If you’ve seen the 1991 film Cast a Deadly Spell, then the premise of Guy Adams’ and Jimmy Broxton’s new graphic novel Hope…For the Future might not seem as unique to those unfamiliar with the Martin Campbell-directed movie. They both take place in a post-World War 2 Los Angeles, and feature a hard-boiled, noirish plot … Continued

Source: www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/hope-for-the-future

Vinyl Review: The Architects — Border Wars

Vinyl Review: The Architects — Border Wars

Combining two EPs into an LP is a risky proposition. Depending on how far apart in time they were recorded, and the attending differences in lyrical, musical, or thematic content, you could end up with a 12-inch which has two uncomfortably different sides. Even when packaged as one collection of two separate records, you can end up with something like Courtney Barnett’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, where the year and a half between the first disc, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, and the second, How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose, show a distinct turn.Â

Source: modern-vinyl.com/2017/09/18/vinyl-review-the-architects-border-wars/

Q&A with Water Tower Music’s Peter Axelrad at Starburst Magazine

After a lengthy hiatus, fans of film and television scores now have a second volume in the very excellent Music of DC Comics series released by Water Tower Music. Encompassing everything from the very recent, with Junkie-XL and Hans Zimmer's work on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the very nearly antique Columbia Pictures serial Batman and Robin from 1949, there's something which will appeal to DC Comics fans the world over. As the press release states, this is ‘a collection for DC Comics fans, created by a DC Comics fan.’ Executive album producer Peter Axelrad produced both this album and The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection, released in 2009. He was kind enough to answer some questions about the two compilations and their varied musical selections.
Read the Q&A with Peter Axelrad at Starburst Magazine. Published 8/1/16

Celebrity Art Party with Jim Mahfood

Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features one of our favorite artists, Jim Mahfood (aka Food One), who will descend upon Lawrence this weekend for a variety of activities surrounding The Free State Festival. Mahfood's work has paired him with everyone from Colt 45 to Ziggy Marley. Given his deep involvement with music, we're proud to have him for this series. Jim Mahfood - Beastie Boys 'B-Boy Bouillabaisse' web Artist: Beastie Boys Song: "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): Paul's Boutique LP [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKuYFexR_pg[/embed] Why this song? There's no way I have an all-time "favorite song." I've been collecting/obsessing over music since I was 10 yrs old, so to narrow it down to just one would be impossible. But this track comes pretty close. It was masterminded by MCA (rip), the Dust Brothers, and Matt Dike. With a line-up like that you can't go wrong. The song is a ridiculous, over the top hip hop/funk medley masterpiece, composed of 8 different shorter songs. It's over 12 minutes long. It represents the absolute pinnacle in music sampling. Nothing done since even comes close. When did you first hear it? 1990. How does music such as this inspire you in your work? It reminds me that anything is possible, the sky is the limit, and to do whatever you want as an artist. Take it out as far as you can, be completely bugged out and funky. Have a sense of humor. How has this song changed for you since you first heard it? I have a much better understanding and deeper appreciation for the samples and the pop culture references the older I get. When I was younger I sort of didn't know what they were talking about, I just thought it was an ill track. What upcoming projects do you have? Miami Vice: Remix comic book series from Lion Forge/IDW (four issues out so far, issue 5 drops on July 1!). Howard the Human comic book from Marvel Comics (written by Skottie Young!) drops on August 5! And we just finished the live action Grrl Scouts Pilot for New Form Digital which everyone can check out here: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8Gt4Jxn3lk[/embed] Jim Mahfood will be in Lawrence all this weekend. He appears at Astrokitty Comics from 5-7:00pm on Saturday, June 27. On Sunday, June 28, at 2:00pm, he'll be part of a panel with Greg Smallwood and Jai Nitz, talking about "All Ages, All Inclusive Comics." Details on attending that can be found here. He'll perform a live art jam for the closing ceremonies and film awards portion of the Free State Festival at the Lawrence Arts Center on Sunday at 5:30pm, and you can find details about there here. For more information, follow Jim Mahfood on Twitter @JimMahfood, or hit up his website.

Revisiting “The Snakepit Book” ten years on

book cover - snakepit bookRevisiting Ben Snakepit's The Snake Pit Book a full ten years after its original publication means you get to not only consider how Ben sees it at a remove, but also how you as the reader respond to his daily journal comics. In his closing afterword, Ben makes the point that while at the time, he saw his life as being "the most wild and free," but now realizes that this was "a horrible time," where he was "depressed and lonely, heavily self-medicating and desperately seeking the companionship of whoever was around." The inner covers do a pretty good job of summing them up visually -- the inner front is 16 panels of some variation on "going to work," and the inner back is 16 of "bong hits" or "getting drunk." And that's really sort of the point of journal comics: you get what is, essentially, familiarity through repetition, which then itself makes the really interesting stuff stand out. It's the way your life goes. Maybe it's because my life in the early years of this century were much the same: constant shows and hangovers, due to the drink drink drink, party party party lifestyle I rocked. At the time, I thought I was having a blast, but holy fuck was I constantly depressed. Ben alludes to that himself at one point, saying on 10-15-02: "You know, folks, it's not always fun and games here in the Snakepit. I got a lot of stuff goin' on in my head that you don't know about." Sure, you get a lot of great bands passing though, and a good look at what life was like for a punk in Austin a decade ago, but always remember that any autobiographical work is tempered by the person putting it together. An honest admission of omission really brings home how little can be conveyed in three panels. Sometimes you get a day distilled into its bare essence, sometime you get a half-assed highlight reel. snakepit comic The artwork's sloppy at times and the monotony will either hypnotize or irritate you, but if you've ever had a "wild and free" period of your life, you'll relate to this something fierce. Plus, Ben Snakepit is a man with a sense of self-deprecating humor. He's like a far less cheery James Kochalka or a wasted Liz Prince. The Snakepit Book's tenth anniversary edition is out now from Microcosm Publishing and you can get it from their store, along with a lot of other work by Ben. You can find Ben's blog right the fuck here.

Gallery: Planet Comicon 2013

This year's Planet Comicon was absurdly huge. Having moved from its longtime home at the Overland Park International Trade Center to Kansas City's Bartle Hall allowed for huge halls in which to fit even bigger guests than before. Wil Wheaton, George Takei, Adam Badlwin, and Nicholas Brendon were just a few of the names that have taken Kansas City's convention from something which you went to because, "well, it's in KC" to an actual event to which pop culture obsessives could freak over the course of the year. Lines moved quickly, people were friendly, and I enjoyed myself something ridiculous. Were it not for the fact that it feel on the same weekend as the equally-wonderful Middle of the Map festival, I could've easily spent my entire weekend popping from panel to panel. As it was, Sunday provided ample opportunity to run into friends and chat with some of my favorite writers and artists. Next year, I'm collecting pictures of every incarnation of Doctor Who and/or Adventure Time characters. [gallery ids="16522,16523,16524,16525,16526,16527,16528,16529,16530,16531,16532,16533,16534,16535,16536,16537,16538,16539,16540,16541,16542,16543,16544,16545,16546,16547,16548"]

Writer Jai Nitz on the art of selling one’s self, convention-style

jai nitzWriter Jai Nitz's biography describes his work thusly: "Jai Nitz is an American comic book writer who has written for Marvel, DC, Image, Disney, Dynamite, and other publishers. He won the prestigious Xeric Foundation grant in 2003 for his self-published anthology, Paper Museum. He won the Bram Stoker Award in 2004 for excellence in illustrated narrative for Heaven's Devils from Image Comics. He is currently writing Green Hornet at Dynamite Entertainment." We here became aware of Nitz because he's a regular at Astrokitty Comics, as well as a lecturer at the University of Kansas. He's a super-funny guy, as well as being immenently approachable, so you should go see him when he appears at this weekend's Planet Comicon. However, if you can't, or you need extra convicing, Nitz was kind enough to speak with us and answer a few questions. How do you balance work as a lecturer at KU and parenting a small child with attending cons? I imagine time is tight. It can be tough sometimes. Parenting always comes first, but career is important. The good news is that the boys have school M-F just like KU does. Also, the local schools go hand-in-hand with KU as far as snow days and Spring Break and holidays. I think you can find a major or mid-major comic book convention 40 or so weeks out of the year, so there will always be schedule conflicts. Like any real-world job, you have to prioritize. el diabloYour Last Lecture presentation made it clear you're very conscious of how certain characters are portrayed. Does this influence your writing? Sure, but ultimately we all serve the story. For instance, when I created the new El Diablo, I wanted to make him a strong Hispanic character. I happened to make him a drug lord. Maybe that wasn't the strongest role model choice (but no one ever said a word about it), but it was my choice to serve the story. I wanted El Diablo to start as a bad guy who did bad things who received powers that made him do the just thing. He had to serve justice, cosmic justice, whether he liked it or not. Also, I wanted to say something socially about how you could be a pillar of the community and still be a criminal in the eyes of most White Westerners. The point was to tell the story and worry about portrayals later. All that said, I'm writing in a new Hispanic character into Green Hornet and trying to make sure I don't miss the mark this time. I would assume it came to the forefront with Kato -- the backstory of Bruce Lee's real-life involvement is very racially charged, to say nothing of a kung fu Asian sidekick to a wealthy white man. I had already written El Diablo and Blue Beetle by the time I got the gig on Kato. But, yes, Kato Origins had a lot to do with race. I mean, can you imagine being Japanese in America in 1942? Also, a key cog in both my big Kato arcs was "mistaken race." People get Kato mixed up (through subterfuge) for "tolerable" races. Again, it's crazy that some Asian races were "good" and others were "bad" and most Americans couldn't tell the difference if pressed. I wanted to write about that. Going back to conventions -- as a writer, how do you reel people in? Ugh. It's equal parts embarrassing and necessary. It's embarrassing because you feel bad for interrupting someone's day to try to get them to buy your little comic book. But, on the other hand, you believe in this slab of art and you know that no one else is going to promote it but you. So you have to reach out to potential customers at conventions (read as: everyone who walks by) and try to sell them on your book. You have to. They are in the one place that tells you they're likely to buy/read/enjoy your comic. So now is the time to approach them or get their attention. But we're trained in society to leave other people alone and not bother them. I don't want to be bothered, why should they? Round and round. I wish I had the ability to not feel bad about talking to strangers and trying to convince them to give me their hard-earned money. But I do. So conventions are stressful. I'd like to be at a level of someone like John Layman or Robert Kirkman where people come to me to buy my book and I don't have to sell myself a hundred times a day. But until I reach that level of success, let me tell you about Dream Thief ... dream thief rm gueraArtists have a more immediately demonstrable talent that can hook in people. How do you sell yourself? Everyone should know this is a sweeping generalization, but I think that writers have an easier time communicating with a cold customer than artists do. We're verbal communicators. We know how to strike up a conversation. So for a customer walking by the aisles of a comic con, the comic artist and comic writer look the exact same (because even as a writer you're displaying the art of your work, not your words). I've seen writers snag person after person with a good rap. And I've seen people ignore everything and shuffle right up to a pretty picture. I think writers are better salesmen, but it's a visual medium, and art is what hooks people. In a convention setting, art wins. Because you can sit down and draw a picture and blow fans' minds. I can't do that with writing. And, counterpoint to that -- is a recognizable property an easier or harder sell than something different? I.e., is the effort to flog a property owned by someone else more or less satisfying than selling your own creation? It's MUCH easier to sell a recognizable property than a new thing. I'm going through that right now. Dream Thief is my baby. It's the best thing I've ever done, Greg Smallwood is the best artist I've ever worked with, and it's coming out from Dark Horse Comics (one of the biggest publishers). But people have heard of Tron or Green Hornet. So it's really easy for me to sell those collections to fans rather than get them excited about a book they've never heard of. But it's much more rewarding when someone buys your creator-owned project and responds to it. That's the best. Planet Comicon is at Bartle Hall in Kansas City this Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7. More information can be found at the convention website and blog. Jai Nitz appears both days, at Booth #940. You can find out more information regarding Nitz at his website.

Ben Templesmith on comic conventions and really big books

templesmithArtist and writer Ben Templesmith is perhaps best known for his work on the vampire comic 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles, but his work on such creator-owned projects as Choker and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse have also generated their fair share of (justifiable) acclaim. As of late, Templesmith has been concentrating on his work with 44FLOOD, a group of like-minded artists and creators. Being as how he's appearing at this weekend's Planet Comicon at Kansas City's Bartle Hall, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to e-mail him a slew of needlessly detailed questions. Templesmith was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer them for us. Walk me through how 44FLOOD came together, if you would. There's a lengthy history of creators banding together to release projects under one name, giving it a sort of imprimatur. 44FLOOD describes itself as "four individuals drawn together as a collective to exercise our common beliefs on art, music, and beauty," but what does that collective offer each of you as individuals? Flood was a group of buddies who happened to be creative who got tired of being frustrated creatively and knew the time was right for people like us to forge our own paths basically. We each come from slightly different fields but want a lot of crossover. Apart from anything else, the end goal for us all, without speaking personally for each individual... is independence, plain and simple. To do what we want, how we want. So far there's been enough awesome people along with us willing to give us a chance. tome palletsRegarding TOME -- why such a huge release? I'm aware you can't exactly put out a pocket paperback and call that a tome, but what was the impetus that led to putting together such a massive compendium? Because the entire idea was to make an artefact. Not because of the bottom line of a publisher. Not to fit into what could be cheaply done, efficiently done. But a big, imposing artefact of a thing. To show that art isn't just a business, but a connection between people, be it those that make it or between us and those that love the final things we produce. It's sort of a statement of intent for the other things we eventually plan to do. We hope to produce a volume each year. Especially as a way to introduce new work from new people to an audience, as well as really show how some more established people out there really tick. Would it be wrong of me to suppose that the squid themes you've developed ("Hail Squid," et al) developed from a love of Lovecraft, or are there ... darker reasons? I dig the dark nature of Lovecraft sure ... but really cephalopods are just damn beautiful things and there's a visceral response from people to that sort of stuff when I draw it, so why not go with my passions and embrace it I say. It's a lot of fun. Much of your output lately seems to be related to TOME. Is there just a flurry of other material coming in its wake? I know you've Ten Grand, with J. Michael Straczynski, coming out in May, but what else is in the works? Well, what I've got coming is TOME (coming out now and I will have some copies at the con I hope!) LUST, (which will be artsy, sexy and dark) and yup Ten Grand with JMS is keeping me WELL busy. Apart from that I have ambitions for other things but nothing I can talk about just yet. I hope to get to some of the unfinished business of the last few years that for various reasons out of my control haven't happened. But most definitely, some new things which I also write. Ten Grand may possibly be the last new book I do just as an artist. Does working as you do -- pen and ink, watercolor, extraordinary detail -- take rather longer than the standard pencils used by most artists? Considering it seems to be the norm that many artists can't do a monthly book anymore ( and this is people just doing pencils or pencils and inks? ) then I'm going to have to say no, it doesn't take as long. Either that or I just work harder at it than a lot of those people. Or at least I used to. Under the right circumstances I can get a whole book done *by myself* in way less than a month... and I'm working frantically to get back to that pace and enjoying the work again. I kind of wonder what people actually do in all the spare time they get for just needing to do pencils. That's a life I can only dream of! (But I'm a control freak who wants to see sketches through to final, real art, not just a production line!) How many conventions do you do in a year? The honest answer is too many. I am getting a bit sick of living on planes. It's pretty gruelling and I need to get more work done now. I'm sticking to doing the fun ones now based on location and invitation. Last year it felt like I did 25. This year, maybe 17? I'm probably exaggerating but definitely at least 15 this year and counting. Not doing SDCC really frees up some time though for much better use. Sorry California. Need a comic con out there worth getting out to again! planet comicon 016Is there a positive correlation between convention appearances and work -- specifically, does the amount of time you spend interacting with fans pay off to an extent that offsets any other deadlines which might be impending? For me cons are about paying respect to those willing to support your work. I *like* meeting those familiar with my work and telling them what's going on. And new people who discover my work are just as great! It's time away from the studio though and the real deadlines but if an artist thinks their job is only to sit at a table and draw... they're sadly mistaken. Well, they are if they're freelance and basically a small business. Salesmanship really does count. touching base with those who graciously grant you a living is important. ( And yup, there's a reason I'm attending Planet Comic-con for I think, 3 years in a row. It's just damn awesome and really feels grass roots. ) Or is it just pleasant to be able to get to travel around as a business expense and get away from your work desk once a month or so, hanging out with colleagues and the like? Oh it's also that. I can't lie. It's a small industry though so meeting up and talking has immense benefit career wise anyway. Plus I don't get to see so many of my friends otherwise! Planet Comicon is at Bartle Hall in Kansas City this Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7. More information can be found at the convention website and blog. Ben Templesmith appears both days, at Booth #1223. More information on his work can be found at his website.

“Li’l Depressed Boy” writer Struble on tour

ldb road trip The writer of Image Comics' The Li'l Depressed Boy, S. Steven Struble, is coming to your town this weekend. Well, if you live in Kansas. Specifically, if you live in Lawrence or Wichita. He'll be doing two long-term hangs on Friday and Saturday. Friday, March 22, he'll be at Astrokitty Comics in Lawrence from 11:00am to 6:00pm, and on Saturday, March 23, he'll be at Prairie Dog Comics in Wichita. Details for the Lawrence event can be found at its Facebook event page, and the same goes for the Wichita event. ldb road trip posterI interviewed Struble almost a year and a half ago for the Pitch's Wayward Blog, and Popmatters did a much better interview right around the same time with him and artist Sina Grace. The first trade collection of The Li'l Depressed Boy (Volume One: She Is Staggering) has sold out and is now being reprinted. You can check out the new cover at the LDB Tumblr. Per Mr. Struble, what he will be bringing with him on this jaunt is as follows: "Unfortunately, no dolls or Kepi CDs. I will have t-shirts and stickers, though."

1ml Of Clomid During Pct

zine-cover-there-is-a-lightThere Is A Light is a self-published comic from 1ml Of Clomid During Pct, Geoffrey D. Wessel and John Keogh that I picked up while waiting to talk with Tom Brazelton at C2E2. These guys had the booth directly to the left of his, 150mg 1ml Of Clomid During Pct, and I chatted with them while Tom was working on a sketch for someone. They convinced me to drop the $2 the photocopied and stapled comic cost, so I bought a copy and stuck it in my bag, and promptly forgot about it, 10mg 1ml Of Clomid During Pct.

As I was cleaning up the basement this weekend, I rediscovered There Is A Light and gave it a read-through. It's the weirdest comic about a reincarnated Morrissey you'll ever read, 1ml Of Clomid During Pct. 1ml Of Clomid During Pct uk, Probably the only comic about a reincarnated Morrissey you'll ever read, but still ... weird. My copy's the second printing, 1ml Of Clomid During Pct us, meaning it's doing pretty well. Not sure how you'd go about getting a copy, 1ml Of Clomid During Pct canada, but Wessel can be found on Twitter @gdwessel, so you could probably do that. It's a fun little read, and keeping it on your coffee table will certainly get a conversation going.

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