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17 April 2013

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 04172012

(One of my all time favorite covers by the late great Carmine Infantino.  Notice that you have your "Frazetta Pyramid" but the pyramid is turned on its side.  Which, I think says a lot about Infantino's style.  Super master level skills with everything tilted and skewed beyond expectations.  Just right outside the comfort zone.  Full of energy and a subtle edginess.  Image stolen from bipcomics.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 0417013:

"No more hurting people." -Martin Richard.
  • Hello brothers and sisters.  It has been a while since the last Parade-O-Links.  I've been making my little list throughout the days and working on the column but I've just not been able to get the thing together.  I'd love to have a new Parade-O-Links up for you every Sunday morning but, my life has been challenging lately.  Times is hard.  A lot of awful things have happened.  We mourn for those we've lost.  We pray for those that have had tragedy forced upon them.  And, it's sadder each time.  You don't really get used to it.  It just piles on.  Maybe the weight of it makes you stronger and maybe you can carry the burden but the weight is there.  Heavier and heavier.  But we press on.  Ya know, I'm a guy, staying up past midnight writing about a hobby I can not afford to have.  But here we are.  We press on.   I'm reminded of a gym teacher I had at Saint Paul Elementary School.  His name was Tom Payne.  He was a character.  I remember one day, I think it was sixth grade gym class, he stood up and he said, "Kids.  Do you want to know what the meaning of life is?  All through your life you are going to hear people talk about it.  What does it all mean?  Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?"  He turns around and he grabs a piece of chalk.  He writes on the chalkboard.  Real big.  He writes to huge words.  "HAVE FUN."
  • And I don't even know what that means.  I think it's gotta be more than that.  But it's not a bad start.  Times is hard brothers and sisters.  But we press on.  If for no other reason that somewhere down the road we'll share some laughs.  And to those that try to keep us down...you've got to live with me breathin' baby.

(A panel from one of the issues of Carmine Infantino's water planet story in Marvel's Star Wars.  Image stolen from the Jedi Council at theforce.net.)
  • The great Carmine Infantino passed away earlier this month on April 4th at the age of 87.  He was a lot of things in his career.  Inker, penciler, designer, art director, editor and publisher.  But to me, he was the guy that drew the coolest looking, most exciting Star Wars comics.  And to me, when I was a kid, that meant that he had the most important job on Earth.  I met him, gosh, close to 10 years ago now, and he seemed to be a sweet man.  I had him sign some Star Wars comics and he had a story about each issue.  He remembered drawing them, and remembered conversations with Lucasfilm about what could and could not be in them.  He seemed to really enjoy the issues that took place on the water planet.  They were pre-Empire Strikes Back and were a huge contrast to the desert and sterile space station locations of the first Star Wars film.  (Years later we would see a Star Wars water planet and sea dragon type creatures in Attack of the Clones but it was nowhere near as cool as what Infantino did.) That work was a good example of what Infantino was in comics.  He took what you gave him, The Flash, Batman, Star Wars etc., and pushed it a bit further.  Turned it on its side.  Skewed the perspective so that it felt like you were falling into the image.  His drawings were like a broken mirror.  It felt like if you held the paper the wrong way it would cut you.  And those lips he drew on the female characters,  you knew if they kissed you it would be fatal.  He didn't draw the stuff "on model".  He drew it better than model.
  • Roger Ebert also passed away since last we met here on the Parade-O-Links. When I was a kid, Sneak Previews and At the Movies were a big deal.  Most of us just called them "Siskel and Ebert".  Other than stuff like Starlog and the TV commercials, Siskel and Ebert was about the only place you could get a look at new movies.  The main thing I took from Ebert as a critic and a writer was his enthusiasm.  A lot of critical writers hide their enthusiasm if they have any of all.  Never be ashamed of what you like.  That is just stupid.  The notion that you will get closer to the objective truth by denying your personal truth is just idiotic.  And always want the things you like to try and be better. 
  • All I knew about Margaret Thatcher I learned from comics and rock music.  The lady was ahead of her time.  And by that I mean she should be on Fox News right now
  • Another non-comics obituary I'd like to point to is that of Mrs. Ann Gregory.  She and her family bought the town newspaper from my family when I was just a baby.  She would be a great friend to my family and a positive presence in my life.  Saint Paul, Virginia is a very small town but reading her obituary I'm struck by how much she accomplished and how many people she reached through her work.  Sometimes, here in these hills, here in this valley, you feel like you can't reach beyond the hills to the rest of the world, but she did.  Her life was full of honors and titles but none of them were achieved out of ambition.  All she accomplished was out of a commitment to the service of others.  She was a very impressive person and will be missed. 
  • Congratulations to this year's Eisner Award nominees.  I've been paying attention to the Eisner's for a decade or more and this might be the first time where I have a work or a creator that I'm excited about in every category.  It's kind of like, dang, they nominated my twitter feed.  Are the Eisners getting more savvy in their awareness of indie comics and webcomics or is everything mainstream now?
  • The winner of comics kerfuffle of the month went to the "Saga saga".  First teh intronets thought Apple was banning things because they hate teh gays.  Then teh intronets decided maybe Apple did not hate teh gays but only hated boners.  Then the CBLDF reminded us that boners are totes legal.  But some retailers said, I don't care, I ain't selling boners.  Then Comixology came out and said my bad bro, my bad.  So now you can read all the boners you want.  I guess.  Which is kind of where we were before it all started but now a lot more people know about that Saga comic.  But it still kinda sucked.  Teh intronets everybody!  Seriously though, Tom Spurgeon summed up the more important parts of the story here.  One of the best things about this issue was that Spurgeon got to talk about boners in, I think, three separate blog posts.  So, that was a good week for me in my comics internet reading.  "Mostly, though, anyone that interprets the clumsy negotiation of a potentially troubling content policy by a corporate entity as some sort of failure to make sure that the PR image of involved business is treated with some perceived level of demanded respect is a scary person. Fuck that. Question everything. Tiny boners 4-ever."  Tiny boners 4-ever indeed.
  • Boners.
  • In other news, just last week, I became the owner of a cell pad pod phone for the first time ever.  That's right.  I have a "smartphone".  Mine is an android phone and the Comixology app was the first app I installed.  So no Apple store for me.  All the boners I want!
  • Boners.
  • Speaking of boners Comixology, remember that whole deal where Comixology and Marvel tried to give away over 700 comics to way over 700 people and it all blew up?  Well, just like they promised, they delivered this week.  I got the comics I wanted easy as pie.  Like, ridiculously easy.  Like, faster than I could eat my dinner.  I did not chose to own all of the comics but I got a lot.  A lot people.  And I'm loving it.  So, boners or no boners, high five Comixology.
(Doctor Who reads comics.  Of course.  Image stolen from Bleeding Cool.)
  • The Fluke Mini-Comics and Zine fest took place back on April 6th in Athens, Georgia USA.  Sadly, I missed it.  I was going to go but things occured.  So, I did what any hard working comics blogger would do and I called up the most dangerous man in the world, Henry Eudy on my email phone.  (Which does not exist.)  Our conversation went like this:
from the desk of file under other, April 3, 2013:
Dearest Bro Duder,
Are you still going to Fluke?  I unfortunately cannot go.  Again.  Due to the horrors of going through a separation/divorce and needing to use my spare time knocking over convenience stores to pay for my kid's braces.  
If you are going, would you be interested in writing another con report for file under other for absolutely no reward whatsoever? 
If so, please send the following fax to Dave Sim:
"Dear Mr. Sim,
No one has a fax machine anymore therefore you have received this via magic and you are either a wizard, elf or troll.   Please forward this fax to Shannon Smith via your magic ways so that he will know whether or not Henry Eudy can write a con report.
Sincerely,
Gloria Steinem"

from the desk of Agent Henry Eudy, April 3, 2013:
I received the following reply by way of it being taped to the topside of a badger that somehow appeared in my living room:
"Dearest sirs,
I can't be bothered to give a damn about your completely insignificant con report. Frankly, if yours truly and my amazingly underrated and misunderstood tracings of women from Vogue aren't the main attraction at a convention, then why bother anyway? It's all too insipid. Probably a woman is behind this. What kind of name is Shannon anyway? Humph. Anyhow, I got tracings to do and rants to write. You two pansies figure this our your own selves."
Graciously yours,
David Albert Sim"
Weird, huh? Plus I think it was all written with old cigarette butts. Anyhow, I am planning on making FLUKE although I already know I'll have to bail out a few hours early to get back home for an prior engagement. Still, I should be able to experience enough for a solid con report. Sorry I won't be seeing you there. Good luck with those robberies and such.
---- H.

Sadly, Agent Eudy's mission was to be aborted due to life events happening.  Like they do.  But all hope was not lost.

from the desk of Agent Henry Eudy. April 5, 2013:
Hold the phone! I did have an idea for a perfectly good con reporter. I believe all around good guy and fancy beard grower Adam Casey will be at FLUKE. Might make a pretty good Henry H. Eudy replacement, if you ask me. 

And so it would come to pass that Adam Casey and his beard would journey to Fluke and record the important details of this most important event.  And now, dear reader, you can read the whole thing here
(Glorp mania takes over Fluke.  Image stolen from Shawn Daughhetee's facebook.)
  • Here is a comic about how it is apparently hard to openly like things if you are a girl.  Honestly, this notion has never made any sense to me.  I just don't get being insecure about the things you like.  And I also just don't get that there have apparently been generations of girls around this world afraid to openly like video games.  I guess everyone's perception is different but I thought pretty much every girl on post-industrial electricity having Earth since the Atari 2600 played video games.  My high school girlfriend and her little sister both beat my ass at Super Mario Bros y'all.  For those of you that do not live in my reality, I offer you both condolences and congratulations depending on which you would prefer.
  • There have been several of transgendered comics characters before.  You people are aware that things happened prior to six months ago right?  But, either way, high five transgendered folks!
  • Above is a picture of the world's happiest illustrator Ashley Holt with his head on a stuffed version of The Demon.  I think Ashley had a birthday since our last Parade-O-Links.  That's as good a reason as any to post this picture.  (But I was going to post it anyway.  I think Josh Latta made it.)  I believe Robert Newsome also had a birthday since our last P-O-L.  And according to the facebook, April 16 was Brad McGinty's birthday.  Happy birthday y'all buncha geezers. 
  • Josh Latta:  Social Media Queen.
  • I've never been to MoCCA but I liked this piece Darryl Ayo Brathwaite wrote about it
  • How about instead of step 5 we just slash your tires and burn your house to the ground you ignorant douche face?
  • BREAKING:  Producers of the upcoming film adaptation of Dave Sim's Last Girlfriend have announced that the role of the fax machine will be played by Bradley Cooper. 
  • Here's a tip for all you young copywriters: stop sucking so hard.
  • Tom Spurgeon does some very interesting talking about comics at Deconstructing Comics
  • A while back, Tucker Stone (still not dead) talked about Thanos and Judge Dredd and other things.  That Thanos comic sure looks weird.  Speaking of Thanos, one day earlier this month I was driving down the road listening to a sports talk radio station and I heard a radio commercial for Marvel's Thanos Rising.  That happened.  I swear to you that I was not under the influence.  Speaking of Judge Dredd, I watched that Dredd movie.  I liked it a lot.  Liked the look of it.  Loved the sound design.  I could listen to motors and gadgets for hours. 
  • And finally...Iron Man's a drunk ya know.
Oh, and one more last thing!  Did you know you can leave comments on these posts here at file under other?  It's true!  And, I'll probably respond.  Twitter and facebook killed the message boards but that's no reason why you can't argue with me, praise me or leave me recipes.  It's your intronet.  Have fun!

And that's just a taste of some of the interesting things going out there in the wonderful world of comics and things. I can't keep up with it all but I do keep up with a lot of it on twitter and I try to re-tweet the good stuff. You should probably follow me there. If you did something to make comics better this week then high-five!

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
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