Posts Tagged ‘meta’

Carnival of Souls Post-Holiday Special #1: My Stuff

January 3, 2012

* I hope you enjoyed your holidays! While you were out, I kept pretty busy. Here are some links to what I’ve been doing.

* I posted my list of the 20 Best Comics of 2011. It’s exciting to me that old established Grand Masters are about as well represented on it as people whose first comics came out after Obama was elected, and of course there are plenty of people in between as well. It’s also exciting to me that many of the cartoonists represented there are creating huge, consistently high-quality bodies of work without a regularly published solo series as their main venue or even as any venue at all, instead or in addition turning to anthologies, minicomics, and the Internet to get their work to the public. And I haven’t felt this blessed by an abundance of genuinely bizarre and powerful sex-horror stuff since I first discovered Clive Barker’s Books of Blood in 1994.

* Robot 6 celebrated its third anniversary with a massive two-day blowout of exclusive interviews, previews, and assorted other features. I contributed several pieces.

** I interviewed Sammy Harkham about Kramers Ergot 8. I think this is my favorite interview of all the ones I conducted last year. Sammy and I slowly circled around the thinking at the core of the book before finally plunging right into it. It was an exciting conversation to have. (That’s from Takeshi Murata’s contribution to the book below.)

** I interviewed Michael DeForge about the absolutely tremendous 2011 he had, specifically about Ant Comic, Open Country, “Dog 2070” from Lose #3, and “College Girl by Night” from Thickness. I asked a lot of questions about influence and intent, which is a hit or miss proposition, but I think Michael delivered.

** I interviewed the Press Gang triumvirate of Jason Leivian, Zack Soto, and François Vigneault about their plans for their publishing collective. They gave me a lot of exclusive announcements and previews; I think the top announcement is that Soto’s Study Group Comic Books is absorbing Randy Chang’s Bodega Books and taking over publication of The Mourning Star, but beyond that, Leivian’s publishing a book on magick, Vigneault’s Elfworld #3 looks rock-solid, and the line-up of creators contributing to Soto’s soon-to-launch webcomics portal is just sick. (There’s no escaping DeForge!) (The page below is from the full-color Danger Country by Levon Jihanian that will be running on

** And Annie Koyama announced some of her 2012 titles, including new books from Michael DeForge (natch), Julia Wertz, Dustin Harbin, Jesse Jacobs, and Tin Can Forest. You can see covers for the last three at the link.

* In case you missed it, I posted a four-volume mix of the best songs of 2011. (If you were wondering, songs from Underworld and the Game of Thrones soundtrack were cut due to time constraints, because as it turns out the time limit on CD-Rs is actually 79:50, NOT EIGHTY, YOU LIARS, while “Dance (A$$) Remix” was disqualified for the use of the word “anorexic” as a compliment.)

* Finally, I started an A Song of Ice and Fire podcast shortly before Christmas. I’ve posted three episodes so far, in which I’m joined by the Tower of the Hand’s Stefan Sasse in a discussion of honor, morality, and power in Westeros (and Essos). You can find links to all three episodes here. If you like the essays I’ve written about the books or the show, this should be up your alley.

Cage Variations

September 26, 2011

Matt Rota and I finished our short graphic novel Cage Variations a couple months ago. (Seems like the sort of thing I should mention here.) We are currently looking into various publishing options. In the meantime you can read a few chapters of it here.

Two announcements about my comics

September 22, 2011

I am currently looking for artists for four comics projects. One is long, sleazy, and violent. One is long, sad, and violent. One is short, sad, and violent. One is short, sad, and not violent. If you are interested in working with me on any of these, please drop me a line in the comments or using the contact information available at this link.

I have also spruced up my Comics page, which contains links to all of my currently published comics. (This includes “Destructor and the Lady,” which is still in progress; it doesn’t include “The Amazing Spider-Man in…The Hundred-Story Hunt,” which goes on sale in Spider-Man #19 on October 26.) Please take a look and read some comics. Perhaps they’ll whet your appetite for working with me. Here are some images from them:

All Domains Must Be Registered

September 8, 2011

My A Song of Ice and Fire blog All Leather Must Be Boiled now has its own domain: Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Have a Comics Time all the time

August 16, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that the Comics Reviews section of the sidebar is now fully up to date. All of my recent Comics Time reviews have been added, and all the links lead to the relevant review here at rather than at my old site. That’s in the neighborhood of 500 reviews. Please browse and enjoy.


August 11, 2011

I’ll be attending the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland this year, hopefully with wife and kid in tow. As you can imagine I am very much not the star of the Collins Family Show, but on the off chance that you’re still interested in seeing me, I’ll be moderating a couple of panels with some of my favorite cartoonists on Saturday, September 10th.

Excruciating Detail: Drawing the Grotesque
1:00 pm | White Flint Amphitheater
Historical comics ranging from Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy to the horror comics of the 1950s have specialized in images of the grotesque. Sean T. Collins will speak with cartoonists Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You), Benjamin Marra (Night Business), Tom Neely (The Wolf), and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit) about the act of drawing horrific, visceral, visual detail in contemporary comics that speak to horrors that are both timeless and contemporary.

Craig Thompson Q+A
3:00 pm | White Flint Amphitheater
Following on the heels of his sensitive tale of departure Good-bye Chunky Rice, Craig Thompson came to national attention in 2003 with his massive, autobiographically-based graphic novel Blankets. Eight years later, Thompson has completed his next graphic novel, Habibi, a love story set in the Middle East and patterned after the visual cadences of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art. Thompson will discuss his work in a conversation with Sean T. Collins.

You can find the entire slate of programming here. Bill Kartalopoulos put together quite a line-up. Hope to see you there!

Does whatever a spider can

July 25, 2011

Cover by ALE GARZA
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SPIDER-MAN WIELDS THE POWER COSMIC?! The Silver Surfer is POWERLESS in New York, and it’s up to Spidey to set things right! Will Spider-Man be able to find the Sentinel of the Spaceways in time?! J.M. DeMatteis (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Clayton Henry (SPIDER-GIRL) stop by this month to bring you THE POWER COSMIC! Then, the hunt is on as Spider-Man goes toe-to-toe with KRAVEN in the heart of New York’s concrete jungle!
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

I wrote a Spider-Man comic that comes out in October. I really couldn’t be happier about it, and neither could Young Sean T. Collins, who would watch Spidey on The Electric Company and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and receive Spider-Man comics from the Te-Amo across from St. Catherine of Siena in Franklin Square, New York as a reward for behaving himself in church on Sundays. Thank you to Ben Morse, Warren Simons, Alejandro Arbona, Kiel Phegley, Steve Wacker, and especially Tom Brennan, who helped make this happen.

What I didn’t know at the time I wrote my story, which features Kraven the Hunter in the villain role, is that the man responsible for my love of Kraven, J.M DeMatteis of Kraven’s Last Hunt fame, would be writing the other story in the issue. No pressure or anything!

Keep your eyes peeled, or perhaps even ask your local comic shop to order one for you. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog closed on account of dragons

July 12, 2011

A brief programming note: Blogging will be very light until I finish reading A Dance with Dragons. I will not be using Twitter at all during this time, and will likely stay away from Tumblr and the bulk of the Internet as well. Thank you for your patience, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Baby note

April 19, 2011

Helena Christine Collins came home from the hospital today, at the tender age of negative two weeks old. She’s not much of a co-blogger, as it turns out, so blogging will be sporadic and light for a while. Thank you for your patience.

Game of Thrones programming note

April 17, 2011

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write weekly “Game of Thrones thoughts” posts, but if I do, they will appear on my SPOILER-FILLED blog for people who’ve read all four volumes in A Song of Ice and Fire so far, All Leather Must Be Boiled. I’ll link to each post from here, but please, do not click through unless you’ve read all four books so far.

If I end up partcipating in a less spoilery discussion of the show somewhere, I guess I’ll link to that, too.

Housekeeping note

April 11, 2011

Over the past few days I’ve noticed that attempting to load this site was absolutely CRUSHING whatever browser and connection I used to do so. I’m not sure why — I suspect that a single video or image was the culprit, but I couldn’t figure out which it might be — so I placed the bulk of some of my longer recent Carnivals and music posts behind “read the rest of this entry” cuts. I really hate doing so, because I love scrolling down the front page and seeing 40 million images fly past, but needs must. Please let me know if you’re still having any trouble viewing the site.

New project

March 19, 2011

Apparently a good way to while away the hours while your baby is in the NICU is to start yet another blog, so do check out ALL LEATHER MUST BE BOILED, my new site dedicated to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, strictly for people who’ve read all four books. SPOILER ALERT, in other words. I think the best way to describe it is a “noteblog” — I’m just jotting down a few quick thoughts about the series and the show here and there as they occur to me. If you’ve read the whole series so far, I hope you enjoy it.

Death from above; programming note

February 18, 2011

Page ten of Destructor’s “Prison Break” has been posted.

Meanwhile, though Destructor updates will proceed apace and Comics Time posts will go up as planned for a few days, please expect additional posting, tweeting, emailing, tumbling and so forth to be sporadic for a while due to circumstances beyond my control. Thank you for patience.

Thought of the day

February 9, 2011

I wonder if Nick Gazin and Vice stopped tagging their comics-related posts with “comics” so that the comics-only Vice RSS feed I made wouldn’t work anymore.

Review revue

January 22, 2011

I’ve begun the tedious yet strangely satisfying process of updating the links to my Comics Time comics reviews in the sidebar to your right. The past several months’ worth of links have been added, and I’ve started changing the links for some of the older revies to direct you to my current site instead of the old one. Eventually I’ll do this for my movie, TV, music, and book reviews, as well as interviews with me and by me, my little best-of selection, and so forth; for now, old versions of all those links may be found on the Links page. Thank you for your patience, and I hope you find it useful.

Service update

December 28, 2010

The decision of Long Island’s weather to reenact “Immigrant Song” and “No Quarter” the other night cut off my Internet, phone, and television service from 8:50pm Sunday night until about five minutes ago. I’m sorry if I’ve failed to respond to you in a timely fashion due to this outage. I hope to catch up with everything soon.

Carnival of souls: Superheroes Lose, Black Hole film, Kirkman vs. Moore, more

December 16, 2010

* I’m proud to present Superheroes Lose, a new tumblr in which I’ll be posting comic covers and promotional art featuring superheroes losing. In part I’m doing this because I think these things are unintentionally hilarious; in part I’m doing it because I have some half-baked ideas on what these things meeeeeeeean, and having a lot of them in one place may help me shake those ideas loose.

* That being said, I’m quite excited about the image above even aside from its Superheroes Loseworthiness, because I think it means that the Hulk — the plain old Bruce Banner green Hulk — will be involved in a major, Avengers-driven (was that redundant?) Marvel event for the first time in the modern event-comic era. (World War Hulk doesn’t count — that was really a Hulk comic blown up big, and the event angle came from fighting the Illuminati, not the Avengers, Marvel’s modern flagship team.)

* Here’s a heck of a find: a live-action short-film adaptation of Charles Burns’s Black Hole by director Rupert Sanders. As best I can tell it’s sort of smushing several scenes from different points in the book into one long thing, so it’s not necessarily the most accurate adaptation (especially if you have Keith’s first encounter with Eliza memorized panel by panel), but it’s fine work regardless, atmospheric in a way these things usually aren’t and true to the spirit of the thing. (Via Jason Adams.)

* Johnny Ryan (!!!) interviewed Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore about The Walking Dead for Vice, with suitably juicy results. (Via Kevin Melrose.)

* Tom Kaczynski’s Uncivilized Books imprint is now a going concern, with comics by Tom, Gabrielle Bell, and Jon Lewis. Check it out.

* Tom Spurgeon reviews Two Eyes of the Beautiful II by the very talented Ryan Cecil Smith of Closed Caption Comics fame.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates on the appeal of superheroes — and supervillains — to marginalized groups beyond traditional geeks.

* I’m linking to ComixTalk’s 2010 digital/webcomics roundtable — featuring such august personages as Heidi MacDonald, Brian Heater, Brigid Alverson, Gary Tyrrell, Lauren Davis, and Larry Cruz — because it features my chum Rick Marshall of MTV Splash Page saying very, very complimentary things about Destructor, but even beyond that it’s stuffed with links to comics that come recommended by the participants and as such strikes me as a great way to launch a lazy pre-holiday weekend afternoon’s reading in a couple of days.

* Matthew Perpetua doesn’t like the gratuitous use of rap patois in hip-hop reviews, and the inconsistent application of stage names depending on the genre being talked about. I think in both cases this stuff is mostly showoffy; it’s interesting to see the differing directions that takes depending on whether or not hip-hop’s in the spotlight.

* Congratulations to The Country Club for mashing up Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto juuuuuuuuust about perfectly. I laughed out loud on the train at the ending. (Via Topless Robot.)

* Presume not to instruct Curt Purcell on matters pertaining to the Groovy Age of Horror when recommending Scissor Sisters videos, for he is subtle and quick to post far, far more pertinent giallo videos. Here endeth the lesson. Seriously, music people who read this blog, if you enjoyed the video for “Invisible Light,” you must click that link and watch Curt’s videos. Nude for Satan, ladies and gentlemen. (But aren’t we always?)

* Slowly George R.R. Martin turned, step by step, inch by inch…

LOVE AND ROCKTOBER | Index, Acknowledgements, and Which Love and Rockets Books to Read First (UPDATED x2))

December 10, 2010

Below you will find links to all my posts from LOVE AND ROCKTOBER, a marathon examination of the entirety of Love and Rockets by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (and sometimes Mario Hernandez), October-December 2010. I will continue to add links to Los Bros’ new comics as they are released and reviewed. Please click the links for full reviews.

Thank you to Paul Baresh, Jacq Cohen, and Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics for their help and support during this project. Fantagraphics’ “How to Read Love and Rockets” page gets my highest recommendation for anyone interested in keeping track of the optimal reading order for the series or learning what comics are and aren’t in what book.

This was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring things I’ve ever done for this blog. Thank you for reading.

Special thanks to Gilbert and Jaime (and Mario) for the inexhaustible richness of their work.

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Los Bros Hernandez and Love and Rockets is which book to start reading them with. With Gilbert, that’s easy: Heartbreak Soup, the start of the Palomar/Luba saga of life in a small Central American village and, eventually, California. (Prepare to ignore the following: If you’re feeling frisky, you could start with Beyond Palomar, which contains the stand-alone graphic novel Poison River. That’s the origin story of Gilbert’s main character, Luba, and thus is chronologically the “beginning” of her story; it’s also one of the greatest comics ever made. The book also contains another stand-alone story, Love and Rockets X, which ties in with the Palomar/Luba stories but doesn’t require knowledge of them to understand or enjoy. But nine times out of ten, you’ll probably want to start with Heartbreak Soup.)

With Jaime, it’s a little trickier: Maggie the Mechanic is the start of the Locas saga, about a group of Latina punk-rock kids and their circle of friends, but it’s a science-fiction comic at first, which is different than the work for which Jaime is most renowned (since he gradually dropped the SF elements from the storyline); moreover it’s drawn in a more traditional, maximalist style than his best-known work, and I’ve seen this be a bit off-putting for some readers as well. The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. is volume two of the Locas strips, so you’re joining things in progress if you start there, but it’s much more what people are thinking visually/tonally/narratively of when they talk about Jaime’s greatness; moreover, jumping right in isn’t all that weird, since Jaime tends to make large jumps in the chronology anyway. Personally, I still recommend starting at the start, with Maggie the Mechanic, provided you think you won’t find light science fiction and classic illustration off-putting; it really is where the story of Maggie, Hopey, Izzy, Penny et al begins.

UPDATE 07/17/12: Okay, I know where to start, but how do I proceed from there?

L&R has been published, collected, re-collected, and re-re-collected in a fashion that can get pretty confusing. Heck, even now, with a line of digest-format versions that can be seen as pretty much definitive, most of Gilbert and Jaime’s stuff is still being released in standalone graphic-novel formats before eventually getting rolled into the digest series. So you end up having to bounce around between formats a bit.

Below I’ve numbered the volumes you to read in the order you want to read them. Titles in parentheses contain material that has been collected in other, more definitive volumes and thus can be skipped (though of course you should read my awesome reviews anyway).

And now, the reviews.

An interview with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

The “Locas” Stories
(Locas [old, disavowed review])
1. Maggie the Mechanic
2. The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.
3. Perla La Loca
4. Penny Century
(Ghost of Hoppers)
(The Education of Hopey Glass)
5. Esperanza
6. Love and Rockets Vol. 2 #20
(Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 [old version])
(Love and Rockets: New Stories #1-2)
7. God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls
8. Love and Rockets: New Stories #3
9. Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

The “Palomar”-verse Stories
1. Heartbreak Soup
2. Human Diastrophism
3. Beyond Palomar
3x. Birdland^
4. Luba in America
5. Luba: The Book of Ofelia
6. Luba: Three Daughters
7. High Soft Lisp
7x. The Adventures of Venus
8. Love and Rockets Vol. 2 #20
9. New Tales of Old Palomar
10. Chance in Hell
11. Speak of the Devil
12. The Troublemakers
13/14/15. Love and Rockets: New Stories #1-3 and “Dreamstar”
16. Love from the Shadows
17. Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

(Mostly) Non-“Locas”/”Palomar” Stories
Amor y Cohetes (Gilbert, Jaime, Mario)
Birdland^ (Gilbert)
Fear of Comics (Gilbert)
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 (Gilbert and Mario) (old version)
Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 (Gilbert and Mario)
Citizen Rex (Gilbert and Mario)

^ (not quite a Palomar-verse story, but not quite not a Palomar-verse story)

Presenting the Best of the Year of the Day Series

December 1, 2010

Between relaunching my blog, launching my webcomic, posting my weekdaily Carnivals, starting my third month (!) of LOVE AND ROCKTOBER, and my regular shifts at Robot 6, I think it’s pretty clear that I need to take on still another major blogging project. That’s why I started two month-long series today: Comic of the Year of the Day and Album of the Year of the Day. Every day this month, I’ll be spotlighting one of the best comics of the year and one of the best albums of the year, with a link to a full review of the former and a video of a great song from the latter

A few caveats:

* I’m posting them in no particular order. I’ll eventually rank the best comics of the year in a list (though probably not albums), but this is not that. I expect some Comics of the Year of the Day won’t make the official Best Of list, and I expect that some books on the Best Of list won’t be featured as Comics of the Year of the Day.

* Similarly, I’ve made a year-ender mix of some of the best songs of the year, but not all of those songs will show up on Albums of the Year of the Day, and not all of the Albums of the Year of the Day will be represented on the mix.

* Plus, there’s still a lot of stuff I haven’t read or listened to yet. For example, I expect that several of the comics I’ll be reading and reviewing for Comics Time this month once LOVE AND ROCKTOBER wraps will be Best-Of candidates, but I may not wanna double-post on them with a Comic of the Year of the Day post so soon after the regular review goes up.

* On the flipside, I may end up showcasing some late 2009 releases that I wasn’t able to get to before year-ender time came around last year. On the comics end, there are at least two genuine for-the-ages masterpieces I totally whiffed on because I didn’t get copies in time. So they might end up eating up slots otherwise occupied by 2010 releases proper.

* And the series wouldn’t necessarily be comprehensive anyway. I liked more than 31 comics a great deal this year, and I probably liked more than 31 albums a great deal this year as well (especially if you count the three Robyn records separately).

* Long story short, this is a starting point, not an endpoint. I just want to share some really excellent work with you wonderful people in nice short and sweet bursts. Hopefully you’ll be guided to something you wouldn’t otherwise have checked out, and your 2010 will be that much better, and that would make me feel great!

So again, keep your eyes peeled for each day’s Comic of the Year of the Day and Album of the Year of the Day entry, and happy reading/listening!

Carnival of souls: Destructor, Benjamin Marra, BCGF books, more

November 30, 2010

* A very big thanks to Comic Book Resources, The Beat, The Cool Kids Table, Vito Delsante, Dustin Harbin, Curt Purcell, and pretty much all of my friends to a man for linking to over the past 48 hours. Extra very special thanks to my colleague Matt Wiegle for doing the yeoman’s work of keeping it up and running during the vast majority of those 48 hours, despite my best efforts to the contrary. I really can’t begin to describe how I feel about this site’s existence. As you can tell from this drawing, Destructor is one of my oldest friends.

* Today on Robot 6: Benjamin Marra reveals The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd. I love Benjamin Marra almost as much as I hate Maureen Dowd, so this comic gets my full support.

* The book debuts at this weekend’s Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, which reminds me: Good Lord, there’s going to be a lot of amazing-looking books on sale at this weekend’s Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fesivalt. To wit:

* Johnny 23 by Charles Burns! (Hat tip: David Paggi.)

* New Character Parade by Johnny Ryan!

* S.M. by Michael DeForge!

* Barbra in the Sky with Neil Diamonds by Joshua W. Cotter!

* Heads, 44 by Mat Brinkman!

* Closed Caption Comics #9!

* and that is seriously just the tip of the iceberg.

* Gabrielle Bell is on some Where’s Waldo shit in this one.

* Jim Rugg notes some startling similarities between John Totleben’s Marvelman and Fletcher Hanks’s Stardust.(UPDATE: Although that’s a Barry Windsor Smith image right there.) The image below isn’t even the most striking of the set.

* Real Life Horror: My Representative, Peter King, wants WikiLeaks declared a terrorist organization. Note to Julian Assange: Start murdering children in Ireland and the U.K. — then Peter King will have your back!

* Finally, David Lynch sings!

Good Day Today by threeminutesthirtyseconds