Being the first of a semi-regular roundup of neat internet time-wasters. Click the titles to follow the links. Average time wasted: 10 minutes or less.
1. Harvey Pekar Meets Anthony Bourdain.
For those who missed last night's No Reservations, in which Anthony Bourdain visited Cleveland and hung out with underground comix legend Harvey Pekar, the Travel Channel website has posted a pair of comic strips about the encounter: One written by Pekar, and one by Bourdain. (Both illustrated by Pekar regular Gary Dumm.) The Pekar strip won't make much sense on its own; it's really just a series of illustrations that were used on the show. But the Bourdain strip tells the story from his perspective from start to finish, and though it's a little abrupt, it captures the flavor of the episode well.
2. The Comics Reporter's Jack Kirby Tribute.
In honor of what would've been the late Jack Kirby's 90th birthday, Tom Spurgeon has posted a slew of Kirby-drawn covers and splash pages, all of which demonstrate Kirby's dynamic style and cosmic imagination. It's taken me a long time to come around to Kirby, whose blocky line and confusingly complicated stories still elude me more often than not. But few comics artists have ever matched his skill at turning a single oversized panel into the kind of richly detailed world that you could gaze into for hours, dreaming.
3. Dr. Katz, Podcaster.
Out of the blue last week I got a phone call from comedian Jonathan Katz, whom I interviewed last year. After first joking that he wanted to retract everything he said, he asked for my e-mail address so he could send me a link to his new podcast, "Hey We're Back!" It's in its second week now, and anyone who enjoys Katz's bone-dry, lightly absurdist sense of humor will definitely get their five to ten minutes' worth. It almost plays like a genteel parody of This American Life, peppered with a series of briskly paced blackout gags. I especially recommend week two, in which Katz interviews "Barry White" and receives a mild surprise.