#313 Audio comics

DaredevilOver the years we’ve repeatedly looked at how other media adapt to comics, and vice-versa. This time around, Tim and Kevin look at the challenges of converting comics to audio, including Black & White Nexus #3 (1982) and Daredevil #1 (2011), plus some unofficial takes (including our own!) on Watchmen.

#312 Ryan Cecil Smith: The Interview

SFSFA few weeks back on Critiquing Comics, we discussed the work of science-fiction creator Ryan Cecil Smith; we liked it so much, we decided to have him on the show! Kumar talks with him this week about his influences, producing and promoting his books, and more.

REVIEW: Orc Stain

Created, written and drawn by James Stokoe.

Image Comics, 2010.

I can think of few books that match Orc Stain in the sheer level of raw creativity, fun, perversity, and originality. Stokoe has embarked on a program of world building worthy of an off-duty cultural anthropologist competing in a science fiction/fantasy pitch contest where the ideas are so daring they cannot be implemented in a medium other than an independent comic book (albeit one published and distributed by Image).

Orc Stain is the story of a lowly orc named “One Eye” who has a talent for being able to see the structural weakness in any container, building or edifice. Whether this ability is supernatural or is based on more normal perceptions is not really explained in the first volume. What it does do is allow him to do something which other orcs are not very good at: figure out solutions to problems that do not involve punching or stabbing. Continue reading REVIEW: Orc Stain

#046 “Doc Frankenstein” and burning questions

Doc FrankensteinFLASHBACK! The Wachowski Brothers’ Doc Frankenstein #2 and further discussion of burning questions such as: Can single-panel cartoons be considered “comics”? Are comics “drawn” or “illustrated”? How does society — American and Japanese — perceive comics creators or comics readers? Tim and Brandon ponder. Originally published October 23, 2006.

REVIEW: Signal To Noise

Written by Neil Gaiman

Art by Dave McKean

Dark Horse Comics, 2007 (New Edition)

Originally serialized in a magazine called The Face (United Kingdom) and collected into a single volume in 1992, this book represents some early usage of digital manipulation, photographic collage and highly expressionistic Dave McKean artwork. Dave McKean has an ability to use a Canon laser photocopier the way many traditional illustrators use pen and ink.

The narrative is essentially about millenarianism. Being written a decade before the year 2000, this book was also accurate in its predictions about how the millennium would result in the changing of more or less nothing. The presaged view of the ten years in the future may not be the most exciting depiction of pre-millennium tension that I have ever read, but after the fact and with the element of hindsight it is probably one of the most accurate. Unlike other works which tie into the Y2K cultural experience, this book manages to transcend such a time-dependent experience to capture the feeling of impending futurism mixed with dread and presents the more rational, grounded view which we experience with our mundane memories of that millennium event. Continue reading REVIEW: Signal To Noise

REVIEW: Mazinger

Go Nagai Creator, Story and Art; Takayuki S. / Mecha Design; Kazuhiro Amachi / Color; David Lewis and Alex Wald/ English Adaptation

First Comics, 1988

A few episodes back, I erroneously stated that Glenn Danzig was the first to bring Go Nagai’s work over to the US with Devilman (in which he infamously added nostrils to the characters for the American version).

This was categorically incorrect, and I should have known it at the time. Continue reading REVIEW: Mazinger

#311 Hold your comic for ransom! Will readers pay?

Evil DivaIn the course of doing this podcast, we often find comics that we’d like to read more of, but seldom can because we have to move on to the next podcast topic, and there are only so many hours in a day. This week, Mulele & Tim thought they would revisit some previously reviewed Web comics and see how their creators had progressed. But, wait, hold the phone — what’s going on with Evil Diva? (original 2009 critique was rerun November 5, 2011) The work-for-hire Web comic abruptly changed its business model last summer. Are the site’s handlers killing the comic while trying to save it?

Also, Mulele revisits Dustin Harbin‘s site, with asides about Matthew Forsythe and boycotts of Marvel & DC.

REVIEW: Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?

Written and drawn by Brian Fies.

Abrams Comic Arts, 2009.

Growing up in Kansas we took several school field trips to the Kansas Cosmosphere, a science museum devoted to space exploration. The exhibits devoted to liquid rockets, Robert Goddard, the Space Race and the lunar landing were extremely fascinating. Brian Fies shares some of that fascination with space exploration (and the attendant futurism) and applying his talents of science writing toward those subjects created the graphic novel Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?

This book begins with a young boy and his father as they are spectators to the scientific advancements that progressed from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, where the first glimpses of the future are laid out by the awe striking exhibits to a very young main character. The book is divided into decades after this and the events of progress in space exploration (as well as its effects on terrestrial technology) are described through the end of World War II in 1945, Cold War fears of mutually assured destruction in 1955, changing social norms in 1965 and disillusionment with the orbital based space program in 1975 (after the high water mark of the manned lunar landings). Continue reading REVIEW: Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?