This week sees the launch of the Kickstarter to fund the latest of Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin's Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales anthologies, featuring folk tales recreated and reimagined by some of the finest independent small press and webcomic cartoonists in the business. After previous volumes focused on tales from Europe and Africa, the third volume is comprised of Asian folk tales from the storytelling traditions of China, India, Japan, Tibet, and beyond, adapted by an impressive roster of creators that includes E.K. Weaver, Carla Speed McNeil, Lucy Bellwood, Terry Blas, and Gene Yang.
The Kickstarter is a third of the way towards its $29,000 goal, and with all the stories already completed and digital copies available from the $5 reward level, Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Asia Edition is a safe bet for anyone who loves great comics or great storytelling. But if you still need convincing, we can whet your appetite with this unsettling Tibetan folk tale from O Human Star creator Blue Delliquanti, debuting exclusively on ComicsAlliance.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate wasn't sure what to expect from the new Supergirl TV show...
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate has some awesome tips for great spooky comics to get you into a Halloween mood. Buy them for yourself; buy them as gifts for a friend, relative, or local witch; or give them away to the best trick-or-treaters to come to your door.
For a generation of readers --- some of whom, and I'm speaking from experience here, were probably way too young to get the political satire and realize that Steve Dallas was meant to be an absolutely terrible person --- Berkeley Breathed's classic Bloom County was one of the most influential comic strips on the newspaper page. While Breathed continued to do other strips until 2009, Bloom County itself ended in 1989.
Until last July, that is, when the strip made a surprising return online as Bloom County 2015, reviving the characters for more weird satire and the occasional exploding cat. And now, IDW has announced that it will be releasing printed collections of the strip starting next summer.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate's getting into a spooky mood for Halloween with a collection of tales sure to send shivers down the spine of anyone working in comics. Enter ye now the ghoulish garret of the freelance cartoonist... if you dare!
On October 2nd, 1950, Charles Schulz's Peanuts debuted in nine newspapers for United Features Syndicate. Fifty years later, it concluded with just shy of eighteen thousand strips published in thousands of papers, with the final installment appearing one day after Schulz passed away.
Between those two loci, Peanuts begat a billion-dollar media empire, the modern American comic strip, and a legacy of progressiveness, honesty, and inclusion that endures today. If Peanuts isn't definitively the greatest comic strip of all time, it's probably the most influential, and certainly the most successful, forever altering the dominant styles and subject matter of the funny pages.
If a reader today is at all familiar with Walt Kelly's long-running comic strip Pogo, their familiarity may simply be with the most widely circulated quote from the strip, “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” which appeared in the strip in 1970 and the same year on a poster for the first Earth Day celebration, and was repeated in 1971. But just as there is much more to this simple quote — which appeared over twenty years into the strip's run — than a simple environmental message, there is so much more to Pogo, the masterwork of one of the greatest cartoonists ever to have lived.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate has some advice for people starting out in comics, on being aware of the ways that people might try to take advantage of you, and on the importance of building a support network.
The premise is always the same: Cat loves mouse. Mouse hits cat with brick. Dog takes mouse to prison. While not literally every installment of George Herriman's Krazy Kat follows this exact premise, this is the framework around which the strip was built. One might think that such a simple formula would grow tiresome quickly, but Herriman — like a master of that other uniquely American art form, jazz — could take that simple framework and improvise around it, shifting characters and landscapes into something new and beautiful every day for over thirty years.
When you look back at pop culture, you can occasionally follow the threads back to these points that change everything. They're the projects that paved the way for so much that came after, the ones that introduced their audiences to a strange new way of thinking that eventually becomes the new standard, these massive influences that vast sections of the things we love almost certainly wouldn't exist without. And for my generation, Gary Larson's The Far Side is one of those points.
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