trochee: (relaxed)
I have a new comic, after a month of procrastination and other things to do.

dr-who-panel1

full comic behind the cut )

Making this comic taught me a lot about digital comics creation. In particular, the Balloon Tales Layer Method is really cool.

trochee: (wind)
Another comic. It's been a while!

In which I rescue a professor

A big shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] blackwingedboy and [livejournal.com profile] imtboo who went in together to get me a Wacom Intuos3 tablet, which I used to "ink" this (I used Inkscape). This is a powerful tool and it makes comics creation fun.

You guys rock!
trochee: (law and order)
Also from the Fantagraphics blog: Love and Rockets to appear on Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Curiosity of the day: I just signed a release form for Universal to use issues of LOVE & ROCKETS in an upcoming episode of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Look for it in episode 15, airing sometime later this season. I sign a lot of these release forms for a variety of movies and television programs, but I'm especially curious to know what the context will be for this one.
I'm curious too!
trochee: (resolute)
The Fantagraphics blog points out the latest Tilting at Windmills, which discusses the monopoly-disaster that the comics industry is spiraling into. For those not familiar with the comic publishing world, there is exactly one major distributor (Diamond), which has been slowly squeezing out all the other distributors. Now that it is essentially a monopoly, its service starts to decline, which is actually threatening the comics retailer -- ultimately, the source of Diamond's business! Self-defeating in the usual short-term horizon way. argh.
I have to say that I’m very afraid that the only real solution would be for the Justice Department to reopen their investigation of Diamond (as I understand it, the matter was put into abeyance rather than formally closed), and to break Diamond into two or three competing companies. Otherwise I can’t see how it could even be possible for a new national advance order competitor to get started.

... Heck, checking right now, Diamond doesn’t have a single copy of Maus on hand, in any format. No need to stock the Pulitzer Prize winner, right?

... Diamond has effectively frozen out any chance that any new competitor could enter the market at this stage. Which means that there’s no market forces to encourage Diamond to address their pricing and stocking issues. But if you want to sell comics, you have to deal with Diamond, there’s no way around it.

Seems oddly similar to my experiences with Qwest today -- shoddy website, lousy customer service, but monopoly-driven incentives to the customer to go with their products, even when they're not ideal. Diamond Comics joins Qwest and Microsoft on my list of monopolies to go after when I become Attorney General.
trochee: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite posts about Captain Confederacy (now published on blogspot), which I remember from being a kid in Atlanta.

There's some controversy there (and elsewhere) about whether it's a racist comic.

In my opinion, it's a transparently dystopian, anti-racist piece of SF -- it's set in an alternate present where the Civil War ended in separation, and Jeremy Gray is the actor hired to play Captain Confederacy, a media symbol for the Confederacy. Over the course of the comic, he comes to doubt his handlers and the role of being a blue-eyed blond white guy being the media-created hero of a racist culture. (Captain America anyone?)

The discussion on [livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite is also valuable, [ETA: and includes a link to this interview with CC's writer Will Shetterly].
trochee: (resolute)
Wow. Johanna Carlson points out that Strangers in Paradise will end on issue #90. Sad but also wonderful that Terry Moore isn't going on forever when he's tired.
trochee: (resolute)
From Lea's entry mentioned in my previous post, I discovered the blog of Colleen Doran (best known as creator of A Distant Soil. though that's ironically not listed in the Comic Book Database). In that blog I found a most marvelous post about her brother's pentagram police-work.
Before the trip, Bro dressed up in his best suit, put on some shades, and picked up a cheap pentagram ring from Spencer’s Gifts because it would look cool to Satan’s Appendage. While the other cops dressed in jeans and baseball caps, Bro’s duds had the desired effect, and Lefty trembled in fear, afraid he was facing one of Satan’s Own Enforcers. (From Colleen's blog)
trochee: (angry)
The comics industry and "blogosphere" is getting a bit of a shakeup as it enters the second half of the 20th century: finally, the shit has hit the fan and the industry's troglodytic sexism has finally been scooted out from under the stove. (It is currently -- metaphorically speaking -- ugly and unbowed in the middle of the kitchen floor.)
Lea Hernandez does a rundown.
trochee: (smiling)

Which John Cusack Are You?

I admit I cheated a little: for [livejournal.com profile] blackwingedboy's amusement, I pretended that all references to vinyl were references to Grant Morrison or the Silver Age.
quiz via [livejournal.com profile] llcoolray
trochee: (resolute)
I can't believe I didn't think of this last night.

[livejournal.com profile] beegirl, originally, asked me if I had Cerebus, and I said I didn't, and that Dave Sim scares me because he is a misogynist schizophrenic, who thinks that women are "five-to-six-foot tall leeches". [livejournal.com profile] beegirl got a bit turned off by that (no surprise) and asked me for other recommendations; hence that post.

But I don't know why I didn't think of the best response to Cerebus: Bone. Fantasy-based, with an anthropomorphic (but non-human) main character. Strong male and female characters, with the flexibility and whimsy of the old Scrooge Duck comics, and a sense of full-on fantasy world-building (starting with small adventures, and leading up into world-shaking heroism (dragons! fleets of locusts! raging hordes of monsters!) that evokes the Lord of the Rings.

If you were looking for Cerebus, based on its reputation as a smart fantasy-based comic, but got turned off by Dave Sim losing his mind, then Jeff Smith's Bone ought to be just what you're looking for.

(and, as an update to the previous post on Johanna Carlson's writing: she has an excellent post pointing out issues with masculinity and male privilege in fandom, and points to [livejournal.com profile] cereta's thought-provoking post on the subject.)
trochee: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] beegirl asked me:
...any comics you recommend for before bed reading? Maybe a little on the lighter side...?
And I responded there. But I thought I'd put this in an entry of its own...

I think Castle Waiting is really fun. It's a fairy tale, sort of -- a young woman escapes a frightening bad marriage, and runs to live at the Castle. It seems to surprise no one that the castle is populated by fairy-tale creatures, including a stork butler whose sense of humor runs to the very dry. (I like it much).

On the more science-fictiony end of things, there's Finder, which the author describes as "aboriginal SF", and is possibly my favorite comic put together in the last ten years. Also I have the collected versions of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which is a sort of aboriginal SF as well, only Japanese.

If fantasy and SF isn't so much your thing, you might like the Hopeless Savages, a family story about punk rockers, that's sweet without being sappy. Kane is pretty spectacular police procedural, but isn't exactly "lighter", though some parts are funny.

I am not in front of my collection, so that's cheating off JDC's. Oooh -- I bet [livejournal.com profile] beegirl would really like Clan Apis.

On the less-light side, there's quite a bit beyond Kane mentioned above, but I might mention Love and Rockets and Strangers in Paradise as non-fantasy extended novels. Very very good, especially L&R. And of course, there are modern classics like Sandman. Tell me more about what you like, and I'll try to help you out.
trochee: (peace)
Johanna Draper Carlson writes one of the best blogs about comics I've found. (The RSS feed [updated: RSS feed] is more current than the front page.)

Last Tuesday she critiqued the Publishers Weekly Best Comics of 2005. Thanksgiving Day she listed her picks, which sound good -- and (squee here!) I have only read Avigon, Hopeless Savages, and (of course) Finder. Some of these I'll have to pick up.

Perhaps I'll wait til after the holidays...
trochee: (resolute)

Carla Speed McNeil has decided to move Finder to web serialization, with the trade paperbacks still coming out once or twice a year. This move echoes the Studio Foglio decision to publish Girl Genius on the web, with periodic collections on dead-tree.

So far the Light Speed Press website has no news about this, but it was quite clear from the notes in the back of the latest (last!) pamphlet Finder (the first in the Five Crazy Women storyline, which I was skeptical about but have totally fallen in love with now that i've read the first one).

I wrote Ms. McNeil: )

UPDATE: Lightspeed Press now has the beginning of issue #38 online! And I feel almost famous, since I got a response from Speed herself.

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