Girl Genius 4: Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams

Agatha Heterodyne encounters a brand-new group of terrific characters in this chapter of the “gaslamp fantasy” series by Phil & Kaja Foglio, Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams. Agatha has escaped from the flying castle of Baron Wulfenbach (as seen in The Monster Engine). She’s accompanied by a grumpy talking cat that serves as comic relief. They quickly run into a traveling caravan of show people, a group that provides a wonderful opportunity for the Foglios to sketch a […]

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DC Aims at Teenage Girls

Today’s NY Times has an article (registration required) on Minx, DC Comics’ new line of graphic novels for teenage girls. Disclaimer: I’m quoted in it, because the author, an old Usenet friend, needed someone familiar with the subject matter at short notice who wasn’t actually working on the project. That’s not going to stop me from pointing out some of the sillier statements in the piece, though. It starts with a quote from Karen Berger: “It’s time we got teenage […]

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xxxHOLiC Volume 1

Illustrating the oddities of interpretation and the passage of time… This is the second time I’ve tried reading CLAMP’s xxxHOLiC. I know lots of people love it, but after the first time through, I shrugged. It didn’t do anything for me, and I found the atmosphere of mystery silly and pretentious. The authors seemed to be trying too hard. I’ve since changed my mind. I came back to it because someone (sadly, I don’t remember who) whose opinion I respect […]

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Alec: How to Be an Artist

Eddie Campbell has been cartooning for a long time, and in Alec: How to Be an Artist, he shares his wisdom about the field in an autobiographical ramble through his career. Campbell constructs his pages around a nine-panel grid, only without borders. His art is spare, as though dashed off in a pen-and-ink sketch, but such apparent carelessness only comes with decades of experience. The narration sounds as though it’s slightly removed from events, as suits a jaded look back, […]

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Essential Reading for Young Creators

One: Responding to Negative Reviews Kevin Church, blogger and comic writer, tells you how to react to negative reviews (link no longer available). I like this so much, I’m thinking of adding to my form response to “will you review my book?” “Only if you’ve read this.” Here’s the rundown, but his site has a lot more explanation: Your LiveJournal “friends list” does not necessarily reflect the taste of the general reading public. When a reviewer does not like your […]

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The Atom Drives Batman

Sometimes it seems as though everyone’s doing supposedly funny write-ups of old comics, but Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog really wins the blue ribbon with his takedown of The Brave and the Bold #115, “the story where the Atom reanimates Batman’s corpse so that he can fight crime from beyond the grave.” …and that’s when the Atom shrinks down, hops into Batman’s ear canal, pauses just long enough to drop some knowledge on the kids by explaining how the ear works, and […]

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Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank

Girl Genius by Phil & Kaja Foglio is a fun “gaslamp fantasy” starring a young woman just discovering her abilities. The first volume, Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank, establishes the setting and characters for the ongoing steampunk adventure series. Agatha’s world is one of mad science, run by privileged nobles who display the Spark needed to work steam-powered technological magic. She’s a lowly lab assistant in this Cinderella story. No one, including herself, yet suspects that she possess the […]

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Dramacon Volume 2

As promised at the end of the first book, it’s a year later, and Christie’s back at the anime convention in Dramacon volume 2. She’s still writing her comic, but her new artist, Bethany, is a lot easier to get along with. (The former artist and boyfriend has been dumped.) This year it’s Bethany’s first time at the show, and Christie’s a lot more comfortable with the atmosphere. Christie’s also seeing more realistically. The professional creator who encouraged her so […]

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