As usual it's been a while, and as usual I offer up my apologies, but things have actually been pretty busy for me lately in that exciting, new opportunities kind of way. I'm still writing for Comics Bulletin (I'm hoping to get more stuff written for them in the coming weeks as I'm slowly adjusting to a new work schedule) and I'm also working on a longer piece of comics writing, but I'm not exactly sure how much I can talk about that right now. Exciting things! Of course I've still got STRONG CONQUEROR, and hopefully I'll be putting up some more art stuff soon since Tony and I are kind of messing around with an old idea we've had. I also update my twitter @gwarrenl a lot because it's easy and nobody gives a shit.
There's been a lot of cool stuff I've been consuming lately that I wanted to tell you about.
-I'm about a quarter of the way through Sean Howe's Marvel Comics The Untold Story, and I'm really enjoying it. It's been getting me excited about digging through long boxes, but since I barely ever have time I've started checking out the digital option with Comixology. So far it's been okay. I bought some of Jim Starlin's work on Captain Marvel and I've been liking that a lot. I'd still love to have the actual, physical copies, but the digital editions are a nice way to have the comics and instant gratification.
-My mom gave me her old iPad and I've been using it to get into digital comics. I was very hesitant about getting onboard with digital comics as I'm one of those assholes who loves having stacks and stacks of comics around, but living in a small apartment in New York isn't really conducive for hoarding junk. I'm still trying to lay down some ground rules for myself with regards to what I buy digitally. So far I'm thinking the physical comics will be minis and independent/self-published books as well as back issues of stuff I like to look at. I don't know, I'm just trying very hard to show a little restraint now that buying comics is as simple as tapping a button. I think digital is definitely a nice way to go for manga, since I've found that that stuff stacks up FAST. I'm still going to be making trips out to Bergen Street Comics and Desert Island, of course. Those are still the best places to pick up minis and oddities.
-Speaking of Manga, I got myself a digital subscription to Shonen Jump, which has been really nice. I think it's something like three or four bucks a month, and you get a download of Shonen Jump each week, something like 200 or 300 pages of manga. Pretty nice deal. I'm not very familiar with the manga included every week, but I'm enjoying reading them with minimal context. The art is nice and being lost in the middle of a story has been pretty fun for me. I've been really feeling One Punch Man by ONE and Yusuke Murata, and I dig the color reprints of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball Z. Shonen Jump has been pretty good.
-Also in manga, I've been rereading one of my favorites, Kazuo Umezu's The Drifting Classroom, and I picked up Junji Ito's Uzumaki and Gyo. I've been getting into horror manga a lot, and Kazuo Umezu and Junji Ito are great places to start. Both make scary comics, but with completely different approaches.
-I read Osamu Tezuka's The Mysterious Underground Men and I loved it. It's actually the first of Tezuka's stuff that I've ever read, and I'm crazy about it. The good thing about getting into Tezuka is that there seem to be so many good places to start.
-I picked up a lot of great comics at this year's Comic Arts Brooklyn festival. I had a great time at CAB, and I met up with pretty much everyone I wanted to see. I picked up books from Sam Alden, Julia Gfrorer, Ines Estrada, Patrick Kyle, Michael DeForge, Lala Albert, Zach Mason, Will Laren, Oily Comics and a bunch of others I'm forgetting right now. Sorry, I'm gonna drop some names here real quick: Frank Santoro said he liked the review I wrote on Pompeii. Chuck Forsman gave me a bunch of comics to thank me for doing some copy writing for the Oily Comics webshop. I got to catch up with my buddy Tucker at the NoBrow Table. It was a nice time, and I'm glad CAB's been able to pick up where BCGF left off.
-Have you guys read Matt Thurbers The Infomaniacs yet? I just finished it last week, and I thought it was hilarious. It reads like a satire piece on millenials and internet culture, but it moves like a genuine thriller. Very funny work that offers an identifiable and ambivalent approach to the role technology and the internet is playing in our lives. I mean, I think the temptation is to read it as a critique on how dependent we are on technology, but I think there's actually this more interesting underlying tension about how we fit in the internet age. It's simple hack work to write a takedown against millenials or a screed about being glued to a smartphone. I think The Infomaniacs does a good job of showing how ridiculous our dependence/consumption has become, as well as how unsettling and even scary it would be to consider unplugging entirely. I liked it a lot, and I think you should check it out, seeing as how we're both living on the internet. I don't know, my thoughts are all over the place I guess. I'm gonna reread it and let it sink in.
-In not-comics news, Tessa and I saw Kanye and Kendrick's YEEZUS tour a couple of weeks ago. It was an amazing experience. One of the best shows I'd seen. I'd talk about it more, but it'd be clumsy and nowhere close to actually explaining what I saw. They should have sent a poet, etc.
-Tessa and I also caught The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world famous Rockettes. It was full of spectacle and de-sexualized magic that I would have HATED if I were between the ages of 12 and 21.
Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you, internet. I'll keep you updated if more stuff happens.