Archive for December, 2003


Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

(belated) USA scene report

It was fun to be back in the States for Christmas. I was mostly catching up with my family.

From a cursory look, comics stores were about the same as always.

But chain stores, there’s a different story. Borders now has a ‘graphic novel’ section, fully half of which is taken up by Manga.

In Bangkok a while back I dodged Hollywood flicks to find the translated Korean

‘My Sassy Girl’. This later popped up at Vimean Tip Cinema on Monivong Boulevard, Phnom Penh.

Now, there’s no hope in hell that I’ll see this film at a Stateside cinema.

But I can buy the Manga at Borders, from ‘ComicsOne‘. This cultural bleed is intriguing.

Am thinking that if comics stores don’t get hip, they may just get left behind.

There’s lots more manga and mainstream stuff in them but they just can’t compete in a bulk market.

* * *

Also for stateside comics, enjoyed seeing Lalo Alcaraz’s La Cucaracha in the LA Times. Great to see it make the leap from newsweeklies to the comics page!

And while I love the politics of Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks, it looks Photoshopped to death.

Mars was in the news:

It’s got it’s own beer label, a theme song from Blur, and a daily weblog.

It’s the new pop Mars satellite, Beagle 2!

Too bad they can’t get a signal back.

Meanwhile, was intrigued by D’Israeli‘s Scarlet Traces. Between that and latest

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen“, Mars is the place to be. For all your Red Planet fun try the MarsBlog

An interview with David Lasky, at ‘Artists Without Borders’.

Hmm, this organization sounds interesting. Wonder if there’s a ‘cartoonists without borders’?

More drama in Long Beach.

* * *

On the children’s books angle:

Philip Pullman,5917,798016,00.html

D. Manus Pinkwater

Noise fest in Oz is in full effect.

URL farming:


Happy Merry Happy

Friday, December 19th, 2003


Some holiday cheer courtesy Tim Danko.

And here’s one from Jo Waite.

Finally, “A Noam Chomsky Christmas”.


QuickArse is now available in Indonesian.

(Also English if you’re into that kinda thing.)

Back in California visiting my family for Christmas. Haven’t been back in ages.

Since I’m in the market for books for my two (soon to be three) nieces, I’ve been thinking a bit about the children’s books I was raised on, and what constitutes a good one.

I cut my teeth on the Greek and Norse myths of Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. They and the Tintin books seemed to be well known to most folks in Massachusetts, but when we moved to the West coast they were much harder to find. The d’Aulaires specialized in printmaking, and their pictures gave their stories an old world feel that perfectly complemented these timeless stories. Just try to find one of their books now.

After that it was the Tove Jansson’s Moomins, Peanuts, old copies of Mad magazine, and Charles Addams’ collected New Yorker cartoons. (Yeah, I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was.) I remember running home from first grade, enthused ’cause I’d spotted a new Addams cartoon in a magazine. I grew up thinking the social satire of Mad was normal, and that the Addams family house would be a fun place to live.

It’s a challenge to find good books for kids that aren’t patronizing. One I managed to bring from Cambodia – “In the Land of the Elephants”, by Srey Bandol. And there’s classics to dig up, like Dr. Seuss.

A while back I got my hands on a copy of McSweeney’s: a nice bound landscape format book with an insert CD by They Might Be Giants. Today I’m looking at a similar landscape format book, but it’s ““Philadelphia Chickens” by Sandra Boynton. I’m finding the second one vastly more entertaining. (Maybe it’s my tastes that are changing.)

Maybe I should take a stab at illustrating one. Fortunately Art Spiegelman has jumped in with the “Little Lit” series, which Barbara Kerr first clued me in on. Also on the ‘Oversize’ rack, now you can find Sfar’s ‘Little Vampire‘! I’m looking forward to the next few holidays and birthdays.

And on notions of Childhood: Did Calvin and Hobbes grow up to be the protagonists in Fight Club?

Young Adults?

Harry Potter? Try Dennis Potter. Or better yet, D. Manus Pinkwater.

Happy and merry, all. Don’t put too much rum in the Egg Nog.


What’s On

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

What’s On

David Chelsea throws open the doors to his past,

and Braddock throws down:


Bazaar Bizarre West

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

It’s Indonesian Comics Week at Silver Bullet Comic Books!

Darren Schroder has webbed up some interviews I’ve done, and will also be reviewing some local comics over the course of the next week.

Already Journalista‘s blogged it, but just the interview with the smallest group, Komik Kasa.

In other news, sad to report that Stripburek may be calling it a day.

“Last Voyage of Stripburek”

Hoping to go to Bazaar Bizarre West:

Sunday December 14th. Q-Topia, 6021 Hollywood Boulevard. 3-9 pm.

Back in the States for Xmas. Was hanging out to see Matrix: Revolutions when it occurred to me:

1. Matrix: Artificial intelligence goes to war with humans. Wins. Thermonuclear bombs detonated in war.

2. Terminator 3: Artificial intelligence triggers thermonuclear holocaust. Feel-good movie of the year. May have gotten Governor Schwarzenegger elected.

3. Battlestar Galactica (that’s right, new version on Sci-Fi Channel): Artificial Intelligence (Cyclons) attack twelve colonies with nukes, destroy most of human race.

There’s other, earlier versions – anyone remember Colossus? US supercomputer merges with Russian supercomputer, uses control of nuclear weapons to control humanity.

And there was Wargames, too.

Hmm… definitely a sub-genre there…


Froth / Pumice Comic & Record

Monday, December 8th, 2003

Froth / Pumice Comic & Record

Coming soon: Stefan Neville (City of Tales, Pumice) /Michael Fikaris (Froth, ProActiv) Art Exhibition & Record launch!

Remember kids, Pumice is volcanic Froth. Brought to you by Silent Army.