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Now Available - Lovecraft's Monsters Playing Cards!

Holy mackerel, am I excited about this one!  Now available in the DriveThruCards store - The Lovecraft's Monsters Poker Deck! Cont...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Cut Price Cthulhu!

 It's Hallowe'en month, which means that it's time for DriveThru Comics annual Halloween sale!  For a limited time only (step right up!) you can get the Lovecraft's Monsters Playing Card set, fully illustrated in color with loving portraits of H.P. Lovecraft's most iconic cosmic horrors, for 30% off!  The stars are right! The Old Ones have awakened...and they're slashing prices!  Run...run screaming if you must...to DriveThru Comics and order yours today!



Friday, September 10, 2021

We're Moving!!!

 Moving domain registrars, that is. This is a change that most people will not notice, but it was necessary.  Our previous host, GoDaddy costs about twice as much per year, and have recently decided to give me less for my money by forcing email users to transfer to an Office365 subscription plan.  Since I object to this kind of shrinkflation and don't see the use in paying for an email address that I barely use, I have decided to dump the domain registrar and move it elsewhere.  

If you're a reader who has ever contacted us at info@aimcomics.com, please note that this email address will very likely stop working very soon.

That is all.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Reading the Unreadable #7: Being and Time by Martin Heidegger


 

Anyone who's known me for a long time knows that I enjoy reading books on philosophy, both classic and modern.  Although I've studied logic and philosophy in university, I consider myself more of an enthusiastic amateur than any kind of serious student of the subject.  

My personal preference in philosophical schools has always tended towards the "can you eat it" variety, meaning the grounded sort of philosophies that can be of some practical use in daily living.  I'm aware that there are people who consider philosophy as a purely theoretical exercise, but it always seemed to me that from the classical times on down, the main thrust of the subject has been to find ways to live life better, more fully and more in harmony with the world. I have, therefore, always tended towards schools of thought ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Confucious and Lao Tzu down to Ayn Rand's Objectivism and (my current philosophical crush) Marcus Aurelius and the Stoics.  The philosophers I consider more esoteric, such as Epicurus, Nietzsche and Proust, I have read for enjoyment but without any serious expectations.

So it was that I approached Heidegger's "Being and Time" with the mindset that I have a grounding in this sort of writing and, despite it being on the list of the most difficult books to read, I thought I would navigate its content skilfully if not easily.

Hoo boy, was I wrong.

One of the most annoying things about the study of philosophy is the tendency of some thinking and authors to get caught up in semantics and ontology to the extent that the work loses any useful meaning and becomes self-absorbed to the point of being unable to express ideas clearly.  It's what led me to conclude at one point that philosophy is the most roundabout way of ending up exactly where you started.  Heidegger takes that problem to an extreme, with an absorption in a highly specific use of language that either a)almost immediately loses any practical meaning for the reader or b) is couched in a language that is understandable only to Heidegger and his two closest friends. Probably cats.

Reading "Being and Time" is an exercise in literacy and a test of patience.  Ideas and sentences recur and are reiterated in new contexts in so many ways that one is not sure if one has actually made any progress in the book, or if the publisher just reprinted early chapters later in the book. It is the literary equivalent of "The Song That Never Ends". Without the entertainment value. It is the quintessential existential work, in that by the end of it, if one endures that long, the reader questions whether anything outside the book, including the reader themselves, does, can or should exist. 

I mean, what can you say about a book that contains passages like this:

 "In understanding a context of relations, Dasein has been referred to an in-order-to in terms of an explicitly or inexplicitly grasped potentiality for being (Seinkonnen) for the sake of which it is, which can be authentic or inauthentic.  This prefigures a what-for as the possible letting something be relevant which structurally allows for relevance to something else.  Dasein is always in each case already referred in terms of a for-the-sake-of-which to the with-what of relevance.  This means that, insofar as it is, it always already lets beings be encountered as things as hand."

 Still awake?  Good.  That's from early in the book, before things get complicated. From there, it slips steadily off the linguistic rails and ends up ultimately as meaningful (for the standard reader) as the content of an ASMR video.  And just as sleep-inducing.  

If I gleaned anything useful from "Being and Time", aside from the joy of knowing that I need never pick up a copy of Heidegger again in my life, it is the origin of the the idea that 'horror is seeing something approach" that I know from William Friedkin.  I could probably find you a chapter and verse reference for this, but I think it would be more fun to let you test your own patience in attempting to read this thing.  Otherwise, the only use I can think of for this book is propping up a table leg.

Up next, "Our Lady of the Flowers" by Jean Genet.  Things can only get better from here, can't they?



Thursday, February 4, 2021

AIM Comics: Ten Years Later

 

Wow, how time flies. It was 10 years ago today that we published the first volume of Ian McDonald's "The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit", featuring not only an all-star lineup of webcomics artists and a ton of Ian's work, but also praise from renowned Conan author Roy Thomas and arguably the last published art by Savage Sword of Conan legend Ernie Chan.
It's been an interesting ride since then, with many changes both personal and professional. Sales on the books (7 volumes so far!) have been up and down and for a sales neophyte like me, it's still proving hard to find the presence in the market I think this work deserves.
However, it's also been nice having these books as a constant presence in the background, a pivot point for me to return to when my schedule allows. I've been working with Ian in one form another since 1988 and his work continues to bring me great enjoyment.
Volume 8 is due to be released soon. We're well past the midpoint and on the way to reaching the end of this strip; after that, who knows? Until we reach that point, I'm going to continue enjoying the work of compiling and publishing these books and will continue looking for ways to bring them to the readers' attention.
Thanks, Ian, for letting me play around with your work for the last decade. I'm grateful for the opportunity and for the lessons I've learned as an editor and a publisher. We've still got a ways to go, so let's see what we can do with this thing!
 

 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Kicking Off 2021

 2020 is receding in my rearview mirror; 2021 lies ahead.  There were no new publications from AIM Comics in 2020 for one reason or another, but that doesn't mean that nothing's been happening.  Looking ahead very quickly, here's what we've got:

-Volume 8 of The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit is in progress and well on its way to being finished.  I've had the cover by our guest artist delivered to me within the last week, and once I finish coloring it and address a few formatting issues in the book itself, we should be ready to go!  The next one's going to be a bit bigger than the previous volumes, just because of the length of the stories that Ian was writing during this period.

-Just started work on a new personal project yesterday.  It's one that's hopefully going to play out over quite a long time, but I will be able to release it incrementally.  It's something I've been promising myself I will address for years now, and I finally decided it's time to get started.  Watch this space for more updates.

-Sketches are moving along on another project that I have had contracted for a couple of years now.  I've had to put it aside due to the need to take on a lot of commission work, but I think I may actually be making some real progress.

Not a lot of detail in there, I know, but it looks like AIM Comics will be showing some signs of life again in 2021.  Here's hoping for the best, for us and you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Work Published: Pocketwatch Pixie and Safyre V2: Unfinished Business

 I've been working with author David Brzezinski for several years now, ever since I did the cover for his book "Battle for Berridor".  Since then, I've done at least one cover a year for him, as well as some interior and design work.

One of the things I like about David is that he makes publishing a family affair, getting his kids to co-author books with him turning out some good stories in the process.  Children Caleb and Faith Brzezinski have co-written such books as "Safyre" and "Angelina and the Egg", all of which are worth checking out.

This year, David and family have published two books at the same time, one with Caleb and one with Faith.  I have had the honor of doing covers for both, as well as interiors for one of them.


"Pocketwatch Pixie" by David and Faith Brzezinski is a young adult tale of a girl who finds a magical pixie trapped in a pocketwatch.  A good story for readers who like a little magic with their heroism, with a strong female presence in both the authorship and the story.  The cover for this one was a bit of a stretch for me, with some inspiration by the DC "Superhero Girls" series of novels.  I also did a few black and white interiors that were fun and I hope will be charming.



"Safyre 2: Unfinished Business" by Caleb and David Brzezinski is a followup to 2013's "Explosive Origins: Safyre Book 1".  It's the ongoing story of two super-powered teens and their fight to save their home, Titanium Falls from nefarious villains.  Somehow a peanut-shaped car and a portable black hole get involved.  Look, you're just going to have to read it.

For the cover for this one, I tried to tap into some Kirby vibes to get that "comin' at ya!" feeling, with some of Kirby's trippy sense of color.  No cinematic movie grading here, darnit!

These are fun books authored by people who are just enjoying the process of writing and publishing, and aside from the fact that I worked on both of them, I can't recommend them enough...this is the kind of stuff that young people...or just the young at heart...should be reading when they're reading just for the fun of it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Bedded & Jess: A Kickstarter Project!

 

I'd like to bring your attention to a great Kickstarter project I'm involved in. 

 For the past couple of years, I've been inking a comic book called "Bedded & Jess" by artist Nick Woll.  Nick is autistic and has some difficulty communicating, but has some decent chops as an artist.  I find his work has a great energy and stylistic elements that remind me of some of the classic Disney artists such as Carl Barks and Floyd Gotfriedson.  He's especially good at packing a page with lots of frenetic detail and unusual characters, and has a talent for being creative with panel borders.

 With help from his brother, Nick has put together a series of adventures starring his creations, the titular "Bedded & Jess".  Simply put, it's a continuing story of their characters getting into one unusual situation after another and meeting a host of strange characters along the way.

They've got a lot of work done (over 300 pages so far!), but to get this thing off the ground, they're going to need a bunch of support, so they're running a Kickstarter campaign to get the first 8 issues published.

To help support their project, I'm donating an orignal watercolor painting based on one of Nick's drawings for someone generous enough to buy in at the $350 level.  Even at the basic levels they've got some fun rewards that I'm sure comics fans will enjoy, and at the top levels there's some truly amazing stuff.

Do me a favor and check out their campaign, even if it's only to see all the cool art they've got posted.  Be sure to watch the "About the artist..." video featuring Nick himself.

 This is a campaign for a worthwhile cause, but it's also a fun book that I've really enjoyed working on, so please support them if you can!