Let’s do launch! This week we’re serving up an intergalactic adventure from 1968 care of the hotel chain Howard Johnson, which gives a child friendly look at the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. John Sisson, on his blog Dreams of Space, recently scanned in a menu and comic book which was released by HoJo as a promotional tie-in, featuring iconic moments from the film.
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack is the title of a new book by the British cartoonist Tom Gauld. Over the last eight years Gauld has been creating a weekly cartoon for The Guardian and this beautiful hardback book is a compendium of many of his best works. Released through the Canadian publishers Drawn and Quarterly, the book features plenty of cartoons which havn’t been seen outside of the UK before.
Canadian illustrator, cartoonist and designer John Martz has just released a new book called Destination X and it’s well worth checking out! Inspired by old pulp sci-fi novels, ghost stories and episodes of The Twilight Zone, Martz’s book is a fantastic sci-fi parable about obsession and single-mindedness.
The comic book tells the story of Sam, the grandson of a world-renowned space adventurer. Impressed by his grandfather’s tales of mysterious planets and alien romance, Sam decides to model his life on his grandfathers, stopping at nothing to fulfill what he believes to be his natural destiny — even if his grandfather’s stories aren’t true.
During stressful launches, NASA’s jet Propulsion Laboratory mission control eats handfuls of peanuts for good luck. Peanuts have been a part of space exploration for a long time. A dedicated reader passed along the above Peanuts Snoopy astronaut action figure: Snoopy was the NASA Manned Flight Awareness Program mascot (with the blessing of Peanuts creator Charles Schultz) and spoke out for flight safety. NASA even awards a “Silver Snoopy Award” to employees and contractors for outstanding human flight safety achievements.
Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan of Apollo X named their Lunar Module (LM) Snoopy. The Command Service Module was named Charlie Brown.
I came across this image from Mai the Psychic Girl by Ryoichi Ikegami and instantly fell in love. Part pop art, part manga, this image is stunning. Thankfully I was able to find this version which was redrawn by Gwendal Ugeuen and put on Flickr.
I was bummed out to hear earlier today that comic book artist Joe Kubert passed away at the age of 85. Joe Kubert, who drew his first comic for DC in 1943, was well known for his work with such characters as Sgt. Rock and Hawkman. He was also beloved for starting The Kubert School, “a three-year technical school that teaches the principles of sequential art and the particular craft of the comics industry as well as commercial illustration.” I learned to love the work of Joe Kubert more recently with his work on Sg.t Rock for Wednesday Comics, which was scripted by his son Adam. I thought it was interesting how his work seemed to get a little simplified in his older age, especially compared to the heavily detailed and shaded work of his younger years. It’s a sad loss, and the world is a more beautiful place because he was in it.
Exceptional comic book artist Daniel Clowes sat down with the New York Times ArtsBeat about his work and where his life has lead him. It’s funny to hear that he sees his characters as being nothing like him at their creation, only to revisit them years later and all he can see is himself in them.
You can see the full video here.
Yesterday I was introduced to the work of Connor Willumsen, a Montreal based artist who’s making some of the most unique web comics I’ve ever seen. So far I’ve read two of his works, Everett and Explanation For Sator Stuff, both of which are extremely weird but brilliant. I highly suggest taking the time to read both of these, I had so much fun reading these, scrolling has never been so rewarding.
Be sure to check out his Flickr, as well as this interview from VICE.
The problem with Superman is that he’s God in the form of a human.
He’s easily one of the most well-known fictional characters ever created. Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, he’s everything we aren’t but want to be. The problem with Superman, fundamentally as a character, is that he doesn’t do all of the things he should be able to do. For example, why doesn’t he feed all the starving people in the world, planting sustainable crops in their backyards. Why doesn’t he free the oppressed? Cure cancer with his brilliant, Kryptonian mind? This is where disbelief tends to not be suspended and your left with an omnipotent being that fights dudes in spandex outfits.
Then came along All-Star Superman in January of 2006, written by Grant Morrison, with pencils by Frank Quitely and digitally inked and colored by Jamie Grant. In my opinion, it’s the best Superman tale ever told, because this creative team simply makes Superman, super.
Here at The Fox Is Black we’re big fans of the work of Luke Pearson and although we’ve featured him a number of times before I couldn’t resist writing a small piece about his excellent book Everything We Miss. Published in June by the folks at Nobrow; the book is an atmospheric tale of heartbreak and longing. Told with a striking sense of poignancy and maturity, it also displays Pearson’s amazing visual talent and his skill at crafting a story through words and pictures. Below Luke describes the premise of the book:
Everything We Miss is a breakup story set against a darkly fantastical backdrop. A couple’s final moments together are documented alongside the events and strange occurrences that go on unseen and unheard around them (and around us).
The tone and atmosphere of the book is wonderfully captured through Luke’s drawings and his restrained palette of black, grey and orange strike the perfect balance between the magic and melancholy of the story. This book will easily strike a chord with anyone who’s found themselves in a relationship that’s become consumed by insecurities and resentments. And while the story may be emotionally complex, Luke handles it beautifully – capturing the poetic poignancy that can be found in the darker moments of our lives.
Everything We Miss is released through Nobrow and available to buy here.