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Editorial cartoons | The public-relations consultant hired by the city of Murrieta, California, after residents protested the arrival of refugee children to be processed there, told cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz that referring to Murietta as “Hate City USA” was “actionable.” “There IS a fine line between your constitutional right to draw cartoons and expressed (sic) your opinions,” Hermosillo wrote in a comment on Alcaraz’s Facebook page, “and falsely, deliberately, and maliciously labeling and attacking an entire community as racist or as ‘Hate City.’ You are working overtime to damage Murrieta and such a false premise is actionable. There’s a fine line between humor and stupidity. You may have crossed that line at your own peril.” Murrieta spokesperson Kim Davidson walked that back, however, saying the city has no plans to sue Alcaraz. [The Press Enterprise]
A weiner dog with butterfly-esque wings that’s a master mechanic. A space-faring Amazonian warrior who’s handy with a blade. A pig-faced, hard-living bounty hunter. Mad scientists with really odd-shaped glasses. These are just some of the characters and elements that make up Twelve Gems, Lane Milburn’s ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek sci-fi opera.
Drawing on classic adventure role-playing games, fantasy films and manga, Gems finds the first three aforementioned characters banding together at the request of a mysterious Dr. Z to find the titular gems for purposes unkown (at least initially). Along the way they come across all manner of strange creatures, hostile planets, old foes and metaphysical craziness. Milburn lets his imagination run rampant throughout the book, resulting in a fast-paced, crazed graphic novel full of scenes that could easily be blown up onto a black velvet poster. Plus it’s a lot of fun to boot.
I recently chatted with Milburn about the new book, its inception and his work with the Closed Caption Comics group.
Wanna get your hands on some pulpy, creepy, weird, funny and, at times, genuinely harrowing horror comics? Allow me to introduce you to Lane Milburn, who’s got the deal for you. Milburn, a member of the Baltimore-based Closed Caption Comics collective, is offering two of his collections, the Xeric Grant-winning Death Trap and the screen-printed “mini”comic The Mage’s Tower, now on sale for the low low price of $12 total.
The cool thing about Milburn’s comics is that you can never quite tell where they’re headed. The title story in Death Trap seems like your typical slasher/Texas Chain Saw set-up, with a quartet of drunk teens stumbling into some bad craziness in the woods one night, but the killers they encounter are far, far stranger than the ones in the midnight movies of yore. Meanwhile, the other collection’s quasi-title story “The Mage’s Tour” (tour, not tower) starts like a fantasy novel about a pair of monks sent to liberate a tower from the clutches of an evil overlord, takes a left turn into comedy when it’s revealed that said overlord has turned said tower into a modern-day tourist trap complete with middle-aged moms who can’t work a cameraphone, and then shifts yet again into a stunningly dark depiction of violence. Milburn’s muscular, crosshatched art style can have you laughing one moment, cheering through an action sequence the next moment, and leave you shaken and disturbed when all is said and done. Highly recommended.
The Late March Mayhem sale only lasts until April 1, so order now!
It’s ’80s-indie black-and-white space-opera action as you like it! Presenting Twelve Gems, a graphic novel in the making by cartoonist Lane Milburn of Baltimore’s Closed Caption Comics collective. Milburn, a recipient of the Xeric Grant for his self-published action-horror collection Death Trap. calls it “a comedic sci-fi space epic starring three heroic characters enlisted to travel the galaxy in search of twelve magical gems.” Judging from the very impressive preview pages — filled with Heavy Metal hotness and crosshatched and black-spotted to within an inch of their lives — Milburn’s really going for the gusto here. Closed Caption Comics is best known for genre-influenced artcomics in the Fort Thunder/Paper Rodeo mode, but Twelve Gems seems to me to have more in common with the giddy throwback style of Benjamin Marra. I can’t wait to see more.
I’ve been collecting David Bowie sketches from comics artists at shows and cons since MoCCA 2007. What can I say? He’s my favorite superhero. In that time I’ve amassed drawings of the chameleonic musician from 97 different artists, and adding to the collection is always a high priority for me at every show. I had exceptionally good luck at this year’s MoCCA — you better hang on to yourself as we flip through this year’s haul!
Niklas Asker (above): Oh man, look at that, just look at it. How can a sketch be shiny? Niklas Asker pulled it off with maybe the most elegant and sexy Bowie of the batch–no surprise, if you’ve seen his graphic novel Second Thoughts.