Zip and L’il Bit: The Captain’s Quest

Trade Loeffler: tZip and L'il Bit: the Captain's Quest
I was delighted to learn that Zip and L’il Bit, a series of webcomics by Trade Loeffler that I first wrote about in 2006 when I discovered the first story, The Upside-Down Me, and again in 2007 when Loeffler published the second adventure, The Sky Kayak, has returned after a long hiatus in a new story, The Captain’s Quest.

Loeffler handles his comics with some of the feeling of an extended children’s book, and a style that seems to harken back to a more genteel time in comics, particularly newspaper comics.

In spite of the apparent simplicity of his drawings, his use of line is sophisticated, and I recommend taking advantage of the zooming feature, which allows you to click on any panel in a given page to enlarge it, and then click through the rest of that page from there.

As of this writing, there are 7 pages in the new story, and a new page is added on Sundays.

[Via Drawn!]


The Realist – Asaf Hanuka

The Realist - Asaf Haunka
The Realist is a graphic story by illustrator and comics artist Asaf Hanuka about one family’s search for a new home after their current living arrangements are upset.

The strip was originally serialized in a Hebrew language version in the Israeli Newspaper Calcalist. Hanuka has re-lettered it in English and is publishing it on the web, one page a week.

English speakers may find it interesting to compare some of the English language pages with their Hebrew counterparts in that the Hebrew pages read right-to-left, creating some challenges for the conventions used by comics artists to guide your eye through dialog balloons in the proper order by their position in a panel.

It looks as though Hanuka may have had this process in mind when originally laying out his panels as they work pretty well, with a few exceptions (like a reference to a GPS telling characters to turn right, when the flopped image shows an arrow pointing left).

Hanuka has a spare, single line weight comics art style that is well suited to the nature of the story. His controlled, muted coloring is accented occasionally with brighter colors specifically for dramatic effect.

As of this writing, the posted story is up to week 6.

Hanuka also maintains a more general topic blog, Tropical Toxic, and has a web site with galleries of his illustration and comics work.

I previously wrote about Asaf Hanuka, and his brother Tomer Hanuka, also a noted comics artist and illustrator, back in 2007.

[Via Drawn!]


Zahra’s Paradise

Zahra's Paradise
Working under assumed names for obvious reasons, writer “Amir” and artist “Khalil” chronicle events in Iran in the wake of the disputed elections of 2009 in an ongoing story called Zahra’s Paradise.

Zahra’s Paradise is a graphic story that is being published as a webcomic in installments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It just started on February 19, and will continue to include current events as they happen in the context of a fictional story. It follows a young Iranian blogger’s search for his brother, who has disappeared following his participation in the post-election protests.

The author is an Iranian-American human rights activist and the artist is a sculptor, ceramics artist and cartoonist who is taking on his first graphic novel.

The webcomic is being published simultaneously in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. First Second Books will publish the story in book form in 2011.

The site conveniently opens on the first page of the story (unlike the majority of webcomics, who open their site with the most recent page on the mistaken assumption that convenience for current readers is more important than orienting new ones.)

The art is clear and straightforward, with enough touches of style to add visual charm without distracting from the storytelling. Simple tones and hatching, along with well spotted blacks, provide depth and visual balance.

The characters are immediately accessible, even to Westerners who might assume they have little connection to people and events in Iran. As we follow along with the search for Mehdi, we may find out more about how similar, and different, our lives are.

[Via BoingBoing]


Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon

Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon, Teetering Bulb
Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon, collectively known as Teetering Bulb, are a an illustrator team living in Brooklyn. Their clients include Realms of Fantasy, Dover Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, Honest Tea and

They are also creators of webcomics; and, home of Tor publishing (se my post on is hosting their short story webcomic, The Dreaded Question, as well as a new fantasy story King of an Endless Sky (image above, bottom), which has just started.

The latter, presumably because it only has two episodes, is still lacking page to page navigation. [Addendum: this has been addressed (see this post’s comments), and the complete story is available from this page. As of this writing there are three pages, with new updates every Thursday.]

Their comics approach has a nice painted feeling, while still working within the traditional comics framework of color filled line drawings. Their illustration is more painterly, but still has a graphic, linear quality that gives it a particular visual charm.

Their blog features many of their works in various stages of creation, in addition to sketches, studies, anatomy drawings, and finished illustrations.

Their portfolio is basically a subset of blog posts, as are listings in the right hand column for sketchbooks and prints.

[Via LCSV4]


A.D. – New Orleans After the Deluge

Josh Neufeld, A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge

Though it’s been commonly accepted in Europe and Japan for may years, it’s finally creeping into common knowledge here in the U.S. that the medium of comics, or “graphic stories”, is not limited to — a: an audience of kids, and b: stories about steroid disasters in leotards grimacing and punching each other.

Comics is simply a medium, one that can be used to convey or talk about essentially anything, including reportage.

A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge is a graphic story about the disaster (both natural and political) of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

The story is published by Smith Magazine and written and drawn by Josh Neufeld, a member of the ACT-I-VATE comics collective and author of The Vagabonds, with consulting and editing from Jeff Newlet and Miles VanMeter.

A.D. was initially published as a webcomic, which you can still read online at Smith Magazine, and has now been released in book format.

There is a video interview on the making of the story on YouTube.

[Via Salon]


Langridge Re-imagines Spongebob

Roger Langridge
Roger Langridge, the brilliantly off-kilter UK cartoonist that I wrote about back in 2006, recently posted to his blog some comics that were done for Nickelodeon Magazine, in which he draws on his fondness for the great classics of newspaper comics to re-cast Sponegbob Squarepants in the mold of Winsor McCay’s and Little Nemo in Slumberland (image above, bottom), George Herriman’s The Family Upstairs (above, top) and Krazy Kat, Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates; and others like Peanuts and Buck Rogers.

Don’t miss the chance to lose your day being delighted and diverted by the rest of Langridge’s blog, The Hotel Fred, as well as his website and the assortment of comics therein.

[Link via io9]