Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Ask him, if he is not a hobo, why does he have a bindle?"

Continuing on the theme of comic-related things that are good and you should read, here is Snake 'n Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret by Michael Kupperman. My copy was a b-day gift from my sister years ago, and now it's been passed around and dog-eared to the point of exhaustion. It's been a big influence on me in the field of semi-literate absurdist art, being that it is the most literate and most absurd.

It's a collection of his work ranging from one-panel comic book takeoffs:

To recurring strips following the well-spoken title characters ("Hssssss." "Wipe me with a paper towel to remove excess grease."), Roger Daltry's sex blimp, Twain and Einstein at the planet's core, and a belligerent Pablo Picasso threatening to break adversaries "into the leetle cubes!":

He's released newer material as Tales Designed to Thrizzle from Fantagraphics, but Snake 'n Bacon is the true perfect nugget of unstoppable hilarity.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The concluding issue of All-Star Superman, issue #12, is finally out in stores. If you have no idea what I'm talking about or haven't read issues 1-11, don't buy it. Instead, order the first collection (issues 1 -6) right now, and pre-order the second (7-12). All-Star Superman is not really a retelling, not really a re-imagining, it is simply the best and most powerful version of the myth. If you are a human being drawing breath on this planet, you will like it.

Grant Morrison keeps every preposterous idea from Superman's silly history, ditches any irony or nostalgia, folds it back in a way that it becomes awesome, and plunks it into a larger story fueled on pathos, genuine humor, and hope. This is the thing that comes after Post Modernism.

Some for instances-- there's no longer a ridiculous giant key to the Fortress of Solitude:

Or how about Zibarro, the bizarro Bizarro?:

Morrison also has the best and most sci-fi-ingly elegant answer ever for the question "How come we don't see Superman stopping Hitler/9-11/some other real world problem?" Which I don't think I can succinctly explain, let alone spoil, here.

The art is also, um, the best. Frank Quitely gets flak for drawing purse-lipped mush-faces, but his layouts and sense of space make up for it just a little. If I have a child, I am painting this on the nursery wall:

Perhaps you read something in the news today that made you feel ill about humanity. Well, All-Star Superman is something clever and good that might make you feel okay.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Go Slugs!

My friend and fellow alum of the prestigious UCSC painting school John Olsen has a show of paintings in downtown Los Angeles right now. Here is his painting blog and here is the show info.

He also co-updates with our co-friend Jeff a blog about good art that they like. I figure you'll double-appreciate that link if you're anything like me--a surly and isolated artist who likes other art but doesn't follow anything that's going on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Twelve more to go!

Law & Order Season 6 is being released on DVD December 2nd. I believe this includes the episode where Briscoe and Curtis drive around with a comically oversize TV aerial to triangulate a cell phone signal. And also "Aftershock," the bizarro installment where no crimes are solved and main characters are given histories and arcs.

For me, mid- to- late nineties "Law & Order" is the show at its creative zenith, with the absolute nadir being the the Arthur Branch years. Now it seems like it could be entering a new golden age: I like Batman's pop well enough, but Alana de la Garza is their secret acting weapon and the strongest ADA character ever. I also wish we'd had 1,000 episodes of the Lupo/Green team (two cool dudes out solving crimes, one of them owns a dog), although Hilarious Fatso from Transformers seems to be an okay replacement.