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Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:30 Jennifer Devore
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It’s ritual. Almost involuntary, like whatever it is my spleen does when I’m not looking. Wake up, turn on news, make espresso, read funnies. I’m still Old School enough to prefer my funnies in the dry, gritty, analog, format of newspaper. Of course, I am no Luddite either and, as is the most convenient today, and cleaner for manicured hands, I take my funnies online via GoComics.com.

The ease and access is beautiful: funnies on my phone, funnies on my tablet, funnies on my laptop. It’s never been easier to chase friends and family around the room urging, “OMG! You have to read this one!”, almost always answered with a patient smile, a single eyebrow-lift and an obligatory, “That’s funny.” Is it? Then laugh.

The traditional comic strip, a linear set of panels delivering a quick, wry joke, une blague, as the French call it and which I find a much funnier word than “joke”, seems to be holding its own nicely in our contempo, digital world. Stretching as far back as the Bayeux Tapestry, I would argue, the linear storytelling model feeds man’s need for a brief, pithy respite of humour (not that the Norman Invasion was all that funny), whether on his way to a clan war in the Scottish highlands, a revolution in Yorktown or a pitch meeting on the Loews Santa Monica patio bar.

First published in a Sunday supplement to William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal in 1897, The Katzenjammer Kids, created by Rudolph Dirks and drawn today by Hy Eisman, remains America’s longest-running comic strip, still appearing in over fifty newspapers and magazines across the globe, distributed by King Features.

Like any commercial art, cartooning is a tough and tight-knit crew. Becoming an internationally syndicated cartoonist is harder than figuring out WTF happened on the final season of LOST. However, if you have tenacity, an innate sense of humour, drawing skills and a cocktail napkin, you might have a shot at the Big Time. Mel Henze had all that and now look at him. Of course, “all that” minus the drawing skills. Even he admits, “As far as the drawing goes, it’s a struggle at times. I need lessons and/or books.”

Mel Henze, a jovial, approachable chap who could sumo wrestle Ron Howard for the title of Mr. Nice Guy, lives the beauteous life on a quiet, wooded beach somewhere in British Columbia. He seems impervious to criticism, indeed values it, and, like any good artist, flays himself mercilessly before others can do the job. He is open to comments and questions and happy to chat with his readers; it is merited to this failing that he fell into my trap and was kind enough to allow me a brief interview about his newest strip, Gentle Creatures. Rumoured to be actually written by a chain-smoking, ex-circus clown, my due diligence has not turned up any hard evidence to this fact and it appears Henze is indeed the real creator and artist. Here’s the story he’s selling. (Caveat emptor.)

  • Gentle Creatures is the story of a fat-headed bunny named Radish Cheeseweed, his good natured but dim witted dog Jingles and their pal Cecil, an opinionated stink bug. While it may be true that the bunny-dog-stink bug combination is an age-old classic, Gentle Creatures breathes new life into the union in a way that has been seen only a few dozen times before.

A truism since we crawled out of the primordial stew and up onto Canadian beaches, the bunny-dog-stinkbug combo is timeless. In the case of GC, Radish Cheeseweed, his dog Jingles and the snarky Cecil work well together, Radish’s general beef with the universe being the swizzle stick that stirs the Singapore Sling.

Animals-as-people is also an age-old classic. Be it Snoopy, Garfield, The Far Side dinosaurs in cat-lady glasses or Get Fuzzy‘s Bucky and Satchel, anthropomorphized animals make the best friends, and comic characters. I asked Mel why we love them so.

  • I remember being drawn to Richard Scarry books as a kid. I'd spend what seemed like hours looking at how all the different animals were drawn and all the funny things they were doing. For me, it's just something I've always identified with. It also makes sense from a cartooning perspective. Cranky bunny, lovable innocent dog... one is easily distinguishable from the other, even at a glance.  And they're often easier to draw... another bonus.

If you follow the philosophical teachings of animators, Seth MacFarlane and Walt Disney have both said that the eyes, especially where animal characters are concerned, are vital to a character’s connection with the audience. Jingles’ eyes are beckoning and innocent; one wants to protect him, mostly from Radish. Academically, Mel knows this, yet is horrified to realize he has failed here, miserably.

  • Cecil has no eyes. Well, no pupils really. Wait, now that you mention it, none of the regular characters have pupils. I think [MacFarlane and Disney] might be on to something…

Not to worry, fair reader. Cecil the stinkbug might have no eyes and Jingles no pupils, but there exist other features cartoon creatures can possess, which draw them happily into our hearts and souls.

  • In terms of other features, Radish has angry eyebrows and a fat head, both of which contribute to his immediate and recognisable dislikability.

Gentle Creatures is not Henze's first cat rodeo, although the initial, now infamous, cocktail napkin submission to GoComics, and subsequent, rough draft-feedback, suggests otherwise.

Hubert and Abby is, in fact, Henze’s first comic strip. Before that, he was drawing single-panel cartoons and was very fortunate, via one his very first panels, to be picked up, and syndicated in the U.S. and internationally, by legendary distributor King Features (Betty & Veronica, Mother Goose & Grimm, Mutts), a unit of Hearst Corporation. Once in the club, Henze was encouraged by editors to “create a comic strip as an alternative to the somewhat flooded panel market.” Henze listened and, “a few iterations later, Hubert and Abby was born”. The lure of the panel still calls like a fat mermaid-siren in the night though, and to quell this lust, Henze occasionally designs greeting cards for Oatmeal Studios.

Henry David Thoreau suggested one write what one knows. One wonders then, like many an artist, is Henze embodied in any of his creations? Is the cranky Radish Cheeseweed an alter ego of sorts? Does Henze/Cheeseweed find daily irritation with what the inimitable writer Hunter S. Thompson called “the inchworms” of the world; or do Canadians love everybody? Might Henze be Jingles, the contented and kindly pup; or is Henze the personification of Cecil, the obdurate stinkbug? It seems Thoreau’s influence made its way into a previous, Hubert and Abby strip. (Makes sense. Most artists living in tents on secluded beaches or in lean-tos in the woods tend to appreciate Thoreau to a fault.)

  • Turtle quoted Thoreau in Hubert and Abby as having said "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion". Hubert tested the theory with the nearest reasonable facsimile...a can of pumpkin pie filling. Like Turtle, I'm more of a pumpkin-guy myself, though I'd have to say there's a bit of me in each of my characters. Minus the crankiness of course.

So, back to the cocktail napkin: readers want to know … is that real? Did a famous, multi-strip, syndicated cartoonist from Canada really submit an idea in this manner? Do we blame Canada? The story goes that the muck-stained napkin was submitted to GoComics editors and the following, visceral response ensued.

There was something about it that I liked,” claimed Editor Joe. “I’m not sure if it was the kind and peaceful nature of the characters themselves, or the gentle way the interacted. I know it wasn’t the art … I mean, really.”

Was it the cranky rabbit, or did Hubert and Abby help get Henze’s lucky rabbit foot in the door? Moreover, what is the ring on said-napkin? Is it espresso, drip coffee (if so, what brew?), bean soup or maybe even a chocolate martini? Well, kids, in this GoodToBeAGeek exclusive, Mel tells all.

  • The napkin sketch wasn’t part of the original submission, unfortunately, but the idea of a submission drawn in five seconds on a (used) napkin struck me as funny. It’s also a jab at my own inability to put a decent proposal together, though it may have come across differently. I created it specifically for the GoComics launch and the stain is “simulated” coffee, thanks to photo-editing software.  I also experimented with bacon grease and tape, both of which didn’t make the final cut.

Interesting. Now that we all feel like fools, having Huzzah!ed the little guy and Fie!ed the “mean and unfair syndicate monsters” the world over who wish only to use artists’ hard-fought work for nothing more than fish-wrap, we can step back and read Gentle Creatures for what it really is: a truly funny, giggle-invoking, daily dash of happy.

How does a mere Canadian, any artist for that matter, make it amongst the ranks of Charles Schulz and Bill Watterson? Can-do, I say! I asked Henze and, naturally, he had an answer.

  • Gentle Creatures, like Hubert and Abby, started on the GoComics Sherpa site, which for me, is a great place to develop a strip.  It gave me the opportunity to work to a deadline while getting valuable feedback from other cartoonists and readers.  The GoComics editors also keep an eye on strips on the Sherpa side … sometimes you’ll hear from the pros on the GoComics side.  The very talented Ed Power, My Cage and Santa vs. Dracula [both GoComics-strips illustrated by Melissa DeJesus], was an early supporter and provided a much appreciated boost early on and continues to get the word out about Gentle Creatures.

As the convention season in SoCal starts its early rumblings, this SoCal geek girl wondered if Henze and his creatures would feature at either WonderCon or the god of all cons, San Diego Comic-Con? SDCC badges and press passes are harder to garner than a birthday party invitation from Hillary Clinton to Ted Nugent. Yet, if GoComics sponsored a Henze appearance, stinkbugs and cranky rabbits from all over the Southland would file in to get a glimpse. Henze himself is open to it all.

  • With any luck, these will be something I can attend in the future. By all accounts, they’re pretty amazing events, and a great place to meet and connect with people, and possibly introduce them to a cranky bunny, a lovable dog, and an opinionated stink bug.

Besides stinkbugs and small mammals, Comic-Con is also crawling with cartoonists and animators of all strains and species. Henze has a bit of golden advice for the funny-page wannabes, as well as an open email box for anyone whom wishes to pick his brain.

  • If you have an idea, submit it on a napkin.  It's funny. I really enjoy hearing from people who want to talk about their strip or mine, or cartooning in general, and welcome comments (good or bad!) to the email on my GoComics page. Happy Cartooning!

As Radish Cheeseweed’s recent hospital stay proved, no one is indispensable. Kermit the Frog and Tom Cruise, I have on good authority, are on permanent standby, just in case Cheeseweed meets an untimely end; and keeping it all in The Muppets family, Pepe the King Prawn could serve well as a Cecil stand-in. Jingles, for this reader’s worth, is absolutely indispensable. Jingles has quickly moved up my ranks to join prestigious company with Fox Trot‘s Jason and Quincy, Get Fuzzy‘s Satchel and Peanuts‘ Sally Brown. Jingles makes a sweet first-impression. Moreover, it is rumoured Jingles fancies a parasol on sunny days, much like Yours Truly. Who doesn’t love a wee dog with a pink parasol? Will Henze play God with his characters? Probably.

  • I hope Jingles is indispensable. As much as cartoonists describe their characters as their children, I've found after a few years, they're like adult children living in your basement. You hope that someday they can stand on their own and eke out a living. Henze added, I love Pepe the King Prawn! Maybe a future cameo?!

Henze’s strip makes me scroll to the bottom of my personalized GoComicsPro page each morning. I am excited to learn what hay is being made in the dew-dappled meadow amidst the burbling, gurgling creek which runs through the smallish hills. (Note, GC is not at the bottom of my page as a ranking judgment; but simply because it is one of the newest I’ve added.) Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts top my list, of course. Gentle Creatures sits nicely snuggled in between Sarah’s Scribbles and Wizard of Id.

Gentle Creatures is exactly what a comic strip should be. Comic strips should make you guffaw, laugh out loud embarrassingly in public, leaving those around you at Starbucks to wonder if you’re actually reading something funny, or if they should have 9-1-1 at the ready. The funnies should make you excited to open the new strip every day. They should make you get up from your seat and force everyone else in the house to read it, too, whilst you stand there, dorky smile plastered on your face, waiting in giddy anticipation and watching their face for signs of the coming laugh, the same creeping smile and chortle the strip elicited from you. Often, this is not the case and we must retreat to our davenports (That’s what they call it in Canada, right?), tails between our legs and resume reading our beloved and misunderstood, under-appreciated comics with quieter chuckles and titters. (That’s a funny word, too. Right, Jingles?) Gentle Creatures accomplishes this, indeed.

Find Gentle Creatures at GoComics.com, a division of Universal Uclick, an Andrews-McMeel Universal company. Email Mel Henze at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ! To boot, a very special thank you to @Gene Willis @GoComics for the introduction and, especially to Mel Henze for his time, his humour, his art and, most of all, my panel!

See you in the Sunday funnies, kids!

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 11:48 Jennifer Devore
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The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

- "The Call of Cthulhu", H.P. Lovecraft

Dieticians might be shocked; fast-food might be far better for our health than previously thought. Krusty Burgers, to be specific, may very well save mankind, or at the very least, save us from a mass, alien enslavement of the human race. Yet, let's save that for later.

Whilst each Halloween blissfully brings FOX's Animation Domination Treehouse of Horror, this spine-chilling time of the year also brings bliss in analog format: Bongo Entertainment's own Treehouse of Horror. (For the uninitiated, Bongo Entertainment is the comic book publishing and distribution arm of the Matt Groening empire, spawned in 1991 by the ravenous needs of Simpsons fans the world over.)

Narrating three spooky, Simpsons tales, similar to the televised format, Treehouse of Horror the comic book delivers a sometimes darker, more sinister version of the bright and cheery, if not ever-twisted Springfield we visit via the beloved Boob Tube. Neither a companion piece nor an official complement, the comic book may be a different beast altogether (artists, writers, creep level), but like any Simpsons offering, it is replete with academic frames-of-reference, historical nods and cerebral asides. Never one to spoon-feed the consumer mushy peas for the mind, the Groening network presumes you know a thing or two about a thing or two; and if you don't, that's your referential loss. Treehouse of Horror #19 is no exception.

Though each of the three tales is a stand-alone, there exists a clear theme throughout this year's issue: World Domination. Via public school lunches or ancient, dormant overlords, be ye warned: thy cushy, quirky, sunshine-yellow life is available only for a limited time. Inspired by a 1928 short story titled The Call of Cthulhu by American horror-writer H.P. Lovecraft, the final yarn of the Treehouse triad best connects the philosophy of 1920s existentialism with our ageless Simpsons. Lovecraft's story tells of a slumbering sea monster -part-octopus/part-dragon/part-mustachioed gentleman- at the ready for an Earth-shattering awakening, enabled by any accidental and naive repetition of a bygone curse: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. (Thank you, Bart and Milhouse.) Coming off the heels of WWI and riding the sunrise of the Great Depression, the concept of a deadly, sleeping, unseen giant must have been a useful literary tool in Lovecraft's paranoid day.

Fitting for Halloween, the holiday's pagan roots stretching the tissue-thin layer of protection betwixt this world and that of the spirits, Treehouse of Horror is always a full-colour, hilarious reminder of the evil that forever lurks. When the pretty, lace veil of perceived reality is finally lifted, the cavernous, black hole that is the charred face of true reality screeches her call of annihilation like a banshee in an abandoned, Irish castle. The jarring, depressing, futility of modern life exposed in Lovecraft's stories is confirmed by the realization of a secret, malevolent, alternate universe. Lovecraft called it "cosmic horror", this diseased and hopeless contemplation that humankind is worthless, insignificant and mindless, that the universe at large is innately hostile towards and conspiring against the very existence of the woeful human.

Writing in the first quarter of the 20thC., Howard Phillips Lovecraft was cosmically attached at the skull, like a conjoined litter of depressives, to fellow brooding, turn-of-the-century thinkers like Nietzsche, Kafka, Sartre and Woody Allen. (Okay, Woody's quite a bit later, but you get it. Fretful, pensive to distraction and dizzied by death and dying.) What is man's place in this mad, absurd, pointless world? Why bother? What does it all matter, when clearly we are slated for a brief, impotent sojourn on Earth, only to be ultimately condemned  to death, deterioration, desiccation and dust.

Meh. Lighten up, already! Existentialism, smexistentialism. Springfield still has Kwik-E-Mart squishees, Krusty burgers and Lard Boy donuts. Plus, it's Hallowe'en! How bad does mankind really have it in this cruelly short, dismally-fated, rat race? Well, don't ask Friedrich Nietzsche, ask Ned Flanders.

 

  • Tale No. 1: "Monster Mash-up"

Free beer and donuts vs. true love? Easy peasy call, right? Homer is lured into a haunted house by the Bacchanalian siren and finds himself accosted by a host of local characters, all morphed into classic monsters of lit and film. Krusty Hellraiser, Barney, Moe & Duffman zombies, Comic Book Guy From the Black Lagoon, and Reverend Lovejoy as Satan, of course. As a ghost-Marge entices Homer to join her in the grave, he must decide if true love or donuts and beer shall comfort his mortal soul. Plus, there are the cavity probes. You know you like it.

And this door doesn't hold anything better! Nothing but a post-apocalyptic cityscape's bleak nothingness of rubble and ruins. And zombies probably. -Homer

  • Tale No.2: "Alienated"

School cafeteria lunches never tasted so good! With lunch lady Doris and her usual gruel M.I.A., students are dining on substitute vittles. With the new chow, kiddies become smarter, more efficient and develop a serious case of what Ned Flanders calls 'sass mouth'. Yet, will the fast-food tables turn? Will Professor Frink and little Lisa uncover the mystery of the missing cafeteria meat food?  Will Krusty Burger and its foodesque, lethargy-invoking, quasi-edible slurry save the world; or will Krusty simply teach the aliens how to serve man?

Rod and Todd have taken to answering me by using the word 'whatever'. Also, I think they're mutilating cattle. -Ned Flanders

  • Tale No. 3: "Cthulhu? Gesundheit!"

Be careful what you wish for, Milhouse. Borrowing heavily from the Cthulhu mythos, or the Lovecraftian milieu (Fun to say, right? Try working it in at Thanksgiving.), Bart and Milhouse are assigned to catalogue the long-forgotten tomes of Springfield Elementary School's basement-library. There they find an ancient spell book of the dead: Necronomicon. (Good name for a Comic-Con goth panel.) By speaking one simple tongue-twister, Cthulhu and his ilk can be called from the depths of the sea, like a genie from his bottle, to do the bidding of his new master. Will the Kraken-like sea creature enslave and devour the human race, or will Santa's Little Helper be a good doggie and save the day?

Bart, where does A Tale of Two Cities go?     -Milhouse

How about in the trash? Any book that can't make up its mind where it wants to be set can't possibly be any good! -Bart

 

Pay attention, humans! Cthulhu has been awakened!

Pay attention, humans! Cthulhu has been awakened! Photo: Dennis van Zuijlekom

Happy Halloween, Earthlings!

Ooh! An actual beer and donuts joint?! Well … I guess I have a little time to stop! -Homer

 

 

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Monday, 24 June 2013 17:21 Jennifer Devore
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The dark, dicey harbors and grand, Georgian suburbs which spiral outward from the nation's nexus of Washington, D.C. maintain a consistent ripple of clandestine rendezvous and the hiding-in-plain-sight, double-dealing that keeps the Capitol flowing. Amidst the briny, back alleys of Annapolis and Fell's Point, and the wainscoted, chintz-covered parlors of McLean and Georgetown, secret lives meet with secret identities in an effort to keep us safe from government conspiracy and monsters lurking in the shadows … maybe. Even D.C. has room for only so many two-faces; lucky for us, the X-Files have been reopened.

Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are back in town as The X-Files: Season 10 returns to us that which we lost so long ago: haute conspiracy theory, paranoia and the dry snark of runway model-ready Fox Mulder. It's been a long time since we've peeled into the grey matter of an agent hell-bent on exposing and combating the tightly-woven, non-existent, government syndicate. Surely, if anyone understands the pebble in Washington's loafer today, Edward Snowden, and his supporter, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, it is Spooky Mulder. It's also been a long time since we've been mesmerized by the marmoreal, porcelain skepticism of Dana Scully, M.D., tossed regularly to Mulder via beauteous, sideways glances. You may not be able to watch Scully's enhanced, ginger beauty by TV's blue haze this time around; but you will be able to take her under the covers with a flashlight at lights-out, just like summer camp, and read the continuing, cloak-and-dagger, comic book adventures of the F.B.I.'s Most Desired.

Serving as a "Where are they now?", The X-Files: Season 10 picks up alternatively, which suits it well, in comic book form: hence the summertime, undercover, late-night delectations. Set in  present-day D.C. Metro, our favorite agents in navy blue are living, à la Rob and Laura Petrie in Arcadia (S6e15), as a married couple in suburban bliss under the aliases Dr. and Mr. Anthony Blake: Scully working in pediatrics private practice, Mulder writing his memoirs, I Want To Believe. Many a fan “just want to see Scully and Mulder hook up”. Well, we got our wish, kind of.

"They are indeed living under the same roof as a married couple," divulges IDW Publishing editor Denton J. Tipton. "The relationship between the two has always been the heart of The X-Files, and we will carry on that tradition. But things are far from "happily ever after."

Winter has come and gone nearly a dozen times since we last spied on our basement odd couple: Mulder forever nursing his neuroses, Scully forever rolling her baby blues. 2013 brings them well into the 21stC., giving them a whole new arsenal of wireless weapons to fight. Walter Skinner, now Deputy Director Skinner, knows this and arrives in the burbs to alert Scully and Mulder that someone, or something, is systematically picking off those formerly associated with the F.B.I.'s X-Files division.

"I'd call you DD Skinner, now, but that just makes me feel dirty." Mulder gives us what we want, as his revived character is spot-on from the first moment we see him in print, interacting with neighborhood kids playing baseball in the street, proffering advice in form and philosophy. "Play deeper when the big guy hits."

Some will note Mulder's alias, Anthony Blake as a nod to The Magician (1973/4): a short-lived mystery series, starring The Incredible Hulk's Bill Bixby. Centered on playboy philanthropist Tony Blake, he was a  "master of magic, romancer of women the world over and solver of even the most stubborn crimes", as Mulder explains the origin of his new identity to a clueless Skinner.

A bigger fan of the supernatural than duplicitous, government syndicates? Fret not. Season 10 will weave in classic MOW's (Monsters of the Week) "to let things breathe, explore other mysteries, and give us a break from the mytharc," assures Tipton. "There will be some direct sequels to fan-favorite episodes, and lots of new threats and thrills for Scully and Mulder."

"But rest assured that many other familiar faces will be returning in the comic," Tipton continues with a tease. "Krycek is a favorite of the writer Joe Harris, so I suspect that he'll [Krycek] turn up in some fashion sooner or later."

"Who doesn't love Alex Krycek?? Maybe Skinner, I guess... ," ponders Harris.

A collaboration of 20thCentury Fox Consumer Products, IDW Publishing and 1013 Productions (a.k.a Ten Thirteen Productions, founded by Chris Carter in 1993), The X-Files: Season 10 has the ultimate blessing of original-creator, now-executive producer Chris Carter.

"He sees and comments on everything we do, from outlines, scripts, art, to final product. Nothing will be released without his final stamp of approval," relays Tipton. "The X-Files remains very near and dear to Chris Carter's heart, and it's been an honor to collaborate with him. I don't think he'll ever truly have Scully and Mulder out of his system."

XFS10 commences with Believers, a five-part segment within the series. It seems a quizzical turn, this continuation of such a storied series in comic book form, versus television. Still, in the new age of mobile and personalized media, who needs broadcast television? To boot, the artists behind this endeavor bring most everything we need to the inked page. The spooky docks, the robed villains, the dead-eyed children, Mulder's smirk and Scully's cheekbones all come through gorgeously through the art and colors of Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire, respectively. If you're curious as to how different Scully and Mulder (originally played by Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in The X-Files TV series and films) will look in pen and ink, fret not.

"Gillian Anderson (Bleak House, Hannibal, The Fall) and David Duchovny's (Goats, Californication, Things We Lost in the Fire) likenesses are being used in the comic, and all our artists must be approved by both. We're as official as official can get!" guarantees Tipton.

The X-Files television series aired for nearly a decade, spawned two feature films and birthed a regiment of rabid fans known as X-Philes, most of whom would be shocked and amazed to know there actually exists another Chris Carter. (What?! 'Tis true. A sports figure, it seems.) Will the franchise sustain as a comic book? Just as this year's San Diego Comic Con celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Sandman graphic novels and the 20th anniversary of Bongo Comics Group (The Simpsons et al), might we be celebrating a milestone anniversary of The X-Files Comics in cons to come? When asked if IDW and 20th Century Fox will be proffering spin-offs like, perchance, The Smoking Man or the one-season, television series The Lone Gunmen (2001), Tipton handed over this hopeful prognosis.

"That all depends on the demand for such a spin-off. As it stands now, the debut issue is selling very well, and the reviews have been great, so I want to believe that there will be!" (See what he did there? " … I want to believe … ")

Despite the fact that reading issue #1 causes involuntary, over-and-over flips of the book to see how the tale continues, then an obsessive countdown until next month's issue #2 hits the shelves, there is still one component missing from this satisfying new series: the azure candescence of TV. Minus the hypnotic glow of tel-e-vi-sion, however, XFS10 is a welcome, long-awaited return of the crew on the Potomac.

Going to San Diego Comic Con this year? Do yourself a favor and stop by IDW Publishing (booth #2643) and give the other X-Men & Women a little of your own glowing kudos; I certainly will.

Barenaked Ladies sang it best: Watching X-Files with no lights on, we're dans la maison, I hope the Smoking Man's in this one.

Then again, indie musician PB3 sang it pretty well, too: Scully looks so hot, just a-standin’ there, and Mulder never seems to care. And I wonder, what must be wrong with Mulder … ?

 

The X-Files: Season 10 #1

Story by: Joe Harris with Chris Carter

Written by: Joe Harris

Art by: Michael Walsh

Colors by: Jordie Bellaire

Editor: Denton J. Tipton

Letters by: Robbie Robbin

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

 

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Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

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Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!