Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ty Templeton - The Life and Times

Ty at a Paradise Comics signing.

I have been thinking of a career spanning interview with comic creator Ty Templeton for a while now. Ty's mastery of the comic form have been criminally underrated for years. And while I support whole-heartedly efforts to tease Ty, just to keep his head small enough to avoid a painful neck injury, the plain truth is the man lives and breathes comics. He also is one of the most approachable, supportive dudes in the industry and is always ready to share his knowledge. Heck, sometimes he'll even wait till you ask!

And you thought Ty drawing himself as a bunny was creatiive licence, didn't you?

Thankfully, Micheal Fiffe and the new online version of the Comics Journal have saved me the work. While there still needs to be a more in-depth discussion or Ty's contributions to the form, this is a terrific overview of the various eras of Ty Templeton's comic book life.

Here are links to part one, part two, part three, part four and part five.

For more on what's up with Ty, check out Ty Templeton's Art Land, your one-stop resource for all things Ty, hosted by the most awesome Keiron Smith.

Beavers Up!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Top 10 Comic Book Top Ten Lists of 2009!

We all know that year-end top ten lists are the last bastion of the lazy and desperate. An attempt to create content out of previous writings and get some time away from the damn computer to hoist some nog.

And a top ten list to start the new year off? Holy crap, that is even worse.

Any writer who tries that is too big a hack to even do his lazy top ten list when the season calls for it. Talk about deadline issues. They couldn't even come up with the creativity for a list of resolutions? A pox on their houses.

This then, is my start of the year Top Ten List for your enjoyment.

Now that everyone else has done my work for me creating their own lists over the holidays while I was in several countries... er, holidayizing, I can simply cherry pick a selection that I think may brighten your day and illuminate your mind. I also get to show off some writers who have brought me some enjoyment. It's win/win, right? So here's your chance to catch up on what other people think the cool kids should be reading.


1 - Let's start with the National Post, who printed their Best Books of the Decade list. Indie comic artist turned literary darling Chester Brown's Louis Riel made the list and they mention the ascent of the graphic novel as well.

But scroll down and you'll find the more interesting "Top Ten": the Top Publishing Stories of the Decade. It's an excellent compendium of the storms that have rocked the publishing world for this first decade of the new millenium.

2 - Inkstuds. I wanted a podcast in here and this is one of the best and longest running, if you count its life on Vancouver radio. For the Inkstuds Best of 2009 comic book wrap-up, host Robin McConnell was joined by a "bevy of comics bloggers": Timothy Hodler from Comicscomics, Sean T. Collins of, wait for it, Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat, and Chris Mautner of Comic Book Resources Robot 6.

3 - Speaking of Robot 6, Chris Mautner and the gang went the extra-mile and have begun posting their list of the 30 Most Important Comics of the Decade. the reasons are varied but good arguments are made for all the ones I've seen so far.

4 - We move onto the A.V. club, the real-news other half of satirical newspaper The Onion's weekly print edition. These guys put the "pop" in pop culture with the AV Club's Best Comics of the Decade.

5. - The Architect's Journal. You might be interested in this list of the Top 10 Comic Book Cities as voted by the men who design real cities!

6 - Cardboard Monocle. After all this serious discussion of comics as an artform we're ready for something fun. This Art and Design Blog has put together a list of the Top 20 Comic Book Weapons. Some are cool, several are disgusting though you may be more shocked by what isn't included in favour of a few surprises. No utility belt (not a weapon, persay) nor a batarang to be found.

7 - Pop Culture Addict provides some laughs with their list of the Top 10 Lamest Superheroes of All Time. It's a bold declaration but they've hit the nail on the head with some of these suckers, though I think they favour heroes whose ridiculousness makes them at least entertainingly lame, as opposed to truly unreadable. The original list proved popular enough to spawn a sequel, Top Ten Lamest Superheroes of All Time II: the Next Ten. These guys would make the most awesome super team ever.

I think Arm Fall Off Boy has a real future.

8 - Comics212. The manager of The Beguiling, one of the best comic shops ever isn't afraid to share his opinions culled from extensive knowledge. Chris has begun posting Manga Milestones 2000-2009: 10 Manga that Changed the World. It really is a short history of manga in North America and a fascinating read.

9 - Comic Book Resources editor and writer Brian Cronin has almost finished (for some reason he's skipped #50-45) notating the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines Master List as voted on by their readers. Despite a Marvel and DC focus, they do cover some pretty terrific storylines and their impact. It's a pretty staggering read that you can chip away at oveer the next month.

10 - Just to cleanse the palette, sci-fi site presents 10 of the Decade's Best SF Comics.

There you have it; a varied dance through the top ten list clutter form the last month.

If you truly can't get enough you can check out comic book blog, I Love Rob Liefeld (evening typing that gives me shivers), which has posted a Meta-List of the Best 130 Comics of 2009, combining the results of over 130 Best Comics of 2009 lists from reviewers and bloggers across the net. They are also kind enough to discuss the trends discovered once all the results were tabulated.

And for those with a lot of time to kill, Largeheartedboy has posted a one-stop resource for Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists, including comic lists.

I must confess, I am reeling after all this Top 10 Listing business. I think I may take asome time together to gather my thoughts or I may end up like this poor woman from one of's top ten sci-fi comics, Y-The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn and Canada's own Pia Guerra.

Beavers Up!