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Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi

The Last Council, the fourth book of the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi is truly its Empire Strikes Back moment.  The tone is much darker, things go badly for our heroes and a fairly dramatic reveal occurs that changes and broadens the scope of the saga.  The first three Amulet books built to bigger and challenges and larger triumphs and so it is a fairly significant shift for the fourth book to dramatically deepen the challenge and leave Emily and her fellow heroes with even bigger odds to overcome than they imagined at the start of the series.

There Are No Ruts in Rutabaga

Brainstorming a new title for the daily spotty updates I've called "Comix Talk" the last couple of years.

To me, one of the most not-covered stories of last year was the "upgrade" of Comicspace.com to the wordpress platform and it's seeming abandonment to spam. Along with the total absence of any significant announcements of new products, services, etc from the corporation Comicspace last year (please correct me if I'm forgetting anything) I'm not surprised to see a blog post like this one from Reinder Dijkhuis on getting out of Comicspace.

2010 IS SO LAST YEAR:  Susie Cagle has a series of comics on 2010 in review: part one, part two and part three.

HYPEY McHYPE:  Get a look online at Justin Madson's eerie dystopian future comic series, Breathers at MTV Geek. I'm a big fan of this and have bought all of the books so far.

DEAD TREE WALKING:  Tyler Page, creator of Nothing Better, has been posting about his (self) publishing experiences. At the end of last year he posted part 4 which covers dealing with Diamond (catch up on Part 1Part 2, and Part 3).

INTERVIEWS

HOW LONG UNTIL AMULET 4: Kazu Kibuishi posts that he's in the final push on Amulet 4 (yay!) and he posted a photo of his studio set-up.  These kind of photos can be pretty interesting -- especially when you're in despair over your own shambles of a workspace (like... me).

COME OVER TO THE WEBSIDE: One of my favorite cartoonists Alex Robinson has writer's block. He blogs about it from time to time - part three from December entails a plan to just write a story. He also asked about publishing it online and there's a good discussion in the comments there. Before that he linked to an idea of using "100 themes" to generate ideas and work. His newfound discovery of the board game Settlers of Catan is probably not going to help with his productivity this year :)

AROUND THE WEB IN 80 BLOGS OR SO

Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers

Amulet, projected as a 10 volume series by creator Kazu Kibuishi, is shaping up to be something truly special. Kibuishi is weaving a story mixing deep archetypes with images and character types familiar from other popular epic entertainment, and yet still something quite original. The Cloud Searchers is the third volume in the series and easily the most accomplished of the series to date. I'm sure people have compared Amulet to Harry Potter, or even Star Wars before on a superficial level and there's some merit there. Amulet is vigorously entertaining and really engaging in the way a truly good adventure story can make you care about the fate of fictional characters and a fantasy world.

This Day In ComixTALK: August 13, 2010

Amulet 3

Time for another trip to the webcomics wayback machine:

2009

I reviewed Kazu Kibuishi's AMULET 2: The Stone Keeper's Curse.  Book three of the series is due September 2010!

2008

I interviewed Peter Donahue of the innovative webcomic Pear Pear.

2007

I linked to a FLEEN post about the beginnings of the now-shuttered Zuda portal from DC Comics; and I wrote about Scott Adams mentoring of webcomic creator Scott Meyer.  Plus, Tim Demeter wrote a guest post for us on BUSINESS TIME!

2006

I wrote about the now-deceased Top List at ComixTalk -- while at one point toplists seemed to be a fairly active way for readers to discover and share webcomics, it seems now that they've faded in importance compared to social media and other aggregating technologies and sites.

2005

Marvelous Patric wrote about moving his webcomic Freaks N Squeaks to the Webcomics Nation hosting service.  At the time, many webcomics were actively experimenting with subscription strategies and Patric was no exception.

2004

Dedos wrote about the then now webcomic-hosting service, Comic Sherpa, offered by Comics syndication site, uComics.com.

2003

hobounicorn wrote about a Texas court decision that all comics are for kids.  I think things have probably gotten better since than, particularly online.

Comix Talk for Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is it in fact appropriate to wish my neighbors to the North a "Happy Canada Day"?  If so, well then, cheers and happy no-longer-colonies day!  

Nope, I've Never Done This!

Hypey Mc Hype: Barry Smith and coffee always equals a good InkTank strip :)

Oooh Pretty... Flight 7!  Kazu Kibuishi posts previews from the upcoming installment of the comics anthology series.

Even Reuben Bolling Gets The Blues: The creator of Tom the Dancing Bug gets some high profile links to his comics but unfortunately not to the "approved" postings of them.  This sucks but it's inevitable that things like this will happen.  Best to be prepared by putting in a clear URL to your work on the comic image itself.  Any other tips?

Last One To Leave MySpace, Turn Off the Disco Lights: I saw on Comics Reporter that Dark Horse is moving its webcomics portal/monthly anthology off of MySpace and back to its own website.

Review: Lauren Davis tackles the post 9/11 thrilller webcomic Nathan Sorry.

INTERVIEW: Mike Rhodes interviews Donna Lewis for the local alt weekly paper.  Lewis's webcomic is Reply All which to be honest is a mess in terms of art (it looks like MS Paint) but does have some good moments in the writing.  Not really funny so much as an honest and knowing tone, it's a pretty good effort at a comic built around an adult woman's point of view.

NOT WEBCOMICS: I don't know if these are "authorized" but someone has made funny little animations out of a few Kate Beaton comics.  This take on her "Two Watsons" comics cracked me up silly this morning.

ComixTalk for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greystone Inn by Brad GuigarWe had the Son of Snowpocalypse in Washington DC yesterday.  Not all that exciting actually.  Also finally saw AVATAR in 3D on Sunday night. (Ain't Mrs X cool to take me to that for Valentines Day?!)  Reviews were dead-on; awesome world-building and special effects to carry it off, story was Dances With Wolves With Four Eyes and Gil Slits.  All in all, a great movie experience.

AWARDS: Tom Spurgeon has a list of the nominees for this year's Glyph awards.

MILESTONES: Congrats to Brad Guigar on 10 years of comicking!  Brad has had a heck of a decade pioneering this thing we call webcomics and I hope there's lots more to come.  In his blog post there's a BIG hint that a full collection of his first strip, Greystone Inn, will be coming to print.

Also docking in close to 10 years is the Flight anthology series.  Kazu Kibuishi announces that Flight 8 will be the last edition of that very successful project.

INTERVIEWS: Growly Beast has an interview with Tom Dell'Aringa of Marooned and The Internet Review of Science Fiction has a fairly indepth interview with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary.  UPDATE: Graphic NYC has an interview with Raina Telgemeier, who's most recent work is the graphic novel Smile.

JUSTIFY VARIOUS PEOPLE'S HYPE:

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS:  Kids book author/illustrator Mo Willems takes a crack at Hilary Price's Rhymes With Oranges this week.  Also details on Hilary's trip to Cuba with Jeannie Schulz and other cartoonists including Alexis Fajardo.  Haven't talked with Alexis in years - maybe I better catch up with him! :)  (h/t Daily Cartoonist)

SECRET SCIENCE ALLIANCE ACTIVATE!  The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis won this year's CYBIL award for the graphic novel category. The CYBILs are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.  And TCJ posted a four part interview with Eleanor, husband Drew Weing and the rest of the creative crew from the Secret Science Alliance book.  Here's part one (with links to part 1 & 2 and part 3 & 4):

Comix Talk for Friday, February 12, 2010

Zombies Calling by Faith Erin HicksWe're finally digging out of the snow here in Washington DC -- apparently the volume of frosted flakes falling felled a record.  Anyhow - wanted to let everyone know that new user registrations are back online at Comix Talk.  You don't need to register with Comix Talk to comment on anything BUT registering gives you the ability to have a user blog and post to Comix Talk news and hype if you so desire.  New registrations are not automatically approved, however, so it may take up to a day for me to check them.

All Ages: El Santo had an interesting overview of what makes comics good for kids.  A good source for what's new with all ages comics is the Good Comics for Kids blog.  I've certainly had more interest in these comics again as my kids have gotten into comics.

No Good Deed Goes Unpublished: Coyote Trax has an article about webcomic creators involvement in charity and other good deeds.  El Santo had a recent post about the comic Snowflakes participation in Heart Health Month.

INTERVIEWS

Comix Talk for Monday, February 8, 2010

Sci Fi Drive By by Ryan Estrada

Welcome to the new site design at ComixTalk.  We're on a new server so let me know if it feels a bit zippier (it seems to be faster all around to me).  Happy to hear about broken stuff -- I'm not done with tweaking things (never done!) and I can add it to the list.  One thing I can warn you about is that a lot of the older URLs are still broken, but I hope to clear most of that up this week.

REVIEWS:  I had the pleasure of sitting down with Copper in print this weekend and reading and re-reading it.  Here's my glowing, gushing review. I also forgot to mention that we liked Kazu even before he was a star; here's the cover art he did for ComixpediaTALK back in 2004.  Also, I'll have a review of Smile, the new graphic novel from Raina Telgemeier up this week.  I did get a chance to read it this past weekend and it is an entertaining, moving story.  Sure, the tale of the teeth and all of the work Raina had to go through are interesting, but she's done so much more with filling out the emotions and just the in-between-ness of those middle school years that it would have made a good story even without that hook.

MILESTONES: Last week marked the end of Anders Loves Maria, the breakout webcomic from Rene Engström.  I'll second Gary's thoughts on the tale.  Perhaps the ending felt a bit abrupt, even forced, but you can't deny it's impact.  It's also worth noting that Engström's art continually improved throughout the comic and that in re-reading the archives of this comic, I'm even more impressed with where she is now as a creator.  I hope the next comic comes soon.

CONTESTS: Ryan Estrada is competing in this month's Zudalympics and he needs your vote.  His comic is called Sci-Fi Drive-By and you can vote by visiting his website.  In non-Zuda voting, Comic Riffs, the Washington Post's blog about comic strips is having a Best Webcomic of the Decade Popularity Contest -- voting closes this Wednesday.  The seven contenders are: Girl Genius, Hark! A Vagrant, Least I Could Do, Penny Arcade, The Perry Bible Fellowship, Schlock Mercenary, and xkcd.

Copper by Kazu Kibuishi

Copper by Kazu Kibuishi

Copper is a beautiful comic.  Kazu Kibuishi takes such care in rendering landscapes both natural and fantastic, that one can't help but be drawn into the page to fully appreciate the environment of Copper. In particular, I think Kibuishi must love drawing moving water because it is almost a constant presence in the book (The comic "Waterfall" is both a great bit of illustration but also an insightful commentary on it).

Comix Talk for February 2, 2010

Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn by Meredith Gran

Quick update this morning - The Escapist website is having a contest -- more like an audition -- to pick a regular webcomic for the The Escapist.  I haven't read the fine print so you should before you enter, but go check it out.  Btw, SLG Publishing is going to have a workshop for "aspiring comic creators" this March in San Jose, CA.

DEAD TREES:  Robot6 previews a lot of comics on book publishers' schedule for this year, includes several webcomics such as Goats, Octopus Pie and Penny Arcade.

INTERVIEWS:  Lots of folks linking to this interview with Bill Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes worship fame...  Be sure to check out Graphic Novel Reporter's interview with Kazu Kibuishi on his print collection of Copper.