Gronk: A Monster’s Story

The first book collecting Katie Cook’s adorable Gronk webcomic is now more widely available in comic shops through Action Lab Entertainment (as announced last year). Gronk is a classic fish out of water. She’s a little monster adopted by Dale after she left the monster world because she didn’t like being scary. The comics mostly cover how Gronk misunderstands or learns something about how humans live. My favorites are when Gronk interacts with the huge dog Harli or the cat […]

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Princess Ugg #7-8

As the second storyline of Ted Naifeh’s Princess Ugg concludes in issue #8, this may be the last for a while — but it’s a high point to pause on. First, issue #7, which sets up a number of interesting plot twists. In previous issues, Ulga and her fellow princesses have been kidnapped. Her bravery has won over many of the others, who finally see her in a context where her “savagery” has a purpose and a value. The prissy […]

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“Lighten Up” Explores Comic Coloring

Comic artist Ronald Wimberly put out The Prince of Cats through Vertigo a couple of years ago. He’s also drawn and colored some pages for Marvel, an experience he powerfully illustrates in “Lighten Up”, a comic posted at The Nib today. While working on the comics, he was asked by his editor to lighten the skin tone of a Latina character, and he writes about the thoughts that resulted from the request. Wimberly tackles institutional racism and comic coloring in […]

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Lumberjanes #10-12

After the first Lumberjanes story arc ended, I was curious to see how the series would continue. The answer is, with more insight into the characters, particularly Mal and Molly, as well as hints about the camp’s history. The series continues to be written by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, but Carolyn Nowak is the new artist for this storyline. She does an incredible job staying true to the characters while capturing the weirdness of this particular camp and the […]

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Shaper #1

This coming Wednesday, Dark Horse debuts Shaper, written by Eric Heisserer and illustrated by Felipe Massafera. It’s an interesting title, because it’s a throwback. It’s the kind of story that was more popular decades ago, a boys’ adventure tale in space. I wasn’t won over by it, but I could appreciate its skill and intentions. Clearly, Heisserer loves his vision, so much so that he transformed it from a movie script into a limited comic series because no one would […]

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The 1943 Batman Serial Airing on TCM

On Saturday mornings, Turner Classic Movies shows serials, short episodic movie chapters, at a rate of one installment a week. Their most recent series is Batman, a 1943 15-chapter telling of superhero adventure “based on the Batman comic magazine feature appearing in Detective Comics and Batman magazines created by Bob Kane” (as the credit card has it). We first see Batman, “America’s #1 crime fighter” (and government agent, surprisingly), sitting at an ornate desk in a “chamber hewn from the […]

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A Fresh Start

After 10 years and almost 8,000 posts, my WordPress database has become corrupt. I’ve been trying to fix it off and on for the last three weeks, but it’s time to cut my losses and start fresh. The posts are still there, somewhere, so I’ll be slowly revisiting and reimporting the ones I found interesting — but really, who needs to read my thoughts from 2006 linking to a blog that’s no longer there? (They used to say comic readers, […]

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El Deafo

The important question when growing comic readers is “what do I read next?” Back in the mid-1980s, in the first graphic novel boom, the appeal of comic-format books faltered because, after Maus, there was little else with the same literary goals and high quality and diverse storytelling. People who loved it had nothing else to go on with, nothing else to build that habit of thinking of comics as a medium instead of just the superhero genre. Nowadays, there are […]

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