Monday, October 31, 2005

The Cabin Boilerplate. 

From The New York Times, November 1, 2005

(photo by David Needleman)

As a comedian, actor and satirist, Chris Elliott has made a career out of blurring the line between truth and absurdity. As (author of the novel The Shroud of the Thwacker) he has unintentionally fuzzied things further by falling for an online spoof and incorporating a fictional robot into his book as a historical figure...

Now, Mr. Elliott finds himself in a comic nightmare, bending over backward to avoid being accused of a comedian's cardinal sin - lifting someone else's joke - and agreeing to a financial settlement with the robot's creator to head off potential litigation...

To his satirical 19th-century mix of gas-powered wooden cellphones and imagined New York landmarks like the original Ray's Pizzeria, Mr. Elliott adds a minor but intriguing character named Boilerplate, a robot said to be developed by the inventor Archibald Campion in the late 1800's. According to a deliciously detailed Internet site that tracks the robot's history, Boilerplate was designed to replace humans in combat; it took part in Roosevelt's campaign at San Juan Hill, joined the hunt for Pancho Villa, and fought in and, ultimately, disappeared during World War I.

But in fact, Boilerplate never was. It is the creation of Paul Guinan, an illustrator and graphic novelist in Portland, Oregon, who with his wife, Anina Bennett, is the author of "Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate," published in July by IDW Publishing...

Read the complete article here.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Check it out, crack writer Inara Verzemnieks did a nice long piece on Portland cartoonist Joe Sacco in this Sunday's paper. Unfortunately you can't see the pictures that went with it, unless there's some other link for that which I didn't see. She wrote a good overview of Mercury a while back, so we're big fans. Of Sacco too!

That was Parker. This is Lieber, with more news about cartoonists we like:

Over at her blog, Jane Irwin explains why Carla Speed McNeil's FINDER, is so damn good. And as you minght already know, FINDER is now a free webcomic. You have no excuse. Go. Read.

Steve Rolston will be taking over Phillip Bond's slot as artist on Brian K Vaughn's ongoing story in The Escapist. Read about it here, on Steve's blog. He begins with issue #8, which will also feature new work from Jeff Parker. If I'm not mistaken, this story will be the first color story on which Jeff did the complete job (writing, art, lettering and color) since The Interman.

Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards got a nice review from Entertainment Weekly. Here's the writer/publisher Jim Ottaviani, conferring with Jeff Parker about something:

And finally, big congratulations are due to Gordon Purcell, who made it to the $50,000 level on who wants to be a millionaire.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Paul Guinan and his Sideburns 

I haven't posted any goofy photos of studio members recently, so here's a shot that shows Paul Guinan with his Halloween sideburns.

Thanks to Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate, Paul's been getting a lot of ink lately. A quick look around the web:Variety , Comic Critique ,The Williamette Week, The Stateman Journal, Comic Continuum, Movie Poopshoot, Oregon Live, Comics Should be Good

Like many acclaimed things, this book can be purchased: Powell's , Things from Another World , Mars Import

While I'm linkblogging, there's been some great FLYTRAP coverage recently: Read Monster, The Comic Queen,Crisis , Evan Dorkin(!)and Variety's blog.

Flytrap is available from the publisher for two dollars, postpaid.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Back from Gijon 

So as I mentioned a week or so ago, I spent the week at the SALÓN INTERNACIONAL DEL COMIC DEL PRINCIPADO DE ASTURIAS

This wasn't a convention. An arts festival would be the closest comparison I guess. The organizers brought a number of Anglophone and Spanish cartoonists to Gijon to exhibit their work, meet the public, and shovel down endless platefuls of the local ham. Selling comics was the last thing on anyone's mind.

The Anglophone contingent was James Lloyd, artist of Bongo's Simpsons and Futurama comics, Ian Boothby, who writes them, Pia Guerra, best known for her art on Y the Last Man, Jim Starlin, Igor Kordey, Mike Oeming, and Mike's collaborator Bryan Glass, and of course me and Sara. The Spanish group included Purita Campos and Francisco Ortega (Frank Elliot) co-creators of GINA, and Ricardo, creator of Goomer (and, I found out, the former editorial cartoonist for the Miami Herald.) Alberto Álvarez Peña, Pau, Xuasús and Gaspar Meana. I can't tell you much about the work of the local artists because, alas, their panels were conducted in Spanish. I liked what I saw, though.

Our responsibilities were something less than crushing. Sara and I arrived Sunday, did a one hour Q&A on Tuesday night, followed by forty minutes of signing and sketching. On Saturday at the Haxtur awards I had to stand up and wave when my name was said over the loudspeaker, accept an award on behalf of Esad Ribic, doodle out a big quick sketch on stage with Pia Guerra, and sit for another 40 minutes of signing and sketching.

I have to say that I loved Gijon. Most of our days were spent just wandering the streets or lingering in cafes. Sara's reasonably fluent in Spanish, but I don't speak a word, and I took tremendous pleasure from people watching, trying to eavesdrop with my eyes and just letting the raw sounds of the language wash over me.

Of all the things I saw, what impressed me most was the remarkable dignity of the older people. In the US, senior citizens have a way of looking out of place- sort of shocked by the world around them and ill-suited to cope with it. I didn't see anyone like that in Gijon. They all seemed appropriately dressed, walking slowly with good posture, fitting into their surroundings, confident and content.

It was quite an experience. Our hosts treated us with more respect than we as American cartoonists are accustomed. Sara and I had a wonderful time and are tremedously eager to return. Now, on to the pictures:

Jim Starlin and Igor Kordey.

Eva, Igor and Michelle.

The stage on which the Haxturs were presented. The little blue people are me and Pia doing our quick sketches. And what's that group off to the right?

That's right, it was a bagpipe troupe, blowing and thumping away at full volume while we drew.

Haxtur, himself, as drawn by Victor De La Fuente.

Mike Oeming and Ricardo doing their quick sketches.

Oeming drew Don Quixote. Ricardo did his version of Haxtur.

Jim Starlin, doodling up a big-ass Thanos.

In Spain fans can take a whiz while you work on their sketches.

Apparently this is part of the culture.

Wipe your ass, with Manga!

Me, trying too hard.

These things were nifty. The relay boxes around town were elaborately decorated (with permission) by grafitti artists.

(center and right) Purita Campos and Francisco Ortega.

Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby.

One of seven shelves of graphic novels at the local library.

Sara and a plate of potatoes.

It was a clothing store. The sign was a fucking lie.

Mike Oeming.

Pau, a wildly talented local artist, and Sofia, the organizer of the festival.

Jose M Alvarez makes a bunny.

Doodling was a big part of most lunches.

I try to keep an open mind about these things.

Ripping off Jaime Hernandez and Roy Lichtenstein at the same time. Nice.

The Institute of Culture, where my work was on display.

The poster for my exhibit. Hellboy is looking at a squashed cat he just stepped on.

Me. admiring my own work.

James Lloyd, a mean, mean drunk.

This gorgeous church dominated the waterfront across from our hotel.

And every waterfront needs a giant thermometer, too.

A flyer, illustrating the concept of fascism.

Nothing like a face on a plate to remind you you're somewhere else.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Battle Comic 

I tried to find an online version of this last week after it ran in The Oregonian, but of course it took Tom Spurgeon to point the way. Cartoonist Mike Russell summed up the Stumptown Comics Fest in the only way you can truly report a comics show- with comics. I'm the raving nutcase running around with Thing Fists on, and Mike totally nailed me. I can't do a good caricature of me, and I see me everyday. He also nailed others that we could tell just from the strip with no verbal clues- he's good!

And in other news, Lieber is back from Spain. We 'spect he'll be posting soon, giving us the lowdown on the show in Gijon.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Less than a proper post. 

Not much time to do this. Sara and I are on the floor at an airport gate, waiting to board the flight that'll start us on our trip to Spain for the Gijon Comics Festival. So.

Quicksand! Not as deadly as we once thought!

More Stumptown wonderfulness. Erika reports./

God bless Tom Peyer for finding this stuff.

And how about a bit of actuial comics news: David Hahn's Marvel comics debut, X-Men Unlimited #11, with great art by David Aja, is in stores now.

The loudspeaker here at the airport keeps paging John Byrne.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

World class; gravitational center. 

When it comes to bright lights and emerging stars, Portland has a higher density than any solar system in the galaxy of graphic arts. Local heavyweights include two of the best guys in mainstream comics: Greg Rucka and Brian Michael Bendis, the top dog in the Marvel universe and Seth's hero on "The O.C." Of course, there's comic creator Craig Thompson (some critics called http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifhis "Blankets" the best graphic novel of 2003). And Joe Sacco (see below). Not to mention the celestial illustrators at Mercury Studio. Other fascinating satellites: Shannon Wheeler ("Too Much Coffee Man"), Colleen Coover ("Small Favors," the world's cutest "girlie porn comic") and a vibrant Web-comic scene with Jenn Manley Lee ("Dicebox") at its gravitational center.
Portland's comics scene, getting some attention in an article on "World Class Oregon" in Tuesday's Oregonian.

And here's an article about Stumptown, focusing on Craig Thompson and Indigo Kelleigh.

Links via the gravitational center who, come to think of it, was just interviewed at Sequential Tart.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Jen Wang, Craig Thompson and Erika Moen.

Steve Rolston

Celeste Woods has signed a three-year exclusive with her father Pete.

Fantastic Four writer Jeff Parker shows how a simple sharpie can lend your Thing Hands greater verisimilitude.

Mercury intern Susan Tardif stole the Thing Hands when no one was looking.

Indigo did most of the work. He's tired.

Paul Guinan works on a sketch. By hand.

Ovi Nedelcu

Joe Nozemack and Jamie Rich.

David Chelsea in absentia.

Bite Club's David Hahn.

Colleen Coover and Root Nibot

Hereville's Barry Deutsch.

I stole this picture of me, Parker, Rebecca Woods and Celeste from Bill Mudron. Click here for his excellent Stumptown set.

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