Tagged: Oni Press

Poetry in Motion

Here’s a poem about the Portland – Seattle bus trip I’m on right now:

Bolt Bus, you smell like booze
I think someone mistook you for a cruise.
You let us travel with free wi-fi,
But half the time it doesn’t work and I want to cry.
The sun is shining outside your windows,
But here I sit inside you, writing poetry, not prose.
Dude, the girl in front of you doesn’t want to talk,
I’m sorry you can’t take a hint, but you gonna walk.
Thank you, bolt bus, for cheap public transportation,
Are we there yet? I have to pee.

Also, a tip from the weekend:
When people tell you to drink a lot of water at a convention, and then volunteers proceed to hand you free water, don’t turn it down, you moron (me).

The Auteur #2– A new effing Auteur. I won’t lie, this is the comic I wish I had made, if I had ever attempted to make a comic. The art is humorously violent; the dialogue is reminiscent of a mental breakdown (maybe epiphany?) on a rampage; and characters are the best type of messed up, the type that have little redeemable characteristics, which is a rarity in any story. The story thus far: pure pandemonium! Our flop of a producer, Nathan T. Rex….holy shit, I’ve read his name so many times that I just realized his name, ugh I am a moron; anyways….Mr. Rex is trying to get his horror film Presidents Day off the ground, and hiring a real serial killer is sure to bring some realism to the project. Too bad he has to get him out of jail first, and make a mockery of the justice system. God bless America.

Solar Man of the Atom #1– Where Frank Barbiere goes, so I go too. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until I die (when my hyperbole’s will never be challenged). Picking up another Gold Key mantel under Dynamite, Barbiere brings back a fansinating superhero, Solar Man of the Atom. A physicist who is transformed into nuclear energy is having some problems with his super power and his estranged daughter might the only one who can save his power. This smartly written number one issue is part origin story, part destruction story, and combines the power of hard science with the flexibility of science fiction. Artist Joe Bennett is highly skilled in bringing superheroes to life with a slew of work under both Marvel and DC, but the homage to ‘60s pulp science, Solar’s beginning, lends itself to this book in everyone’s favor. With a lot of history behind the character from Gold Key, to Jim Shooter’s take with Valiant in the ‘90s, and even bouncing to Dark Horse, Barbiere has a lot of material to mine from. But he’s definitely managed to make his characters and the story brand new again.

 

Sex Criminals TPB Vol 1– This book doesn’t really need my help to sell. Judging by the fact that every single issue goes back to the printers around four times, and even 2nd printings of 4th cover printings. It doesn’t end with these two. Two being Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction. These two share a rapport that goes beyond their comics and the internet, and infuses itself in the characters that we as an audience are so rapt to follow to see what sex-capades they get up to in their pursuit of money, acceptance, and maybe a little love. Suzie and Jon are full of wit, and they are ready to hit it…with each other. More than just a funny sex book, these characters are some of the most complex I’ve ever seen on pages, and their special sex-having/time-stopping abilities aren’t their defining characterstics. It’s what creates the story, moves the plot, but there’s a lot of depth under the surface, which is what makes people keep coming back for more. That and brimping. The intense character building and the brimping. (They tell me a detailed explanation of brimping would be inappropriate for publication, so I guess you’ll have to read it to find out)


White Suits #3– Has it been long enough since I last talked about White Suits? If I’m not mentioned this Barbiere and Cypress book on a weekly, nay, daily basis, then I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Mob crime done right. The key to the success in his writing comes from his ability to cut all the stuff that doesn’t matter, and par the story down to the essential scenes that move the story along without page filing fluff. All of the writing necessary to a novel, does not translate into comics, which is why each panel is full of Russian mercenaries, the mysterious White Suits, and our main characters as hostages in Chinatown. Obivously there’s more than happens in between the lines of Toby Cypress’s impressionist and dreamlike work; the action is tightly coiled, and ready to spring at any moment. Cypress and Barbiere perfectly combine the show v. tell conundrum, that can render even the best comic story a humdrum.

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Comics And Pop Music Panel at C2E2 This Friday

Going to this weekend’s Chicago Con, C2E2?  Dig comics?  Dig music?  Then you’ll want to hit up the Comics and Pop Music Panel, moderated by our buddy Patrick Reed, this Friday night.  Aside from being super knowledgeable and enthusiastic (an understatement) about both subjects, Patrick’s put together quite an eclectic and interesting group of speakers to rap about it.  Here’s the deets:

Speakers: Charles Soule (author, Twenty-Seven, Image Comics), Chris Powell (executive director of business development, Diamond Comics distributors), Dan Parent (artist, Archie Meets Kiss, Archie Comics), Jen VanMeter (author, Image Comics, Oni Press)

Description:
Comic Books and pop music started out as disposable forms delivered in small doses.  Both forms became emblematic of youth culture and rebellion in the mid 20th century, faced endless censorship attempts, and have suffered critical reception from dismissive to derisive.  Here, Patrick Reed (editor of Depth Of Field magazine) brings together and moderates a panel of artists and publishers to discuss the ties between music and graphic storytelling, their common inspirations, the creative and commercial potential in combining the two media, and the history of pop comics– from the Beatlemania tie-ins of the 60s to today’s fan-favorite titles.

Time/Location: Friday, April 13, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, room N426b

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It’s Like Some Wonderful Dream

A few books that were, cosmically speaking, never supposed to see print will be released in the next couple of weeks, giving everybody a chance to get lucky with some amazing reads. While we’re at it, NOW would be a good time to buy a lottery ticket, apply for a job you aren’t, strictly, qualified for and confess your love to a distant crush.

If these comics are finally being released then GOD must have decided to cut all of us a break. Time to push our luck!

SHARKNIFE VOL 1 & Vol 2, Corey “Rey” Lewis, Oni Press

The 2005 first edition of Oni Press’s head turning manga, Sharknife, has an ad in the back promising that Sharknife Vol. 2 would be out in the fall of that year.

It is finally being released this week, as well as a reprint of the first volume. What is this book, why was it so delayed and why should you care?

Corey Lewis is an annoyingly cute cartoonist with a fantastic, frantic style amped up to 11 on energy drinks and pixie sticks. His work is so hip it has to wear a MuuMuu to be comfortable. He’s done some work here and there, most noticeably in UDON’s Street Fighter and Rival Schools titles. He had a fun graphic novel out many moons ago called Peng, about (and remember I did warn you about the hipsterness) a winner-take-all kung-fu ninja Kick-ball tournament.

He lives in Seattle and freely admits that he dropped the ball.

Sharknife was an impressive debut book for the then 22 year old Lewis. Followers of Scott Pilgrim would find the tone and material familiar…Lewis and Pilgrim’s creator Bryan Lee O’Malley were good buddies and positively influenced each other’s work. Lewis stated that, after his debut, he let down his productivity because he thought he had his foot in the door…only to realize that the job was about sustaining momentum, NOT breaking in.

The book focuses on a busboy at a funky Chinese food restaurant constantly under attack from video game monsters. The protagonist can transform into Sharknife, the spikey elbowed brawler who beats these beasties back to win the love of the Owner’s daughter.

It is LESS romantic than Scott Pilgrim, with FAR less angst. It does come off as more fun and genuine. If you like romance, video games, fighting, noodles, monsters slick cartooning than Sharknife is a must read. Continue reading

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