"Post-Election Funnies: How do we make art in this political climate?" edited by Tom Devlin (Arthur No. 15/March 2005)

Post-Election Funnies

It’s George Bush’s world, they just draw comics in it. A special feature on making art in troubled times, featuring work by Chris Wright, Brian Ralph, Dan Zettwoch, Megan Kelso, Ben Jones, Paul Lyons, David Lasky, Tom Hart, Vanessa Davis, Greg Cook, Marc Bell, Amy Lockhart and John Hankiewicz. Edited by Tom Devlin.

Originally published in Arthur No. 15 (March 2005). Click each image (page) to really enlarge. It’s still not gonna be completely legible—for that, you’ll have to see the actual magazine (available at the Arthur Store for cheep)—but it’s pretty good.


Ben Jones from Paper Rad just sent over his latest cartoon.  It’s a new episode of PROBLEM SOLVERZ!  Horace, Alfe, and Roba are back to stop a nefarious Mayan ice cream mind control plot.  I love the homage to Saturday morning cartoons where every gang has a secret headquarters and every episode is just a problem to be solved.

Just think, this could’ve been a new Adult Swim series if they hadn’t left the decision in the hands of Burger King customers…  I read somewhere that it may end up as a Cartoon Network series.  Whose french fries do I gotta eat to make that a reality?

UPDATE: Problem solved.  We can look forward to a 13 episode season of THE PROBLEM SOLVERS coming soon to Cartoon Network.


EXCERPT: "COLD HEAT" 5/6 by Ben Jones & Frank Santoro

Did you hear the news earlier this year? Comic books are dead. But the the first rule of comics, if there are any rules at all, is that no one stays dead in comics. So no one really expected comics to stay dead for long did they?

It’s only been about two months since comics “died” yet here we have a brand new issue of Cold Heat, with staples and everything. So if one era of comics just ended (the one that started with Action Comics #1), then let this be the beginning of a new Golden Age. A lack of widespread distribution to comic shops is discouraging, but it’s not gonna stop creators who are this passionate about the art form.

Cold Heat is one of my favorite comics from the past couple years. Ben Jones’ writing is just as hilarious as his Paper Rad stuff. But this story’s already over 100 pages long, so he and artist Frank Santoro have a lot more room to play. If you’re new to the world of Cold Heat you can read the first four issues online. But I recommend finding the books. The colors and artwork look great on paper and you also get the bonus short prose stories that are only printed in the issues.

The series focuses on Castle, a high school student who is really bummed out because her favorite rock star was just found dead of an apparent suicide. This subject matter seems strangely appropriate to me because I remember exactly where I was when the radio announced that Kurt Cobain was dead. I was at a comic shop in Phoenix, going through some dollar boxes on the floor. I paused for a moment to listen to the report, then went back to the long boxes of cheap Vertigo comics. The surreal satire that follows has a nice stream of consciousness flow that reminds me of other favorites like Ed the Happy Clown or Gilbert Hernandez. There’s a brilliant twist that takes the series to a whole new level in one of the later issues. I shouldn’t have even mentioned it exists.

Here’s the first six pages of issue 5/6. We thought we were gonna have to wait for the whole story to be collected as a trade, but they couldn’t wait either so issues 5 and 6 have been self-published as a limited edition zine.  It’s a beautiful book.  The 100 copy print run is almost gone, but you can still get one from the Picturebox website


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DAILY MAGPIE – ongoing until Feb 28 – The New Dark Age


The New Dark Age

Feb 5 – Feb 28

Deitch Gallery, 76 Grand St, New York

Interdisciplinary artist Ben Jones of the Paper Rad art collective has an ultra-neon, hyper-real, flashing 3D freak out world on display at Deitch Gallery until the 28th.  The exhibit includes video, sculpture, drawings, paintings all in seizure-inducing colors.

It’ll probably be like drowning in this Youtube video