A Muppet Wicker Man

Oh… um.

Wow. Yeah. So… this exists:


Via Jess Nevins.

That’s the video preview for a full-length comic book mashup of The Muppet Show and The Wicker Man by Paul O’Connell.

It’s… uh…

Well, words seem to be failing at the moment.

Really, what can one say when confronted with something like this, except:

Batman And Friends Via Aardman Animations

The best, silliest thing: Aardman Animations — the studio responsible for Wallace and Grommit and the series Creature Comforts, among others — teams up with DC Comics to produce a series of shorts for Cartoon Network. This one uses a setup similar to the aforementioned Creature Comforts, here taking some familiar DC villains and heroes having children voice them. So silly, but so, so good.

Via Drawn

Limerence for Ron Turner

I just stumbled across The Bold Italic‘s lovely tribute to countercultural legend Ron Turner via Laughing Squid and smiled until my face hurt. Sasha Darling writes:

Of all the brilliant and amazing people I have encountered here, none are as dear to me as Mr. Ron Turner of Last Gasp. He’s equal parts underground comic book publishing icon, art collector extraordinaire, genuine gentleman, and dirty old man.

[…] Ron, with his long white beard and rosy cheeks, is a man who has rubbed shoulders with Timothy Leary, received fan letters from Charles Manson, and discovered important artists like R. Crumb. Yet he still has the dignified character to make every person in the room feel just as interesting as the legends he shares his delightfully interesting past with.”

Truer and more accurate words were never spoken! Nadya and I had the pleasure of taking Mr. Turner out to a business lunch in SF early last year. Our valiant-but-inevitably-hopeless attempts at verbally “one-upping” this unflappable pervert, this wondrous wizard, this mischievous genius, over quivering bowls of Cafe Gratitude porridge, resulted in one of the most memorable, not to mention visceral, professional lunches Coilhouse will ever host.*

After our meal, Ron graciously invited us back to Last Gasp headquarters, which feels simultaneously like a publisher’s warehouse and a cozily vibrant museum, thanks to his astonishing personal collection of books, prints, original artwork, vintage magician posters, carny ephemera, taxidermy, etc. Another treasured memory. Be sure to check out Darling’s photographs of Ron’s office, as well as his and his wife Carol Sue’s wondrous home. So great. We adore this man. Art crush, for sure.


Photo of Ron Turner by Pilar Vree for artbusiness.com.

*I’m honestly not sure how it happened, but we ended up spending approximately 91% of our summit with this legendary gentleman gabbing about about strap-ons and breathatarians and fecal impaction and ejaculate –the Landmark hippie vegans were nonplussed, lemme tell ya– and perhaps 9% of it discussing business strategy. (Though, to be fair, it was very powerful and insightful 9%.) BEST BUSINESS LUNCH EVAR.

“Yu + Me” by Megan Rose Gedris

Megan Rose Gedris’ comic Yu + Me is billed as a surreal lesbian romance- and it’s hard to say more than that with out spoiling it. In fact, this is one of those situations where, for some people, even mentioning the spoilers may spoil it. If you prefer stories in which things are what they seem, Yu + Me may not be your cuppa. But if you enjoy adventure, love, and a decadent proliferation of visual styles, then dive in. It’s a complete story, just short of 850 pages. Take a weekend and indulge.

Jitterbug: The Most Caffeinated Animated Gif EVAR

 

 

Matthew Innman, twisted mastermind behind The Oatmeal webcomic, made this splendid beast. Then Ariana shared it. And lo, now it hath become the unofficial Better Than Coffee mascot. That is all. Carry on.

“I’m not afraid of Cthulhu, because I know his dad’s phone number”


Via Lee Mason, thanks!

Rob & Ben Kimmel’s collaborative father-and-son “lunch comics” (recently blogged on io9), which they’ve been making together since Ben started kindergarten over three years ago, are basically the best thing since sliced Lunchables™ processed pressure-molded bologna product. Better, actually! By leaps and bounds! If you’ve got some time to kill today, head over to their website, Wandermonster, and get your warm (geeky) fuzzies on.


Rob and his 8-year-old son Ben share a tender moment.

A Conversation Between Alan Moore and Brian Eno (2005)

Via E. Stephen and Jeff Newelt comes this archive.org link to a transcript of Alan Moore interviewing Brian Eno, which originally aired six years ago on Chain Reaction, a radio series on BBC Radio 4:

“A well-known figure from the entertainment industry begins the series interviewing the person of their choice. The following week the interviewee becomes interviewer and chats to their chosen guest. And so on and so on. In January 2005, the comedian Stewart Lee interviewed Alan Moore (transcript available at Comic Book Resources). The next week it was Alan Moore’s turn to become the interviewer. His chosen subject was some one who had obviously been a huge influence on his life for over thirty years… Brian Eno.”

Unsurprisingly, it’s a fascinating and insightful conversation.

Listen to the broadcast recording here.

Tom Gauld’s Charming Comics

Illustrator Tom Gauld, best known for his regular contributions to The Guardian, creates quirky, sometimes deeply poignant comic strips. There’s a little something for everyone: robots, dinosaurs, monsters, ghostly shades, Gilliamesque factory machines, baboon ladies… it’s good stuff!

He also has gorgeous screenprints, postcards, shirts and books for sale. Click over to Gauld’s Flickr to take a peek into the pages of his personal sketchbooks, revealing his fascinating creative process.

American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada

Attacks on comics are getting worse and worse. Border searches are on the rise, and have are growing more invasive all the time.

Via Warren Ellis, here’s a verbatim press release from Charles Brownstein (charles.brownstein@cbldf.org) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:

CBLDF Forms Coalition to Defend American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today announces that it is forming a coalition to support the legal defense of an American citizen who is facing criminal charges in Canada that could result in a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for comics brought into the country on his laptop.  This incident is the most serious in a trend the CBLDF has been tracking involving the search and seizure of the print and electronic comic books carried by travelers crossing borders.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “Although the CBLDF can’t protect comic fans everywhere in every situation, we want to join this effort to protect an American comic fan being prosecuted literally as he stood on the border of our country for behavior the First Amendment protects here, and its analogues in Canadian law should protect there.”

The CBLDF has agreed to assist in the case by contributing funds towards the defense, which has been estimated to cost $150,000 CDN.  The CBLDF will also provide access to experts and assistance on legal strategy.  The CBLDF’s efforts are joined by the recently re-formed Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, a Canadian organization that will contribute to the fundraising effort.  Please contribute to this endeavor by making a tax deductible contribution here.

The facts of the case involve an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-twenties who was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend.  Upon arrival at Canadian Customs a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and considered it to be child pornography.  The client’s name is being withheld on the request of counsel for reasons relating to legal strategy.

The images at issue are all comics in the manga style.  No photographic evidence of criminal behavior is at issue.  Nevertheless, a warrant was issued and the laptop was turned over to police.  Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison. This case could have far reaching implications for comic books and manga in North America.

The CBLDF’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to aid the case by raising funds to contribute to the defense and to help the defense with strategy and expert resources.

Brownstein says, “This is an important case that impacts the rights of everyone who reads, publishes, and makes comics and manga in North America. It underscores the dangers facing everyone traveling with comics, and it can establish important precedents regarding travelers rights.  It also relates to the increasingly urgent issue of authorities prosecuting art as child pornography.  While this case won’t set a US precedent, it can inform whatever precedent is eventually set.  This case is also important with respect to artistic merit in the Canadian courts, and a good decision could bring Canadian law closer to US law in that respect.  With the help of our supporters, we hope to raise the funds to wage a fight that yields good decisions and to create tools to help prevent these sorts of cases from continuing to spread.”

Find out more on the case here. To help support the case, you can make a monetary contribution here.

About CBLDF
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities.  Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities.  To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to www.clldf.ca.

BTC: Do the Batusi!

Batman dances the Batusi after being tortured to insanity by King Tut (arguably the most edgy and terrifying Batverse villain iteration after Ledger’s Joker). Hilarity ensues.


Thanks, Gooby!