Saturday, November 14, 2015
This past week I've finished illustrating a new short story anthology from Airship 27 featuring none other than the great magician Harry Houdini. I have no idea if younger generations nowadays are aware of Houdini, the man and the myth, but when I was a kid he was still a pretty well known legend and widely revered as the greatest illusionist ever, so it was a blast to visualize some of the scenes from these great four tales. Here's one of my illos from the book.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Safari Honeymoon
I wish I could come up with comics as good as this. Someday, when I grow up, maybe. I find this comic so good on so many levels, from the "high concept" to its "execution". It's so refreshing, inspiring and personal. Jesse Jacobs builds a cartoon world that is coherent, charming, creative, whimsical, amusing and terrifying too... and it's all his own too, like handwriting. Don't let yourself be deceived by the apparently simple façade of the ornamental and doodly-oriented art of Jesse Jacobs. Like the biological ecosystem invented and depicted right in front of the readers (and of the protagonists) eyes, within its pages, Safary Honeymoon has layers over layers of themes and questions that kept wondering about the hypothesis long after I've closed the book.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Forming
Following on our previous post and keeping on the theme of Ancient Astronauts and english language indie comics, it seems appropriate to bring up Forming. Originally a webcomic by Jesse Moynihan, one of the many creators behind one of my (if not THE) favorite contemporary cartoons - Adventure Time - this incomplete epic is one of the craziest and most inspiring comics I've had the pleasure of reading in the last few years. Moynihan's ambitions in terms of characters, multiple storylines, themes, scope and even different genres touched upon this work are dangerously close to being too much for the casual reader and, I speculate, even for his own command of the craft... as it should!
Saturday, August 15, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - By This Shall You Know Him
I confess: I am a fan of History Channel's Ancient Aliens series. Not just that series specifically. I always make an effort to watch almost any documentary or read anything about UFOs, aliens, ancient astronauts and even tangentially related things like cryptozoology or paranormal phenomena. You see, I was around during the UFO craze of the late 1970's. My mom was a huge fan of the theme (and a believer, I suspect) so I was surrounded with photo magazines, books and comics about UFOs and the ancient astronauts theory from a very tender age. I read books by authors/investigators on this subject. I am a huge fan of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I wached E.T. at the cinema when it was first released. I never missed an episode of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World on t.v. I love Jack Kirby's Eternals. Now, I have never seen UFOs, aliens or any paranormal stuff ( that I know of ) in the real world, nor can I really say I believe in these tales, but this whole mythology is in my DNA. I love it and I find it an incredible fountain of inspiration.
With all of this explained, it's fair to say this comic catched my interest from the get-go. Nevertheless, what makes it one of my favorites is the incredible combination of the theme, which as I just refered is a personal preference, with Jesse Jacobs amazing cartooning talent. Here's someone who, behind an apparently simple, cartoony, almost doodle-like style, creates a refreshing take on ancient themes, ideas and questions to the point where it almost looks like this is something new and different. With this book, Jesse Jacobs made me a fan of his work. "By this shall you know him", indeed.
Saturday, August 08, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Le Major
There are few cartoonists who manage to navigate with success between the sometimes opposite fields of mainstream and independent comics. Jean Giraud Moebius was one of those lucky few. Le Major is one of his works that falls clearly in the independent league: a self-published fac-simile limited edition of an A5 hardcover sketchbook he carried through the years, slowly filling it with his trademark freestyle improvisational comix and (surprise, surprise) a few collaborative panels with guests like Lorenzo Mattotti or Andre Juillard. This bijou is one of my most favorite comic objects ever and the perfect antidote to nausea inducing assembly-line comics. Although this limited original collector's edition is long sold-out, I hear there is an affordable standard spanish edition available for those interested in checking out the contents.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Bone
This is one comic which should definitely be on the same cannon as Carl Bark's Duck stories or Goscinny & Uderzo's Astérix as far as all-ages classics of the comics medium are concerned ... and I was lucky enough to have followed it as it was being originally published. There are many comics with an epic feeling, but very few manage to be actual epics; Bone belongs to those happy few. It marvels with its scope, yet, like the best popular works in storytelling media, it is filled with a human touch and sense of humour that prevents it from falling into pretentiousness. Plus, Jeff Smith's brilliant draftsmanship doesn't get a day older as time moves on. One of the major contenders for best north-american comic book of the last quarter-century!
Saturday, July 25, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Big Baby
Charles Burns, another author whose comics I was first introduced to through the Comic Book Confidential documentary. In that film, he reads a passage from Curse of the Molemen. an interesting riff on 1950s pop artifacts like EC horror comics and B-series movies. The strange yet familiar atmosphere of the drawings and the deceptively simple, layered storyline were mesmerizing and left a deep mark on my imagination. It would take years before I'd finally get a copy of the anthology featuring the adventures of Tony Delmonto ( also known as Big Baby ) and read other stories set on the world of Burns. His comics brought back feelings I hadn't experienced since my early comic book reading days discovering 70's marvel superheroes, getting that same sense of repulse and attraction over such beautiful representations of ugliness.
Little did I know that years later Burns would dig even deeper into his disturbing imagination and bring us dark pearls like Black Hole...
Saturday, July 18, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - I killed Adolf Hitler
Don't let yourself be deceived by the pop culture contraptions. Jason is a genius and his comics are among the very best being done right now. Really, there's no other way for me to put it. Each new comic from this norwegian cartoonist feels like a gold nugget found on the river sands of the comic book market. Classic but fresh; humble yet bold; succint and sophisticated, All at the same time. Jason's comics are never hard on the eyes, they always read smoothly, his storytelling is crystal clear and his characters feel much more human (for antropomorphic animals) than the usual stack of types that populate comics.
Honestly, I could pick any of his other comics to showcase here, they all rank among my favorite readings and never fail to please me, but I'll stick with this one just for the sake of being the first of his books that I read.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Farewell, Comic Related!
It has come to my attention that the site COMIC RELATED has ceased operations. This site was pivotal in getting my webcomic THE MIGHTY ENLIL accessible to a wider audience. Without their support it certainly wouldn't have been the same. I wish Brant Fowler, Chuck Moore and John Wilson (the three co-owners of CR), all the best in their next endeavours.
Saturday, July 04, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Prosopopus
What's not to like about this bande-dessinnee, the long-lost love child of David Lynch and Walt Disney? Much has been said about comics innability to genuinely scare but this is one of the creepiest works I've ever experienced, in or outside comics. Answers remain elusive after a first reading and subsequent raids into this wordless masterpiece will only deepen the mysteries. Coincidentally, I remember reading somewhere in the internet that it could be interpreted as Nicolas De Crecy's comeback on Sylvain Chomet for the uncredited inspiration, to put it mildly, that The Triplettes of Belleville (which I quite like, btw) owe to the creative works of De Crecy and that terminated any hopes readers might've had of a Leon La Came follow-up from the duo. All in all, whichever way you wish to read it, this is one of those comics that will linger on long after its final panel. Like I said, creepy...
Saturday, June 27, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Fear of Comics
Ah, Gilbert Hernandez, one of the madmen of comics! Nowhere is this epiteth more adequate than on this volume collecting diverse short-stories originally published on different magazines. I´m probably on the minority here but I tend to prefer Beto's work when he's off Palomar, so naturally this one comes off as a personal favorite out of his cannon. Besides, whenever I want to be reminded of what comics can do but often fail to, I just reach out to my worn-out copy of "Fear of Comics" and let good ol'boy Roy show me.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - 100 Rooms
It would be so easy to pick up the whole Locas stories as a favorite but I'd rather not, I think it's much more fun to single out one story... A long time ago, during my idle spent teen years, I discovered the incredible world of Jaime Hernandez through reprints on a now defunct brazilian comix anthology. The artwork was drop-dead gorgeous then and still is now. A few years down the line I came across a Titan Books compilation with a bunch of Jaime's stories. Among them was this little gem of which I had seen the author himself reading a few pages on Comic Book Confidential, a documentary featuring a bunch of luminary north-american cartoonists which I had been lucky enough to catch on tv! So, I decided to pick "100 Rooms" to run here for purely nostalgic reasons. Jaime, Maggie, Hopey and co. have since then gone on to much greater heights in terms of storytelling... but I'm still waiting for Casey and Maggie to meet again ;-)
Saturday, June 13, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Phoenix, A Tale of the Future
I found the work of Tezuka later on, as a young adult, which, I suppose, may not be the most apropriate age group for the majority of Tezuka's works. Nevertheless, it captivated me in a way that other more "serious" and "mature" comics from contemporary authors almost always fail to do so. Why? Well, beyond the beautiful artwork, filled with characters with incredibly cute and captivating designs, extremely appealling and sensual ink lines against very detailed and naturalistic backgrounds, there's this recurring approach to narrative through an emphasis on emotion and reader/character empathy that never fails to get ahold of this incurable romantic reader. The forbidden romance between Masato and Tamami, the jealousy of Rock, Professsor Saruta's desperate quest... on lesser hands it would all sound fake and clichéd. The surprising miracle, then, is that, somehow, Osamu Tezuka while createing these epic dramas with cute little fictional characters, manages to go against the odds and makes it all work beautifully. Amazing!
Saturday, June 06, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Hicksville
If I had to pick one single comic that helped raise my consciousness of the social injustices and crass exploitation at the heart of the mainstream american comic book industry this would be it. Ironic then, that given the content of this book, Dylan Horrocks, the author of this "independent" comic would then fall for the siren song of the system and end up writing corporate comics like Batgirl and burnout, but I digress...
This book is clearly the work of a man who loves the comics medium. Still, be warned, this is also about everything else that goes with it, all the nastiness, greed and pettiness that kept (keeps?) the medium and its practitioners from achieving its/their full potential. Yet, Hicksville IS a love letter to comics... I guess sometimes only someone who loves you can tell you the truth, right?
Saturday, May 30, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Yummy Fur #1-32
Where else but in comics can you get an experience that goes from personal confessions to scathological annedoctes to bizarre dream-like situations to segments from the christian gospels all in the same package? If what I've just described sounds impossibly strange, then chances are you've never dared into the realm of canadian cartoonist Chester Brown's Yummy Fur. I should note that I wasn't aware of Yummy Fur when it was being published, even so, reading it later on was an experience unlike anything else in comics. Issue to issue, its author grew and experimented and boldly succeeded at going beyong safe, familiar territory into realms of seldom charted (at least for comics) wild human experience and imagination. And even now, he continues to do so. Like him or not, Chester Brown is one of the current prophets of the comics medium leading the way into wild, dangerous territories.
I suppose in these days when the "graphic novel" rules uber alles and the periodical, stappled, traditional format of comic books seems to be going the way of the Dodo, it would be far much hipper to praise the collected narratives that have sprung out of this unforgetable comic. Ed, The Happy Clown. The Playboy. I Never Liked You. All remarkable comics.Yet, great as they are, separated, they cannot replicate the wild feeling and effect of the original comic where they first appeared serialized.
Yummy Fur was inventive, refreshing, fearless and entertaining. It constantly reminds me of why I fell in love with comics. What else can one ask for from a comic book?
Saturday, May 23, 2015
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Pussey!
What's better than a comic? A comic about comics! What's better than a comic about comics? Why, a comic about the comics industry, of course!
With his typical ironical "take-no-prisoners" approach, Daniel Clowes mocks A LOT ( but not all, as should be noted) of the pretenders, hucksters, geeks, morons, sincere hacks and evil people that have populated and continue to populate the (american) comic book industry.
Even after all this time, I still get a good laugh out of it. Most importantly, I'd advise this comic as obligatory reading to all upcoming cartoonists, especially those lured into the so-called mainstream and its lesser clones.
MY FAVORITE COMICS - It's a Good Life, If you don't weaken
I first came across the softcover edition of this comic (originally serialized in the series Palookaville between numbers 4 and 9) without any previous knowledge of its content or its author. The beautiful design and obvious care taken on its production and packaging attracted me in a "love at first sight" manner. The almost pulpish paper, the lush brushstrokes and cartoony style of the artwork, even the smell of the object were inviting, to say the least. It took me only a cursory glance to realize this was one to keep.
On the wasteland of my college years, this book proved to be a gleam of light and comfort. The title alone was enough to seduce a young man whose romantic dreams of love and art were constantly demolished to pieces by the hardship of many uphill battles. With its contemplative approach to storytelling and subject matters ranging from comics, cartooning and cartoonists to the experiences of loneliness and nostalgia (all aspects that seem to be tied up, I think). Seth built a tale that, just like everyday life, may seem bittersweet, at best. Like an old memory from long ago, "It's a good life, if you don't weaken" manages to be simultaneously beautiful and haunting.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Next week sees the return of MY FAVORITE COMICS, the label of posts where I rant about the comics that left an enduring impact on me. Some feedback I got from the previous run of these posts made me think I was giving the impression of being some kind of marvel-zombie, which was true back when I was a kid, but couldn't be further from the truth later on and nowadays as I pretty much feel depressed by the current output of so-called american mainstream comics. So, in order to put things into a more proper perspective, I'll be jumping ahead a few years, chronologically speaking, and start addressing my comic book favorites from more recent decades. Until then!
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Para quem ainda não sabe, participo como desenhador em quatro pranchas de BD na nova antologia da Kingpin Books, "Casulo", uma colectânea de histórias curtas escritas pelo argumentista André Oliveira e desenhadas por um autêntico All-Star de ilustradores portugueses, publicadas originalmente na revista CAIS. Já à venda!
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Bonus Enlil Sketch
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 16
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 15
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 14
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 13
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 12
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 11
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 10
Saturday, March 07, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 09
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 08
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 07
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 06
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 05
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 04
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 03
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 02
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Young Enlil goes to hell 01
Saturday, January 03, 2015
I'll be taking a break from the My favorite comics posts for awhile. The series is not done yet, it will come back again sometime in the future. Meanwhile, starting next week, my comics will finally return to the blog with a new Enlil short story. This is a comic originally done for the Crumbs anthology of portuguese comic book authors published by Kingpin books. Hope you join me - Until next time!
Saturday, December 27, 2014
MY FAVORITE COMICS - X-Men by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin
The (Uncanny) X-Men by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin. THIS IS IT! The still-unsurpassed mold for the modern superhero team. No matter what the opinion makers might tell you, this is THE ONE every single creative team has been trying to mimick, beat down or surpass ever since it was first done. This is the one that jumpstarted the whole X-Men franchise into the moneymaker it became later on. This is the one that gave us the Wolverine we all love and hate and love to hate.
This one has it all: gorgeous artwork, memorable characters, action, grandeur, tragedy, humor, romance, friendship, betrayal, star wars, a secret society, brainswashing, the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, an apocalyptic future, time travel, battling superteams, dinnossaurs, giant robots, shapeshifters, cyborgs, aliens, mutants, a demon... everything and the kitchen sink. A perfect recipe for failure, right? Yet, it works. And it works beautifully!
Saturday, December 20, 2014
MY FAVORITE COMICS - Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
There were two comic book series that pretty much all the comic book reading kids of my age talked about in absolute awe whenever a new issue came along. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's DAREDEVIL run is one of them (the other I'll talk about next time).
What can I say that hasn't already been said about this, one of the most cheered and revered runs by any creative team on an american mainstream comic book? Looking back, what Miller and Janson managed to do each month was nothing short of amazing. Not only did they manage to inject life and interest into one of marvel comics minor characters, they also crafted a comic book that reverberated with entertainment, some humor and lots of action and suspense every single month. That alone would've been a major achievement working on the grinding system of a corporate comic book back in the early 1980's. But they went beyond that. Month after month, Daredevil was THE book everybody talked about. I clearly remember how one of my kid comic book reading friends had an older brother studying cinema in college who was completely nuts about this comic book!
I remember so many cool and interesting aspects about this run. Frank Miller's storytelling was unlike anything I'd ever seen in comics and his depiction of action sequences was second to none. The villains... Kirigi and Bullseye were the scariest characters I'd ever read in comics. The whole New York sewers underground society was disturbing, to say the least. The tragic love/hate story of Elektra, her shocking death and its aftermath left me breathless. Later on, when Klaus Janson took on the full art chores I loved the look of the book even more. I could spend paragraphs remembering more bits, pieces and memorable issues... Still, what do I remember most fondly? Well, suprisingly (or perhaps not), it's the little human touches: Ben Urich with his bad habit of smoking and his unglamourised wife; Josie's Bar and the recurrent routine of its glass being broken during the fights; the small-time thieves Turk and Leech; Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock... those were the lights that brought the whole thing to a human scale, making it possible for this whole superhero dark fantasy to be relatable and believable - a lesson so often forgotten in superhero comics.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
MY FAVORITE COMICS - "Panther's Rage" from Jungle Action #6-18
It all seems so quaint now, but back when I was a kid this storyline had me on the edge of the seat as to what would happen next. It was one of those comics where I felt totally submerged on the story and couldn't separate the art from the writing - it was a total experience and I loved it. The Black Panther seemed like the most noble hero out of all the marvel pantheon - this was someone fighting for his people. And the villain! To a kid, Erik Killmonger looked great and had just enough edge for me to actually wonder if the Panther would manage to defeat him. Plus, this comic had Dinossaurs and Killer Albino Apes! What else could a young boy ask for? Even after all these years, with all the scepticism and remove from this material that time has brought to me, I still get a chill when I look at these pages and panels...
Saturday, December 06, 2014
TERTÚLIA BD DE LISBOA - Encontro de Dezembro de 2014 - Parte II
Foi assim, na passada terça-feira à noite na Casa do Alentejo:
Recebi um diploma...
... e tive direito a desenhar a primeira vinheta do habitual Comic Jam!
Recebi um diploma...
... e tive direito a desenhar a primeira vinheta do habitual Comic Jam!
As vinhetas 2 a 4 deste Comic Jam são da autoria de Andreia Rechena, Ana Saúde, Miguel Santos, Fil, Filipe Duarte e Álvaro.
Podem encontrar a lista de presentes no encontro aqui!