Which comics do you consider the most essential reading? (Comics = comic books, comix, comic strips, web comics, more?)

I am drinking Juicy Juice and scouring the Internet for action figures based on my favorite childhood comics & cartoon franchises while complaining about—nay, BEMOANING—capitalism’s failure to deliver to me precisely what I want

Four or five years ago, for my birthday, I bought myself Neca’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures—the awesome ones based on the original Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird’s original comics, like so:

They are so utterly badass. They all have red bandanas, for one thing, and they also have tails, which got clipped from the later TV cartoon versions because they looked like—penises, I guess.

As you can readily see, I am a proud owner of these figures:


Random / 46 Comments
November 10th, 2012 / 12:01 am

Superhero Wikipedia Pages: Hulk Guys Edition

HTMLGiant’s Superhero week has, like a day-glo-green mutagenic ooze, spilled over into an additional week, and may continue for all of the weeks to come, forever. In this post, I construct some (let’s call it) free-verse poetry from more Superhero Wikipedia pages, this time focusing on some of the Hulk characters. My feeling isn’t that the language of these things is beautiful, though it is sometimes what I would call incredible. What I find continually hypnotic is their dedication to story above all. CLICK BEYOND THE FOLD TO LEARN THEIR EPIC STORIES!


Craft Notes / 11 Comments
September 10th, 2012 / 7:55 pm

Only the Hulk could have attempted it! Only the Hulk would have been capable of it! Only the Hulk could have done it!!

Pretty much my favorite two pages in comics, ever:


I Like __ A Lot / 5 Comments
May 7th, 2012 / 4:36 pm

First Word

I have a longstanding interest in comics. There was a long period where I wanted more than anything to make a great online experimental comic. I still want to make comics, actually, but as an artist I am debilitatingly neurotic. I delete everything I draw on the computer, trash everything I draw on paper. I spend a lot of time wishing that I knew an artist who would like to work with me and make a lot of money. (I am overconfident in this regard, perhaps.)

Patrick Farley was one of many inspirations. His work has regularly bumped up against the limits of current technology. The results were sometimes awkward and even garish, but they were also sometimes incredible, and they always felt like a glimpse into the future of the form. His new comic First Word is perhaps the first time I’ve read something by Farley and felt that it was doing exactly what it meant to do. The technology, and Farley’s ability to manipulate it, has caught up, and there are several truly breathtaking sequences. I guess I should mention that it’s NSFW, unless you work somewhere awesome.

I’ll admit I’m not always entirely clear on what’s going on — the comic is wordless — but there comes a point where that really stops mattering. Curious what you all think of this.

Random / 5 Comments
January 26th, 2012 / 12:33 pm

The Hero’s Body

This post is an essay about comic books and sex. These are things I am thinking about because of a book I am writing.

In May of 1962, the brilliant scientist Bruce Banner rushed into the site of an experimental gamma bomb detonation in order to save a teenager, young Rick Jones, from the blast. Banner stood at the blast’s center. His body absorbed a massive dose of gamma radiation. Banner soon found that when he lost control of his temper, he would become the Hulk, a super-strong, bulky monster with green skin and the collective smarts of a box of rocks. The Hulk was originally more of a monster than a hero, back when monster books still sold; Stan Lee created him by combining him with Frankenstein’s creature and the Hyde of Jekyll and Hyde. He also compared him to the golem. The Hulk looks like this:


Random / 13 Comments
January 12th, 2012 / 3:31 pm



by Matthew Thurber
PictureBox, 2011
176 pages / Buy from PictureBox








There isn’t much crossover between the worlds of experimental comics and small press literature—perhaps some of us literary folk even harbor an unconscious prejudice of the comics form, writing it off as a lowbrow and degraded medium particular to a certain class of socially inept nerds (as if writers possess any kind of social grace…). If we adhere to these arbitrarily demarcated disciplinary boundaries, we will totally miss out on some mind-blowing gems out there, like Matthew Thurber’s hallucinatory and brain-bending epic 1-800-MICE. (Watch the trailer here.)


December 17th, 2011 / 1:55 am