Monday, August 31, 2009

All and Sundry: In Stock, Autumn Tour

All and Sundry is now in stock at Fantagraphics. The wait for U.S. Grant appearing alongside cartoonish deities and Anderson Cooper is finally over.

To promote the release of the book I'll be heading out on the road in November and December with that Emperor of Rock Posters Jay Ryan (whose book Animals and Objects In and Out of Water will be appearing in stores around that time). I'll post more dates as they're confirmed, but for now, here are the stops we'll be making:

wed nov 11 - chicago - quimby's
fri nov 13 - columbus - wholly crafts
sun nov 15 - brooklyn - rocketship
mon nov 16 - new york - giant robot
wed nov 18 - baltimore - atomic
fri nov 20 - louisville - carmichaels books

If you're around when we're around, stop in and see us do whatever it is we're going to do. We promise to make the events more substantive than that preceding sentence.

Spider Mouse

On one level this is just a huge company buying another huge company, which happens with frightening frequency. But on another level: Disney's buying Marvel? This is blowing my mind.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

46 Million Art Auction

Inimitable Cartoonist and Fine Human Being Anders Nilsen has pulled together some great artwork for an even greater cause: health care reform. The participating artists are:

John Porcellino, Genevieve Elverum, Chris Ware, Ivan Brunetti, Dan Clowes, Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie), Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Todd Baxter, Sonnenzimmer Print Studio, Adam Henry, Kevin Huizenga, Jay Ryan (The Bird Machine Print Studio), Lynda Barry, Lilli Carre, David Heatley, Kyle Obriot, Stephen Eichhorn, Buenaventura Press, Sammy Harkham and the organizer, Anders Nilsen.

The proceeds will go to Democracy for America and Health Care for America Now, two national advocacy groups running television ads to push the Public Option in democratic swing districts and offering support to congressional members who take a stand for the policy.

My art for the auction (from Beasts Volume 2) is here.

And you can (and should) see all the artwork up for auction by searching for 46 Million on eBay.

Please bid on something. If you're feeling really generous, feel free to buy me that Todd Baxter photo. It's amazing. But nowhere near as amazing as people finally having affordable health coverage. So bid now and bid often.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


A beautifully constructed video featured on the WNYC's RadioLab podcast and site. Inspired by their recent programs on moments of death, filmmaker Will Hoffman produced this about moments of life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care: Inside and Out

If you've been watching the news, or generally been anywhere other than a completely secluded bunker, you've been bombarded with various talking points for and against health care reform. While I don't tend to be overtly political on this blog, I felt the need to at least post a couple items I thought were well-reasoned and well-put.

First, to respond to a couple pervasive worries with some facts: one of the main rallying cries I hear for resistance to reform is that "America has the best health care in the world." Or the more damningly "specific" generality: "you never hear of people flying to other countries to get health care, they come to America to get the best in specialized treatment."

As for having the best health care in the world, the World Health Organization, an entity of the UN with no discernible left or right agenda, ranked the U.S. 37th in the world. Not first. Not in the top ten. Not even in the top thirty. 37th. Remember that number, remind people of it. I think people don't hear it often enough. Other reports ranking fewer countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom)— ranked the U.S. system next to last in terms of: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. The only figure I have ever seen ranking the U.S. at the top is in the amount we spend on health care, not the quality of care we receive. Ours is the most expensive system, by all figures I've seen, but it is certainly not the best.

But what of this other claim, that people fly to America from other countries and not the other way around? It sounds right to Americans, we've heard stories of these sorts of things, so it's a particularly useful tactic. I've watched clips of Glenn Beck and other Fox News talking heads employing this as gospel, and I've seen man-on-the-street interviews showing that this message is resonating. And there is some limited merit to this, people do fly to America for procedures; but this only means that we have high levels of technology and research for specialized procedures, and says nothing of general health care. Again, we're 37th in the world. This belief that "people only fly to America" also completely ignores the budding Medical Tourism industry (in doing research for this post I even came across the site Specialized care doesn't speak to the health care system in general, and yes, people do fly (and drive) to other countries to receive care.

I would honestly think this would be less of a debate, but it's clearly as contentious as anything can be. So I would ask you to please do something:

Call your representative.

Let them know how you feel. If you have a personal story about health care (as most of us do), share it with people. It's easy to dehumanize this and make this into simple political talking points. But this isn't a political debate. This is an ethical and moral matter, and as such I think it only makes sense that even some otherwise conservative religious groups are embracing the message: it is morally imperative that in one of the wealthiest nations on earth we have affordable, quality, persistent health care for the people of that nation.

For two great discussions on this, please watch the above video of Bill Moyers' interview (thanks to Anders Nilsen for passing this along) with a former Health Insurance executive and, for the somewhat lighter side, the below video of Stephen Colbert's interview with Sick author Jonathan Cohn. Both are eye-opening in their own right (though the former more so than the latter).

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jonathan Cohn
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marvel Strange Tales, Issue Three

Stan Sakai will be covering the third and final issue of Marvel's Mini-series Strange Tales, and his samurai Hulk looks great, as one would expect. Robot 6 has the full press release for issue three (for which I contributed the aforeposted "Nightcrawler Meets Molecule Man" story), but here's the line up:

Peter Bagge, Max Cannon, Chris Chua, Becky Cloonan, Nicholas Gurewitch, Paul Hornschemeier, Jonathan Jay Lee, Corey Lewis, Stan Sakai, Jay Stephens and Jhonen Vasquez.

An odd mix, and one that I'm looking forward to reading. (I'm particularly excited to see Nicholas Gurewitch's take on the Marvel realm.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Clowes Interviews

The first of these, on McSweeney's site, I came across via Drawn & Quarterly's blog. The second – a 2000 Bookworm interview (below) with Chris Ware and Chip Kidd about the release of Jimmy Corrigan and David Boring – I have absolutely no clue how I came across. Occasionally a bit stilted of a conversation, but interesting and insightful nonetheless.

Sampson Wrestles King Khan

Johnny Sampson, who I had the pleasure of meeting briefly at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, does amazing work about which I've posted before. And I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't link to his posting of his new album artwork for The King Khan and BBQ Show (with another post for the insert art and back cover).

Schlock weds perfection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poodle Palates and Other Creepy Secrets

From the ever-reliable blog You Ruddy Guys: two of the best videos I've seen lately. And by "best" I mean most thoroughly frightening. How are they getting the dogs to do that? CGI? Electro-shock?

And no, sir, I really don't want to have your secret.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sendak on Jonze

For those naysayers or worriers who feel that the trailer of "Where The Wild Things Are" indicates an upcoming perversion of their childhood, none other than author Maurice Sendak gives his (overtly positive) dissection of Jonze's (and Eggers') creation. A better blessing you couldn't get.