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D+Q at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival.

Is there a nicer way to end the year than by going to NYC, doing a *one-day* show where you make practically as much money as a two-day show and seeing all of your friends? NO! THERE IS NOT! Ladies and gents, I present to you....

Come visit Drawn & Quarterly this weekend in Williamsburg Brooklyn at the Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church with Adrian Tomine, Brian Ralph, Jillian Tamaki, R. Sikoryak, John Porcellino, Matt Forsythe and Gabrielle Bell in attendance!

Signing Schedule at D+Q Tables 20-22:

Brian Ralph 1:00-3:00

R. Sikoryak 2:00- 3:00

Jillian Tamaki 3:00 - 4:00

Adrian Tomine 3:00 -5:00

Brian Ralph 5:00-7:00

John Porcellino, Matt Forsythe & Gabrielle Bell are signing at other tables, too!


The recent embrace of graphic novels by the publishing industry has led to misguided attempts to evaluate comics according to the standards and conventions of literary fiction. The writing in comics occupies a more peculiar place, with its own constraints and opportunities. John Porcellino, Gabrielle Bell, and David Sandlin will discuss the particular demands of writing within a visually-driven form in this conversation moderated by novelist Myla Goldberg.


C.F. and Brian Ralph both emerged from the revolutionary art and comics scene that flourished in New England throughout the 1990s, radiating outward from the Fort Thunder artists’ space in Providence, RI and incorporating a network of friendships, influences, and collaborations. Both artists are now producing the strongest work of their careers, engaging fantasy and adventure as modes for personal expression. The two will discuss their work with moderator Tom Spurgeon.

St. Petersburg (Bak-style)

T. Edward Bak recently went to Russia and I casually said to him "hey, take some pictures and write something and I'll blog it." Well, Tom Spurgeon was right on top of Bak and did a great interview so I figured that was that. Until TEBs (that's what those in the know call him) wrote me and said, "hey, I wrote a thing for you. It's terrible." Of course, it isn't terrible at all. So I present to you, Bak's ramblings about Russia and hiss ongoing Georg Steller project.

I'd been warned not to smile at people in Russia. I was warned about rampant crime and gangs of orphaned pre-adolescent thugs roaming the streets at night. I was told that the Russians don't appreciate fart jokes or crass humor, but they applaud wit and clever innuendo. Flying through Europe, it occurred to me that even the clouds over France and Germany looked old. How was I en route to St. Petersburg? How did this happen? Who in the hell do I think I am? What I learned while I was in Russia is that the Russians eat tomatoes and cucumbers for breakfast. They eat a lot of pastries and smoke a lot of cigarettes. I had lunch with the American consulate at a vegetarian restaurant in St. Petersburg one afternoon, we ate vegan borscht. Someone had told me that there were bagels somewhere in the city. I don't know, I never found any. I ate vitamin salad, pierogies and gnocchi and lots of potatoes and mushrooms and, once, tried the Russian version of Mexican food. There are no burritos in St Petersburg. Mostly I managed to get by on americanos and cakes and pizza. I drank vodka, and drank beer. I found an Elvis Presley café around the corner from my hotel with a gigantic Confederate flag hanging in a corner of the room, I felt right at home. When I ordered salmon, the Russians brought me trout. When was the last time I'd eaten trout? Did it matter? As long as I knew I could order a decent Czech beer or get vodka that had been made from potatoes, everything was Perestroika.

I gathered that there must be an ordinance in St. Petersburg requiring women under the age of 30 to wear only high heels. Probably there is another that exempts taxicab drivers from obeying traffic laws and speed limits. My exchanges with cabbies in St. Petersburg actually became fairly routine:
"Pushkin, da. Mark Twain, da. Bill Clinton, da. Monica Lewinsky, da!"
Be proud, America. One afternoon, I was walking down Nevsky Prospekt and a police van pulled up to the sidewalk. A group of uniformed men and women leapt out, seized a swarthy (will I get in trouble for 'swarthy'? The Russians I met were endlessly amused by English epithets which would make most North Americans squirm) businessman carrying a briefcase, threw him in the back of the van, and drove away. Nobody on the sidewalk around me flinched and I wondered if anyone had even noticed what had just transpired. Police and military units constantly patrol the city, it seems, and wherever I went, officials were checking someone's papers on the street corner, in front of monuments, at roadblocks, etc.

It was September and I was visiting St. Petersburg for 2 weeks as a guest of the International Comics Festival, Boomfest! My first time outside of North America, my first transatlantic flight, my first exposure to any kind of comics community outside of the usual angry nerd love-ins I'm accustomed to attending in the US. The coordinator of Boomfest, publisher Dmitry Yakovlev, warmly welcomed me and had arranged a swell room on the third floor of a hotel in a beautiful neighborhood downtown; when I tried to drunkenly heave the television through the window out on to the street below late one evening after my usual drug-ingestion and debauchery, the hypodermic needles I'd stolen from…oh, fuck it, never mind; I was in my room and ready for bed by 10 PM practically every night. Of course, the time difference meant that I wouldn't be asleep until dawn, but during the day walking about in St Petersburg was for me like inhabiting a dream, anyhow. So surreal and unfamiliar.

There were dozens of wonderfully talented people at Boomfest, all fantastically original artists: Julie Doucet, Dominik Heilig, Victoria Lomasko, Varvara Pomidor, Edik Katykhin, Polina Petrouchina, Joanna Hellgren, Juhyun Choi, Misteur Morvandiau, Stefano Ricci, Nele Bronner, Jeroen Funke, Boris Peeters, Sam Peeters, Jo Rdx, Xavier Lowenthal, Anastasia Voitenko (and, unexpectedly, Pacific NW cartoonist Eroyn Franklin, who happened to be traveling through Russia and visiting family in St. Petersburg during the event); Julie Doucet showed her new film, there was a Hugo Pratt exhibition, a Tove Janssen panel, there was something happening practically everyday, for an entire month. Insane.

I delivered a presentation that gave me the opportunity to discuss my work and my friendship with Dylan Williams and his company Sparkplug Comic Books, whom I also represented at the festival’s book fair. I had a dream about my recently departed dear friend while I was in Russia; he was seated at a drawing table, busily sketching away. As usual, I felt like I was interrupting or disturbing him. But Dylan always made time for me and this was no exception. We talked briefly and he advised me to respect and to pay attention to the Russian artist. I had a vague impression that Dylan had recently gone away, or that something had happened to him. But, no, here he was, attending to his work, same as always. And I had bothered him long enough, so I let him be.

Meanwhile, I was genuinely challenged by the questions from the audience at my presentation and impressed with their patience at my rambling. "Who are these attentive young Russians?" I thought. "Will they want to buy me drinks? Will they share their drugs with me? If I am kidnapped and turned out on the street as a male prostitute, will I earn enough rubles to afford decent krokodil?"
If you’ve ever seen me in front of an audience and managed to stay awake, you may be familiar with my nuanced style of incoherent blathering; somehow, these gracious Europeans and Russians made sense of what I was saying. Well, at least they were polite enough to smile and nod as I sputtered on. When the European artists I'd met at Boomfest departed for home, I wanted to travel with each of them to their countries. To understand what they were doing, to see what they were seeing. There is still so much to do, I thought. When the festival was finished I spent time during the day wandering through historic St. Petersburg; photographing the architecture along the Neva, and materials from the Russian State Cultural Museum, the Russian State Ethnographic Museum and the Kunstkamera.

After a couple of weeks of this foolishness I flew home via Frankfurt. The plane flew over Iceland, then southern Greenland just before sunset. Watching undisturbed and pristine towers of of ice and rock pass beneath the plane in that glow was like witnessing the beginning of time, the beginning of the world. And here I was, returning to the USA, back to where everything ends. Bak to the future.

And here are a bunch more photos, check it.

The Avengers Guide Part 4: The Comic Book

The Avengers Guide Part 4: The Comic Book

The Avengers Origins.
This the first issue of The Avengers.
The following is from Wikipedia.com.
"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble!"
—Prologue from The Avengers

Origin Story
The origins of The Avengers in the movie is going to be very different from origin from the comic book.
The first adventure features the Asgardian trickster god Loki, who seeks revenge against his brother Thor. Using an illusion, Loki tricks the Hulk into destroying a railroad track. He then diverts a radio call by Rick Jones for help to Thor, whom Loki hopes will battle the Hulk. Unknown to Loki, the radio call is also answered by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man. After an initial misunderstanding, the heroes unite and defeat Loki after Thor is lured away by an illusion of the Hulk and suspects Loki when he realises it is an illusion. Ant-Man states the five work well together and suggests they form a combined team; the Wasp names the group "the Avengers" because it sounded "dramatic".

The roster changes almost immediately; by the beginning of the second issue, Ant-Man has become Giant-Man and, at the end of the issue, the Hulk leaves once he realizes how much the others fear his unstable personality. Feeling responsible, the Avengers try to locate and contain the Hulk, which subsequently leads them into combat with Namor the Sub-Mariner. This would result in the first major milestone in the Avengers' history: the revival and return of Captain America. Captain America joins the team, eventually becoming field leader. Captain America is also given "founding member" status in the Hulk's place. The Avengers go on to fight foes such as Captain America's wartime enemy Baron Zemo, who forms the Masters of Evil, Kang the Conqueror, Wonder Man, and Count Nefaria.

The Characters Now and Then.
There is going to a picture of what the character looked like the original and a picture of what the character looked like in the movies.

Captain America
Captain America's costume is very hard to transfer to the big screen but it was done very well. It looked liked armor which worked really good.

Iron Man
Iron Man literally has hundreds of different armor suits but the movie version looked awesome.

There a few different version of Thor's costume and they went with combination of different looks for Thor. When we first saw his costume in the trailers we weren't sure if we liked it but after watching the movie we though it look great.

Hulk's look is simple: big green "hulking" monster with pants and they did it and it worked.

Since we haven't seen him is action munch other than the trailers we not sure we like the look but so far we like it.

Black Widow

Basically she looks very similar to the comics.

Nick Fury
There are two ways that Nick Fury looks. One is the original version which is on the right and then there is the Ultimate version which is on the left. The Ultimate Marvel Universe is a series of comic book made recently with re-imagined looks for the characters and as fans of the original comic Universe we like the original Nick Fury. But if you are going to go with the Ultimate version Sam L. Jackson is the perfect choice.

Like Thor's costume Loki's is hard to transfer to the big but it was done well.

If you have any questions please ask.
Don't forget to check back tomarrow for Part 5.

Vote for Kate! Vote for Kate!

Nemesis Redux + Kate Beaton Tees

KateKateKate! A sequel to her sequence of pirate bromances.

Also, now that it's past American Thanksgiving, did you know Kate Beaton has new T-shirts up for sale on her site? Finally, a T-shirt that expresses exactly how I feel all the time (except sometimes I want more cat videos, or more capybara photos, or more ... y'know). All I'm sayin' is these might be a perfect Christmas gift:

The Avengers Guide Part 3: The Villains

The Avengers Guide Part 3: The Villains

If you have missed any part of The Avengers Guide here are the links.
The Avengers Guide Part 1: The Movies.
The Avengers Guide Part 2: The Heroes.
The Avengers Guide Part 3: The Villains
The Avengers Guide Part 4: The Comic Book
The Avengers Guide Part 5: The Origins.
The Avengers Guide Part 6: Secrets and After The Credits.
The Avengers Guide Part 7: Information and Pictures.
The Avengers Guide Part 8: The Cast.
The Avengers Guide Part 9: 5 Avengers We Want in the Sequel.
The Avengers Guide Part 10: 5 Villains We Want in the Sequel.
The Avengers Guide Part 11: After The Avengers.

Not all of the information in the following post is 100% accurate since the movie is still being filmed.

The Villains

The main villain in The Avengers movie is Loki. If you have seen the Thor movie you know everything you need to know about him so I will not spoil anything if you haven't seen the Thor movie go watch it now.

The Skrull
The Skrull is the other villain in The Avengers movie. There has not been any picture of what they will look like in the movie. The Skrull are a alien race that the ability to shapeshift to look like any person.

 Appearance and abilities
The following is copied from Wikipedia.com.
Skrulls are green-skinned reptilian humanoids with large pointed ears, red or green eyes, and corrugated chins. Skrulls are known for genetic and molecular instability, and genetic diversity, due to Celestial experimentation creating the Skrull "Deviants" (now the only surviving Skrulls). The Skrulls are known for their physical malleability and ability to shapeshift to any size, shape, or color at will, taking on the appearance but not the characteristics of other beings and objects within a volume range of .75 to 1.5 times the Skrull's original volume. Skrulls are able to assume virtually any form, be it organic (e.g. cows) or inorganic (e.g. lamp). As a result, the Skrulls excel at spying and infiltration. Skrulls are also able to use their shapeshifting abilities to form weapons (e.g. blades and clubs) with parts of their bodies, making them dangerous hand-to-hand combatants. The Skrulls later developed the ability to render themselves undetectable when using their shapeshifting abilities, even from telepaths and those with superior senses.

This picture is from The Avengers set. That looks like a wrecked Skrull space ship and the guy in the grey motion capture suit is most likely a Skrull and will be replaced with a Computer Generated character.

Here are some Skrull pictures.

If you have any questions please ask.

Daniel Clowes Covers the NEW YORKER!

Just after I read this article in Salon about buying actual books from actual bookstores, I come across Dan's fantastic cover to this week's NEW YORKER.

A bunch of scores ago...

Mimi Pond gets out there and does the serious research on the Greatest of Wars at the LA Times. Seriously, how great was the Civil War. It really had everything.

The Avengers Guide Part 2: The Heroes.

 This is Part 2 of "The Avenger Guide"

The Heroes

This next part is about the characters of in The Avengers including the heroes and villains.

I do not own any of following pictures. Most of them are from IGN.com
Read the following dossiers (files) of the characters in the Avengers movies. If you haven't seen Captain America: The First Avenger and are planing on doing so DO NOT read the picture below it contains spoilers.

Captain America/Steve Rogers

Iron Man/Tony Stark


Hulk/Bruce Banner

Nick Fury

Black Widow/Natalia Romanova

Hawkeye/Clint Barton
The info on Hawkeye is outdated but in our next Avengers guide we will have up to date info on him.

Agent Phil Coulson

Who is your favorite Avenger? Please post a comment.

Check back soon to see Part 3 of "The Avengers Guide."


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