Hotwire Comics Vol. 2 Various artists; edited by Glenn Head
The cartoon anthology that puts the kicks back in comics strikes again. Climb on board the Hotwire express for another electrifying joyride — from the sublime to the ridiculous, and all parts in between.
Hotwire Vol. 2 includes some of the strongest narrative comics around. Tim Lane's epic autobiographical strip, "Spirit," portrays the grittiness, desperation, and terror that accompanied him as he went on the bum, riding the rails. "Niacin" by Mary Fleener is the sordid but hilarious story of a hallucinatory date with a drug dealer. Mack White brilliantly deconstructs the western myth of the OK Corral gunfight in "Showdown at Hustler's Ridge." Series editor Glenn Head's "Oozing Dread!" tells the Twilight Zone-ish tale of Wilhelm Reich, madcap genius-inventor of the orgone box. "Communicable Disease" by Carol Swain shows the descent of a young Scottish lass into impoverished hell. Dutch artist Tobias Tak delivers a fantastical retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk with his comic "The Ten Inch Giant."
If you want comic art that knocks your socks off, you'll find plenty, from the likes of David Sandlin, Jonathon Rosen, Stephane Blanquet, Craig Yoe, Christian Northeast, and Mike Wartella. There are also hot new strips by David Lasky, Rick Altergott, Lauren Weinstein, Matti Hagelberg, Danny Hellman, Bob Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman, Chadwick Whitehead and others.
Hotwire delivers in the humor department as well. There are laugh-a-minute gag pages by Ivan Brunetti, Johnny Ryan, Doug Allen, Gary Lieb and Sam Henderson. Plus talened Hotwire newcomers Lorna Miller and Karl Wills delight in showing just how cute and cuddly childhood really is.
All this and an absolute killer cover by Tim Lane... hardboiled doesn't get much tougher than this!
Linda Medley is on a whirlwind tour of six French cities celebrating the release of CHATEAU L'ATTENTE, the French edition of CASTLE WAITING. Here she is in Paris (her first leg of the tour), where a comics store/gallery is holding a CASTLE WAITING art show (yes, those are all originals on the wall). After this it will be on to Angouleme, where CHATEAU L'ATTENTE is a nominee in contention for best French language graphic novel of the year.
You can tell she's signing in France because she has been given a plate of cheese for sustenance.
The latest "Daniel Clowes is working on a movie" story involves Clowes writing the screenplay for an animated film directed by Michel Gondry based on a story and artwork by Gondry's son Paul. More here and here.
The latest Inkstuds interview features a fine talk with three fellas I consider friends but also have great respect for as writers and thinkers about comics: Jeet Heer, Tom Spurgeon, and Dan Nadel. It starts off a bit shaky - the show doesn't even start until ten minutes in, and then Dan and Tom are both late and the dialogue kind of stalls all over again when each one joins. But once they get going it's a great, thoughtful listen.
Since I started as a book designer here at Fantagraphics, one of the most common questions I get is "Where can I find a good comic book font?" And usually I just say "Look Chris, you've been bugging me about that every month since about Acme #3 and I just don't know!"
Okay but obvious jokes aside: I really DO get that question and I guess that's my answer now. I can only think of one of our regular artists who doesn't hand-letter his/her own work. We do use computer "comic" lettering on all of our translations except for the rare artist who will re-letter the translated work. (For example, Jordan Crane and Dan Clowes do that for their foreign editions.) And, generally, we don't use pre-fab typefaces but create the font in-house by scanning in the artist's hand-drawn alphabet.
I recently spoke at my alma mater and my only follow-up email after the event was a kid asking me if there was a reason everyone uses Comic Sans. The answer is Yes. Those people's parents need them to mow the lawn or start paying rent which leaves no time for lettering their comic AND watching "Heroes."
Jacob Covey emailed myself, Adam Grano and Mike Baehr a few minutes ago with THIS link to an eBay auction that ends in 22 hours, promising to wear this item to work EVERY DAY if we buy it for him. We don't make enough to go in on $4K three ways, but if there's a wealthy benefactor out there with a sick sense of humor, we would really like to call his bluff. You have no idea how much this would improve office morale (for most of us, anyway).
P.S. Adam said he'd go $100 easy, as would I, and possibly as high as $300. So we really only need like $3500. As of now no one has bid, maybe the seller will even come down on the price if no one does.
P.P.S. Kevin Eastman should buy this for us just to have a ninja turtle walking around in Gary Groth's office every day.
UPDATE: Auction ended with no bids and was re-listed at $3,299. Hope is not lost.
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