Good day, all.

*I'm very busy eating frozen custard with Satan right now - did you know his favorite number is 06062006? That's the license plate number on his car (they're extra long in Hell because there's lots of drivers, I think), so you can imagine how much he likes this day. And nothing tops a day off quite like a tall vanilla/souls swirl in a pretzel cone, or so I've been told. I got the plain vanilla, with blood-of-infants FlavorBlast (it was that or pumpkin, which is way out of season) - those souls really screw up the consistency of the custard, you know? It's practically soft-serve.

*Publications Dept: So, did I just not know of this, or is this a brand-new announcement?

Dan Nadel of the recent Art Out of Time book, not to mention mastermind of the freshly redesigned PictureBox Inc., has announced that he’s starting a new quarterly comics magazine with Timothy Hodler, his former co-editor on the ongoing ‘visual culture’ anthology The Ganzfeld. The new project, published by Lime Publishing of Arthur fame in association with PictureBox, will be called Comics Comics, and will feature criticism, essays (pieces on Wally Wood and Dick Ayers are prepped), interviews, opinion pieces by working talents (Paper Rad handles issue #1), new comics works (Mark Newgarden, Jessica Ciocci, and Matthew Thurber are already set), and miscellany, all of it set to explore areas of the art left undercovered by extant magazines, which is to say “both new, cutting, edge work by the most exciting artists in the medium and critical writing that addresses the state of the art.” Many of the features will be written by active cartoonists (Gary Panter, for instance) “to document contemporary and past comics from a pluralistic, affectionate, but critical standpoint.”

Also, it will be free.

Yep, much like Vice, the late Paper Rodeo, and, well, Arthur, Comics Comics will be a free pick-up at record stores and the like (you can also order it direct for $5 at the above PictureBox link). It’s apparently scheduled to launch in just a few weeks, and there’s already an official blog set up in support of it, with some interesting exclusive stuff up already. I’m quite excited for this, as Nadel is certainly an eloquent man of interesting tastes, not to mention a publisher of some fascinating comics - PictureBox’s Paper Rad, B.J. and da Dogs was one of the best comics releases of 2005, and the aforementioned Thurber’s Carrot for Girls was no slouch either.

So yeah, absolutely something to look out for, both for its tempting content and its attempt to exploit an otherwise little-used-in-comics distribution channel, one that while not necessarily bypassing the direct market (I don’t believe Jason has ever missed an issue of Arthur) does place it on a similar level to other outlets.