the palace of ice

Image

this is the book that launched my love affair with little nemo and winsor mccay. up until receiving this book as a christmas present, i had only heard of this master artist and cartooning genius. this book held pure, unbridled wonder from cover to cover, and it was impossible to read it and walk away unchanged. over the years the particular copy i have has acquired a kind of totemic power for me; although i know its contents by heart, opening it up has a mesmerizing effect, a feeling of being transported that i can’t quite describe.

hopefully someone will have that feeling when they open LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

maybe they’ll be able to describe it better than i.

Image

–chris stevens

Advertisements

Tuesday Tease

The topic of the month? Little Nemo. We thought we’d unveil a new page for you in celebration of the humblingly successful first 24 hours of the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM Kickstarter!

littlenemo_kickstarter_reality

James Harvey, editor of the rather absurdly perfect (or perfectly absurd) BARTKIRA project and artist/writer of the upcoming Image title PLANET PLANET, blew our minds with this stunningly ambitious, lovingly faithful take on Little Nemo for DREAM ANOTHER DREAM. Watch where the clown tells you to start reading — this thing reads left to right, doubles back on itself, arcs over the Flatiron building, peeks in at the First Second offices then plunges through the pavement into the subway.

LittleNemo_LocustMoon_JamesHarvey

James also put an astonishing amount of thought into replicating the turn-of-the-century New York Herald’s then-cutting-edge color processes — these colors are formatted as three plates, as McCay’s strips would have been. The love and talent and invention on display here are obvious. And of course, it took a Brit to craft the most iconically New York strip in our book of tributes to an iconic New Yorker.

But the rest sure are pretty, too!

It’s been a little while since our last Tuesday Tease, but between Locust Moon’s unofficial westward expansion and our preparation of a certain Kickstarting book, we’ve all been pretty swamped. Apologies!

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream KICKSTARTING NOW!

You may have heard us talk about this project before.

Now we’re finally ready to ask for your help in bringing this incredible book, this massive love letter to all that was, is, and can be great about comics, into this world.

The contents are done, we have a deal in place with the very printer who took care of Sunday Press’s totally perfect Little Nemo reprints, and now it’s all a question of funding. For a 144-page, 16″ x 21″ hardcover, the cost of printing is nothing to sneeze at.

Please, take a look at what we’ve managed (somehow!) to assemble together here — the sheer volume of modern masters, all working at a size and level of love they rarely if ever get a chance to even approach — and consider helping us any way you can. Even if you haven’t a single dime to spare towards ordering a book for yourself, there is so much that you can still do if you want to see this book become a real thing.

You can tweet. You can tumbl. You can reddit (we have no idea how to reddit!). You can pin and you can share and like. You can tell you friends, your local comic shop owners, and your eccentric neighbors. Grab the nearest soapbox and just get the word out there, everywhere. This is a chance to get the whole world talking about McCay and Little Nemo. Let’s all raise our voices together.

And let’s get started.

Nemo_frontcover

helpusonkickstarter

kickstarter.com/projects/1576907254/little-nemo-dream-another-dream
facebook.com/locustmoon.comics
twitter.com/LocustMoon
locustmooncomics.tumblr.com
#littlenemo

The Locust Moon Top 40: May 2014

40. SECRET AVENGERS

Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Doop be damned — this may be the most fun book that Marvel is putting out. Come for the comedy, stay for the wild sci-fi ideas and propulsively energetic storytelling.

40 avengers

39. Alan Moore Interview on Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson has had an outsized impact on comics sci-fi as one of the prime influences of two of its major writers: Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Now, as bonus content for the COSMIC TRIGGER theatrical Kickstarter, you can hear comics favorite curmudgeon spend an hour kvelling about the importance of Wilson’s particular brand of visionary oddball sci-fi.

38. SHE-HULK

Charles Soule & Javier Pulido continue making us smile with their latest issue of She-Hulk, taking the jolly green she-giant over to San Francisco to see Daredevil — making for an obviously perfect crossover. The two super-lawyers wonder why they never went up against each other back in NYC, and so do we…

shehulktop40

37. THE AMATEURS

Conor Stechschulte’s graphic novel debut is a strange little incantation, a quietly funny nightmare in black & white — the sort of book that lingers in the back corners of your mind.

40 amateurs

36. KIRBY NEW GODS ARTIST’S EDITION

The unadulterated tiger-force, delivered straight from the tiger-source.

40kirby2

Continue reading

The Locust Moon Top 40: April 2014

40. ALL NEW X-MEN #25

An all-star line-up of creators beautifies this anniversary issue of Brian Bendis’ goofily fun stab at adding to the X-mythos.

top 40 all new

39. Compendium of Comic Maps

Every comic (and every book) should start with a map. Delving into this wealth of literary cartography, it’s easy to imagine that they do.

top 40 map

38. DARKSEID MINUS NEW GODS

top 40 darkseid

Remember Garfield Minus Garfield? Imagine that, juiced with the Anti-Life Equation.

37. SEX CRIMINALS

Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky bring an oddball eroticism to this supernatural sex-caper comedy, a generally gleeful creativity that springs from their ultimate turn-on: the expressive freedom of creator-owned comics.

top 40 sex

36. MoCCAFest 2014

Another MoCCAFest, another inspiring celebration of comics & craftsmanship, this one presided over by a Staypuft-Marshmallow-Man-Scale Charlie Brown balloon, and featuring well-deserved awards for Locust Moon contributors and our pals Alexandra Beguez & Dave Plunkert.

top 40 mocca

Continue reading

Tuesday Tease

Maris Wicks and Joe Quinones are one of our favorite working couples in comics. Their work seems to always bring a smile with it, whether they’re teaming up or going solo on books like FF, Primates, Wednesday Comics, Batman ’66, or Spongebob Comics. 

LittleNemo_LocustMoon_MarisJoe_chomp

So we’re super proud to welcome them into the Locust Moon family for LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM!

LittleNemo_LocustMoon_MarisJoe_panels

They’ve collaborated on one of the most charming strips in our tribute to the great Winsor McCay, complete with a certain hungry dinosaur who’ll end up printed about a foot tall on these broadsheet-sized pages!

To show any more would spoil the fun. But needless to say, a certain dinosaur’s appetite is very well documented. You’ll see!

– Andrew Carl

By the way, we’re keeping this list of Nemo names updated with most of the contributors we have publicly announced – so check it out if you’re wondering who else has signed up! And our first revealed pages from the book can be found here.

On Annie Lennox, David Bowie, and Waking Up

Imagine: you are a seventeen-year-old Annie Lennox, 1972. Listening to Ziggy Stardust with headphones plugged in to the hi-fi, alone with the songs, trying without luck to solve the seemingly insoluble mystery of what in the world this Spider from Mars is doing to you. Stuck in your shabby little teenage life, receiving this interstellar transmission that lays you open, hits you where you’re weak. You close your eyes and the music envelopes you. This little room in this worn down house, your bad haircut, your petty kid confusions — they all fade away and you are there in the bigger, scarier world from which this stuff is broadcast, this shadow dimension that feels realer to you than the mundane one in which you live. John, you’re only dancing.

Jump two decades, 1992. Here you are in London in your billowing dress and sequins, with your white-painted face and black-painted eyes in the visage of some dark goddess, having successfully climbed through the speakers into that other world, the one made of music and sex and voodoo, the one where this impossibly beautiful shape-shifting genius lives. He’s right here, Ziggy himself, Alladin Sane, the Thin White Duke in a pale green suit – you can see him, you can touch him, and even better you can sing with him. Not just any tune, but UNDER PRESSURE – this four-handed battering ram of a song, this song that doesn’t make sense at all unless its performers wield it as a weapon and try to burn each other down with hungry love. It’s a song that you have to try to win, and if it works its magic and the center holds you fight to a draw, close it out having laid everything on the line, Rocky and Apollo Creed clinging to each other, barely standing, spent – ain’t gonna be no rematch.

So here’s you, dizzy, drunk on impossibility, unsure sure how you got here in front of this sea of humanity, fronting Queen with David Bowie – you’re supposed to be paying tribute to Freddie Mercury, but for the moment it feels like you are Freddie Mercury, and didn’t he and Bowie fuck? Who knows what the rest of the night holds. You know one thing: you will give yourself to this performance, this moment, this song. You’ll get its blood under your fingernails. You’ll hang yourself from it like a cross, let it tear you limb from limb. You’ll sing it harder, louder that Mercury ever did, you will sing it better than the imponderable creature singing with you, this flesh & cheekbone godling with the mirrored eyes and lacquered hair – he’ll sing it like he always does, just like it sounds on the record, the consummate showman, his three decade career beyond its finest days, but damn if he doesn’t look ageless, good as ever, better even – he’ll sing it well but you’ll sing it like you’re trying to stave off execution.

And after the breakdown, with barely a moment to catch your breath, as the melody starts to build again to the shattering keen of its climax, you’ll let yourself get carried away: standing together on the lip of the stage you’ll wrap yourself around him, feeling his cool body and hot breath, his pulse barely elevated because he’s David Bowie, and what would it take in 1992 to make his heart race? You’ll push your face against his, feeling the softness of his skin, his fresh shave — he is human, after all, not an ambisexual android, not the man who fell to earth, just some person of impeccable vision, a dreamer who built a better myth, newer, sleeker, that turned on multitudes, multitudes which include you. And you’ll pull yourself closer to his body, constricting on him as tightly and ferociously as you’ve splayed yourself out across this song.

It’s erotic to be sure – your lip-quivering longing as you touch him with your mouth, push your space-face close to his – but it’s bigger and wider than lust, it’s wishful identification and hero worship and ego and sorcery and transcendence, that whole larger than life rock & roll current burning through you. It’s an erection of the heart. You want to fuck him, of course, that goes without saying — but what you really want to do is combine with him in violent harmony, your claws in each others’ hearts as reality comes crashing down around you in some kind of metaphysical orgasm, little death made huge, two perfect post-gender geniuses locked in an Ouroboros of art and fame and sex and myth and music.

You push in, closer and closer, your eyes closed, as dreamy as they were listening to Ziggy on the floor of that boring teenage house. You let the song, this perfect song, carry you, your lips moving ever nearer to his but never touching, some tantric proof of Zeno’s paradox, your heart hammering, your voice swinging every note like a haymaker, your eyes tight as he keeps his gaze set dead on the crowd, the perfect performer, deflecting every gaze, shining back the light shone on him brighter and hotter. Happily withholding everything, so utterly comfortable with his role as a totem, an object of painful longing and unmanageable desire, from you, from the crowd, from the world. Enjoying your perfect love but betraying nothing, letting your pure incendiary thirst hang hopefully in the air. Until the note ends and with a sly smile he steps away, finally looking at you, snapping his fingers, and the greatest moment of your life is over.

Or maybe your heart can’t handle that kind of thunder. So forget Annie Lennox, try this one on: you are me in 2014. A fledgling comic publisher and retailer with a career that’s half imaginary, no book that’s done any big sales, no money, no business plan to speak of, just a lot of love and partners who constantly inspire you and an unshakeable desire to make comics even though you don’t really know how and can’t draw, a fixation that you don’t entirely understand but you know stems from the fact that comics did something to you when you were a kid, worked some kind of strange magic and you never shook it off so now you’re stuck in this fucked up industry with no idea what you’re doing, with nothing on your side but this pure want.

And you and your dudes wind up concocting this tribute to Winsor McCay, who is your favorite cartoonist of all time (tied with Bill Watterson), start pitching it to people and suddenly the thing takes on a life of its own and the lineup of contributors reads like a list of the people whose work you admire most, some of them the actual ones who enchanted you in those formative, bad haircut, transmission-from-another-planet years.

All these pages start pouring in and they’re so wild, so massively ambitious, just full of sublime desperate passion, all these brilliant people from the top to the bottom of the comic industry breaking their backs, working fingers to the bone, drilling deep into the wellsprings of their vision, creating these glorious strips that look back with gratitude and forward with hope, dancing across the huge, forgotten expanse of this broadsheet page, pushing comics to their very limit.

And as the whole beautiful thing begins swimming into focus it starts to feel like you’re spending your days in conversation with the dreamer himself, this titan who died eighty years ago, and it feels like he’s listening. Talking back to you. It feels like you reached through the page somehow, these magical pages that ravaged your mind, that infiltrated your dreams, that became a central part of your understanding of the world and yourself, of your fantasies and nightmares. It feels like you read so hard, and loved so much, that a doorway opened, and even if you could only poke your head in for a second you could feel the soft Slumberland sun on your face, taste peppermint on the wind. You’re doing it not by talent, not your own at least, but by lighting a beacon, finding remarkable people who love what you love and bringing them together. And it turns out, for fleeting moments, that yes Virginia, love is as potent as money, as strength, as power.

You press your face against it and it dances away. All you get is a taste – it can’t ever be yours. But goddamn, Annie, thanks for the reminder: if you ever get a chance to sing with David Bowie or build your own Slumberland, you better not fuck it up.

-Josh O’Neill