The week wraps up with another Nicolas Mahler book, this time the graphic novel Angelman:
This book was published by Fantagraphics in 2012, and features Mahler’s savage take on the superhero genre.
I’m always curious about the working process (and tools) of various creators, although I’m usually very focused on comic book writers or artists. But I did enjoy this Lifehacker peek inside the working life of Clive Thompson, a journalist with gigs such as Wired and The New York Times Magazine.
“When I’m reading, I write tons of marginalia—again as much for sense-making as for retrieval. When reading in PDF format, I either use Acrobat Professional on my desktop or iAnnotate PDF on my iPad. My book reading is split probably 50/50 between paper and digital books. For digital books, I mostly read in Kindle or Stanza on my iPad or phone and export the notes and highlights locally. I use Project Gutenberg and Google Books a ton for reading out-of-copyright digital books; indeed, my reading probably has a huge pre-1923 bias because so much amazing stuff is so easily available before copyright laws tightened up.”
Omnivoracious features a short essay from novelist and Diah H writer China Miéville, wherein he discusses his history with the DC Comics property Dial H For Hero:
“For a long time, Dial H for Hero and its successors have been my comics obsessions. No other title, I’ve long explained to any of my poor friends who’ll listen, combines childlike joy in superhero-creation, a neo-surrealist faith in the aleatory, a post-Vertigo focus on the erosion of identity, and an opening into one of the few utter mysteries left in the history of the DCU.”
The Tell Me Something I Don’t Know podcast on boingboing is “an interview podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the reality/business side of how they do what they do.”
In episode #7, indie comic creators interview Columbus’ own Jeff Smith.
There’s a wealth of great material here, including talking about business plans, selling to retailers, and much more. I like his stories about how much resistance there was in the early days toward trade paperback collections and graphic novels from the likes of Wizard magazine and retailers. Well worth your time, especially if you’re interested in the business side of comics and comics history.
OK, taking a break from the last few week’s worth of 80s American indie comics, I’m going to spotlight an entirely different creator this week: the incomparable Nicolas Mahler. Here’s a succinct blurb about this talented cartoonist, from Top Shelf publishing’s website: “Austrian cartoonist Nicolas Mahler is as unique as he is prolific, and his whimsical and minimalistic style have an appeal that is all its own.” Let’s start the week off with one of my favorite books by Mahler, Lone Racer:
There is no way I could even begin to explain the simple joy of this comic, so instead, here’s the link to a 9 page preview of the book on Top Shelf’s website.
Dragonring week comes to a close with a bold new direction for the book! Well, ok, maybe not all that bold, but it did introduce new artist Dale Keown:
Keown, of course, would go on to fame and riches as the artist on The Incredible Hulk for Marvel, and then his own creator-owned series, Pitt, before the bottom fell out of the comic book market and he disappeared for a long time. These days you can find him contributing an occasional variant cover or short story to marvel and DC books.
The digital serialization of my Persia Blues graphic novel continues on the comiXology platform. You can now buy issue #3 in digital format, which serializes pages 55-79 of the book:
comiXology purchases can be read on your PC or Mac, or any tablet of smart phone, including iPad, iPhone, and Android based devices.