Aaron Renier brings the Ephemerist out of retirement


Some 10 years ago, Aaron Renier’s Spiral-bound helped me regain my faith in comics, and now he shoots a jolt of electricity through the liveless lump that is the Ephemerist as if he was the good doctor himself.

This strip, which he published on his website and shared in the OuBaPo cartoonists group, has everything this little blog needs: not only is it wittily written and does the art seem adequately antique, it’s also incredibly intelligent in its use of limited space. And it evokes at once old comics advertising and Al Jaffe’s legendary fold-ins. Print out, fold and enjoy!

Way to go Aaron! It’s alive! Alive!!

ps – publisher Top Shelf announced a new printing of Spiral-bound for December, 2015. Why haven’t you pre-ordered it yet (except if you have it already, of course, I guess)?

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Swarte on cybermonitoring

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Joost Swarte provided the cover for the MIT Technology Review’s report on persuasive techonologies, and manages to fit a quite intricate message into one single image.

If you don’t grasp the scope of how your technology use is monitored and how you are presented with advertisments and direct messages as a result, this illustration will certainly help you.

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Tintin’s flying submarine

2015-03-17 15_45_15-De Morgen Krant Online

Belgian air carrier Brussels Airlines unveiled a new (?) plane this week. The Airbus has been christened the Rackham, and has been completely decorated so as to call up the famous shark submarine from Red Rackham’s Treasure, down to little fishes across its flank.


I must say, it feels a little strange, an airplane that’s made to look like a submarine, but then, Belgium is known for its surrealist tendencies…

(photography © Brussels Airlines, Tintin © Herge/Moulinsart 2015) 

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Charlie and the mouse : Spiegelman on freedom of expression


In the February 28 edition of the French daily Le Monde, Art Spiegelman published quite a long take on the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo horrors, and how it has affected our stance on freedom of expression versus the “right” to be offended.

I have not been able to track down an English-language version of the strip, even though I did find a Dutch translation in the Flemish daily De Standaard.

(Cartoon © le Monde, high resolution image via BD Fugue)

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This is not a post about Zippy The Pinhead


Wednesday’s Zippy the Pinhead cartoon is wonderfully meta, and also delightfully Belgian. And it made me think about how early comics used to attach the balloons to the characters for clarity’s sake. What more to ask!

(Thanks, Gene-on-Facebook!)

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Sunday Funny


Tom Gauld has a new strip in the New York Times Magazine! In his first serving, he brings up a topic that is probably quite familiar for many of us book addicts – what to do when a book is boring you? Can you just leave it unfinished? Do readers really have rights, at all?

Or is this just a thing that we ponder on while the world keeps turning without batting an eye?

(Via Mike, with great gratitude, as always)

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Matt draws history


I knew Matt Madden has a definite penchant for comics that use constraints (either rather liberal to extremely difficult), but I didn’t think even he would pull of this stunt : present an overview of the history of US comics from the Golden Age of superheroes to the graphic novels of today.

Madden evokes not only the prevailing art style of these various “ages”, but also the themes and attitude towards their predecessors. I particularly like his jab at current creators’ obsession with autobiography as a breeding ground for good comics.

You can buy a litograph print (by Paulo Patricio) of this comic for yourself from this website.

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