Who’s Out There? & The Comic Journal

Speaking of comics

To expedite the extension of my blogroll you will get two for the price of one, which is zero if we are being honest, but who’s counting.

Who’s Out There? is a blog with as illustrous categories as “Tentacle Tuesday“, “Do Draw for me Argentina“, or “Basil Wolverton: Brain Bats, Bibles and Barflize“. While they have their topics most entries highlight single artists. They deal with comic’s and related illustrations’ past and let images do most of the talking.

The Comic Journal on the other hand has its focus more on the present and the future. Unless someone died then it’s back to the history books. In contrast to “Who’s Out There?” the magazine is heavy on the text. My favourite feature of theirs is the weekly round-up of links every saturday.

Digital Garden: Webcomics

Growing up I read a lot of comics, making good use of my library card. Besides the occasional horror or fantasy novel I always had time to put one or two DinA4-sized albums of the Belgian/French classics (“Asterix & Obelix”, “Spirou & Fantasio”, “Gaston”, “Lucky Luke”, et al) in my backpack. They also had the American comic strip collections of “Garfield”, “Hagar the Horrible” and of course “Calvin and Hobbes”. I read those, too.

But there were no superheroes. I knew of them, I watched the movies with Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton, but I never read them. Until “Spawn” got released in Germany. Month after month, I could borrow single issues from a friend, the same that introduced me to “Magic: The Gathering”, although in contrast to the cardgame the superhero comics didn’t do it for me.

It took until I was in my 30s before I – thanks to the internet – read Gaiman’s “Sandman”, finally finished Smith’s “Bone”, discovered Vaughan’s “Saga” and Lemire’s “Black Hammer”, while skipping most of the text in Moore’s “Watchmen”.

For what it’s worth, I also once watched “Fritz the Cat”.

Having said all this these are the webcomics I enjoy(ed) presented in alphabetical order and updated every so often:

Deeply Dave
An animated underwater adventure with music, which gave me strong Flash (Adobe not DC) vibes.

Diesel Sweeties
Pixeled robots and drunks and geeks and Indy-Pete.

A space-saga that is funny, started in 1998 and is still going strong.

Go Get a Roomie
Girl who likes to sleep around finds girl who likes to sleep. Sex, depression, the whole shebang.

It starts with a female warlock, who enchanted one of her male underlings so that his cum reports on him when he masturbates.

Questionable Content
Slice of life comic, I once subscribed to. Besides that I have no real recollection about its content.

Red Meat
Discovered via way back in the days. Unrelated strips of unrelated characters that are odd (emphasis on “odd”).

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Comic strips scientists and philosophers might giggle about.

Animals on shrooms. Part of False Knees, which you may know from the memes.

The Abominable Charles Christopher
Funny, talkting animals and a Sasquatch on a mission.

The Weekly Roll
Dungeons and Dragons hijinks with a side-splitting funny group of adventurers.

Absurdist strip. It was funnier when it was back on Kaliber 10000.


P*rn 3 @ Dennis Cooper’s

The Kekulé Problem by Cormac McCarthy @ Nautilus

Digital Garden: Introduction

During Corona, I stumbled upon the concept of “digital gardening”. Maggie Appleton describes it better – and more beautifully, I might add – than I ever could, but it’s basically a personal space to gather and publish (i.e. plant) “personal knowledge on the web”. In one interpretation – more akin to a blog – said knowledge is in flux, will be tended to (i.e. edited or rewritten) and might even grow into a full-grown blogpost or essay. In another interpretation – resembling a wiki – you have curated patches of knowledge and return to those every now and then to amend them.

I will use the latter and instead of a garden the image of a collection of butterflies spiked with tiny needles trapped behind glass inside a large wooden frame comes to mind. Or one of those library catalogs with indices and cards in tiny drawers. Also, instead of personal notes and thoughts my garden will mainly consist of links. Boy do I love links.

One might argue that this blog is already nothing more than a curated collection of links. Which is by design. I don’t feel I have much to add to the global think space, but I like pointing at things. The main difference is time. The usual blog entries are more or less important now. Entries in my digital garden are important forever.

Sleaford Mods – Live on KEXP

“Cache” by Dana Stirling via Lenscratch

Cinephilia & Beyond

“Croatians love Film” is a bold statement. Too absolute to be true, with evidence as flimsy as one of the dames in a Raymond Chandler novel. Here is my evidence:

On one hand, there is, a collection of short films, documentaries, and feature films you can watch online for free. It is related to the Zagreb Film Festival, which would be another indicator for my initial claim, if not for the fact that every capital in the EU has a film festival (probably part of the conditions to become a member).

On the other hand, Cinephilia & Beyond. What has started as a blog of five Croatian cinephiles (see their Tumblr-blog archive) became a treasure trove of deep dives into the ocean that is filmmaking.

The navigation for the site is a bit shite (as the Brits like to exclaim). They use the categories (“Interviews”, “Screenwriting”, etc) to teaser what content will be found in the linked articles but they hardly help with navigating the large archive the writers have already amassed. This won’t matter much, because once you have subscribed to their RSS-feed you will count the days until the next entry pops up.

I searched for “Batman”, found two relevant examples (you have the choice between Tim Burton’s version or Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”) and will use those to convince you to do just that (subscribing to their feed that is).

Every article starts with an introductory essay about the movie written by one of the aforementioned quintet or from their cast of guest authors. This is followed by an assortment of excerpts from interviews (text and video), books, and articles from the filmcrew. If you have time on your hands, you can read one version of the full script (often more), embedded as a PDF. Finally, the large, high-def behind-the-scenes shots that are scattered throughout the page are collected in a gallery at the bottom of the page. And when all is read and viewed there are links, so many links to most if not all of their sources.

All this is done for most of the movies they review. The archive includes smaller items, but they stay true to the formular described above for the recent (i.e. the last four to five years) entries.

A final note on the films reviewed. I’m not sure if “classics” would be a good descriptor, but all the usual suspects (excluding “The Usual Suspects”) of US-centric cinema are there. You’ve got your Scorcese, Mann, Coens, Lynch, Kubrick, Spielberg, et al. The occasional outliers in Neil Marshall’s works “Descent” and “Dog Soldiers” and some interesting omissions like Tarantino. Interspersed are real classics like “Metropolis” or Hitchcock. And these names were just plucked from the first few pages of their archive!

“Why Do Movies Feel So Different Now?” [A dive into Metamodernism] by Thomas Flight via Metafilter

“Tracey Denim” – bar italia via The Quietus