For 51 weeks, we’ve given you words. We gave you words about Occupy L.A. and trouble in the county jails and bad school lunches. Words about David Lynch and Kevin Smith and Miranda July and Elvis Mitchell. Words, too, about this city’s 99 Essential Restaurants, its 55 best cocktails, its 70 most fascinating people.
This week, we give you pictures.
For the first Comics Issue L.A. Weekly has published in years, our creative director, Darrick Rainey, commissioned new comics from five of the most interesting artists working in Los Angeles today.
Mike Bertino, Ken Garduno, Sam Shearon (aka Mister-Sam) and Coffin Case duo Anthony Winn and Jonny Coffin all have distinct sensibilities. Not surprisingly, when asked to riff on the idea of New Year’s Eve, they had wildly different takes. (Although it’s worth noting: Strippers feature prominently in a full 50 percent of their submissions — what’s up with that, guys?)
Their stories, which we’ve published both in these pages and at laweekly.com, grapple with the big ideas: time travel, technology, love and, in Bertino's case, the impact of technology on the aesthetic ideal. OK, so that's a highfalutin way of saying that his piece deals with strippers and plastic surgery. What did you expect?
This is the Comics Issue! And this is L.A.!
That said, even in the Comics Issue, we couldn’t resist giving you a few more words. Columnist Gendy Alimurung kicks things off with a profile of Steve Niles, the Toluca Lake–based writer behind 30 Days of Night. As Alimurung tells it, Niles' story is no fairy tale — even though Niles got a book deal and then a movie one, he hasn’t just ridden off into the sunset. He keeps writing. He keeps dreaming.
Which, perhaps, is a thought to remember as we segue from 2011 to 2012. For all the magic that happens when the ball drops at midnight — and you’ll see plenty of it in our artists’ evocations — Jan. 1, 2012, is just another day. Back to work, back to the drawing board.
Next week, we’ll be back to giving you words. Enjoy the vacation while you can.
Click the links below for each comic: