no cape no mask

who needs a costume when you have words?

Month: February, 2014

Need To Know… 24.2.14

only what you need

only what you need

Sorry about last week, everyone. What can I say, hitting 50 of these NTK’s triggered a rapid, super-condensed midlife crisis, but now I’ve bought hairplugs and a convertible, so I’m good. What makes missing a week worse is that I couldn’t tell you about these three awesome Multiversity pieces: about the diminishing role of artists (what?), a roundtable on Marvel Knights, and a cheat sheet for readers and reviewers, basically enabling us to all talk about the art in comics without just saying “it’s so pretty” over and over. Although, this is pretty. Yeah, they had a great week, they even had a Declan Shalvey process post!

I also neglected to direct you toward this interview with Liz Prince, after which you might just want a bookplate edition of her latest…. and Orbital Comics can help! They can also help with comics guidance generally, but if you prefer to hear from other, less biased sources, try Comics Alliance’s Reader Survey. Or just go here and dive straight into some abstract comics. They rock.

I have a new hero this week, Josette Frank. San Francisco will soon have a new hero too, as DD is moving, but while you’re waiting for his flight to land, check out this Fraction-al analysis of some DD pages. Or if you prefer your heroes military or robotic, be patient. They’re coming. Speaking of heroes, though, you are aware they’re not your bitches, right? Just checking, and while we’re checking, have you shown Kevin Nowlan some love recently? That whole Year of the Artist CBR feature is great, if a little obvious, but Nowlan deserves every credit possible. Same could be said for Steve Lieber, especially when he’s sharing how to build worlds on a budget. And hell, while we’re praising, its always nice to see Stokoe’s Godzilla getting some intelligent coverage. Oh, and remember that time Jaime Hernandez did an Alan Moore strip? Wow Cool!

You may remember I linked to Jed McGowan once before, and his golden silences. Here’s more coming your way. While it’s quiet, listen out for the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Didja hear them? That’s the question.

A crowdfunding update for you all, have you heard of Patreon? Get to know. Then get on over to Kickstarter and back Pinoy! Or if you’re in the knowledge-soaking mood, go listen to Bill Boichel. He’s Copacetic, y’all, and will drop a big load of knowledge (and opinion) on you, so if you’re in the mood for big news to match, let’s go big with Becky, bigger with Attack on Titan, and colossal with Witzend. Oh yeah.

That, uh, Guardians of the Universe movie thing is out soon. So Talking Raccoons one, Wonder Woman nil (and falling). Also, have you been wondering whether to see Guardians? Check this out.

Finally: this. This explains a lot.

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Need To Know… 10.2.14

only what you need

only what you need

Hey, Need To Know… is 50. Wow, that’s… ah, who cares. Age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, right?

Let’s begin with the campaigns that could use your support, shall we? This week, a Sequart documentary on the history of female creators in comics, which will almost certainly be more interesting and less sought after than the “Image Revolution” documentary with its fanboyish tack. Oh, wait, its by the same people. Well, anyway, a better topic! And then there’s the subscription you owe it to yourself to take out, with Yeah Dude! Comics. Honestly, look at that creator list. You needs it.

Since it looks like Matt Fraction comics may be a little way away, maybe you’d best content yourself with this beyond in-depth interview series over at Paste. Something briefer, but equally welcome, is a new entry on James Stokoe’s blog (sadly, it ain’t more Orc Stain). Stylistically in the same ballpark, have you checked out The Stamm? While we’re perving on art, does anyone doubt that Jerome Opena is the real deal? Anybody? Good. Ooh, and nice posters, Mister X.

Have you started planning for The Lakes yet, because Scott McCloud has? And that’s just one event, this year’s launch calendar is looking epic, as Zainab Akhtar will tell you. You should be able to pick up all those books from Bergen Street in New York, but you won’t be able to pick up any Marvel or DC floppies. Interesting, and admirably progressive, decision though it is, you can’t help but wonder if it’s a reaction against this kind of brokeback nonsense. Seriously.

We mentioned that last week marked an anniversary of Jack Kirby’s demise, and this seems like a fitting tribute. Similarly, Comics Alliance did a stellar job of elucidating Bill Finger’s Batman legacy, making last week a good one for remembering.

It was a good week for awards, too, as Slate Book Review and CCS announced the nominees for their Cartoonist Studio Prizes for Best Graphic Novel and Best Webcomic. If that doesn’t offer you enough further reading, check out this site that lets you pick webcomics to explore from just the first frame. And if it’s further comix reading you’re seeking, Comics Reporter and crew have some hot leads on cool reads for you. If making is more your line than reading, this may well be the best inker interview for you, but just don’t be uncivilized about it.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s. I’m too old for all that stuff.

Need To Know… 03.02.14

only what you need

only what you need

You know, it feels like it’s been a while since we talked about DC. So this week let’s begin by noticing that the Bat-books editor, Mike Marts, has returned to Marvel. Not a great sign, so let’s counterbalance by celebrating the sales success of Harley Quinn, and looking at whether Harley might be the Renaissance Lady of Fun Comics. Did you know there’s a War on Fun? Over on the cinema side of the street, the Jesse Eisenberg Luthor casting was received with… confusion, though it’s surely no dumber than any attempt at a Gambit movie, (or the new Quicksilver costume) right? Ah, Gambit. Remember the first time? Also, dilemma of the week: what excites you more: Michael Bay’s TMNT movie images, or TMNT Lego?

Lego FTW.

There’s a bevy of notable crowdfunding campaigns around, too, with a Kim Deitch miscellany, a new subscription offering from the awesomely named King Bone Press, another from Maple Key Comics, and an IndieGoGo from Negative Pleasure Publications with a stellar list of indy creators. You might be saving up for Valentine’s, though, and not want to splash out on any cool comics stuff for a while. In that case, master the Valentine’s Day Whale, and you’re good to spend on yourself! In that same DIY vein, have you checked out Comics For Beginners?

When American libraries do comics awards, they go all the way. Thorough doesn’t begin to cover it. Fortunately, when old creators pass away, The Comics Reporter is there to be library-thorough in collating obituaries, remembrances, and context. Rest In Peace, Morrie Turner. And since this week will mark Jack Kirby’s passing, this link seems fitting. This comic doesn’t strictly fit here, but it’s so beautiful, and it is about loss, so, just read it.

Wow, that was a sad paragraph. How about some things to look forward to? Like new editions of James Stokoe’s Wonton Soup! Chinese pulp heroes! A new Brandon Graham anthology title! Better? Evan Shaner will tickle the funny bones of the musically inclined, too, with this CBR Sunday interview that sees him casting comics characters as orchestral instruments. And digging through CSBG’s 31 Days of Comics is definitely going to be fun, we’ve been waiting until they’re all indexed so we can binge!

As if you needed reminding, Stumptown was amazing, not that it did anything to address the problem of comics’ lack of breakout characters. But as long as there are great comics, do we really need great characters? Probably worth thinking about what Cameron Stewart’s tweets say about the correlation of social media noise to sales signal. Abner Dean definitely warrants closer examination. Oh, and with Frank Santoro, Brandon Graham, AND David Brothers all on the show together, this 500th Inkstuds podcast is as close to compulsory as comics podcasts get!

This past weekend, a couple of things happened. The Superbowl. Didja miss it? No worries. And a li’l thing called Angouleme. Wonder if My Boy was on sale there.

Do you ever feel like you’re the last man on Earth? You’re almost certainly not. Not sure if that’s a good thing, though…