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Two Things [Apr. 7th, 2011|06:28 pm]
One: I signed up for a Tumblr because what I really need is to join up with another website that goes offline all the time about three years after all the cool kids did it. It's at www.jodymacgregor.tumblr.com and obviously it's amazing.

Two: I wrote about the last couple of issues of Knight & Squire over at Rave Magazine recently, partly because I felt guilty about leaving Paul Cornell out of the 100 Comics and partly because it's really great. Here's what I wrote.



KNIGHT & SQUIRE #5 & #6 – Paul Cornell, Jimmy Broxton
(DC Comics)

Get your pants on, you’re nicked
Non-American heroes and villains are often portrayed as embarrassing stereotypes of their home country’s most obvious traits – Captain Boomerang, anyone? – an idea that Knight & Squire takes and goes way over the top with. It’s set in a Britain full of characters who are so stereotypically British that only an actual Brit could have come up with them. It’s so self-aware about this that you wind up with characters like Squire, whose superpower is the ability to cross class barriers. She works with Knight, who is essentially Batman crossed with Lancelot on a motorbike shaped like a horse. The delightful co-starring cast are similarly colourful, even by comic-book standards, including ‘cover versions’ of American characters such as Jarvis Poker, the British Joker (he copies the clownish look of the original, but says he just can’t bring himself to do the crimes). Artist Jimmy Broxton fills the backgrounds with cute details like Knight’s copy of Total Castle magazine left lying around and more small poppy uber-Brit characters like Salt Of The Earth and the Milkman. It’s not quite as dense with references as Top 10 used to be, but there are still enough that the back page each issue catalogues them. Previous issues have featured a glossary for American readers who might be confused by all the slang and references to morris dancing. Writer Paul Cornell did something similarly self-conscious when he was writing Captain Britain & MI-13 over at Marvel and the end result was just as charming. If it was this funny, I wouldn’t even mind them bringing Captain Boomerang back.
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100 Comics To Read Before You Die (or grow out of paying attention to lists) [Feb. 28th, 2011|08:18 pm]
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This link should take you to entries 100-91 as a single page with formatting that's less ugly than the individual view, although you'll have to scroll upwards to get them in order.

100 Why I Hate Saturn

99 The New Adventures Of Hitler

98 From Hell

97 Palestine

96 Transmetropolitan

95 Maus

94 Ghost World

93 Li’l Abner & The Bald Iggle

92 Action Philosophers!

91 A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible

90-81

90 Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid On Earth

89 Watchmen

88 Yotsuba&!

87 Understanding Comics

86 Enigma

85 Hellboy: The Chained Coffin And Others

84 The Sandman #25

83 Squee!

82 Tank Girl Book One

81 Death Note

80-71

80 Persepolis

79 Sin City: The Hard Goodbye

78 30 Days Of Night: Juarez

77 Bone

76 Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book

75 Blankets

74 Yummy Fur

73 A Softer World

72 Y: The Last Man

71 V For Vendetta

70-61

70 The Perry Bible Fellowship

69 Nat Turner

68 X-Force #116–129

67 Bookhunter

66 Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron

65 Killer Princesses

64 Scary Go Round

63 The Wallflower Volume One

62 Crécy

61 Pogo

60-51

60 Lost At Sea

59 Nana

58 The Fixer: A Story From Sarajevo

57 Little Nemo In Slumberland

56 Bolland Strips!

55 Uzumaki

54 The Left Bank Gang

53 Dropsie Avenue

52 The Maxx #1–12

51 Midnighter #7

50-41

50 I Killed Adolf Hitler

49 Jar Of Fools

48 The Sandman #19

47 The Nightly News

46 Pyongyang: A Journey In North Korea

45 Green Manor

44 Kabuki: Metamorphosis

43 Disappearance Diary

42 Platinum Grit

41 Mushishi

40-31

40 Frank

39 Calvin And Hobbes

38 Pictures For Sad Children

37 Saga Of The Swamp Thing Vol. 1–2

36 Deff Skwadron

35 Dice Man #5: You Are Ronald Reagan

34 Stuck Rubber Baby

33 Fun Home

32 Dungeon: The Early Years

31 Castle Waiting

30-21

30 Runaways #1–18

29 Nextwave

28 Stray Bullets #6

27 Tekkon Kinkreet: Black & White

26 The Muppet Show Comic Book #1–4

25 Britten And Brülightly

24 Phonogram: The Singles Club #4

23 Scott Pilgrim

22 Alan’s War

21 Alec

20-11

20 Cages

19 Ethel & Ernest

18 Berlin

17 Seven Soldiers Of Victory

16 Pluto

15 Comic Book Comics

14 The Pirates Of Coney Island

13 Through The Looking-Glass

12 Ranma ½

11 Glacial Period

10-01

10 Dream Of The Rarebit Fiend

9 The Abominable Charles Christopher

8 Upside-Downs Of Little Lady Lovekins And Old Man Muffaroo

7 Kiskaloo

6 The World Of Charles Addams

5 Sugarshock!

4 Penny Arcade

3 The Far Side

2 Hark! A Vagrant!

1 xkcd
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#1 [Feb. 27th, 2011|09:04 am]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or grow out of them)

Ever since my encounter with the fiend, I’ve been sleeping badly. Every dream is the same – I’m wrestling with a greasy beast that has 100 appendages. What can it possibly mean?

Using an oven mitt shaped like one of Mickey’s gloves I take another tray of Welsh rarebit out of the oven. Slice into the cheese and drizzle on the Worcestershire sauce like a pro. If you do it right, what you’ll have afterwards is a slimy tray of food that tastes like Worcestershire sauce.

I sacrifice a bite of rarebit to the mouth god. Nyam nyam nyam.

“Do you know what happens to gluttons in the third circle of Hell?” asks the fiend. He smells like mustard and ink, but mostly mustard.

“I’m pretty sure the boss monster is a three-headed stomach. Look, I summoned you again because I need some help. Troubling dreams.”

The fiend sits down across from me and takes a slice of rarebit off the plate. “Is it the one where you have to fight the beast?”

“How did you know?”

He chews thoughtfully. “Everybody has that dream now. It’s a symptom of living through an Age Of Glut. You don’t have much in the way of real problems, but you do have this never-ending stream of entertainment flowing towards you to deal with. That’s the beast. It eats attention and shits distractions. Fighting it is futile. All you can do is flail through its leavings, sorting the eggs from the crap. It’s the Glut Beast. Glut-Sothoth. The Black Glut Of The Woods With A Thousand Young.”

“Glutzilla?”

“Whatever. You didn’t bring me here just to ask about that, though.”

“No. It’s the 100 Comics list. I’m down to number one and I don’t know what to do.”

“You’ve only had three years to think of something.”

“I know, but I hadn’t really thought about it that way. It’s not supposed to be a ‘top 100’, carefully graded so that each entry is slightly more worthy than the one before it with something controversial slapped in at number one so that next month’s letter column can be full of outraged responses. I just put things in as I read them or think of them.”

“You’re expecting outraged responses?”

“Some. You know, Internet comments.”

“You know what happens to angry Internet commenters in Hell? We put them in the river Styx to fight with the wrathful. It’s getting pretty full in there.”

“I can imagine. What are the comments section for if not, ‘How dare you leave out The Dark Knight Returns’?”

“It was a good Batman story, but it wasn’t much more than that,” says the fiend, who is of course familiar with the works of Frank Miller.

“See, you agree with me. Admittedly, you’re a personification of evil.”

The fiend has finished his rarebit and is dusting crumbs out of his goatee. The motion makes him look wise. “You put a lot of webcomics in the list,” he says.

“You’ve been reading it?”

“You think we don’t have the Internet in Hell? It’s only dial-up, but still.”

“So even in Hell you can read Penny Arcade? That doesn’t seem so bad.”

“Actually, their site’s blocked. But we can read Ctrl+Alt+Del.”

“You poor bastards,” I say with feeling.

“Don’t you find that a lot of webcomics are just about the Internet anyway? Even when they’re not, the dialogue and the punchlines rely on a certain Internet-culture savviness.”

“Yeah, but a lot of newspaper strips reference current affairs. It’s only natural for art to comment on the thing it’s surrounded by. So what you’re saying is I should end with something that comments on what I’ve been doing? Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

“No, that's a stupid idea. I think you should hurry up and choose between Krazy Kat and Peanuts already.”

“It should be a webcomic, too. It would be fitting and they do deserve to be taken more seriously.”

“Do you know what happens to people who don’t listen in Hell? We shout at them till they learn.”

“I’ve figured it out. It’s perfect. Take this, Moby Glut! From Hell’s heart, and my LiveJournal, I stab at thee!”

The fiend quietly facepalms in despair.





100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or grow out of them)





#1 xkcd – Randall Munroe
(xkcd.com)


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#2 [Feb. 24th, 2011|06:06 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or are driven to a life of crime by them; Fredric Wertham was right)

#2 HARK! A VAGRANT - Kate Beaton
(harkavagrant.com)


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#3 [Feb. 23rd, 2011|05:53 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or go blind from those 'close readings' of Catwoman back issues)

#3 THE FAR SIDE - Gary Larson
(Andrews McMeel)


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#4 [Feb. 21st, 2011|10:03 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or start writing fanfic about Superman meeting The Rolling Stones)

#4 PENNY ARCADE - Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins
(penny-arcade.com)

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#5 [Feb. 20th, 2011|08:57 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or become one of those people who argues about the definition of the term 'graphic novel')

#5 SUGARSHOCK! - Joss Whedon, Fábio Moon
(MySpace Dark Horse Presents)


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#6 [Feb. 19th, 2011|09:14 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or the DVD box sets pile up and you have to choose between Batgirl and 30 Rock, you have to choose)

#6 THE WORLD OF - Charles Addams
(Fodor's)

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#7 [Feb. 18th, 2011|05:48 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or discover beer and sex)

#7 KISKALOO - Chris Sanders
(kiskaloo.com)


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#8 [Feb. 17th, 2011|09:36 pm]
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100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or your partner tells you to stop filling the shelves with them, we're not going back to IKEA, we are not going back)

#8 UPSIDE-DOWNS OF LITTLE LADY LOVEKINS AND OLD MAN MUFFAROO - Gustave Verbeek
(The New York Herald)



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