I’m the token American in the third issue of the British SF anthology series RhiZome, edited by Rob Jackson and Kyle Baddeley-Read. My comic, “Rock Troll,” is ten pages long. Here’s the first page:
RhiZome #3 was reviewed by Richard Bruton on the Forbidden Planet blog. He liked “Rock Troll.” Here’s a quote:
A thing of some shape meets a rock. And the rock turns nasty. And then other stuff. It’s hardly War & Peace but by heck, it’s great. Maybe it’s the visual simplicity of it all, but whatever it was, it’s great.
Buy it from the shop link on Rob Jackson’s website. It’s £4 plus £2 if you’re outside the UK.
Here’s another page:
Kyle Baddeley-Read posted an interview with me on the RhiZome blog. Here’s an excerpt:
From the first three issues of RhiZome, what stories have stood out to you? Why?
My favorite story is “Corporation Pop” by Rob Jackson. The first two installments were in RhiZome #1 and #2. I like how Rob depicts a mundane office life that is spiraling out of control into a paranoid fantasy where nothing seems real. Tyler Stafford’s comic in RhiZome #2 is also amazing, like all of his work. He puts in a lot of little details in his drawings that make his SF worlds grounded. I also dig his character designs.
I did a drawing for Blank Hill Zine, a book inspired by King of the Hill. The editors, my buddy Jason Poland and Blake Jones, provided a template of Hank’s face that we could fill in.
Drawing this made me feel a little less homesick.
Blank Hill Zine is still available for sale. It’s the spiritual successor to SHAQZINE, edited by Jason Poland and Keith Mclean, which I also contributed to.
SHAQZINE is sadly sold out.
Here are two more reviews of Vortex with contrasting perspectives. Click here for blockquotes and links.
My wife, daughter, and I moved to the Kansas City area a few months ago. We’re mostly settled and have started exploring. KC is has an interesting vibe. It’s a lot older and more industrial than Austin. I’ve heard people describe KC as the westernmost Eastern city because of its age and architecture, lots of red brick buildings everywhere; the easternmost Western city because of its expansive grid of streets; and the northernmost Southern city because of its wide, winding boulevards. KC’s an undefined cloud in which everyone sees something different. Or maybe the Midwest is a mix of the rest of the country. For me, KC has a robust art scene; big free museums; beautiful, tree-lined streets; hanging out my wife’s extended family; and huge, cheap houses with basements so I can expand my studio practice.
My dungeon basement painting studio.
The massive population influx to Austin changed it almost completely in the 12.5 years I lived there. The constant condo construction, cranes all over downtown, crowds of new people, and churn in local businesses are exciting but Austin doesn’t have a strong sense of history, the traffic is terribly congested, and real estate is increasingly expensive. We were priced out of our neighborhood and didn’t want to live in Austin’s sprawling suburbs with a grueling commute. I miss breakfast tacos (and my friends and family of course) but I’m looking forward to new opportunities and possibilities here in KC.
Wonder Fair photos by Glade Hensel.
For Father’s Day, we decided to take a trip to Lawrence, which less than an hour west of KC in Kansas. It’s a small college town with a strong hippie vibe, like I imagine Austin was fifty years ago. The downtown has a lot of cool independent stores, including a rad print/zine shop and gallery called Wonder Fair. I dropped some copies of Vortex and Cold Heat Special #10 off there. I’m going to try and get them in some KC shops too.
Gunner Cade, published in 1952, was written by Cyril Judd. The author is not a relative of Donald Judd but is instead a pseudonym for the collaboration of Cyril M Kornbluth and Judith Merril. I haven’t read anything by Merril before but I have read Wolfbane, which Kornbluth wrote with Frederick Pohl and I highly recommend. Merril and Kornbluth both wrote more short stories than novels. Merril was one of the most influential people writing SF in the 50s and later moved to Toronto and was very prominent in the Canadian SF and protest scenes. She founded a SF library collection, an anthology, and most memorably dressed up as a witch to hex the Canadian parliament for allowing U.S. missile tests in Canadian airspace. Kornbluth wrote many collaborative novels but unfortunately died at the peak of his powers in his mid 30’s from a heart attack.
Cover by Paul Lehr.
Gunner Cade is a short, swiftly-paced SF novel that includes some incisive social commentary. The titular Cade lives in a far future Earth with an interplanetary society locked in stasis by the interplay between the emperor, nobles who rule different regions such as France and Mars (called Stars), the general (called the Gunner Supreme), and the spymaster (called the Power Master (has CF read this?)). The Gunners are warrior-priests who live an austere, celibate life of ritual centered on their one gun and fatalistic devotion to battle.
Some spoilers and more covers after the cut
Vortex got two reviews last week!
Here’s a quote from Rob McMonigal’s review on Panel Patter, part of a roundup of SF comics:
Cardini’s plot works well, drawing the reader in with increasing layers of complexity, as the Miizzzard finds himself in greater and greater danger, fighting forces that may in fact be beyond his ability to combat. What’s really cool, however, is the fact that the art, which is just on the border between abstract and structured, reflects this layering. Thanks to an art style that focuses heavily on shapes and patterns, we as the reader are challenged ourselves to try to pick out the distinct images or watch as one pattern dissolves into another, changing the scene.
Here’s the summary paragraph from Alex Hoffman’s review on Sequential State:
In a way, Vortex’s best comparison is shonen battle manga, specifically Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, where super-powered heroes battle super-powered enemies, who later become friends to fight greater enemies. There is death and revival, always advancing the plot; a secret move that can only be used in times of great need. There is a juvenileness and a joy about it, qualities that are the essence of shonen battle manga. These things jump out at me from Vortex, despite its psychedelic trappings. But the abstraction of art, Cardini’s use of texture, and the loose structure of this comic make it a refreshing read.
I moved recently so I went through my six longbox comics collection and culled the fluff. It was a lengthy process that involved a lot of re-reading old comics that I’ve been lugging around for years and never removing from their plastic bags. I tried to only keep the comics that I’ll want to re-read again in five or ten years.
This process led me to re-read all of the 2099 comics that I have. One that’s really stuck out is 2099 Unlimited, which had some cool little shorts in it that are pretty far from a typical 90’s Marvel book. It’s got me thinking about what I’d do in the 2099 ‘verse, and the obvious answer is SILVER SURFER 2099:
Collage background is “The star cluster NGC 3572 and its dramatic surroundings” by ESO/G. Beccari. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
ORIGIN: The Silver Surfer was infected by a rogue Celestial AI techno-virus in 2077. Norin Radd’s mind has become a war zone. The mutant Celestial mind tries to compel the Surfer to destroy unfit alien societies through hallucinations – sometimes the Surfer sees through these illusions and sometimes he doesn’t. Paranoid, the Surfer begs Galactus for healing, but all Galactus can do is wall off the Surfer’s consciousness from the exterior universe, sending Norin Radd and the Celestial AI on a vision quest through layers of subconsciousness, trying to destroy each other.
The end of Skew Part 2 went up on Study Group yesterday.
Skew Page 114, the last page of Part 2.
Part 3 won’t start until this summer.
I drew an hourly comic on 2/1/2015 but didn’t get it scanned and Photoshopped until today because I’ve been sick. Anyway, here it is: