Hot comics

In the latest Zippy, Dingburgers are going cuckoo for comic books:

This is Bill Griffith’s work, so of course none of the comic books are inventions.

Start with Atomic Robo. From the Wikipedia entry:

Atomic Robo is a comic book series depicting the adventures of the eponymous character, created by 8-Bit Theater writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener.

Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X #5 came out this week (an appreciation here), so the Dingburgers are very much up to date.

(Note the division of labor, very common in the comics world, between writer and artist, parallel to the division of labor in song-writing between lyricist and composer.)

Then Cavewoman:

Cavewoman is an American comic book published primarily by Basement Comics and additionally by Caliber Comics and Avatar Press. The story follows superhuman Meriem Cooper, a voluptuous barefoot jungle goddess in a snakeskin bikini, who battles dinosaurs. Created by writer-artist Budd Root and inked by Devon Massey, Cavewoman was inspired by Little Annie Fanny and William Stout. (link)

(A further division, between drawing the comic, in pencil, and inking it, roughly analogous to the division between composer and arranger in musical theater.)

Then Dr. Horrible, which began (not long ago) as a movie:

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a 2008 musical tragicomedy miniseries in three acts, produced exclusively for Internet distribution. Filmed and set in Los Angeles, the show tells the story of Dr. Horrible (played by Neil Patrick Harris), an aspiring supervillain; Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), his nemesis; and Penny (Felicia Day), their shared love interest.

The movie was written by writer/director Joss Whedon, his brothers Zack Whedon (a television writer) and Jed Whedon (a composer), and Jed’s wife, actress Maurissa Tancharoen.

… Tie-in comic books for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog have been released by Dark Horse Comics. The first three were through its online comics anthology Dark Horse Presents, the fourth was a special release as part of the “One Shot Wonders” series. All were written by Zack Whedon. (link)

(Here the story — analogous to “the book” in musical theater — is the work of one set of people and the realization as a comic book is the work of others, not named above.)

Then, in a different vein, Strawberry Shortcake:

Strawberry Shortcake is a licensed character owned by American Greetings, originally used in greeting cards and expanded to include dolls, posters, and other products. The Strawberry Shortcake properties also include a toy line of the character’s friends and pets. [big in the 1980s, relaunched in 2003 and 2009]

… Raisin Cane was introduced as the niece of villainess Sour Grapes in Issue #1 of Star Comics’ (an imprint of Marvel Comics) short-lived Strawberry Shortcake Comic Book, and, as far as is known, was never considered for any kind of commercial merchandising.

Finally, Extinction Seed, which is very current; the background issue (#0) appeared in September 2011; the appreciation here describes it as being about “the age old trio of doomsday, superheroes and saving the world”. Issue #1 is now out; review here. There are many comments on the gorgeous art work and its manga-like feel.

(For this comic, the listed creators include a writer, penciller, colorist, and letterer. More division of labor, bringing out the importance of lettering — the visual presentation of text. Cartooning is a complex art.)

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