Friday, March 17, 2017

Bye, Comicro

As I have too many blogs, websites, social accounts, etc. all comics news you might've found here will now be found at the Zombie Cat Bacon Facebook page here.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

20 Places to find ZombieCatBacon Universe content - an update

There hasn't been much activity on any of the ZombieCatBacon blogs since the year began. However, there has been quite a lot of ZombieCatBacon activity. I've been playing with various social media outlets, shared blogging formats, and a number of "pin boards" to share content relevant for each of the "channels" I enjoy writing about or perusing at my leisure.

You can find the various ZCB channels playing at the various locations listed below. (The asterix shows the most active locations for that channel)
The Comicro (comics):
*Facebook page - give us a Like, won't you?
Pinterest board - Follow me!
Tapiture board - Pinterest for guys?
Gentlemint board - not sure if Gentlemint works for me yet, we'll see
Twitter feed - called Zombie Cat Bacon, but a lot of comic stuff here
*The Escape Goat newsletter - love the way this newsletter compiles content from my favorite sites - sign up today!

SnackyPOP (snacks and drinks) (duh):
*Facebook page - give us a Like, won't you? Please?
*Pinterest board - Follow me! Now!
Tapiture board - Pinterest for guys? Yeah, and not too racy either
Gentlemint board - Gentlemint is chasing Tapiture, I think
Twitter feed - interesting links to new locally made snacks and craft soda news
The Daily R'n'R newsletter - this newsletter is a mix of a lot of stuff, all of it Important - sign up today!

Pulpwear (cool graphics, vintage posters, classic illustration):
Facebook page - The page is newish, and lonely, but you'll always find something cool to see. Give us a Like here too, won't you?
*Pinterest board - Follow me! Love me!
Tapiture board - Pinterest for guys? Also new
Gentlemint board - Gentlemint is chasing Tapiture, I think. And not succeeding.
*Spreadshirt - the Pulpwear shop, with many nifty t-shirts. New designs coming soon!

I'll provide an overview of the other three (United States of Whiskey, BBQHoney and Voyage of the Darned) later this week.

As far as the Mothership goes (ZombieCatBacon), I am toying with developing a central "go-to" point for all this stuff. A ZombieCatBacon nexus of my universe, if you like. I know a Venn diagram of my interests would look rather odd, but judging by the traffic, comments and email I get, I know there are many of you that are drawn in by one thing and discover something else you weren't expecting. And that's the fun part of doing all this stuff. The interaction and engagement I've received over the past year tells me I'm onto something. I just have no idea what that is.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Untold Tales of Untold Tales

I've backed a few projects on Kickstarter over the past five years, and still believe the idea of crowdfunding to be sound and worthwhile.

However, that faith can be shaken.

For example, I backed Untold Tales of the Comic Industry back in 2011. I spent a measly five bucks to get my name on the backers list on the project website, and of course to support the project itself. (Hey, big spender!)

From the Kickstarter page:
This documentary takes a look at the comic industry from the inside out, guided by writers, illustrators, editors, distributors, Hollywood storytellers, and global fans of the art form. You'll see the genesis of our shared love of comics, and explore the inspirations that keep creators running. You'll learn what these creators love about the industry today, and what they hope to see improved for the industry's survival tomorrow. No topic is off the table: economics, fan culture, the industry's need to open its ranks to include a wider range of race and gender - it's all discussed. This film isn't a tell-all in the scandalous sense, but it IS full of honest stories and opinions offered up by the people behind the pages. 

Cool! I've wanted to see a doc like this ever since I got my VHS copy of Comic Book Confidential. The comic book biz does a great job of preaching to the choir about the amazingly talented individuals that have entertained millions over the past 70 years. But if you ask The Man On The Street about Jack Kirby? Blank stare. Sure, maybe Frank Miller or Robert Kirkman, possibly Todd McFarlane, are known to the periphery of geekdom. But the vast majority are unknown to 98% of the general public (and 98% of those folks have seen 300, Walking Dead and/or Spawn on the big and small screen, nevermind the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

The King
So Untold Tales should've been another welcome effort to raise awareness of the men and women behind the curtain, and to give them some much deserved publicity.


A few facts about Untold Tales:
Successful Kickstarter campaign: completed on Sept 15, 2011 and exceeded the stated goal of $18,000 reaching $19,048 from 259 backers

Last update on Kickstarter: Jun 25, 2014 (on February 7, 2014, the organizers announced the project would morph to a series format instead of feature documentary)
Last Facebook post: March 13, 2013
Last blogpost on website: August 8, 2011

I contacted, via Twitter and Facebook, Brandon Jerwa and Ali Mohsenian, two of the principals involved in Untold Tales but have not yet received a response. A shame really. I sincerely hope 259 people haven't donated $73.54 (on average) to be told "uh sorry, we moved onto other things" by the folks involved.

I want to see this project come (back) to life. Perhaps someone else can pick up the torch and run with it to completion. Kevin Smith? Chris Hardwick? Ken Burns? (hey, why not? He's already done wondrous things with the other two original American artforms, baseball and jazz).

I'd love to hear an update from someone currently involved with the project. I think it's worthwhile and maybe even important.

And I never even got my name on the website. Someone owes me $5.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Wedthursday Comicro - boldly going where so many have gone before...

When I was a kid, Gold Key comics were a road trip staple. Easily found in gas stations and variety stores all over Ontario, the Gold Key line was an odd mix of horror, sword'n'sorcery, funny animal and licensed books. Korak and Turok, Boris Karloff, Mighty Samson and Doctor Solar were usually found strewn across the backseat as Dad drove down the 401 (if you've taken the route, and if you're from eastern Canada, you have, then you'll recall the magnificent scenery and epic vistas. Or you won't because I'm totally lying. Think of driving through central Ohio and subtract your will to live). The funny thing about Gold Key, especially for me as kid, was there never an urgency to get the next issue, and absolutely no desire to "collect" them at all. They had no value to me other than a quick disposable read. My Marvels were held in reverence, and NEVER traveled outside the home unless purchased on the road. The Gold Keys were readable ballast; time eaters and cures for the common Highway 401.

The only Gold Key comic title that DID matter was the Star Trek run from 1967 to 1979 (though I stopped reading them by '75). As I was ruminating on this topic driving to work recently, I thought to myself "I wonder if anyone has a guide to Star Trek comics". Well, big thanks to Kevin Church over at Comics Alliance. Back in the summer of '13, he penned A Navigational Guide to Star Trek Comics, and that's all you'll really ever need on the topic.

Oh, you want more, do you? OK, how about this:
A Star Trek Comics Checklist

Perhaps you like words without pictures? (weirdo)
Star Trek Literary Reading Order

Oh, the heck with it; just get this:

Now available in that fancy new CD-ROM format, it contains every Star Trek comic from 1967 to 2002. Over 500 issues for less than $50. That's a pretty good deal, regardless of format.


If you've been reading the Zombie Cat Bacon family of blogs this past year, you may have noticed my admiration for a certain TV comedy from the early '80's. I squealed with glee when I found out Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series (with nearly 100% of the music!). And now this:

WKRP in Cincinnati is a Good Thing, in any format.


Two significant and progressive small press comic publishers announced their 2015 lineups this past week, and I think this is an encouraging trend among the ever-expanding universe of micro publishers. More! I want to see more! Show me your plans! Show off your best assets! Prove to the huddled masses of comic buyers there are creative and exciting options to the Big Two!

Tom Spurgeon at Comics Reporter presents the lowdown on Youth In Decline in an interview with Ryan Sands.

The Beat's Heidi MacDonald got the scoop on SelfMadeHero and the new Scott McCloud book, the Sculptor.

All of this is good, too. Man, it's great to be a comic book fan these days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Wednesday Comicro - Happy Fun Times!

[First, a note: I have been absent from the Interwebs lately, not because I don't love you anymore, but rather I was tied up with annual budget season at my paying gig. After a few weeks of staring at a computer screen full of multiple spreadsheets, my bespectacled noggin needed a break.]

Hey kids! It's Happy Fun Link Time! A smattering of interesting (to me at least) stuff from the world of comics.

First up, Black Mask Studios is a comics/media group founded by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Brett Gurewitz (of Bad Religion) and Matt Pizzolo (founder of Occupy Comics). As recently seen on Bleeding Cool, they've announced a very ambitious 2015 release schedule of some Image-quality titles (and I AM judging by covers). The BMOC here is Sinatoro from Grant Morrison and Vanessa Del Rey. Morrison doing work for someone other than the Big Two or Image is an interesting development, and reminds me of Bobby Hull jumping to the WHA (ask your grandparents, I guess).

Get well soon, Gordie

There has been a fair bit of on-line chatter about the future of comics from many perspectives: the eventual death of the single issue format, the domination of the cinema, comics being marginalized at comic conventions, etc. etc. I focus on the actual content and it's never been better, at least in terms of genre options and available formats. Image's transformation from the best/worst example of speculative 90's drivel to the leading creative house in the business has been very fun to watch. Others are following that path (somewhat slowly in some cases - looking at you, Dark Horse), and in the past three years, there has been an explosion of new talented creators finding outlets for their craft. Black Mask has some very intriguing stuff in the pipeline, and I see some really cool new voices now available in places like Radiator and Paper Rocket.

This is most positive I've felt about comics in loooooong time. I just wish I had the time to consume all the good stuff.

Speaking of the good stuff, I've been (very) slowly gravitating to a wide variety of webcomics. Too many to mention right now but here's two lists that'll getcha started:

  • Last month, io9 threw out a Top Tenner with webcomics that would make good TV shows. Not sure if I agree with all of these, but I'd watch Trekker and Dicebox, at least.
  • To get you in the mood for Friday's Halloween shenanigans, here's a bunch of horror webcomics. Horror comics were an early fave of mine (loved the old ECs!), and there's quite a few very readable choices on this list.

I was an early adopter of Heavy Metal magazine WAAAY back in the late 70's. Due to my love of National Lampoon magazine, I was introduced to HM and teenage me was rather captivated by the striking difference between Euro comics and the North American (mainly Marvel) titles I was habitually reading. Plus, frankly, boobs. Sorry but it's true. Anyway, so now that the title seems to be in the midst of a rebirth, this tidbit jumped out at me from the massive wave of NYCC news. I hope the line is quality-driven, and not the recent Heavy Metal style of brainless hack/slash fantasy nekkid chick stuff. (I fear I may have contradicted myself).

Glaring omission department: Ever wondered what the #1 comics blog is? Well, The Beat has a handy chart right here. That's nice. One question - WHERE IS THE COMICRO? An investigation is pending, I assure you...

Lastly, I hear movies featuring comic book characters are catching on. oh my god, there's HOW MANY COMING UP? 56?! The Beat has another handy chart with all of the info right here. At this rate, The Comicro will be featured on the silver screen before we hit 1000 readers...

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A history of women in comics, the Tiny Report arrives, and much much more

Quite a few items to bring to your attention today (it is Wednesday, right? It's not? Damn...). First, Collectors Weekly's Lisa Hix offers up a thorough history of women in comics since 1896 (!) featuring Trina Robbins, an indy comics legend.

It is a fascinating look at the history of the form, and I highly recommend you go read it when you have the time - great interview and anecdotes, plus a wonderful array of images from the past 100+  years.

You can purchase Trina's Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 by clicking the link. It's definitely worthy of your time and cash.

Speaking of women in comics, the indy micro-press world is well-represented by Robyn Chapman and the Tiny Report as well her own publishing efforts at Paper Rocket. I received the 2013 Tiny Report in the mail yesterday (thanks, Robyn, for the quick shipping!), and very much look forward to exploring the world of small press comics even deeper then ever before. It's nice to have everything in one handy resource - get yourself a copy here. You do have $3, don't you?

Heidi at The Beat featured a bunch of SPX news recently, including the Micro-Press and Beyond panel, moderated by Robyn. The post highlighted some of the data found in the Tiny Report, so go there now to get a sneak peek.

Here's a interview with Rachel Richey, who's been doing great work bringing Golden Age Canadian comics back into print. Great to have you back, Johnny Canuck!

Other stuff:

  • Why are mint condition comics so expensive? I say supply and demand forces fed by boomer nostalgia but there's more to the story here at Salon.
  • Another Canadian comic, this one from my teen years, is coming back too. Puma Blues was a unique book, and would stand out on the racks even now. Check out the story here at Bleeding Cool
  • And lastly, Last Gasp needs your help for their fall publishing line. Two weeks to go on Kickstarter and they're about less than a third of the way there. Beautiful books for every taste, and LG has been a survivor throughout many turbulent years in the comics publishing biz. Go help 'em out here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shifting demos, micro publishing and warrior squirrels - The Comicro has it all!

First up, the most recent big news of the micro press  - Legendary comics publishing house Fantagraphics has introduced FU Press:
FU, Buddy!
Fantagraphics Books Starts A Micro Publishing Imprint -
Fantagraphics Underground (FU) Press
SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 - SEATTLE, WA — Fantagraphics Books is launching Fantagraphics Underground Press (FU Press), a new micro imprint that will publish books and print projects appealing to a smaller, more rarefied readership. The Fantagraphics mission has always been to publish comics and cartoons that take risks and reflect the uncompromising vision of the artist. It's also crucial for us to put out books that will survive in an unforgiving mass market, but, what about work that doesn't quite fit into our standard business model? Work by relatively unknown cartoonists that's innovative, quirky, idiosyncratic, oddball, experimental, or downright crazy, work by established cartoonists that's simply off-kilter or too obscure to sustain a mass market release, or archival work by significant cartoonists who have been overlooked and that might otherwise be short-shrifted due to the commercial demands of the traditional marketplace.
The FU Press imprint will inhabit a space between self-publishing and mass-market publishing. We'll print limited editions (between 100 and 500 copies), market them on our website, help arrange signings and convention appearances, and sell them at comic festivals and to a select few comics shops across North America and overseas. With such an ever-changing landscape, we have the opportunity to produce exciting and hand-crafted editions in short runs here in the United States utilizing a wide gamut of printing methods and formats: everything from a traditional digital-offset paperback to a hand sewn jacketed softcover to an epic accordion book; as projects demand, we can utilize silkscreen or letterpress, or any combination, and create truly artisanal books.
While you might argue Fantagraphics is a micro itself in the larger scope of the publishing world, this is very cool news. An industry influencer giving more promotional weight to handmade craft comics, giving a louder megaphone to voices that slug it out week by week at small comic and book shows all over the country (and the world) is a Good Thing. We need more Good Things, and FU Press is a Good Thing.

"Good Thing" copyright ZCB Industries

Who are these micro comics peddlers anyway? Well, here's an interview at with a couple dudes you might've heard of, if you've been paying attention. Box Brown produced this, which The Comicro heartily recommends:

The following work is on my Want List. I've always been a sucker for anthropomorphic tales, ever since I read Peter Cottontail, then Watership Down, then Cerebus, etc.

Squarriors, despite the rather awkward title looks like fun. A lot of gory, your-kids-will-hate-you-for-it fun. The creators, Ash and Ashley, are interviewed here at

One last thing for today. One of the best and most readable bloggers, Heidi McDonald, has a very interesting article over at The Beat regarding the changing demographics at some of the bigger comic/pop culture conventions. I've never "cosplayed", and have no interest in it. I don't care if you're into it, and it doesn't diminish my experience when I go to a con. In fact, it can add a really cool vibe, as long as the creepers don't get involved (you know who they are). I also don't have an issue with movies, TV, sci-fi peanut butter co-mingling with my comic chocolate. And I don't know why people do. Times change, genres adapt and morph, and conventions are not the private domain of "comic people". I know certain subcultures can be rather insular and forbidding (looking at you, sexist gamers/RPGers/comicbookguys), but, seriously, what is the problem here? As for certain artists not able to make a living as they used to, I wish things weren't more difficult for you. But they are, and being the creative types that you are, I'm sure you'll find a way to make it work. Jim Zub's Twitter feed has a good overview too (found on Heidi's link above).