Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Dream of a Sexy Captain Picard

When it comes to Star Trek, I'm really a Deep Space Nine kind of girl. This tends to surprise people, though I'm not sure why; DS9 is total proto-Battlestar Galactica with awesome bromance (Miles and Julian) and cat-and-mouse (Quark and Odo). Plus, I'm pretty sure that when I was 12, I wanted to be Jadzia Dax.

But I was raised on The Next Generation. My mother developed a Trek habit while I was in utero, watching Shatner and Nimoy in late-night syndication while I bounced around her insomniac belly. And she viewed TNG as a virtuous bit of television, whose plots and philosophical think-pieces were the perfect antidote to the mindless timesuck of MTV. So instead of VJs and music videos, I spent my elementary school years with aspirant androids and Wesley Crusher. While in recent years, I've grown a bit bored with TNG's morality plays, I still like to catch the occasional episode flitting through the TV schedule.

Now what if those random episodes were actually goofy little comics? Artist Jess Fink just started watching TNG for the very first time, and she's both reviewing the episodes on Twitter and posting cute, sketchy comics about each episode to her LiveJournal. So what has she learned so far? Mostly that Captain Picard is incredibly sexy.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

OMG Webcomic Ponies!

Via Spike Trotman's Twitter and filed under WTF (but pretty freaking adorable) comes the Webcomic Pony Party! Josh Lesnick (of Girly and Pink Snow Bunny) has taken some of his favorite webcomic characters and rendered them as chubby chibi ponies. At left are the Ménage à 3 ponies, but there are Achewood ponies, Gun Show ponies, Scary Go Round ponies, and ponies à la Octopus Pie. Kate Beaton's Fat Pony is still a fat pony.

[Webcomic Pony Party]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Comic Guide to Portland, the Movies, and Everything Else

I have never been to Portland. In fact, I have never set foot in the great state of Oregon.

I've never been to Voodoo Doughnut. I didn't grow up watching "Bumpity." I haven't witnessed the eclectic frights of Baron Von Goolo's Museum of Horrors. And, tragically, I haven't made it up to the Stumptown Comics Fest.

None of this has hindered my love for CulturePulp.

Mike Russell is a comics journalist (as in a journalist who works in the medium of comics, not a journalist who writes about the comics industry) whose work frequently appears in The Oregonian, Portland's daily newspaper. In most CulturePulp strips, Russell's alter ego takes us on a tour of Portland's local color, covering events, hanging with Portland personalities, and exposing cultural phenomena from Browncoats to Piratecore. It's fascinating to visit another city through the medium of comics, but what makes CulturePulp truly special is the sense of fun that permeates every strip. It would be easy for Russell to poke fun at the oddballs who populate Portland (certain UFOlogists come to mind), but he's more interested in letting these people tell their own stories and explain why they're so captivated by View-Masters or dressing like faeries. It helps that he's got one of those cartoony styles that lends itself to wry exaggeration without grotesqueness.

Even if you're not so hot on learning the ins and outs of Portland culture, it's worth checking out some of CulturePulp's less local strips. Russell occasional provides comic primers on wider cultural phenomena such as Hellboy and Aeon Flux -- not to mention writing one of my favorite send-ups of disaster movies.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Odds, Ends, and Shameless Self-Promotion

Wow, so I never expected that this blog would see so much traffic...ever. Thanks to everyone who retweeted, voted up, and linked to the post on cartoonists' self-portraits. Now I'm going to squander any goodwill that may have earned me by plugging a project of my own.

I'm currently collecting an anthological, anecdotal comic book guide to San Francisco's Mission District. The book will contain 20 tales of life in the Mission with art by 20 Bay Area artists (and in some cases, the artist and the author might be one and the same). If you are interested in contributing, head over to Skoda Man Press to learn more.

Also, a couple of non-self-promoting odds and ends: