Scott Cederlund names The Homeless Channel
as his Number One book of the Year (So Far) near the end of his latest "Wednesday's Haul" podcast: "This is one Iím surprised I havenít heard a lot of people talking aboutÖ but this has been my favorite graphic novel of the yearÖ
Siladyís art and story is just excellent; surprisingly so especially for being his first graphic novel."
I guess Scott means online message board folks
haven't been doing much talking about it, because besides Variety
and Entertainment Weekly, Cory Doctorow
over at BoingBoing loves the heck out of it: "Silady is unflinching in his confrontation of the contradictions of homelessness, and that's what makes this book so fine. It's the kind of storytelling that is both thought-provoking and emotionally engaging. At the story's climax, I found myself misting over and wiping my eye."
"I literally can't wait for issue four
(of The Black Diamond
) to come out, and wait, desperately for more projects from Larry Young and Jon Proctor, but also from AiT/Planet Lar as well."
"If the last issue was a dialog issue, then this issue is an action issue. Remember that sexy female lead I barely mentioned before? Well, she quit the diner and dumped the owner, her boyfriend, in the last issue. She also took with her a 'treasure' that the Ex wants back. And who would have just happened to pull up to the diner in the last issue? That's right, Doctor Don. She jumps in the car and the two speed off, yes they exchanged dialog about it but that's not important.
Great, great action pics of the cars and bikes chasing each other. The sexy hitch-hiker starts fire bombing the bikes and Ex's car, and boy howdy can Mr. Proctor draw some pretty fire!"
I have to say I dig Dustin's enthusiasm. Here's the covers to #4 and #5 for you, Dustin:
+++++Greg Burgas' Con Report:
"The first thing Ian wanted to do was head to the AiT/Planet Lar booth and say hello to Larry, who just had a kid (well, presumably he didnít actually have the kid, although I wouldnít put it past the marketing master that is Larry Young!). We spoke to Larry briefly and then talked to Matt Silady, the writer/artist of The Homeless Channel.
Matt was (of course) a swell guy, and I got a lot of insight into how he created the 'realistic' look to the book. It was fascinating - Iím no artist, or even close to one, so the process by which guys create stuff is really neat. It sounds complicated. Hereís Larry trying to hide from my camera!"
Man, I always have a blast at our booth.
+++++Writer/editor Marc Bernardin
shows us some love: "I was behind the AiT/Planet Lar booth for a total of 6 hours over the course of 4 days, selling copies of Monster Attack Network.
And it was brain-thuddingly exhausting, hard-selling our book to people who, allegedly, are at the show to buy comics. I canít imagine what it must be like to be a small press vendor, strapped to a table all day, every day... Iíve made a few friends in this industry, some of them after giving their books some love in EW. I did so because they did good work and, for me, the mission at EW was to expose people to the best that comics had to offer. And now that Iím in the same boat they are, theyíre introducing me to people that can help me out. They donít have to do that. But they do anyway. I suppose you could call it returning a favor, but I just think these are good folks. I appreciate everything they do. And I hope they know that."
+++++"If I had a few hundred million dollars just lying around, I would throw a few hundred thousand of them at Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman and beg them to write a big, busy, loud summer popcorn movie for me. And it would be FUN!"
+++++"Ever wondered who cleans up after those giant monster attacks?
Or who is responsible for making sure the city gets evacuated? This is the story of the folks responsible for maintaining the safety of the citizens of the tiny island nation of Lapuatu. It's a decidedly high-concept book, with a beautifully calculated appeal to monster movie fans who don't take themselves too seriously in its premise. It's fast-paced, funny and has a frenetically expressionistic art style that's just enough this side of caricature to get the humor and energy of the story right. It's fantastic fun, escapist entertainment..."
interviews the Monster Attack Network
guys: "Being fast and punchy is the watchword at Entertainment Weekly.
Make it quick and make it count. And that, oddly enough, translates directly into comics writing."
Those of you hitting Chicago this weekend should stop by and say hey to Matt Silady at table 4618. Matt's The Homeless Channel
bookended one of those "comics are awesome" stories in the Champaign News-Gazette:
+++++Tim Janson says:
"For fans of Godzilla films and the like, Monster Attack Network
is a blast. Loaded with action and sarcastic humor, this is a wildly entertaining book. The dialog is razor sharp and the black and white art by Sorat is lush and expressive. Giant monsters have not been this fun in a long time! Grade A-"
...and to round out today's information burst, our old pal Augie De Blieck, Jr.
really, really likes Monster Attack network:
"Dialogue is important to comics, in much the same way as sound is important to a good movie.
"Let's see if I can explain what seems like something that's so obvious. I plugged in the DVD for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN the other night to see how it looked on my relatively new television set. It looked fine, but I didn't feel it. There was something missing that took a lot of the impact away from that harrowing early scene on the beach. It was the sound. Listening to it in stereo as opposed to 5.1 surround sound makes everything feel flat. If you can't hear the bullet buzzing past your ears, then you're not getting the full effect.
"In high concept comics, the thrill is in seeing how a crazy idea can be executed. Whether it's pirates stuck in the modern world, or Zombies fighting Robots, or a Robot and an Angel learning life lessons from each other, you're sucked into the comic from an always-farcical sounding pitch. The crazier, the better. The plot is important. The art is important. And the dialogue needs to match that level of energy.
"MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK has all of that in spades. The new original graphic novel from AiT/Planet Lar is the story of an organization much like Marvel's Damage Control, entrusted to protect a Pacific island from the monsters the humans cohabitate the island with, and then clean up any of their messes afterwards. The pitch from Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman is killer, the kind of thing to spaek any comic reader's imagination. The art from newcomer Nima Sorat is a true discovery. I know nothing about Sorat, but the art looks like something a fashion design artist might render, complete with wonderful gray tones and a thick brush strokes. There's movement in every panel. While you could make an argument in a couple of spots that some storytelling suffers for it, there's always enough there that you get the gist, can follow the story, and have a good time without stumbling.
"On top of it all, though, Bernadin and Freeman didn't skimp on the dialogue. It would have been very easy for them to let the art tell the story and NOT add that extra spark. They didn't. There's great rapid-fire banter and one-liners throughout the book, all without dragging the book down. Characters are best defined by their actions, true, but you can learn a lot about them from dialogue that cleverly expresses their personality as much as their action. The authors never get lost in expository dialogue, or conversations that last too long. Nothing has a chance to overstay its welcome in this book, as it just moves too fast, and that's a good thing. This is an action comic about men fighting monsters. You don't need to weigh it down with expository dialogue. You don't need to deeply explore the monsters' motivations. (You see how well that did for the HULK movie.)
"MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK is the best offering from AiT/Planet Lar, I think, in some time. It's snappy, fast-paced, high-concept, and oodles of fun. It's available today for a mere thirteen of your hard earned greenbacks."
Well, we're back from San Diego, and there's a lot of ground to cover. That show is just awesome. I had just the best
time, starting with my annual pre-show meet with my good pal David Glanzer, the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the con, wherein we hug each other manfully and promise to get a beer or some eats during the show, and then see each other sometime in March and laugh at our silliness that we think we'll ever be able to hang out during the show... and ending with the great conversation I had standing in line for the Southwest flight home with Kathy Bottarini, of the world-class comic shop Comic Book Box in Rohnert Park. I swear, at the end of the show, I'm so jazzed, I could do another five days.
But I have a ton
of email and other business to catch up on, so here's some pics from the show to tide you over until tomorrow:The stars of the show, the Monster Attack Network team: artist Nima Sorat, writer Marc Bernardin, and writer Adam Freeman. Adam got Walker a Demon Child onesie from Gene Simmons, and so therefore will always be Awesome in our house. You can read in the latest Entertainment Weekly how the lads ensured a sell-out of their books. Frankly, I was flabbergasted how well the book did, and refused to believe for three or four hours that we'd sold out. Heartbreaker Josh Richardson and Pat "Don't salute me; I work fer a livin', son" Donley poured through every box to assure me those things flew out on their own.My good pal Guy Vardaman stopped by, and ended up hanging out with us for the whole show. He did a better job at moving the books than I did, and you all know how hard I work. Guy gets the nod though, for rockin' the Channel Zero shirt the whole last day he was there.The sublime Becky Cloonan always makes time for us, no matter how big she blows up. She was the first in a long line of people to make sure I told Mimi they missed her at the show.Artist Aaron Farmer and Ms. Monster vamp it up for the ol' Canon Powershot SD110. I've known the B-Minus crew for almost ten years now, and this con was the first time I realized Aaron sports the day-glo Mohawk exclusively at the show so all his friends can find him.I took a bunch of pics for Mimi of our regular con experience, so she could pretend she was there with us. Along with all the costume shots I took (since that's a fun part of the show for her), as well as the obligatory snap of Snoopy, the one she liked best is of AiT crew Pat Donley and Ash Aiwase availing themselves of the Embassy Suite's sausages and eggs and Pass-O-Guava juice for that hit-the-floor energy first thing in the ay-em.The best part of the con for me, though, was meeting up again with my oldest friend, producer Rick Austin, who I've known since third grade. Congrats on that Emmy nom, Rick. Now all I have to do is write something for you to direct, and I can cross off that last thing on my list of Things To Do Before I'm 45.