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Now Available: The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit Vol. 8!

 Long overdue, but worth the wait, The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit Vol. 8 is now available!  Gaze in wonder at the cover by Clint "...

Friday, October 21, 2022

Now Available: Lovecraftian Horror Coloring Book!

 Available now In print at Amazon and digitally at DriveThru Comics, it's the Lovecraftian Horror Coloring Book!

Over the past few years, I've created a fair number of Lovecraft-themed illustrations, whether it was for the Lovecraft eZine, for the Lovecraft's Monsters playing card deck,  or for other projects.  In this book, I've finally collected them all together in their original black and white glory.  The pages are designed single-sided so they can be colored and even removed for display.  

I've even set up a special email address (find it in the book's introduction) where you can send me photos or scans of your color work and share the fun!

I'm a hardcore Lovecraft and cosmic horror fan, so this has been a real labor of love for me; I hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I put into making it.

From the back cover:

"A monstrous compendium of art based on the creatures of Lovecraft's Mythos.  The stars are right and the Old Ones wait...wait, that is, for you to add the colors that will bring these cosmic horrors to terrifying life!

Lovingly created by a fan of Lovecraft's work for like-minded fans who want to explore their own artistic visions, this book contains illustrations based on descriptions in the original texts.  From Cthulhu to Herbert West, the best of the Mythos is represented here in distinct artistic interpretations.

Each page is single-sided for coloring, but backed with relevant quotes about the creatures being illustrated.  Every page is scanned from the artist's original drawings.  Grab your colors and enjoy bringing new life to these classic horrors!"



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Now Available: The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit Vol. 8!

 Long overdue, but worth the wait, The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit Vol. 8 is now available!  Gaze in wonder at the cover by Clint "Wandering Ones" Hollingsworth! See Bruno tie the knot!  Cringe shamefully under the reproachful glare of the Passive Aggressive Pirates! Tremble as the ground shakes to the marching feet of the Syndicate going to war!

All this and more awaits you in the latest collection of Ian McDonald's classic webcomic Bruno the Bandit! Available NOW in print from Amazon and in digital format from DriveThru Comics!  Get yours today!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Reading the Unreadable #8: Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet


By a fortunate accident, I read Genet's "Our Lady of the Flowers" directly after finishing Camus's "The Stranger" and Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago", and those directly after reading Heidegger for this reading project.  As a result, I came to it in a metaphysical state of mind, and ready to analyze the different views of incarceration presented by these authors.

Camus, being the most overtly philosophical of the bunch, uses his protagonist's prisoner status more allegorically, presenting it (at least to my eye) as further proof of the objective lack of intrinsic meaning to existence, and simultaneously the natural result of Meursault's failure to draw his own meaning from existence, falling back as he does on a kind of nihilism.  Camus, not having been a prisoner himself, was able to take a more abstract view of incarceration, using it as a vehicle to convey his ideas of absurdism without getting bogged down in the practical details.

Solzhenitsyn's work, on the other hand, draws its power from his depiction of those practical physical details.  It was his status as prisoner that drove his fame as a writer, and it was through his depictions of prison life that he made his political statement.  "Gulag Archipelago" is more prosaic in its approach and more accessible in its writing style, and it is in that approach that the reader finds the horror of the situation - that people can live and force others to live under such conditions.  Oddly, while being the least overtly philosophical of these books, in its depiction of the subjective way punishments and rewards are applied in such a system, it eventually serves to prove the same metaphysical conclusion reached by Camus - that existence does not have intrinsic meaning aside from what the individual decided to assign to it.

The expression of that subjective mapping of meaning onto existence is immediately obvious in Genet's "Our Lady of the Flowers".  By far the most poetic of these works, Genet seems to acknowledge the, at times, sordid details of existence and yet to strive for a sort of transcendence by seeing in those details a manifestation of something more sublime.  Through his controversial depictions of the life of his characters, their relationships, their actions and their crimes, Genet takes what could be considered tawdry and at times brutal events and elevates them with his language and perspective to the status of poetry.  As he says, "the artist is a God who had need of human beings."  Genet seems to recognize that god within himself the art in his characters.  The more squeamish reader might turn aside from "Our Lady of the Flowers", but in so doing would miss the opportunity that Genet provides to recognize the transcendence possible in any life simply by the fact of choosing to assign meaning to existence.

It is that idea of "choice" that forms a common philosophical thread to all three books.  Camus's Meursault fails to choose, and is condemned for it.  Solzhenitsyn, chose to see both the absurdity and horror in his situation and depict it with the eye of a naturalist.  Genet chose to assign a spiritual greatness that supersedes the immediate, through that making even an ordinary existence more bearable.  As Victor Frankl stated, "He who has a why, can bear any how."

Up next, David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest'.  This one's going to take a while.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Attention All Comics Creators!

 Here's something interesting....DriveThru Comics, one of the main distributors for AIM Comics, is having a "How to Make Comics" sale, offering great prices on a bunch of handy reference guides and how-to books for the prospective comic book artist, writer or publisher.

There's some great stuff in there for just about every aspect of creating and publishing comics of all sorts, including our own humble offering "Why Comics".  This book reprints my attempt at a 24-Hour comic and the Sketch Magazine-published article, "Comics on the Cheap". As always, "Why Comics" is absolutely FREE!  So...what's stopping you from going there and getting it right NOW!?!

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?