Axel-In-Charge: Unmasking the "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Artful Daggers, by writers Adam P. Knave and Sean E. Williams and artist Andrew Losq, is visually one of the most distinctive titles Monkeybrain Comics publishes. The series, which portrays a world 50 years after the end of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, considers the impact of bringing 19th-century technology into medieval times. Or as the creative team puts it succinctly: “Swords, Spies and Science.”
To mark today’s release of Artful Daggers #6, which CBR previewed Tuesday, I reached out to the writing team of Knave and Williams to discuss their universe, where kingdoms have been replaced by corporations. While the focus of the interview is their writing, Losq’s impact on the series is clear, as his collaborators admits they “end up cutting dialogue more often than not, as Andrew’s able to do more with an expression than we can with dialogue.”
Before closing our interview, Knave was happy to chat briefly about his other Monkeybrain ongoing (with co-writer D.J. Kirkbride and artist Nick Brokenshire), Amelia Cole. It’s an especially current topic of discussion given that on Aug. 14 IDW Publishing will release the digital series’ first print collection, Amelia Cole and the Unknown World.
Fantagraphics sent over their list of books debuting at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, and boy is it packed tighter than my suitcase on vacation day. The publisher will have almost two dozen new books at the show, including the last Mome; new stuff from Michael Kupperman, the Hernandez Bros. and Johnny Ryan; tons of Eurocomics; a Lou Reed/Edgar Allan Poe joint; and more. Check them out:
Love & Rockets New Stories 4 by Los Bros Hernandez: Featuring new stories by Jaime and Gilbert, including new material featuring Maggie set in the present and during her teen years.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography by Michael Kupperman: Probably the one I’ve been looking forward to the most, Kupperman publishes Mark Twain’s “biography” since the day the author/humorist died through last year — including his affair with Marilyn Monroe and his time-traveling adventures with Einstein.
Prison Pit Vol. 3 by Johnny Ryan: More deranged, twisted ultraviolent fun from Ryan.
Playing off of the often-misquoted Twain quote about exaggerated reports of his death, Kupperman tells us what Twain has been up to since the author and humorist “supposedly” passed away. It involves the Yeti, the Six Million Dollar Man and the “skin trade,” if this post from Kupperman is any indication. It sounds like a lot of fun.
Unlike the painting that Bill Watterson just did for the Team Cul de Sac project, these drawings are not new work; in fact, they were done early in his career, before Calvin and Hobbes became such a success. Artist Thom Buchanan posted them at his blog My Delineated Life, which is a treasure trove of interesting illustrations from times gone by.
Watterson did these as a freelance job for the Mark Twain Journal, and it’s kind of interesting to see how consistent the public discourse is: These cartoons, done in 1983 and based on material that’s about 100 years older, are about the same things that cartoons are about now: Cats and corruption in Congress.
At The Daily Cartoonist, where I first spotted this item, Nevin Martell contributed a few more Mark Twain cartoons, including one on another timeless topic, the irritations of modern technology—in this case, the telephone.