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Welcome to Store Tour, ROBOT 6’s weekly exploration of comics shops, and the people who run them; think of it as the retailer version of Shelf Porn. Each Sunday we feature a different store, and also get to know the person behind the register.
This week’s store is Area 52 Comics and Games, 3640 Mundy Mill Road, Suite 140 in Gainesville, Georgia; it’s located in the College Square Shopping Center near the University of Northern Georgia. We spoke with manager (and cartoonist) Dean Trippe. Continue Reading »
A once-respected scientist became the laughing stock of the scientific community when he published a book claiming aliens are real. But as attested by the title of Scott Fogg and Marc Thomas‘ upcoming graphic novel Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone, he’s about to be proved right in a big way.
Fogg and Thomas — the artist and writer — have turned to Kickstarter to fund Reid’s story, which brings the scientist together with a reporter, her 10-year-old son and a 14-year-old alien to stop a war between Earth and Io. Joining Fogg and Thomas’ own team are Dean Trippe and Vito Delsante, who will respectively color and letter the project.
Currently they’ve made more than $6,600 of the $8,500 they’re looking for to create and publish the graphic novel, with just nine more days to go. I spoke with Fogg about the project, using Kickstarter and why his Super Bunny comic never made it past the first issue.
Digital comics | Viz Media announced Wednesday it has brought its entire library to iBooks. Viz manga are already available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and its own app, so this pretty much completes the set. [ICv2]
Crime | Manga creator Takaaki Kubo was arrested Tuesday on charges of threatening a city councilor in the town of Amagasaki. Kubo, whose series Bakune Young was published in North America in the early 2000s by Viz Media, was arrested after police traced a threatening e-mail message to his home computer. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Art Spiegelman has been the subject of four retrospectives so far this year, the latest at the Jewish Museum in New York. Charles McGrath talks to him about what he calls “The Great Retrospection,” as well as his tobacco addiction and, oh yeah, comics. [The New York Times]
What is the most basic, most fundamental function that a hero performs, one so integral it can be used as a way of defining the term hero? There are several ways to answer that question, of course, but one would be the act of saving others.
By that definition then, Batman is most certainly a hero, and not merely because of all the fictional women he’s saved from attempted muggings or all the times he’s pulled Robin out of death traps. Batman has saved real people, too, despite the fact that character isn’t himself real in one of the stricter senses of the word.
He saved Dean Trippe, and Trippe’s phenomenal autobiographical comic Something Terrible tells the story of how it happened.
Real heroes know when to call for back-up. And popular webcomics artist Dean Trippe has done just that in a stunning cross-company pin-up featuring Batman and a young child meeting an ginormous assemblage of heroes from comics, television and movies. The illustration, titled “You’ll Be Safe Here,” is part of a larger project Trippe has been working on after his Oni Press graphic novel Power Lunch with J. Torres. (Full disclosure: I’m a friend of Trippe’s, and we work together on Project: Rooftop, but he didn’t solicit me to write about this.)
The pin-up is startling in the sheer number of familiar faces you see, but also in terms of the wardrobe each wears: The Fantastic Four are there, but in their white Future Foundation garb, alongside the 2099 variation of Spider-Man and the classic ’80s rendition of Transformers‘ Optimus Prime. Trippe thoughtfully documented the process in a short video presentation. And for those at a loss to name every character in the pin-up, Trippe he also provided a guide.
The comics literacy non-profit, Reading With Pictures is dedicated to getting comics into classrooms. In addition to cultivating research on the role of comics in education, the mostly volunteer organization seeks to produce its own comics for schools to use and would like your help for their second publication. I say “mostly volunteer,” but that doesn’t include the creators of the new book. They’ll be paid for their contributions and that – plus the large print run – is a major reason Reading With Pictures needs $65,000 to complete the project.
The first Reading With Pictures comic was the Harvey-nominated Reading With Pictures Anthology that featured work by Jill Thompson, Fred Van Lente, Raina Telgemeier, Chris Giarrusso, and others. The new compilation, The Graphic Textbook will include Ben Caldwell, Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Chris Schweizer, Russell Lissau, Marvin Mann, Amy Reeder, Janet Lee, Katie Cook, Roger Langridge, Josh Elder, Dean Trippe, and others.
The collection will contain 12 short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) that are appropriate for grades 3-6 and include a variety of subjects from Social Studies and Math to Language and Science. There will also be a Teacher’s Guide with “lesson plans customized to each story, research-based justifications for using comics in the classroom, a guide to establishing best classroom practices and a comprehensive listing of additional educational resources.”
It’s a great cause with some great creators and some nifty rewards ranging from copies of the book and original art to being drawn into one of the stories.
You’ve probably seen those vinyl stickers on the back windows of vehicles showing stick figure drawings of a family, sometimes with a hint of Disney in a balloon or something. They’ve become a big trend in the suburbs of America, replacing the previous most popular car sticker of Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) peeing on something. And now artist Dean Trippe is offering his own rendition for super-hero fans out there like you and I.
Titled “Our Super Family,” Trippe’s white vinyl decals are available from his Etsy store for $22 and include a mom, dad, son, daughter, baby, dog and cat. According to the artist, the biggest decal, the father, measures “just under 4″ tall and 5″ across” with the rest of the decals telescoping down in size as shown in this image.
It’s a perfect gift for your comic store owner, your friends or even yourself. I bet Reed Richards is ordering one for the Fantasticar and Pogo Plane right now.
Yesterday was Hourly Comics Day, but it would have been more appropriate to have it today, on Groundhog Day, so everyone could relive yesterday in comics form. Hourly Comics Day brings journal comics to their logical extreme: Every hours, creators stop what they are doing and draw a comic about it. There’s an inherent flaw in the concept, in that the best artists are the people who draw comics all the time, which makes for a dull diary. Let’s just say there’s lots of messing around with social media and eating of ramen in these comics. It’s not like anyone was rescuing people from the Tokyo underground or breaking up a crime syndicate yesterday. Still, some are quite well done, and peering at someone else’s life in such detail has a certain voyeuristic appeal. What’s more, the comics submitted to this year’s archive page show an impressive array of talent, although most are from creators I have never heard of before.
Some creators posted their hourly comics at their own sites. Dean Trippe has a charmingly simple comic about a day that was apparently dominated by the letter D. Sarah Becan has a day of minor annoyances at work, and Jeph Jacques covers all the comics-creator bases: He plays video games, eats junk food, checks to see what people are saying about him online, and worries a lot. Check the Twitter hashtag #hourlycomics for more.
Comics have been inspiration for music for decades, but two acts have recently taken it to a whole new level — and are now uniting to take on the West Coast. Nerd-core rapper Adam Warrock and nerd-rock band Kirby Krackle are launching an eight-date tour that will start next month in Seattle and and go through California, Las Vegas and Arizona and end up in Ogden, Utah. The complete dates are:
The excellent poster art at right was done by cartoonist Dean Trippe.
The team-up plans to bring along some special guest performers to be announced soon. No word yet whether Lila Cheney will open for them.
Last week Chris Arrant covered former Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Professor Bob Pendarvis’ Kickstarter effort to fund A Girl Called Ana Teaches Kittens How To Draw. In today’s email interview, Pendarvis discusses his aim with the book, as well as Sugar Ninjas, the all-female sequential art anthology series aimed at drawing a spotlight on female creators. My thanks to Pendarvis for his time, and Tom Feister for putting me in contact with Pendarvis. His Kickstarter site gives more background on Pendarvis, including that he “created and taught the first comic book illustration classes at the Savannah College of Art & Design, going on to co-found their comics-based BFA and MFA degree programs (along with writer Mark Kneece and artist Bo Hampton).” If you are interested in helping Pendarvis with his Kickstarter effort, please act now–as there are less than 20 days left to meet the $15,000 goal.
Tim O’Shea: How soon after leaving SCAD did you realize you wanted to develop Sugar Ninjas?
Bob Pendarvis: Sugar Ninjas was originally a project I came up with to showcase the amazing variety of female artists in my classes. In the summer of 2009, as my official association with SCAD was coming to an end (on mutually acceptable terms), I decided to expand the concept of the Sugar Ninjas to include not only SCAD students, but also female artists and storytellers from around the world. All material in the book is copyrighted exclusively to the creators and the books are printed at lulu.com, each one priced at printing costs only—I don’t make a penny from any copy sold (although I encourage the ninjas to add sketches and charge a few dollars more). Volumes 1 and 2 are available right now, and a revised edition of Volume 1 will be back in early 2012.
You might have heard the phrase “power lunch” and thought of a business meeting over food, but with the word “power” in it weren’t you hoping for some more … fun?
J. Torres and Dean Trippe rescue the phrase from its stuffy business origins and turn it into a action-packed grade-school drama. If Captain America is a super-soldier due to his superpowers, then Power Punch‘s Joey would be a super-student!
Trippe has described Power Lunch as “elementary school superheroin’ w/snacks”, and that’s just the half of it. Joey gets different superpowers depending on what he eats, from flight to invisibility and even some earth-shaking powers. To keep himself out of trouble he sticks to a strict dietary regimen, but as young kids are wont to do — sometimes they break the rules, especially when it can impress their friends.
An advance read of the book gave me a real thrill for this young-readers book, so look for it when it hits shelves in October. The creators have provided an exclusive five-page preview of the book, which you can check out after the break:
Cartoonist Dean Trippe (Butterfly) was working with DC editor Chris Cerasi for a number of months on a new series reportedly to be part of DC’s kids line. Going under the title Lois Lane, Girl Reporter, Trippe’s proposal outlined a series of young-adult novels co-written with John Campbell and illustrated by Daniel Krall. The premise, as taken directly from the proposal to DC, was:
Lois Lane, Girl Reporter follows the adventures of young Lois Lane. At eleven years old, Lois has discovered her calling: investigative journalism. She sets out to right wrongs and help out her friends. This series explores Lois’s character, reveals her surprising early influence on the future Man of Steel, and introduces fun new elements into this enduring character’s back story.
In each book, Lois will tackle a problem or mystery affecting the members of the community she finds herself in as she travels around the country. The investigations in this series will not be mystical or supernatural (though some characters may suspect such sources), but real world problems that Lois works to set right.
After months years of delay, Trippe reports that “it doesn’t look like the current leadership of DC is remotely interested in this kinda thing” and has posted it online for posterity. Trippe is currently working on a new OGN with J. Torres called Power Lunch for Oni Press, and still hopes to get a chance on one of DC or Marvel’s superheroes in the near future.
This past HeroesCon, I briefly met writer/artist Jason Horn. Stemming from that brief encounter, I learned about his webcomic Ninjasaur [“about a dinosaur who is also a ninja (not the other way around)“]. During this email interview we also briefly dug into another project of his–a continuation of a Norwegian folk tale–Gruff, as well as drawing superheroes for children in the streets of Guatemala (and juxtaposing that with his experience at SDCC). My thanks to Horn for his time and for the opportunity to discuss ninjas and David Lynch in the same sentence.
Tim O’Shea: How did you first come up with the idea of making a dinosaur into a ninja?
Jason Horn: I was at my second FLUKE, a small press convention in Athens Georgia, and I’d had the word Ninjasaur in my head for a few days. I was with my friend, Dean Trippe, who I’d met at FLUKE the previous year, and I told him that I had this word but I didn’t know what it would be. He quickly convinced me to convert that ridiculous word into an awesome webcomic. And, with his help, that’s what I did. Ninjasaur is pretty much just what it sounds like, an absurd comic about a dinosaur ninja that fights people/things while saying something sarcastic.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is writer and artist Dean Trippe, creator of Butterfly and co-founder of the Project: Rooftop blog, among other credits. He posts regularly on his Tumblr site Bearsharktopus-Man, where he is currently selling this nifty Doctor Who/Batman crossover print. He also has some art in the Webcomics Auction for the Gulf.
To see what Dean and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
My head is still a jumbled mess from the massive amount of information, entertainment, panels and Evan Dorkin’s wit that I experienced at this year’s HeroesCon. You’ll see my con report in a few days, but in the meantime, here are some pieces I commissioned . Don’t ask me to pick a favorite, as I equally enjoy each of them for different reasons. My thanks to Dean Trippe, Chris Giarrusso, Roger Langridge and Tom Fowler for their great pieces.