I did an interview with the Webcomics Beacon podcast that was posted last week. It was about Comix Talk stuff which, listening to it, mostly sounds like a bunch of projects I don't have time for anymore. The hosts – Fes and Mark – were nice dudes though. I talked about Comixpedia.org and its birth from the Wikipedia webcomics purge. I talked about my personal webcomic efforts. (Here's a link to Ira Glass's quote on the gap between taste and ability that I mentioned — it really is a mantra for me these days). We talked (I talked!) about possible tweaks to social-media-fy ComixTalk and another idea for a Meta Critics-like site for web/comics that I've only gotten to a rough, rough alpha stage. (Btw — am I missing that a Rotten Tomatoes or Meta Critics for comics website already exists? Please tell me if it does).
2D Cloud sent me a couple of their recent books for review. One of them is Things You Carry by Vincent Stall. I had a hard time absorbing this wordless tale of a creature wandering. But I was compelled to spend time with the book, just to sort through the visual imagery, take in this simple plot and figure out what it meant (if it means anything at all). At first it struck me as an easy book to skim through, especially because Stall has a great knack for stylizing his imagery – densely detailed panels don't necessarily overwhelm you at first look. You really have to linger over each panel. When you do, you start to see the patterns but also the numerous details. I honestly don't know what to make of the book — the ending is meaningful but deeply ambiguous to me. I'm going to have to come back to this one but did want to make sure to point you toward the publisher's and creator's websites to check out their great work. Also here's a video of Stall at his solo art show of the same name:
I also got a preview of chapters 1-4 from a new book coming out next year, Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro and Joe Pekar. It's a coming of age type story about a couple of put-upon kids in highschool who enter a battle of the bands contest. There's a bit too much "telling" and not enough just showing in what I read and the story itself is a little cliche, but the art is crisp and the characters are well-rendered. And even if I've read this type of story several times before, it is a fun groove to retread. They also sent me a poster by Jim Ford which is pretty nice although this random guy on the Internet really loved the poster so I'm going to let him show it to you:
Julian Bynoe writes that he is serializing a comic called Lone Outpost: India, Portugal and the Goa Dispute 1946-1962 which examines the little-known 1961 Goa Conflict in India. Bynoe's previous work includes EU50: From Trade Bloc to Superstate 1957-2007 (2007-2011), a chronical of the European Union’s first half-century. “I’ve had a fascination in studying Portugal’s colonial empire, which I first explored with Macau Fado when they handed its last colony back to China after four hundred and forty-two years. With Lone Outpost, it talks about how Portugal was unwilling to give up one centimetre of its overseas empire under the fascist dictatorship of Antonio Salazar in the latter-half of the twentieth century at a time when most of the European powers were reconsidering their colonies in the post-war era. Compared to Fado, it goes to show how far the Portuguese had come since that time.”
Shannon Muir and Kevin Broden's Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory webcomic features the adventures of super powered teen Debra Clay, known as Flying Glory, and her backing band the Hounds of Glory. The duo has put out a book, Flying Glory Flashback: Celebrating 10 Years of the Lyrics, Words and History that if I'm reading the press release right is a collection of the lyrics to the songs that the band in the webcomic "played" along with some other special features from the history of the comic (but not the actual comics themselves).
Oliver Knörzer writes to let us know about his webcomic Gaia, with artist Powree — the creators of the comic Sandra and Woo. The comic takes place in the self-created world of Gaia where political tension between the two most powerful countries Cania and Midgard has grown in recent years. Similar to several of his classmates at the "Academy for Arcane Studies and Material Arts", the young warrior Ilias Oter is much more interested in the beautiful wizard Lilith Caillean than in politics. But soon he has to learn that Lilith is standing in the eye of a dark storm that is going to sweep across the whole world.