Hand on the Bible

16 Sep
By Darryl Ayo

Facing south, standing in the curb cut in front of my parents’ house in Mount Vernon, New York. It is odd to me that one cannot see the end of the street from here. Just beyond those trees is a great stone wall which holds aloft the Metro-North commuter train, separating the North side from the South side of Mount Vernon. Take a right at the wall and go directly to No-Thank-You-Ma’am. Such is life, here on the cusp of infinity.

Welcome back to Comix Cube and thank you very much for your patience in our technical slowdown. This past weekend was Small Press Expo and our team celebrated its very first all-hands-meeting since…well, the previous year’s SPX, before Comix Cube’s inception. Go team! So I live and breathe for the comics.

Here’s a comic by Megan Rosalarian Gedris called “The Ballad of Nutella and Banana Panini” that I really liked.


Jeffrey Brown is a divisive figure among these comics people. Here’s a comic that I think we can all agree on:


Completely unrelated to comics in any way:

True story.


On #Twitter:

I’m knee-deep in the mud, tweeting in the #comicmarket and #digitalcomics hashtags. If you’re interested in comic retail and digital comics, AND you enjoy my binges of commentary and ad hominem, come check it 0ut. My two favorite topics of discussion. Well, tied for second favorite, after visual culture…

We’ve got to get the following hashtags going:

#visualculture :: to highlight and discuss the interesting eyecandy (and eyevegetables) that are out in the world.

#comicsculture :: to discuss community building in our beloved comics medium.

#comicseducation :: to discuss conventional and especially unconventional ways in which comics can augment and supplement educators. It’s a big deal!


On Tumblr:

I am really into diversifying my Tumblr stream. I like the random stuff that comes flying across my dashboard, but I also really enjoy focused, what-it-says-on-the-tin Tumblr blogs. I enjoy a wide assortment of focused visual information, is what I’m saying. I love how the insistent variations on a single, narrow theme can push open the doors of discussion and allow viewers to develop a nuanced understanding of a subject simply through its repetition.

Some favorites of mine:

NoirLac – “WHEN KEVIN WINS, THE PLANET LOSES!” Seriously, I have no idea what this is, but it is my absolute favorite Tumblr blog every morning (when it usually updates)

SuperheroesLose – (maintained by Sean T. Collins) this is a blog of comic book covers in which the stars are depicted defeated at the hands of a foe.

KirbyTech – an image blog that shows many examples of the science-fiction machinery and technology seen in Jack Kirby’s comics.

WomenFighters – “Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.” This is a collection of illustrations (and some photographs) of women characters in fantasy/adventure/sci-fi entertainment who wear armor and protective clothing suitable for their jobs, rather than flesh-baring non-protective coverings that are quite common in adventure stories.

AnimalBlog – Images of cute animals. Perfect for stressful days.

Frame x Frame – Frame By Frame depicts short scenes in animated films as a collection of stills to allow the viewer to study the movements that the animators have depicted. Each post is punctuated by a the actual animated scene. It’s really quite neat.

ArchitectureBlog – Seriously, what do you think?

ComicBookViolence – Clips from comic books depicting some of the more ridiculous fight scenes and violent outbursts that can occur. Doesn’t update nearly enough for my liking.

NancyPanels – Single panels from the popular comic strip Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller.

3eanuts – Charles Schulz’ popular philosophy comic Peanuts, recontextualized by removing the final, redeeming panel.

ComicBookCovers – Comic book covers.


Wonderful World of Webcomics:

This is a piece of Cucumber Quest promotional art from the strip’s creator Gigi Digi. I highly recommend this webcomic.


This is Tumblr phenom Kate Or Die, speaking for the insecurities of so many creative persons in a recent strip.


A quick shout-out to my Tumblr pals GoKnights and GoRockets; just in case I was frazzled when they stopped by the House Of Twelve table at SPX. Keep posting fun art goodies, you are great!

GoRockets…This Is Not Fiction, a webcomic.

GoKnights…Best Friends Forever, a webcomic.

It was terrific to meet you!


And it was fantastic to finally meet HamletMachine, the NSFW comicker behind Starfighter.

HamletMachine is one of my favorite letterers in indie comics. Can a person have a crush on an alphabet? That’s on top of drawing really great comics.

Some folks are put off by yaoi material, so I would recommend Hamlet’s short story “THE DOM+THE MACHINE (fight)” which may soothe your sensitive eyes. This is one of my personal favorite things on the entire internet, hand on the bible.

I love HamletMachine’s sense of color, pacing and design. I love how thoroughly she formats her work for optimal web reading. From this “Dom+Machine” work to the “Starfighter” work, Hamlet’s work is flat out perfect on screens. Her letters are blocky and somewhat ragged, revealing the influence of the human hand (despite her chosen moniker), but are readable at even highly reduced scales.

I can read a full page of Starfighter on my iPhone screen without zooming. I love that. Heck, I wish I had a custom font!

Prequel to the Dom+Machine comic above: “Did U Order This Pain Raw?


William Gibbons is probably a person you’ll want to familiarize yourself with:

He calls himself Ashwara and has done a few comics online. I think you should give him a chance. He’s got a DeviantArt and a Tumblr, whatever your flavor is.


This webcomic http://trirami.smackjeeves.com/ is all charm.

KakiArt on the Tumblr.


Madeleine Flores, agent of evil:

Maddy is one of my favorite people in comics. She’s clever. She has the wit and acumen of a mean person, but she uses her powers for good. She also hooked me up with people to room with for 2011 SPX. So thank you very much, Madeleine!

She also has a proper blog on WordPress that I would recommend that we all add to our RSS feeds and Google Readers.


I don’t want to face:

Dylan Williams, the brilliant indie comics publisher (Sparkplug Comic Books) died on September 10, 2011. I read the news just as I was preparing for the Ignatz awards. The last time I saw him was at MoCCA in June of 2011. We spoke briefly about comics, this and that. All I can ever think about is “if only I had known.” I would have talked with him all day if only I had known. I would have talked with him all weekend if only I had known. Dylan was a very welcoming, humble-to-a-fault, passionate promoter of comic books. There’s an entire generation of cartoonists working today who can say that “Dylan believed in me.” Well-known as an honest businessman and a genuine stand-up dude, he earned the unflinching respect of even the most jaded of us. As a publisher, Dylan Williams’ passion was to give unsung cartoonists their first major boost. His desire as a small press publisher was always to help launch cartoonists’ careers and move on to launching other cartoonists’ careers. In addition to publishing, he also worked as a local distributor of minicomics. He was the first person to buy my minicomics in bulk and distribute them on the West Coast. Dylan seemed to be able to find potential in everyone. An absolutely wonderful guy both personally and professionally.


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