I write about nerdy things, and celebrate those things as a college writing teacher.
Mister Sun did not like Los Angeles. He could never find a center to it. It seemed to him to hang on top of the world like a fallen constellation resting on a rickety scaffold of endless, maddening road. In Los Angeles, Mister Sun only ever arrived anywhere by surprise, unable to find any sense of structure in the route.

from Dead Pig Collector by warrenellis

Every year, after a long hiatus, I circle back into Warren’s atmosphere and see what he’s working on and I binge on it. I’ve been reading Moon Knight on Marvel Unlimited and Supreme: Blue Rose. The latter is some wonderfully weird shit. 

A birthday card from Archie Goodwin to Jim Shooter.
I’ve been copying a lot of Goodwin’s cartooning style with some of my classroom materials—like drawing caricatures of myself with word balloons on the board to outline what we’re talking about in class that day. Then drawing myself on students’ papers to highlight some things to work on in their essays. I’m finding his cartooning style refreshing and easy-going. It’s relaxing for me to start cartooning. It’s relaxing. 

A birthday card from Archie Goodwin to Jim Shooter.

I’ve been copying a lot of Goodwin’s cartooning style with some of my classroom materials—like drawing caricatures of myself with word balloons on the board to outline what we’re talking about in class that day. Then drawing myself on students’ papers to highlight some things to work on in their essays. I’m finding his cartooning style refreshing and easy-going. It’s relaxing for me to start cartooning. It’s relaxing. 

The Bronze Age Of Blogs: Archie Goodwin’s Sinner. A strip Archie Goodwin wrote and drew for Epic Illustrated in 1980. 

The Bronze Age Of Blogs: Archie Goodwin’s Sinner. A strip Archie Goodwin wrote and drew for Epic Illustrated in 1980. 

The Hidden Language of Comic Book Writers at VICE United States:

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Brackets denote paraphrasing. Everything else is in Fred Van Lente’s words.
Done-in-one: n. A single-issue story.
Anthology: n. A collection of stories by a variety of creative teams.
Miniseries: n. A comics title with a definitive endpoint, usually three to six issues.
Maxiseries: n. The same as a mini-series, only eight to 12 issues. Usage: Used heavily in the 1980s. The most famous maxiseries of all time is Watchmen, which originally ran as 12 serialized issues.
Title: n. Synonym for “series,” e.g., Amazing Spider-Man, Detective Comics.
Line: n. An imprint connecting a particular set of titles under a specific form of branding, e.g., Marvel Adventures [presents stories for] younger readers.
Universe: n. A set of titles connected by the characters all operating in the same world.
Crossover: n. A storyline that goes across multiple titles. Usually, these days, a crossover has its own title (an “event book”) as well. The first comic book crossover was 1940’s Marvel Mystery Comics #8. The two most popular features, Human Torch and Submariner, fought each other. From that moment on, [crossovers] became standard operating procedure.
Classical crossover: n. Two books [intersecting]
Event: n. [A crossover] that’s happening to the entire universe, the entire line, simultaneously. Almost all the titles participate in that.
Event Book: n. A miniseries or maxiseries [containing the central story of an event].
Tie-in: n. The individual issue or issues of an [ongoing] title that link into a specific event (unique to events as opposed to crossovers).
Red Skies Event: n. A disparaging term meaning [a book is linked to] a tie-in just to trick somebody into buying it. Etymology: A reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths, when all the skies in the DC titles [became] red.
Continuity: n. The idea that each story is a building block of a larger fictional universe.
Reboot: n. When take a pre-existing franchise [or fictional universe] and you wipe everything that happened clean and you start from scratch [usually with the same characters]. Most reboots are also a relaunch. e.g., Casino Royale [is a reboot of the James Bond franchise.]
Soft Reboot (or In-Continuity Reboot): n. When you change some [details] but not others. It’s usually contained to certain characters within an ongoing continuity, e.g., Spider-Man: One More Day, where Mephisto, using his demonic powers, managed to undo Mary Jane and Peter’s marriage so that nobody had memory of it.
Full Reboot: n. Rebooting the entire line.
Relaunch: n. When you take an existing franchise—you do not break from continuity—and you start it over with a new #1, usually just an excuse to get new eyes on the series.
Retcon: n. Short for “retroactive continuity.” A “fix” or “patch” to continuity that smooths over something that happened that either the writer doesn’t like, or wasn’t interesting, or doesn’t support the current story.
Death (of a character): n. A kick in the ass to continuity. It’s peaks and valleys. You kill somebody off, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. Then when you bring them back, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. The only unkillable character is the one with extremely good sales.
First Appearance: n. [The comic in which a character is] first seen, e.g., in Batman’s first appearance, called “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate,” it was never explained who he was.
Origin Story: n. [The story in which we see] where a character came from. (Note: Many origins are also first appearances. In Spider-Man’s first appearance, [Amazing Fantasy #15], you meet Peter Parker, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider, and Uncle Ben gets shot.)
Pacing: n. The rate at which storytellers dole out “beats,” or distinct movements of story progression. [Early] comics were about 64 pages long and had four to eight stories per issue. In the mid 60s, [Marvel] pioneered stretching out stories across multiple issues when their heavy hitters, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, wanted to flex their storytelling muscles in titles like Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange. Now story pacing is set by the current economics of the market, which is four to six issues followed by a collected edition.
Decompression: n. Dragging the story out way longer than it really [deserves], partly to sell more comics, partly to lessen the burden of the creative team.
Idle: n. The curse word of comics. Idle means no one’s working, meaning a penciller doesn’t have script, an inker doesn’t have pencils, a colorist doesn’t have inks, a letterer doesn’t have pencils. It almost always results in a domino effect.
Six-Month Week: n. It takes a penciller six weeks to finish [each] issue. You start 12 weeks in advance. What that means is that, in four to five issues, that artist will have to be replaced.
THE TAKEAWAY
As popular culture continues to recycle and regurgitate itself, knowing the difference between a reboot and a soft relaunch might come in handy. These narrative terms are also fun to apply in the real world: Compare your friend’s first appearances to their origin stories. Or relaunch your life by quitting your job, moving to a new apartment, and legally changing your name. And idle is a handy way to describe any workflow problem that throws a whole system off, resulting in a waste of time or a late, cold pizza.

The Hidden Language of Comic Book Writers at VICE United States:

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Brackets denote paraphrasing. Everything else is in Fred Van Lente’s words.

Done-in-one: n. A single-issue story.

Anthology: n. A collection of stories by a variety of creative teams.

Miniseries: n. A comics title with a definitive endpoint, usually three to six issues.

Maxiseries: n. The same as a mini-series, only eight to 12 issues. Usage: Used heavily in the 1980s. The most famous maxiseries of all time is Watchmen, which originally ran as 12 serialized issues.

Title: n. Synonym for “series,” e.g., Amazing Spider-Man, Detective Comics.

Line: n. An imprint connecting a particular set of titles under a specific form of branding, e.g., Marvel Adventures [presents stories for] younger readers.

Universe: n. A set of titles connected by the characters all operating in the same world.

Crossover: n. A storyline that goes across multiple titles. Usually, these days, a crossover has its own title (an “event book”) as well. The first comic book crossover was 1940’s Marvel Mystery Comics #8. The two most popular features, Human Torch and Submariner, fought each other. From that moment on, [crossovers] became standard operating procedure.

Classical crossover: n. Two books [intersecting]

Event: n. [A crossover] that’s happening to the entire universe, the entire line, simultaneously. Almost all the titles participate in that.

Event Book: n. A miniseries or maxiseries [containing the central story of an event].

Tie-in: n. The individual issue or issues of an [ongoing] title that link into a specific event (unique to events as opposed to crossovers).

Red Skies Event: n. A disparaging term meaning [a book is linked to] a tie-in just to trick somebody into buying it. Etymology: A reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths, when all the skies in the DC titles [became] red.

Continuity: n. The idea that each story is a building block of a larger fictional universe.

Reboot: n. When take a pre-existing franchise [or fictional universe] and you wipe everything that happened clean and you start from scratch [usually with the same characters]. Most reboots are also a relaunch. e.g., Casino Royale [is a reboot of the James Bond franchise.]

Soft Reboot (or In-Continuity Reboot): n. When you change some [details] but not others. It’s usually contained to certain characters within an ongoing continuity, e.g., Spider-Man: One More Day, where Mephisto, using his demonic powers, managed to undo Mary Jane and Peter’s marriage so that nobody had memory of it.

Full Reboot: n. Rebooting the entire line.

Relaunch: n. When you take an existing franchise—you do not break from continuity—and you start it over with a new #1, usually just an excuse to get new eyes on the series.

Retcon: n. Short for “retroactive continuity.” A “fix” or “patch” to continuity that smooths over something that happened that either the writer doesn’t like, or wasn’t interesting, or doesn’t support the current story.

Death (of a character): n. A kick in the ass to continuity. It’s peaks and valleys. You kill somebody off, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. Then when you bring them back, you’re getting a lot of eyes on that. The only unkillable character is the one with extremely good sales.

First Appearance: n. [The comic in which a character is] first seen, e.g., in Batman’s first appearance, called “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate,” it was never explained who he was.

Origin Story: n. [The story in which we see] where a character came from. (Note: Many origins are also first appearances. In Spider-Man’s first appearance, [Amazing Fantasy #15], you meet Peter Parker, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider, and Uncle Ben gets shot.)

Pacing: n. The rate at which storytellers dole out “beats,” or distinct movements of story progression. [Early] comics were about 64 pages long and had four to eight stories per issue. In the mid 60s, [Marvel] pioneered stretching out stories across multiple issues when their heavy hitters, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, wanted to flex their storytelling muscles in titles like Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange. Now story pacing is set by the current economics of the market, which is four to six issues followed by a collected edition.

Decompression: n. Dragging the story out way longer than it really [deserves], partly to sell more comics, partly to lessen the burden of the creative team.

Idle: n. The curse word of comics. Idle means no one’s working, meaning a penciller doesn’t have script, an inker doesn’t have pencils, a colorist doesn’t have inks, a letterer doesn’t have pencils. It almost always results in a domino effect.

Six-Month Week: n. It takes a penciller six weeks to finish [each] issue. You start 12 weeks in advance. What that means is that, in four to five issues, that artist will have to be replaced.

THE TAKEAWAY

As popular culture continues to recycle and regurgitate itself, knowing the difference between a reboot and a soft relaunch might come in handy. These narrative terms are also fun to apply in the real world: Compare your friend’s first appearances to their origin stories. Or relaunch your life by quitting your job, moving to a new apartment, and legally changing your name. And idle is a handy way to describe any workflow problem that throws a whole system off, resulting in a waste of time or a late, cold pizza.

adkmogul:

Co-founder T.J. Brearton’s new novel has been released!

adkmogul:

Co-founder T.J. Brearton’s new novel has been released!

fallontonight:

Derek Jeter said his last game felt like his funeral!

I’m gonna be honest: I was thinking that exact thing all season. Thanks for everything, Captain.

fallontonight:

Derek Jeter said his last game felt like his funeral!

I’m gonna be honest: I was thinking that exact thing all season. Thanks for everything, Captain.

(via thegreg)

From SHE-HULK #2 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and Munsta Vicente. 
I love this elaborate double-page spreads that have sprung up out of recent Marvel books. You see things like this in HAWKEYE, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN and other quirky books. Just beautiful layout.

From SHE-HULK #2 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and Munsta Vicente. 

I love this elaborate double-page spreads that have sprung up out of recent Marvel books. You see things like this in HAWKEYE, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN and other quirky books. Just beautiful layout.

zegas:

Print this up and get it to your comic store!
goshisdead:

Here’s a handy-dandy Retailer Order Form for COPRA: ROUND ONE! Print this sucker out at home and bring it to your local comic shop. Easy!Also, in case the above JPG gives you any grief, here’s a higher-quality PDF: http://tinyurl.com/copraform


Finally, finally, finally. I’ve been struggling up here in the mountains to get my hands on a copy of this book. [David runs to Fantastic Planet.]

zegas:

Print this up and get it to your comic store!

goshisdead:

Here’s a handy-dandy Retailer Order Form for COPRA: ROUND ONE! Print this sucker out at home and bring it to your local comic shop. Easy!

Also, in case the above JPG gives you any grief, here’s a higher-quality PDF: http://tinyurl.com/copraform

Finally, finally, finally. I’ve been struggling up here in the mountains to get my hands on a copy of this book. [David runs to Fantastic Planet.]

(via twentypercentcooler)

theparisreview:

Before he made his second “appearance” on The Simpsons in 2004, Thomas Pynchon made a few edits to the teleplay—he crossed out a pejorative line of dialogue about Homer’s ample posterior. “Homer is my role model,” he wrote in the margins, “and I won’t speak ill of him.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

theparisreview:

Before he made his second “appearance” on The Simpsons in 2004, Thomas Pynchon made a few edits to the teleplay—he crossed out a pejorative line of dialogue about Homer’s ample posterior. “Homer is my role model,” he wrote in the margins, “and I won’t speak ill of him.”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

(via joekeatinge)

mattfractionblog:

CASANOVA Returns to Image in Style

“All a comic would have to do is say ‘Matt Fraction’ on the front for me to pick it up and feel excited about what was inside.”–Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Image Comics is very pleased to announce the return of CASANOVA by Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM, Hawkeye), Gabriel Bá (The Umbrella Academy, Daytripper), and Fábio Moon (Daytripper, B.P.R.D.) in a series of deluxe hardcover “Complete Editions.” The first of these, CASANOVA VOLUME 1: LUXURIA, will be released in October 2014, followed by CASANOVA VOLUME 2: GULA in November, and CASANOVA VOLUME 3: AVARITIA in December.
Casanova “Cass” Quinn was born into a life of privilege but turned his back on it to pursue his own interests — namely stealing, spying, and living a hedonistic life with few moral compunctions. The black sheep in a family of international super-spies, Cass is pulled back into their sphere after an evil organization targets the Quinns. In a game of hidden agendas and double espionage across parallel universes, Cas must choose an identity. Is he the decadent thief named Casanova Quinn? Or is he the top secret agent named… Casanova Quinn?
Writer Fraction is known for his metafictional winks and deft melding of genres in the mega-hit SEX CRIMINALS, and CASANOVA puts his skill at the forefront in a science fiction spy story shot through with psychedelia, with gorgeous art by renowned Brazilian artists Bá and Moon.
In January 2014, Image Comics announced that CASANOVA would return with a fourth volume, ACEDIA, co-written by Fraction and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.
Each Complete Edition of CASANOVA collects four issues of the critically-acclaimed series in a deluxe, oversized hardcover volume, complete with covers and extra content. VOLUME 1: LUXURIA will be in comic book stores on October 22 and bookstores on November 4; VOLUME 2: GULA will be in comic book stores on November 12 and bookstores on November 25; VOLUME 3: AVARITIA will be in comic book stores on December 17 and bookstores on December 30. All are now available for pre-order.
CASANOVA VOLUME 1: LUXURIA by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá
ISBN 978-1-63215-161-2
Diamond Comics code AUG140576
168 pages, hardbound, full color
$29.99
Rated Mature
In comic book stores 10/22; bookstores 11/4
CASANOVA VOLUME 2: GULA by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon
ISBN 978-1-63215-181-0
Diamond Comics code SEP140603
168 pages, hardbound, full color
$29.99
Rated Mature
In comic book stores 11/12; bookstores 11/25
CASANOVA VOLUME 3: AVARITIA by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon
ISBN 978-1-63215-191-9
Diamond Comics code OCT140617
176 pages, hardbound, full color
$29.99
Rated Mature
In comic book stores 12/17; bookstores 12/30
Praise for CASANOVA, Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá, and Fábio Moon:

“The idea of “Why not?” that is the spirit Fraction, Bá, and Moon capture in Casanova; a story told by creators stoned out of their heads on the possibilities that the medium provides.” –David Faust, Sequart
“Casanova is a brutally elegant fever dream of science fiction, spy movies and super-heroes, ripped through a hole in space-time specifically to blow your mind.” –Laura Hudson, Comics Alliance
“With such a wide cast and with so much going on, it’s impressive to see how much love and attention Fraction gives to every character, to every moment and to every event happening all at once. Nothing is left underdeveloped or pushed out of the way to for something better; it all feeds into itself like an ouroboros of pop-fueled pandemonium. This comic feels like the pure id of Fraction, limitless in scope and entirely open-ended from every perceivable angle.
“And good lord, Gabriel Bá is basically perfect.” –Matthew Meylikhov, Multiversity Comics


I am so excited for these collections. Especially since I’ve given away so many of the singles with the great back matter over the years. If I don’t buy any more comics for the rest of 2014, I’ll be happy to have these three volumes in my bookshelf. 

mattfractionblog:

CASANOVA Returns to Image in Style

“All a comic would have to do is say ‘Matt Fraction’ on the front for me to pick it up and feel excited about what was inside.”
Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Image Comics is very pleased to announce the return of CASANOVA by Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM, Hawkeye), Gabriel Bá (The Umbrella Academy, Daytripper), and Fábio Moon (Daytripper, B.P.R.D.) in a series of deluxe hardcover “Complete Editions.” The first of these, CASANOVA VOLUME 1: LUXURIA, will be released in October 2014, followed by CASANOVA VOLUME 2: GULA in November, and CASANOVA VOLUME 3: AVARITIA in December.

Casanova “Cass” Quinn was born into a life of privilege but turned his back on it to pursue his own interests — namely stealing, spying, and living a hedonistic life with few moral compunctions. The black sheep in a family of international super-spies, Cass is pulled back into their sphere after an evil organization targets the Quinns. In a game of hidden agendas and double espionage across parallel universes, Cas must choose an identity. Is he the decadent thief named Casanova Quinn? Or is he the top secret agent named… Casanova Quinn?

Writer Fraction is known for his metafictional winks and deft melding of genres in the mega-hit SEX CRIMINALS, and CASANOVA puts his skill at the forefront in a science fiction spy story shot through with psychedelia, with gorgeous art by renowned Brazilian artists Bá and Moon.

In January 2014, Image Comics announced that CASANOVA would return with a fourth volume, ACEDIA, co-written by Fraction and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

Each Complete Edition of CASANOVA collects four issues of the critically-acclaimed series in a deluxe, oversized hardcover volume, complete with covers and extra content. VOLUME 1: LUXURIA will be in comic book stores on October 22 and bookstores on November 4; VOLUME 2: GULA will be in comic book stores on November 12 and bookstores on November 25; VOLUME 3: AVARITIA will be in comic book stores on December 17 and bookstores on December 30. All are now available for pre-order.

CASANOVA VOLUME 1: LUXURIA by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-161-2
  • Diamond Comics code AUG140576
  • 168 pages, hardbound, full color
  • $29.99
  • Rated Mature
  • In comic book stores 10/22; bookstores 11/4

CASANOVA VOLUME 2: GULA by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-181-0
  • Diamond Comics code SEP140603
  • 168 pages, hardbound, full color
  • $29.99
  • Rated Mature
  • In comic book stores 11/12; bookstores 11/25

CASANOVA VOLUME 3: AVARITIA by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-191-9
  • Diamond Comics code OCT140617
  • 176 pages, hardbound, full color
  • $29.99
  • Rated Mature
  • In comic book stores 12/17; bookstores 12/30

Praise for CASANOVA, Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá, and Fábio Moon:

“The idea of “Why not?” that is the spirit Fraction, Bá, and Moon capture in Casanova; a story told by creators stoned out of their heads on the possibilities that the medium provides.” –David Faust, Sequart

Casanova is a brutally elegant fever dream of science fiction, spy movies and super-heroes, ripped through a hole in space-time specifically to blow your mind.” –Laura Hudson, Comics Alliance

“With such a wide cast and with so much going on, it’s impressive to see how much love and attention Fraction gives to every character, to every moment and to every event happening all at once. Nothing is left underdeveloped or pushed out of the way to for something better; it all feeds into itself like an ouroboros of pop-fueled pandemonium. This comic feels like the pure id of Fraction, limitless in scope and entirely open-ended from every perceivable angle.

“And good lord, Gabriel Bá is basically perfect.” –Matthew Meylikhov, Multiversity Comics

I am so excited for these collections. Especially since I’ve given away so many of the singles with the great back matter over the years. If I don’t buy any more comics for the rest of 2014, I’ll be happy to have these three volumes in my bookshelf.