- Graphic Nonfiction: An Excerpt from March Book 1 by Lewis/Aydin/Powell-- With the release of an oversized edition of March Book 1 and the recent announcement of Book 3 coming this summer, Rob M. shared an excerpt from the first book.
- Graphic Nonfiction: Alison Wilgus Talks About Her Elderly Cat-- Rob M. highlighted Alison Wilgus's comics about her cat.
- Graphic Nonfiction: Mari Naomi Plants a Story from Her Life-- Continuing his Graphic Nonfiction spotlight, Rob M. pointed out a Mari Naomi comic about getting a fly-eating plant.
- The Wendy Project #1 by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish-- Mark D. wrote about a comic by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish.
- The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips-- Scott C. looked at the recently concluded series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
- As always, check out The Green Gocrow for Mark D's regular writing about comics, including Red Sonja #2 and Book of Death Volume 1.
- James K. contributed to Comicosity's weekly Honor Roll column with looks at The Vision #4, Batman #49, Saga #34, and Black Widow #1.
- Scott C. wrote about Rick Remender's use of Deadpool and Batman #49 at PopOptic, The Legion of Super-Heroes #300 at Trouble With Comics, and Spider-Man #1 & DKIII #3 at Newsarama.
** The Last Underground Cartoonist?: A Q&A with Robert Triptow (The Comics Journal)-- At TCJ, Rob Kirby interviews Robert Triptow.
I may be the last underground cartoonist, however, because I was inspired by the underground. Hippie cartooning was what prompted me to pick up my pen and draw, when before I’d been a writer who’d given up art to express myself. After I discovered comix at age 18 — while tripping on acid for the first time — I dreamed of living in the Haight and being a hippie cartoonist. I was “Mr. Underground Comix” of Salt Lake, but I gave it up as a fantasy. I was serious as a journalist, and that led me to San Francisco. Then, through the serendipity of life, I inherited an apartment in the Haight, and a writing project led me back into cartooning, so fantasy became fate. I remember walking through the neighborhood and seeing in a shop window a cartoon I’d drawn in Utah, which was rather dream-like, even at the time. It was fated to happen. Maybe. Then my first story, which I’d intended for Bizarre Sex but which was orphaned because that series had ended, was picked up for a reprint of Bizarre Sex #4. It was either fate or it was folly.
** Review: Frontier #11 – BDSM by Eleanor Davis (Sequential State)-- Alex Hoffman reviews the excellent Frontier #11 by Eleanor Davis.
Davis uses much of the comic to explore the male gaze and misogyny. With two female leads, the male gaze is everywhere; the film being made is likely intended for the straight male viewer, and the entire crew of the film (minus perhaps a producer hiding in the back) is a man. The introductory scene, which I’ve highlighted above, shows men staring into screens, pinpoint eyes, hyperfocused on the women’s bodies. That traditional power imbalance is explored through Victoria, who is struggling with the fact that despite being the star of the film, she is treated as an inferior. We see Victoria constantly trying to maintain a professional coolness and equality with the men on set, which is disrupted by Lex being subservient to guys on the cast during a cigarette break. There’s some ugly hardwired stuff going on in this scene, which calls into question the emotion and the relationship that Victoria and Lex have in later pages. As you might expect, BDSM is a sexy comic. But the erotisim is juxtaposed against some very dark themes.
** Frank Miller's Elektra: Assassin Is a Hot Mess, But It's a Beautiful Hot Mess (IO9)-- With Elektra set to make her Netflix debut next week, James Whitbrook takes a look at the wonderful insanity of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz's Elektra Assassin.
Now, throw all of that information out the window—because you’re not going to read Elektra: Assassin for its plot. You’re going to read it as a trippy fever dream, a winding commentary on sex, politics, comics, hell, even Frank Miller himself. It’s a trip through the troubled mind of Elektra, but equally a journey into Miller’s own psyche that never lets up, even in its quieter moments.
** Confessions of a Manga Translator (The Comics Journal)-- Zack Davisson writes about the true work of manga translators.
When they chose the translator, editors are choosing what kind of comic will eventually be made. Many readers don’t realize the amount of influence translators have over the finished comic. It’s true that some companies hire adapters to assist in the dialog. And there’s nothing wrong with that; Kelly Sue Deconnick got her start as a manga adaptor. But I don’t think it’s a common practice. I’ve only personally used an adaptor once, and most translators I know deliver a finished script that goes straight onto the page.
** Talking with Legendary Cartoonist Peter Bagge About His Seminal Grunge Comic 'Hate' (Vice)-- Nick Gazin talks to Peter Bagge about one of the great comics of the 1990s.
My older sister is the principal of an English language school in Peru. She and her husband have also taught in China and Japan. My other sister is married to a contractor, and she has done various art-related odd jobs throughout her life. She's a talented artist and painter. My younger brother worked at an art foundry for most of his adult life. My older brother, Doug, passed away 20 years ago. My parents are also both gone now. None of them ever had much to say about the Bradleys. They found the stories amusing, and they saw how it was inspired by our upbringing. If any of them were put off by my stories, they never said so.
** Here’s how the rest of the world views Trump and campaign nastiness (Comic Riffs)-- Michael Cavna looks at how our current Presidential race and its Republican frontrunner have been viewed by political cartoonists from around the world.
And Cavna doesn't just focus on Trump in another piece this week that looks at the Presidential race and all of its candidates depictions in recent political cartoons.
** Review: Ghost (The Comics Journal)-- Rob Clough review's Whit Taylor's comic Ghost.
Visually, this chapter is a great example of how Taylor’s open-page formatting benefits her overall visual approach. She concentrates on figure drawing on most of the pages, leaving behind extraneous or distracting details. However, she goes nuts on some pages in which Darwin and Taylor visit an island, fancifully crafting all sorts of creatures, using what looks like colored pencil to fill in gaps and make the drawings pop. With her figure drawing, she plays to her strengths, as drawing exaggerated facial expressions (especially side-eyeing) is what she does best.
** Colorists on Color: The Introduction (Women Write About Comics)-- Marissa Louise begins a series at WWAC laying a foundation for how we could talk about the use and role of color in comics.
I love black and white drawing. When it is well done it has exceptional life, keen reduction, and strong emotive qualities. But line isn’t all there is to art. Imagine the Mona Lisa without color. Or imagine a Mondrian without color. They would still be poetic in their reduction, but they’d miss an extra element of the visual narrative that is derived from color. Color takes a drawing from a guitar solo to a full orchestration! It increases the capacity for emotional broadcasting and story pacing. It can help clarify focus and carry the eye across the page. It opens a whole new world! Imagine The Wicked & The Divine without Matt Wilson. Imagine Injectionwithout Jordie Bellaire. Or Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur with out Tamra Bonvillain. Nextwave without Dave McCaig. They are all still beautiful books, but with these artists they are their full potential.