “real books”, while for those of you awaiting his Miracleman return, here’s some catch-up reading.

If you prefer reading to get ahead over reading to catch up, here are January’s DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Dark Horse, IDW, and Image solicits. Peruse, notate, and tell us what you want. Everybody wins!

And on that note of forward-looking, here’s an NYCC announcement that kind of crept by us, Dark Horse-style: Vandroid. There was also this Justin Jordan teaser, for “Lone Wolf and Cub meets John Carpenter’s The Thing” project: Spread. Closer to now, Pretty Deadly #1 is almost here, as is Sex Criminals #2, X-Men: Gold #1, and Monkeybrain’s Miranda Turner #1, digital goodness drawn by George Kambadais (remember when we linked to him?). As an addendum to that, here’s a smart piece on the future for digital comics, what do you think?

On to more literal treats, as we have Waid/Samnee DD Easter Eggs for you, Jock storyboard glimpses from the Dredd movie, the more gold from the wonder that was Wally Wood, and your chance to get on “The Bus” (never heard of it before last week, but its a wonderfully surreal strip).

There are, of course, always lessons to be learned, and 10 rules for drawing comics is a pretty great place to learn them (its also a great read, check out the difference between Box Brown’s 10 lessons and Roger Langridge’s). The legend that is Spike offers up a 24 hour comic that tells you everything you need to know about making comics. Charles Hatfield has some comics history for you in an article that’s fascinating even for us Brits, who won’t have seen the PBS documentary he’s referencing. Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse. Never got it? Maybe this’ll help. And for those interested in some intelligent indy contemplation, Hooded Utilitarian has a roundtable you just might like.

Told you it was a bumper crop today, huh? Don’t sweat it, we’re down to the silly, fun stuff now, like asking how many of these bizarre Mjolnir capabilities will make it into Thor: Dark World? Or wondering whether this comic’s loving but knowing Fantasy take-off strikes a nerve? There’s Edna 2 by Sophie Goldstein, which is too good a comic to be lumped in here with Mjolnir retcons, but hey, we’re kooky like that. Also, a new Katie Skelly strip is starting online, its NSFW, and its here.

This Comics Reporter post on memorable non-superpowered female characters is strangely appropriate for us, since we have Trina Robbins & Hannah Berry here in person on Wednesday evening (oh yeah!).

Two questions to end:

What would happen if a publisher teamed up with a crowd-funding platform?

What if Matt Fraction got superpowers? Forget it, he doesn’t need them, he has heart.