two of a vine: never too late for ebola

Two of a Vine is back with more California Raisins action in a new six-page comic!

If you’re just joining us, the first issue of Two of a Vine saw our heroes, Wes and Joe, finding an unbelievably cheap apartment… with one catch: California Raisins only. Thankfully the Raisins don’t seem to notice Wes and Joe are just two guys in dumpy, gutter Raisin costumes, and so they live amongst them in the most bizarre of luxury.

You can read the second issue, our Dryfolds Night Halloween special, here. And now, without further ado, enjoy Never Too Late for Ebola!

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favorite comics of 2014

I didn’t get to read everything I wanted to—so much good stuff was released in the world of comics this past year—but I still wanted to note some of my favorites of the past 365. There’s no order to these, but here’s some of the stuff I enjoyed that was released in 2014.

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

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This one was just tremendous. The Wrenchies is stacked with so much both in its lush watercolor visuals and its narrative that it warrants multiple readings. If there’s one book to put on your shelf this year, make it this one, because you’ll want to revisit it as soon as it’s over and you definitely missed more than one thing the first time through.

Twelve Gems by Lane Milburn

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Twelve Gems is the best ’80s sci-fi adventure that came out in the present day. Milburn goes nuts with the hatching and creates the comics blockbuster of the summer in the process.

Lose #6 by Michael DeForge

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This is probably my favorite single story by DeForge other than The Boy in Question.

Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

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If Twelve Gems was 2014’s big summer blockbuster, Megahex is its best stoner comedy. Hanselmann took some old children’s book characters and made them the stars of their own stupid sitcom with fantastic watercolors illustrating some great drug and horrible, despicable roommates humor.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

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2014 produced one of the best horror anthology comics of all time in Emily Carroll’s wildly gorgeous Through the Woods. Her work in the latest issue of Youth in Decline’s Frontier series can sit right alongside it, as well, so be sure to get both and see why everyone’s been talking so highly of Carroll.

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

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I can’t imagine how much pressure must have come with trying to follow up something as big as Scott Pilgrim, but O’Malley showed how much he has grown in Seconds. Add in some top-notch coloring by Nathan Fairbairn and drawing assistance by friend of subhumanzoids Jason Fischer and you’ve got one of the best graphic novels of the year.

Safari Honeymoon by Jesse Jacobs

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Safari Honeymoon is funny, bizarre, and brilliantly illustrated with neat line work and a nicely-executed all-green palette. Jacobs’ comic is further proof that you could feel safe picking up pretty much anything from Koyama Press in 2014.

Forming II by Jesse Moynihan

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No comic flipped my lid this year quite like Jesse Moynihan’s Forming II. I devoured the first book and its followup, and all I want is more. Despite the fact that the whole thing is available to read online, Nobrow’s titanic hardcovers are a must for appreciating Moynihan’s combination of Acryla Gouache and india ink (I only know specifically because I bugged him about it via email). No comic made me both laugh more and want to work harder and make more comics of my own.

I wanted to put some manga on this list but I’m kind of behind on releases and am mostly stuck in 2013! I caught up with the volume releases of One Piece, though, which is as amazing as ever. I might make a second post sometime this year as I catch up.

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if you love something

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the face

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cab comix

This past Saturday I hopped over to Brooklyn to check out CAB (Comic Arts Brooklyn), which I had been looking forward to for a while. The day I went is basically just all exhibitors selling stuff, which is the best, because I was able to buy a bunch of new comics and get most of them signed on the spot.

I posted a general pic of my haul on Instagram and Twitter and whatnot, but I figured other big nerds like me might want a closer look at some of the stuff I picked up.

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I really dig Jonny Negron‘s stuff, but the only thing I have of his that isn’t part of an anthology is more of an art book. I think his work really explodes in color, but it’s cool to see it in a more lo-fi look, and the way Song of Mercury was printed gives it an ethereal quality that plays nicely with its theme.

This is the only one of my new purchases I’ve had a chance to read, so I won’t really be commenting on the content of the others yet.

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One of the books that was hyped prior to the show, Earthling, is the graphic novel debut of German artist Aisha Franz. Apparently she also has a ton of minis, though, so I really need to pick those up somewhere, too…

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Patrick Kyle‘s Distance Mover has been on my list for a while, and this was a really good time to finally buy it since he was sitting right at the table behind the stack.

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I’m really looking forward to Alex Degen’s Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater. Koyama Press isn’t putting it out until April 2015, though, so thankfully there’s this supplemental comic to tide us over until then. I haven’t read any of Degen’s work yet, but I dig what I’ve seen on his tumblr so far. He was there at the Snakebomb table, too, and was really nice and excited that people were seeking out The Philosopher.

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Ryan Sands’ Youth in Decline label does some of the best work for comics out there. The Frontier series, which is leading the charge both in printing quality and featured artists, is only getting better as it goes on, so I was glad to finally nab the Sam Alden issue.

Let me pull you aside and tell you something not-so secret: Sam Alden is awesome. His pencil work first blew me away in Backyard, and I love the two-color tones in this one.

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Emily Carroll‘s Through the Woods is one of the top comics of 2014, and it looks like she might have just the best issue of Frontier on top of that. I don’t know nothin’ about that myself, though, ‘cuz I haven’t read it yet. Just sayin’… it looks like it.

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Michael DeForge is great so I try and grab everything he puts out. First Year Healthy is his newest book, making its debut at CAB, and it looks like another departure, if not in style than in narrative at least. I can’t wait to read it but I also really want to savor this stack of comix and not blaze through them like I normally do.

ANYWAY, yeah! CAB was really cool! I want to have some comics of my own there in 2015!

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two of a vine #2: the halloween special

Two of a Vine is back, just in time for Halloween and… DRYFOLDS NIGHT! This terrifying tale is sure to tingle your spine and, as the cover promises, make you shrivel into a tiny little wrinkly blob, just like the CALIFORNIA RAISINS themselves.

If you’re just joining us, the first issue of Two of a Vine saw our heroes, Wes and Joe, finding an unbelievably cheap apartment… with one catch: California Raisins only. Thankfully the Raisins don’t seem to notice Wes and Joe are just two guys in dumpy, gutter Raisin costumes, and so they live amongst them in the most bizarre of luxury.

And now… let the FRIGHTS begin in our very special second issue!

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three questions: jules carrozza marches on with alison

Has it really been almost two years since we last sat down with Jules Carrozza, known to some longtime readers of this blog as Kojiro Abe? Yes indeed, and his first feature, Alison in Wonderland, has still yet to be released. Thus, when Jules stopped by the sewer-grate-steamin’ subhumanzoids back-alley with a new “sneak preview” trailer for Alison, we couldn’t leave him be without answering these questions three.

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It’s been a while since we saw any new footage from Alison. When did you add the CG, why did you do it, and who was responsible?

The CGI for the Caterpillar was done early this year. My original idea was to do the Caterpillar totally analog, as a puppet, but I was recording the dubbing with Dave Luce and he convinced me that doing the Caterpillar as CGI was much more economical and then he volunteered to do himself. Dave is a real renaissance man who loves DIY projects. I liked the idea of Dave doing the CGI himself since he does the Caterpillar’s voice, it’s sort of like Andy Serkis and Gollum. I wanted to do as little pick up shooting as possible for this movie given I already had been shooting from summer of 2011 to summer of 2013.

The release date is now set for spring 2015. What’s the hold up in getting this one out there? Is there still more work to be done?

There’s a lot of work to be done and aside from some support from Dave Luce, Aria and a few others, I am doing all the work in-house myself. I am assembling an HD master for the movie and it’s a very long and detailed process. I need to match the cuts I did with the HD footage. The creative stuff is over, now the editing process is entirely mathematical. Plus I’m mixing the film in 5.1 surround sound so there are hundreds of sound effects that need to recorded and added in. I am not cutting any corners here. I want this film to be special. I am aiming to have this film done by late March of 2015 and think I can do it. After that, it’s on to my next project, which will either be another low budget film called Divine Comedy or my long-standing pet project Coup D’Etat, depending on how lucky I get.

You recently posted publicly about dealing with depression and struggling with an existential crisis. Are you any closer to answering the question, “Is this it? Is this all life has to offer?” *pulls chair closer* What’s going on, Jules?

I don’t wish to talk about this much, but I’ll tell you this: you could say I am finally starting to realize my mortality and life is seeming pointless at times. It’s partially because I’ve been working on the same movie for the greater part of a decade, partially because I gained weight and am suffering from health problems caused by it, partially lady problems. I quit smoking recently as well and am withdrawing from nicotine and feeling morose as heck. But I am really eager to get my life back on track again. I was almost arrested recently for getting in an altercation outside a bar and that really shook me up and was a wake up call for me. So the first thing I did the following day was quit the death sticks which I had started again because I was stressed out making Alison. So yeah, I’m hoping things turn around.

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Thanks as always, Jules, and good luck with wrapping up your first big film.

Here’s the new trailer:

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