Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Comic strips | The soap opera comic strip Apartment 3-G ended its 54-year run Sunday with little fanfare, leaving it up to a handful of bloggers, including Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter and Josh Fruhlinger of The Comics Curmudgeon, to give the longtime funny-page staple a proper sendoff. “It definitely has an unaffected, what-we-call-Lynchian quality where what you’re seeing and what you’re ‘hearing’ as dialogue don’t match,” Spurgeon writes. “The limited sets and slightly faded color choices make it a bit nightmarish, almost like the world is collapsing comic book ‘crisis’ style around these increasingly feckless characters. It’s hard to believe there are more than a dozen “places” in the world these characters exist. [The A.V. Club]
Unfortunately, it’s not a Queen Elizabeth killer robot, but it’s still pretty cool. Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung-Fu) is drawing a set of posters that readers of Canada’s National Post can assemble into their very own, life-size monarch. The six-part series is part of the newspaper’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest this week is Alex Dueben, who you probably know from his interviews for the main site, Comic Book Resources, as well as for sites like Suicide Girls.
To see what Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
I’ll be the first to admit I am covering Kagan McLeod‘s Infinite Kung Fu a tad bit later than most, considering it was released in the middle of last year, and already included in numerous best of lists for 2011 (including our anniversary edition of What Are You Reading). But considering that the 464-page action/adventure romp took 10 years to complete, I think McLeod demands some coverage longer than the average book release. To get an idea of the scale and ambition of the story, his publisher, Top Shelf, was kind enough to offer sample pages of the book over at Top Shelf 2.0. McLeod is a unique creator, and his work is worth considering from several different angles. So once you’re done with this interview, please be sure to check out his own website, as well as Alex Deuben’s June 2011 CBR interview with McLeod. Back to this interview, though, his final answer requests audience participation, so please be sure to contribute in the comments section.
Tim O’Shea: The Toronto launch party for your book was a mixture of book discussion and music. Did you listen to music while you work, or is that too distracting for you?
Kagan McLeod: No, I always listen to music or audiobooks while working. Not during planning stages, but after I know what I have to do, I can just sail through it while listening to something. It’s the constant urge to check emails which is distracting.
Hello and welcome to a special birthday bash edition of our weekly “What Are You Reading” feature. Typically the Robot 6 crew talks about what books we’ve read recently, but since it’s our anniversary, we thought we’d invite all our friends and colleagues from Comic Book Resources and Comics Should Be Good! to join in the fun.
To see what everyone has been reading, click below …
Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves … welcome to day three of our holiday gift-giving guide, where we ask comic pros:
1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?
A great big thank you to everyone who helped us out this year, including the ones who’ll be showcased tomorrow. Be sure to come back then for our big wrap-up!
1. The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis. Leela helps Maggie deal with school bullies. Homer and Bender go drinking. England invades the USA. Come on, you need this.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery. The most ludicrous and wonderful supporting character from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol got his own miniseries, and it’s just now being reprinted for the first time. I loved this miniseries when it first came out, and I’m gearing up to love it all over again.
Starstruck. The great Lee/Kaluta sci-fi epic, now between two robust hard covers. I should declare an interest: I wrote the intro. But I did that because it’s awesome beyond the feasible limits of possible awesomeness.
2. A Very Peculiar Practice, season 2. Wow. Just how much of my life right now is ’80s nostalgia? I think I need to get some professional help. Probably from Duran Duran.
Mike Carey has written numerous comics (and a few novels) over his career, including Lucifer, My Faith In Frankie, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Hellblazer. He currently writes X-Men: Legacy and The Unwritten.
Kagan McLeod‘s Infinite Kung Fu collection arrives from Top Shelf at the San Diego Comic Con next week, and to promote it Top Shelf has tipped us off to this fun little trailer that Kagan and his brother Sean put together. Take a gander, and if you like it, you can read the first 250 pages of the book over on Top Shelf’s website.
Top Shelf will debut three new books at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, including the new Nate Powell book, new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Infinite Kung Fu. In addition, James Kochalka will at their booth with his entire family signing a special family portrait print, and Craig Thompson will sign the new hardcover and softcover editions of Blankets.
Check out the debuts below.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol III): Century #2 – 1969
by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is back! Our merry metafictional marauders continue their bestselling adventures through the 20th century! In this volume, the League must battle dark cultists amid the sit-ins, sitars, and psychedelics of 1960s swinging London.
Kagan McLeod began publishing single issues of his martial arts/horror extravaganza Infinite Kung Fu way back in 2000, but as he told JK Parkin in an interview last summer, he hasn’t given up on it. He’s been hard at work and all 464 pages of the epic are coming out from Top Shelf in July.
For anyone who read those single issues, this is great news. But what’s even better is that Top Shelf 2.0 has more than half the book posted right now for free. Whether you’re already a fan or yet to be converted, that’s a hell of a lot of awesome.
Over on the CBR mothership, Sonia Harris has an extensive and art-heavy report on Top Shelf Productions’ panel at the San Diego Comic-Con. In addition to a look back at a fairly momentous year for the independent publisher — from Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole Eisner win to the release of the film adaptation of The Surrogates to the company’s “Swedish Invasion” initiative — the panel covered a plethora of upcoming releases, including the much-anticipated alternative-manga anthology AX, Kagan McLeod’s webcomic collection Infinite Kung Fu, and more. Here on Robot 6, of course, we covered the ‘Shelf out of the TS line-up, from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlement Vol. III: Century #2 -1969 on down.
No doubt you and probably everyone you know have seen Kagan McLeod‘s illustrations. His art has appeared in seemingly every major magazine being published today — Time, Entertainment Weekly, BusinessWeek, Maxim, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Money, Wired and many more, as well as newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. When he isn’t drawing illustrations for his clients or winning awards, he’s self-publishing his own comic, Infinite Kung Fu. You can also find chapters of it on Top Shelf’s website.
At Comic-Con International today, Top Shelf announced they will collect the series into one graphic novel next year. The collection will include all seven of McLeod’s self-published comics, plus about 200 as-yet-unpublished pages. McLeod was kind enough to answer my questions about the book, kung fu, self-publishing and more.
JK: When did you start self-publishing Infinite Kung Fu, and what led you to start doing it on your own?
Kagan: I guess it was 2000 or 2001. It was my first trip to an Artist’s Alley at a comic convention that made me want to do it on my own. I had never even thought of showing it to a publisher. The thought of getting tables at shows and getting the books into local comic shops was very appealing, though after a few years it kicked in that making money in $3 increments is tough, especially when you factor in all the expense that goes with it.