MoCCA 2017

Apr. 2nd, 2017 11:38 pm
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MoCCA Art Festival was at Metropolitan West again this year. I was only able to attend on Sunday.

Books

Floppies & Minis

MoCCA 2016

Apr. 2nd, 2016 09:08 pm
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This year’s MoCCA Art Fest was held at Metropolitan West, on West 48th St, all the way over on 12th Avenue, even further west and more inconvenient than last year’s venue. I guess next year’s’ll be in a barge, mid-Hudson.

Here’s my shoulder-cracking haul:

Books

  • New Contruction by Sam Alden.
  • A Stray in the Woods by Alison Wilgus.
  • Beef With Tomato by Dean Haspiel.
  • SVA’s 2014 comics school anthology. (Not sure why I didn’t already have this, since they give ’em out free every year, but the cover was distinctive and didn’t look familiar.)
  • Fantastic Life by Kevin Mutch.
  • Uptight #5 by Jordan Crane. The eye-catching cover made me pick it up and flip through it, the interior art made me buy it, and not till I got home did I notice it was by an artist whose work I already know and like. I expect I’ll want to hunt down the earlier four issues.
  • Valor, a gorgeous anthology book edited by Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton, who are also among the many contributors. I sprang for the hardcover.
  • Snackies by Nick Sumida.

Floppies & Minis

Other

  • A pair of Winsor & Newton pigment markers, Neutral Grey 6 and Violet Blue Deep! They were giving out free samples, and when I said I’d like either a blue or a dark gray, I got one of each!

MoCCA 2015

Apr. 13th, 2015 05:00 am
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I haven’t done one of these in ages. Still been going to MoCCA every year, but I’ve been forgetting to record my hauls.

This year the festival was held at Center 548, way over (way, way, way the fuck over) on West 22nd St, near 11th Ave. The festival was held on the second through 4th floors of the building, with a tiny elevator and treacherously narrow and steep stairs. My least favorite MoCCA venue so far.

Programming was held at the nearby High Line Hotel. I got to see Scott McCloud’s presentation on his new book, The Sculptor, thanks to his tweeting about how people should show up anyway, even though the room was “sold out.” As it happened, this was a good idea; there were empty seats, and I had no problem getting in.

I later got Scott McCloud to sign my copy of The Sculptor (not purchased at the show, so not listed below). When I told him my name, he said “The only Avram I’ve ever run into had the last name Grumer…” and I reminded him of the previous time we’d had the conversation.

Books

  • Towerkind by Kat Verhoeven. Conundrum Press.
  • Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince. Top Shelf Productions.
  • AltCom 2012 and 2014, anthologies published by a Swedish comics festival. I paid $5 for the two of them, but now I see, on the back, they’re supposed to be free. I guess they’re free at the festival, but someone had to pay to get them here from Sweden. Anyway, I also got to try a piece of that salty Swedish licorice, so maybe that makes it all OK. Here’s a link to their Facebook page, since their website is down.
  • Terrestrial, an anthology, edited by Amanda Scurti.
  • Horizon Anthology, Volume One, edited and designed by Jeremy Lawson.

Floppies & Minis

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On the same day that BoingBoing announces that it’s publishing the newest Elquest story online, I read that Dave Sim seems to be quitting comics.

This is great news for the Pinis, but it’s unfortunate that the creator of the other big indie comic of that same generation can’t seem to figure out how keep his career afloat.

Granted, many of Sim’s problems are of his own making. Not only did his wife divorce him, but I’ve recently learned that Gerhard no longer associates with Sim either professionally or personally, and that Sim is estranged from his family. I don’t know the stories behind those latter two things (and only a bit about the first), but someone who wrecks all of his close relationships probably isn’t doing a great job with business relationships either.

(Also, if you’re building your career on a single massive comic-book project, you might want to think twice about inserting into it a crazy rant describing half the human race as parasitic leeches.)

Still, Sim’s failure makes me melancholy.

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I’m finally getting around to reading Digger, and not really enjoying it much, to tell you the truth. But I’m still fairly near the beginning (just started Chapter 2), and maybe it gets better later on. Anyway, I’m trying to figure something out. Could someone tell me what’s going on in this panel here?

mystery panel

Here’s the whole page. I get what’s going on before and after that panel, the action of the page in general. But I can’t figure that one panel out. Here are the possible readings I’ve come up with:

  1. Digger is moving her left hand (the one not holding the pickaxe) horizontally for some reason. For a moment I thought maybe she was pulling a cover off of the pickaxe head, but the thing I thought might’ve been the cover I now think is just part of her vest. I can’t think of any other reason for her to be swinging her arm like that; she winds up with her hand behind her, which makes it less effective for the move she makes in the next panel.
  2. Digger is swinging her pickaxe back and forth. (The speed lines continue past the pickaxe on either side, so it would have to be a back-and-forth motion.) Seems plausible, but her right arm doesn’t seem positioned plausibly for the full extension that would be necessary for the head of the pickaxe to follow that arc. And this still doesn’t explain why her left arm is behind her.
  3. Digger just threw the pickaxe from her left hand (where we see it in the first panel) to her right. This connects the first and fourth panels, and accounts for the pickaxe moving from one hand to the other, but again, it’s weak as a prelude to the action in panel five (she’s using both hands for the pickaxe anyway; why waste time and risk dropping it to switch hands?). Also, the speedlines depict an arc of horizontal movement; a thrown pickaxe would have to arc vertically. And this reading doesn’t explain why the speedlines are continuing past the head of the pickaxe.

Also, when does the actual story start? Like I said, just started Chapter 2, maybe 70 or 80 pages in, and the characters are still just wandering around chatting. I’m thinking Ursula Vernon would have benefited from the discipline of publishing in pamphlet form. Cerebus started out crude, but that first 22-page issue contained a full story.

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Female CerebusI started out drawing something else entirely, and wound up with this.

The screen tone is a scan, applied in Photoshop. I think it’s been well over a decade since I touched a piece of actual tone film.

I’m tempted to do a whole sex-reversed Cerebus cast. Not sure what I’d do when I got to Lord Julius, though.

(Leaving aside the issue of whether a female version of Cerebus is actually sex-reversed.)

MoCCA

Apr. 15th, 2010 10:16 pm
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Oh, right, MoCCA! I see, looking through old entries, that I neglected to write up 2008’s art fest. Which is annoying, because one of the reasons I do this is to help me keep track of what I buy, so I don’t wind up buying it again the next year. Grmph.

Anyway, this year I missed a day of MoCCA for the first time ever, to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] papersky, [livejournal.com profile] roadnotes, [livejournal.com profile] pnh, [livejournal.com profile] tnh, and [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana at Green-Wood Cemetary, and then go see a stage adaptation of Dhalgren (joined by [livejournal.com profile] baldanders, [livejournal.com profile] stakebait, [livejournal.com profile] redbird, and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude). Patrick took photos, which will probably wind up on Flickr at some point.

That left Sunday for MoCCA. I got there around 2 PM, and soon ran into Sumana, who I followed around so that I could use her charm as a shield for my own general lack of social ability. (Seriously, [livejournal.com profile] kent_allard_jr tells me that I’ve got more social ability than a lot of our circle of friends, but next to people like Sumana and [livejournal.com profile] cadhla I feel like a bear who’s been shaved and toilet trained. And the shaving hasn’t really taken.) Also chatted a bit with Glenn, squeed a bit at Yuko Ota, and saw some cool animation at a panel. (I should probably make more effort to attend panels at future MoCCAs.)

On to the loot:

Books

  • The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow, design and cover illo by Joy Ang. Were you aware that Holy-Crap-Gorgeous Full-Color Comics Anthology was a growing genre? Well, it is, and here’s another one.
  • Green Monk by Brandon Dayton. Also titled Зелёный Монах on the cover, but a quick skim doesn’t show me any Russian inside.
  • The 12 Labors of Gastrophobia, by David McGuire, collecting the webcomic of the same name. McGuire, as many cartoonists do, will draw sketches in the books people buy from him at cons. He asked me “Any requests?”, and (unable to decide which character is my favorite), I said “Sing ‘My Melancholy Baby’!” The result:
    crying baby
  • Awesome Stories, a portfolio anthology published by the School of Visual Arts cartooning department. I don’t remember the school being anywhere near this supportive of the cartooning majors when I was there. They were giving this book away free!
  • School of Visual Arts Portfolio 30, another freebie. Pieces from cartooning and illustration students graduating in 2009. The pages are perforated cardstock, so you can use them as postcards.

Floppies

  • The Unwritten #1, first issue of a Vertigo comics series by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Another freebie, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. I go to MoCCA for indie stuff, especially the stuff I can’t get in stores.
  • Static Fish #1, an anthology magazine published by the Pratt Comic Club. They also had a full color hardcover book, but that isn’t what I got.

Minis

  • Dead Winter #2, by S Dave Shabet. I thought I got #1 last year, but I don’t see it listed. Maybe it was the year before.
  • Billy the Dunce, by Jason Week. I also geeked out a bit with Week about inking. And I got a small print of one of his illustrations.
  • A whole bunch of stuff from Bob Stevenson, who had a great package deal for $10:
    • Journey into History #1 ashcan
    • The Recessionist Comics Review
    • Kenya
    • Pulped #1
    • HB Comics and Stories #1 and #2, which are so big I shouldn’t be listing them here under minis, especially #1, which has a glossy cover and ads in the back.
    • An illustration and a printed comic strip.
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Shortly before going to bed last night, I saw a thread on Story-Games about cobbling together an RPG based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim comics.

Result: Last night, I dreamed that I was reading the sixth Scott Pilgrim book, and there was a bit where one character says of another, “She decided not to show up since she’s already got two minor consequences.”

Though now that I’ve run the idea through my mostly-awake brain, I suppose Teenagers from Outer Space would make a good starting point. On the other hand, the video game aspects of the books would work pretty well with a leveling-up system like d20 or Microlite20.

MoCCA

Jun. 8th, 2009 01:14 am
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MoCCA Art Fest was this weekend, NYC’s top event for indie comics. I’ve been going every year since the first one, but I totally forgot to do a list like this last year.

Books

Floppies

Minis

This year was the first in the new venue, the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th and Lex, which has one big internal space, much more convenient than the three smaller spaces at the Puck Building (no link because their website has annoying automatic sound). A bit warm, though. Ran into, jeez, practically everybody, which highlights the superiority of one big space for socializing and networking.

Two or three different people asked me if I had done any comics lately, which has me pissed off at myself for having done practically no comics at all in like twenty years. I clearly in some way emit the aura of someone who ought to be making comics.

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Everyone who plays RPGs oughta go read Dylan Horrocks’s short comics story, “The Physics Engine”. I’m especially thinking of [livejournal.com profile] jimhenley and [livejournal.com profile] bruceb here.

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Looking over the Hugo noms, I’m a bit grumpy over the “Best Graphic Story” category. Two out of the six nominees are other-media tie-ins (Serenity and The Dresden Files), which, well, given the relative sizes of the book, TV/movie, and comics fan bases, I can’t help but suspect that those two were nominated not so much for their quality as for the popularity of their franchises.

Still, I can’t really complain, since I didn’t bother to fill out the nomination form. I’ve fallen woefully out of touch with the current SF scene (I’m currently in the middle of Gene Wolfe’s latest, but before that I was reading Tom Disch’s Camp Concentration from 1982 1967). I am pretty good at keeping up with what’s going on in the indie comics (even if I don’t buy very much) and webcomics scenes, though, so I figure I should make an effort this year to keep track of my reading for next year’s awards. So here’s what I can remember of what I’ve bought recently:

  • Angora Napkin by Troy Little.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe (aka Scott Pilgrim vol 5) by Brian Lee O’Malley.
  • Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith. This came out in floppies last year, but I just got the paperback collection.
  • In the Flesh by Koren Shadmi, a collection of shorts stories.
  • RASL: The Drift by Jeff Smith. Again, the collection just came out in January, but the floppies came out last year.
  • Platinum Grit vol 1 by Trudy Cooper and Danny Murphy. Yet another case where I don’t know if it’ll be eligible. The webcomic’s been up for years, and there used to be a self-published (through Lulu.com) dead-tree edition, but this collection just shipped this month, and I think it’s the first time all this material is available under one cover.
  • Update: And on Friday, I picked up North World vol 2 by Lars Brown, which is also a webcomic.

I also just bought Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole last week, but it came out in 2008.

Oh, and anyone reading this who lives in Brooklyn, specifically Prospect Heights or northern Park Slope? Let me recommend Bergen Street Comics, Brooklyn’s latest high-class comics shop. Like Rocketship, it makes space for weekly floppies but is mostly there to sell books. And Bergen offers a loyalty program ($20 store credit for each $100 spent), which I don’t think Rocketship does.

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Looking through some old Alarums & Excrusions zines, I found the following in a comment I wrote back in May 2002:

Actually, I’ve got some ideas about running a Ranma-like game, and they require some different mechanics. […] At the core is a token mechanic, where each character has disads that he can trigger (or that can be triggered by other characters). Triggering your own disads gains you a token (I’d probably use poker chips) in the GM agrees that your PC was actually disadvantaged, or it was funny. Triggering someone else’s disad requires you to give that player a token. Some special powers might also require paying a token to use for advantage. This mechanic simulates the stupidity of the Ranma characters — they often fail to do simple, rational things because they lack the tokens to pay for them.

The Aspects mechanic from Fate and Wheel of Fate would work well for this.

I could swear I saw a martial-arts Wheel of Fate game out there somewhere on the web a few weeks ago, but Google hasn’t found it for me.

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Hey, everybody! The MoCCA Art Fest is this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm, at the Puck Building, on Houston St a block east of Broadway. Admission is $10/day or $15 for the weekend. Who else is going?

MoCCA

Jun. 24th, 2007 11:54 pm
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This was a very purchase-light MoCCA for me. I’ve spent the past few weeks sorting through books, packing some, throwing away others, and I can’t look at books now without thinking about the fact that I don’t have space enough for the one’s I’ve already got. And worse for floppies and minis, which I can’t just stick on a shelf.

So my self-imposed limit this years was: No floppies or minis, only books with actual spines. I only bought six or seven, and left them over at the Brooklyn apartment, since why bring them to Jersey City only to box them up and bring them to Brooklyn in three days. So, this year’s MoCCA haul:

Books:

  • Sordid City Blues, by Charles Schneeflock Snow, who I also got to chat with.
  • Abraxas and the Earthman, by Rick Veitch, an SF treatment of Moby Dick, which ran in Epic umpteen years ago.
  • Scott Bateman’s Secret Sketchbook of Shame, by Scott Bateman and shame. I think it’s been a few years since I’ve seen Scott.
  • Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda, by JP Stassen.
  • And two or three other books, which I’ve already forgotten. This here’s a placeholder, and I’ll go back and fill it in at some point when the books and I are in the same state.

I missed out on getting a copy of I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets, the Fletcher Hanks collection (about which Coop said “looking at those panels is like eating a whole bag of Cheetos made of heroin.”). It sold out on Saturday.

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Ever since I pretty much stopped buying big-company superhero comics and comics in pamphlet format, I often find myself complaining that there’s nothing new for me to buy at the comics shop on Wednesdays. These past couple weeks, I’ve had the opposite problem. Enough has come out that I not only have a backlog of unread comics, but there’s stuff I still need to buy that I haven’t because I don’t want to carry that much weight home all at once. Here’s some of the recent stuff:

Bought and read

Fell, vol 1: Feral City by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith
Cop gets transferred to the seamy side of a fictional city. More likable than most Ellis protagonists; in this book it’s the setting that provides the over-the-top nastiness. As with Global Frequency, each chapter is a stand-alone story, which doesn’t matter as much in a collection as it did in pamphlets, but as long as Ellis is following the pamphlet-then-book business model, that seems like a good plan. Templesmith’s art looks like low-rent Sienkevitch, and I eventually figured out that all the characters’ hands aren’t all spindly and crippled-looking for a dramatic reason, Templesmith just draws hands that way. Can you tell I’m not a Ben Templesmith fan? Still, the art mostly serves the setting well.

The Clarence Principle by Fehed Said and Shari Chankhamma
Cute goth comic. Clarence seems to have killed himself — he wakes up in the afterlife in a bathtub with slashed wrists. Much quirkiness follows, leading to an ironic ending that wasn’t really sufficiently supported by the preceding material. Maybe it would have seemed more plausible if I were an antisocial teenage goth.

The Homeless Channel by Matt Silady
Drama about a 24-hour cable TV channel devoted to the homeless. The writing is pretty good, especially the dialog, but the art (high-contrast photo-based) is crude enough that I had trouble telling the major female characters apart for much of the book. (There’s only one major male character, which is pretty unusual in itself.)

Bought, but not yet read

  • The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar
  • The Three Paradoxes by Paul Hornschemeier
  • Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan

I’d been waiting for The Rabbi’s Cat to come out in paper for, I dunno, I guess a year now, yet I went ahead and bought The Three Paradoxes and Exit Wounds in hardback. I picked up Ivan Brunetti’s Misery Loves Company in hardback too. I think I’ve jumped some internal hurdle that kept my from buying these things in hardcover. Price may also be an issue — Exit Wounds is only $20, and The Three Paradoxes is $15.

Not yet bought, but I’m planning to

  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (out in paperback, sez Amazon)
  • Casanova, vol 1: Luxuria by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá (maybe; it’s a $25 hardcover, a bit pricey for seven issues)
  • Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian
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How many of you remember Big Numbers?

In the late 1980s and early ’90s, there was a big self-publishing movement in comics. The big year was 1988, which saw both Dave Sim’s Toronto meeting and Eastman and Laird’s Northampton (Massachusetts) Summit; the latter was where the “Creator’s Bill of Rights” was drafted. For a while it seemed like everyone interesting in comics was starting their own company and publishing just what they wanted to publish and hoping that somehow profits would come out of it. Looking back, it seems a bit like a precursor of the webcomics scene.

Alan Moore’s company was called Mad Love. Mad Love published the AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) one-shot, two issues of Big Numbers, and (as far as I can tell) nothing else.

Big Numbers was going to be Moore’s magnum opus, the work that made Watchmen look like a kiddie book. It was planned as a 12-issue series, set in Northampton (England), using metaphors from fractal mathematics to examine the lives and activities of the town’s residents as an American shopping mall opens up. The writing was Moore at his sharpest. The art, by Bill Sienkiewicz, was gorgeous.

The series stopped after two issues. Sienkiewicz couldn’t handle the workload, and his assistant Al Columbia took over and, I dunno, I’ve heard rumors about Columbia destroying his own art and quitting the project, but I don’t know if they’re true. Moore considers the project cursed, and doesn’t plan on finishing it. I hadn’t expected to ever see anything more.

Till today, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] eurotard. Here:

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So Spider-man kills Mary Jane by fucking her to death with his radioactive jizm! Seriously, that’s a plot point in issue #3 of Spider-Man: Reign. Set 35 years in the future, a sort of Spider-Mannish rip-off of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, so it’s not in mainstream continuity, but still. I guess they figure Warren Ellis sells well, let’s all try that gonzo shit.

No, no spoiler warning. Do you worry that a loaf of moldy bread or a carton of rancid milk will spoil? No, you don’t, because they’re already damn spoiled.

This is why I don’t read superhero comics. Much.

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LocasLocas
by Jaime Hernandez

I never knew why I wasn’t a bigger fan of Love and Rockets. Jaime Hernandez’s artwork is brilliant — I remember poring over issues back in my SVA days, stunned at the perfection of his lines. And his pages are full of gorgeous eye candy; Maggie Chascarrillo is (to my eyes) the sexiest comics character ever. But somehow I lost track of the story and lost interest in the comic.

Lucky for me a collection came out with all of the stories of Maggie, Hopey, Penny, Izzie, and the rest, in one great big hardcover. I bought it a couple of years ago, but had trouble reading it because of the sheer size of the volume. At the time I lacked a comfy chair for reading, and would read in bed, where this massive tome was just too unwieldy. And when I got me a comfy chair, I’d lost track of the book. Till a couple weeks ago I hunted it down, moved by having read Ghost of Hoppers.

So now I’ve read it. Jaime’s art is still brilliant — crisp lines, large expanses of solid black, complex faces and emotions rendered deftly in a few simple lines. And I’ve got a handle on what was throwing my younger self off. It was the panel transitions. Jaime is very fond of unusual transitions. It’s common for him to skip away from a scene in progress for one panel as a non-sequitur, then shift back to show some time has passed. Or to have dialog flow as if one panel is directly following another, while the images shown indicate that more time has passed. As a young nerd, used to direct storytelling, this sort of thing confused me, but now I can appreciate it. And having years’ worth of stories in a single 780-page collection makes it easier to piece together the character’s motivations than when I was reading it in little bits, months apart.

Also, coming at the story as a young SF reader, Love and Rockets defied my expectations of coherent world-building. Jaime’s stories are set in a world with rockets, superheroes, and monsters, yet these things generally occupy the fringes of the narrative. It’s like a modern third-worlder’s experience of the Internet — he may know it exists, and know one or two people who’ve used it, but it’s not part of his everyday life. If you’ve got the SF reader’s habit of taking background details and trying to work out from them how the story’s world works, Love and Rockets will confound you as much as a Gabriel García Márquez story.

This is probably less of an issue for readers with wider tastes, or who are used to Japanese manga storytelling techniques. Speaking of which…


Ode to KirohitoOde to Kirihito
by Osamu Tezuka

I just ordered this through Amazon recently. It’s a Tezuka work from the early 1970s, about a doctor trying to find the cause of a disease that gives its victims dog-like faces. (It also generally kills them with respiratory shutdown after a month or so, before any furries out there get too excited.) The beast-like appearance of the disease’s victims brings out the beast-like behavior of normal people confronted with something unusual; there’s plenty of betrayal, slavery, bigotry, rape, murder, and insanity in these 822 pages.

Tezuka’s artwork is at times simple like a child’s cartoon, or stylized like modern art, or toned and realistic like a photo. His layouts are sometimes conventional, sometimes wild and inventive. Shaenon Garrity has a longer review, with page scans, which is what initially drew this book to my attention.

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Last night I went to four different comic shops to get the two new Paul Grist books that shipped this week: Jack Staff vol 3 and Kane vol 6. Cosmic on 23rd had sold out of Jack Staff and never got Kane, but they did have All-Star Superman #6. I went down to St Marks Comics, which had Kane, but they’d also sold out of Jack Staff. Then I remembered that I’d walked right past Forbidden Planet on 13th without checking it, so I walked back, and they’d sold out too. World, I’m happy that Jack Staff is selling well, but could y’all hold back a bit till I get my copy? I walked back down to the NYU Starbucks to rest my feet and read Kane, and then walked up to Jim Hanley’s on 33rd, and they had Jack Staff. Yay! Total distance walked: about four miles.

Today I just walked from the WTC PATH station to Pearl Paint (to pick up a half-pan of Winsor Newton rose doré), and back (3/4 mile each way). And to and forth from home to the Grove St station, which (Google Earth tells me) is almost half a mile each way, so that means I walked five miles yesterday, and 2.5 today, which is why my feet hurt.

And I’ve somehow lost nine pounds since November.

Anyway, Volume 6 is probably my least favorite Kane volume of the series so far. What started out as a straight cop drama (which occasional comic relief) is being invaded by superhero tropes — a military super-solider suit, a blind assassin, etc. And a lot of the issue is given over to repeating Kane’s past history as revealed in other volumes. We get a couple of scenes of Oscar Darke interacting with other crime bosses, but one of them is tangled up with the stupid implausible super-suit plot.

The Jack Staff book is much better. As a superhero book, it’s unabashedly full of goofy and melodramatic superhero elements, and they’re fun as hell. How can you not love a criminal genius named Brain Head? Not to mention the WW2 German supervillain Kapitan Krieg. And all the other usual Jack Staff supporting cast — Tom Tom the Robot Man; the Q Division; the Freedom Fighters; Becky Burdock, Vampire Reporter; Detective Inspector Maveryk; the Claw; and best of all, an appearance by Morlan the Mystic (who is clearly based on Alan Moore). As with the earlier Jack Staff books, the various storylines are presented in little pieces, three or four pages at a time, making it a bit of work to keep up with, but also giving the reader very much the feel of reading a whole line of books from a small comic publisher, with little crossovers and meta-plots.

And both books are full of Grist’s top-notch page layouts.

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MelornYeah, I’m trying to do one of those draw-something-every-day things.

Discovered today that the grayscale marker under-drawing really doesn’t work well with the Inktense over-painting. The shadows come out all desaturated — somehow the grayness of the ink overcomes the dissolved pigment on top of it. Weird. I had some inkling (yeah, yeah) of this after yesterday’s drawing, but today just confirms it.

Also realized that I just plain like inking. Laying down those blacks is just tactile joy.

And I had a minor realization about comics plotting — that of all the stuff going into a comic, plot is the least important, and it’s only my teenaged imprinting on strongly plotted SF stories that makes me think otherwise — but it hasn’t really come to anything.

Also finally listened to the legit release of Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine, and yes, it is different from the leaked release. (Do Brits wince slightly at “different from” like I do at “different to”? Good.) Not only are there two tracks on the legit disk that weren’t on the leaked one (and one on the leak that isn’t on the legit), the actual arrangements are different. So even if you’ve got the leaked album, it’s worth getting the legit one, especially since it’s currently on sale for $10 at Virgin.

And speaking of sales, Barnes & Noble is having an online post-holiday sale. I’d been waiting for Jaime Hernandez’s Ghost of Hoppers to come out in paperback, but the hardcover was on sale for just $5!

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