Ghost dinosaurs, Eisner Nominations, etc.

by John Holbo on April 21, 2009

Now back to comics-related matters! Readers who missed last week’s thrilling installments should be made aware that I have started a webcomic of sorts, “Squid and Owl”, which I am updating weekdays as a Flickr set and at J&B. Naturally, I crave your attention. Today, for example, I make an Anthony Powell joke.

In other webcomics news, the first two chapters of Chris “the ISB” Sims’ “The Chronicles of Solomon Stone” are up. Half-vampire skate detective, with unsteadily Cockney sidekick/love interest vs. volcano island lair dinosaur ghost witches. I would say it is quite amusing.

In actual whatchamacallit comicscomics news, the Eisner nominees have been announced. I’ve praised Scott Morse’s art before around here, so I’m happy to report that Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! [amazon] is nominated in the ‘best painter/multimedia artist category. But if Eddie Campbell wins, fair’s fair.

Congratulatons as well to my friend, Jonathan Lethem, nominated for best limited series for Omega: The Unknown [amazon]. I haven’t read it yet but am looking forward. (I am reliably informed that there’s a Watcher-like character in it named the Overthinker. That’s a good one.)

You know what I really enjoyed this year? The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1 [amazon] – that’s what. Nominated in a couple categories. It’s written by Gerard Way, lead singer for My Chemical Romance, a band I hate. I’ll just transcribe the opening. It’s supposed to have pictures, of course. But maybe you can get a sense of its nice, deadpan riproaringness, as it does it’s ‘what if Prof. X were a complete jerk’ meets League of Extraordinary Orphans thing.

It was the same year “Tusslin’ Tom” Gurney knocked out the spacesquid from Rigel X-9. It happened at 9:38 p.m. It came from an atomic flying elbow. And in that moment … without warning … and in an occurrence of complete coincidence … forty-three extraordinary children were born … to mostly single women who had shown no signs of pregnancy in seemingly random locations around the world. The children were either abandoned or put up for adoption … the ones who survived. Enter, Sir Reginald Hargeeves, a.k.a. The Monacle. World-renowned scientist and wealthy entrepreneur. Inventor of The Televator, The Levitator, The Mobile Umbrella Communicator, and Clever Crisp Cereal. Olympic Gold medalist and recipient of the Nobel Prize for his work in the cerebral advancement of the chimpanzee. Space alien.

He adopts the children to save the world. From what, the world asks?

It’s not as though affectionately ironic send-ups of superhero comics are exactly a new thing. But I found this to be a highly commendable addition to that ever-lengthening shelf.

The art is by Gabriel Bá. It’s very nice. Probably that’s why he’s nominated for an Eisner.





Ginger Yellow 04.21.09 at 4:33 pm

I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by Umbrella Academy Vol 1. It was fun enough, but a bit too pleased with itself and I have no particular desire to read any more.


Keith 04.21.09 at 6:49 pm

Umbrella Academy is fantastic. Just picked up chapter 5 of vol. 2 this weekend: Time traveling, conspiracy theories involving the JFK assassination and vampire Vietcong. Seriously silly stuff but so much fun.

His comics writing is so good, it makes me wonder why Gerard Way’s music sucks so bad…


Batocchio 04.21.09 at 10:22 pm

Neat aesthetic there for Squid and Owl.


John Holbo 04.21.09 at 11:21 pm

Thanks, Batocchio.


Salient 04.22.09 at 2:12 am

Naturally, I crave your attention.

If that were truly true, I’d be able to buy a CafePress coffee mug with the Squid and Owl logo on it by now. Mother’s Day is coming up, you know.


John Holbo 04.22.09 at 2:40 am

It’s coming, Salient. It’s coming. (Thank you kindly.)


Walt 04.22.09 at 3:29 am

I looked at J&B, and I couldn’t figure out where the beginning was. The first one after the announcement is numbered 22. Is that really the first one?


John Holbo 04.22.09 at 4:58 am

Ah, no. Sorry, Walt. The whole set is on Flickr: 1-27. I put the first 21 all up at once. Then I started updating one at a time. Only the updates are posted at J&B. There is a sidebar Flickr thingy but probably I should make the nature of the thing clearer.


jim 04.22.09 at 5:24 pm

At first I thought the “Happy Brithday Violet” was the Anthony Powell joke, but then saw that it was posted today which, because of the peculiar Singaporean method of counting, is not the same today as the today in your CT post.


fourcultures 04.27.09 at 3:56 am

‘The Overthinker’??? I’d like to see a comic starring The Oversharer. Now that would be a super skill for our times.

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