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Blogging the Best American Comics

Well this is gonna be a heckuva resource: Best American Comics editors (and fine cartoonists in their own right) Jessica Abel and Matt Madden have launched a series of posts on their Drawing Words and Writing Pictures blog called Notables, in which they’ll shine the spotlight on every single one of the 71 “Notable” comics (aka Honorable Mentions) listed in the back of the Neil Gaiman guest-edited 2010 edition of the anthology. Says Abel:

…when looking for good comics to read, why limit yourself? We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author?

Hence the blog posts, which tell you much more about each book — including recommended age guidelines for curious librarians and educators. So far they’ve fleshed out their recommendations for Kevin Cannon’s Far Arden, Mat Brinkman’s Multiforce, CF’s Powr Mastrs, Tim Hamilton’s Fahrenheit 451 adaptation, Nick Bertozzi’s “How and Why to Bale Hay” and more. They’re doing a book a day until the list is done, so keep tuning in.

X marks the comic: Tic Tac Toe Jam

Tic Tac Toe Jam

I thought this was pretty clever in the same way as Kerry Callen’s crossword comics was — Matt Madden shares how to play Tic Tac Toe Jam, where two cartoonists create a nine-paneled comic while playing a game of Tic Tac Toe. Each artist has to work their respective letter, “X” or “O,” into their respective panels on the board.

“What appeals to me about the idea is that the constraint works at a few different levels: there’s visual play and word play and there’s also an unusual storytelling challenge since you’re not telling a story in a linear fashion, instead you’re jumping from panel to panel, alternating with someone else, and trying to mold it all into some kind of coherent narrative,” he wrote.

One of the examples he shares, seen above, naturally works in references to the X-Men.

Your other video of the day: Matt Madden and Jessica Abel

Comics couple Matt Madden and Jessica Abel exhibit their work and talk shop at the Huntington Museum of Art as part of the museum’s Walter Gropius Master Artist Series.

Straight for the art: Matt Madden Mondays

Matt Madden advertisement

Matt Madden advertisement

The Ephemerist has been doing a regular feature for a few weeks now titled “Matt Madden Mondays,” where they post some of the Odds Off author’s illustrations and early work. The latest selection is a collection of fold-em yourself minicomics jams he did with Walt Holcombe and Tom King back in the day. They’re rather NSFW though, which is why I’m not posting any of the art here.


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