Monday, July 6, 2009

The Future of Comics, Live and In Print

Rough day going to the doctor to see if she could do anything about the CRIPPLING FACEPAIN!(tm), which led to an unexpected realization, an unplanned confrontation, and the unhappy sensation that in an effort to make things better I've managed to make them worse. So I'm not going to talk about me and instead focus on the Future of Comics (I and III) Fiona Staples and Nick Johnson.

At long last, the first issue of Fiona's latest WildStorm miniseries, NORTH 40, written by Somebody Other Than Me (the lucky swine) is out on Wednesday. You, like all right-thinking people, should buy eighteen copies, one to read, five to lend, and thirteen to encase in liquid carbonite so future generations can see how awesome comics were back in the old days when you couldn't read an ebook while showering.

On a semi-related note, the cover to North 40 #3 may be my new favourite piece of Fiona artwork. I can't quite put my finger on why, possibly because I've repressed all memory of anything in my life that ever involved pink balloons and/or a corsage.

Meanwhile, Nick's started his new, month-long gig at the Telus World of Science Creative Kids Museum, where he'll be publicly working on transforming NO MORE PARENTS from the ramblings of a demented sufferer of CRIPPLING FACEPAIN!(tm) into a wonderfully entertaining adventure comic for children of all ages except three and a half, because 3 1/2 year olds are vile little creatures who must be systematically and mercilessly punished until they reach the age of four, at which point they transform from despicable little rotters into something that's at least tolerable. It's the circle of life.

So, if you're in Calgary, or you're really bored and have enough disposable cash to go to Calgary, and you're a child of all ages other than 3 1/2, you should go pay Nick a visit and throw grapes at him while demanding that he sing obscure Neil Diamond songs for your entertainment. He'll do it if you've got enough grapes, you know.

As it happens, I've also spent a portion of today working on a small comic strip-style advertisement with the Future of Comics (II) John Keane, and now that it's done, I estimate he'll be willing to talk to me again without wanting to kick my teeth down my throat sometime in the next four to six months. E-mail is perhaps not the best way to communicate nitpicking-level ideas, but I'm not convinced things would've gone smoother on the phone, and in any event CRIPPLING FACEPAIN!(tm) works very much against my (at the best of times dodgy) ability to present half-baked ideas as coherent statements of intent while talking in realtime.

So, yeah. NORTH 4o #1 (and WEDNESDAY COMICS #1, which I'm also looking forward to) on Wednesday. Nick and NO MORE PARENTS at the Telus Science Centre all month. Good stuff being created by good people, reported by a good-for-nothing.



TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE Volume One, by Michael Kupperman. For someone who's been really quite miserable for the last couple weeks, I've been laughing out loud an awful lot every time I take a minute or two to read a page or two of TDTT.


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