Monday, September 28, 2015

© Michael Chevy Castranova 2015 From Slipped chapter 351

Starting this Thursday in Columbus will the first (or the trial run, I’m no longer sure which) CXC Cartoons Crossroads Columbus (or maybe that’s Columbus Crossroads Cartoons) festival.
Among the speakers and panelists will be Art Spiegelman, Bill Griffith, Kate Beaton, Jaime Hernandez and Jeff Smith.
Events for the four-day festival will be held all over the city — a town I lived in longer than I have anywhere else — and much of it in or near the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
I wrote one of the first magazine stories about the the library when it was getting started, and attended the first-ever conference held there on  Ohio State University campus way back when the library still was a tiny, young thing. And I’ve gone to a number of the cartoon conferences sponsored there over the years.
I mention these things not to brag but to convince you when I say that for those events, more cartoonists than the scheduled folk tend to show up.
So come along. Schmooze, network, pick up tips of the trade.

Meanwhile, back at “Slipped” … Delacroix begins to explain to Tyler, Mendacity, Cartier and Pip what he expects them to do. It is a complex web the creature is weaving.
And why should they do what he asks, Tyler demands to know. His answer will surprise you.
Take a look: Slipped chapter 351, right here — the three beauties and the beast.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What next?

© Michael Chevy Castranova 2015

I admit to being a little amazed myself that this comic strip of mine has been running for seven and a half years, week after week just about, and this chapter is up to number 350 — and all online.
Slipped” started out as an homage of sorts to those 1930s and ’40s era newspaper comic strips of continuing adventure, with its sinister villains and wild action. And while it pays to have read every single chapter of “Slipped” since the beginning in March 2008 in terms of understanding what’s going on, I admit not everything has been explained — or at least not fully.
I like to keep a little mystery. But, yes, in my own head it all makes sense. (Any questions?Ask me.)
Now Tyler Wilson — the true heiress to the title of the Scarlet Sparrow — and her sister, Mendacity — who lately has been impersonating the Scarlet Sparrow — and Tyler’s companion, Pip, face a new challenge. A mysterious character who calls himself Delacroix is about to give them two enormous, separate and very dangerous missions — and without any clear way to fulfill those tasks.
What I’ve not decided is if, going forward, if this should turn into a superhero tale — remember, while Tyler may be the hero of this story, she has no special “powers.” She can’t even control her time travel.
But I think maybe not. I’ve always liked spy stories. Not the high-tech, blow things sky high James Bond movies. More like the low-tech, well-thought-out novels of John Le CarrĂ© such as “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and the brilliant movie “The Third Man.”
Though what is likely to happen is that the characters themselves will decide what’s next. The Scarlet Sparrow always has voiced pretty strong views on her appearance and her actions.
So we’ll see … .
A suivre.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A new monster in ”Slipped”

© Michael Chevy Castranova 2015

One of the great things about those 1930s and 1940s comic strips was you often didn’t know at first if new characters were friends or foes. Think of “Terry and the Pirates.”
You see a lot of that in Doctor Who, too — at least, back before it lost its way over the last season.
So in chapter 349 of “Slipped,”  the Scarlet Sparrow and her sister, Mendacity, are brought against their will by chrono-bounty hunter Cartier Tour to a creature who calls himself/itself Delacroix.
Tyler somehow identifies him as looking like her old nemesis Dargelos, whom she defeated a few years ago. Maybe during their last battle she got a look at how Dargelos really is — rather than how he usually appeared, as a handsome man similar in appearance to Marcello Mastroianni.
So take a gander at “Slipped.” Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day special

© Michael Chevy Castranova 2015

The limits of the scanner I use retrains how big the paper I draw on can be and therefore how detailed my drawings can be. But for the holiday, here’s one good image of new character — villain or hero still to be determined — Cartier Tour, on those Paris rooftops in chapter 348 of “Slipped.”
I think I like her. How long she sticks around depends on how gets along with the Scarlet Sparrow. See what you think with this link to “Slipped.”
Last post I mentioned the “Phantom Lady” collection of comic books from the 1940s. The stories are wacky — often all the other characters recognize her on sight, but some have no idea who she is. She wears no mask, but no one, not even her dopey boyfriend, ever realizes she is Sandra Knight, daughter of a famous senator — who is rendered very differently in each story in which he appears.
And the stories make absolutely no sense.
But it doesn’t matter, as the drawings and poses of the characters — mostly by Matt Baker and especially in volume two — are everything in this series.
I’m also enamored these days with Michael Avon Oeming’s “Powers” art. Cartoon-y people doing very serious things. It reminds me a little of the later Corto Maltese stories.