Monthly Archives: October 2009

Favorite Graphic Novels

A visual walk through some of my all-time favorite trades/graphic novels.

hicksville

HICKSVILLE by Dylan Horrocks

goodlife

IT’S A GOOD LIFE IF YOU DON’T WEAKEN by Seth

concrete

THE COMPLETE CONCRETE by Paul Chadwick

watch

WATCHMEN by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

casanov

CASANOVA by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba

phoenix

X-MEN: THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA by John Byrne, Terry Austin and Chris Claremont

scalped

SCALPED VOL. 4: THE GRAVEL IN YOUR GUTS by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera and pals

swamp

SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, BOOK ONE by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben

hate

HATE, VOL. 3: FUN WITH BUDDY AND LISA by Peter Bagge

animalman

ANIMAL MAN by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog and Dog Hazlewood

maus

MAUS by Art Spiegelman

rubber

STUCK RUBBER BABY by Howard Cruse

pussey

PUSSEY! by Daniel Clowes

next

NEXTWAVE: THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen

assuper

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, VOL. 1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

capote

CAPOTE IN KANSAS by Ande Parks and Chris Samnee

batsyer

BATMAN YEAR ONE by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

jimmyc

JIMMY CORRIGAN: THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH by Chris Ware

flagg

HOWARD CHAYKIN’S AMERICAN FLAGG! by Howard Chaykin

swatch

STORMWATCH: CHANGE OR DIE by Warren Ellis, Tom Raney and Oscar Jimenez

umbrella

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba

fell

FELL, VOLUME ONE by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith

bprd

B.P.R.D.: THE BLACK FLAME by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis

pilgrim

SCOTT PILGRIM: PRECIOUS LITTLE LIES by Bryan Lee O’Malley

damn

THE DAMNED, VOLUME ONE by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt

superspy

SUPER SPY by Matt Kindt

starman

STARMAN OMNIBUS, VOLUME ONE by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Wade Von Grawbadger

golden

THE GOLDEN AGE by James Robinson, Paul Smith and Richard Ory

dork

WHO’S LAUGHING NOW? (DORK, VOLUME ONE) by Evan Dorkin

jackstaff

JACK STAFF: EVERYTHING USED TO BE BLACK AND WHITE by Paul Grist

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Six years and nine months later….

So, I was Googling words in an effort to name a new book I’m developing, and the tenth hit on Google was a link to Matt Fraction’s blog, which led me (circuitously) to his old Poplife column, from Comic Book Resources. Being easily distracted, I got caught up in Fraction’s circa 2002/2003 musings on comic book activism, and felt a weird little flood of nostalgia. There was this really brief time, when I was first working my way into comics, where I seemed to know a lot of people who were awfully concerned with the future of comics. It’s only been a little over six years since then, but in a lot of ways it feels like an eternity. If I only knew then…

Anyway, one of Fraction’s columns (from 12/02) referenced the first time I remember meeting him, in Hector Casanova’s then current studio/gallery/living space (The Green Door). Matt writes:

Peter, Kel, Xtop and myself managed to get together in a room with about 19 other young comics hopefuls in Kansas City this past weekend. It was really kind of fascinating. Steven Sanders brought his vintage Geiger counter. Hector let me look on his drawing table and I felt butterflies in my bones. B. Clay Moore showed up with a first look at his new book HAWAIIAN DICK, and it looks fantastic even if it printed too dark and too green (according to him). Hector and a guy named John Parker made it happen. There were two factions in the same place at the same time, the Art Institute kids like myself that were more into the gonzo, gung ho creation angle of things, the Art For Art’s Sake kinds, and the other half of the room were all, at first blush anyway, steel-eyed young professionals constructing elaborate cross-network opportunities and so forth. They were, on top of being creators, the organizers of expos and the senders-out of press releases. I had the feeling that if both halves of the room came together, everyone would walk out a whole lot smarter.

The meeting, as I recall, was partly in the service of bringing together factions of the then emerging Kansas City comic scene to help put together a comic art show (which we actually did). I also recall Fraction wore a Santa Claus hat the whole time. In retrospect, I never considered myself a “steel-eyed young professional,” and at the time saw HAWAIIAN DICK as a small blow for art as commerce (at the time, okay? At the time).  Of course, more and more I find I’m starving myself in an insane effort to straddle the fence between commerce and creation, and Matt has obviously moved (for now) squarely into the crosshairs of commercial creation, albeit only after crafting CASANOVA, which is perhaps the ultimate example of genre-as-art.

The late, lamented Green Door

Fraction’s left Kansas City (on the heels of Tony Moore and Harold Sipe), and I’ve lost touch with a lot of the gang I used to raise a fist for comics with, but it’s probably a good idea to jog the memory of those days when the simple idea of Making Comics was new and exciting.

Now I need to get back to — you know — actually making comics.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Fall has dropped on Kansas City on schedule. Cool weather, windy nights. I love me some October.

Have a whole big mess of fifties horror courtesy the twisted minds Professor Wertham tried to warn us about so long ago.





















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