Category: Thursday Walk of Shame

Somewhere Around The Number Ten Best Comics That Nobody Told You About

Part 1:

I love Chris Ware. Bit redundant to say so this holiday season with everyone and their sister buying Building Stories, but with so much comic awesomeness that happened in 2012; between Charles Burn’s second installment to his X’ed Out trilogy, The Hive, and Brian K. Vaughn’s SagaSAGA… It’s too easy for amazing comics to get lost in the stacks, so I’m here to give my somewhere around the number 10 best comics of 2012 that nobody told you about…


Michael DeForge might be the most prolific cartoonist working right now. He pumps more work and at a higher quality that would make any other cartoonist want to quit, or work harder… quit thats the correct response. On top of Lose #4 this year you can also see his work in the pages of Adventure Time comics, where he does the backgrounds,variant covers, anthology stories in  Nobrow 7 (more on that in a bit) and the newest  KUS, not to mention his on going serial Ant Comics, oh and his porn comic that he designs that features work by Johnny Negron, Brandon Graham, and Jillian Tamaki….more on all of them latter too…Bottom line, DeForge has a hand in everything and you’re probably a fan of his already, so read Lose, or Ant comics, or KUS, or Nobrow, or one of the million other things he worked on this year. King of comics 2012 goes to DeForge, no contest.

The Underwater Welder

Did I mention that DeForge is Canadian? Canadians….must be a universal sigh when cartoonist’s who aren’t Canadian talk about them. Jeff Lemire is another cartoonist hailing from The Great White North. Lemire had a full year of releases with Sweet Tooth Volume 4 and 5, the reprinting of his Xeric grant book Lost Dogs and Underwater Welder. Underwater Welder is for lovers of well paced, clear story telling, and the Twilight Zone. Lemire has an economy to his comics, the art is quick yet purposeful in the same manner as the writing, which rewards the reader with a world that they can envelope themselves in. Lemire is an odd school of cartooning, he’s not so deep into independent styled comics as DeForge, but he isn’t mainstream either (though he does write the only two books at DC still worth reading Animal Man, & Frankenstein Agent of Shade ). He’s a cartoonist in love with genre but doesn’t mistake comics to be only that.

Nipper Volume 3

Nipper Volume 3 finally came out! WOOOOOOO! I might be the only American to love Nipper so go buy it and prove my gross presumption wrong. Keeping in theme with brilliant Canadian cartoonists, Nipper volume 3 is the Canadian version of Family Circus, if Family Circus was anything like a real family and not so adorable that even your grandmother finds it lame. Always silent, black and white line work with one beautiful saturation of red dropped into each panel, Doug Wright creates multi-layered story telling, in the most simple yet still incredible complicated drawing. Just go look already, and then come meet me for coffee to talk about it, I’ll be here till next year trying to describe why it’s so effffffing smart.

Diary Comics 4

Dustin Harbin is yet another broken hearted cartoonist, upset that his nationality isn’t Canadian. Diary Comics 4 starts with Dustin talking about how amazing it is to be in attendance at the Doug Wright rewards (the Canadian version of the Eisners), and how he wishes we as American could take comics as seriously as they do. Why can’t we folks? Dustin’s beautifully minimalist drawings deceive readers with their simplicity, when they are really just the right amount of information needed, each mark done with purpose in mind and simply decroative. Go read em’ they’re good. And if your not a fan of memoir, you just like the punching and kicking comics, he did letter Casanova sooo…..I don’t know Matt Fraction wrote Iron Man for like a century right? See the full picture of creators not just the characters you like….

Pope Hat #3

Pope Hat #3 by Ethan Rilly. Rilly is surprise surprise, another Canadian. Pope Hats is technically 3 issues deep but you really only need/want two and three. In Pope Hats Rilly tells the story of Franny, a young law clerk at a massive law firm, picture Wall Street with less Charlie Sheen….okay no Charlie Sheen, just that one part where he gets punched in the face by Michael Douglas… Rilly drawings show traces of his influences but they don’t unhinge the story. You can see traces of Doug Wright’s drapery in the clothing, and bits of Shultz popping up in the rendering of grass and clouds. It’s like a love letter to days past when cartooning was a profession and getting a weekly strip in a newspaper was the dream. Pope Hats narrative shares a similar tone of nostalgia with its drawing, that bitter sweet pain, from an old wound.

Thats the end of Part 1. Part 2 on Sunday 12/23/12.

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The Daily Planet Presents: Thursday Walk of Shame #2 with Jeff Ayers and Dave Press.

Good evening one and all, and welcome to our second installment of the Thursday Walk of Shame. I am Dave Press, this week we discuss my ridiculous obsession with Deadpool, “Coraline”, “Immortal Weapons #1” and “Dethklok vs The Goon.”  So without further ado, let’s do this thing:


by Skottie Young
by Skottie Young

DAVE: I have this obsession lately, and that obsession is Deadpool. The only prescription is more Deadpool. I never read him when he was popular in the 90s, but lately, I can’t get enough of him.  There are three separate series out featuring him now, and normally I avoid things like that like the plague, but I can’t stop myself from getting them. They are all good, I enjoy myself immensely with them.  Maybe its a lack of “fun” comics or something but I think those Deadpool comics just do something. What do you recommend, Dr. Ayers?

JEFF: Fun comics are always doctor’s orders. Thankfully there’s been a bit of a renaissance of funitude. Dr. Ayers currently suggests you take two Dethklok vs. The Goon and call your mother in the morning. I don’t watch the show or read The Goon with much regularity, but damn that comic was funny. Deadpool and I parted ways when Rob Liefeld bailed.

WAIT A MINUTE…. Here we go again- Deadpool, huh? Wasn’t he played by Ryan Reynolds? hmmmm…. methinks me sense a trend here Mr. Press.

No, no, this sickness began probably a year ago. Tell us about Dethklok vs The Goon. What was some of those funny moments?

Like any good team-up, a la Scooby-Doo/Globetrotters etc (awesome!), our heroes get down to performing what they do best for their fans: The Goon crew hacking and maiming, blood n’ guts galore, the Metalocalypse boys rockin out! Lyrics include the now classic, “Little did you know that the ink in this comic was mixed with our own blood… After we mixed our blood with poison!! Lick the ink from your fingers and embrace your death! Death by Darkness!” and “Dave Press wants to bear Ryan Reynolds’ babies then makes sweet sweet love to them!”

It’s a pretty funny book. Hopefully a Deathklok regular books takes off.

I feel a need to bring up Wednesday Comics #3, cuz dem’s damn fun comics!!! Brilliant stuff again. Why can’t that sense of playful exuberance exist in comics more… PP’s Strange Adventures is terrific, and that Bermejo Superman has really grown on me. God, I even love the Iris West romance strip!

Not a very strong Gaiman/Allred Metamorpho entry in this ish, tho….

Yeah, I was going to say those Iris West strips are fantastic. I mean, I dug the

Dethklok vs The Goon
Dethklok vs The Goon

Wonder Woman at first, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to move up to loving The Flash by the end of this thing. Paul Pope, naturally, always brilliant. I wish I was at SDCC for his DJ set, but he does that stuff here all the time so I’m not that sad.

But speaking of playful exuberance there was quite a bit of it in IMMORTAL WEAPONS #1. I’ll buy the hell out of anything regarding that Iron Fist universe. This featured Fat Cobra where he hired an author to research his life and write his memoirs. Except Fat Cobra, so obsessed with his life and thinking that he lived such a proud warrior life, had anything but. He would exalt on the first few pages, “Tell me about my warrior parents and how they died proudly in battle!” and the author, Carmichael said, “ACTUALLY, your parents were pig farmers and your mother died giving birth to you because you were so fat.” Or something like that. The comic is full of stuff like that. Really hilarious. Plus some gorgeous art from Michael Lark, and many others. Written by Jason Aaron.

That “love” scene was pretty hilarious. First, Fat Cobra and and this lady are fighting (“Flying Monkey Flip Kick,” Hell’s Dentist”) then they’re making out, lickin ears, and pinching the fat bastid’s nipples (“Nine Suns Nipple Clamp”)!!! Holy crap! I couldn’t believe my virgin eyes!

There’s gotta be some kind of NO-Prize for anyone who can actually tell me of a Marvel comic where someone receives a sexual purple nurple…

Kneading the Golden Dough. HA!

Yeh, it was probably my favorite issue of the week. So, we just watched CORALINE. It was just beautiful. Have you read it?

Yeah. You? Heard there were some plot points that were different. I haven’t seen the film yet, except some really stunning visuals. Why’d ya like it?

What I really enjoyed about it was that even though its a kid’s story, there is still that underlying creepiness to all kid’s stories, or at least good ones. That’s what I really like about Neil Gaiman‘s sensibilities, there was still that scary, lonely creepiness that comes when you’re in that in between stage of your childhood. Like when you’re 11 or 12. No wonder he wins all kinds of kid’s book awards left and right.  He writes them for them, but doesn’t put on the kiddie wheels to take them along a primrose path.

Damn skippy, Dave. I’m gonna go jump into my Robotech jammies and curl up with a bedtime story. Good night, Ryan Reynolds. Good night, Dave.

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The Daily Planet Presents: Thursday Walk of Shame #1 with Jeff Ayers and Dave Press.

I shot this idea at Jeff earlier this week of doing a Basement Tapes-like weekly column where he and I talk about this Wednesday’s comics and other comic related events the morning after. Hence, “Thursday’s Walk of Shame.”

Now, would probably be a really great time to say GIANT SPOILERS from this week, and last week’s comics.  So you’ve been warned.

And. Here. We .Go.

Dave at home. Found in his natural position.

DAVE: So, BLACKEST NIGHT #1: Really? Really, with the ripping out of the hearts of Guardians and Hawkpeople left and right? Jesus. Geoff Johns, you’re a good, pleasant guy, a kind-hearted individual, where does this come from? You gotta see someone. You have some repressed anger going on here.

Jeff at home.
Jeff at home.

JEFF: Reminds me of George Lucas’ similar fixation with using lightsabers to chop off limbs. The Star Wars universe is filled with amputees! The first comic book I ever read was an issue of Green Lantern when I was four years old. I think Hal used his ring to make a big-ass green fist to punch the baddie. I’d say this is a bit of a departure from the tone of that issue.

Yeah maybe a little bit of a departure. That’s funny. What is also funny, but probably not really, my first comic as a kid was a Green Lantern comic too.  It was an annual, I think it, and I still remember the cover: it had Hal Jordan bursting through this giant robot.  No idea what it was about, but I think I still have it somewhere in my parent’s garage upstate.

I don’t know if you had a chance to check it out, but I just got done with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep #1 and found it okay. Art not too flashy- refreshingly so- and a lot of bang for the buck. Given the source material (it’s a direct adaptation of PKD’s novel) it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Just one quam:

It’s #1. OF 24!!!!!! Am I going to be around in two years or so when it concludes? Maybe. Is Boom, the book’s publisher? Can they sustain interest in this for two years? I wish them all the best, but…. To  paraphrase the closing line of Blade Runner’s theatrical cut (which I prefer): I don’t know how long this book and I have together. Who does?

Whaddya think of that Spider-Man variant with Nixon on the cover?

I did look at it [Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep], and you’re right, it is hard for them to get it wrong by transplanting Dick’s words into the comic.  However, I imagine most of the people that book would appeal to are huge into the movie, and have probably read the book a while back.  So, in the end, I’m not really sure why this is a must buy.

I don’t think anything of the Nixon variant, though I will say how about the giant reveal in Amazing Spider-Man annual with Ben Reilly being alive? Sorry, spoilers, but its been a week so if you have a problem, feel free to pick a fight in the comments.

OMG. I didn’t see that. Was he wearing that Flashdance meets Carnage Scarlet Spider costume? Cuz that thing’s rad…Scarlet_Spider

No, he was calling himself Velociraptor, which is probably just as Flashdance as his previous version. He had jaws, and bone knives coming out of his forearms, very much like that formerly stupid mutant. What was her name? Oh yeah, Marrow. God, remember when the X-Men comics had a fixation on gross mutants…Marrow and Maggot? Those were the times.

I feel like I have to bring it up: but Wednesday Comics? I loved Ben Caldwell’s Wonder Woman strip, but I hear the predominant favorite is Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook’s Kamandi, but that doesn’t surprise me.

Ryan Sook could draw a comic about styrofoam and it’d be gorgeous.

Kerschl and Fletcher’s Flash page is my fave. Haven’t felt anything but “meh” about the character since the height of Mark Waid’s nineties run, but this is dead on the characters I loved growing up.

I liked Johns’ run on The Flash, but that was forever ago, and the book just hasn’t been that good (barring the short stint Tom Peyer had on it).

I just finished The Nobody and you mentioned something about how you liked the smell of it.  I liked how it was this almost Cormac McCarthian statement on loneliness.  I also really loved Jeff Lemire and how he captures a small town, I haven’t seen that done well in comics ever, but Lemire really captured what its like to be in a small town, or be from a small town.

Yeah. It’s pretty terrific, and as deftly executed as his previous Essex County books, which Top Shelf is reprinting in one volume later this summer.

Back to the smell of the book… from a book sniffer’s perspective let me say that it’s important your book stand out from the crowd. The Nobody’s piquant, inky aroma is distinct to say the least. And bloody hell is it pronounced!

[LAUGHS]. Yeah, this is my first introduction to Lemire so I will definitely be picking up Essex County when it comes out, and his new Vertigo series “Sweet Tooth”.

Last bit: ScarJo shows up in EW as the Black Widow.  What are your thoughts on this? She looks more like Anna Mercury than she does the Black Widow but I still say I would rather see Emily Blunt.

Ah, Scarjo & Ryan Reynolds, comic book movies’ power couple. Ya know, I just IMDB’d Emily Blunt and I’ve not seen anything she’s ever been in. Daaavid, have you been watching “The Devil Wears Prada” behind my back? I gotta agree with you. She’s much more exotic and her cool eyes and demeanor more suitable.

At this point in the conversation, I jump through the screen like Ray Palmer does through a telephone and begin strangling Jeff for “The Devil Wears Prada” crack. This concludes the first issue of THURSDAY WALK OF SHAME. Maybe there will be another one next week, if Jeff survives. (Dave exits, while sharpening knives).

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