Archive for the ‘Comic Strips’ Category

Calvin grows up

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

In the last year, someone shared a comic on Facebook. It showed a grown up Calvin giving his daughter the Hobbes doll to play with. It was one of the most heart-warming things I’d seen in a while, and I hope that Bill Waterson himself would enjoy it. (Turns out that several web artists have worked in that milieu.)

And now, here is an alternate possibility from the “Gritty Reboots” people.

the last Irregular Webcomic

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The link to the very last regular installment of Irregular Webcomic, at least as far as the actual strip, is here.

After No. 3182, the 2011-10-13 strip, which pretty much ends or ties up the various narratives to the extent that David Morgan-Mar is willing to do so, comes a slew of guest strips and a final annotation describing the end of the whole thing and to an extent the beginning.

After that the new material comes in two forms, one which was originally intended: just weekly essays where the annotations used to be, and a title graphic where the strip used to be.

A saving grace is that DMM is re-running the original strips now (not part of his original plan) with new annotations.

How massive can a Superman repository be?

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

The Comics Reporter has a page or exhibition for a newspaper strip collection for our Man of Steel:


am unclear which as I have not read it yet.

Starving (Comic Book) Artists

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The Comics Issue: If Cartoons Are So Big, Why Don’t They Pay?

Google celebrates Will Eisner’s 94th birthday

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In times past I have justly ripped on Google for their inappropriate choice for respect in their tributes (as far tributes go, anyway) but as far I as know it is most appropriate to take the 94th day of annual commemoration of the birth of Spirit-ualist and graphic novelist extraordinaire and pay tribute to the man with this:

If you don’t understand the visual relevance than Google will only grant you a cursory understanding insomuch that others understand the significance of Will Eisner’s sizable contribution to the genre of comic strip heroes and medium of comic books, yet not grant an understanding of said significance unto you.

Also: the Frank Miller movie is not about Will Eisner’s character; he just used the name; I don’t know why.



peel back the skin? They don’t look so animated anymore!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I like this: “Realistic Anatomies of Cartoon Characters“.

Note that the “Sylvester the Cat” skull is another photo of Bugs Bunny’s skull, as cats don’t have buck teeth, Sylvester has canines.

The skeleton models are by Hyung Koo Lee and yes

is the most impressive of the bunch

but there are a diversity of subjects, drawings, by a diversity of artists, although I assume the Homer Simpson is from either an animation frame or official art.

Aside from the skeletons my favorite might be the Lego minifigure “Micro Schematic”. My least favorite is Michael Paulus’s Lucille Van Pelt sketch. I’m not sure why, as I love his Pikachu and Powerpuff Girl.

I’m also quite satisfied that someone finally bisected one of those Care Bears.

Way to go, Brad!

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

I’ve posted before about how Brad is now the most awesome character in the Luann strip. I’ve been following his career with great interest.

I CANNOT believe I just quoted “The Phantom Menace”. 🙁


Doesn’t look good for Toni

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I’ve said before how I always love it when the comic strip Luann gets back to focusing on her older brother, Brad. Frequently, these are the most dramatic story arcs…and it looks like we may be in for a doozy. I really hope Toni doesn’t die.

Need to catch up?

Resurgence of piracy

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

There is obviously a resurgence of interest in piracy due to the recent capture of a USA-flagged ship and the hostage situation with the ship’s captain that happily ended in his rescue just this morning.

Many of us, of course, still think of pirates in terms of 1700s brigands in tall ships with parrots, bandanas, striped shirts and eye patches, hoisting the Jolly Roger and keelhauling their victims. I remember watching the movie The Phantom and rolling my eyes a bit at the mention of his ancestor’s oath to fight piracy.   It’s an okay film, saved by the dedicated performance of Billy Zane and the thigh-high boots on an unknown Catherine Zeta Jones.  I liked the movie.  But pirates?  It’s a bit hard to make that relevant, isn’t it?

Dangerous WatersHowever, some years later, I heard the author of “Dangerous Waters” on the radio, and the interview was so intriguing that I picked up the book as a gift for my dad.  The book explains how piracy has never fully gone away.   The author was surprised to learn this in person, when his craft was raided by a species of criminal that he thought was extinct: pirates.

Modern laws make it a very profitable enterprise for many third world ruffians.  Many companies would rather pay exorbitant ransoms rather than having to mess about with training their crews to fight pirates (or equipping them with security personnel), and some ports have strict laws that don’t allow arriving boats to carry weapons.

Maybe a modern-day Phantom dedicated to fighting pirates could take on their modern counterparts.  I know I’d buy that book!

Interesting note:  When I went out to Amazon to find Dangerous Waters, I discovered that this six-year-old book is now in the top 1000 books.  What’s more,  it’s currently #2 in the category “International Security”, #5  in “Current Events – Terrorism”, and #9 in “Politics – International Relations”!  That must be a nice little windfall for author John S. Burnett.

The Birthday haul (a/k/a “Game reviews to come”)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I had a lovely little birthday party with my wife, Melinda, and niece, Jenny.  They bought a glittery banner and I realized I’ve never had a banner for my birthday party before.  They also restarted a long-abandoned tradition of lighting a candle on the cake for every year I’ve been alive, and there’s a reason why we abandoned it: the lighting took forever and the cake is now covered in wax, and now the top of the cake looks like a squirrel couldn’t find his nut and dug everywhere for it.

Here are my presents, presented not to gloat over the big haul (it’s not) but to show what a wonderful wife I have:

Carnival Games: Mini Golf This was from my wife. Fun for the entire family. Review to come.

Wii Worms A Space Oddity This was from my niece Jenny.  Allegedly.  Next time, Melinda, tell Jenny what “she’s getting me” so that she doesn’t take it from my hand and say, “What is it?”  It kinda spoils the subterfuge.  Anyway, it’s a Wii version of a game I’ve found addictive on the computer.  Will that translate to Wii play?  We shall see.

Wii Deal or No Deal This was “from Melinda”, inasmuch as when we were at Sam’s Club buying my cake and steaks earlier on Sunday I threw it in the cart and we counted it as one of my presents.  It’s a bargain game.

Peanuts And then here is a present from my cats Nina, Doris and Natasha.  (I named “Doris” so that she could be criminal partners with Natasha.  Would have been Boris but who names a female kitten Boris?)  The cats have good taste.  These are the original Peanuts cartoons from back when the Peanuts gang was first being conceived.  It’s rather dark stuff for the time, which seems odd considering that Charlie Brown and Snoopy came to symbolize the tired, trite and boring of the comics page.  Charlie Brown, the boy who never wins anything, who loses every kite he’s ever tried to fly, who is ridiculed by his friends and is tricked repeatedly by a girl who offers to set up a football for him just to mock him when he falls on his back.  Charlie Brown, whose baseball team is a bunch of losers who would rather hold rubber cats, fluff their naturally curly hair, hang on to their precious blankets or debate philosophy than play ball, and whose meanest pitches get batted back at him so hard he winds up lying in his underwear on his pitcher’s mound.  In a world of Blondie, Family Circus, Alley Oop and Prince Valiant, that’s actually pretty edgy.  I think my favorite moment is when Charlie Brown actually wins something, and it’s a coupon for a free haircut.  He points out that his dad is a barber and gives him haircuts.  And he doesn’t really have a lot of hair.  (Maybe I just like that because it’s meta-referential; the strip rarely commented on itself.)  I’m anxious to dig into this volume.

Venture Bros. Season 3 on DVD Surprise!  I got one more present on Monday.  My buddy Robert Bavington (who has done many of the costumed Fuzzballs for this site and Fanzing) sent me the season 3 box set.  I’m over the moon.  Thanks, buddy!

Classic comic recommendations from the readership?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Hello everyone.

My birthday is coming up and I want to add more variety to my Amazon wishlist.  With my local comic shop kaput, I don’t really read many comics anymore.  I’ve finally gotten down to the dregs of my stockpiled trade paperbacks, like The Transformations of Jimmy Olsen.  After years of everyone raving about Turtle Boy, I finally read that story and it is all kinds of lousy.  I mean, that story fails on every other level except for being able to entertain a small child.

What I’m looking for are titles of trades of quality classic stories.  For instance, there was an early Popeye book that Chuck Dixon once recommended.  The collected Peanuts books as well (from back when Good Ol’ Charlie Brown was the central character instead of Snoopy).  Are there any similar suggestions you all might have?

Also…are there any recent trades that you would actually recommend?


Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Most of you probably know about the Watchmen parody that Scott Kurtz is doing calleed “Ombudsmen“, but there’s the link for the first day just in case you didn’t.

So far, it’s pretty funny, especially Dagwood as Dr. Manhattan.

Li’l Editor

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Scott Kurtz has the cutest story on his blog!


Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Must be too buggy or something. Now Luann is back to the old stuck-on-last-Sunday design.

*waiting impatiently*

Luann mystery solved

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Luann’s comic was inactive this week because the site was being revamped: Luann’s Room 2.0.

The site has a terrific archive going back to 1995. (Funny how I was just bemoaning the lack of a complete archive!) Luann now joins the latest fad: colored strips every day of the week. I like it so far.

One problem I’ve found: you pick a time period of comics that you would like to read… and it puts the newest one at the top! There’s no way to reverse the order. That’s ridiculous, especially with an episodic soap opera comic like Luann. Anyone reading is going to want to start at the back and read forward.

Look what I found! The first strip where Brad decided to become a firefighter. I don’t know what the opposite of “jumping the shark” is, but for me this is really the point where the strip started gaining ground. Brad went from being the fridge-raiding lazy brother and butt of all jokes to a dedicated young man with some purpose in his life, and it’s led to a dozen good subplots such as meeting Toni Daytona, contending with Dirk, and the current plotline about the calendar shoot.

All right. I posted on the blog. Now…back to reading some classic Luann strips.

Triumph at Comic Con

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

No, not the loser character from Zero Hour.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog rips on the sweaty virgin nerds at Comic Con. Including PvP’s Scott Kurtz.

Conan O’Brien also has the full speech as a web exclusive.

I’m a schmuck

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

So, I write this long post finally venting about PvP always always always being late…

…and Scott posts that his dad ripped him a new one about always being late ON THAT VERY SAME DAY! Scott’s making an extra effort to get organized, and acquainting himself with some new hardware which may make it easier to draw, and he is trying hard to work ahead.

Bad timing on my part, I guess.

UPDATED: In case you’re wondering why I called that post “FAIL!!!”, it was a reference to this animated GIF that I like of Luke Skywalker kicking a guy and totally missing him. Unfortunately, I cannot find the original GIF no matter how hard I try (images are tough to search for unless they’re tagged or described in text, and most aren’t). But check out 1:45 in the following video:


Monday, May 12th, 2008

Scott Kurtz decided that PvP would go to a Monday through Friday comic in order for him to do justice to the title and keep it on time.

It is now 10:15PM central time and still no Monday PvP.

Look, I’m not some Scott Kurtz hater. (And I’m amazed how many haters there are. Mention his name in any crowd and someone will call him a donkey opening.) I mean, anyone who works so hard to keep his comic going for ten years, who develops a gargantuan following and is supportive of his friends deserves some respect.

Time for the inevitable “however”. If I have one criticism of Scott, it’s that he never, ever has managed to work one day ahead of schedule. He’s got a comic book, TPBs, a book about webcomics, a cartoon, an upcoming DVD of that cartoon, shirts, skull plushes, other merchandise, podcasts, MMORPG guilds, Blank Label Comics, HalfPixel, convention appearances, comic store appearances and who knows how many other ventures. It’s a FULL SCHEDULE. I understand that. I’m amazed he can get anything done, frankly. All of it, however, is based on one thing: his daily web comic. And ever since he started doing more than just drawing the web comic, it has meant that that day’s comic gets launched in the afternoon, the evening, that night, or retroactively the next day.

I know, it’s that whole “how dare we demand something he gives away free” thing. But it’s not free! Look, his web site makes an exorbitant amount of money in advertising based on our checking the web site for that day’s comic. We’re stopping by in order to see one thing: the webcomic. It would be nice if that comic was actually there.

Now, I could follow the conspiracy rule established by leftists ever since Bush took office (“Any possible conspiracy theory that would result in profit automatically means that theory is the truth.”) and conclude that Scott has realized that if a cartoon was on his web site in the morning we wouldn’t return to his web site five more times looking to see if it’s up yet, and thus his hit count would plummet and he’d lose money.

I said that just to see how easily some people will now tout that theory as the absolutely true reason that Scott Kurtz posts comics late. It couldn’t possibly be that he’s a well-meaning guy who has a bad habit of never getting caught up on his comic and working a day or two ahead of time.

So, Scott, should you ever see this, here is my advice. Take a week off and have another week of guest strips. Not because you need to go to a big con. Not because you’re sick, or your dog is sick. No…use it just to draw and get a week ahead of yourself. We’re your fans, and if you took some time to fix the biggest flaw in your strip, we’d love you for it. Besides, if all the guest strips were as funny as this one, it would be well worth it.

Signed… the guy who never worked ahead of schedule on anything.

Jade and Brent take their vows

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Wow. Never let it be said that Scott Kurtz doesn’t know how to write a powerful moment. Jade Fontaine and Brent Sienna have tied the knot. No interruptions, no plot twists, no fleeing the ceremony. They’re married.


I distinctly remember Kurtz swearing ages ago that he would never have Brent and Jade get married because that would ruin it.

I guess he changed his mind.

Or he decided to ruin it.

A great moment in today’s Luann

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

I know the comic is called Luann, but whenever the subject is Brad the strip is much better. After 9/11, Brad went from a shiftless older brother eating out of the fridge to an aspiring fireman, and in his quest he’s moved out of the house and fallen in love with another firefighter.

Whenever the strip goes back to Luann mooning about boys and clothes, it feels like a different, more shallow comic. I like Brad. When it comes to women, I identify with his cluelessness.