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Wild Formalism: Dave Sim and the Art of Letters

October 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

So it’s been a rather busy week here on the nerd farm, and we haven’t quite had the time to go off on the in-depth look at Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men we had planned heading into this week’s final issue (though, holy crap, this new status quo he’s set up just feels like something that’s going to collapse in the nastiest possible way before he’s done with these characters, and I can’t wait to see how it happens). At any rate. Pressed for time as we [...]

More Shades of Gray: The Pencil Art of Gene Colan

September 3, 2019 // 3 Comments

So it was Gene Colan’s birthday earlier this week, and in marking the occasion over on our social media (shameless plug), I realized that we haven’t done a proper Colan post in SEVEN FREAKING YEARS. I figure that means we’re overdue, so I thought we might take a look at the great man’s work in pencil. Because Colan’s pencils were sublime, full of shading and graceful, swirling lines that… made his art difficult to ink. All that delicacy and grace were hard to [...]

Proof Positive

August 20, 2019 // 0 Comments

So real life’s getting in the way of our usual long-winded ramblings here on the nerd farm this week. We didn’t wanna leave our faithful readers with nothing, however, so here’s a quick Alex Toth four-pager from the old Warren magazines (specifically, Creepy #80, from 1976). All pages are fully embiggenable, so… Enjoy! An interesting side-note to this story: Toth produced this as an 8-pager, with landscape (or “sideways”) art. But (maybe for technical [...]

Nerd Emergency

July 15, 2019 // 2 Comments

So we’ve had a bit of a family emergency here on the nerd farm, and I’m afraid that means there will be no column this week. That’s twice in a month, so you have our apologies. But it can’t be helped. So instead, please accept this picture of the One True Batman, and his appropriately-labeled lever… [...]

Z is for Zorro … But T is for Toth!

April 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

So I had the opportunity recently to pick up the old Eclipse Comics two-volume set reprinting Alex Toth’s Zorro stories from the 1950s. They’re beautiful comics, so (since I’m short on time this week) here’s a gallery of the artwork, showing off exactly how good Toth really was. Gorgeous stuff. Classic adventure cartooning, with Toth’s flair for setting and composition. One thing I should probably mention here: the Eclipse editions reprinted the Zorro stories in [...]

Blood, Lust, and the Blurring of Lines: Emily Carroll Arrives at the Castle

April 16, 2019 // 3 Comments

So it was kind of a lackluster week for comics. Until today, that is… When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll Emily Carroll is one of those cartoonists whose work just kind of speaks to me. She tends to lurk at the intersection of horror and folklore, with a fine appreciation of the weird and a slightly off-kilter approach that often takes her stories down roads less-traveled. I’ve seen her work compared to Edward Gorey, which I can understand. Both have a similar love of the [...]

A Random Collection of Beautiful Things

January 29, 2019 // 1 Comment

So instead of working on this week’s column, I’ve gotten distracted by a new project the last few days. Which means it’s time to dip into our vast supply of funnybook images. We do this kind of thing all the time over on the nerd farm’s social media (a few of the images below are appearing there this week, in fact), but not so often on the main site. We can do things bigger and better here, though, so I decided to pick out 25 pictures, by 25 different artists, featuring [...]

Countdown to Halloween 2018

October 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

So we’re on Halloween vacation this week, and as such aren’t really around to deliver the usual long-winded enthusiasm. So instead, we’re just going to direct you over to our social media, where we’ve been sort of unofficially participating in the annual Countdown to Halloween with a new comics-related Halloween post every day. Usually, it’s just a piece of artwork, but sometimes there’s a little story to go with it. Somewhere in there, we even put up the [...]

NOT A NUMBER: Jack Kirby vs. The Prisoner

July 24, 2018 // 3 Comments

So last week, I indulged in a rare splurge on an objet d’art: The Original Art Edition of Jack Kirby’s adaptation of The Prisoner, which reproduces his pencils at the size he drew them. I’ve bought a few of these art board reproductions over the years (Kirby’s Mister Miracle, a collection of Wally Wood stories for EC Comics), and I’d sworn I’d never buy another one. Not because they’re not nice; they are, especially for a comics historian and process [...]

Scary Monsters and Super Creeps: An Appreciation of Steve Ditko

July 10, 2018 // 7 Comments

So I’m sure that, if you’re reading this, you’ve heard about the passing of Steve Ditko. A true giant of comics, Ditko stands in a position sort of opposite Jack Kirby in the funnybook pantheon. If Kirby is a pugnacious Thor, the god of a feisty heroic ideal, then Ditko is a nervous Hades, the god of dark obsessions and paranoia, his art best-suited to supernatural horror and shadowy urban crime drama. It seems ironic, then, that his most famous creation is the wisecracking [...]