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24 March 2017

Maybe you should go to the SC Comicon this weekend.

Hey you.  How's it going?  You busy this weekend?  Maybe you should go to the SC Comicon in Greenville, South Carolina.  A lot of my favorite people are going to be there.  Also, there will be comics there. You like comics right?  I've never been to this show but I hear it's really great.  Every year I say to myself, stop being such an a-hole and go to SC Comicon.  And then I fail. I won't be there this year because I'm going to take my kids to see adults in minimal clothing sweat on each other.  Professionally!  But, I will be there in spirit and also on paper as a new gag comic I drew will be in Comic Stars #6 debuting at the table of our most beloved The Dollar Bin.  The comic should be rad.  It has a cover by Patrick Dean.  Ya'll know Patrick Dean right?  He's kinda the best.  
So yeah, go to Greenville and buy comics.  Tell Neal Adams that I said that Superman miniseries he did last year was bonkers.  You like it.  You love it.  You want more of it.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.

29 January 2017

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 01292017


(American Flagg! #10 1983.  Cover by Howard Chaykin.  Stolen from My Comic Shop.)

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 01292017.

"And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave." - President Ronald Reagan
  • Hello sisters and brothers of teh intronets and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shannon and I'll be your host.  Happy Chinese New Year.  To quote the last prophet of the 90s Keanu Reeves, "whoa".  What a week huh?  Just a week ago when we last spoke we had just seen the inauguration of a new President in these United States and inspiring marches all around the world.  Since then,  every day has been a series of events that were never supposed to be possible. There are millions of Americans and millions and millions around the world right now who are scared.  Their lives are uncertain.  Their future is uncertain.  I have my own fears of course.  Everything is fragile. A politician or an executive I've never met could end my livelihood with the stroke of a pen.  But I'm a white man in America so my fears are those of inconvenience and folly compared to those of different birth country, skin tone or religion.  I don't know much about anything but here is what I know about Muslims. Here is what I know about refugees.  For about four years my next door neighbors were a Muslim family.  They were refugees from Bosnia. If you walked by their house you wouldn't have known they were Muslim.  The father was an auto mechanic.  You'd see him outside working on cars or playing with his kids.  I thought he was Italian at first.  The mother was a brunette.  She was quite but polite and generous.  Most of my interaction was with the kids.  They were always outside playing and my daughter played with them all the time.  The kids had blond hair and blue eyes.  They could have passed for my kid's siblings. They had a trampoline and my daughter would want to bounce with them every day. If you were around enough you'd begin to notice the accent and that the parents spoke to the children in Bosnian.  You'd hear the kids playing games counting in Bosnian.  You'd notice that they had a pit for roasting lamb.  If you were around long enough to notice the lamb pit you'd probably be invited over to enjoy the feast.  They were generous beyond measure.   If they were eating popsicles you had a popsicle.  If the father and his cousins were drinking beer you had a beer.  The father fixed my car for free multiple times.  He loaned me tools.  He loaned me his lawnmower.  They were as good neighbors as I've ever know.  One time we were over for dinner at their house.  I think it was a holiday for them.  They had a lot of family over.  But, then again, it was like that every Sunday there.  They served lamb, beers and strong Turkish coffee.  They had a huge gold embossed painting of Mecca on the wall in the dining room.  I asked the father if he had ever been there.  He laughed.  He said that no, he had never been because he could not give up his beer.  This was a man, an auto mechanic who worked hard for his family.  He loved God and he loved beer.  What's more American than that?  Picture him in your mind.  Out in his yard after a long day of work at the garage working on another car either for extra money or as a favor to a friend.  He's got his blue mechanic's shirt on. It's untucked and his belly shows a little.  The kids are playing in the back yard.  The mother comes out onto the front porch to call them all in for super.  There he is drinking his beer and taking care of his family.  The American Dream.  And he was a Muslim refugee.  

  • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.

23 January 2017

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 01232017

(Captain America #344 1988.  Cover by Ron Frenz and Al Milgrom.  Stolen from Cover Browser.)

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 weeks ending 01232017.

"Brutal. The guy likes being the top of the heap and he likes staying there. He’d be an all-term president and probably serve as vice president and most of the cabinet too. Except secretary of agriculture. Bane has no interest in where his food comes from. Only that it’s hit when it arrives. Or someone will pay." -Chuck Dixon on what President Bane would be like.

  • Hello sisters and brothers of teh intronets and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shannon and I'll be your host.  Last week was pretty crazy huh?  But here we are.  We made it.  Most of us.  Saturday was an inspiring day.  Millions of people around the world making their voices heard.  Millions standing together.  I didn't march anywhere.  I took care of my two daughters though so that has to count for something right?  I'm not a woman (spoiler) but I am a dad and I tell you this, kids notice.  Kids notice when women or minorities create their favorite comic books, cartoons, music, movies and video games.  They notice when people stand up for themselves or others or for what they believe in.  They notice when people march for a cause.  They notice and it shapes their reality.  The reality where it wasn't impossible no longer exists the second they see the one where it is possible. Much thanks to all of those that fight the good fight.  It's bigger than you know. 
  • Lots of talk this week about "breaking into comics".  I guess everyone on twitter had the same new year's resolution to finally get their act together and get paid to make comics.  There were some good tips in there and some decent jokes.  I recommend Robert Venditti's testimony on the subject.  I don't know how to group tweets together or whatever but you can find his story of how he "broke into comics" on his twitter feed.  He has what I think is an ideal comics career; mainstream work with multiple publishers as well as creator owned work.  Read his story for yourself but the short version of how he built that career is that he 1) worked hard and 2) he put himself and his work in physical proximity to world of publishing.  You might make it with either one of those two things but I doubt you make it without doing both.  Especially the work.  Even if you get lucky, and fool your way in, without the work, it will catch up to you.
  • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.

11 January 2017

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 01112017


(Star Wars issue 106.  Cover by Cynthia Martin.  Image stolen from Rebel Scum. )

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 weeks ending 01/11/2017.

"Look, I don’t have time for this." - Steve Ditko.

  • Hello sisters and brothers of teh intronets and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shannon and I'll be your host.  I've been away for a bit.  Well, I've been right here.  I've just been busy.  September through November is my busiest time of year at work.  Then after that holiday and family stuff took over.  Family first right?  But 2017 will be a big year for file under other.  2017 is an anniversary year so more on that down the road. 
  • So, here we are.  My head and my heart are in knots.  I appologize in advance that this Parade-O-Links will be short on comics.  That's not comics' fault.  It's my fault.  I'm dealing with some things.  I'll get better.  For the 2nd time in the last five Presidential elections the person that received the largest amount of votes will not be our next President.  It happens.  Some people are concerned.  And with good reason.  Imagine the riots in the streets if two out of five Superbowl Championships were handed to the team with less points.  The last time this happened we invaded the wrong countries and went to war for fifteen years. So... good luck?  Look, our democracy failible.  Our democracy is fragile.  It's scary.  But one of the main reasons these United States have been safe from tyranny is that every four to eight years we have the peaceful removal and replacement of our top leader.  So whether your candidate won or lost, remember, this is temporary.  Maybe. 
  • And by Maybe I mean please remember that Vladimir Putin circumvented Russia's constitution and appointed himself Prime Minister and then President after having exceeded Russia's term limits.  Again, democracy is fragile.
  • Kompromat. 
  • Don't take democracy for granted.  It can end.  Democracies end.  Some times by force and sometimes by will.  Sometimes they get pissed away.  

  • Friends.  This isn't a political blog but I'm reporting to you live right now from the Unites States of America and this is just the world around us right now.  I know a lot of very smart people discourage artists, creative types and well, basically anyone that would like to attain employment at some point, to keep the political opinions off social media because it could be held against you and cost you gigs.  I get it. I get it.  But if we live in a country where you have to be afraid to speak your mind then we've already lost.  And personally, I don't want to work for or with people that don't respect my opinion. My mind, my glorious freaking mind, is exactly WHY you SHOULD want to work with me.  And if you're paying  me to shut up then you're wasting your money.  
 

  • Guys.  I just need to take a moment to say that this webpage is doing some weird things with font that and alignment that are driving me crazy but I just don't have the patience to figure out right now.  Sorry.

  • Enough about the future/end of the free world.  Let's talk about me. I recently drew a four page comic about "Handsome" Jimmy "The Boogie Woogie" Man Valiant and Magnet Man having a monster truck sumo battle for Brien Wayne Powell's Boogie Jam 4Ever. It's great.  You should buy seven copies.  Brien also has what has to be one of the longer running ongoing webcomics about Magnet Man and the Boogie Woogie Man's adventures over at Boogie Jam Online.  I've got some other wrasslin' comics in the works but they are top secret so you will have to wait to find out about them. (Or, ya know, just ask me.)
  • Speaking of the word "handsome".  Does the way Taylor Swift pronounces "handsome" weird anyone else out?
  • 2016 was a rough one for a lot of us.  It was a rough one for the world.  A lot of people have it worse than I do and I can be pretty miserable. There's a solid chance that tomorrow I'll wake up and my county's schools and hospitals will still be standing.  That's not true everywhere. So many have lost so much.  We focus on the death's of famous people because those folks are like our shared extended family.  There is a commonality there that we can empatize with.  I may know know you but if I know you loved David Bowie then I can understand how much it hurt a year ago when he left us.  You may not know me but if you loved Prince then I can tell you about how I bought my first guitar because of him when I was 15 and that I picked out a white one because of Purple Rain. Carrie Fisher meant so much to so many of us around the world.  She was the first girl I ever wanted to marry. She never stopped inspiring.  We need a million more of her.  Especially now. Comics also lost a lot of great ones. We will press on.  Forward.  Forward.  But don't forget. How could we?

  • Those of you have been reading file under other for a while know that I usually end these posts with a video from our youtube pal Francis.  I hate to break internet kayfabe but Francis is just a character.  The man behind Francis is Steven Williams, also known as boogie2988.  I grew up in the same small town, watchin' cartoons and readin' comics at the same library.  He was a year behind me in school but I've know him since pre-school. He's a sweetheart and was always the funniest guy in the room. This past year he received one of the highest honors you can receive in video games without actually making them. I'm proud of ya' Boogie.  Ya done good.  Saint Paul High School represent!
  • And now ladies and gentlemen...

    THE BEST NEW semi-recent COMIC comics I READ THIS WEEK recently.

    Disney Pirates of the Caribbean issues 1 and 2 by Chris Schweizer, Joe Flood and Marissa Louise.  Published by Joe Books LTD.  $2.99.

    I didn't know much about this comic going into it beyond the fact that Chris Schweizer was writing it.  I missed the whole Pirates of the Caribbean movie phenomenon at the time the films came bout because my kids were not at the PG-13 age yet.  Those movies came out during a time when I pretyt much only saw talking animal movies.  But, I'm a sucker for any movie with a boat in it so I watched the 1st movie on Netflix recently after I bought these comics at my LCS but before I read them.  I liked the movie a lot.  It had boats in it. 
    I loved both issues of this comic.  I think is really lovely from cover to cover. I don't know anything about the publisher Joe Books LTD or why they publish Disney comics instead of a comic book publisher Disney paid billions of dollars for but, the books are as good from cover to cover as anything on the stands and they cost a dollar or two less.  Consider me a fan.  
    Schweizer's writing is as great as I expected it to be.  Each comic is a fully realized self contained speedy adventure with a full cast of individually motivated interesting characters.  The character's speech and motivations are consistent with the one film I saw.  The wit is very sharp.  Schweizer doesn't go too many panels without a punchline. 
    I was a bit dissappointed to see that Schweizer was not also drawing this book but Joe Flood does a great job.  The design is solid and pleasantly consistent with the Disney Infinity video game style that I love so much.  The real challenge with this book is capturing Captain Jack's mannerism's Flood never drops character.  
    The book looks great cover to cover.  Marissa Louise is credited with the colors on the first issue and I'm assuming Flood did the colors himself on the second.  I like the style of both.  My personal preference in colors is for them to be very flat. I don't like colorists that are into rendering. I like flat colors with a bit of that enhance the light and dark of the inks.  That's pretty much the style we see here.  The pallet is a bit brown for my personal tastes but it fits the story, time and location and is consistent with the movie I watched.  Interior and night time scenes are appropriately dark but the characters still pop.  
    As I said before, I really don't know anything about Joe Books or these Disney comics yet (I'll look it up eventually) but if they put out 20 more issues of this with Schweizer as the writer I'll be sure to buy them and they'll probably be the first books I read from the ol' pull list any time they come out.  I couldn't find these on Comixology so if you're interested in them I suggest you ask your LCS to snag you some copies. 

    • And finally... Hey guys, 2016 wasn't all bad.  Francis made a friend!
    • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 

    Your best pal ever,
    Shannon Smith


    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
    p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
    p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.

    06 October 2016

    Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 10062016

    (Transmetropolitan issue 4.  Cover by Frank Quitely 1997.  Image stolen from Cover Browser. )

    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 0925201610062016.

    "Sometimes the most handsome ones end up being Draculas." - Norm Macdonald.

    • Hello sisters and brothers of teh intronets and welcome to another episode of your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shannon and I'll be your host.  This is another late (or early depending on perspective and other nonsensical false realities) parade-o-links.  I can't blame it on anything cool like going to see Buddy Guy this time.  Mid September through mid November is the busiest time of the year for me at work and at home so... gotta put the paycheck and the kids first.  Also, today is my birthday so love me. 
    • Hey!  It's October!  Happy Halloween month everybody!  I loves me some October.  As I said, it's a busy time for me but I've got a lot of neat stuff in the works that will roll out this month.  Keep file under other open on your computer or cell-pad-pod-phone and just keep hitting refresh constantly for the next 25 days.  
    • Can we take a few moments to promote my friends?  Of course we can.  Have I ever told you guys about Brad McGinty and the fantastic t-shirts, patches, stickers and gum the produces for The Glorp Gum Company?  No?  Well let's correct that immediately.  Brad has a whole new line of Halloween related stuff you have to check out right now.  I've already gotten the Kong shirt and the Terror shirt. I wore the Terror shirt to the store yesterday and the Mayor stopped me in my tracks asked me for my t-shirt's autograph and gave me the key to the city. My kid already stole the new patches from me and sewed them on her jacket.  We are so ready for Halloween thanks to Glorp!
    • Another person I know that does things you can exchange money for is Robert Newsome, EIC and publisher of The Atomic Elbow.  The Atomic Elbow has been my absolute favorite quarterly professional wrestling zine for years now.  I recommend you buy all the issues but especially want to point out the latest collection that is on sale now.  I got mine in the mail a short while ago and it's really great. Now, maybe you don't follow wrestling and you're thinking the book may not be for you.  Well, the neat thing about The Atomic Elbow is that most of the articles are not about current wrestling nonsense.  Most of the articles are about the writer's personal experiences and adventures in and around (and sometimes not even that close to) the world of wrestling and wrestling fandom.  It's a great zine with a lot of great writers.  Honestly, the subject matter is least important thing about it.  Oh, and sometimes it has comics. 

    • Guys.  Look, things are weird for Superman but I wouldn't wish my problems on that poor sucker.  He couldn't handle what's going on inside my head for five minutes. 
    • When I was a little kid I was super jealous of the kids in the UK that got to read WEEKLY Star Wars comics that I didn't know existed.  Weekly,  that's like, multiple times each month!
    • Speaking of Star Wars, we're counting down the days to the new movie episode... Rouge One.  (I will not mention its subtitle because it is stupid and awful.) Apparently the toys for the new movie came out last week and a lot of my pals had a lot of fun hunting them but I wouldn't know anything about that because all any of the stores in my area had were dusty old Constable Zuvios. I'll just go ahead and get this off my chest right now;  I love Star Wars.  Go ahead Disney, make Star Wars movies.  Go crazy. I'll watch them.  That said, it is a terrible idea for them to break up the current episode 7 through 9 "saga" with this standalone movie.  The average movie goer just can't hold multiple sets of characters in their heads.  This is that Fantastic Beasts movie coming out sometime between Harry Potter 7 part 1 and Harry Potter 7 part 2.  During the first Star Wars trilogy, fans had six years to get invested in a set of characters.  Then we lived with those characters for decades.  Then we got the prequel characters, which were, with a few exceptions, some of the same characters we were already invested in.  We got invested in those characters for six years as well then they carried on in cartoons, comics and video games.  Then The Force Awakens comes and it's this new cast to get invested in.  And it was great.  The cast is great.  But now, one year later, whoops, whole new cast, whole new time period, whole new everything.  Here's the thing.  Every time I saw The Force Awakens there were multiple annoyingly audible people in the audience asking who Luke was supposed to be.  The people, the people are stupid.  I totally expect half the audience at Rogue One to spend the the whole movie annoyingly audibly asking why Rey is calling herself Jyn now and where are Poe and Finn.  I mean, hell, I wonder where Poe Dameron is in every movie I watch. 
    • Yeah, that last bullet point was hundreds of words to set up video of Kylo Ren saying "Outer Space!"
    • Matt Furie talked about that time one of his characters was appropriated by some internet weirdos related to some political thing that is apparently going on in America now.  
    • Tucker Stone is one of my favorite writers/podcasters about comics.  He went to SPX and wrote about some of the books he checked out. 
    • Here is your most recent Marvel Universe scorecard.  Tune in next week for a completely different yet remarkably similar new status quo. 
    • Lots of changes in the Marvel and DC "universes" while file under other was on "hiatus". I'll get too them soon and share some thoughts.  Short version is I really enjoy that new Superwoman comic.  Phil Jimenez is one of my faves. 
    • Adventure Time is ending... two years from now.
    • Not even linking to the Adventure Time story because, again, two years from now.
    • I regret to announce that I'm retiring from comics 60 years from now.  Everybody get your tributes ready. 
    • Another thing I'm not even going to link to is the notion that it took some of you buffoons out there 75 years to figure out an Amazon character might like ladies.  
    • Hey.  Let's see what those crazy kids from The Dollar Bin have been up to.  It looks like they finally got around to posting their reports on this summer's HeroesCon.  Part 1.  Part 2.
    • Apparently the new Luke Cage show on Netflix broke teh intronets or whatever.  I've been too busy to check it out but I look forward to it.  I thought Alias was uneven and a bit of a slog.  You really only needed to watch the episodes that had evil Doctor Who or Luke Cage on them.  I've been fond of Luke Cage ever since those 1984 Bill Sienkiewicz ads convinced me that I needed to pick up Power Man and Iron Fist. But even without Iron Fist, I'm going to watch that show anyway because it has one of the most attractive women in human history on it

    • And now ladies and gentlemen...
    THE BEST NEW semi-recent COMIC I READ THIS WEEK recently.



    Midnight of the Soul issue 1 by Howard Chaykin with Jesus Aburtov and Ken Bruzenak.  Cover by Chaykin  Published by Image Comics.  $3.50

    This book actually started a while ago while file under other was on "hiatus" but I wanted to talk about it and I'm way behind on my giant stack of "pull list" comics and haven't ready any of the real new books from the past few weeks so let's talk about Midnight of the Soul.  Guys, ya'll know Howard Chaykin is the best right?  I feel like maybe some of you don't know this.  Well, he is.  He's one of my all time favorites and luckily me for me he's been very proficient over the past few years.  You guys have read Black Kiss II and Satellite Sam right?  You guys do read adult comics right?  I mean, look, if you are a children, it's okay if maybe you didn't read Howard Chaykin's adult comics.  But, if you're an adult and you don't read Chaykin then... do you even comic bro?  

    Midnight of the Soul is a gorgeous book.  Fantastic art and storytelling by Chaykin.  No one draws alcoholism and eyebrows better than Chaykin.  The colors by Jesus Aburtov are a bit more technically ambitious than I prefer but the pallet is just right.  The main thing for a colorist on a Chaykin book is to get the lipstick shimmer right and I think Aburtov nails it. 

    The comic is about a former WWII soldier who helped liberate a concentration camp.  It's the 50s now and he's home trying and failing to make it as a writer.  His book is set in a world where Hitler won and no one is buying it.  Like most Chaykin comics, he finds out his lady is mixed up in some dirty sexy time business and it all goes to hell from there. Alcoholism, sex, infidelity, murder and Nazis.  Everything you'd want in a comic right?  If you like hard boiled fiction  you probably already bought these comics. If you don't then what's wrong with you?
    • And finally... Francis has a special message for the Grim Reaper. 
    • Remember pals, life is hard.  Read comics every day, chew Glorp every day and you'll keep on livin' until your dead. 

    Your best pal ever,
    Shannon Smith


    p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
    p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
    p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
    p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.