Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Ever stumble across a comics treasure trove when you least expected it?
The other day I was looking around for the websites of artists associated with the late, lamented Buenaventura Press when I clicked a random link USSCatastrophe, the site of cartoonist Kevin Huizenga. Suddenly I found myself looking at a hidden repository of out-of-print comics by an astonishing range of cartoonists from throughout the history of the medium. An entire book of dog cartoons by Barnaby artist Crockett Johnson … early minicomics by two of my favorite altcomix artists, Dave Kiersh and John Hankiewicz … crazy-gorgeous strips and cartoons by C.C. Beck, Abner Dean, and Garret Price … links to, samples from, and miniature reviews of dozens more titles … sure, some of the links are broken — it’s been years since the stuff was updated, it seems — but what’s there is more than enough to keep me blissed out on hidden gems for hours on end.
Have you ever wandered into a similar motherlode of comics goodness online? Superheroes or scanned minicomics, a killer collection of original art or a webcomic you never knew existed, a site full of classic strips or a gallery of stunning covers — whatever it is, post your links in the comments. Face it, tiger — you’ve just helped thousands of readers kill an afternoon!
The Internet is filled with comics riches, and What Things Do, the corner of the Internet run by cartoonist/designer Jordan Crane, contains plenty of them. It’s filled to bursting with new and old comics by the likes of Crane himself, Jaime Hernandez, Sammy Harkham, Kevin Huizenga, Ted May, John Porcellino, Dan Zettwoch, and Steve Weissman. But for me, the big discovery at the site is the work of Abner Dean, a New Yorker and Esquire cartoonist who specialized in anxiety-dream images of (anatomically incorrect) naked people is satirically absurd situations. What Things Do is reprinting the 1947 Dean collection What Am I Doing Here?, and the bounty is rather astonishing — the strength of both the images Dean concocts and his execution of them all but bowls me over. I’ve never seen its like, though if you’ve ever seen Matt Groening’s Life in Hell, you’ve seen a kindred spirit at the very least. The shrunken-down image above truly doesn’t do justice to seeing Dean’s stuff in its full-sized, screen-spanning glory, so click on over and check it out!