Written and starring myself, directed and edited by Shane Boroomand and myself. Camera-osity by Randy Turner. Those last couple shots were so difficult to do. So gross. My nemesis in this video is truly disgusting to me. No acting necessary. In fact, I’m doing Oscar-worthy acting every time I see my nemesis in normal day-to-day life. So this was very cathartic for me. Despite the ending. I hope it brings you some amusement. Meanwhile, I will be rocking myself in the corner from the emotional trauma.
Happy New Year, everyone! More tomfoolery and shenanigans coming in 2011!
The Magic Meathands have announced their first two shows of the New Year and I’ll be in both of them! These are live comedy shows, completely improvised (no script!) based off suggestions from you, the audience. We do a combination of games (short form) and long form scenarios that build unpredictable characters and worlds.
Part three in my Year In Review on the LA comics scene. [Part 1, Part 2]
At this point, it’s hard to argue against the notion that digital comics are inevitable. They’re the future. The near future. For many, they are already the present thanks to various legally dubious means. Just as the music industry had a difficult transition accepting the reality, so too are comics publishers. Over the last year, North American comics publishers have been taking a casual to slow walk toward maybe actually embracing the way it is now. And even with tepid experimentation, there has been tremendous growth during a tough year for the print side. Manga publishers from both the East and West have been criticized for being even more reluctant, and plenty argue that shrinking sales are due to readers heading to pirating sites that translate and upload manga years ahead of official North American releases.
Fortunately over the last half year, the feet dragging is coming to an end for Los Angeles manga publisher Tokyopop.
First came the legal action. In early June, Tokyopop joined the Japanese Digital Comics Association with over 30 other manga publishers, both in America and in Japan, to fight digital piracy. This bold move was initially met with frustration among readers who read illegally translated and distributed manga, due to a lack of legitimate digital alternatives. But what has followed since has been a strong move to create just that. Continue reading →
Continuing my Year In Review of local LA comic book movers and shakers. Yesterday, we looked at Boom! Studios successful Boom! Kids imprint and their line of Disney comics.
Today, we look at comics publisher Archaia Comics. Originally set up as a banner for the self-publishing efforts of writer/artist Mark Smylie and his high fantasy series Artesia, it expanded into a full on publisher in the middle of this past decade, launching the anthropomorphic fantasy series Mouse Guard by David Petersen to much acclaim. More comics were announced until the young publisher seemed to become overwhelmed by its own plans, almost completely grinding production to a halt. It appeared as if Archaia was going to be another in a long line of comics publishers who have abruptly vanished. Then came news of the acquisition of Archaia by Chicago-based media company Kunoichi. For a time this didn’t seem to change anything, but then Archaia came back. In the past year, they have firmly landed on solid ground and proved themselves to be a dependable publisher of quality comics and graphic novels, with an eye to innovation in the digital comics space. Continue reading →
You’d think that with their over $4 billion purchase of Marvel Entertainment a year ago this week, the Burbank-based Walt Disney Company would have brought things in-house for comics featuring Disney characters. Instead, Disney has licensed a small but highly acclaimed line of comics to Los Angeles comics publisher Boom! Studios over the last year plus. And with their Boom! Kids line, Boom! has helped resurrect the all-ages corner of the comic book industry, something that many feared was a lost cause. Not only is this good news for increasing variety, but it’s absolutely crucial in making sure that another generation doesn’t slip by without learning and internalizing the language of comics. Continue reading →
You don’t have to sit at home alone reading to get into comic books and graphic novels. There are always great events going on that celebrate the vitality and creativity of comics. Just here in Los Angeles, there are more events I can ever make. But I try, and so should you. You never know what you’ll discover.
Here are some local Los Angeles events coming up that celebrate the sequential art form.
Things are slowing down for the holidays but there are still a couple of things to do.
Yes, it’s time for a satanic demon called Krampus to follow around Santa Claus and torment all of the bad little boys and girls. You’ll be wishing for lumps of coal in your stocking when this guy shows up.
I only recently found out about Krampus but the bugger has been enjoying a resurgence over the last several years, a reprise of his popularity in mid-1800s to early 1900s Europe. Although, I’m kind of twisting the lore a bit, depending on what version you go with. He historically shows up on December 6th trailing behind the gift-giving St. Nicholas.
So, for those that always wished there was more Halloween in Christmas, now you’re all set! To buy Krampus dolls like the one on the right, visit here.
Check out a segment on Krampus from an episode of “The Colbert Report” from last year after the jump…
We’re in the thick of the holiday season. Shopping is probably inevitable for a lot of us. If you or someone you know thinks Spider-Man is pretty cool but is clueless as to what to read first, I’ve put together a great big list as a checklist or reading order guide.
Marvel Comics has been publishing The Amazing Spider-Man since 1963, so being a little overwhelmed about what to get is understandable. Peter Parker (right) is pretty confused by it all too. And he’s lived through it.
So, here’s my Reader’s Guide to Amazing Spider-Man with every graphic novel that’s been published from that comic book series, what’s inside, and in what order you should read it. I’ve also included cover prices and if there are alternate ways to get the stories (soft cover, hard cover, etc.). After the list, I’ve also included a recommended reading list if you’re only interested in the most universally loved material instead of everything. Please feel free to join in the conversation if you have any favorites, questions, corrections or suggestions.
Just a note for those of you Spidey-savvy enough: this list only focuses on the Amazing Spider-Man comics series from 1963 to present, and for the most part does not include spin-offs like Web of Spider-Man or the relaunch series like Ultimate Spider-Man or Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (both of which are great ways to read Spider-Man too but they exist in their own universe apart from Amazing Spider-Man, and as such, they’re pretty streamlined, self-contained and easier to figure out where to start – although if you’re not sure, post a comment or email and I’ll be glad to help out).
Congratulations to my old sketch comedy cohort Yuri Lowenthal and Los Angeles manga publisher TokyoPop‘s Stu Levy and his co-director Steven Calcote on the success of their mockumentary Van Von Hunter!
The feature-length film screened at Hollywood’s MockFest film festival in Hollywood last month, and ended up winning Best Director and a special “audience award” for Best Film. Yuri Lowenthal, an accomplished voice-over actor, played the title character and was nominated for the What A Character themed award. The film was also an official selection at this past summer’s Fantasia International Film Festival in France.
Inspired by and based upon the manga series created by Mike Schwark and Ron Kaulfersch, Van Von Hunter is a live-action comedy that follows its title character on a journey deep into the heart of manga and anime fandom. From the mythical world of Dikay, to the cold, hard streets of Hollywood, then across the ocean to Tokyo, this Van-tastic voyage is also filled with cameos of top manga and anime personalities as it embraces otaku culture around the globe.