“Does that make Oyster War a webcomic now? Probably not,” he said on his blog. “I’ll be violating the webcomics first rule–’update regularly’–right off the bat: I just posted twenty-something pages in one big batch, and I’ll only start posting new pages once I’ve started cranking out pages from the next chapter… which is still a few weeks off at best.”
You can start reading the first two chapters here.
Here’s a fun take on an obscure topic: Ukuleles have been around forever, but where did they come from, and who plays them? Ben Towle drew a one-page comic about the history of the uke for the music magazine Signal to Noise, and he posted it on his blog little while back.
In just a handful of panels, Towle quickly sketches out the history of the ukulele, throws in a few fascinating facts, and takes a couple of digs at Tiny Tim. The comic is both funny and informative, and if you like it, check out Towle’s take on the 1950s soul/R&B band, The “5″ Royales.
Brigid did a round-up yesterday of various holiday gift-giving suggestions, so I thought I’d follow suit with some that I’ve seen lately.
• The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is auctioning off original art by Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Gabriel Hardman, Tom Fowler, Dan Paosian and many more, as well as lunch with Chew writer John Layman in New York next week.
• I remember shoveling a whole bunch of quarters into the X-Men arcade game back in the day; my friend Mike and I beat the game as Nightcrawler and Wolverine. If you have an Xbox fan in your life, they too can fight the Blob, Magneto and more in side-scrolling action, as the game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade Dec. 15.
The PlayStation Network, unfortunately, won’t get it until February, so you’ll have to find something else this holiday season for the PS3 fan in your life. Joy to the world! The game will hit the PlayStation Network Dec. 14!
• Comics creator Ben Towle has a 20 percent off sale going in his web store, where you can purchase original art from books like Midnight Sun, signed copies of Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean and superhero commissions.
Ben Towle has been working up his characters for his next graphic novel, In the Weeds (which sounds like it will be set behind the scenes at a restaurant), and he shows off his thought process at his blog. The book presents some challenges:
About half of the book takes place in a restaurant kitchen and this presents a prickly problem in that everyone will be dressed the same. It’d be really easy here to fall into an “Alien 3″ situation here where you’ve got a bunch of (mostly) white guys running around in the same outfit and you can’t tell who’s doing what or saying what unless you’re seeing a close-up of their faces.
It’s interesting to see how much the characters change as he refines them.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is Van Jensen, writer of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater. To see what Van and the rest of the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below.
Heading to Heroes Con? This sounds like a good time: Ben Towle and Craig Fischer will be doing a mega-panel titled “Defective Comics” — “a lovingly critical look at just how bizarre the superhero genre can be.” Details:
The event will include a presentation by Towle on the sad-sack super-man in Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library; a panel discussion with Colleen Coover, Evan Dorkin, Jeff Parker and Chris Pitzer; a talk by Crogan Adventures creator Chris Schweizer about art-comix creators crossing over into mainstream superhero comics; and clips from some of the weirdest and worst superhero films of all time. Excelsior?
More than a year ago Midnight Sun creator Ben Towle shared the name and description of one of his next projects, Oyster War, and I’ve been waiting patiently ever since. Over the last few days he’s been sharing artwork for the splash page, ending with the colored version you see above (and here). Go check out his blog for more sketches and process pieces related to the new book, which can’t get here soon enough.