Twist Street

Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers, Julian R. Eastman, & Me

Posts tagged Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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Stuntman splashes pencilled and inked by Jack Kirby, c/o the Kirby Museum.  It’s always interesting with Kirby that as much as his surface style changed over the course of his career, how early he had that facility with big splash-y images— those razzle-dazzle bits like something out of a Broadway musical set piece, those are there pretty darn early with him (and of course, in every possible genre, though it’s understandable to focus on his sci-fi out-there stuff because holy cow)… The Panda wasn’t really his best day, though…

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby? drawrings

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There has always been a silent agreement between Grant Morrison comics and Grant Morrison readers that one thing will not be considered in evaluating these grand struggles for the evolution of the superhero concept: that we won’t just elect to go do something else. That we won’t decide that the best way to deal with the problems of superheroes is to stop reading superhero comics. And this I’ve come to see as a narrative fault, because Morrison keeps going on and on and on about evolution, and yet the superhero decades have proven circular in their advancements, so that Nu 52 DC reads quite a bit like Wildstorm circa 1995, and as a result I find myself standing outside, wondering “hey, if nothing really changes, this guy can just position himself, profitably, as a shaman in perpetuity, right?”

THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (8/27/14 – 52 is an Artificial Limit, and other obvious statements) | The Comics Journal. Jog in full beast mode, taking a look at Multiversity #1. In the comments, the book is revealed as what we expected all along: a desperate attempt at David Brothers fanfic.

(via iamdavidbrothers)

Joe said it all better but:  That was a striking book, just in how unhip it felt compared to everything else I got that week.  It had some interesting ideas in the execution (I like the bit about books being windows into the places the characters will visit, I guess).  There were things to like about it, some.  It just felt like … not of this year.  When Joe talks about looking at it with nostalgia, I think he really nails at least my experience of it— “this might’ve really meant something to me once" was the most it inspired in me (plus a brief "oh no is this going to be about the internet?" fear that Jeff Lester talks about elsewhere)(I don’t know if “no, it’s just going to be about comics again" was too much relief).  Just in the stuff it was concerned about… like, those battles already all got lost.  Bad guys win.  Or good guys win if you’re really into Lady Thor or whatever.  I don’t know.  I don’t care anymore.  I guess that was the weird thing about it— just this visit to a planet of concerns I don’t have anymore…

(Or just this massive body of work he’s been building about superheros being held hostage and corrupted by Decrepit Forces feels very strange right now, when… I’m the first person to be cynical and say “all these indie success stories are a fad and a bubble!  nothing good will last!  humbug!  Humbug to everything!"  But that felt strange right now where the rest of comics are suffused with a very different kind of optimism.  It felt like a book wanting to joust obstacles on a dirt path located adjacent to a … well not a highway, but a different dirt path whose obstacles are probably just being hushed up and also a dirt path with too many science fiction comics on it, what’s with all the science fiction, buy a different set of dice, you nerds, etc.  I don’t know.  I’m babbling about dirt on the internet again, aren’t I?  The behavioral therapy isn’t working…)

Probably this all just says more about me and where I’m at, than anything.  It was just weird how much that seemed like a thing of the early 00’s.  And also just kind of striking given how much you see Morrison’s fingerprints in many of your hip books of the moment.  I read that book after reading not less than three Image books with Morrison’s DNA splattered all over them…

(The Eleanor Davis diaries at the Journal right now are also worth a look).

(via iamdavidbrothers)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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snubpollard:

Penis enlargement ad from the inside-back cover of ero comics magazine Action Pizazz, which — to my dismay — turned out *not* to consist exclusively of porn parodies of serials running in its mainstream-y sister title Manga Action (some of which are pretty borderline to begin with).
Obviously the guys toward the bottom going yesss bigger dicks are the highlight, but I admire the wizened, trustworthy demeanor of Dr. Lauren Davidson; back when birth-of-a-baby movies toured the United States in the 1940s, the producers would always have a “Dr. Elliott Forbes” on location to hawk sexual hygiene booklets at intermission… and, if the film were playing multiple towns on the same day, there’d be a different Dr. Forbes at each one. I guess what I’m saying is, I’d make a terrific Dr. Lauren Davidson. I dress well, I can speak with an authoritative cadence, I’m ‘friendly’ yet emotionally inaccessible - my email is public, Japanese penis pill impresarios!

Action Pizazz.

snubpollard:

Penis enlargement ad from the inside-back cover of ero comics magazine Action Pizazz, which — to my dismay — turned out *not* to consist exclusively of porn parodies of serials running in its mainstream-y sister title Manga Action (some of which are pretty borderline to begin with).

Obviously the guys toward the bottom going yesss bigger dicks are the highlight, but I admire the wizened, trustworthy demeanor of Dr. Lauren Davidson; back when birth-of-a-baby movies toured the United States in the 1940s, the producers would always have a “Dr. Elliott Forbes” on location to hawk sexual hygiene booklets at intermission… and, if the film were playing multiple towns on the same day, there’d be a different Dr. Forbes at each one. I guess what I’m saying is, I’d make a terrific Dr. Lauren Davidson. I dress well, I can speak with an authoritative cadence, I’m ‘friendly’ yet emotionally inaccessible - my email is public, Japanese penis pill impresarios!

Action Pizazz.

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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tgarbo-translates:

"Godendeemster" (Götterdämmerung), a Sjef van Oekel story drawn by Theo van den Boogaard and scripted by Wim T. Schippers, translated by Google software and rendered into comprehensibility, though probably not accuracy, by me.

(You’re going to want to open each image individually into a new tab, especially that doozy of a two-page spread. Not safe for work or church, although it helps if you have some Biblical background.)

The Sjef van Oekel stories can be roughly described as R. Crumb meets Hergé; the titular figure was a popular sketch-comedy character on Dutch television and records before Schippers and van den Boogaard began sending him through meticulously-drawn stories that mocked every conceivable form of pretense, hypocrisy, social standard, and ordinary sense. “Godendeemster” is transgressive even by their standards, and the series ended when the comedian who played Sjef filed a lawsuit that included the sexual, scatological, and morbid elements of the comic. But while it lasted it was perhaps the greatest sketch-comedy strip ever created, blackout gags alternating with cruel social satire and dumb puns, all delivered in such a technically polished form that the humor bites all the harder for being delivered in such dispassionately detailed drawings.

Apparently at least some of the Sjef van Oekel strips have already been published in English in Holland under the name “Mr. Ponsford,” possibly including this one. I wonder how I did by comparison.

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Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

mikedawwwson:

Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience

I’ve been publishing comics for coming on twenty years now. It’s hard to pinpoint a start-date, as like many cartoonists I’ve just been drawing my whole life, but sometime around ‘95 would be when I began putting out ‘zines…

Uh, if I can add insult to injury: who did you even think your audience was?

Your graphic novels had a $20 list price, and you hadn’t really made a name for yourself before trying to charge people $20 to find out if you were any good at making comics.  

Did you think there were a lot of people who take that kind of risk with their money, and if so, why?  Is that how you buy comics— you just see books and then spend $20 on them, regardless of if you’ve never heard of who made them, week after week?  What kind of comic-buying budget are you dealing with that allows you to do that?  

If not, why are you selling comics differently from how you’re buying them?   Or did you believe that the comic audience pays a significant attention to good reviews or awards?  If so:  why???  I seriously don’t know what data could have lead you to believe any of that.  The Ignatz awards and NPR??

Plus:  your second comic seriously looks like a children’s comic but its description is “a story as much about adults as it is adolescents, the blurred line between childhood and manhood, and the consequences of authoritative posturing.  Dispensing with idyllic notions, Dawson describes the hilarious and brutal truths about boys and men, the hypocrisy of institutional morality and the resilience of Spam and the human spirit."  First of all, that is basically gibberish.  Secondly:  not kids…?  "All ages"-?  I can’t even tell from all that— all I know is that it’s not going to have "idyllic notions" (which is such a relief).  Your Booklist review for Troop 142 begins with "Be warned: this is not a book to give to prospective Boy Scouts”.  Even good reviews are starting with warnings to prospective audience members to not accidentally buy your comic!?  Booklist suggests it for a young adult audience (Grade 10-12?)— is that indicated anywhere else?  Not on the front cover and not on your publisher page for the book, but maybe on the back…?

Which may not matter because your third book?  Sure doesn’t sound like a young adult book— “In Angie Bongiolatti we get to follow a group of young New Yorkers as they navigate the slippery slopes between work, play, friendship, sex and politics in a post 9/11 world.”  Are you trying to sell “New Yorkers navigating sex” to extremely mature Boy Scouts?  Why did you think the young adult book about camp would build an audience for … whatever (?) this third book was about?  (God only knows with that description— that description could equally apply to the work of Bret Easton Ellis or Jennifer Aniston)(it may be worth noting there’s literally zero about that description where I couldn’t find a million other things to satisfy that niche first, before I turn to something your publishers sets at a $20 list price).  Also your publisher description for your third book starts with “Set in the same universe as Troop 142"…?  I didn’t read Troop 142 so does that mean I have to read that first?  Is it the continuing adventures of those characters?  Comic fans all have some level of OCD so if you say "same universe" (whatever that means), no one is going to start at episode 2— that’s not how our people are built.  And why would you make a sequel to something no one bought to begin with? 

I can’t guess what relationship your publisher has with libraries, who I’d imagine would be a key potential buyer for you(?).  None of the rest of their catalog seems very library-oriented, though. 

(Also it seems like you’re trying to do ensemble storytelling in comics, or at least none of your ad copy except your first book mentions a central character with an interesting dilemma, which … Other than Love & Rockets, who has made that work?  There’s a certain challenge there even if everything else goes great)

What was your business model?

(Source: mikedawwwson, via study-group)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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They made a movie from Santa Inoue’s Tokyo Tribe.  That comic… pretty goddamn memorable; kinda became a big deal for me when I first found it in 2002 or 2003, in the corner of some Sawtelle Blvd. bookstore, just because I’d never seen anybody with that set of influences in comics, at least not quite that way before. Just that thing of seeing someone outside of America beat Americans to making comics about the most American shit…?  And just his lack of embarrassment— even though there’s plenty to be embarrassed by there.  Title pages of women in fur coats with “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” dutifully typed next to them…?  All that shit. When they finally translated those books— man, I don’t know if I’d recommend them to anybody. There’s some gross stuff in there. But before that happened, sure left an impression. Also: Inoue was Taiyo Matsumoto’s cousin and Matsumoto is still just the best.

Artists in the credits include Young Hastle, Loota, Vito Foccacio, and DJ Ken Watanabe.

(Source: blogs.indiewire.com)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby? movie trailers. Doogie Did This Before the Internet.

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Back in the day, Walter would, every once in a while, forget how to draw. Remember?" Louise said.

“Oh yeah,” Walter agreed. “That still happens occasionally. It’s like, ‘Oh my god, nothing I’m drawing looks any good anymore. My life is over as an artist.’ And what I realized, because I was an editor at the time, and had seen a lot of work go past me, was that when you hit this phase where suddenly your stuff, which looks just like it did yesterday, doesn’t look good to you anymore, it’s because your mind has made a leap. Your brain has gotten farther than your hand has learned to do it yet. But eventually, give it a few weeks, keep it up and you’ve made a leap in your own craft. That was a big help because it was so depressing when you realize you couldn’t draw anymore.
From an interview with Walt and Louise Simonson.

Filed under I want to remember this for later. Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby?

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graemem:

“When women create superhero comics, though—as with G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel—they’ve had success attracting a female audience. So Marvel’s decision to make Thor a woman, and the company’s general effort to reach out to female readers, seem like canny business moves.”

Well, except for the fact that the creative team making Thor a woman doesn’t contain one woman, of course. (From here. This has been the year for “Hey, women go to Comic-Con too?!?” pieces, it seems. See also this terrible piece.)

2009 headlines: “Did Twilight Ruin Comic-Con? Some people think so.

And: “Will Twilight Ruin This Year’s Comic-Con?

And Yahoo Answers: “What is comic-con? and how did twilight ruin it?

And the LA Weekly’s delightful headline: “Comic-Con’s Twilight Protests: Is There a Gender War Brewing?”

2011: ”This Year, Twilight Will Not Ruin San Diego Comic Con

But this year it’s okay because there’s going to be a female version of a corporate-sponsored male character written by the usual guys.  Plus, Thorette’s shoulders and parts of her belly don’t have any armor on them, another female superhero plainly created for the male gaze; with Twilight, women were asserting their own sexual thoughts, too (however messed up)— that threat is gone.  Not a hard math; just the same old lame one.

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