Vancouver artist Steve Rolston on Occupy Comics

Occupy Wall Street vampire squid. Molly Crabapple art

Occupy Wall Street vampire squid. Molly Crabapple art

The Snipe’s weekly comics news and reviews round-up for Nov 23

– by Ryan Ingram and Shawn Conner

News:

– Vancouver artist Steve Rolston is one of many comics creatives joining forces for Occupy Comics: Art + Stories, a Kickstarter initiative that recently reached its $10,000 goal. The book will offer different tales from the still-going-strong global movement, and also promises to make Frank Miller further seethe with incoherent rage. [Frank Miller’s Occupy movement rant.]

Rolston will contribute a short story written by his Ghost Projekt co-creator Joe Harris. Talking to The Snipe about the project via email, Rolston said he’s “hoping the collection of stories will show a fuller picture of what Occupy is all about. Media reports of the protests don’t show the whole picture and they often stray from the point of the movement, getting distracted by the regrettable incidents and actions we’ve seen from both sides.”

He went on to say, “We definitely need some pieces in the book to document the protests themselves, but I hope there are also some pieces that touch on how unbalanced the current system is and the discontent that has rightfully caused.”

Other artists involved include Molly Crabapple, Charlie Aldard (Walking Dead) and horror writer Steve Niles. All proceeds from the book will go to the New York Occupiers. – RI

The Comics Beat has a look at what may be the cover to Charles Burns’ follow-up to last year’s X’ed Out. Even if it’s not the final cover, it’s still new Charles Burns art, which is always gross and amazing and worthy of reposting. – RI

The Hive Charles Burns art

The Hive. Art by Charles Burns

– Writer Alvin Schwartz passed away late last month, but Sequential ran a must-read obit earlier this week on the man that created the iconic Superman villain Bizarro and also wrote a story where Alfred spanked Catwoman (really). Noting Schwartz’s life was  “a Bizarro mirror-image of [Superman co-creator] Joe Shuster’s”, the piece is a great reflection on the life of a multi-faceted writer, who also happened to influence Kerouac and Ginsberg. If you’ve ever wondered what Superman and Tibetan spiritualism have in common, track down a copy of Schwartz’s metaphysical memoir, An Unlikely Prophet. [Alvin Schwartz obituary on Sequential.] – RI

Alfred and Catwoman from Batman.

Alfred offers to spank Catwoman. Seriously.

– Dark Horse, the Oregon-based publisher is reporting that their distributor is sold out of the recently published The Manara Library Volume One. The first of a series, the beautiful hardcover collects famed Italian comic book artist and illustrator Milo Manara’s graphic novel collaboration with Hugo Pratt, Indian Summer, and a short story, “The Paper Man”. Fear not, fans of Manara’s exquisite penmanship; the book – scheduled for a reprint – is still available through amazon.ca for a mere $41.99 (more than $20 off the suggested Canadian cover price of $65.99). Volume 2 of The Manara Library is scheduled for a Feb 8 2012 publication date and will include El Gaucho, another Pratt collaboration, and a series of shorts called “Trial By Jury”. – SC

Milo Manara art from Indian Summer

Milo Manara art from Indian Summer.

Reviews:

Locke & Key: The Guide To Known Keys (IDW) – I can’t recommend Locke & Key enough and this one-shot claims to be a good jumping on point for new readers, featuring a short story that pays tribute to Winsor McKay‘s classic comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. – RI

Milk & Cheese: Dark Products Gone Bad (Dark Horse) –  This hardcover collects every single spite-filled, violent appearance of Evan Dorkin’s dairy duo since 1988. There’s no expiry date on these hated-filled (but funny) critters. – RI

Evan Dorkin's Milk and Cheese

The Strain #1 (Dark Horse; Dec 14 release date) – The first issue of the new series is a combination of hackneyed and intriguing. The “human” part of the tale sets up a main character who fights with his ex-wife over the phone about custody rights (snore) while the X-Files portion gives us a plane full of dead passengers (hmmm). Mike Huddleston’s realist-style art suits the story, and scriptwriter David Lapham does the best he can with the source material (the series is based on a trilogy of novels co-written by director Guillermo del Toro), but The Strain will have to give us a horrifying payoff to be worth a monthly read. [Review – The Strain novel.] – SC

The Strain comic book issue one cover art Mike Huddleston.

1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (Universe) –  The title of this massive book begs the question: should our limited time on this vale of tears really best spent reading Garfield? Still, there’s tons of worthwhile work mentioned in the book’s 938 pages, which is also an admirably thorough accounting of the history of the form, from early examples like Richard Felton Outcault‘s Buster Brown (1902) to recent milestones (the last page belongs to Craig Thompson‘s epic Habibi). Comic book readers are notorious snobs (I should know), but even the most seasoned collector might find some titles in here that he or she has never encountered, and be moved to revisit some favourites. [Full review – 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die.] – SC

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