It is just. So. Emotional.www.smithsoncomic.com
The 2007 Marvel Holiday Special, featuring a story written by Andrew Farago and myself, goes on sale Wednesday. So keep an eye out for that.
This Saturday, Andrew and I will be doing sketches at Al's Comics
in San Francisco, as part of the first annual Al's Comics Holiday Sketch-A-Thon and Rent Fest. Many tall inkers will also be there. If you're in the area, stop in, say hi, and support Al.
If you like comics, please consider including The Cartoon Art Museum
in your holiday giving. Andrew tells you why here
, and I echo everything he says. The museum is a hell of a resource for cartoonists, comics and animation fans, and cartoon-loving kids, and the staff of three and a half employees works hard to make it that way. I've been volunteering there since 2000, and I can't say enough about how much the museum does--or how much it struggles for funding.
Daniel Pinkwater, my mentor and spiritual guide, now has a podcast at Pinkwater.com
. So far, it's consisted mostly of highlights from his old NPR commentaries (published in the great essay collection Hoboken Fish and Chicago Whistle
, which I happen to be rereading right now), introduced by Webmaster Ed. It's pretty great. No, actually, it's really
great. Mr. Pinkwater's essays basically tell you everything you need to know to live well. Also, in the audio archive you can get podcasts of him reading from his book Lizard Music
Whew, lotta announcements this week. Hey, how about an Overlooked Manga Festival
? Let's do an Overlooked Manga Festival
Last week, I covered the adorable Chikyu Misaki
, about cute little girls protecting a cute little sea monster. So of course this week I'm going to talk about a comic that consists of nothing but a teenage girl blowing people's brains out.
Hey, it's still got cute girls and little kids. Bambi, a stone-cold assassin who introduces herself as "Me Bambi" and is apparently capable of killing without remorse because she possesses the mental sophistication of a preschooler--in other words, a woman after my own heart--steals a mute, unappealing little boy from some kidnappers and sets out to deliver him to her bosses, the unseen "old men."
The journey takes them through a weird, blighted, Americanized landscape, where Bambi fights cowboys, truckers, masked wrestlers, hired guns, and other weirdoes, like something out of a Quentin Tarantino film or "Six String Samurai" (does anyone else out there love that movie?). And on her tail are the original kidnappers, led by a vampire pop-star Elvis lookalike named Gabba King, who sends women into paroxysms of lust and is searching for the secret to immortality. No, really. Check out Gabba King's groupies.Bambi and Her Pink Gun
basically exists for no reason but to give Kaneko Atsushi the opportunity to draw stylish, hyperviolent action scenes. His art style is, as you can see, very un-manga-like, much more similar to American alt-cartoonists; depending on what he's drawing, he reminds me alternately of Mike Allred, Charles Burns, and early Dan Clowes. He even works in visual nods to American countercultural cartoon icons like Zap Comix and the Grateful Dead bears, mixed in with periodic tributes to trashy Asian pop culture.
DMP put out two sweet volumes of Bambi
, with an appropriately foul-mouthed translation and a faithful reproduction of the Japanese edition's candy-colored inks. Unfortunately, they never got around to publishing the last four volumes, leaving us English-reading folks on tenterhooks since 2005. I would, of course, love to see the rest of the series translated. Even more than that, I'd like for someone in the U.S. to pick up Atsushi's more recent manga, Soil
, which is equally funky but has some semblance of a plot. Soil
is a David Lynch-like story about two eccentric cops investigating a case in a small suburban town; as they and some of the residents probe beneath the town's bucolic surface, they of course find all manner of corruption and weirdness. To give you an idea of the tone of the manga, I should probably mention that the case the cops are investigating is the mysterious disappearance of an entire family, including the hamster, on the same night that a thirty-foot pile of salt materialized in the local school parking lot.
But, you know, Bambi
is good too, mostly because it has Bambi.Bambi and Her Pink Gun
is another of those titles that doesn't look very much at all like most people's idea of manga. It's more like an American/Japanese indie-comix hybrid, drawn before every kid in America was trying to do something like that. Through such cross-cultural ass-kicking shall we find world peace.Previous Overlooked Manga Festivities:BasaraPlease Save My EarthFrom Eroica with LoveEven a Monkey Can Draw MangaDr. SlumpYour and My SecretPhoenixKekkaishiWild ActKnights of the ZodiacThe Drifting ClassroomOMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 1OMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 2OMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 3OMF Special Event: Great Moments in Manga BakingShout Out LoudMonsterSwanWarren Buffett: An Illustrated Biography of the World's Most Successful InvestorSexy Voice and RoboOMF Special Event: 2006 Overlooked Manga UpdateThe Four Immigrants MangaGerard and JacquesOde To KirihitoBringing Home the SushiBanana FishSkip BeatOMF Special Event: The Greatest Manga Magazine in American HistoryCyborg 009Anywhere But HereTo TerraTown of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry BlossomsDoing TimeThe Walking ManSugar Sugar RuneParasyteJapan as Viewed by 17 CreatorsMariko ParadeGolgo 13Ricca 'tte Kanji!?Pure TranceOMF Special Event: My LegacyOMF Special Event: An All-Star Tribute to Carl Gustav HornGuest OMF by Jason Thompson: 888JoJo's Bizarre AdventureTekkon KinkreetYakitate! JapanFlower of LifeDomuOMF Special Event: Top Ten Lines from the Excel Saga mangaNanaWhat's Michael?OMF Special Event: Jason Thompson Presents the Top Ten Best Worst Manga, Part OneOMF Special Event: Jason Thompson Presents the Top Ten Best Worst Manga, Part TwoAriaComics Underground JapanYotsuba&!Slam DunkMoon ChildChikyu Misaki