Archive | Comics by the Bay

Daredevil Tour of the Bay Area: Issue 3

This regular feature on The Shared Universe is intended to act as a tour guide of the Bay Area by following the adventures of our most recent New York City transplant. If an issue of Daredevil features any notable landmarks I’ll pull them out and provide some context for readers unfamiliar with this region of the country. Previous entries in this series:

Presidio of San Francisco

This month’s issue opens in the Presidio at the Northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Mob boss Leland “The Owl” Owlsley has chosen this location to meet with a henchman who has information on the Shroud and Daredevil. The Presidio is the perfect place for the Owl to hang out, because it’s part of the lushly forested Golden Gate National Recreation Area. He has many tress to choose from and can also hang out with a number of actual owls.

The Presidio is a fascinating region of San Francisco that’s often missed by visitors. In addition to having one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge the Presidio has a rich history that was integral in San Francisco becoming the city it is today.

The Presidio was established by the Spanish in 1776 as a garrison to defend their claim of the Bay Area. At the time it was known as El Presidio Real de San Francisco and provided support to Mission Delores. When Mexico declared independence in 1821 the Presidio began to suffer from neglected. The garrison once housed at the Presidio moved to Sonoma leaving the settlers of that region mostly undefended. In 1846, during the Bear Flag Revolt, the U.S. Army took control of the Presidio. This was the start of a rich U.S. military history for the Presidio which is well documented while strolling through The Presidio. The region played important roles in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. It was also the site of the 1968 “Presidio mutiny” which helped bring attention to anti-Vietnam War sentiment within the ranks of the U.S. military.

In 1994, the Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service and two years later privatized by Congress. Today this once militarized region of the Bay Area plays an important role in fostering the arts. George Lucas has made substantial investments in an effort to make it a hub for San Francisco filmmaking. The Letterman Digital Arts Center houses Lucasfilm’s marketing division, Industrial Light and Magic, and LucasArts. The property is peppered with a number of statues including Yoda and Ray Harryhausen.

The Presidio is additionally home to the Walt Disney Family Museum, the San Francisco Film Society, and a number of other organizations.

That’s it for this week!

Cartoon Art Museum to host Queer Comics Expo

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum is launching the first Queer Comics Expo in conjunction with PRIDE month. On June 8th the venue will highlight the role of LGBTQ comics in society. More information can be found at the museum’s websiteQCElogoweb2-300x286. The press release is below:

This June, the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco will join Pride month celebrations by holding its first annual Queer Comics Expo (QCE) on June 8, 2014 from 11am to 5pm. The expo encourages attendees to dress up, draw, meet artists, mingle with Queens, watch demonstrations, join conversations, and learn about the fierce LGBTQ world of comic books. In the past few years the museum has been a successful jumpstart for popular local comic conventions like the Latino Comics Expo and APAture.

“Now that the Latino Comics Expo has overflowed the space of the galleries with their success it is time to repeat that victory with something new. The Queer Comics Expo is an event we’ve been waiting to do for a while and we finally have the right team to make it fabulous,” said the events co-coordinator and Cartoon Art Museum Bookstore Manager, Heather Plunkett.

The Queer Comics Expo is part of the Queer Cultural Center’s National Queer Arts Festival and will be headlined by local Bay Area comics champion Ed Luce. Ed is beloved for his series Wuvable Oaf and his position as an educator for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA.  A former Queer Press Grant Recipient, Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf was announced as a new book from Fantagraphics earlier this May.

The event also features creators “Along Came Lola” animator and Eisner nominated cartoonist Jett Atwood, Kickstarter success story and writer of “Young Protectors” and Artifice Alex Woolfson,  “Primahood” and former Cartoon Art Museum Small Press Spotlight artist Tyler Cohen, and many more.

The Queer Comics Expo will also highlight organizations leading the charge in queer comics like Northwest Press, the premier queer comics publisher and Prism Comics the leading non-profit supporting LGBT comics, creators, and readers with convention appearances and their annual Queer Press Grant.

To spice things up the expo will also feature “Super Drag Queens” to mingle with attendees and prizes for the best cosplay!

Tickets are for the QCE are included with admission to the Cartoon Art Museum, $8 for the general public/$6 for students and senior citizens, and are available at the door and in advance from the Queer Cultural Center.  Attendees of the Queer Comics Expo will also receive a 10% discount at the Cartoon Art Museum’s bookstore.

Updates for QCE, other events and current exhibits at the Cartoon Art Museum at

The Cartoon Art Museum’s key function is to preserve, document, and exhibit this unique and accessible art form. Through traveling exhibitions and other exhibit-related activities — such as artists-in-residence, lectures, and outreach — the museum has taken cartoon art and used it to communicate cultural diversity in the community, as well as the importance of self-expression.

National Queer Arts Festival – QCC stages an annual month-long multidisciplinary National Queer Arts Festival, documents significant Bay Area Queer arts events on our Website, provides fundraising and other technical assistance services to emerging culturally-specific and gender-specific Queer arts groups, and conducts “Creating Queer Community,” a program that to date has commissioned more than 60 San Francisco-based artists to create new work.Since 1998, QCC has organized an annual month-long National Queer Arts Festival.  To date, these Festivals have presented more than 400 different events featuring over 1000 Queer artists.

A Daredevil Tour of the Bay Area: Issue 2

This regular feature on The Shared Universe is intended to act as a tour guide of the Bay Area by following the adventures of our most recent New York City transplant.  If an issue of Daredevil features any notable landmarks I’ll pull them out and provide some context for readers unfamiliar with this region of the country. Previous entries in this series:

This month’s issue doesn’t feature any visual landmarks, but there are a handful of locations mentioned in a news report at the start of the issue.


First Stop: War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco’s opera house is home to both the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet. The building began construction in 1927 and was completed in 1932. It’s considered one of the last structures in the country to use the neo-classical architectural style of Beaux-Arts. Matt Murdock would likely feel right at home in the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. Columbia University, where Murdock attended law school, was designed using the Beaux-Arts style. Additionally, Grand Central Terminal in New York City is likely one of the most notable uses of Beaux-Arts in the United States.

The Opera House is one of four venues that make-up the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. The name of the series of building was intended to commemorate all of those who served during the First World War global conflict. Since that time the name has come to have a greater meaning. In 1951, the opera house was the site of the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco officially marking the end of hostilities with Japan. Across the courtyard from the opera house is the Veterans Building which was the site of the signing of the first United Nations charter in 1945.

Second Stop: Pier 39

If you’ve been a tourist in San Francisco there’s a high probability you ended up at Pier 39. This is where the infamous California Sea Lions have come to roost since they started a migration from Seal Rock in the late-80s. The pier has a clear view of the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Pier 39 is also home to the Marine Mammal Center and the Aquarium of the Bay. You’ll also find two stories of family-focused shopping and entertainment.

Third Stop: Golden Gate Park

*checks watch* There is much to write about Golden Gate Park. So much. I’ve only lived in the Bay Area for little more than a year and I keep finding out new things about the park. I could spend multiple entries writing about all of the treasures tucked away in the Park’s 1,017-acres. Instead, I’m going to cheat and direct you to wikipedia. However, I will make one loose additional connection between Golden Gate Park and the most recent issue of Daredevil: Owls. It appears that Chris Samnee and Mark Waid are directing Daredevil toward a confrontation with the minor crime-lord the Owl. Golden Gate Park has become well-known, in these parts at least, for housing a family of Great Horned Owls. You can see a lengthy video of these owls below. I have no videos of Owl the crime-lord roosting in Golden Gate Park, because he’s a comic book character.

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Bay Area Comic Crowdfunding: The Rattler

The Rattler prismatic

The Rattler prismatic

Why did I invest in the Kickstarter for Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle’s horror graphic novel The Rattler? Because if I’m going to trust anyone to put out a solid horror comic it’s going to be the guy who says he writes graphic novels because he wants “every child in America to believe Two-Face wants to chop them into little pieces.”  Bonus: It includes an artist who went on an epic San Francisco bender with James Robinson in an effort to come up with an original concept for a new Airboy series.

According to Kickstarter The Rattler is a 96-page “atmospheric thriller that delivers strong characterization, a dark sense of humor and moments of abject terror.”

The last two years have seen a healthy  increase in horror comics, but it’s still rare to find a title that can instill genuine terror. Many of the early reviews of The Rattler seem to suggest this book succeeds in bringing terror and tension. The graphic novel came to my attention thanks to an enthusiastic write-up on Nerdlocker who says “I was terrified of what was waiting to jump out at me in the next panel.” Greg Burgas, writing for ComicBookResources, backs this up adding “Reading the book is a fairly white-knuckle experience, and it’s partly because McNamara knows how to manipulate the reader well.”

The Kickstarter launched today and is shooting for a modest $4,600.  There are some great backer rewards including a rad prismatic sticker you can use to decorate your Trapper Keeper.


A Daredevil Tour of the Bay Area: Issue 1

The Man Without Fear is also the Man Without Rest. After a long road trip Daredevil finally arrived in San Francisco yesterday. Instead of taking a day or two to enjoy the smells and sounds of the Bay Area, he’s already working with the SFPD to track down a kidnapped child. The first issue of the fourth volume of Daredevil is an enjoyable romp that finds hornhead being chased by sky sleds from The Embarcadero to Nob Hill. As noted in the issue, this isn’t the hero’s first stint in San Francisco.

This regular feature on The Shared Universe is intended to act as a tour guide of the Bay Area by following the adventures of our most recent New York City transplant.  If an issue of Daredevil features any notable landmarks I’ll pull them out and provide some context for readers unfamiliar with this region of the country.

In the unlikely event that Waid or Samnee stumble across this website I want to mention that I have no interest in nitpicking inconsistencies with reality. I respect the prerogative of the artist and writer to bend facts and visuals for the purpose of storytelling. Also, I know Daredevil’s a character in a funny book.

A Daredevil Tour of the Bay Area: Issue 1

The issue starts at a San Francisco police station where Matt Murdock is lending his unique set of highly tuned senses to the search for a missing child. He puzzles together enough clues for one of the officers to conclude that the girl may be in the old Naval Yard on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. Matt believes she may be in a bowling alley on the island.

Daredevil Issue 1: Treasure Island reference

Daredevil Issue 1: Treasure Island reference

First Stop: Treasure Island Naval Yard

Treasure Island is a man-made land mass in the San Francisco Bay. The landmass is named for Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson who briefly lived in San Francisco from 1879-80. It was built in the 30s as a federal Works Progress Administration project to provide a place to host the 1939 World’s Fair. The island became a Naval Base during World War II until it was closed in 1997. In 2008 the federal government sold Treasure Island to the city of San Francisco. Since that time there’s been a great deal of controversy over radiation levels and whether or not the island should have been opened for residential use.

(This is at least the second mention of Treasure Island in a comic book since August of last year. In Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman‘s Station-to-Station a secret lab there creates dinosaurs, laser guns, and a massive tentacle monster.)

And, yes, as Matt Murdock learns, there is an abandoned bowling alley on the naval base grounds.
Continue Reading →

Image to release Sex Criminals on local comic shops

Berkeley-based Image Comics is preparing to release the first trade paperback of Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction’s wildly successful time stopping sex romp Sex Criminals next month. The publisher announced 28128Sex Criminals Vol 1_LGlast week volume one, Sex Criminals: One Weird Trick, will be available at local comic shops on April 16 with mass market distribution on April 29. Over the last few years Image has been loudly declaring its continued commitment to local comic shops as the first line of defense for a strong comic industry foundation. If you’re in the Bay Area consult our directory of local comic shops to find out where you can pick up a copy.

Gene Yang revives the first Asian-American superhero in “The Shadow Hero”

ShadowHero-Ecover-1-rgbBay Area creator Gene Yang is arguably one of the most consistently celebrated modern graphic novelists. His 2013 two volume novel Boxers & Saints was a finalist for a National Book Award, landed on numerous end of year lists, and was noted as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. His 2006 book, American Born Chinese, was also a National Book Award finalist, received both a Printz and an Eisner, was named 2006/2007 Best Book by the Chinese American Librarians Association, and was noted on numerous lists.

Yang is finally applying his craft to the realm of superheroes with The Shadow Hero. He’s teaming up with illustrator Sonny Liew to resurrect Chu Hing’s Golden Age hero the Green Turtle. The Green Turtle made his appearance in issues of Blazing Comics and is considered the first Asian American superhero. Yang recently conducted an email interview with Publishers Weekly and he explained the publishing history of the Green Turtle.

Rumor has it, Chu Hing wanted to make his character a Chinese American, but his publisher didn’t think it was a good idea. Chu subverted his publisher by drawing the Green Turtle so that we almost never see his face. In those original comics, he usually has his back to us. When he is turned around, something – a piece of furniture, another character’s head, his own arm – blocks his face from our view. Supposedly, Chu did this so that we could imagine the Green Turtle as he originally intended, as a Chinese American.

Yang goes on to say that the Green Turtle wasn’t very popular and only lasted five issues of Blazing Comics. As a result of his short life in pulp the back story of the hero has never been told. That back story is what Yang is telling in his new comic.

The comic is first being released as a six-part digital series. That six-part series will be published by First Second in a trade paperback format this July. The Publishers Weekly article has more details on The Shadow Hero. Yang has also been writing occasional behind-the scenes posts at creation of the comic on his blog. The digital issues are available on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, and Apple iBooks.

Daredevil swings through North Beach

In advance of the first issue of Daredevil’s new series, which will see the horned hero in San Francisco, Marvel Comics and Wizard World have released a sneak peak at a variant cover that will be made available for VIP attendees of Wizard World Louisville Comic Con. The cover by illustrator Michael Golden gives fans a first taste of Daredevil with recognizable San Francisco landmarks. The cover shows Daredevil swinging to action in front of the 105-year-old Columbus Tower (also known as the Sentinel Building) and the Transamerica Pyramid. The Transamerica Pyramid, which is the tallest building in San Francisco at 853-feet, had only recently completed construction when Matt Murdock last visited the Bay Area in 1972. Around that same time Francis Ford Coppola purchased and renovated Columbus Tower and it currently houses his American Zoetrope studios. The variant cover is below.

Daredevil Columbus Tower Large

The first issue of Daredevil Volume 4 hits shelves on March 19.

Comix publisher Last Gasp holding logo design contest

Are you interested in having your name join the ranks of R. Crumb, Mark Ryden, and Saeki Toshio?

lastgaspLast Gasp, perhaps the longest running publisher of comix, has a unique opportunity for you. As an alternative comix publisher it perhaps isn’t surprising that the company has resisted traditional branding and have allowed artists to apply a personal interpretation to the skull, cross bones, tongue logo. According to the company “Last Gasp played it fast and loose in those early days of publishing. There was no set logo design. Since each artist drew their own cover for each comic book, they were also tasked with creating their own interpretation of the Last Gasp logo.”

Last Gasp is hosting a contest to find a 2014 “redesign” (as much as a logo with no set-in-stone design can be redesigned). The company website has all of the rules, but the design concept is pretty much an open canvas:

All artwork must refer to LAST GASP by including, visibly and legibly, EITHER (a) the words LAST GASP (capitalized); or (b) a skull and crossbones image; or (c) both LAST GASP and the skull and crossbones image; or (d) Artist’s Choice.

There are a number of prize levels and Last Gasp founder Ron Turner may personally judge your entry. Entries are being accepted until March 25, 2014.

(hat tip to Laughing Squid)

Do you want your funny/horrifying/weird online dating story shared with the masses?

If you’ve dated any time in the last decade the chances are fairly high that you’ve been on at least one online date. The opportunities for online dating in these days of our always networked lives are endless:   mucking with the algorithms of OkCupid, trying to “find God” (nudge nudge wink wink) through ChristianMingle, making dates in hopes for karma on r4r, or even slumming like a champ in Craigslist’s Casual Encounters. Very rarely online dating can result in, depending on the objective, the perfect fairytale romance or the long fantasized night of sinful debauchery the Bosch would blush to paint. More often than not the result is mundane.



In between the mundane dates and romance/debauchery lives the funny, horrifying, and weird stories. Those are the stories Nina Kim, the cartoonist behind Melancholy Rainbow, wants to hear. The Bay Area-based creator often uses her comics to tell short semi-autobiographical stories about dating, life observations, and co-existing with cats. She tweeted Wednesday a request for  “funny/horrifying/weird” dating stories to be drawn in her next zine. If you want your dating story to possibly become zine-famous submissions can be sent to

Related Links:
LA Zine Fest Nina Kim profile
Melancholy Rainbow
Her Etsy Shop

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