Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Check this out: Guide for the writer-artist-letter

Waaay back in 1973, Charlton Comics (defunct since 1985, though some of its superhero characters have been adopted by DC Comics) published a guide for comics creators - sort of a "how to break into the industry" book. A hefty dose of scans were posted at the blog Hairy Green Eyeball II some time ago.

Some of the book's advice is out of date, like when creators are advised not to focus on their own stories, as "ideas come from within a company, either from the staff or regular free-lance contributors." (Admittedly, this is still true at big superhero and kid's comics publishers, but these days there are plenty of companies willing to back original stories.)

Either way, it's worth a look to see how comics were produced in the days before digital art programs and sizable indie publishers!

Monday, October 25, 2010

This looks interesting: Bunny Drop

Find the first volume at [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Description from the publisher (Yen Press):
Going home for his grandfather’s funeral, thirty-year-old bachelor Daikichi is floored to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child with a younger lover! The rest of his family is equally shocked and embarrassed by this surprise development, and not one of them wants anything to do with the silent little girl, Rin. In a fit of angry spontaneity, Daikichi decides to take her in himself! But will living with this overgrown teenager of a man help Rin come out of her shell? And hang on, won’t this turn of events spell doom for Daikichi’s love life?!

See what some reviewers have to say about this series:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Watch this: Perspectives on Work -Takehiko Inoue

Takehiko Inoue is, without exaggeration, one of the most influential manga creators of the past 20 years. His 1990-1998 shonen (manga for teen and preteen boys) series Slam Dunk has sold over 100 million copies in Japan and frequently tops public "best manga" polls there.

He's still creating manga today, as seen in this (blissfully subtitled!) television program following his work and creative process. Even if you have little interest in sports and samurai (his signature subject matter,) it's worth a watch just to see his incredibly detailed illustrations.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interview with a Retailer: Austin Books and Comics

At last, an original interview! As fun as recommending comics and linking to articles is, there's something a little exciting about asking the questions yourself.

This (first?) interview is with Brandon of Austin Books and Comics, a (as may have guessed) comic shop in (as you may have guessed) Austin, Texas. Let's get to it!

HWC: First off, let's get to know the store a bit. What's your selection of comics like? How is everything organized?
ABC: We try to have as comprehensive a selection of comics as possible. Obviously there's the superhero mainstream comics, Dark Horse, Image, and the popular Vertigo line. But we also look to more indie comics publishers like Top Shelf, Oni Press, Slave Labor Graphics . . . and even smaller companies. It's our goal to have comics that will appeal to anyone who walks in the door.

We organize by genre. You'll find Humor titles in their own section, as well as Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, True Life Fiction, Classic Comics, and of course Superhero. There's quite a few shelves that hold thousands of graphic novels and collections, alphabetized by title. Our Indie Comics alcove and Art Book sections are alphabetized by creator's name.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Recommend: Uzumaki

Find the first volume at [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

We're well into October now, which for quite a few ladies means hunting down some Halloween reads! And few creators better represent comics with a spooky spirit than manga master Junji Ito.

One of the best examples of his work is Uzumaki, a series about a town haunted (if not outright terrorized) by spirals. "Spirals" may sound like a silly idea for a horror story menace, but between Ito's slow, eerie pacing and beautifully detailed artwork, this series can make even the most hardened cynic feel nervous around a snail shell.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Read this: Ladies Comics Project

See? I'm not the only one encouraging more women to read comics. Kelly Thompson (of the She Has No Head! column on Comics Should Be Good) has put together a neat experiment: The Ladies Comics Project, where she's gotten together over a dozen women, many of them not currently comics readers, and invited them to read an issue of a comic book and talk about their experience.

As Shelti, one of the women participating in the project, says:
Before reading this comic the only other comic I have read is The Walking Dead, which I really got into. My view of comics before I read The Walking Dead was that they were just cartoons and superhero stories. I never thought I would like them and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Walking Dead. I still am not sure if I would like the superhero ones as much as the “real life” ones (yeah yeah zombies aren’t real, I know).

One interesting (though not exactly surprising) thing I gleaned from Part 1: Ladies love a good cover image.