Critiquing Comics #051: “Black Alpha”

Black AlphaIn Deconstructing Comics #303, Tim talked to Tom Rasch about how he was monetizing his comics project Black Alpha, a superheroes-in-space story. Now he’s asked Tim and Mulele to critique the first issue. They find that, while it’s a nice-looking comic, it has some issues…

#368 Sweating the details with “Cursed Pirate Girl”

Cursed Pirate GirlWaaay back in episode 250, Tim talked to Thomas Negovan about the Kickstarter project for a comic called Cursed Pirate Girl. Negovan was the publisher of the single issues of the series, and was handling media inquiries while the comic’s creator, Jeremy Bastian, put all his time into the comic’s insanely detailed art.

The first three issues are now out in a fancy hardcover from Archaia, and this time Jeremy himself comes on the show to talk to Tim about what’s happened since the successful 2010 Kickstarter project, and what to expect from here.

Plus, Tim and Brandon review the book!

Urasawa’s classic “Monster” to return to print

By Kory Cerjak

Title: Monster
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Publisher: Viz Media

monster2Naoki Urasawa is one of the most prolific mangaka in Japan and his manga have won two Eisner Awards (specifically “Best US Edition of International Material – Asia” in 2011 and 2013 for 20th Century Boys). The award puts him alongside greats such as Kazuo Koike/Goseki Kojima, Katsuhiro Otomo, Shigeru Mizuki, and Osamu Tezuka. And the accolades for Monster aren’t just from the west. Monster has won the Excellence Prize in the Japan Media Arts Festival in 1997, the Grand Prize of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, and won the General category in the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award. But the manga stands on its own and hardly needs accolades to prove to anyone of how good it is.

Unfortunately, the manga and anime haven’t done any groundbreaking numbers here in the US and the anime’s license has lapsed (which was stated by Viz’s own Charlene Ingram on ANNCast on July 17). Fortunately, rumors of a new HBO series helmed by Pacific Rim and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro (comic book fans may know him as the director for Blade II and the Hellboy franchise) have kickstarted the Continue reading Urasawa’s classic “Monster” to return to print

Critiquing Comics #050: “Shattered with Curve of Horn”

shatteredwithcurveWhat happened on that night eight years ago? An experimental drug was tried by four friends, leading to widely contrasting outcomes for each. That’s the premise of Shattered with Curve of Horn, by Max Miller Dowdle. Tim and Mulele critique.

Critiquing Comics #049: “Utopiates”

utopiatesA near-future scenario where contractor-employed soldiers are administered a certain drug before going into battle… Tim and Mulele take on Utopiates by Josh Finney and Kat Rocha. Will they get addicted, or have a bad trip?

#367 Cartooning! Or, is it “Comics Drawing”?

brunettiIt’s a 15-week comics course in 78 pages! Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice is about comics creation, but it’s less about technique or how-to than about shoving aside any preconceived notions and looking at the very basic pieces of sequential storytelling – or even boiling down an entire novel into a non-sequential single panel. Tim and his brother Paul use the book as a launching pad for discussing various comics-philosophy ideas, like: is there a difference between a “cartoonist” and a “comics artist”? What can you learn from a “bad” artist? Is it valuable to learn comics creation, or anything else, the old, low-tech way before digging into the modern, digital way?

“Happy Ending” fun but often forgettable

By Kory Cerjak

startwithahappyendingTitle: Start With A Happy Ending
Author: Risa Motoyama
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Start With A Happy Ending is a bit of a strange book. It’s put out by Digital Manga Publishing, which obviously publishes almost exclusively digital comics. But I’m pretty glad they put out a physical copy of this book. The comic is written by Risa Motoyama, but I’m unable to find much of any information on her. The website is in Japanese (which I don’t know) and the Google Translate version is, of course, hilarious and not very helpful. From what I can garner, she’s simply a cartoonist and, according to Anime News Network, she’s done no other manga aside from Start With A Happy Ending.

Originally published in Monthly Manga Time Jumbo by Houbunsha, the comic is a series of one-off stories about people who are reincarnated as cats, but only for one week. You Continue reading “Happy Ending” fun but often forgettable

#366 “Paying For It”

Paying For ItKumar and Dana get together — in the same room! — to discuss Paying For It, Chester Brown’s chronicle of his decision to punt “love relationships” and hire, er, escorts instead. What does the book have to say about relationships? Is love simply a social construct? Is Brown persuasive in his arguments for decriminalizing prostitution?