David O. Russell Films, from Worst to Best

I don't get to write about film nearly enough. American Hustle, the new film from director David O. Russell comes out this week, and I ranked his films from worst to best. In case you were wondering, Three Kings is the best. Feel free to read through and tell me I'm wrong.

Max Badger builds an Oak

Max Badger is a Xeric Award winning cartoonist whose first book is out now. Oak is a great all-ages graphic novel. It's a gorgeous book and I got to talk with recently about fantasy, storytelling, design and more. It's great work and the first project of what's likely a long and interesting career.

Paul Duffield debuts The Firelight Isle

I spoke with Paul Duffield recently about his new project, The Firelight Isle. Like everyone, I was blown away by his work on FreakAngels, the Warren Ellis-written webcomic. Duffield has been working since then writing and drawing a new project The Firelight Isle which recently debuted online.

Assembling The Art of Rube Goldberg

I love Rube Goldberg. I've loved Rube Goldberg long before I even knew who he was. That's because he's become an adjective (literally in Goldberg's case, as of the 1931 edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary). There's a new book with a large selection of his work - including a great many Rube Goldberg machines - that's edited by his granddaughter Jennifer George. I spoke with her recently about The Art of Rube Goldberg. It's worth checking out the interview just to see the selection of comics included.

Box Brown and the legend of Andre the Giant

Box Brown is one of the talent young cartoonists and he's about to be a lot bigger next year when his next big project comes out. Andre the Giant is a graphic novel coming out from First Second Books in the spring that looks at the life and times of the late wrestler/actor/personality.

I know I'm not alone in being excited about this.

Mark Tatulli on Desmond Puckett, Lio and more

I think Lio is one of the highlights of the newspaper page today. The man behind it, Mark Tatulli, is a busy guy. He's also responsible for another strip, Heart of the City, and now he's also writing/drawing a book series for kids, Desmond Puckett.

Besides just making my head spin a little at how he's able to be this productive, it's incredible just how good he is working in different tones and styles.

Desmond Puckett, the story of a young aspiring monster-maker, also happens to be a great holiday gift for young people interested in monsters, monster-making, horror, and aspiring creators of all stripes.


Richard Sala's Violenzia

I love reading Richard Sala. His strange atmospheric tales that combine humor and horror and monsters into something that's pulpy and inventive and with his new comic, Violenzia, the book has more of an old pulp feel with a violent avenger - who happens to be a woman. It's also a digital comic that's out now and you won't read a better self-contained single comic book this year. I mean it's beautifully drawn, violent, colorful and fun. What more could you want?

Sara Ryan and Carla Speed McNeil's Bad Houses

Sara Ryan and Carla Speed McNeil have created one of the best graphic novels of the year in Bad Houses.

It's the story of two teenagers in the small town of Failin, Oregon. It's about how we understand the past and how we chose to not let it define us. It is the story of a community, but more than that, it is the story of things: a city, a building, a storage unit, a photograph, a relationship -- the meanings we assign to them and how we live with that knowledge. Like its characters, it is a book that understands failure and loss, but it is also a romantic, triumphant and hopeful story.

It's out now form Dark Horse Comics and you won't be disappointed by it.

Richard Kern's Contact High

I got to speak with photographer Richard Kern recently. He's a great photographer and his new one, which I really enjoyed is Contact High, which is out now from Picturebox. Between this and Shot by Kern, the book that came out earlier this year form Taschen, in addition to his new series which he just completed, Kern demonstrates that he's not slowing down and he's just as inventive and interesting as ever.

Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch go "Beyond"

Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch are great cartoonists and together the two have been collaborating on a weekly comic strip for a number of years. Amazing Facts and Beyond which out from Uncivilized Press is a collection of the weekly strip where Leon Beyond presents a series of fake facts. I spoke with the duo at SPX, though the interview was lost for some unknown technical reason, so we ended up doing the interview over e-mail. The resulting interview, like the comic strips, blends truth and fiction in odd and funny ways.