The Daily Cross Hatch Guy Fawkes Holiday Spectacular!

Categories:  News


Everyone has been so kind to us at the Cross Hatch, we’d like to do something for you. But first, you’ve gotta work for it.

In honor of Guy Fawkes Night, the Daily Cross Hatch has teamed up with Fantagraphics for a very special Daily Cross Hatch Guy Fawkes Holiday Spectacular! What does that mean to you? It means ARTWORK + CONTEST = PRIZES.

Send us your version of “V” from V for Vendetta (the graphic novel that popularized November 5th among nerdy Americans). He must be enjoying some holiday. Any holiday. Could be your Birthday, could be New Year’s Eve, could be something you’ve made up, could be Guy Fawkes Night. We don’t care. We just want you to impress us (comedically, artistically, etc.).

Send in your jpg format submissions to our email address by November 9th for consideration. Winners will receive a variety of fancy prizes.

Look for specific details below the cut…

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Good-Bye San Francisco by Julia Wertz

Categories:  Reviews

Good-bye San Francisco Review Part 1.
By Julia Wertz

Julia Wertz

What the fuck?

–Brian Heater

Good-bye San Francisco Review Part 2.
By Julia Wertz

Julia WertzSorry. Got my sincerity wires crossed for a moment. I’m trying my best to refrain from delving too far into Vice Magazine territory for this one, but there’s something about Fart Party girl’s momentary lapse into heart-on-her-sleeve sentimentality that makes me want to bandy about the words “Hella Gay,” and just leave it at that.

It’s not that I’m adverse to sincerity in comic book form—not at all. I haven’t been able to stop talking about Blue Pills, since I cracked it open a few weeks ago, and I’ve currently got something in the works for Pantheon’s The Complete Persepolis. HIV and post-revolutionary Iran—that’s fucking sincerity.

It’s just that—well, it’s a bit like having The Onion decide that they’re going to give you some real news this week—you want to trust them, but it’s hard to know for sure that they’re not just screwing with you. On the inside back cover of Good-bye San Francisco, the author’s bio begins, “Julia Wertz doesn’t usually make zines that are this fucking gay and sappy.” It’s not quite sincerity, but, hell, you take what you can get.

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Interview: Nick Abadzis Pt. 1

Categories:  Interviews

Nick AbadzisIt took 50 years, but Laika finally learned how to speak. The first living creature to enter the earth’s orbit found her medium, in the form of Nick Abadzis, a veteran British comic artist and children’s book author.

The book, which borrows its name from the first space dog, tells her tale pitch perfectly, in a way that only a graphic novel can afford. There’s no Disneyfication here—no talking dogs, easy answers, or forced happy endings, and while Abadzis’s view on the matter does come through in glimmers in a reading of the book, the question of non-voluntary sacrifice at Laika’s core is never really resolved.

It’s clear that, after years of research and a general immersion into the subject matter, Abadzis still doesn’t know all the answers. However, he has become something of an expert in the process, and the day before I arrived at this year’s SPX, the author was delivering a speech on the subject, as he had done earlier at the National Air and Space Museum, in nearby Washington DC.

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Astronaut Elementary Lessons 5-10 by Dave Roman

Categories:  Reviews

Astronaut Elementary Lessons 5-10
by Dave Roman
Cryptic Press

astroelemSomething about minicomics has been troubling me lately.

I read comics and you read comics, but when I go to conventions, I don’t see much evidence that kids are reading comics. Is it possible that the world of alternative comics is too focused on creating adult content?

If this is true, certainly the one person looking out for the little ones would be Dave Roman, comics editor at Nickelodeon Magazine and author/artist of the oh-so-delightful Astronaut Elementary.

I was assigned, as homework, the collected 5-10 lessons of Roman’s self-described “mini manga.” I haven’t read enough manga to see the parallels, but since the book reads from left to right, I don’t think its category is as significant as its cross-generational appeal. You could read this incredibly funny and adventure-charged comic with your youngest siblings or enjoy it on your own. Be sure to share though, because it’s just not fair keeping great minis to your self.

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Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters

Categories:  Reviews

Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story
By Frederik Peeters
Houghton Mifflin

Frederick PeetersEven after books like Maus and Persepolis and Fun Home and Our Cancer Year, there surely still exists a pervasive sentiment that there are still certain topics that can’t be effectively tackled in the comics medium. After all, we’re talking about a small handful of relatively high-profile books going up against several decades of mainstream marginalization. To most outsiders, the emotional gravity of funny books doesn’t extent that far beyond the death and inevitable resurrection of a Superman or Captain America.

While Spiegelman’s Pulitzer and Bechdel’s Time Magazine Book of the Year nod have certainly made a lot of headway in terms of notoriety and credibility for the medium, it’s also become clear that no one book is going to single handedly legitimize the art form. Instead, it’s fallen upon the artists to consistently yield proof that the medium as suited to tackle the great issues of our time as any other. Fortunately, we’re blessed with creators arguably as skilled and diverse as those of any other modern medium.

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John Porcellino at Big Brain Pt. 2 (of 2)

Categories:  News


Zak Sally observes his pal John Porcellino talk at Big Brain Comics in Minneapolis, the first stop on Porcellino’s King-Cat promo tour.

There’s only one opportunity left to catch John Porcellino on his recent book tour, but we’ve got the Q & A session from his first stop in Minneapolis for anyone who’s missed him so far. The first question got missed but thankfully the public Q & A is only worth reading for the responses.

Check out Porcellino again this Saturday at Meininger Art Supply at 1 PM in Denver, Colorado. More information about Porcellino’s comics and appearances can be found on his WEBSITE.

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I Killed Adolph Hitler by Jason

Categories:  Reviews

I Killed Adolph Hitler
By Jason

JasonMaybe the most famous, and certainly the most apt thing ever written about the late author, Richard Brautigan, was penned by a critic at the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle. It read, in part, “perhaps, when we are very old, people will write ‘Brautigans,’ just as we now write novels.”

I bring up this quote not as an attempt to compare and contrast the two authors—though similarities certainly can be drawn—but rather because they both find themselves similarly confined by the languages of their chosen mediums, which is to say that, just the word “novel” didn’t quite fit Brautigan’s output, “graphic novel” doesn’t quite seem to Jason’s work justice.

Jason clearly has much love for the comics form. His work has embraced nearly all reaches of its far flung genres, over the course of his career, alternately embracing zombies, aliens, and jewel heists—plotlines which, in the hands of a lesser artists would almost certainly become fodder for a by-the-book exercise in pulp fiction. In that sense, I Killed Adolph Hitler treads similar territory. The story of an assassin hired to travel back in time to murder the Führer sounds like the plot of a thousand pocket paperback sci-fi books.

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Interview: Rutu Modan Pt. 1

Categories:  Interviews

Rutu Modan

A co-founder of the art collective, Actus Tragicus, Rutu Modan has been a fixture in the Israeli comics scene since the mid-90s, receiving all manner of praise for her work in that medium and for the magazine work that she has been producing for more than 15 years. Released earlier this year, her first graphic novel, Exit Wounds, has been translated into several languages (including English, thankfully) and has garnered her nearly universal acclaim, helping to land her a gig blogging for the New York Times.

I had the opportunity to it down with Modan at SPX, last weekend. I had plenty of serious topics I was hoping to broach over the course of our conversation, including the ways in which the Isreali identity and Jewish religion play roles in her work.

And then there was the fact that Modan helped run the short-lived Israeli version of Mad Magazine. Naturally, we had to tackle that one first—a blog’s gotta have priorities, after all.

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I’ll Be on Comic Book Club, Next Tuesday

Categories:  News

Comic Book ClubDear dorks in the greater New York City area: ready to geek it up, nerd style? I’m going to be guest starring on The People’s Improv Theater’s Comic Book Club, next week. It claims to be the only live weekly talk show about comics, and while it’s likely that not too many other people are vying for that coveted spot, I checked it out last week, and it was hi-larious, co-hosted by three funny dudes from the theater, including Elephant Larry’s Alex Zalben.

I’ll be on the show with Baron Vaughn., who I’m told has also been known to elicit a chuckle or two in his day.

The show is next Tuesday (the 23rd) at 8PM, here: 154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor, Between 6th and 7th Aves.

More info is available on their Facebook page.

See you then, maybe…