Better Days

Today on the site, a true meeting of the minds: Joe McCulloch interviews Alejandro Jodorowsky. Sample:

Yes I collaborate in the foundation of Metal Hurlant with my ideas and revolutionary texts like “The sexual life of Superman” where I was describing the Superman ejaculations so strong that the sperm going through the woman vagina, the whole body, the head and went away exploding the head and destroying a skyscraper.

Yep, you'll want to read that.


The great Dylan Williams, a comics stalwart for nearly two decades, and a real inspiration for all of us small publishers, could use some help to pay for his cancer treatment. I'm sure the attention is mortifying, but let it be said that Dylan and his company, Sparkplug, have quietly kept the DIY spirit alive. As a publisher you look for other publishers to, well, look up to. Dylan is one of those people. Dylan is also an incredible comics historian whose work on Mort Meskin, Alex Toth, Bill Blackbeard and others has been groundbreaking. So, go buy a ton of books from Sparkplug. They're affordable and they're damn good.

I can recommend the following:

The Heavy Hand by Chris Cilla: One of my absolute favorite graphic novels of the last few years. Fucking brilliant and damned brave. Essential to any comics library. Seriously.

Service Industry by T. Edward Bak: Formally inventive, funny, wrenching, personal comics.

Fleep by Jason Shiga. Just plain brilliant on every level. Shiga at his confounding best.

Windy Corner, edited by Austin English: Wonderful, heartfelt zine on comics.

Orchid by Huizenga, May, et al. One of my very favorite anthologies of all time.

It Lives by Ted May: It's Ted May. That means laughs and perfect cartooning.

Tales to Demolish by Eric Haven: Absurdist adventure comics lushly rendered.

Go. Buy. Good. Comics.

12 Responses to Better Days

  1. Every time I read one of these fundraising efforts I cringe. It is completely disgusting that our system (in the U.S. in general and the comics industry in particular) has left us no better way to insure the health and wellbeing of working people in the comics industry than by auction. God forbid someone should fall sick who doesn’t have a lot of products for sale, or whose products aren’t popular enough to ensure coverage.

  2. Daniel C. Parmenter says:

    Hmmm, so which came first, Jodorowsky’s “The sexual life of Superman” or Niven’s “Man of Steel Woman of Kleenex”?

  3. Tim Gagne says:

    Niven’s story was in 1971, Metal Hurlant first published in 1974. Math seems to favor Niven. Comic adaptation would probably go to Jodorowsky, though the Curt Swan version from Penthouse Comics of Niven’s story is classic.

  4. Paul Karasik says:

    Maybe you have skimmed John Porcellino’s work but never understood what the fuss is all about. Get yourself a copy of “The Mosquito Abatement Man”. Rock solid and unique and brilliant. Go buy now:

  5. Ian Harker says:

    Well it’s good to know that if he doesn’t currently have coverage at least he can no longer be denied coverage for his pre-existing condition (despite the fact that 50% of our country’s electorate has no problem with private insurers being able to do just that.)

  6. I got PASSAGE by Tessa Burton and PINES #4 by Jason T Miles.

    Sparkplugs distro is so vast and Virgina Paine is working tirelessly to put a ton of it up on the internet. If you miss USS Catastrophe…look at Sparkplugs distro now. It has grown a ton and done so pretty quietly. I think Dylans work on that distro is just as amaing as his work as a publisher.

  7. Mike Rhode says:

    I dropped a quick century last night, but part of that was curiosity about the Ditko books. I did pick up Porcelliono’s mosquitoes and Shiga’s Fleep that I’m looking forward too.

  8. Rob Clough says:

    Both the Porcellino and Shiga books are great. You can really see John P develop over the course of the book.

    Austin is 100% correct in noting that Sparkplug’s reach as a distro has been very important in replacing USS Catastrophe. And at shows, the Sparkplug table is covered with fascinating minis that they carry but don’t directly publish.

  9. michael L says:

    Dylan and Sparkplug are so amazing!!!

    I espouse all the above recommendations! And let me add Matthew Thurber’s 1-800-MICE, which, as I understand it, is highly acclaimed by almost everyone within the overarching alt comics constituency to which we are all tethered (if we are reading TCJ blog post comments).

    Also Julia Gfrörer, Chris Cilla, Theo Ellsworth, Rina Ayuyang … god going through Sparkplug’s list is like reading a who’s who of Ignatz nominees.

  10. michael L says:

    oh wait, 1-800-mice is published by picturebox and then ambergris? what a confusing ballet is the world of small press comics publishing

  11. Rob Clough says:

    Sparkplug is just distributing the old issues of 1-800-MICE. The collected version will be coming from PictureBox and will debut at SPX.

  12. JMakar says:

    Is that a reference in the title?!

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