Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Sequential Art, & you


this looks cool


i did mean that issue. Cuz shiz when down!


What is it?


and children


While I’ve never been a fan of the IDW incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which rarely fails to feel calculated and safe, I’ve quite enjoyed their take on Bebop and Rocksteady, which are the sort of characters one would think wouldn’t really work outside of the original cartoon, and yet they’ve made work quite nicely in their more coherent universe. Making them into people who want desperately to belong but are consistently set back by their own stupidity has actually made them poignant, without diminishing who the characters originally were. They now have a mini-series, Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything, whose first issue is quite fun, and quite interesting, involving not only them, but also time travel, Renet–another favorite character–and an exploration of the TMNT multiverse. The art is variable, with different artists dealing with different scenarios, but when two of those artists are Ben Bates (who also co-writes) and Sophie Campbell, there’s really not a whole lot to complain about.


Just some cool lookin comix!

Saw it on Brandon Graham’s tumblr

Too bad it’s kinda pricey because it ships from europe :confused:


Hey I am in the same room as brandon graham right now. He bought a comic from my friend


Neat! You must be at the Olympia comics thing?

Brandon is a pretty cool dude. He stopped by my friend’s little local comics expo during Emerald City and was earnestly checking out what local people had been doing. He asked if I saw anything cool and was nice enough to look at all the stuff I showed him even though in hindsight he was talking about being late for a meeting. I can really only say nice things about him, he earnestly seems to be trying to make comics a better scene.


I read Helter Skelter by Kyoko Okazaki. It’s about a celebrity who patronizes an underground cosmetic surgery clinic. There’re panels bordering on body horror, but it never gets detailed enough where it’s really gross. The first image when you open it up is this watercolor of the main character with a subtly distorted, grotesque smile. The title is a Beatles reference - maybe it has to do with her Manson Family-esque followers. It’s sort of like American Psycho maybe (which I have neither read nor seen), where it’s this portrait of a vain sociopath, but she’s also depicted as a victim to her boss and by extension her whole industry. There’s also an aspect of organ trafficking, but this is more for Countess Bathory flavor. The ending is pretty much perfect, though it ends with a “to be continued” - Kyoko Okazaki is one of the better known manga tragidies. She got hit with a car at the height of her popularity and was left paraplegic.

The translation is stilted and awkward in places, almost as if it was Babelfished, and it isn’t credited to anybody.


I read Dream Fossil, this compilation of Satoshi Kon’s short stories. I thought maybe they were going to be a lot of Philip K. Dick-esque stories. They’re not mostly - one story is about a rowdy high school baseball team. Another is about high schoolers going to a brothel. Really a lot of them are about high schoolers. The only thing I thought was great thing was the full-color story that was part of a compilation of Akira apocrypha. I still haven’t watched any of his movies. Maybe I will.


I’ve read through volume eleven now. I still really like it, but it seems like she’s been doing anything and everything to prevent the plot from moving forward in any way. I imagine it’s painful to read this month by month. It’s kind of weird how there are comics that’ve been going for almost 20 years and you can catch up on them in a week.


started reading gotham academy based on a friend’s recommmendation.

i never had an habit of reading comics (i.e western) so i can’t tell how it fits in comic-book categories/age group but i fancy the atmosphere a whole lot. got a great sunday-morning cartoon feel to it and the ‘yearbook’ stories are cute.

now i have to wait for the continuation and dc wasn’t specific about the date as far as i know ;-[


hey if you like gotham academy check out We Are Robin its got a very late era batman the animated series vibe, a good one for you too might be Hawkeye


i love gotham academy! you don’t actually have to wait to read more, either: the first issue of a miniseries crossing over with lumberjanes just came out, and the miniseries’ll pretty much fill the months until the second volume of gotham academy starts :shuffle:

here’s some stuff i wrote on tumblr a while back about some of the reasons i love GA so much

i think the magic of gotham academy lies in the way that all the
spooky craziness with monsters and stuff is so perfectly blended with
the story of olive’s emotional recovery/healing. like they aren’t two
halves, they’re a part of each other. i think olive’s encounters with
the various monsters is actually helping her deal with her trauma and
the related issues she has regarding batman. and because she’s scared of
the possibility that she might one day be a monster herself, it gives
her a different perspective in these encounters too (#13 is a pretty
good example of this)
you mention olive building her own
family of friends, because she doesn’t have anyone else, too, and i
think that’s a really cool use of the boarding school setting (which has
been used in childrens & young adult fiction for decades as an easy
way for kids to have adventures in a safe-ish world without parents) (i
guess maybe harry potter did something like that too, he was an orphan
right? i know practically nothing about that series tbh)


thanks~! i will check em out.

oh, i saw that. i have no idea what lumberjanes is but i like the character designs on the front cover.

i agree with what you said but to me the aspect of olive’s issues, although great, is not really why i like it. what i think i like the most is how confident the world is to be completely self-centered without throwing knee-jerk ‘referential’ jokes. it’s like, heck yeah let’s solve mysteries and hang out and there are these monsters and larger-than-life people roaming about and that’s just the way it is. the characters are caricatures of themselves without a lick of irony or shame. of course this guy’s sunglasses have an infra-red mode, etc etc. it’s a lovely breed of magical realism i seldom see, unfortunately.

maybe it’s got something to do with me not knowing how people in comics usually deal with seeing bizarre things happening daily.


This is Astral Project. It’s from 2006, which I guess is before people figured out how to use computers for comics. The digital screentones look pretty bad at first. Some of the backgrounds are pixelated digital photographs. The art gets better the further in you go, though the artist, Shuji Takeya, seems to have trouble drawings hands - a lot of panels where they look like baby hands.

A lot of talk about the evils of otaku and manga, which I guess feels hypocritical coming from a famous manga writer (Garon Tsuchiya, best known for Old Boy). The love interest is doe eyed and puppy faced, almost to the point of parody. A lot of talk about how people these days jack off more than they used too, which I don’t necessarily believe. Dudes beat their dicks before the internet, and they will after the nukes drop and the infrastructure is gone. There’s a scene where these two enlightened spiritual beings are chilling on the moon and they’re talking about how the internet will destroy human civilization, and how people don’t just talk like they used to. There’s also a panel of 9/11, which is the first time I’ve seen that in a manga.

I liked it most for the sort of noir atmosphere like you get from Old Boy. The early chapters, where it’s about the protagonist on his job as a chauffeur for high end prostitutes and he’s just learning about astral projection, and most of it is set late at night. That’s kind of cool. He isn’t a yakuza, but he works for them, although in America, if you were driving girls for the mob, I’m pretty sure you’d be considered a gangster too.

It has one of those lame non-endings where the protagonist decides to stop going on cool adventures and gets a haircut.

It’s alright. Too preachy. But it’s an OK paranormal mystery with decent art. Not too long.


this sounds exactly like the kind of thing I would hate reading but love for the aesthetic purposes of hand drawn art mixed with photographs


I mean, there are a lot of comics that use photographic or photo referenced backgrounds. Most Ryoichi Ikegami comics, for example. Astral Project is just more clunky with it.


I think I like the Chunkyness though. I used to read Holyland purely for its off kilter, grimy artwork.


I know I’ve heard of that, what’s it about? I know it’s a fight manga. I always see it recommended.