The Japanese Beetle!
The Japanese Beetle! for December 01, 2003
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December 01, 2003
And so we finally enter December, only about two weeks too late. Well, I have a very ambitious update schedule for this week which I'm sure I just queered by even mentioning it - but I'm going to forge ahead anyway, jinx be damned. Where'd I put that No-Doze?

I liked the structure of this particular strip too much to change it from the original. Needless to say, though, this story won't go the same way as its predecessor. (After all, Furby humor is horribly dated.) However, I am going to use this wonderful season of crass commercialism to introduce another old favorite... Let's just say she's a character with a reason to hate crass commercialism and leave it at that for now.

Music: Nerf Herder, "I've Got A Boner For Christmas"

December 03, 2003
If there's one thing I hate more than drawing crowd scenes, it's drawing cars. So of course I do two strips in a row, one with a crowd scene and other with tons of cars. Great. I need to plan these things out better.

Also, it's time for another comic recommendation. This time, I'll very strongly suggest you go purchase the latest volume of Drawn & Quarterly. Published by a Canadian publisher called, oddly enough, Drawn & Quarterly, this extremely handsome volume includes a complete "Monsieur Jean" story by Depuy and Berbaran and a retrospective on the work of French-Canadian cartoonist Albert Chartier. More importantly, though, it also includes R. Sikoryak's take on "Wuthering Heights," drawn in the style of E.C. Comics mainstay Johnny Craig.

If you've never seen Sikoryak's work before, it just has to be seen to be believed. Some of his projects include "The Inferno" in the style of Bazooka Joe comics, the book of Genesis in the style of Blondie, "The Scarlet Letter" in the style of Little Lulu, and "Crime and Punishment" in the style of a Bob Kane Batman comic. The man's an incredible mimic, but it's more than that - he's able to utilize the graphic cliches of whatever style to illuminate the subtext of the classics he tackles. It turns what would be cute but disposable stories into fascinating reimaginings.

If you're curious, but not curious enough to pick up a hard-to-find $25 squarebound book, you might want to pick up issue #255 of The Comics Journal which includes a fairly extensive interview with Sikoryak.

Music: Thelonious Monk, "Epistrophy"

December 05, 2003
And now, the Monsters of Socialism. There are actually two others members of the group who will be featured in the upcoming fight scene - but for the sake of clarity and dramatic impact, I've pared this strip down to the core team of Kremlina, the Cosmonaut and MiG-1000.

Of course, with the Monsters of Socialism here, their arch-nemesis can't be far behind. It'll be a red-hunting good time!

Comic: Jimmy Olsen: Adventures by Jack Kirby
Music: Nerf Herder, "I Want To Take You Out For Ice Cream"

The Japanese Beetle and all related characters are copyright ©1998-2004 by Dave "The Knave" White. All rights reserved. Any passing resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental except when it isn't. Really, we swear. Please don't sue us. Published on line by 741.5 Comics.