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April 28, 2016
[comics] The 13 Most Interesting Time Travel Stories in Comics … a varied collection of comics to track down … ‘Three years before they would create 1986’s Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were honing their comic-creating skills by producing short stories for 2000 A.D. magazine. In one of the magazine’s recurring features called Time Twisters, they published a five-page story called Chronocops! that is considered one of Moore’s best early works, and one that would hint at the complex narrative skills he would demonstrate later in his career…’
April 27, 2016
[comics] Comics You Should Own – Elektra: Assassin … another look at one of my favourite comics … ‘I suppose this should be called a guilty pleasure, because there’s only a little in these comic books that is socially redeeming in any way. From the first few pages, Miller and Sienkiewicz grab us by the throat and refuse to let go. It’s impressive, when you read these in one sitting, how the creators keep the high level of energy over eight issues. There’s very little fluff here, which is amazing, considering the padding we often see in comics today. Even the “down time” in this book is packed with little details, both in the writing and the art, that doesn’t leave us much time to catch our breath…’
April 25, 2016
[comics] Bill Sienkiewicz reminiscences about meeting Gary Groth‘I turn, Gary is taking big fast purposeful strides toward me, a nickel-plated revolver in both hands, looks like a S&W .357 magnum/4 in. barrel. I jump back because, one, I don’t know Gary that well, two, he’s got a gun, intent, and I’m not stupid. Gary ignores me and slides into where I was standing, aiming the pistol at the VW with both hands…’
April 18, 2016
[comics] The Evolution of Daniel Clowes … Nicely done profile of Clowes career… ‘Eightball was like seeing Clowes’ id, ego, and super-ego splayed out on the page. Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron translated his dreams (dreams being a frequent source of inspiration and analysis for Clowes) into a darkly bizarre journey into sexual perversion; Pussey lampooned every level and segment of the comics industry with unreserved viciousness. In short, odd stories, loners and misanthropes navigated a world of rampant ignorance and crass consumerism. In autobiographical diatribes and skillful pop parodies, Clowes gouged at the grotesqueness of American culture until its eyes were bloody, and always made sure to save a few jabs for his least-favorite subject: himself.’
April 15, 2016
[comics] Art: Wally Wood’s Sound Effects…. and much more … a gallery of Wally Wood comics …

Wally Wood's Sound Effects! Page 1

April 8, 2016
[movies] ‘Superman,’ The Inside Story: Director Richard Donner Remembers Meeting Stallone to Play the Lead, Working With Brando, and a Near-Fatal Knife Attack … Richard Donner describes how Superman: The Movie got made …

I was brought up on Superman as a kid. There was a whole point in my life where I read Superman. So when I was finished with it, I was like, “Man, if they make this movie, they are destroying the legend of Superman.” I wanted to do it just to defend him.

I called [writer] Tom Mankiewicz, who had been a friend for years. He said, “I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to do a comic book.” I said, “Tom, it’s more than a comic book. Please come over.”

I got a little stoned, smoked some weed, put on the Superman costume. I was in pretty good shape then. It was like elastic. And Tom pulled up, and I ran across the lawn and Tom turned and looked at me and ran back to his car.

Tom says, “You’re crazy. Get the f— away from me!”

April 1, 2016
[comics] Elektra: Assassin’s Political Satire Cuts Deep 30 Years Later … revisiting Miller & Sienkiewicz’s masterpiece … ‘I can’t overstate how much fun Miller and Sienkiewicz are having in this series. They’re two virtuoso talents at the peak of their powers, making satiric hay out of politics, government, the military, gender stereotypes and other comic books, which were (and still generally are) weak sauce compared to this.’
March 28, 2016
[comics] Howard Chaykin Speaks … Chaykin, like Alan Moore, is unable to give a bad interview … ‘I’m on record everywhere regarding this – I’d like to think that had I known it was going to be that big a deal, I would have done a better job. That work will haunt me to my grave, diminishing the value of the actually good and true work I’ve produced in the past forty odd years. I figure my NYT obit will read HOWARD CHAYKIN DIES; FUCKED UP STAR WARS COMICS – AND REALLY NOW, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE HE DID, RIGHT?’
March 24, 2016
[comics] A Gallery with some of Howard Chaykin’s black and white art

Panels from Howard Chaykin's Shadow

March 23, 2016
[moore] What Next For Providence? … Where is Alan Moore heading with Providence? … ‘Issues #5 and #6 are almost a two part story, where Black visits a city which is a major nexus of Lovecraft’s work, and intersects with several different stories, and many characters who act towards Black in an openly malevolent manner. I predict that #11 and #12 will be set in Providence, RI, and will feature Black’s inevitable doom after similarly intersecting with multiple stories and characters. “The Haunter of the Dark” has to appear. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward seems extremely likely’
March 10, 2016
[comics] Cliff Chiang’s Mashups of 80’s Comics and Album Covers

80's Comics As Album Covers

March 9, 2016
[comics] From the Bayou to London: A Conversation with Artist John Totleben … interview with the legendary comic artist … ‘I think younger readers probably have already been exposed to those influences in other comics, so when they look at Miracleman it probably doesn’t seem like a bigger deal back in 1988 or whatever. They don’t get the full effect of that. It’s kind of similar to rock music where someone listens to Jimi Hendrix nowadays; they may not get the full effect of the intensity he really got across back then because all those influences have been absorbed into the culture of rock guitar techniques and so on. The full effect just can’t be felt. That’s what’s it’s like with Miracleman. You had to have been there.’
March 3, 2016
[movies] Ghost in the Shell, over two decades old, remains our most challenging film about technology … a look back at the anime/manga Ghost in the Shell‘Kusanagi also questions what her existence means or even is, and whether she is just a synthetic being created by scientists, with neurological implants aimed at making her more productive. She asks her colleague Batou, “I mean who knows what’s inside our heads. Have you ever seen your own brain?” and examines whether a hyper-connected cyborg could create its own soul all by itself? This scene ultimately poses the final scary question: what is the purpose of being human?’
February 26, 2016
[comics] It’s Stan Lee’s Universe … must-read attempt to sum up Stan Lee’s legacy in comics …

“Stan’s gotten far too much credit,” says veteran comics writer Gerry Conway, who’s known Lee since 1970. “People have said Stan was out for No. 1, and to a very large degree, that’s true. He’s a good guy. He’s just not a great guy.”

“Unfortunately, from day one, Jack was doing part of Stan’s job, and Stan was not doing part of Jack’s job,” says comics historian Mark Evanier, who worked as Kirby’s assistant and has worked on and off with Lee since the 1970s. “When you talk to Stan Lee, when he turns the Stan Lee act off, he’s a very decent human being who is chronically obsessed with himself. He’s very insecure. Those of us who have trouble being angry for some of the things that happened, it’s because we saw the real human being there at times.”

“It’s one of those things where you sit down and you say, ‘You gotta be forgiving of your parents,’” says artist Colleen Doran, who drew Lee’s new memoir. “I don’t know of anyone who knows Stan and doesn’t love him, even if they hate things he’s done.”

February 24, 2016
[life] Chip Zdarsky’s Formula 4 Success…

Chip Zardsky's Formula 4 Success

February 14, 2016
[comics] Watchmen Photomanips for Valentines Day‘I thought maybe we could… Um, try some wife-swapping after dinner.’

Watchmen Wife Swapping Valentines

February 10, 2016
[comics] The Making of Daniel Clowes … a long, nicely-done profile of Dan Clowes … ‘Clowes quickly gained a reputation as the industry’s angry young man. Friends still talk about “the chip” — that weight on his shoulder from having worked so hard at a medium long associated with kids and misfits. “Oh, you mean the chip?” they’ll ask when questioned about how much he’s changed since those early days. Read enough of his works and you’ll see character after character with some version of the chip, from Enid Coleslaw to Wilson to the time traveler in Patience. “We often talked about Charles Schulz,” Clowes’s friend and fellow artist Richard Sala says. “When he was alive, he was the most famous and successful cartoonist ever, but he was still depressed. He still remembered every slight and every mean thing that anybody had ever said to him. And I think Dan related.”’
February 9, 2016
[comics] ‘Has The Human Centipede Taught Us Nothing?’ Alan Moore Answers Questions About Cinema Purgatorio For Bleeding Cool … a Q&A regarding the new black and white anthology comic Moore is launching on Kickstarter … ‘ I’m aware that a large majority of the current comic book audience are pathologically averse to anthologies, and you can certainly see their point. After all, when has anything memorable in the comic book medium ever emerged from an anthology? Except, obviously, Action Comics. Oh, and Detective Comics. And Sensation Comics and All Star and Adventure Comics. And Will Eisner’s work. And Jack Cole’s. And Mad and the entire E.C. line. And Amazing Adult Fantasy. And Tales of Suspense. And Strange Tales. And Journey into Mystery. And Creepy, and Eerie. And Zap. And the rest of the Undergrounds. And Comics Arcade. And 2000AD. And Warrior. And Viz. And almost all English and European comics. And almost all American comics, even single-character titles, until the 1960s. But other than that, what has the comic book anthology, or the Roman Empire for that matter, ever done for us?’
January 4, 2016
[comics] Steve Bell’s top five cartoons of the year‘Show the Queen your Tonsils! Traitor!!’
January 1, 2016
[comics] Drew Friedman’s Comic Shop Clerks of North America

Comic Shop Clerks of America

December 26, 2015
[comics] Raymond Briggs: ‘Don’t call me the king of Christmas. I don’t like children, I try to avoid them’ … cartoonist Raymond Briggs on Christmas… Indeed, Briggs argues, far from being an advocate for Christmas, he hates the event. “I don’t like the Christmas thing at all. It’s so full of anxiety – have I got enough stuff? Where am I going to go? What should I get for presents? I just give cheques these days because I can’t buy things for teenagers. It’s a bit impersonal but what can you do?” Briggs has watched the new Fungus on a friend’s laptop – “I’m too old and too tired to trek up to first nights [screening], much as I would have liked to go” – and says it “seemed perfectly OK; they always do these things very well”. This is high praise considering he still finds the adaptation of The Snowman “corny” despite conceding that “film-making is a very different form from books and you have to make something commercially viable so putting Father Christmas in as [producer] John Coates suggested was right, even though I hated it at the time.” There’s a rather gloomy pause before he adds Eeyorishly: “Of course, he’s dead now, like everybody else.”
December 25, 2015
[comics] “Never Kill A Santa Claus” By Nick Cardy [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog] …

Never Kill A Santa Claus

December 10, 2015
[comics] How we made 2000 AD … Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill on creating 2000AD … Kevin O’Neill: ‘That anti-authoritarian streak is part of the British character: it ran through Dennis the Menace and all the Beano stuff. Judge Dredd was never meant to be serious: the idea of shooting jaywalkers is just very, very funny. I loved the story about the oxygen board on the moon cutting off people’s supply if they didn’t pay their bills. We had to tone things down quite heavily. On the day the first issue went to press, we were whiting out blood and tidying up severed limbs. It was an out-of-control section of the building. NME, who were often in trouble as well, were just a couple of floors above. Our neighbours Buster hated us because we were having fun and swearing. I didn’t think 2000 AD would last a year.’
December 9, 2015
[comics] Ian Rankin’s Favourite Comics‘Elektra Assassin – Miller again but this time with jaw-dropping art by Bill Sienkiwicz. Even when the story seemed to make no sense to me, I could just stare at those pages, bathing in their use of colour, the psychedelia of it all. Great comics stimulate the eye and engage the brain. That’s why I love them.’
December 8, 2015
[comics] Bob Hope and the Golden Rule … When Bob Hope teached religious ethics in the back of comics … ‘Get Wise, Son, and join the Human Race!’

Bob Hope and the Golden Rule

November 27, 2015
[black friday] “It’s Bla…”

Batman Slapping Robin - "It's Black Fri..."

November 6, 2015
[comics] 5 Amazing Superhero Debuts In Comic Books … Wonder Woman: ‘Rightly hailed as one of the best introductions in comics, Wonder Woman’s debut in All Star Comics #8 starts off with the Amazon princess abducting the pope and flying him to Mount Olympus to prove that the Greek gods are real. Holding the squirming pope up by his robes, Wonder Woman forces him to witness Apollo’s sun chariot racing across the sky and see the divine smith Hephaestus forging a lightning bolt on his anvil. Wonder Woman then refuses to let the leader of the Catholic Church return to the Vatican until he renounces his religion and screams, “Jesus is a lie!”’
November 4, 2015
[comics] 10 great comic book films … a list of ten comic adaptations work watching … ‘American Splendor: This portrait of underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar blurs the boundaries between drama and documentary to disorientating effect. Paul Giamatti stars as Pekar, a Cleveland file clerk who turned his own mundane existence into profound popular art through a series of autobiographical comics. The film’s masterstroke is that Pekar and his wife Joyce narrate, wryly commenting on the dramatisation of their own lives. Hilarious, poignant, piercingly insightful and formally dazzling, American Splendor warrants comparison with Woody Allen at the height of his powers.’
November 2, 2015
[comics] Robert Crumb Hates You … odd interview with Robert Crumb … ‘I recently took a look through my collection of underground comics from the late 60’s – early ‘70s. Very few of them were coherent or readable, a surprisingly small number. Most of the artists were so fucked up on drugs they couldn’t make anything readable. Who was buying and trying to read this crazy shit? But Wilson and Green stood out, they were at the top, outstanding. My work reached a mass audience because I used a very traditional way of drawing to say something more personal and wacko. I used the traditional, standard newspaper comic strip style to say something crazy, some personal things that somehow reached people. Also, I was always very aware of orienting my work for an audience, what to do and not to do to make it readable, to keep it entertaining.’
October 22, 2015
[comics] Moorecraftian Timeline … a timeline for the H.P. Lovecraft inspired comics from Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrows … ‘1914-1918 – World War I, known to the Parish of Saint Jude in Salem, Massachusetts as “The Great Dry Cull.”’
October 14, 2015
[comics] Wertham was right: Batman decided it was time to teach Robin about the facts of life…

"Batman decided it was time to teach Robin about the facts of life..."

September 22, 2015
[comics] Annotations for Providence #4 … annotations for Alan Moore and Jaycen Burrows Providence #4 comic.
September 17, 2015
[comics] Thug Notes’ Summary and Analysis of V for Vendetta

September 16, 2015
[comics] 25 Years of Judge Dredd: The Megazine‘The Megazine might have been all Dredd and his world all the time to start with, but there was plenty of breakthroughs behind the scenes. The first issue sold more than 50,000 copies, triggering a royalty payment to all the creators featured in it – that had never happened before on a Fleetway title. There was a satirical magazine inside the issue, the Mega-City Times, created via desktop publishing – a first back when titles were still put together with glue and scalpels.’
September 11, 2015
[comics] The Best Loved Man In Comics: A Tribute To Archie Goodwin … Chris Sims remember Archie Goodwin‘In an industry where editors are often in conflict with creators just as a natural consequence of the creative process, Goodwin’s geniality was legendary. He literally won awards for it — specifically the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award at the 1992 Eisners — and was credited even after his death as a “Guiding Light” in Starman, one of his final projects.’
August 27, 2015
[comics] Doom Conquers All! The 14 Best Doctor Doom Stories‘Anyway, Luke Cage was hired to find and take down some robots around Harlem when he discovered his employer was Doctor Doom. Doom stiffed Cage out of the cash because, as we established, Doom=dick, so Cage stole a high tech plane from the Fantastic Four and flew to Latveria. There, Cage confronted Doom over the cash but Doom was dealing with an uprising from a villain known as the Faceless One. Not wanting the cat that owes him two bills to be taken down, Cage helped Doom. Doom was so impressed with Cage’s prowess he paid him the money. So, Doom may be a dick but he is a dick with honor.’
August 24, 2015
[comics] Gallery of Frank Miller Covers to Daredevil … the cover below is Miller inked by Wally Wood. This was Wood’s last work on Daredevil.

Frank Miller / Wally Wood on Daredevil #164

August 20, 2015
[comics] A promise is a promise! … a letter from Stan Lee to an young comic artist keeping a deal he made 25 years earlier … ‘Your anatomy is still weak– practice it, study it, work on it. Don’t worry too much about inking yet. That can come later. The pencilling is the important thing to begin with. Your layouts are good. You seem to have the ability to tell a story pictorially– which is important in comics, obviously. But, if you really wanna become a pro, you’re kidding around too much. Nobody’s impressed with “Souperman” takeoffs now.’
August 18, 2015
[movies] Dressing The Future … fascinating look at Moebius’ influence on the costume design of Alien … ‘The film reunited the Dune creative team, the other artists did not meet Moebius personally this time around – however, even though he was somewhat more removed from the project than Cobb, Foss, Giger, and O’Bannon (who all either worked on the project from its inception, or from the time it was greenlit) Moebius still turned in work that his co-artists found exemplary. “I was in contact with Moebius indirectly,” said Giger, “as he was designing the costumes for Alien. Those astronauts’ clothes and helmets were just like Ridley Scott wanted them. They looked like ancient divers. He did a fantastic job.” “Moebius did the designs for the astronauts,” Giger told Cinefantastique in ’79. “They wear a kind of Japanese armour and helmets which could belong to just about any period of time.”’
August 17, 2015
[comics] Did Watchmen Steal From The Outer Limits, Or From Jack Kirby? … a look at the influences on the ending of Watchmen … ‘While I agree that the ending is one of Watchmen‘s weakest points, it’s not because I think it wasn’t original enough. We are, after all, talking about a story filled with thinly disguised reworkings of old Charlton characters (not to mention that Swamp Thing — the Len Wein-created character that he and Alan Moore first worked together on — is awfully similar to ’40s characters It and The Heap). The problem with the ending is how naive it is to think that a single large attack could result in lasting world peace…’
August 13, 2015
[comics] “It was an ugly birth of an ugly book”: Evan Dorkin on the Disgusting Fan Archetypes in The Eltingville Club‘It’s always been a bleak strip. It’s never been a happy strip. It’s an ugly mirror. Some of it’s based on my life. A lot of it’s based on things I’ve seen, and a lot of it’s exaggeration. It’s satire. It’s scary when I do something that I think is really horrible and then I read about something that’s even worse. Every day, there’s somebody doing something awful in fandom. And a lot of the times, it’s somebody from one of the companies or it’s a creator saying some dumb shit about women or transgender people. This is the audience, and the bizarre opinions that some people have… This attitude that comics or movies or gaming is just for them-it’s so myopic. It’s tunnel vision. The idea that you can’t even put yourself in another person’s place and understand the rampant misogyny of the world. Not just this. And how angry and hateful so many people are. People getting doxxed, people getting death threats.’
August 10, 2015
[comics] Neil Gaiman on His Return to Miracleman‘I think the last issue to have been published was in 1993. Now we’re 22 years on, but I always felt like one day it would happen! The weirdest bit was [recently] pulling out a bunch of pages from the next issue that I’d written and looking at them and going, This is great! I’d completely forgotten this entire sequence of scenes! I wonder what happens next? And now I’m going, Can Mark Buckingham and I at least fake this well enough so that nobody reading it is going to go, “This word balloon is a 1993 word balloon, and the next word balloon on the top of the next page is a 2015 word balloon?”’
July 31, 2015
[stories] Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last … edited transcripts of a Neil Gaiman talk on stories. The full version can be found here‘We will do an awful lot for stories — we will endure an awful lot for stories. And stories, in their turn — like some kind of symbiote — help us endure and make sense of our lives. A lot of stories do appear to begin as intrinsic to religions and belief systems — a lot of the ones we have have gods or goddesses in them; they teach us how the world exists; they teach us the rules of living in the world. But they also have to come in an attractive enough package that we take pleasure from them and we want to help them propagate.’
July 27, 2015
[comics] The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel, the Experiment That Changed Superheroes Forever … a look back at the reboot that saved Marvel comics … ‘The history of Ultimate Marvel is, in a way, a story about warring approaches to a reboot: Bendis’s and Millar’s. Bendis wanted to polish the old archetypes; Millar wanted to aggressively critique them. Bendis sought timeless stories; Millar craved biting contemporary political critique. Bendis was looking to inspire; Millar aimed to disquiet. As Bendis put it: “I’m writing about hope and he’s writing about nihilism, and I know he doesn’t always think he is, but he is. Constantly.”’
July 23, 2015
[comics] 6 Reasons Why Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye Is One of Marvel’s Greatest Comics‘Marvel loves itself an everyman hero—just look at the enduring success of Spider-Man to see reader falling in love with relatable, ordinary people. Fraction and Aja channelled that everyman persona into Clint Barton for Hawkeye, and it highlighted what made the character so important at a time when, thanks to The Avengers movie, many were just mocking him for being “the guy with the bow.” Hawkeye uncovered the man behind the bow, and showed us how interesting he could be.’
July 22, 2015
[comics] Farewell, Bro: How Matt Fraction’s ‘Hawkeye’ changed Marvel Comics … a look back at Matt Fraction’s run on Hawkeye … ‘The character never quite made a splash in the same way that other, more popular superheroes did. That all changed in the wake of 2012’s The Avengers, when Fraction—then best known for his work on The Invincible Iron Man—pitched to Marvel an idea that seemed insane and brilliant all at once: Let’s show the world what Hawkeye does when he’s not being an Avenger. Let’s show the world what happens when he saves a stray dog and spills his coffee and oversleeps and misses his divorce anniversary. It was, pun intended, a shot in the dark…and to everyone’s surprise, it worked.’
July 14, 2015
[comics] Bizarro Back Issues: ‘RoboCop vs. The Terminator’ … Chris Sims wonders if RoboCop vs. The Terminator was Frank Miller’s last great comic … ‘All of which is to say that this comic end up blowing up into a scene where an army of RoboCops fights an army of Terminators, and not only is it so awesome, it’s also completely justified by the story being told. Assuming, of course, that you’re the kind of person who requires justification to see Walt Simonson drawing an army of Terminators fighting an army of RoboCops.’
July 6, 2015
[comics] An 8-year-old fan wrote Steve Ditko a letter, and here’s how Ditko responded‘Carl wanted to know whether any of Ditko’s teachers made him want to get into comics, and also what he had the most fun drawing. He capped it off by thanking the artist for inventing Spider-Man. It was a fan letter anyone might’ve have written at one point or another in their lives, but Carl’s actually received a response…’ [via Neilalien]
June 7, 2015
[comics] 36 Things That Will Always Happen At A Comic Convention’14. Someone will ask a question at a Q&A that’s actually just a long story about themselves and the answer will be silence.’
June 3, 2015
[comics] How Vincent D’Onofrio Became the Best New Villain on TV … D’Onofrio discusses playing Kingpin in Netflix’s Daredevil … ‘Vincent D’Onofrio had a ritual he went through every time he needed to get into the mindset of Wilson Fisk, the all-powerful, ultra-evil mobster he plays on Netflix’s hit series Daredevil. The 55-year-old actor would go someplace quiet, pull out his smartphone and stare at paintings of the character from Marvel’s latter-day Daredevil comics. “The way they drew him . . . it wasn’t just that he was this imposing, kind of massive guy,” says D’Onofrio. “He looked broken. That was the key.”‘

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