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Talking to you

13 Jul
by Kevin Czap

Kevin Huizenga Wild Kingdom

Something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is conveying narrative through use of the second person. That is to say, making comics that aren’t about an event or characters doing things directly, but rather focus on speaking directly to the reader. There are many comics that do this for educational or instructional ends, such as Ikea booklets and airplane safety guides, or Will Eisner’s old PS strips. These examples are all pretty utilitarian though. As someone who likes comics to mess with them a bit more, I wonder how much room to play around there is in something like this.

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Out of Office Automated Response

6 Jul
by Kevin Czap

The Rays

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ABSCOND: Brief thoughts on the qualities of comics and animation

29 Jun
by Kevin Czap

Am I even allowed to post today? Darryl is on a roll, as you can see, taking over the six sides of the ‘Cube with positivity about this beloved medium of ours (generally positive, at least). With all the love and sunbeams flying around, it seems a shame to carry on the mock-feud from last week, especially since D already conceded, kind of. In any event, I feel like, since I said I would, I ought to finish some of my thoughts that I was laying out in my last post. I’ll keep it brief, however, and end on a sunny note.

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STRIFE – On Defining Comics

22 Jun
by Kevin Czap

Homestuck

Last week my blog mate and comrade in arms Darryl made some bold proclamations about what comics are and, more emphatically, what they are not. We’re all free to hold dissenting opinions of course, it’s part of what’s so important about communication. In this case, I felt pretty strongly in the opposite direction of Mr. Ayo and so I sent a warning shot and hadn’t the time to back it up with a proper rebuttal. I figured it might make a good topic to jaw about on the ‘Cube so that brings us just about to where we are.
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Humor Stop

15 Jun
by Kevin Czap

I got nothing for this week, so please allow me to direct your attention to some things that make me laff. Enjoy.

Thanks for Roning

Leon Beyond

Pizza Club

Where's My Shoe?

SCRAGGY


Images belong to (in order of appearance) Eddie Campbell, Kevin Huizenga, Sally Bloodbath, Ed Atlin, and Jane Mai.

Your Own Private Canon

1 Jun
by Kevin Czap

The Hooded Unitarian [sic] is sending around feelers for folks working in comics to fess up to their Top Ten Comix of All Time. I was a notorious lister back in high school, but have cooled on the whole concept in recent years. However, the tendency may have just evolved into a frequent reflexivity on my influences. I’m quick to acknowledge and pay tribute to the amazing arts culture that surrounds me, and to the work and people that marked my formative years.
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The Harold

27 Apr
by Kevin Czap

Kevin Czapiewski Spoilers

Note: This post is a continuation of an apparent series where I talk about story-telling methods and artistic practices that interest me, particularly in how they can be applied to comics.

“People say that life is just one damn thing after another. That is not true. It’s the same damn thing over and over again, and you’ve gotta keep your head loose enough to see it as it comes around again.” – Del Close

In high school I was a theater kid. This meant that my friends and I took theater classes every semester, we showed up on Saturday to build sets, we acted and sometimes sang in the school plays, we wrote and directed one-acts, things like that. It also meant that we did improv occasionally. Some of the most fun we had thoughout our high school careers was during improv practices and competitions (thanks in no small part to seanbaby.com).
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Every Comic Shop on Sunset Strip/Greater Cleveland Area

20 Apr
By Kevin Czap

Ed Rusha's Every Building on Sunset Strip
When I took a trip to New York City at the end of last year, one of the strongest impressions I came away with was about the comic shops. I wasn’t able to go to every single one, but that’s beside the point. This is a city that loves comics in the universal sense. Sure you’ve got Desert Island covering the fringes and Bergen Street which is a handsome, diverse boutique, but even Midtown and Forbidden Planet, the more mainstream-y stores, had a selection that made me weep from euphoria. Who needs the internet in such a place?

Of course, the separation anxiety began to seep in as I returned home to Cleveland. New York is probably an unhealthy comparison for any city, but sometimes you can’t keep those kind of thoughts out. Since then I’ve heard other people talk about the less-than-diverse offerings in their own cities, further establishing that week in the big city as a special case. Still, it got me thinking. If you’ve been checking out my posts here on the Cube, you’ll know that I’ve been all about local scenes lately, so it makes sense that my thoughts have been centering on the make-up of Cleveland’s comics scene. Comics shops, being the physical locations of input, are a large part of any scene’s ecosystem, naturally. Continue reading

Relief

13 Apr
by Kevin Czap

Steve

The most recent comic to flip my lid has been Steve Weissman’s serialized “Barack Hussein Obama.” At first, I had only seen the image above, which I took to be a one-off strip. On its own, the image was staggering — a beautifully poetic (and haunting) comment on our country’s current situation. Whereas most political cartoons are more or less explicit in their message, this was refreshing in how much it left unsaid. A particular bias of mine, sure, but I usually think the less said the better (as always, there are exceptions to this).
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The Abstract

30 Mar
by Kevin Czap

Derik Badman Flying Chief

Keeping it rolling from L’s article yesterday, lets continue our discussion about abstract comics.

A battlefield I’m usually weary of entering is the one that’s fought over “what are comics.” I usually find it more useful to look for similarities of form than to draw demarcations. I’ll hazard dipping my little toe into the fray for a second here, if only to refer to one argument that I’ve encountered more than a few times. That argument is the one about whether or not comics need to tell a story. You might think, what a stupid question, of course they do — comics is a perfect storytelling medium… words and pictures, dude. But let’s think about this a bit.
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