STUDYGROUP blog

Four hundred discerning readers and $14,000 just can’t be wrong; in addition to covering most of the publishing costs for the next issues of Farel Dalrymple’s It Will All Hurt and François Vigneault’s Titan as well as Sam Alden’s debut graphic novel Haunter, we’re delighted to announce that the next issue of our hybrid comics/criticism flagship magazine has also been Kickstarted ["™"] in the first stretch-goal stage of our campaign — now, we can cram even more content into issue #3D than we had hoped, at no extra cost to our beloved but largely cash-strapped readers. Instead of the planned 80 pages, #3D is 96 pages! We can only hope that it doesn’t bully its 64-page siblings, issues #1 and #2.

We’d like to thank all of our supporters for helping us give the new and improved flagship such a boost, and we’re excited to share material from the issue in the next few weeks — but, for now, you can tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell that guy in the comic shop who always smells like a sour-milk smoothie of cumin and yeast and follows you around the store trying to chat if you accidentally make eye contact — tell everyone you encounter that this is the complete rundown of Study Group Magazine #3D’s contents:

In full living color, we have:

A slyly brilliant 3D cover by Jim Rugg

A back cover by SG Godfather Zack Soto

Comics by Sophie Franz, Pete Toms and Connor Willumsen

An interview with Ron “D-Pi” Wimberly by Milo George

An essay on the use of color and texture in Wimberly’s Prince Of Cats by Sarah Horrocks

 

In Studygroup’s trademark limited color:

Comics by Trevor Alixopulos, David King, Mia Schwartz and Benjamin Urkowitz

An epic double-page illustration by Tyler Landry

 

In glorious black and white:

A haunting B&W short story by Julia Gfrorer & Sean T. Collins

A profile of comics critic/advocate/editor/publisher Ryan Sands by Rob Clough, and an essay on Rob Schrab & Dan Harmon’s Scud: The Disposable Assassin by Sean Witzke

A hybrid article/comic about a childhood rape, the Dark Shadows TV show and the sometimes strained relationships between memory/meaning, words/pictures and parents/children, concluding with a comics adaptation of an essay by William S. Burroughs, by James Romberger

 

And in the heart of the issue, our reason for numbering it #3D — 19 pages of articles and comics in full-color and classic-red/blue anaglyph 3D [glasses included in every issue]:

A history/commentary on the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of stereoscopic art by the issue’s 3D consultant/engineer/SGM MVP, Jason Little, and an essay by Joe McCulloch on Le Dernier Cri’s own 3D anthology, 3DC.

Comics by Chris Cilla, Kim Deitch, Jason Little, Malachi Ward and Dan Zettwoch

Written tributes to the late King of 3D, Ray Zone, by Mary Fleener, Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore, with an introduction/appreciation by the editors

A short interview with Kim Deitch about Mr. Zone and 3D, by Chris Duffy, featuring never-before-published 3D material from Deitch’s There’s No Business Like Show Business

 

*******

If you don’t want this issue, then you are insane. There’s no other explanation. You could wait and pray that your local store orders SGM#3D, or you can take control of your life and order the issue, and/or other fine SG publications, right now right here until the 26th.

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This took some digging to find — I don’t know if it’s just my collection or if Hank Ketcham’s comic-book crew simply didn’t have much interest in Halloween stories — but I’m glad I can treat you to some solid funnybook craftsmanship from writer Fred Toole and artist Al Wiseman. This was one chapter in Dennis The Menace Giant #49, “Dennis the Menace All Year ‘Round,” as published by Fawcett in 1967.

The second page is particularly interesting to me — it may have a rare example of Wiseman cutting corners in his work, violating what seems to have been a rule he followed to have no more than one silhouette a page. He loved saving such blacked-out shots for full-body profile drawings, carrying the moment with his expressive body language, which often depicts the moment when Dennis thinks of a plan to achieve his goal but will wreak havoc on the adults around him.

By the time in his run on the series, Wiseman had transitioned from a bravura style — lots of big, show-stopping, elaborate establishing panels and perspective drawing that you never saw in kids comics before or after him — to a deceptively simple but so-easy-to-screw-up-it-takes-guts-to-attempt minimalism. His George Wilson may be almost as difficult to draw correctly as Charlie Brown is.

In the “I dunno Mr. Wilson! Honest!” panel, the slight tilt of Dennis’ head mitigates the malevolence of the devil mask at the same time it leaves us with no sense of what Dennis’ emotional state is behind it. Is he smirking, gloating over how Mr. Wilson is inconveniencing himself to help Dennis dismantle his own gate? Is he simply having some innocent fun on Halloween? Dennis is such a cipher, I suppose it’s none of the above; he’s just asking for a screwdriver because that’s what the plot needs to progress.

The treat to enjoy on this page is the bottom left panel’s addition to accommodate the roof. This could be seen as laziness or poor planning on Wiseman’s part, but I don’t see how the page could be done better and still cover everything the way it does. Shrinking the elements [the roof and the boys] in that panel to fit the square would upset the balance of the shots, which keep the boys at roughly the same size/distance to emphasize the distance between them and Mr. Wilson in the first panel and them to the ground in the last.

I like the vignette quality in the top panel — it’s not just an establishing shot of the garage relative to the house, they add a nice bit of business where Tommy [the clown] peers around the corner while standing next to a nervous Joey [the rabbit] and the purloined gate that they need the ladder & rope for. Cropping off the top of the roof in the panel wouldn’t work either; bad storytelling, even worse graphics. Do we need to see Mr. Wilson’s legs in the panel above? No, we get a full shot of him in the next panel anyway, so the roof helps break up the sameness of that tier’s compositions. This ain’t no use-arrows-in-the-gutters-to-traffic-cop-the-reader-through-the-page layout laziness, fanboy.

I love the borderless panel and its composition so, so hard. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Joey — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on a neighbor who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine Mr. Wilson slipping upwards on a screwdriver — forever.

I should take the time to discuss the Dennis team’s lettering beyond pointing out the obvious — it’s beautifully crafted and extraordinarily expressive — but I’m running out of room and I can’t let go of two things:

One, Dennis is the devil, Joey is the rabbit, the dialogue cites Tommy as the clown — who’s in the Frankenstein mask? Why did they need a third sidekick, anyway?

Two, Dennis and his crew don’t even stick around to watch Mr. Wilson flip out over his missing gate. Clearly, this was business, not personal. Oh, your wife forgot to buy candy for Halloween? Fuck you pay me.

Finally, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room whenever I rave on about these Dennis comics; as brilliant a draftsman as Wiseman was, the bulk of his best-known work was wasted on weak, often bizarrely flawed scripts. This story relies on the idea that a childless neighborhood hen like Martha Wilson would forget to buy candy or make cookies for the kids on Halloween. She had treats ready for them every other day of the year, but not today? I kinda like that it’s George who learns a lesson at the end, not Dennis — without examining my heart and soul too much about why, I’ll guess that I’d rather see Wiseman draw Wilson in action than read page after page of Dennis — but that’s probably another reason why these comics can’t quite stand on par with its spinner-rack peers like Barks’ duck comics, Little Lulu and Kurtzman’s MAD, despite Wiseman’s supreme level of craft.

Happy Halloween, kiddies NOW GET OFF MY LAWN

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I bet you thought I had forgotten all about this. Translations are below each page:

Page Seven

Panel one: Thick with humidity, the vapor sickened many of the men, oxidizing them.

Panel two: Hardly perturbed, brave Vanadium took the trouble to lighten his load.

Panel three: On Day 598, they approached the magnetic spikes.
Its mysterious power is uncontainable.
But not enough to stop the bold.


Page Eight

Panel One: It was Day 1,032 when they spotted the land of the Sirens.

Panel Two: They say their melodious voices have an irresistible attraction. They say men fall exhausted before their sensual songs. Although no one who has heard them has ever recounted this.

Panel Three: Vanadium (and only Vanadium) will listen. No risk he’ll be lost in its beauty.

Panel Four: Shrilly beautiful chords.

Page Nine

Panel One: Heartwarming. Heartbreaking.

Panel Two: On day 2,114, the men were concerned.

CREWMAN: Listen Vanadium! … We’ve been thinking! …
What if your wild theories about the world’s shape had been true? Where would we go, fall off the edge of the world? ….

Panel Four: Vanadium had not thought about that.

VANADIUM: Hmmm….

Panel Five: Nor would he bother to do so.


Page Ten

Panel One: With the coming of Day 4,954, the boss made ​​his announcement.

Panel Two: And the course of events became inexorable.

Panel Three: Abysmally unfathomable. Like an unfathomable abyss.

Panel Four: During the (countless) following days, Vanadium felt himself falling.
Or that he was suspended in nothingness, with the whole universe spinning around him.
Or falling, yes. But not down, but up.

Page Eleven

Panel One: Forever, in any direction, somewhere.

Panel Two: The Forge of Vulcan.

Page Twelve

Panel One: Vulcan.

VANADIUM: Are you … God? …

VULCAN: How … How dare you? How dare one of you insolent creatures come into my presence?

VANADIUM: Now I know! I have understood! All my life, through evil, pleasure and destruction, the essential work of life, I have been searching for something! … I know what I have sought is God!
Why have you created this world of calamity and horror? ….Only you can reveal it! …


Page Thirteen

VULCAN:  I’ll tell you … when Jupiter expelled me from Olympus for my deformity …
When lovely Venus fell in love with me just to tease …. I felt bad, very frustrated …
But then I remembered that I was a god, too. But what kind of god would I be if I did not create my own universe? So I ordered my cyclops to forge the metal earth …
… Although I had forgotten it existed.

VANADIUM: But then … what is the meaning of our existence? What does our lord command? What is our reason to be?

VULCAN: I do not know … I can not think of any.

Page Fourteen

Panel Two: Vanadium returned (nobody knows how) to lock himself in the tower of a castle and at the height of his meditations.

Panel Three: Years later, he returned to life, soaked with wisdom and hallucinated lucidity. Again he devoted himself to destruction and vice, but this time, protected by mystical motivations.

Panel Four: Scholars long discussed what steps to follow after the discoveries made by the feats of Vanadium. In the end, they decided that the world should remain round.

Panel Five: Just to protect the fragile minds of the uncertain commoners from the apprehension that knowledge of the truth would produce.

END

Kind of a fizzle for a conclusion after some of the other stories in the series, but I really like how he draws the Olympians. And everything else. Also, a nice touch to use the Roman names for the gods and not the Greek; I wonder if that’s the set they use in South America?

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Get your Columbus on, y’all. The magazine Cocktail went out of business in 1991, before Quique and Mazzitelli could finish this series, so this double-sized chapter appeared in a Doedytores-published anthology helpfully titled Series White & Black Number Two. After a somewhat abstract start, even I’m not sure where this piece is headed after page six. Translation follows the page:

Page One

TITLE: The Edge Of The Universe

With the dawn, between flashes of copper, silver and gold, they give rise to a great historical venture.

Page Two

Royal fanfares were given in martial music.

And the King himself speaks through his heralds.

HERALD: The King says, “This heroic deed …. etc. etc. etc. … these intrepid daredevils …. etc. etc. … only future generations will judge us …. etc. etc. etc. …!

No one will forget this glorious moment.

At the ship’s bow, Vanadium, “The Great Advance Captain of The Royal Navy,” envisions the horizon of his immortality.

Page Three

Even before becoming immortal, he was legendary.

“I robbed a banker in the Rusted Woods …. I was a ruthless pirate, a cruel scourge of the sea … I was an ​​emperor of an empire of corruption, gold, vice, evil, power and vanity that I enjoyed until I grew bored.”

VANADIUM: How boring this is!

Page Four

Until I learned the truth from a wise old man who went mad from torture ….

WISE OLD MAD MAN: Is it that …. Is death the end of the beginning? Is chance a premeditated plan? Is happiness a masked tragedy? Is the world round?

Haunted by this existential dilemma, he abandoned his epic routine to take refuge in knowledge … and eventually found the answer to that crucial question …

VANADIUM: So I come to present to the Magisterial Court’s wise consideration my revelations …. that the world is a silver turtle supported by two ferocious snakes ….

Page Five

JUDGE: Ha ha ha!

Although days later he found a better one ….

VANADIUM: The world is an inverted pyramid sailing in a sea of fire and lava.

And another, much better one, a few weeks later ….

VANADIUM: The world is a coin, spinning on the tip of a demon’s horn ….

JUDGE: Ha ha ha!

Page Six

And then the King wanted to hear his theories.

VANADIUM: …. or a flying leaf …. or a stirring seaweed … or a falling hair …

KING: ZZZZ

But it was the Queen who laid greater interest on his claims ….

VANADIUM: The world is not round, Majesty! It is not round!

QUEEN: Aaaaah, Vanadium …. it is not round …. oooh …. of course not ….

Vanadium got his boat, its title and a promising crew of nobles, knights and other kinds of equally miserable scoundrels ….

Now, just in front of him lay his legend and his destiny.

On day 309, they discovered a poisonous air cloud …

 

[NEXT WEEK: Probably something that isn't Metallum Terra, or maybe more Metallum Terra, I dunno.]

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In an effort to map out the current convention landscape for Press Gang, Francois & I put together this list of cons to consider. I realized that it might be somewhat useful, since I couldn’t find anything similar online. The year is halfway over, so a bunch of this has already happened, & the exhibiting deadlines  on the other half are likely either passed or coming in close, but maybe you will get something out of this anyhow. Even if it’s only planning your next year’s exhibiting schedule (or “jeez, there’s a LOT of comic shows now!” ). If I missed your show, or an important show to your region, that’s more of a function of not being able to get EVERY new or regional show all on the list. I had to stop somewhere, but feel free to post your suggestions in the comments as needed.

-z

 

2013 :

Angouleme (FR) 1/31-2/3 http://www.angouleme-tourisme.co.uk/

LA Zine Fest (Los Angeles) 2/17, http://lazinefest.com/

Emerald City (Seattle) 3/1-3, http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/

STAPLE (Austin) 3/2-3 http://www.staple-austin.org/

Chicago Zine Fest (Chicago) 3/8-3/9, http://chicagozinefest.org/

Wonder Con (Anaheim) 3/29-3/31, http://www.comic-con.org/wc/

FLUKE - (Athens GA) 4/6  http://flukeisawesome.blogspot.com/

MoCCA (New York) 4/6-4/7,  http://www.societyillustrators.org/Mocca_Event.aspx?id=8783

SPACE (Columbus, OH) 4/13-4/14,  http://www.backporchcomics.com/space.htm

Stumptown (Portland) 4/27-4/28, http://www.stumptowncomics.com/

TCAF (Toronto) 5/11-5/12,  http://torontocomics.com/

MCAF (Maine) 5/19, http://www.mainecomicsfestival.com/

ICAF (rotating, in PDX this year) 5/23-26 http://www.internationalcomicartsforum.org/2013-conference-info.html

VanCAF (Vancouver, BC) 5/25-5/26,  http://www.vancaf.com/

Wonder NW (PDX) 5/25-26 http://www.wondernorthwest.com/

HeroesCon (Charlotte, NC) 6/7-9, http://www.heroesonline.com/heroescon/

Olympia Comics Fest  (Oly WA) 6/8,  http://olympiacomicsfestival.org/

Grand Comics Fest (Brooklyn) 6/8-9 http://grandcomicsfestival.com/

CAKE (Chicago) 6/15-6/16,  http://www.cakechicago.com/

San Diego Comic Con (San Diego) 7/18-7/21,  http://www.comic-con.org/cci/

Portland Zine Symposium (PDX) 8/10-11, http://www.portlandzinesymposium.org/

Autoptic - (Minneapolis) 8/18  http://autoptic.org/

The Projects (Portland) 8/22-25,  http://theprojectspdx.tumblr.com/portland

San Francisco Zine Fest (SF) 8/31-9/1,  http://www.sfzinefest.org/

SPX (Bethesda, MD) 9/14-9/15,  http://www.spxpo.com/

NY Art Book Fair - (PS1 Brooklyn) 9/20-22 http://nyartbookfair.com/about

Rose City Comic Con (Portland) 9/21-9/22,  http://www.rosecitycomiccon.com/

MICE (Cambridge, MA) 9/28-29, http://www.micexpo.org/

Handmade & Bound (nashville) 10/4-5, http://handmadeboundnashville.com/

Locust Moon Comics Fest (Philly) 10/5, http://locustmoonfest.com/

APE (San Francisco) 10/12-13,  http://www.comic-con.org/ape

New York Comic-Con (NYC) 10/10-10/13, http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/

Short Run (Seattle) 11/30,  http://www.shortrun.org/

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival (RIP!?) , http://www.comicsandgraphicsfest.com/

CANZINE - (BOTH TORONTO & VANCOUVER, different dates)  http://www.brokenpencil.com/canzine

Expozine - Montreal December (?)  http://expozine.ca/

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And, we’re back.

At this point in Metallum Terra, the general theme that Quique Alcatena and Eduardo Mazzitelli are blowing out variations on is fairly clear: it’s how young male [uncomprehending] love for a female is thwarted by the male’s aggression and/or ambition, as observed by an older, wiser male who not only cannot guide youth toward wisdom but is swept along by youth’s undoing. No spoilers: This one has a far less poetic, ambiguous ending, which is unfortunate but understandable; I imagine there are only so many different ways a peasant can almost-rape nobility with its attendant aftermath. By the way, lanthanum is a real element used in alloy form for lighter flints. Very clever, caballeros.

Once again, my half-assed translation is below the page. Enjoy:

Page One:

They brought Lanthanum aboard during one of our many journeys across the great mercury ocean.

As always with the newcomers, the eldest offered him welcome.

ELDER: We are partners in misfortune. We all support each other.

LANTHANUM: I am not one of you. I am different. Like a flint that can shine in this unbearable darkness …

TITLE: Metal World: Radiance In The Dark

Page Two:

Our masters (The Men of Steel) were a caste of nobles and warriors. They were born of a different race of alloy, living solely to fight and make slaves.

MAN OF STEEL: Patchwork, scrap!

Every so often (as we have seen many times) one of us foolish captives tries to rebel.

As Fate would have it, with the pitiless malice that Fate treats all, the gun fell into Lanthanum’s reach.

For an instant our boat was adrift, we were transfixed by the terrible sight.

This was unprecedented.

Countless things can describe The Men of Steel, but “ungrateful” is not one of them. For the rest of the trip, Lanthanum was free from the galleys.


Page Three:

The Great Master wanted to personally meet the flint that blinked in the abominable darkness.

GREAT MASTER: What did you do before being a slave, “slave?”

LANTHANUM: I was always a slave, My Lord. And in my efforts to serve my masters, I’ve learned the arts of war, trade, navigation, all of them …

The beautiful (as we have been told, as we are not allowed to look up to see) daughter of The Great Master, smiling.

When we were not rowing our lords to war, we cut down the forest and built their warships. From that day forward, we did so under the order of the relentless Lanthanum.

LANTHANUM: Why are they not working?

ELDER: They broke the saw.

Page Four:

And it is fair to say that his whip encouraged our efforts.

LANTHANUM: Replace it at once, “Twisted Irons!”

That beautiful woman (some say as beautiful as the sun. Not allowed to ever lift our eyes, we have never seen) spent time watching him and smiling.

His skills as a navigator, learned from masters of the trade, gave him another place of privilege.

So we placed our lives within his formidable expertise to pilot the ship through the storms.

From some other of his Lords he must have acquired his brilliant skills at strategy.

Page Five:

It happened that the victories of The Men of Steel (which were not many) increased when the generals agreed to hear his opinions.

And his genius for parties and celebrations allowed him to win the sympathy of the ladies of the court.

No longer he was forbidden to look at his masters directly in the face, constantly warned of the danger of looking at that stunning woman and her constant smile.

While all this was happening, we sat in the abysmal darkness of our hut and heard the stories recounted by our oldest.

ELDEST: There was a flint, which was equally gray and opaque like all the stones but different … He said that he shone, although he could not prove it, because the lady could not see. But so arrogantly did he make his assertion that just convincing others of his talents and her …. it was clear that he was just a stone. Like any other … but different …

Page Six:

One day, The Great Master invited him to share his table and stopped calling him “slave.”

GREAT MASTER: My good Lanthanum … your advice has so helped my business, my politics and my campaigns that I can be away for a few tranquil days …. I know that my interests will be well protected here.

There was also the look. And that smile.

When the Great Master left, his daughter’s insisted Lanthanum got a room in the palace.

All he had to do now was to get drunk and then (to the delight of her father) to marry her.

Then he would be so radiant a glow that the ominous darkness that had stalked his life would disappear forever.

He paid no attention to the look of horror on that delicate face when he invaded her bedroom. “Naturally,” he thought, “she must keep up appearances.”

Page Seven:

Her screams attracted the night guard, who struck his head, at this stage of the facts, to no avail.

Neither gave importance to her stubborn resistance to being hugged. “Naturally,” he thought, “she must feign modesty.”

Five days (which took The Great Master to return) he was confined in the dungeons.

GREAT MASTER: How could you dare so much? … I granted extraordinary privileges to someone of your station because you served me well, and because my daughter was having fun watching a slave try to be a lord … But your shame has been too serious … “Slave” … “Buffoon” … it’s time to remember to what place you belong …

That evening they brought him to the barracks.

Page Eight:

One of us (maybe me, maybe the eldest, perhaps the youngest) spoke for us. As we all do everything.

SLAVE: You were right, Lanthanum. You were not one of us … We are not allowed to kill another slave. But in the morning, when they find no trace of Lanthanum, they can not accuse us of anything. There will only be small pieces of the broken saws that we have been gathering these days.

LANTHANUM: Noooo!

Of course, we have the whole night ahead.

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Another thing occurs to me, reading this story again as I pasted in these pages: Splitting the set-up almost equally between the boat and the forest is probably why the ending doesn’t fully satisfy. On the other hand, at least we don’t see Lanthanum being cut to teeny-tiny pieces with the broken saws coming as the story’s ending from a mile away, like some old EC story.

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HEY GET WITH IT

There’s new books from every PRESS GANG publisher! 

We’ve got awesome guest friends BWANA SPOONS (saturday only, maybe), BRANDON GRAHAM, & FAREL DALRYMPLE!

Several of us are on various panels or workshops!

YEAH WE’RE GONNA HAVE FUN!

 

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I don’t have too much to say about this chapter — even with the narrator’s sad, resigned tone, this piece is a bit more fairy tale-ish than the others. There’s also a jagginess and willful ambiguity to the ending that stymies the opportunity to draw much of a moral from the story, which I appreciate — but I could look at these character drawings for hours. OK, I thought of something else while adding the jpegs; it’s noteworthy that our hero has no problem mowing down the undead and Aurum’s guards, but nearly comes undone by the idea of killing a monk. I don’t know enough about Quique Alcatena or Eduardo Mazzitelli to file a brief in critic court, but there’s a vague Catholic flavor to some of these pieces.

My translating skills aren’t so hot, but a few folks have asked me to try to give them some idea of what’s being said, so here goes:

Page One:

CAPTION: When I met Plumbum, I had already lost my left arm, my ideals and the will to fight for ideals of others. That is, they deserted me.

PLUMBUM: When you see it, Ferrum, only then will you understand!

CAPTION: I do not know why we became friends, we were so different. Plumbum, so noble and clumsy …. I was none of these things.

PLUMBUM: She has the color of the sun and its shine! When she looks at you with her golden eyes, it’s as if the rest of the world melts away!

CAPTION: So noble and clumsy and in love.

PLUMBUM: Aurum, I’m here!

Page Two:

CAPTION: There was no exaggeration. Only the sun (not even the sun) could compare to Aurum’s beauty.

TITLE: Golden Eyes

CAPTION: Her eyes, her incredible golden eyes, lingered on me. Plumbum growled at me.

PLUMBUM: Ferrum ….

CAPTION: Like the sun (more than the sun), they seemed unattainable.

AURUM: The man of my dreams must bring me …. the impossible triangle from the land of the dead ….

CAPTION: My good friend Plumbum. So noble. So clumsy. So in love.

Page Three:

CAPTION: So naively reckless.

PLUMBUM: Do not stop me, demons! No one will stop me! Nothing can stop me! Ah, there you are!

Page Four:

AURUM: The man of my dreams must be able to seize from the masked monks, their illuminated circular medallion …

MONK: What are are you looking for?

PLUMBUM: The medallion … I …

MONK: Know you, I will not give it nor anything else that has been deposited in our custody. You must kill us.

Page Five:

CAPTION: I can see Plumbum hesitate and then collapse.

PLUMBUM: Please … oh Rayos, forgive me … please, how I wish I did not to have to do this!

AURUM: The man of my dreams must be able … to collect a handful from the rivers of fire … and shape with his hands a perfect mirror that does not distort my beauty.

CAPTION: My good friend Plumbum, so foolish.

Page Six:

PLUMBUM: I’ve done everything you’ve asked, beautiful Aurum. What more could I do?

AURUM: I’m sorry … the man of my dreams should be made of the same stuff as me … your efforts have been futile.

PLUMBUM: You … you once told me of an alchemist, a magician who transformed everything into gold.

FERRUM: He was just a lunatic, and his experiments never ended well!

PLUMBUM: Take me or I’ll rip off your other arm. And then a leg … and then ….

FERRUM: I will. All right?

CAPTION: My friend sobs. He could kill me with his sobbing.

PLUMBUM: You know, my friend, you know that I would do anything for her eyes to look at me, only me.

Page Seven:

CAPTION: I pointed the way but did not travel with him. I did not want to be complicit in this tragedy. In return, I kept watch at Aurum’s balcony so that no other man approached her in his absence.

CAPTION: The next night, he returned. I knew it was him because I recognized his silhouette in the distance. And the intense golden brightness given off his body. The same glow that drew Aurum to her window, fleetingly.

AURUM: Get him out of here! I do not want to see it!

CAPTION: Never, never had any of the alchemist’s experiments turned out totally fine.

Page Eight:

CAPTION: Plumbum and I do not know how we became friends. [We are so different.] But friendship is irreversible.

FERRUM: Let’s go, Plumbum. Pick up the pace.

CAPTION: So, that night I helped break down the doors of the house, kill the guards, and go to her room.

FERRUM: Quick, Plumbum.

PLUMBUM: Wait a moment.

CAPTION: So, I did nothing while he, not without tenderness, explained to Aurum that she would be his, as he was.

PLUMBUM: Do you see it, my love? Do you understand? Now your eyes, our golden and beautiful eyes, only look at me. Forever.

CAPTION: So I’ll accompany his escape until the guards make us pay for so horrific a crime, someday. So, because he is my friend, I will join his folly. Forever.

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So in all the hustle and bustle trying to get Farel Dalrymple’s new book promoted and ready for Stumptown Comics Fest, we haven’t really talked about our other debut of the show:

Study Group Magazine #2!

Yes, it’s true. We finally got it together. It’s here, and it’s beautiful. Same format as #1 but in classic SG Pink & Blue this time.

Art & Comics Contributions From:
  • Jesse Balmer
  • Lilli Carre
  • Michael Deforge
  • Jeremy Onsmith
  • Lark Pien
  • Tim Root
  • Kris Mukai
  • Mickey Z
  • Zack Soto
  • Trevor Alixopulos
  • JT Dockery
  • Dan Zettwoch
  • Julia Gfrorer
  • Jonny Negron
  • David King
  • Aidan Koch
  • Chris Kuzma
  • Sam Alden

And Comics Journalism by:

  • Rob Clough on Josh Bayer
  • JT Dockery visits with John Byrne
  • Milo George interviews Angie Wang (who provides our cover)
  • Sean Witzke on Baker & Helfer’s JUSTICE INC.
  • Zack Soto interviews Maré Odomo 

64 oversized two-color pages, edited by Milo George & Zack Soto. Drops 4/27/13.

art above by David King & Mickey z

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It’s the first warm night in Portland, so I’m celebrating by working late at the office. For company, I set up some videos that would stimulate without negating my fighting chance at writing/editing words goodly, and I thought I’d share it before YouTube deletes the videos:

Turns out they’re all Katsuhiro Otomo-related cartoons. You got a problem with that?


The closest we may ever get to Otomo doing Indiana Jones. [Me gusta.]


Otomo’s first [only?] live-action movie.


And finally, a long, made-for-the-DVD-esque interview with the man himself.

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