Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Marra’

Random Riff Roundup


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Thursday, June 24, 2010


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*You know who’s publishing the best art comics for the disaffected 19-year-old kids who hang out at the record store? Image Comics. I sell the shit out of King City, Orc Stain, and Bulletproof Coffin to the kids who hang out at the record store downstairs. Just sayin’.

*Night Business needs to go full color! Did you see Ben Marra’s story in the Diamond Comics #5 newspaper? Start a Kickstarter for that, Ben! Make a business plan that involves turning the book into a video game or something. Anything. Just go color!

*I was at a crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere looking for something and heard the local kids talking the usual Marvel/DC smack. Then one of them declared he loved Scott Pilgrim. His friend said, “I thought you were being sarcastic when you said that before … and now I think you’re serious.” Eventually the Scott Pilgrim fan convinced the kid in the Green Lantern shirt to buy volume one of Scott Pilgrim. Cue the doves and violins.

*Jim Rugg, Tom Scioli, and I were driving back from the crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere and talked the whole time about web comics and counting off favorite cartoonists who have let the industry crush them, crush their souls, dreams, haha, y’know, just a casual drive under gathering dark clouds. We weren’t having this discussion last summer. That was the Direct Market is over talk. And the summer before that was the Kramer’s Ergot 7-Final-Crisis-countdown. Just sayin’. And then I come home and read on CR that DC Comics just announced their digital comics initiative.

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Time Flies


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


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There’s an extensive and entertaining new interview with Benjamin Marra on the computers right now. It feels like only yesterday that I dug the first xeroxed issue of Night Business out of my bag of SPX junk, and read it in astonishment, wondering if Marra was a genyuwine idiot. Turns out he’s not! I’m surprised Paul Gulacy never came up, though… Come on, Ben! You used to admit it. Instead you name Piero della Francesca? Really? Just joking around, of course. All CC readers already know about Night Business. Fun stuff. I’m getting a little punchy lately.

Which brings me to this sorry strategy: I’ve bought and read some new comics worth reviewing recently and I’m just going to announce it online now so I won’t be able to talk myself out of writing about them later. And some seriously provocative “think pieces.” (Actually, I don’t have any of those in mind, but it shouldn’t be too hard to fake.) Really, I would most like to just get a good Cage Match going, but don’t think I’ll be able to dodge crying babies long enough for an all-day event any time soon.

(Note to self: Maybe the others can be shamed into doing one without me. Yeah, this time, I’ll play the Dan role…)

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Kwik Lisnin


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009


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Appreciating Frank’s point


The indefatigable Sean Collins has posted the audio for two panels from SPX that may be of interest to Comics Comics readers: the “New Action” panel featuring our own Frank Santoro (as well as Benjamin Marra, Kazimir Strzepek, and Shawn Cheng), and the criticism panel, which includes CC contributors Joe “Jog” McCulloch and Bill Kartalopolous, as well as about a million more worthy names than I feel like typing out.

[UPDATE: STC has posted a transcription of the "New Action" panel here.]

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Comics Comics 4 Debuts!


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


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Just to fill out some of the details of Dan’s announcement and get more people psyched, here’s more info on what you’ll get with the latest issue of Comics Comics, debuting at San Diego this week:

* A cover story and interview with the mysterious Shaky Kane

* A package on legendary Topps man (and not-so-secret comics guru) Woody Gelman, drawing on research from Patrick Rosenkranz and featuring Art Spiegelman

* An editorial on the declining profile of traditional comic books by Sammy Harkham

* Giant comics and illustrations from Dan Zettwoch, Mike Reddy, and Jon Vermilyea

* Brian Chippendale on all the latest superhero comics

* Joe “Jog” McCulloch on Gerald Jablonski

* Aragones-style marginal comics from PShaw!

* An exploration of Kentaro Miura‘s totally bonkers manga Berserk

* A list from an anonymous but highly regarded cartoonist

* Contributions from Eamon Espey and Benjamin Marra

* More!

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Night Business


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


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My favorite comic at MoCCA, honestly, was Benjamin Marra’s Night Business. A disciple of Paul Gulacy in spirit, Marra embodies a certain verve that I find refreshing in these mopey times. It may be a little too hardcore, too fanzine-ish for some Comics Comics readers, but for me, it’s a breath of fresh air, and a surprising find at MoCCA.

The story of a stripper who won’t be bought and a killer on the loose, Night Business trucks in noirish genre tropes but renders them with such detail and conviction that the woody dialogue and relentlessly stark lighting go down smoothly and enjoyably. I like the overall feeling of the comic and feel as though Marra is trying to single-handedly restore some “order” to comics. Marra’s layouts do most of the work, providing a structure for his detailed scenes — murder, XXX dancing, fights with a capital ‘F’ — and it sports one of the coolest covers I’ve seen in awhile. It’s totally over the top and worth checking out.

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