If you are looking for a nice hit of pulp-noir, then you’ll want to try this mashup, “Grendel vs. The Shadow,” which throws in some time travelin’ in the bargain. Written and drawn by legendary Grendel creator Matt Wagner, this ode to gangsters and molls is sure to please. For readers new to Grendel and The Shadow, this is a great starting point. Let Matt Wagner, who refined The Shadow character at Dynamite Entertainment and brings, Grendel, an iconic Dark Horse favorite back in the ring, be your guide.
Box Brown is the one cartoonist born to create a graphic novel in honor of pro wrestling and its greatest warrior: “Andre the Giant: Life and Legend,” published by First Second Books. As Brown describes in the introduction, he became hooked on the sports spectacle after a buddy brought some wrestling magazines to school in the fourth grade. Brown respectfully explains that there is a pact between the audience and the wrestlers to suspend disbelief. It is known by the voodoo-sounding term, “kayfabe.” For a brief time, you return to childhood and you let yourself believe that a man can fly.
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Well, no rest for the wicked. September is going to be a very busy month and I see it as flying by faster than almost I can keep up with it. But keep up with it I will. We have a number of new book releases and exciting new comic book titles rolling out. I also have my own little tempest in a teacup, my 24-Hour Comics Day drawing marathon. I will be at Hotel Max in Seattle that first Sunday-Monday of October. I need to make that distinction since the official observance of the annual 24-Hour Comics Day is the first weekend in October. However, due to scheduling matters, we’re going with October 5-6 and that still works out just fine. Cool? Cool!
Do you support all the wonderful features here at Comics Grinder? I’m sure you do in your own way. You’re reading this now, so that’s something! If you’ve been considering doing a little more, then this could be the right time for it. Here’s a handy checklist.
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Wow, what a book for anyone who is passionate about becoming a cartoonist! “Foundations in Comic Book Art: Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists” is a compressed version of what you can learn at the Savannah College of Art and Desgin (SCAD). John Paul Lowe, an art professor at SCAD, guides you through the main principles of comic book art: seeing and interpreting (observational techniques); and creating (constructive techniques). In a very concise and lively manner, you get a solid grounding in what’s involved in becoming a comics professional.
Michael Dooley, over at PRINT Magazine’s Imprint, provides a fun and informative recap of this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. And, of course, here in Seattle we appreciate a shout out to our favorite son, David Lasky, part of the “Fictionalized Non-Fiction” panel moderated by Heidi MacDonald and also featuring Gilbert Hernandez and Mimi Pond.
Have you ever thought that you could write a comic book script if you had the opportunity? Well, here’s a book that not only demystifies the world of comic book writers but provides great food for thought for any writer or any creative person, for that matter. It’s by Brian Michael Bendis. You will know the name if you’re into comics.
Bilal is a legendary sci-fi and fantasy artist. He has an uncanny ability to evoke a vast world of suspense and mystery. His villains are utterly macabre. His women are utlra-cool sexy. For his contribution to the NBM ComicsLit Louvre collection, Bilal provides us with twenty-two ghost stories in his graphic novel, “Phantoms of the Louvre.” He focuses on a particular work in the Louvre, photographs it, and then works his magic with acrylic, pastel, and prose. For example, we have the story of Marpada who, it would not be a stretch to say brings to mind Wonder Woman. If you ever wondered what a Bilal Wonder Woman would be like, this has got to be it. Note to DC Comics: Entice Bilal to do a Wonder Woman story!
“The Fade Out” is the new noir series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It opens up with a recollection of the “phantom planes” over Los Angeles, the Japanese bombers imagined but never actually in the air, following Pearl Harbor. Hearing them up above became a nervous habit hard to break. And so the world of Charlie Parish, a schemer and a screenwriter in Hollywood, seems to be just one big bad habit.
Christian Durieux states that he sought to create comic book poetry with his graphic novel, “An Enchantment.” He definitely succeeds in doing just that. The collaboration between the Louvre and NBM ComicsLit to co-edit books inspired by the Louvre results in such wonderful works of comics. This one is pure magic. It’s like watching a dance sequence with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The comic flows so well that it glides. It could easily have been wordless but the dialogue is so charming.