Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
When Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals debuts next week from Image Comics, some readers will be exposed to Chip Zdarsky for the first time. And I tell you, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
Zdarsky may be virtually unknown to devotees of mainstream comics, but for the people of Toronto and those in certain corners of the Internet, he’s a bit of a phenomenon. I was introduced to his work around 2003 through a collected edition of his comic strip Prison Funnies, and then through discussions on the Warren Ellis Forum. He was one of the early members of the web collective Act-I-Vate, contributing a short-lived but legendary series called Zdarsky-verse, which included a drug-fueled Pac-Man.
We’re in the middle of a massive build-up to the May 4 opening of Marvel’s The Avengers, and The National Post‘s resident cartoonist Steve Murray has focused his trained eye on the tools of the hero trade. Published earlier this week, his illustration catalogs the weapons of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with nerd acumen intact and not without some humor.
From his description of Thor’s hammer: “Forged from the core of a dying star, Mjolnir is Thor’s very multi-purpose hammer. It can control the weather, open inter-dimensional portals and turn Thor into a weak human by tapping its handle on the ground. When this happens the hammer turns into a pretty boring stick. Also, the hammer returns to you when you throw it, like a Home Depot boomerang. Only people who are worthy may lift the hammer, which is a great way to test out a blind date.”
Click on the image at the right to see the entire infographic.
Murray, who sometimes goes by the nom de guerre of Chip Zdarsky, is a cartoonist with an uncommonly sharp wit. In addition to his gig as columnist/cartoonist/illustrator for The National Post, he’s also created some comics worth tracking down, like the print series Prison Funnies and the very-much-missed Zdarskyverse webcomic he did for Act-I-Vate which is now archived on his website.
Longtime comicker and my vote for comics’ great modern humorist Steve Murray has announced his candidacy for mayor of Toronto. Murray, a prominent writer and cartoonist for the city’s National Post, entered the race despite having missed the deadline to register for the election.
I grew up with an actor as president, saw Arnold Schwarznegger become governor of California and an Icelandic comedian win the mayoral post in Reykjavik, Iceland. Maybe Murray has what it takes.
If Murray wins, I hope Chip Zdarsky has a place in his administration.