Oh no, I had this Online Commentary & Diversions update all set to go and then I forgot to post it... Earth to Mike!
• List: At Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!, our favorite little stuffed bull continues the annual Fun Fifty countown. At #36, Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1: "Ditko expert Blake Bell collects several dozen of Steve's 1950s work from Charlton and other publishers, plus plenty of amazing covers, in a thick, hardy collection with glorious gory and ghoulish Ditko comics from front to back. This thing's a gold mine!"
• Review: "...T. Edward Bak's almost comically named 'Wild Man, Chapter 2 -- A Bavarian Botanist in St. Petersburg, Part One'... is the story to which I kept returning long after the publication entire [Mome Vol. 17] should have been swapped off of my end table for something less worked over. ... I hope there's more." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Review: "Next to Scott Pilgrim [Prison Pit: Book 1] felt to me like the western comic that’s got closest to properly understanding the energy of manga, rather than simply aping the surface elements. ... It’s the best art I’ve seen Ryan do in his career, more focused and while it mainly maintains a four-panel-a-page rhythm, when he breaks from that to do a splash page or change the panel rhythm, he does to great effect. If you’re going to do a splash page, it might as well be of a monster made of sperm or a barbed penis." – Brian Smith, Awesome Engine
• Coming Attractions:ICv2 previews our upcoming August release of Buz Sawyer Vol. 1: The War in the Pacific by Roy Crane
• Interview:Inkstuds host Robin McConnell says "I really enjoyed this chat with Zak Sally. If you are not already reading his work, you will want to after listening to this."
• Events: For Comics Comics, Dash Shaw reports from Angoulême: "At festivals like this you find yourself jetlagged in a taxi with José Muñoz and you’re thinking 'holy shit, what do I ask José Muñoz? What do I ask José Muñoz?!' and you end up just bugging him about random things. Try to milk those ten minutes for as much as you can."
Seattle-based artist Michael Leavitt is involved in an ongoing 8-year project sculpting figures for his fanciful "Art Army." Inductees include Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Mark Ryden, Robert Williams, Ron English, Shag, Banksy, and countless others. His latest recruit is none other than underground comix legend R. Crumb.
Here is a very long series of blog posts about HUMBUG by our good friend Jean-Pierre Dionnet, whom Eurocomics-philes will recognize as a founding member of METAL HURLANT and Les Humanoides Associés, and whose list of achievements in the field of la bande dessinée is as long as your arm. Enjoy...if you read French!
So, Tuesday nights are band practice. We get together in a seedy old building in Seattle's Ballard district, an old theater of some kind that's been subdivided into a bunch of nonsensical, Winchester Mystery House-style rooms and stairways. The Grunge Era lives on here, where garbage bags filled with empty beer cans are piled in the main "lobby" about ten feet high by at least as wide. The cavernous, pitch black hallways that lead to the restroom can make you feel like you're in an indoor version of "The Blair Witch Project". The bathroom stall is splattered with red paint for dramatic effect. You need a lighter or iPhone to light the way. Walls are routinely tagged, there's new stuff on them almost every week. Imagine my surprise last night when I came upon these faces staring me down in one of the hallways:
Very creepy. I was afraid that Dave Sim was going to come through a door and rape me for not being more manly. I ran back to our room and locked it. We might need to explore a new practice venue.
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