Saturday, May 03, 2003

huzzah! comics!

Free Comic Book Day for me started way past midnight, thanks to Vin (when your best friend owns a comic store, you have to pinch yourself at times and marvel at the kindness of the powers of the universe). Nikki and I came home with a very thick pile of stuff to read.

You may ask, if the point of Free Comic Book Day is to get new readers to read comics, why do I (already a comic buyer) get them? Easy.

1. It's free comics - how can you resist? Anyone who loves the medium will happily accept anything.

2. I wanted the small press comics - I knew that creators like James Kochalka and Jay Stephens and many others would have stuff unread by me for the taking.

3. I wanted to see what else was going on - if they weren't free, I probably wouldn't read or buy the stuff I wasn't familiar with.

And as a comic fan, I am influenced by sampling. I do buy new stuff.

Now among the gross and drivel (Landis, Kissing Chaos) there are gems including:

Peanutbutter & Jeremy by James Kochalka (Alternative Comics) - See? It was lovely, in as much as a crow wanting french (um, freedom?) fries is lovely.

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press) - Twisted marchen sensibilities that captured both Nikki and myself. We're ordering the book.

Oddballz by Lewis Trondheim (NBM) - Frantic sci-fi meditation.

Jetcat by Jay Stephens (Oni Press) - Fun superhero revisited.

Skinwalker by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (Oni Press) - Very engaging investigative book with excellent characterization. I'll pick up the trade.

The end result? Two happy comic book lovers wanting to buy more comics. And make them.

Many, many, many thanks to Vin.

one from manila

And local creators weren't unrepresented.

The Comic Collective, creators of the lovely Grafic, thanks to the effort of a handful of industrious souls, came up with OST (Original Story Theatre), a heartfelt xeroxed (I know I swore to use the term "photocopied" but WTF) anthology from the likes of Elbert Or (Sansinukob: Philippine Graphic Histories ) and Andrew Drilon (Subwhere).

It is a curious piece of work, holding to the theme of "grafic stories from and inspired by the Muses" and you get a range of writing in terms of quality. I enjoyed Drilon's continiung exploration into metatext (though I'd like to know if he writes anything else apart from this mode or the similarly thought-out Germinator), but physically recoiled from Gabriella Lee's restatement of Neil Gaiman's Calliope (it is tragic to see something in an anthology about muse-al inspiration so uninspired). The fact that it was a fiction piece exposed itself to critical analysis and it is easily the book's lowest point.

But still, I continue to admire the write-it, illustrate-it, produce-it mindset of these people.

It was enough to get me thinking (again) about what what we (the supposedly "established" writers and artists) are doing - not in terms of a pissing contest, but in terms of what can or should we be doing, agenda-wise.

printed on recycled electrons

Jason completes his blog makeover by changing domains and finally moving it to his own. His blog can now be found here. Update your links.

And I think my friend will forgive me if I tease him a little. I was delighted by the fact that his picture appears on his blog now, and together we present the following statement, for whatever it's worth: Jason: Blue, Dean:Violet.

Happy Anniversary to him and Cams.


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