Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

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.

You Are Cordially Invited

Friday, June 17th, 2011

I have no plans to get married any time soon, but the trials and travails chronicled in Adrian Tomine’s Scenes from an Impending Marriage make me think that simply eloping is a good idea. Guest lists, music, food, registries, party favors—all the little details that go into planning a “proper” wedding are detailed here in short comic vignettes starring Adrian and his fianceé as they attempt to plan their own real-life wedding.

The book is cute with simple and lively illustrations, arranged in a nine-panel configuration on most pages with the occasional Family Circus one-panel homage. It’s easy to sympathize with the couple—weddings can be a complicated minefield of familial politics, for one thing—but the book doesn’t go into any of these issues in detail, and is over so quickly. But we should be grateful to even have the opportunity to read this graphic memoir at all, as the book was originally created as a party favor for the wedding guests—a fact that is chronicled in the book, and the Drawn & Quarterly version of it includes an epilogue chronicling the aftermath of the reception, in all its tired and awestruck glory.

Scenes from an Impending Marriage
by Adrian Tomine
published by Drawn & Quarterly (Montreal, 2011)
ISBN 978-770460-34-8

Donald Duck, Autograph Hound

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

BOOM! Studios just released The Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck vol. 1, a 160-page collection of classic Donald Duck stories by Don Rosa, who wrote comics about Donald and Scrooge McDuck in the ’80s and ’90s, such as The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (which has also been reprinted by BOOM). In addition to many classic Donald Duck stories, the treasury also includes a work-in-progress version of “The Starstruck Duck,” an uncompleted story commissioned to celebrate and promote the opening of Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World in Florida.

In this madcap adventure (as if Donald has any other kind) a lot of the main attractions are name-checked as Donald runs through them, all in search for an autograph from the most famous film star in the world…Mickey Mouse! As strange as it is to have a world where Mickey is famous but Donald is not, what really got me were the moments of recognition from my visits in 1993 and 2010. Of course, there are things that have changed since the park opened in 1989—I wonder how Donald would feel about the giant Sorcerer’s Hat, complete with Mickey ears?

You can read the entirety of “Starstruck Duck” over at Comics Alliance.

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)

Accidents Don’t Just Happen

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

This series of safe sex ads from MTV Switzerland reminds me a lot of the ridiculous stories that patients will often tell doctors (many in the emergency room) about why they need medical treatment for some really messed up thing, like “I fell on the floor and landed on the TV remote which went into my rectum,” or the perennial favorite, “I was sitting on my porch at 2am reading a Bible minding my own business when some guy just came up and shot me.” All these scenarios are incredibly unlikely but the storyteller somehow thought it was less embarrassing or incriminating than the truth. Which is part of the point of this ad: you don’t have sex by accident unless you were already doing something that could be considered a precursor to sex. So play it safe and use a condom.

There are three of these ads over at AdFreak, but this is the only one where the woman is wearing underwear. That’s a good point too: always wear underwear, because you never know when you’re going to go flying crotch-first onto some random sunbather.

(via The Ephemerist)

The Lives of Cartoonists

Monday, April 25th, 2011

One of the features of the new, improved The Comics Journal website is the “A Cartoonist’s Diary” series of columns, where an artist is asked to create five entries, each one portraying a day in the life of. They’re given pretty free range of what to talk about and what format to present it in, so Vanessa Davis (of Make Me a Woman and Spaniel Rage) used this opportunity to talk about things like workout videos and recipes you can make with lemons, while Brandon Graham (of King City and Multiple Warheads) took a more mixed media approach, posting lots of original drawings and other art along with his photos and text.

For the third iteration of the diary Pascal Girard took the reins, going whole hog with the comic content and using his drawings to chronicle an event we’ve mentioned quite a bit around these parts: MoCCA Fest. In part one he spoke about the “magical sexual powers” of Brecht Evens (you can read a little more about him and the incident with the cops over at The Beat or on the D&Q blog), and part three was more of a general wrap-up of the show before he moved on to other matters.

I think the best part of these diaries is how they’re so down-to-earth. Cartoonists are people—and comics fans—too.

We've all had moments like this.

(via Robot 6)

An Animator’s Outlook on Tragedy

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Reports and stories continue to pour out of Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11; many are heartbreaking but there is the occasional ray of hope that shines. Perhaps the most welcome news anyone could get is to find out a loved one is okay.

It was the next day when the staff behind Joe is Japanese received that very welcome news regarding their friend Koga Sato, an animator who is also the basis for their main character Joe McCunney. He took the time to write them an e-mail that not only affirmed he was okay, but relayed the events of the day, which were stunning, sad, and sometimes even a bit funny. That mix of emotions has been made into a special mini-comic, titled “Koga’s Email.”

Koga’s imagination and sense of  humor is really at work here, most evident in the fact that he makes quite a few odd pop culture references in his account, like saying that his office looked like “Mike Tyson fought with Rickson Gracie.”

The artists have put out a request that if you enjoy the comic, please donate to the Search Dog Foundation, whose dogs are currently searching for people in Fukushima. To help spread the word, they’ve released “Koga’s Email” under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND), so feel free to repost it.

(via The Webcomic Overlook)

Single Female Superhero

Monday, March 28th, 2011

David E. Kelley of The Practice and Boston Legal fame has been working on a new Wonder Woman television series for Fall 2011, and by now you’ve probably gawked at pictures of actress Adrienne Palicki in the new Wonder Woman costume, which multiple comic sites pointed out as resembling the latest costume in the comics, and Entertainment Weekly noted that it “de-emphasizes the patriotism and seems to play up the comic’s Greek mythology.”

In addition to those costume photos many sites have gotten their hands on an early draft script and have offered up their thoughts on it. All of them seem to have mixed feelings about it, though the things that stick out vary by writer. Comic creator Adam Warren also had a few things to say about the script, but rather than simply blog about it, he decided to have his character Empowered have a go at it:

(Part 1, part 2, and part 3)

She’s got kind of a point; how many “insecurity-plagued” superheroines do we need? Didn’t we already get an insecurity-plagued lawyer on Ally McBeal? And shouldn’t Wonder Woman be above that, being a literal goddess and all?

In this case, we’ll just have to wait until Fall and make our own judgments when the show premieres on NBC.

(via Bleeding Cool)

The Secret Ingredient is Mustache Hairs

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

It’s time to head back to simpler times in the DC Universe. Back before Ollie Queen was divorced, living behind prison bars after killing a villain. Back when Roy Harper still had both arms and had yet to hug a cat, believing it was his dead daughter while he was high on drugs. Back before Star City had its own Central Park in the shape of a star. The memories. And yes, I am well aware that the geek scale just went over 9,000 there. To bring us back down to Earth, have a chili recipe.

My mouth, it burns! Ollie’s Chili has appeared many times over the years. Interestingly enough, as is pointed out in this post on the Comic Book Resources forums, it first showed up in the same issue of Green Arrow where Speedy was revealed to have a drug addiction back in the ’70s. Since then it has become a recurring gag and eventually received a complete recipe printed in Green Arrow Secret Files & Origins #1. It appears to be hot enough to melt metal and yet I am still tempted to make a batch. Does that make me a masochist? Green Arrow also appears to have shown his culinary chops at least one other time in the pages of DC Comics. This was years earlier when they decided to put out a cookbook for some reason. I am still unsure what the market is for such a thing. Still, I give you “My Secret Pizza”:

The secret is that it’s barely a pizza. More like a pita pocket. Either way, I hear Green Arrow caters weddings and Bar Mitzvahs in his spare time.

Cheeses With Personality

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Anne Emond is an illustrator, recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts (MFA, 2010) and creator of the occasional amusing true-life comic.

I think I appreciate “Cheeses I Have Known” because it reminds me of “Cheese Roll Call” from Pinky and the Brain:

You can read all of her comics on her Tumblr, including this amusing one about kale, and if you’re interested in her illustration work, check out this interview with her in the Present Tense section of Old Book Illustrations.

(Thanks, Anna)