Archive for the comics Category

[comics] It’s Comics! It’s in a Spiral Notebook! IT’S SPIRAL NOTEBOOK COMICS!

Posted in comickers, comics, web comics on November 27, 2013 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2963.John E. Williams, a man of whom I admire for having much ilk, just took existential comedy and fast creativity to a new high with the low tech.

How funny can spiral notebook paper and plain black ballpoint can be?

Just ask John.

Claude directs traffic … but of course, nobody listens to him. And, hey, free coupon! At the end! Such a deal! Whatever the NJ Palisades are and sadly, it’s after 1963 but it’s the thought.

Seriously, I enjoy John’s dry wit and his existential touch, which proves that traffic rage can even be funny if you contextualize it just right … and sketch it out in ballpoint on notebook paper (two art media which, I can see, are vastly  underrated).

See the rest (including his recap of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) here:


[comic art] Creating A Dystopian-Future Comic Book Cover

Posted in art, comic art, comic trends, comics, how-to on April 22, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2801 (Via Dark Horse Comics at the Book’o’Face) The Massive is a dystopian near-future comic series coming soon that is supposed to take place in an environment where the the race between global climate change has ended, and global climate change has won. There are previews available here and about.

The cover art, like any great comic cover art, hooks you in.

In this article at iO9, Brian Wood takes us through the creative process that led to that cover.

[comic] Adeiu, "The Elderberries"

Posted in comic artists, comics on February 29, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2787Thank you, Corey Pandolph. And that’s sincere.

A comic strip we’ve all been very fond of around here is winding down. The Elderberries, a strip which, more or less, has the same surreal and genuinely-funny take on being old as Cul De Sac has on being young, is ending.

I actually wondered about that a few weeks ago, when suddenly the gigantic Japanese conglomerate decided to sell off and close Elderpark (tagline: A great place to park your elder). In fairly short order the stern Russian cook, Ludmilla, was splitting to run her own retirement home, taking the Professor and the General with her; best-friends Dusty Winters (the eternal cowboy) and Boone (the retired UPS drive who bled brown) were hieing off to New York to share quarters; Evelyn was off to live with one of her ever-neglectful kids, and the ever-beleaguered Miss Overdunne was being sprited off to Italy to live with her now-no-longer-unrequited suitor, who ran the nearby tavern.

Everyone was going places, but we weren’t sure where the comic was going and … well, now we know.

We’ll miss those characters.

Whereever you go, Mr. Pandolph, we wish you’d of continued the strip … but we do wish you well.

[comics] Comics Code Authority Seal Now Belongs To The Good Guys

Posted in comics, creators rights, first amendment on September 29, 2011 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2708.The unassuming little mark you see illustrated hereunto is the seal of approval of the Comics Code Authority, and as of today, it’s switched sides.

Back in the day when self-censorship was essential to stay in business (as William Gaines found to his travail – fortunately, that guy never would lay down) The CCA stamp was a powerful thing. Having it meant advertisers would like you, and if they liked you, the money would follow.

Times have changed. More channels exist; Marvel and DC have their own ratings systems, and even Archie comics have given up using it. The Comics Code Authority has died with not just no bang, but not even a whimper.

Through legal means I’m certain I have no means of understanding, the stamps new owners are the CBLDF – The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, standing for First Amendment rights for creators:

(CBLDF Executive Director Charles) Brownstein adds “It’s a progressive change that the Comics Code seal, which is yesterday’s symbol of comics censorship, will now be used to raise money to protect the First Amendment challenges comics face in the future. That goal probably would have been unimaginable to the Code’s founders, who were part of a generation of comics professionals that were fleeing a witch-hunt that nearly trampled comics and any notion that they deserved any First Amendment protection.”

So now the stamp has changed sides, and it’s not at all a bad thing.

[comics] How iSteve Ruined Comics

Posted in comic art, comic trends, comics on September 25, 2011 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2704.(via Gizmodo) Well, iSteve didn’t ruin comics, per se, but Apple, with it’s dead-brilliant design regime, have made technology that was once easily renderable … such as the phone, the TV, and such – so subtly designed that, when they’re used, they need almost as much exposition as a supporting character:

Compare with the idea off a man getting outraged at a magazine or newspaper article. You don’t need to be told what that is. This? Why is that tiny replica of the 2001 monolith making that monkey so angry?
The subtle, usually elegant design regime inspired by the Apple iLine of, oh, just about everything, has created articles that are beginning to require entire new ways of storytelling, causing a sort of evolution in comics. Just how do you tell a story with props that, depending on the context, need to have their stories told before you know what they and what the characters are doing with the small oblong objects that could be, well, just about anything?
Tom Pappalardo asks the question in the article Cartooning vs Technology: How Steve Jobs Ruined Comicsbut he’s trying to make a point with that title. He don’t really hate iSteve, or the toys he created. But it’s a smart, funny article that asks a good question.

[art] A Fantasy Diary Girl

Posted in art, comics on May 9, 2011 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2619.Well, not really some fantasy-dream-girl, but a girl’s face and head drawn from a how-to book, Christopher Hart’s Figure It Out!:

Hart Girl

The book, Figure It Out!, is, as said, one in the nigh-indefatigable Hart’s line of how to draw and cartoon books. I swear, half the art-how-to bookage in the world has to have been produced by Mr. Hart … prolific seems such a quaint word when it comes to his output.

Most of it doesn’t work too well for me … there’s something formulaic, urelenting about them. But if you must buy a Hart book, this is one this is the one. Goes over figure drawing in a friendly, followable way. Which is worth its weight in gold.

And I’ll be going over some of the exercises in the book and copying out drawings, to keep my newly-rediscovered chops developing.

[comics] Dutch Bros. Freedom Fighters – The Review

Posted in comics, liff, liff in OR, zeitgeist on April 14, 2011 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2602.Beginnings are such delicate times, to paraphrase a phrase that should identify me as the subculture geek I am. It is with this pithy sentiment, then, that we turn to consider the newest local band-of-compadres in comics, the Dutch Bros. Freedom Fighters.

Yes, our favorite Oregonized coffee experience has decided to go into the print realm, with a punchy little publication aiming to be filled with the same Dutchy goodness that fills every Annihilator, breve, and ER-911 that come from the ol’ Blue-and-White. DBFFAvailable for the asking at your local Broze kiosk – wherever you may find them, and they’re a-springin’ up all over, much to the delight of those of us who’ve been put under that particular spell – it looks to be the first issue of an adventure series driven by the love of comics, the love of coffee, and the desire to celebrate both.

The story thus far: One fine day in Dutch-land, as a square-jawed, mulleted, cheefrul barista serves a be-fro’d customer beverages prepared by the razor-sharp and dapper Pez (who bears a no-doubt-intentional resemblance to the Dutch Bros Mafiosi from the ubiquitous sticker) an angry Holstein secret-agent driving a DMC-12 and with an enormous cow-chip on her shoulder and the desire to undermine the good feelings that is Dutch Bros Back-To-The-Futures our three fellows into a cave with a  just-awakened – and cranky – dragon, who clearly has not had his caffiene yet.

Riding to the rescue is the decidedly babe-a-licious Princes Penny who gives our fellows the knowledge they need to tame (for now, anyway) the ferocious beast – turned out he just needed his morning coffee. Who knew?

The Holstein, Mad Cow (Agent 0015) retreats with her martial-art-infused frog sidekick to plan another revenge. And the boys have to figure out a way home.

These three fellows along with Princess Penny complete the quartet known as the Dutch Bros. Freedom Fighters, with adventure sure to ensue.

The comic was drawn by Grants Pass comic artist (and Iguana Comics owner) Jeff Egli, with scripting by Jason Hetzer and editorial direction by a Bros scion, Brant Boersma. There’s an interesting bit of shared history here, according to this interview on the blog Wut Eye Read, Brant was one of the first box subscribers during Iguana’s first incarnation – and when they opened it up again, Brant came in and wondered if his old box was available. Things evidently snowballed from there.

So, I’ll admit to a pro-Broze bias. I enjoy pretty much everything about Dutch Bros from the attitude of the employees to the Annihlator (which they will add maple syrup to for me … mmmmhm, maple). With this in mind, what can we say about the Fighters’ first outing?

It was good, but, character-wise, kind of weak. Origin stories are always a bit tricky to pull off, and the story makes sense, but I felt as though I had to keep going back to see if there was something I missed. I’m still not terribly clear on the names of all the characters – I think the one with the ‘fro is simply called Fro, and I never did see the mulleted-one referred to by name. Princess Penny makes for a very strong character but the fellas are going to have to come to the fore or she’ll pretty much steal the show from them.

That put out there, the artist and writer did give themselves a heck of a job to do, and that is establishing real characters based on a certain Dutch Bros je ne sais quoi in the space of just a handful of pages. Clearly they are up to the task, but it’s going to take another issue perhaps to do it.

Despite this, the comic is a fun romp. No complaints about the artistic style, I thought that was well pulled-off, and the idea of a dragon that only needs to be served a steaming cuppa every day by a lovely young lady to be calmed – well, a lot of people I know wouldn’t mind being that dragon.

I plan on keeping an eye out for Issue 2. Issue 1 is still available at your local Broze. Rumor is that they aren’t going to be printing any more, so you may have a collectors item on your hands if you can score one. A must for anyone who’s a member of the Dutch fan club.

Overall Grade: B-