Author Archive

Blue Boo Boo

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

BluewaterBooBoo

 

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on a Bluewater Productions comic. Since then, the company has severed its ties with Diamond Distributors and gone almost entirely digital, meaning it’s a lot harder to find that random Justin Bieber comic on the shelf at Walmart. And yet Bluewater soldiers on, making one-shot comics out of famous and semi-famous individuals alike. So yes, I am here to share the news on the aptly named, 15 Minutes: Honey Boo Boo,” which hit digital shelves across a variety of platforms on January 9th.

 

BooBooMyDigitalcomicsWhat’s actually somewhat interesting and unique about this release is the way they’re structuring it: each digital distributor (i.e. iTunes, Kindle, My Digital Comics and Wowio) gets a unique variant cover. Up until now, variant covers wee strictly a practice reserved for print books, with variants usually thrown into the digital packaging as an art gallery if the pieces were good enough (or is the publisher felt like throwing readers a bone). Will this actually usher in a new age of exclusivity for digital variants? Maybe if the numbers are good enough. Although as a fan of comics as much as I am the business, I’m hoping this doesn’t usher in an age of $8 digital variants; that would just be weird. The Good E-Reader blog approached Bluewater to comment on the practice, and it looks like they’re mainly trying this out to have some fun and to please the Boo Boo.

We heard from Honey Boo Boo that she wanted to be animated and loved the comic book we did on her (on the flip side, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Carrie Fisher, and Ellen DeGeneres did, too). Boo Boo wanted to be an animated superhero and how can you not give the kid her dream! So we did the homage ones in honor of her with Michael Troy and Jonathan Woodward. Then we thought to give them to our partners such as iTunes, Kindle, My Digital Comics and Wowio. We are digital with a lot more, but I did not want to flood the market.

So if you’re one of the people out there who bought the book and wondered why your cover was different than your pal Johnny over there with the Kindle, now you know why. I’m just glad the variants make her look less like a short Phyllis Diller than the regular cover does.

Occupy Kickstarter

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Say what you will about the Occupy movement, but its reach seems to grow every single day. Whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or professional blogs like Huffington Post, every other post is about the Occupy movement or reaction to the Occupy movement. Well, now comic books are getting into the game. For once, Bluewater Productions are not the guys behind this effort. Instead, some of the industry’s most prolific talents are gathering to put out Occupy Comics.

The collaboration is looking to embrace the artistic nature of Occupy in order to get its message out there in a cohesive and straightforward manner. Tim Seeley, J.M. DeMatteis, B. Clay Moore, Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, Molly Crabapple, and Marc Andreyko are just a few of the artists and writers involved. Heck, even Douglas Rushkoff is listed as a contributor. Each and every cent donated via Kickstarter will go towards paying the talent involved and to produce the book. The creators will then be able to donate whatever they receive straight to the movement so that it can continue on. As of typing this, $2,116 out of the $10,000 needed has been pledged.

The Kickstarter campaign will be available until December 9th with multiple rewards available for different tiers of donation, including a paper copy of Occupy Comics for $20, a copy of the Occupy Comics Documentary by Patrick Meaney, director of Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts for a $25 donation, and a signed and numbered anthology for $50. Or, if you’d like, $1 gets you a thanks on their website. Hopefully this will get a unified Occupy message out there to those still looking to hear one.

(via Bleeding Cool)

New York Comic Con 2011 at a Glance

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The sixth annual New York Comic Con is upon us! With it comes a fourth day of panels, screenings, back-issue browsing and celebrity sightseeing. I will once again be set up in Podcast Arena with all of my recording gear for my podcast, Comic Timing. Be sure to stop on by booth D14 in the Artist Alley to say hello, talk comics and maybe even buy some of the comics I’m getting rid of.

Before Thursday hits and we all get lost and overwhelmed, here are a few choice panels that should not be overlooked if you are looking to learn more about the nonfiction side of this here industry. I’m also including a few panels that might not be strictly nonfiction but could very well have some elements of nonfiction to them.

THURSDAY

RWP 2.0 – The Future of Comics in the Classroom
Date: Thursday, October 13
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Location: 1A02

Speakers: Charlie LaGreca, Dr. Michael Bitz, Jessica Abel, Josh Elder, Matt Madden

Description:
Find out how YOU can help get comics into schools and get schools into comics in this informational seminar hosted by some of the biggest names in the world of comics and education. Join Josh Elder of Reading With Pictures, Dr. Michael Bitz of the Comic Book Project, Charlie LaGreca of Comic Book Classroom and Jessica Abel and Matt Madden of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures as they unveil their plans for 2012 and beyond.

I’m including this one for any comic book professionals or teachers out there that might be interested. This is only available to those with Professional badges; Thursday general hours begin at 4pm.

(more…)

A Sign For More Wine

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

You call it a photo-essay, I’ll call it a comic. This week’s New York Times Sunday Review, written by Ben Schott, discusses the impact the long shuttered New York City nightclub, The Stork Club, had on the way waiters and restaurant staff communicate with one another. They were the first to utilize a series of gestures reminiscent to those of a football referee or a third-base coach to get news from staff member to staff member faster than speaking. Today, Eleven Madison Park keeps the New York tradition alive with their own form of sign language.

Everything from the water preference of a table to whether or not crumbs need to be cleared can all be said through signals. When it is time to clear a plate, a gesture towards the chair of a guest will do it. Each and every member of the staff at Eleven Madison Park must be proficient at the unspoken language or else mishaps are bound to occur. They even have a set direction to walk the room (clockwise) and a specific side of a guest they should veer towards at all times (the right). Considering the place is one of the most successful and expensive restaurants in the city, I would expect the best possible service with my meal. Maybe other establishments could learn a thing or two from this method in order to improve the efficiency of their dinner hour?

You can view the full list of signs, signals and directions here. And if you do decide to check out Eleven Madison Park, come on an empty stomach; they only do four-course meals or tasting menus.

Steve Jobs and What Was NeXT

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

News has been trickling out over the past month about Caleb Melby’s upcoming 60-page graphic novel, The Zen of Steve Jobs. In it, we get to see parts of Mr. Jobs’ life very few have been able to see before. Specifically, what he went through during the 1980s after he left Apple and was about to start NeXT, the company which was later purchased by Apple and is now the backbone for parts of OS X. Back then, Steve Jobs was in an in-between state and was looking for guidance; he turned to Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Zen Buddhist priest to learn meditation and to uncover design aesthetics that he still uses today.

Forbes is releasing the graphic novel along with the help of JESS3, a creative design company based out of Washington, D.C. The book looks to give fans of Apple, and even casual onlookers, a further view into what makes one of the most important men in the history of computers tick. Caleb Melby states that he put mounds of research and reporting into the graphic novel to try and get it as close to historically accurate as possible while still maintaining a narrative flow. It also informs us all that Buddhist monks enjoy Denny’s.

A release date for the book has yet to be finalized, but Melby says it will be out sometime in the fall. For now, there are five pages released; one here and four more here.

(via The Beat)

Post-Its and Subways

Monday, September 26th, 2011

There’s a new book coming out in October called Post-It Note Diaries. In it, stories are compiled from various artists and writers, including the likes of Andrew Bird, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Simmermon, and Beth Lisick. Basically, each contributor tells a short story about their life and the story is then illustrated and edited by the man who put the project together in the first place, Arthur Jones. On the book’s website, Jones describes how the concept was created.

I found 3 inch yellow pads of Post-its to be perfect little sketchbooks and I could swipe hundreds of them at a time from the supply closet without anyone noticing. Eventually I started reading these work stories in public — at bars, bookstores and art galleries. To accompany my performances I projected a slideshow of my Post-it Note drawings behind me. It was a little like narrating a comic one panel at a time or presenting a hand drawn lecture.

To promote the project’s upcoming release, the chapter written by The Daily Show’s John Hodgman has been put online in its entirety. It weaves a tale about the New York City subway system’s price increase from $2 to $2.25. Like all Hodgman pieces, it goes in a direction no one would expect it to go. Be sure to read it all the way to the end to truly understand why this tale needed to be told.

In addition, for those living in the New York area, there will be a book release party and reading this Tuesday, September 27th at Little Field in Brooklyn. Entry is free and doors open at 7pm. Hodgman will not be in attendance but a bunch of the other authors will be, so it is probably worth a look for anyone interested in the book.

Arduino at a Glance

Monday, September 12th, 2011

For those of you looking for some do-it-yourself work or a new programming challenge, Arduino might be a good place to start. It is an electronics scripting and prototyping platform that can allow programmers and inventors to take their ideas from the design stage to the testing stage. Jody Culkin put together a very descriptive how-to comic giving plenty of information for beginners and experienced programmers alike to understand just how to handle this process.

Everything from microcontrollers to switchers, sensors, voltage, and the ever-important Ohm’s Law are defined and explained. Links to both Windows and Mac Arduino software and user guides are also included once you are ready to learn more about the project. What lends itself nicely to this step-by-step tutorial is the incredibly descriptive art; everything looks the way it does in the real world including shots of MacOS, circuit boards and the solderless breadboard. The comic can be found in PDF format here. You can read it in a browser or download the file and put it on a portable device if you’re looking to program on the go.

(via Boing Boing)

The Recipe For Changing Seasons

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Labor Day has come and gone, meaning that summer is unofficially over. Kids are back in school, most of the beaches have closed or will be closing soon and football season is starting up this Sunday. Still, there are at least a few more warm days left before fall kicks into full gear. Come, let us celebrate with some delicious recipes in the form of comics, shall we?

Throughout the summer, Saveur turned to a bunch of artists to share food stories and the recipes that go along with them under the Recipe Comix banner. The talent involved includes Eli Valley of The Forward and EV Comics who decided to share his mother’s recipe for a simple spaghetti and tuna dish that proved that even though she was a single mother, she could compete with the other Jewish moms in the neighborhood culinary-wise. Other contributors were Nedroid‘s Anthony Clark, Farley Katz of The New Yorker and yes, even Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics. North’s chili recipe not only sounds delicious but it is told to us by dinosaurs. Which immediately increases the deliciousness and credibility of any recipe.

A complete archive of Recipe Comix can be found here. Hopefully there will be more recipes to come in Summer 2012 as I’m sure there are plenty of creators with food to share out there. In the meantime, I think I’m going to try and make Emily Horne’s Black Mischief cocktail once I get me some gin, stout beer and espresso.

London Falling

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

This past week, areas of London experienced riots after a peaceful protest went horribly wrong. The looting and destruction of property lasted four days and even included the murder of a 68-year old retiree who tried to put out a fire but instead was stopped and fatally beaten by a teenager. No businesses were spared from the disaster as Apple stores, hardware stores and even comic shops such as A Place in Space and Manchester’s Forbidden Planet were forced to shutter. While there is truly no way to understand the true motives or reasoning behind the riots, cartoonist David Ziggy Greene does his best to share his thoughts via an op-ed strip.

 

Greene goes over his experiences post-riot as stores began boarding up or cleaning up even as the children that looted them look on. Drawings related to the cleanup can also be found on artist Tom Humberstone’s blog where he stresses nothing was “simple” or “straightforward” about what went down and that the poor were not exclusive to the destruction. Finally, Sally Jane Thompson drew up some hopeful images both during and after the event.

A week later the recovery process continues and it will continue for weeks and months to come. My best goes out to anyone who was affected by the rioting. All we can hope is that people look at what went down as a deterrent towards future transgressions.

(via Robot 6)

Cats Are Weird

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Today I came across this silly-yet-scary comic strip by Natasha Allegri that I feel deserves sharing. As someone who has owned pets for most of his life, I can relate to the sometimes-creepy behavior they can bring to the table. This did also remind me why I’m more of a dog person than a cat person: they have much less going on behind their eyes. Cats always seem like they’re plotting the next part of their diabolical scheme. This reinforces that belief.

You can read the full strip as well as others about Pancake, soon to be world emperor, at Natasha Allegri’s Tumblr.

(via Warren Ellis)