Comics roundup: Sikoryak, xkcd, ARBBH

Item: BoingBoing pointed to an R Sikoryak adaptation of Crime and Punishment a la a Dick Sprang Batman comic book. In turn, the Again with the Comics blog post that reprinted the adaption linked to the Masterpiece Comics on R Sikoryak’s site, including a tiny reproduction of my favorite comics adaptation of a literary masterpiece: “Good Ol’ Gregor Brown.” One morning Charlie Brown awoke to find himself transformed into an enormous insect… I actually own that issue of Raw and shared the strip with my English professor in a class on modernity where we were reading the original “Metamorphosis.” Good stuff.

Item: Wired’s profile of xkcd creator Randall Munroe contains exactly one item about Munroe that hasn’t already been linked on BoingBoing: that he used to be a roboticist for NASA.

Item: So Penny and Aggie has been hawking free downloadable reprints in PDF form for a while now. I checked them out, and I was pretty impressed—Wowio’s a nice service and the quality is good, even if it limits you to three downloads per day. But it got me thinking: how much money is in the business model? And who else is on the service? So I started poking around, and all these indie comic books that I remember from when I was in middle school are in there. Like, stuff that was trying to cash in on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, before TMNT was a movie or even a TV show. Like Dragon (terrible, and terribly I owned the first few issues of it!). And, of course, like Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. And there’s better stuff too: Steve Canyon, Flash Gordon, the Star Trek Key Comics from the late 1960s; and more. Of course they also do ebooks; I just added Civil Disobedience to my queue.

RIP Joe Ferrante

The Old House My House blog on the This Old House site broke the news of lead tile contractor Joe Ferrante’s death. Obviously any death from heart failure is tragic, but this one hits me for a variety of reasons. The tile work always seemed to me to be closest to a black art of any of the trades on the show, and I always enjoyed watching Joe demystify the work while still making clear how much effort and intelligence was really needed to do it right. My heart goes out to his family and the TOH crew.