the gutter comic

Between The Gutters #5

Thanks for following along with this series of pieces looking at story telling in comics critically. I hope you’ve been enjoying them and find them somewhat educational. If you don’t, you can’t say I didn’t try, right?

We all know Fiona Staples. She’s the co-creator and artist of the hugely popular SAGA. I figured that there are countless write ups about SAGA already, so I’d like to write about Fiona’s work on a different book, ARCHIE. Recently, Staples did a three issue run on the the relaunch of ARCHIE and I think her work is gorgeous, charming and doesn’t miss a comedic beat. I’m fully convinced that there is nothing she can’t draw.

The following pages are from ARCHIE #1-2. I highly recommend checking out the book. 

Keep reading


Alright, its week two of this temporary replacement for out of the stack. Here are my favorite releases for the week of October 15th, 2014.

Lumberjanes #7: Simply one of the best young adult books out right now. Issue seven is not a good jumping on point. I recommend hunting down all of the issues if you can, if not wait for the trade. This comic boast an all female cast of loveable characters at a wacky summer camp. In the first seven issues they’ve run into ghosts, hipster sasquaches, and boys ! Funny, quirky, awesome.

Jim Henson’s Storyteller-Witches #2: Don’t let the number two scare you off. This is a complete done in one story, just like the excellent first issue. The art is presented in a widescreen format so you hold the book (or tablet) sideways. The art is stunning and the story is dark but not too scary for kids. If I could only buy one book this week, this would be it.

Mile Morales-Ultimate Spider-Man #6: This is the wrap up of the first storyline of this new volume of the Miles Morales incarnation of Ultimate Spider-Man. Peter Parker is seemingly back from the dead along with Norman Osborn. Norman claims they are immortal thanks to his formula, but are they clones, alternate versions ? We’ll see more as the story plays out. This story is a little frustrating for me since “dead means dead” in the ultimate universe. I’m loving the story for the pitch perfect emotional beats. I just hope Miles continues to be the driving force of this book now that Peter appears to be back. I have a theory that the book is called Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man so that they can also have a Peter Parker: Ultimate Spider-Man book too. What are your theories ?

Ms. Marvel #9: G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona are crafting one of the best marvel comics I’ve ever read. Having said that , this is part two of thecurrent storyline. Go back to issue eight to jump on or better yet pick up the just released volume one trade paperback. With this story arc we are delving into Kamala’s kree origin with guest spots from the inhumans. I can’t praise this book enough.

Edge of the Spider-Verse #5: I’ll confess this is the first Gerard Way Comics I’ve ever read. If this is the quality of writing Mr Way brings every time then I need to check out true life of the fabulous killjoys and umbrella academy immediately. Each issue of the edge of the pider-verse is a one shot by a different creative team. This time out the story centers around a young girl, Peni Parker, that bonds with a mech and sentient spider. I love legacy characters and female leads, this book has both. The art has a cool manga style and is full of easter eggs of some famous anime series’. This book got me pumped for more spider-verse stories !

Thanks for taking the time to read this friends. Please feel free to leave comments or questions if you have them.

The Glorious Gutter Life - 001: You've Never Heard of Me

The Glorious Gutter Life - 001

You’ve Never Heard of Me

Hello, Comic Readers. My name’s Nick Tapalansky (nicktapalansky here on the Tumblr). I’ve been writing comics professionally for about seven years now. I’m here to talk about the ancient and arcane art of making “indie comics,” which I think just means “anything that you make up that isn’t owned by somebody else” these days. 

You’ve never heard of me. That’s okay. In fact, that’s the point of our first installment. And just why is that, precisely?

Because nobody’s heard of you, either. And that isn’t going to stop you from making your own awesome comics. Read More →

Keep reading

Between The Gutters #4

If you’ve been following along so far, thank you. If not, this is a series of pieces discussing story telling in comics with a focus on different artists and how they achieve story telling on their work. This piece centers on Jamie McKelvie who you probably know from the wonderful THE WICKED + THE DIVINE which he co-created with Kieron Gillen and is published by Image Comics. 

McKelvie is a fantastic artist that frequently incorporates story telling techniques that really only work in the comic book medium. I wrote previously about Canete’s and Bengal’s ability to convey emotion in their drawings and Jamie has no shortage of that in his work, but I would like to focus on his ability to push the comics medium and give us pages that are not only unique and beautiful, but push the conventions of story telling in comics.

The following pages are from THE WICKED + THE DIVINE issue #2 and #3. If you haven’t read it either yet, you may want to go do that first.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What do you think about Said is dead? I've heard that's it's not good advice and I was wondering about it

‘Said’ is a stagehand word– it gets the job done without being really noticed. 

Frequently, the context and the statement itself should tell you all you need to know about how a phrase is said. If how something is said is unusual, you could add a word to ‘said’– “’Fuck you,’ Evvy said amiably.” is informative, “’Fuck you,’ Evvy said angrily.” is just extra words. 

If it’s extremely clear who is talking, and how they are speaking, you really don’t need to add a dialogue tag at all, it becomes redundant. ‘Said’ can disappear entirely. 

Sometimes you want more actors on stage, sometimes people just have to ‘mumble’ or ‘shout’. That’s perfectly fine! However, running a play that’s all actors and no stagehands can get very messy very quickly. ‘Said’ usually goes unnoticed, but a deliberate and total lack of the word ‘said’ becomes apparent and sometimes kind of obnoxious. 

‘Said’ is part of the crew that runs the show, like gutters in comics or literal stagehands in a play. In a gig that’s running smoothly, you pay very little attention to them while they let you know who’s talking or guide you through panels or change the set– that’s the point. 

The logic behind ‘said is dead’ isn’t bad. It’s basically following the idea that every word you put down should be valuable, that your work should be stripped of ‘filler’ words until it is a lean mean meaning machine. However, I think that people who consider ‘said’ a filler word are really missing how valuable and informative it is when used properly. 

I hope that clears things up for you!


The Glorious Gutter Life: 003 - How Not to Take It in the Tailpipe (or, Comic Contracts 101)

The Glorious Gutter Life

003 - How Not to Take It in the Tailpipe (or, Comic Contracts 101)

Last week on The Glorious Gutter Life: 002 - Pitching and Moaning

Congratulations. You’ve just sold your first creator owned comic book to a publisher, no doubt thanks to last week’s modestly helpful pitching tutorial. You’re welcome. Now the comics illuminati is after me for giving away our cabal’s secret rituals. In fact, I’m writing this from an undisclosed safe house and by the time you read it I’ll be in the wind once more.


You’ve received an offer for your book and now you have a contract to consider in order to complete the sale. Of course, “sale” might feel like the wrong verb to you. After all, most likely little to no money has changed hands yet, as advances and page rates are very rare in the indie comics world. A surprising number of publishers live and die by book sales and don’t have a vault full of cash to hand out up front. Don’t freak out. This is normal.

Instead, what you’ve just done is made a deal based on eventual money, or “net profits” (the money a book makes after costs, such as printing, shipping, and advertising, are subtracted from all the money made from sales). You’ve also very likely offered up a percentage of any money made from the ephemeral movie/TV show/video game/toy/lunchbox/flamethrower based on your book, not to mention any proceeds from foreign publishers licensing your book to translate and print it overseas.

But how do you know if you’re getting screwed on that deal? It’s hard to imagine, particularly when you’re starting out, what the monetary difference is between 50% of a film option and 60% (answer: it can be an awful lot). How do you negotiate these things? Is that even possible?

And more importantly, how do you know when to walk away? 

Take a stroll with me. Let’s talk.

Keep reading