Comics

The comic formally known as 'The Iron Chink'

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It's a symbol of the atrocities suffered by Chinese Americans on this continent: a lumbering machine that stripped thousands of their livelihood and was even named for the epithet used against them, the Iron Chink.

For Escape To Gold Mountain graphic novelist and community activist David H.T. Wong, who will read from the book at a Sun/11 event in Berkeley's Eastwind Books, the 1903 invention of the mechanized fish gutting machine that stole cannery jobs from Asian immigrants -- who already had to fight racism to find jobs at all -- made the perfect title for his historical graphic novel. 

But, and perhaps this is a sign of the historical progression that Wong converted into panels for us in his graphic novel, things just don't get named the c-word anymore.  Read more »

Listen to the comic! Save CCSF, vote yes on Prop A

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San Franciscans were bummed when, this summer, it looked for a second like we'd lose our only community college. And we weren't the only ones who would have been affected -- City College of San Francisco isn't just the biggest school in the city, it's the biggest school in the entire state, providing vital job training, family development classes, continuing education, and a springboard into four-year university for undergrads. 

The folks at Mission Mini-Comix sent us this comic stating the case for Prop A, which would ensure that CCSF gets the funds it needs to keep educating us. (You can check it out in its full glory on their website, or snag one of the free mini-books they've been handing out around town. Read more »

Best bets for indie comic inspiration at APE

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We cried wet, hot, nerdy tears when Wonder Con moved south to Anaheim this year -- but then wiped them away with the hem of our Bat Girl and Wonder Woman-printed flouncy skirt when we remembered that the Alternative Press Expo (APE) was, as ever, on its way to the Concourse Exhibition Center.

The alt-comic gathering descends with a swish of self-published zinery Sat/13 and Sun/14, and with it, passels of adorable, print-oriented babes who read. Read more »

Image Comic Expo showcases new stars and the old guard

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Comic cons serve a variety of functions. They can be press junkets, costume parties, swap meets, social retreats, even museums. Comics writer Warren Ellis has a habit of referring to San Diego’s huge Comic Con as “nerd prom,” which perfectly captures the glow of excitement for mass socialization in funny costumes. By contrast, this year’s Image Comic Expo was more like a nerd Sadie Hawkins dance – a deliberate reversal of the standard hierarchy, where creator-owned books are championed over the widely beloved DC and Marvel franchises that sometimes seem to oversaturate the comics market. It was also a little less garish and hectic than some larger cons, but the sense of community and pride was still richly evident. Read more »

Riding the 'Dark Wave': Jay Howell comes home for a zine release

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Jay Howell may have left us for the palm trees in Silverlake, but that doesn’t mean that he’s gone forever. 

You may know Howell for his zine Punks Git Cut, his drawings of people with neon faces on vintage book pages, or as that really tall guy you always used to see in the coffeeshop. Upon moving to sunny (and smoggy) Los Angeles, Howell has gotten a car, finished up doing the character development for Bob’s Burgers, and is currently working as the art director for a show on Nickelodeon. He returns to San Francisco on Sat/18 for an art show at Fecal Face Dot Gallery to celebrate the release of his new zine The Dark Wave -- a 50-page comic book about the lead singer of a death metal band and his existential journey to the ocean. Read more »

Say si to the Latino Comics Expo

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Last month we got all amped up about the growing voice of Asian Americans in the comics industry, and this weekend the diversification of the comics nation continues with the Cartoon Art Museum's Latino Comics Expo (Sat/7 and Sun/8) -- purported to be the first all-Latino comic convention, ever. So enough with your sad, gringo-fied alcoholic binge of a Cinco de Mayo -- read on for looks at the expo artists with whom you can spend the weekend celebrating the Hispanic contribution to that paneled place in our hearts. Read more »

4/20 fantasy: Ziggy's new comic book

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Attention, WonderCon, Ziggy is missing. Repeat, we are missing Ziggy Marley. But only for a second – turns out the “Love is My Religion” star had only wandered away from the Image Comics booth into the dizzying panorama of the comics convention for a moment to snag his son some of the new Green Lantern toys. “He's into it,” he tells me, smiling as his fixers and Image staff scramble to set up the seats for our interview. Read more »

WonderCon: Saturday's sociology

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All photos by Luis Allen

“You gotta get down here,” my roommate texted me bright and early (11 a.m.) on WonderCon Saturday. “Oh my goodness, the costumes!” The costumes indeed! As you can see from photographer Luis Allen's snaps from the day, Saturday was all about the clothes -- the comic convention's annual WonderCon Masquerade was slated as the day's grand finale, so all the superfans were out in their homemade Wolverine-Boba Fett concotions and the like. Groups of manga characters lounged in the Moscone Center's hallways, and Alien swung his crowd-defying tail about the artist alley as though he (she? It?) owned the place. Wide load, folks. Read more »

WonderCon diaries: Chris Cosentino is... Wolverine's new buddy!

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I had seen chef Chris Cosentino (of Bay Area offal ground zero Incanto, also a The Next Iron Chef contestant and host of the Food Network's Chef Vs. City) in person for the first time a few weeks ago – he'd just made an incredible multi-course meal for a bunch of beer journalists at Anchor Brewery and was racing around, saying hi to people and describing his thought process on the various beer-food pairings. My tablemates, friends of Cosentino, told me he had a comic coming out at WonderCon, or something. So I gave him a shout – hey, dope local angle on the convention, since I knew I was going anyway.

Maybe I should have known when I saw the massive poster of Cosentino in the Ferry Building at the stand of his other business, Boccolone Tasty Salted Pig Parts (signed by the man himself, “pork is the new vegetable,”), a few days later that this was going to be no mere small press comic release.   Read more »

Speed Reading: Matt Furie's Hot Topik and boy's club 4

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I got an orange Pepe T-shirt at Needles and Pens' release party for Matt Furie's new comic Hot Topik. What better way to also celebrate the fourth and latest issue of Furie's boy's club, in which Pepe and pals Andy, Brett, and Landwolf are joined by two new characters, Whitey (a zit), and Bird-Dog? Read more »