Under the Weather

A while back, bravest person alive Shaenon Garrity offered to review webcomics sent to her via e-mail. Now we have a second installment of her evaluations, and they're worth reading even if you never look at online comics:

One thing I love about webcomics is that there’s a comic for virtually every audience imaginable. Kickstand Comics, which started in 2008 and ended just recently, is a daily strip for cycling enthusiasts. And we’re talking serious enthusiasts, the kind of people who care about the ideological battles between classic bikes and road bikes, urban biking and “race and rec,” who hold strong opinions about bike lanes, and who, above all, despise cars. The central character, beardy bike shop worker Yehuda Moon (the strip also sometimes runs under the title Yehuda Moon), describes his job as “deploying ground troops in an unpopular war.”

We also have Sean Rogers' review of Tom Kaczynski's Beta Testing the Apocalypse:

But one of the pleasures of reading Beta Testing, as in other watershed collections like Caricature, Curses, or Everything Together, lies in watching a cartoonist become less mindful of his precursors, less rote in his treatment of subject matter, both freer and more assured. As the book progresses, Kaczynski sloughs off influence, just as his characters slip away from civilization. A breakthrough story like 2008’s “Million Year Boom” nearly brings the book to a halt halfway through with its impressive and authentic weirdness, yet still retains the stamp of millenarian systems novelists, still partakes of the old dead-eyed Clowesian aloofness. By the time we reach the concluding story, “The New”—at once an ode to modernist architecture and an allegory literalizing the decline of the west, created uniquely for this volume—Kaczynski’s layouts have exploded into space, cities and buildings splayed out on the page in startling and diagrammatic splashes.

I haven't been feeling well the past couple days, so I haven't spent much time online, and have only a few links for you.

—TCAF has announced another slew of impressive guests.

—Architecture critic Martin Filler has a lot of kind words at the New York Review of Books for Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor's Batman: Death by Design.

—Here's a report from the Zadie Smith and Chris Ware panel at the New York Public Library.

—And here is an online fundraiser for an interesting looking documentary about the late artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones.