-I’m slowly getting into Michael DeForge’s work. It’s weird and a little out of my wheelhouse of cusswords and violence comix, but I like how creepy and weird and John K his style gets sometimes. He’s put Kid Mafia #1 online for free, asking only that if you read and enjoy it, you kick him fifty cents via Paypal. I read it, I liked it, and I paypaled him fifty cents in Canadian dollars. If you like it, you should do the same.
I like this idea, and I hope more cats who produce minicomics start doing this. I’m not much for paper books and totally fine with making it rain via Paypal. Hopefully you are, too!
-I did a podcast with Chris Eckert from Funnybook Babylon about our comic book origins. I really like this photoset he made for the chat, which really says it all:
Is it any wonder my taste in comics turned out like it did? That Batman cover is crazy, though. I also spill the beans on the time I had a nightmare about Terry Kavanaugh, which is one of the stupidest things that has ever happened to me. We talk a lot about Image comics, too. I guess I hadn’t realized how fundamental their stuff was for/to me until this chat, so it was nice to look back and sort of reconcile what I like now with what I liked then.
-Michael Peterson and Kevin Czapiewski have launched Project Ballad, a webcomic about a girl named Kendra Price, RPGs, and maybe… video games?? Start reading it here. It’ll update Monday-Wednesday-Friday from here on out. You should read it. I am.
-I watched Lena Dunham’s Girls, but I don’t really have a thinkpiece in me like the rest of the internet. I hated it, basically, because the experiences and people I watched on TV were so completely and utterly alien to my experiences. Like, magic, kung fu? I can buy that. Asking my mother for eleven hundred bucks a month to pay my rent while I douchebag around town? My mom would die laughing and then haunt me for the rest of my life, telling me to get a job in between ghostly guffaws. So yeah: not for me.
-I watched Frederic Jardin’s Sleepless Night the other night. I liked it a lot. It’s this tight little crime thriller about a cop who robs the wrong guy and gets his son kidnapped. Most of it takes place in one building, there are several factions, and I love love loved that the violence was so awkward and off-putting. Tomer Sisley as Vincent is not playing Jason Statham as Jason Statham, as the fight scene in the kitchen proves. He’s just a cop, rather than a supercop. Also there are father/son issues, and I’m a sucker for those, not to mention gunfights and action.
A lot of Sleepless Night takes place in a nightclub, but it never dragged the movie down like every other nightclub scene does for me.
Sleepless Night reminded me about Fred Cavayé’s Point Blank because… well, they’re both in the same genre, French, and pretty good. Point Blank shakes out a little differently. Samuel is a regular dude, a nurse, put into a tough situation. He sucks a a lot of things, but the movie livens things up by teaming him up with a hardened criminal. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see cross on double cross on triple cross over the course of the movie, though. Gilles Lellouche is perfect as the desperate regular dude, and Roschdy Zem gets a good turn as a gangster. There’s a scene in an apartment that was tremendous, really great writing, action, and film-making.
-My man Sean Witzke put me onto Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, which is a… some type of band. Rock? Noise? Whatever. I really like “Hoshi Neko,” but the entire album is pretty good.
I don’t really have the frame of reference to describe it in proper terms, I guess, so I’m going to copy & paste from their blog:
YT//ST was founded in late 2007 by performance artists alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood, born from the ashes of the late Lesbian Fight Club. Armed with mixed-race identities, mad illustration skills and a whole pile of home-brew junk electronics, alaska and Ruby wrote and performed the first mini ‘Noh-Wave’ Opera, ‘YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN I’ in April 2008. YT//ST continued to perform short homebrewed operas, eventually forming a network of Asian and Indigenous artists through collaboration and formed the current YT//ST collective.
They have this weird multi-disciplinary sound, sort of dissonant but appealing at the same time. The vocals sound like they’re coming in from a distance, or through a filter, and instruments sound like they fade in and out of the mix as needed. I dunno, I could keep putting words that don’t quite fit on it or you can listen to “Hoshi Neko” and “Reverse Crystal//Murder of a Spider” and hear exactly what I mean. I bought the album and it was more than worth my time.
-Philip Bond is still drawing spacegirls.
-Faith Erin Hicks is great. I think she’s super interesting as a person, going by her essays on making a living in comics & animation and whatnot, and of course she’s scary talented. She’s got a Tumblr now, which includes this great picture of Liz Sherman from BPRD:
I really really like this. Liz’s bored expression, which extends to the lazily arcing cigarette smoke, is pitch-perfect. Even the lazy posture, starting from her bent left leg on up. But, and maybe this is weird, my favorite part is Hicks’s signature. “feh.” is the best signature since Walt Simonson’s dinosaur. Someone should do one of those knock-down, drag-out, ultra-long, “here are all of my opinions on every subject ever” interviews with Hicks. I bet it’d be a great read.
-Powerhouse blogger Kate Dacey is curating a Manga Movable Feast on Viz Signature, which may well be the best comics imprint since the glory days of Wildstorm. The MMF is a collection of reviews, criticism, and just content in general, all on the subject of Viz Sig’s fantastic catalog. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to contribute this time (my motivation for everything these days is on approximately a negative thousand million, but it’ll pass. I’ve been working on this simple post since Wednesday, ha ha), but I did pick Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond Vizbig 9 and Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka as part of my best of 2010, and I still like this look at Inoue’s writing. I’m down for another Vagabond reread, actually. Maybe that’ll be this summer’s big series of posts? Inouefest, 2012. In-No-Way-Fest 2012. Anyway! Go, read! Kate’s list of 7 essential books is pretty good.
-I’m probably going to pre-order the super deluxe funcrusher plus monster package of El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure (that title!!!!!) and Killer Mike’s RAP Music. I love those guys, and dropping 85 bones on their work doesn’t seem like a huge extravagance. I’ll have to wait to see how next payday shakes out, though. I definitely want the vinyl of both. I just have to make sure the math makes sense. It may be smarter to just order Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music on vinyl separately, though. I don’t necessarily need the instrumentals or poster.
-Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos have a kickstarter going for their book Fairy Quest. Here’s a video:
And a widget:
I like these guys, especially when they work together. I’m going to kick some cash their way come payday, too.
-Here’s a couple STS videos I liked. I like how regular the video for “Good Intentions” is. It’s just a bunch of guys hanging out and doing things. It fits the theme of STS’s Goldrush, too, which is laid back flips of established songs. And STS is a spitter, too. Always a treat to hear a new verse.
-Tucker’s Comics of the Weak is still the best post every week. He’s got Jog and Abhay backing him up this week, plus Nate Bulmer, so maybe you should get down or lay down. Also, I vote you don’t get to make the Holocaust into a pithy comeback in your stupid fight comics. Been there, done that.
-Next week: I’ve got my uzi back, you dudes is wack, face it, the Wu is back (hopefully, but if the Celtics beat the Hawks on Sunday, I may spiral back into the Pit of Depression)