Wednesday, March 14, 2007

UPDATED! Will Eisner Week interlude: links and miscellaneous commentary

Here's quick break from this week's theme, wherein I link to stuff and make a comment or two:

Stephen Frug (whose blog is linked over on my sidebar) recently completed his overview of Cerebus. It's great reading, focusing mostly on Dave Sim's work on the cover art of the issues, although he does talk about the plots and themes of the book. He also just started a new series of posts detailing 100 of his favorite comics pages. I love stuff like this, so check it out!

I found a lot of other good links from Stephen's blog, including this one, in which a comics fan details his attempt to explain Cerebus to a relative of Dave Sim.

Frug also pointed me to a webcomic that I've added to the sidebar: Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life. It's a serial about two robots that go on a vacation through the solar system. It's in the future after humans are extinct. I've only read the first few strips, but I'll keep reading it since I'm digging it so far.

In non-Frug links, check out the Jim Steranko prints that this Ebay seller has available (WARNING, Not Safe For Work!). They appear to be from a pin up calendar of superheroines, and they're pretty incredible.

I'll link to Jog's posts about Afro Samurai mainly because I've finally watched a couple episodes and wanted to talk about it. I still haven't seen the first episode; I somehow missed it but managed to Tivo the other four. So I had been waiting to watch them until I saw the first one, but eventually I got sick of waiting and just started with episode 2. As Jog mentions, it was kind of dull, consisting mostly of a flashback to the childhood of the main character (who is actually named Afro). Apparently his goal is to win a headband signifying that he is the number one fighter in the world (he currently owns the number two headband). The episode did end with a good bit of fighting, emphasising the arterial spray resulting from the slashes of Afro's sword. Nice. But the third episode, which I watched last night, is where the show won me over. Afro is climbing a mountain to confront the number one guy, and he must fight his way through a temple of monks(?) who also want to fight Number One. They have constructed a robot double of Afro that has a brain copied from his dreams(!). So Afro has a big fight with Robo-Afro, and manages to defeat him. Then he enters the temple and slaughters the monks (who might also be robots; I'm not sure). Good times, with plenty of blood geysers. After he thinks he's defeated everybody, he is confronted by the resurrected Robo-Afro, which has lost most of its skin, revealing a Terminator-like skeleton. The robot busts out all sorts of weaponry, including lasers and guns, but he can't defeat Afro, who ends up sitting on Robo-Afro's shoulders pounding on his head. Robo-Afro engages some Astro Boy-style rockets in his feet and blasts the two of them up into the stratosphere. Then they do some swordfighting while freefalling to the ground. It's so over the top and ridiculous that it becomes just plain awesome. Afro ends up beating Robo-Afro, of course, and the episode ends with him reaching the top of the mountain to confront Number One, who has the head of a teddy bear for some reason. Okay, I'm sold. Wait, one more comment: the participation of Samuel L. Jackson as a voice actor was promoted heavily, but he doesn't actually do the voice of Afro. Rather, he's the loudmouthed comic-relief sidekick who tags along shouting lines like "Maaaaan! Look out Afro! That guy is ca-raaaazy!" Not what I expected, but I guess it's more entertaining than having him voice the stoic, quiet main character.

Okay, back to regular links. Newsarama has an interview (with preview) with Matt Silady, author of The Homeless Channel, and upcoming graphic novel from AiT/PlanetLar.

Journalista! links (it's somewhere in the middle of that post) to a scanslation (or is it scanlation?) of a manga graphic novel by Inio Asano called Nijigahara Holograph, and it looks pretty incredible. Dirk Deppy says, "You absolutely must read this." (emphasis his). It's from the scanslation group Mangascreener, and you can download it here.

Also from Journalista!: Shaenon Garrity, who I might have to add to the sidebar, talks about an overlooked manga, Anywhere But Here, by Tori Miki. Apparently it's published by Fantagraphics, and it looks pretty surreal and funny. I'll have to look for it, and I'll also read other entries in Garrity's "Overlooked Manga Festival" series (which includes one I'm currently reading, Ode to Kirihito).

Not that he needs my linkage, but Chris Sims has a good summary of the Doom Patrol's fight with the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man in tribute to Arnold Drake, who died the other day.

Speaking of Arnold Drake, Bill Reed at Comics Should Be Good has a good obituary for him. It makes me want to read his old Silver Age comics.

The Comics Reporter shows this crazy image by Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff. Wow. Here's his blog, and it seems he has some political cartoons that are pro-Iraq-insurgency. I wouldn't say I necessarily agree with his apparent opinions, but it's fascinating to see a different viewpoint than I'm used to.

Newsarama reports that Pizzeria Kamikaze, a graphic novel that I'm interested in (it's on my wish list on the sidebar), is going to be adapted into a movie called Wristcutters which will come out later this year.

CBR has Dark Horse's solicitations for June, if anybody is interested. I'm only interested in Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, although I still need to buy volumes 2 and 3. And the Charles Vess artbook looks nice, but too expensive for me to actually buy.
-----

Okay, that's all for now, but it's possible that I might find something else linkable and update later. I should have another Will Eisner post up later tonight. Hasta!
-----

UPDATE on 3/15:

Chris Butcher posted the final covers to Comics Festival, the Free Comic Book Day promotion for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The Darwyn Cooke cover is awesome.

Got this link from Kevin Church: Scans_daily has some pages from a 50's comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale, comparing it to the novel and the recent movie version.

Speaking of The Homeless Channel, check out this interview with Matt Silady by my buddy Scott Cederlund. Includes some interesting pictures of Silady's photo-reference process.

CBR has an interview/preview with Warren Ellis about his series Black Summer, coming out later this year from Avatar.

J. Caleb Mozzocco has a short look at The Grave Robber's Daughter that actually makes me interested in the book, unlike any of the reviews I had read (I'm not really a fan of Richard Sala).