Tags: chris onstad


ray smuckles

oK I get it, finally: Achewood is a genius. It took sitting down w/ th newest book, "Great Outdoor Fight", for me to understand why y'all been crazy for it this whole time. What's funny is I'm still wholly indifferent to th drawings, and mostly ignore them. Ain't done my homework, neither, so am not sure whether he draws ugly on purpose or if that's th best he can do; but it turns out I don't care.

That's one of th magicks about comix: they are not th drawings. I like simple drawings


like John Porcellino's, and Lynda Barry's "ugly" pockmarked faces, and

hee hee

John Campbell's stick figures. I also like


Moebius' widescreen detail, Crumb's perfect orchestration of hachure, and Jaime Hernandez's soap operatic chiaroscuro; there's a lot of room in comix for virtuosity.

@ th end of th day, though, what makes a work of comix work or not work is something beyond drawing, something I don't have an especially great interest in defining. Most days, ah'll call it th magick. Some days, such as today, I'll get an urge to call it simply th language. It speaks it or it doesn't.

Achewood: th Great Outdoor Fight, my friends, speaks it louder than a Chinese fishmonger. I won't say much more, especially as most of you are far more familiar w/ these characters than I am, but to me this is clearly one of th most ingenious worlds of macho fiction ever devised. It's not perfect. Its primitive Adobe Illustrator drawings grate th eyes for page after page until, like a pebble in yr shoe that after some walking works itself into a bearable position, you barely notice. (Sometimes you can't tell what th fuck th characters are doing w/ their stumpy hands.) Its poetry is crude, its plot skeletal and seemingly improvised from page to page. But it's funny and comes w/ its own infectious slang. And its portrayal of a particular brand of male friendship is deadly accurate and, finally, more than a bit poignant.[1]

Who's going to SPX? Anyone wanna go to this pre-party w/ me?

Cartoonists are nice.


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basil "get lovedbad_juice" and I made like Siskel & Ebert w/ th comix last night, and from th following morning's vantage point it all looks a little on th nerdy side; but I'm posting th chat log w/ all my heart, anyhow, because Content Rules Supreme Over Nearly Everyone. (Edited to add visual relief and so you don't have to read every last "haha" and digression.)

left-wing politics

11:41 PM bad_juice: i'm glad the comics forums are staying active so far
11:42 PM talking comics always makes me happy, and now that i have no nearby RL friends, it's good to stay on top of the situation
11:43 PM lostcosmonaut: yes there's already been a lot i learned from th comm
bad_juice: me too!
lostcosmonaut: th thing is there are a lot more nerds out there
i haven't begun to spread th word about th comms

11:44 PM bad_juice: so you're saying we can expect even more new blooooood and opinions?
lostcosmonaut: comix is pretty much th only area where el gay is thriving, too
bad_juice: good thing i like both of those things
lostcosmonaut: dunno of you've discovered them yet but there are tons of webcomix based on el gay
11:45 PM and they are super-popular too
bad_juice: haha
i have not!
what are some of them called

lostcosmonaut: all th good el jay comix they have eff lists of 3000 or something
insane numbers by el gay standards

11:46 PM bad_juice: haha
for sure

11:47 PM i still haven't even cracked 100
lostcosmonaut: probably still not a hair on th ass of achewood but really decent
here let me link you some

11:48 PM bad_juice: excellent
lostcosmonaut: http://stereotypist.livejournal.com/
might be th most read one

John Campbell; click through for stirring conclusion

11:50 PM bad_juice: i added it and will read some later
any others of excellence?

11:51 PM lostcosmonaut: this lady just started her el gay in october:
11:52 PM http://beatonna.livejournal.com/

Kate Beaton is a Canadian.

bad_juice: hopefully this will help make my f_l more exciting
11:53 PM now that i has no job, i spend way more time than i should reading entries that i should not
11:54 PM lostcosmonaut: this guy is so consistently funny it is 'tarded:

Dunno know this guy's name, just Nedroid for now I guess.

11:55 PM well those are my top 3 el jay ones i think
11:56 PM lostcosmonaut: not counting http://squinkyelo.livejournal.com/ who is one of my favourite cartoonists anywhere

Eleanor Davis is th next _________.  Click through for a bit of interesting commentude on art's importance.

11:57 PM she gets published regularly by fantagraphics
bad_juice: nice
lostcosmonaut: but posts irregularly on el jay
11:58 PM bad_juice: that's understandable, although also too bad
lostcosmonaut: if you find others please share on th comm(s)
bad_juice: i like the art so far
i definitely will

lostcosmonaut: i read that there are 14,000 webcomix out there [actually 19,000 according to this article]
so there's no way any one of us knows all of them

11:59 PM bad_juice: that's true
i haven't read many in a while, tho, sadly
i haven't even read achewood in like a year
i don't know how that happened

12:00 AM lostcosmonaut: never got into achewood, i don't think its humour is my humour, coudl be wrong, though
bad_juice: it started to go downhill, it was just kinda eh for most of the first year or so, then it got really excellent for a year, maybe two, straight, then it just kinda... got longer
and less interesting

12:01 AM lostcosmonaut: i can read pbf over and over, it's easy
bad_juice: for me pbf has always been really hit-miss
lostcosmonaut: we already had this discussion about how easy = good

12:02 AM bad_juice: when it's good it knocks my socks off tho
lostcosmonaut: i always know what he's going for, though, even when he's not right on target
bad_juice: that makes sense
12:06 AM lostcosmonaut: all right here's one i picked @ random:

bad_juice: i don't think i could be funny on purpose once a week with any consistency
lostcosmonaut: i mean it's not exactly LOL right?
12:07 AM but still a v. good idea
bad_juice: it actually did make me lol, but that might also partly be not-so-fond memories of being 15 and thinking good will hunting was super awesome great movie
lostcosmonaut: well OK mebbe thet's not th best example because that one might actually make me LOL too under diff conditions
12:08 AM bad_juice: haha
lostcosmonaut: lemme dig around for a not funny one

bad_juice: haha

12:09 AM lostcosmonaut: http://pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF228-The_Masculator.jpg
not LOL
in fact kind of depressing in that Jimmy C. way

12:10 AM bad_juice: it's true
lostcosmonaut: but still really good from concept to execution
bad_juice: right
i was about to say similar
for a comic with almost no dialogue
he gets the point across pretty great

12:11 AM lostcosmonaut: hmm hmm hey what if i post this log to one of th comms
12:12 AM bad_juice: definitely feel free
we could also talk about how i hate eisner
if you wanna stir stuff up!

12:13 AM bad_juice: i don't really hate him
his pictures are super pretty

12:15 AM bad_juice: my big deal with him is that, as a storyteller i think his stories can be pretty lame and contrived a lot... but also i think he has some really weird women shit going on that i never hear anyone talking about
like this one story where there's a poor girl who goes out to the hamptons to pretend to be rich and meet a rich guy, but then she meets a guy who is also poor looking for a rich girl and then when he finds out she's poor he rapes her or tries to

12:16 AM and then the nerdy guy the girl was ignoring the whole time swoops in and will still marry her and love her even tho she's damaged goods
and i was like, whoa eisner

lostcosmonaut: i haven't read that one but it doesn't surprise me from a man his age
12:17 AM and i've also seen some of his army training manuals, they are really bizarre
lostcosmonaut: "how to treat yr gun like a lady"
or somethign like that

12:18 AM lostcosmonaut: lemme try to find some supporting links
bad_juice: okay
12:24 AM bad_juice: the other story i was thinking of was the one where there's like a slow-witted apartment manager guy who's all lonely, and then this little like 10 year old girl comes in and he pays her money to show her vag or something and one day while he's distracted she steals his money case and runs off with it, then tells her aunt about him and the cops get called and at the end he kills himself out of guilt and not wanting to get arrested, but the final shot is like the girl sitting on the steps counting her money and i was all, so we're supposed to feel sorry for pedophile dude cause he got took by a gold-digging supposed lolita?
lostcosmonaut: haha that's insane
12:27 AM lostcosmonaut: http://www.needcoffee.com/2008/05/08/will-eisner-on-the-care-of-your-m-16/
12:28 AM bad_juice: wow that is pretty excellent
lostcosmonaut: in particular, this:

get in 'toon

Happy Mondaze, halohalomofokos.