Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Spurgeon on The Spirit -- Over at The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon reviews the first hardcover collection of Darwyn Cooke Spirit stories. It's the best think-piece Spurgeon has done in some time, and think-pieces are his stock in trade, so click over and give it a look.
Cooke's Spirit is a temporal anomaly that demands just this depth of analysis; Cooke is fantastically talented and yet out of step with the current corporate superhero comics zeitgeist in profoundly fundamental ways. I've enjoyed the series to date in single-issue form, but probably not enough to invest in the hardcover. And I don't find myself lustfully drooling over it like I do the New Frontier Absolute Edition, which sooner or later I hope to find the cash to own. Most interestingly to me, the fact that Cooke is off the book after issue #12 comes as a relief, in the same way the end of the Millar/Hitch Ultimates did. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it's time for it to be over, and I'm glad it is.
Which is a weird state of mind to be in for someone who loves excellent comics, and maybe points to fairly basic problems with each of the titles. In the case of The Ultimates, I think the party went on about 13 issues too long. With The Spirit, I think it was a noble but ultimately futile effort to bring Will Eisner's characters into a 21st century that only really has use for them as 20th century icons. I know I'll be re-reading DC's The Best of The Spirit, collecting many of the very best Eisner Spirit stories, far more often in the future than I will ever re-read Cooke's stuff. Cooke really should be pursuing his own vision, as Spurgeon seems to hint at, and hopefully now he will. Some icons, like Batman and Superman, are wide-open enough that Cooke's approach fits them like a glove. Eisner literally said everything that needed to be said about The Spirit before Darwyn Cooke was born. But it's no shame for Cooke to have tried and ultimately not really succeeded at making The Spirit his own. If Alan Moore couldn't do it when he took a stab at writing Eisner's creation, chances were probably pretty good no one else would ever really be able to either. But both Moore and Cooke made noble efforts, it was fun while it lasted, and again, it's probably better for all concerned if we just move on to something else now.
Random Non-CAT Scan Tuesday Night Notes -- Because I had to get up and pee again anyway.
* I watched the American Masters PBS special on Charles Schulz; it's well worth watching for its archival footage of the cartoonist and his family. It paints a very similar portrait to that found in David Michaelis's book Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, which I am about a quarter of the way through reading. But from the first frames of Citizen Kane in the PBS documentary, you know the producers are on-board with Michaelis's profiling of Schulz's life and psychology.
* I'm not yet certain on which side of the fence I'll fall on Michaelis's book; he seems to have done a lot of research in the half-decade-plus that he worked on the book, and in the PBS special came off as sympathetic and quite sincere. But I do doubt that ultimately the book will come to be regarded as definitive by experts on Schulz's life and work (if one can truly separate the two). Michaelis clearly has a thesis that he can't stop working on virtually every page of the book so far. And sometimes he seems to be making compelling and likely accurate connections between Schulz's experiences and how they translated into Peanuts over half a century; other times Michaelis's reach seems to exceed his grasp and you wish he had just presented the facts without his armchair analysis intruding on what was a fascinating, flawed life in any case.
* His point about Schulz watching Citizen Kane 40 times was more compelling in the documentary than in the book, I must say. The movie ultimately is about a man with a great, gaping maw in the center of his soul, and Schulz pretty obviously could see himself in that portrait. And the clips of Kane's mother calling "Charles...Charles!" do, I'll grant you, provide an eerie sense of synchronicity.
* I read the new Battlestar Galactica: Razor one-shot from Dynamite yesterday. I wish I liked it, because I like a lot of what they publish, and even more, I like the TV series it's adapting and wish there was a really good comic book to accompany it. On the bright side, I've seen four of the Razor webisodes, and am really looking forward to seeing the movie when it debuts next month.
* Speaking of TV, the deadline for the WGA writer's strike is now about 25 hours away. I remember the last strike a couple decades ago, and I wonder what effect a few weeks or months without new episodes of beloved series will have on the industry, which has seemed nearly as ready to collapse as the record industry for a while now. I'm jonesing for new episodes of 24, Battlestar Galactica and The Shield and already enjoying the current seasons of The Office and a select few other series. Hopefully for all concerned the strike will be averted and the industry will give the writers what they deserve. Because as despairing as I am about the state of the nation, I wonder if even a country that has tolerated not one but two terms of faux-president George W. Bush deserves even more reality TV programming. Hmm, you know, probably. But still, that's a chilling thought.
Me and My CAT Scan -- Well, it's wasn't really just a CAT scan, turns out, but a CAT scan, x-rays and two separate ultrasounds.
The entire experience took less time than I expected, and I have to say, Sicko not withstanding, it was far less humiliating and aggravating than I was expecting. But then again, I have health insurance, thank whatever gods there be.
It was pretty extraordinary how far out of their way everyone, from the woman at the check-in desk to the final ultrasound technician, seemed to go to make sure I was comfortable and understood what was going on. The one time I knew more than they did about what my doctor wanted done, they double-checked the order and quickly apologized for the confusion.
The worst discomfort came from having to drink a lot -- a lot -- of water for the ultrasound test. The woman who performed that test was the only person who didn't seem to enjoy The ADD Experience; when she began the test (which was seemingly identical to the test they do on pregnant women to check the development of the fetus), I joked that "I don't want to know if it's a boy or a girl, I want to be surprised." Yeah, she was not amused. Well, I was trying to get through it all in good humour.
The second-worst discomfort was trying to clean up all the KY Jelly after the test -- that stuff gets everywhere. Any jokes that sprung to mind about that went unspoken, rest assured.
So now I wait to see what the results say when my doctor(s) get them in a few days. Thanks to everyone who's commented or dropped me an email recently for their kind wishes during this time, your kind thoughts and good wishes have really helped me during a period of pretty extreme stress and uncertainty. Hopefully the resolution to my recent problems will be as easy as today's tests ultimately turned out to be.
Labels: real life
Monday, October 29, 2007
Attention Fellow Tool Fans -- The lazy, inattentive ones like me, anyway. Maynard has a new CD out Tuesday, October 30th. That is all.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Random Saturday Notes -- Raining here, on a cool, fall morning. Winter's almost here.
* Took Lora to see Michael Clayton last night. The theater was packed and we had to sit too close to the screen for my complete comfort, but other than that, it was a great movie and well worth the four stars Roger Ebert gave it. It's a perfect showcase for George Clooney's gifts as an actor and doesn't have the flaws of Syriana or Good Night and Good Luck. It's a somewhat complex narrative, comprehensible but you have to pay attention. Clooney plays an attorney tasked by his prestigious law firm with cleaning up messes (kind of like Harvey Keitel's Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction, but with different -- not necessarily better -- ethics). Anyway, it made for a good night at the movies, something we almost never do anymore.
* I'm having a CAT scan next week. I'm sure it's painless and relatively non-invasive, but I am not looking forward to it at all. And yes, this means my recent health issues are unresolved, although I feel mostly fine at the moment. But my doctor wants to get to the bottom of the issues that have recurred over the past few months, which may or may not be related to my diabetes. Anyway, if you're any good at wishing, wish me luck. I'd really like this ongoing expense, discomfort and distraction to be resolved.
* Finished Carlucci, an omnibus collecting a trilogy of police-procedural prose novels set in the near future, by Richard Paul Russo. I don't read too many prose novels anymore, but this one caught my eye at the library and paid off big. Russo's somewhat cynical humanism and obvious interest in character- and world-building made for a dense, rewarding read. I have two of his other books out from the library at the moment, but they'll probably have to get in line behind the new Charles Schulz biography. That's next in the stack after I finish Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland, which was recommended to me by Rob Vollmar.
* I've been listening a lot lately to Pandora, the online free music service that plays "radio stations" you create with your own tastes. In fact, I'm listening to it now. I always thought Sarah McLachlan's "Building a Mystery" sounded a lot like old-school Stevie Nicks, and here it is playing on my Fleetwood Mac station. Neat.
* Thanks for Bruce Baugh for sending a thoughtful e-mail to me this morning, and for a comment new reader John posted to a preceding post. Both were nice to wake up to, and made my day. Thanks a lot, guys.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Living in the Post-Peak Oil World -- A new study being released today says we're already past the point of peak oil production. That's a sobering thought for this Monday morning.
In a sane world, this would be the top news story today from any responsible media outlet. Too bad there are so few of those. But if you haven't read any of my pieces on the subject, here are two relevant articles:
* The End of the World, an exploration of my awakening to the cold reality of Peak Oil.
* Completely at Ease: An Interview with James Howard Kunstler, in which I discuss the coming crisis with one of the most visionary and outspoken authors on the subject.
Sooner or later the life of virtually every person on Earth will be affected by the result of oil depletion, and it's likely today's study will be looked back at as a landmark moment of realization, albeit one that came far too late for anything to be done about it.
I personally have not owned a car for nearly three years, but I still am heavily dependent on others who do, and once you start looking at the real consequences of a world running out of its primary source of energy, you realize it's pretty damned comprehensive, the impact of this impending Long Emergency, which today takes another step closer to all of us.
Labels: real life
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Disappointing Nerd Swag -- So, I stopped in to Earthworld in Albany, New York this afternoon for the first time in a long time (hi, gang!) and they had in stock the sonic screwdriver toy from Doctor Who. At first I wasn't gonna, but then I could find no funnybooks to buy (amazing!), and so as not to leave empty-handed, I fed my inner geek with this toy, suitable for ages 6 and up according to the packaging.
Speaking of which, I wish I had left it in the packaging. It's not total crap, mind you, but neither is it super-sturdy. The directions for getting the three needed button-cell batteries into it are pretty unclear, and I kept thinking I was going to break the damned thing getting them into it. But eventually I succeeded. Added aggravation: the batteries "are for demonstration purposes only." Translation: They'll last about 5 minutes, so go buy some quick.
All in all it's a fun little gadget, although it would have been more fun, I think, if I were a 6-year-old Brit just discovering Doctor Who. As a 41-year-old who discovered the series almost 30 years ago, having torn it open and put it together, I kind of wish I'd left it in the packaging and just set it on a shelf for display. I never do that, but in this case, I think I'd have been happier that way.
Also: I tried, it does not open locked doors. So if you buy it thinking it's gonna do that, well, it won't.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The Rule of Threes -- Nicked from Roger.
1. Where is your cell phone?
In my pocket.
2. Your boyfriend?
A parallel Earth.
3. Your hair?
Too much grey.
4. Where is your father?
Never met him.
Wish I could.
6. Your favorite thing to do?
Read in bed.
7. Your dream last night?
I don't remember.
8. Your favorite drink?
Diet Green Tea.
9. Your dream car?
Free and reliable.
10. The room you’re in?
Door is shut.
11. George Bush?
Arrogant war criminal.
12. Your fears?
Long, painful death.
13. Nipple rings?
Show me yours.
14. Who did you hang out with last night?
Kira and Aaron.
15. What you’re not good at?
Putting things together.
16. Your best friend?
He's the Boomiest.
17. One of your wish list items?
Better health now.
18. Where did you grow up?
New York; Florida.
19. The last thing you did before survey?
Bounced a ball.
20. What are you wearing?
Shirt and jeans.
21. Tattoo on the small of a back?
Show me yours.
Organic, and lots.
23. Your computer?
Is a tool.
24. Your life?
Is a mess.
25. Your mood?
Is very aggravated.
I can't say.
27. What are you thinking about right now?
Love this gum.
28. Your car?
It got wrecked.
29. Your work?
Challenging and fun.
30. Your summer?
Precedes my fall.
31. Your relationship status?
Have a wife.
32. Your favorite color(s)
Red, black, white.
33. When is the last time you laughed?
Short while ago.
34. Last time you cried?
I was overwhelmed.
35. High school?
It fucking sucked.
Random Thoughts on Fixing Comics Anthologies -- Here are a few thoughts that have been kicking around in my head as a result of the recent unpleasantness regarding comics anthologies such as Houghton-Mifflin's Best American Comics series.
* Multiple-pages-on-one page. This is the thing I hate the most about these anthologies, and it's been in a lot of these books. In the most recent example, Jeffrey Brown's autobio strips have four pages reduced and presented on one page. Is his artwork so simple that it can be reduced like that and not have a negative impact on the perceptions of the reader? Maybe Chris Ware or whoever thought so, but I didn't even bother to read those strips, because putting more than one page on one page is BULLSHIT and an insult to the artist and the reader.
* No excerpts. A short story should really be a short story, not 15 pages of a 275 page graphic novel. The current BAC volume has excerpts from Fun Home and Shortcomings, and in neither case did it do the longer work any favours to present such a short portion. But if you must present excerpts, this problem could be solved by my next complaint...
* Lack of context. Something I hate about most of the high-end comics anthologies of the past three or four years is the manner in which the stories are just thrown in there, one after another, relentlessly and without context. I realize this may be in order to cram as much comics into the volume as possible, but all the works in these anthologies would be better served by a one-page introduction by the editor, creator or someone else familiar with the work, who can succinctly put the story we're about to read onto some sort of continuum, with the other works we're reading, and with where the story fits into this current moment in time. To go from one excerpted story to another with no editorial transition is just jarring and extremely off-putting to me as a reader.
* New material. I'm all for presenting previously-seen material from little-known creators or total unknowns, but thanks to McSweeney's #13, the BAC volumes and the Brunetti-edited anthology, I think I own some pages of some stories two or three times over. It certainly feels that way, which is my essential point. I have said, and continue to believe, that these volumes are primarily created for and marketed to non-comics readers, but at some point we have to accept that even those folks are going to tire of seeing Crumb, Tomine, Brown, Ware, ad nauseum, in volume after volume after volume. At the very least, these deservedly-respected masters of art comics should be participating with new material created specifically for a given anthology.
And if that flies in the face of the remit of the BAC volumes, I don't give a shit. I want good, enduring comics anthologies. And while the effort is clearly being made to offer up just that to a waiting public, the points I've made here indicate to me that there's some work to be done before we can plunk down our $25.00 and be relatively secure in the knowledge that the books will be satisfying to our need for great works presented with excellence and vision.
Marvel Zombies 2 #1 -- Kirkman and Phillips pick up where they left off (albeit 50 years later) without missing a beat. Of course, 50 years isn't so long when you're a zombie, or possess a devoured portion of the Power Cosmic, or both, so most of the gang from the first series is back, some in surprising and gratifying ways.
Sean Phillips's art seems rougher than the previous series, or that he's delivering for Criminal, but his crunchy, neo-old school stylings are always a joy to see on Marvel characters, especially zombified ones.
Yes, zombies are a worn-out trend in comics, but in Marvel Zombies the gorgeous art and tongue-in-cheek (or protruding through cheek?) pathos provide non-stop entertainment.
Keep all your Wars, both Secret and Civil -- I'll take as much more Marvel Zombies as Kirkman and Phillips have to deliver. Beware shoddy spin-offs, one-shots and what-have-you by other creators (both past and future), but Marvel Zombies as envisioned by Kirkman and Phillips is some great superhero comics that walk a fine line between (ha!) biting satire and genuine superhero melodrama.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Comics For Sale or Trade -- Haven't done this in a while, but I have about a thousand books I need to clear out and I thought I'd offer them up to you before I throw them onto the eBay or whatnot.
If you're interested in seeing what is available, send me an email and I will send you the list. If you're interested in trading, please have a list of what you have available, and if you want to buy outright, please be aware that I don't have Paypal at the moment and will need you to send a check or money order (MO preferably).
So if you don't have enough funnybooks littering up your living space yet, get in touch!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Free Warren Ellis Fiction -- Click over to Forbes.com to read Warren Ellis's story "The Position.". Neat.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Awesome Hembeck News -- Great news for Fred Hembeck fans, which I have been since the halcyon days of his many FantaCo publications, which will be included in The Hembeck Omnibus. Think about those words a moment:
The. Hembeck. OMNIBUS. This really is some kind of New Golden Age of amazing comics reissues, isn't it? Must-buy for anyone who likes a little fun with their comics and comics commentary. I am in awe of this news. Congratulations, Mister H!
Heidi, Tom, Butcher, and Best American Comics 2007 -- This is a tough one. Heidi is well-liked in most quarters, but has never been a particularly compelling critic and certainly not someone whose tastes I trust in the same way I do her seeming opponents in this, Spurgeon and Butcher.
That said, I agree with her on Fort Thunder's lack of real impact as a generational paradigm-shifter (although what that has to do with Sergio Aragones, who knows? Isn't he an evolutionary dead-end as well? Even if a great one?). She's full of shit about today's cartoonists not creating characters other than themselves, obviously: Street Angel, Wimbledon Green (as Butcher pointed out earlier), all of the Super-Fuckers, a big catch of characters in Jordan Crane's Uptight, the work of Jeff Lemire, The Surrogates, Bluesman, Jesus Christ I could go on, and this is just off the top of my head. But again, Heidi's not at her best constructing logical arguments. Which is too bad, because she's kind of right about the Best American Comics anthologies. Kind of.
See, thing is, as Butcher kind of alluded to on his blog, these collections (I just bought the second one on Saturday, and having had an advance reader's copy, I knew what I was getting in to) are not meant for any of us. Anyone who already reads a lot of comics or even knows that comics blogs exist are not the target audience. Browsers at Borders or Chapters or fill-in-the-blank with the independent bookstore of your choice are the folks these books (and Ware's McSweeney's issue, and Brunetti's deeply flawed anthology) are meant for. Little snapshots of what comics is up to at the moment. As such, both last year's Pekar-edited one and this year's Ware edition open themselves up to criticism, but I'm not sure they don't still deserve to exist pretty much as-is.
I'd love to see a Darwyn Cooke short story make it in next year, or something by Garth Ennis, say, or a run of Mutts strips...but I'd guess it's a rich set of variables that determine the final content each year; unlike some, Matt Madden and Jessica Abel do not strike me as good permanent editors, so I am concerned for the future direction of the series beginning in 2008; both of them have dry, academic approaches to comics that mostly bore me (see also Gabrielle Bell). I hope their aesthetic faculties are more compelling than their comics, and by this time next year, we should know.
(Thanks to David Wynne for getting me worked up enough to finally write something about this).
(And thanks to Jason Marcy in Butcher's comments section for this bit of calling-'em-as-he-and-I-see-'em about the Flight anthologies: "All I’ve really learned from FLIGHT so far (and I’m halfway through Volume 4 now...) is that just because you can draw pretty damn good doesn’t mean you should try telling graphic narrative...")
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Summer's End -- "Portentous" is the only word that seems to suit the slate-gray colour of the skies over upstate New York today. There's a chill in the air and it looks like it very badly wants to snow, but it's not quite time. Soon it will be, and the snow will come.
Fall is my favourite time of year, and yet today's unquestionable autumnal pall drove me into a torpid depression. It was close to four in the afternoon before I could rouse myself into any sort of meaningful action at all, even if it was only to drag my ass over the mountain to the comic shop to pick up my weekly haul, plus an action figure meant for my son's 12th birthday next month. It's something he'll really like. I'd tell you what it is, but he's getting pretty savvy with the internet these days. Nothing is the same anymore, now that everyone in my house except the cat has their own Gmail account.
Leaving the comic shop, I drove south instead of returning home over the mountain. In Saratoga Springs, I stopped in to Borders and bought the single copy they had in stock of Best American Comics 2007 edited by Chris Ware. Comic book artist Matt Smith was working; you may remember him as a former Mike Mignola collaborator, and artist of a Nightcrawler miniseries, an Avengers Timeslip one-shot that is fabulously drawn, and other comics. We chatted briefly once when he checked me out as I was buying some graphic novel or other; he seems very pleasant, and is also pretty tall.
I really, really wanted to wander around Saratoga Springs after I left Borders, but that gray, unrelenting sky pushed down on me and made me long for the familiar and comfortable confines of home. There was much I wanted to do today, and for a change in recent weeks, I felt well enough to do at least some of it, but maybe it's my mood, or the weather, or the time of year, that drove me back toward home. Every previously-bustling ice cream joint and hot dog stand I saw on the way has been closed up, with signs thanking patrons for a great summer and promising a return next spring. Summer's end has come.
I wonder, not for the first year, how many more summers I will see.
Update: David Wynne has responded to this piece (and I respond back) at his LiveJournal.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Worth Waiting For -- Here's Christopher Butcher's Best Comics of 2006 article, paired with a cogent discussion of the new Chris Ware-edited anthology Best American Comics 2007.
I'm sure I've said something like this before, but no intelligent human being can look at Butcher's list and claim they're "bored with comics." There's never been a better, more exciting time for the artform. Check out his list, and if there's something on there you haven't tried, ask yourself what the hell you're waiting for. There's a whole world of excitement in comics now, grander and more thrilling than any other time I can remember in my 35 years of reading them.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Liveblogging Columbus Day: The Tragic Conclusion -- So of course, today is the day that I have little to no internet access at all. I was so excited about this daylong project, too, goddamn it.
Well, despite putting in a full eight hours, technical problems made it all but impossible to work today. Lunch was a fine feast of enchiladas at El Mexicano, so all was not lost. Perhaps I'll try this again on a day when technology allows me to follow through more fully.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 7 -- Ate breakfast (there need to be more blueberries in those McD's fruit and yogurt parfaits, yo) and with the sky lighting up with unbelievable lightning displays, I got into work early. Working on lining up the day's load of commercial production while the morning DJs do their thing on this early Monday morning. Later, at break time, I need to run out and get some Claritin-D. I'm down to one capsule, and I'm a mess without it.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 6 -- This is the first time I have ever wished I could blog from my phone like Warren Ellis.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 5 -- Shit, I hope I haven't lost count yet. I think this is post 5.
Going to get breakfast now. Then it's off to work, Columbus Day stylee. Because a federal holiday means nothing to RADIO.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 4 -- Ha ha, I figured out how to add a favourite quote to my MySpace profile and make it look like part of the template. I AM A GOD.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 3 -- Chris Hunter reminds me he has a MySpace page. Friend me, Chris, there are a million Chris Hunders on there and I can't find you. You...complete me.
Hungry. McDonald's starts serving breakfast in 15 minutes. BISCUIT SAMMICHES.
Also, Hunter: If nothing else, being a MySpace member lets you browse your friends' photo albums. Including your hot female friends. Just sayin'.
Speaking of which, I have added a couple dozen photos to my MySpace page.
Liveblogging Columbus Day 2 -- Christ almighty, the MySpace interface is a joke. If it's the creation of a brain-damaged orangutan then it's really an accomplishment; if humans are involved, they should be deeply ashamed to be so fucking inept.
Liveblogging Columbus Day -- Woke up sometime after 1:30 this morning, peed and went online. No emails to speak of; there never are on holiday weekends, not that Columbus Day is much of a holiday. No offense, Columbus, but there's a lot more people who deserve a day before you.
Worked a bit on my revived MySpace page. It's obnoxious and addicting all at the same time. Amazing. I hope Jenna Fischer re-friends me now that I am back.
Convinced I might go back to bed, I return to my room just before 3 AM. I try to call Dan Kemp because he is working overnight on the air in Albany and asked on MySpace for people to call him. He doesn't answer. Probably hitting on chicks on the request line. Good for him. Those were the days.
Read a little more of the Richard Paul Russo sci-fi novel trilogy Carlucci; I finished the first novel in the trilogy last night and I thought a little more reading, just starting the second book, might make me sleepy, as reading often does. It doesn't. I think about cataloging the about 1,000 comics I plucked to sell off or trade yesterday, but I don't want to get lost in that thankless task in the middle of the night.
Still wide awake, I take a shower about 3:45 AM; why does no one throw away the old shampoo bottles? There are at least 6 in the bathroom, and probably more. We need to fix the window, the cold air is blowing in and winter will be here soon.
Showered, I decide not to bother going back to bed. I will read and screw around on the internet and go get breakfast and probably go in to work early. It's easier to get things done before the self-absorbed I NEED HELP RIGHT NOW AND I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT NEEDS IT crowd shows up at 9.
Oops, almost stepped on the cat. She is acting a bit off because she had a flea treatment yesterday and is still a bit annoyed, I think, but in need of extra affection. ADD: All About the Extra Affection.
More to come on this, A Day in the Life of ADD.
Just Like Columbus -- I am back on MySpace. If you're a friend, the real or interwebby kind, friend me up on my MySpace page.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Lifelike -- A small press creator whose work always entertains me is Dara Naraghi. His AKA and other small press comics have always been a blast to read, and it's clear he's in it for the love of creating comics, not because he wants to score a movie deal or hook up with Image or Marvel.
He asked me to mention that his new graphic novel Lifelike is solicited in the current (October) Previews catalog, and I definitely think you should click the link and consider pre-ordering it. It's the "Featured Item" on page 300 of Previews, and the Diamond order code is OCT07 3596. A lot of the book, which started as a webcomic, is available to read at that link, and being published by IDW, it's a good bet the production quality of the finished edition will be top-notch. Click on over and give Lifelike a look.
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