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June 30, 2003
[comics] I bought this a couple of weeks ago… Prez #1 — One of DC’s Goofier Moments … (click image to enlarge) …

Cover to Prez #1 (1973)

June 29, 2003
[comics] Marvel: State of Play — interesting internal gossip about micro-management of creative projects at Marvel by Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas … ‘”Marvel Boy” II is not happening because Bill Jemas wants to change the script, and Grant Morrison doesn’t.’ [via Neilalien]
June 26, 2003
[comics] Princess Di in X-Statix linkage:

  • Diana in the Mavel Universe — from Newsarama‘It was later confirmed for Newsarama that Diana would join, in some form or another, X-Statix.’
  • Princess Diana, Superhero — Peter Milligan Comments … ‘Diana comes out of it a lot better than the British establishment. Indeed, a couple of old palace eminence grise types arrange for this resurrected mutant zombie to be killed. “And this time, let’s do it properly,” one of them says.’ [via I Love Everything]
  • Guardian’s Pass Notes: Princess Diana, the Superhero ‘Next up from Marvel Comics: Camilla Parker Bowles as Catwoman; Prince Philip as the Joker; Derry Irvine as Judge Dredd.’
  • Diana in ‘Sick’ Comic — Daily Mail Article … ‘Marvel editor- in- chief Joe Quesada said: “Princess Diana is a mutant. Like every good superhero, she’s coming back from the dead. She’s going to join one of the X-Men teams. “If comics are anything, we’re subversive. This is really a wonderful story.” The monthly comic is already on sale in America and Britain and is expected to sell around 150,000 copies worldwide.’

June 25, 2003
[comics] Slick on the Draw — preview of the Comica! Festival at the ICA‘London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts will be hosting Comica, a 10-day festival of comic art and literature from around the world. Running from 27 June until 6 July, Comica features some of the most highly regarded figures currently working in the form, with appearances by Jimmy Corrigan creator Chris Ware and Joe Sacco, whose Palestine, a collection of graphic war-zone reportage, was published earlier this year.’
June 24, 2003
[comics] Return to Sim City — analysis of the latest issue of Cerebus … ‘Sim has produced a one-panel-per-verse Bible pastiche with art that at times comes close to abstraction, complete with running creator’s commentary built into the layout of the page. It’s certainly a fascinating experiment. The problem is that it’s nuts.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
June 23, 2003
[web] Some recent interesting Barbelith threads:

  • Promethea #26‘This issue was ridiculously cool.’
  • Barbelith. (Warren) Ellis. Cameron (Stewart) (and Fatbeards) … ‘ I am using the term “fatbeard” in an inclusive, spread-the-love term, as a reader of comic books myself (a closer reading may have noticed that nobody has actually mentioned liking or disliking particular comic books in this thread yet). As you say, I am posting about comic books on the Internet. I am clearly of the fatbeard nation. I get to use the term, you don’t, to paraphrase Richard Pryor. Except of course you do, because you are also posting about comic books on the Internet.’
  • Sporanos Series 4 Discussion‘A wig!’

June 21, 2003
[comics] DaveWatch — reading the last issues of Cerebus so you don’t have to … Dave Sim: ‘I had assumed — such was my level of disengagement from feminist social reality — that overnight the military in the Nato countries were going to be up to their eyeballs in volunteers (comparable to what happened in 1914 and 1939)–countries like Canada would volunteer for the dirty jobs of sending wave after wave of ill-equipped soldiers into the caves of Tora-Bora and, over the course of a year or two, the military authorities would find out what to do with the real soldiers based on what had happened to the cannon fodder. I prepared myself to volunteer for cannon fodder duty.’
June 20, 2003
[comics] ¡Journalista! on the ‘comics blogosphere’: ‘There have been comics-related weblogs for some time now, of course, but the collected group seems to be finally getting big enough, and complex enough, to take seriously as a sort of ecosystem of ideas. We’re starting to see more and more real writing on the subject, from a wider variety of viewpoints — an environment that political weblogs take for granted, but into which comics weblogs are still growing. What started out as a set of isolated rants seems to be turning into a genuine, multi-tiered set of conversations…’ [via Neilalien]
June 17, 2003
[comics] Two scanned pages [Page 1 | Page 2] from Alan Moore’s Script for V For Vendetta …

image of voice of fate dialogue from Alan Moore's V for Vendetta Script

June 13, 2003
[comics] Fanta Out Of Fire — interview with Gary Groth about the sucessful Fantagraphics appeal … [via Neilalien]

‘GROTH: I caught it about a week or two before we sent out the open letter. Just in the natural course of paying bills and looking over our upcoming list, something triggered this. I realized that things weren’t right, and that’s what did it. I called an emergency meeting with Kim and our accountant, and sat down to empirically verify my gut feeling that this was not good.

NRAMA: And the cold feeling in your stomach got bigger and bigger…

GROTH: Yeah. It was a real “Oh shit, we are fucked!” moment.’

June 4, 2003
[comics] Fantagraphics Appeal Paying Off — Team Comics seems to be saving Fantagraphics … Eric Reynolds: ‘This grass roots campaign looks to be a phenomenal success: if orders continue at close to the rate they have for the last five days, we project that by weeks’ end we will have achieved our immediate goal of… $80,000.’
June 2, 2003
[comics] Frank Miller Speaks! — MP3 audio of a Comics Journal inteview of Miller by Gary Groth.
May 30, 2003
[comics] Fantagraphics Needs Your Help — Fantagraphics (publisher of Dan Clowes, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb and Chris Ware) is in deep trouble … ‘Inexperience with the book trade resulted in our erring on the side of overprinting our books too heavily throughout 2002, so that our anticipated profit is in fact sitting in our warehouse in the form of books. Loans must be paid in cash, not books. The only way to get out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves into is to sell those books. Which is where, we hope, you come in.’
May 28, 2003
[gm] Grant Morrison wonders if Justin Timberlake is a Mutant: ‘Definitely a pure mutation – and he’s trying to push his powers in a more evil direction. I think they inject all of those Disney kids, like Britney, with something when they’re young. One minute, they’re singing about mice, and the next, they’re riding motorcycles and fisting each other.’
May 27, 2003
[comics] Timeline for the 2000AD Universe — it manages to tie together the histories of Judge Dredd, The A.B.C Warriors, Sam Slade and Strontium Dog‘The robotics revolution is not without its difficulties. The mark one war droid cannot discriminate between enemy soldiers and civilians. The mark two war droid is programmed with genuine moral values, but becomes a pacifist and surrenders to the enemy. The mark three war droid, named Hammerstein, is created at the University of Wisconsin in a project funded by Rover. The first emotion ever experienced by a machine is jealousy and results in the accidental death of the creator…’ [via scribot]
May 24, 2003
[comics] Yet Another Grant Morrison Interview — I’m wondering… If the DC Universe did become self-aware would Paul Levitz have it Pulped? …

‘…now that we have the idea in our heads that “intelligence” appears when systems become increasingly complex, we can approach my notion of “living comics.” Think of a STORY. My contention is that a story can be made sufficiently complex that it achieves some measure of self-awareness – in fact I believe this is what’s happening when authors talk about characters “taking control” or when they say “the story just took a turn I wasn’t planning…”. When I was doing The Invisibles, I was definitely aware of the book as a living entity which was interacting with me in many of the ways a human being might but at the time I was thinking of this “aliveness” as a kind of mystical quality not as an emergent property that could reproduced without recourse to the spirit world. I’d like to see if I can deliberately “wake up” a story and let it make its own decisions.’

May 22, 2003
[comics] Bachalo’s X Weapon Plus — brief interview with Chris Bachalo about his upcoming work on GM’s New X-Men … On working with Morrison: ‘I feel like I’m on an X-Men / Steampunk / 2001: A Space Odyssey trip written by Shade the Changing Man. Fabulous!’ [via Barbelith]
May 16, 2003
[comics] Rebel in Exile — preview of a Graphic Novel about Marjane Satrapi’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979. [Buy: UK | US] ‘…Persepolis, her tale of this remarkable childhood, is published in English for the first time. It is an extraordinary book, outspoken and caustic on the suffering of so many of her fellow Iranians, but also funny and surprising and in parts extremely moving. It is told in graphic novel form, in stark monochrome drawings reminiscent of medieval woodcuts or ancient Persian murals.’
May 15, 2003
[comics] Great/dumb Comic Book Covers — Metafilter discuss the Best and Worst Comic Book Covers … ‘Threads like this make me long for the days when I spent hours in the comic book shop discussing comics, M:TG cards and bragging about my collection of extremely rare and entirely coverless comic books (at some point I realized that they only way I could have items such as “Amazing Spider-Man #1” was to find copies without covers….lol). I do have more money now though.’
May 14, 2003
[politics] Blair’s Rule by Diktat — Cartoon from the Guardian by Steve Bell … ‘THE . MAS-TER . DOES . NOT . RULE . BY . DIK . TAT’
May 12, 2003
[comics] Last Week’s Comics …

  • The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5“I simply can’t let things go. Do you know what I mean?’
  • Alias #22‘My Head — it feels Strange! I – I need some air!’
  • The Filth #10‘Have you any idea what happens when you cross stupidity, a love of science-fantasy fiction, and blind idealism with humongous amounts of money?
  • Reload #2‘You think people want to know the American Government’s been run as a criminal enterprise for the last eight years?’
  • 100 Bullets #44‘Word on the wire is, you’re a fuckin’ Cop Killer. I’m envious, Dawg, Knowhumsayin?’

May 10, 2003
[comics] Warren Ellis Answers — interviewed on Slashdot … [Related: Die Puny Humans]

‘When you talk about movies, there’s always that which bookstores live by; the book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore’s best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s hard to describe just how much better the book is. It’s like, “If the movie was an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is ‘Citizen Kane’ with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end.” That’s how much better it is.’

May 6, 2003
[comics] A Blog For Galactus — the Devourer of Worlds has his own weblog. ‘…suddenly, out of the planetary orbit comes my employee and galactic herald, Norrin Radd, and he is all up in my business! He is like, “Master! For the first time I realize the dreadful enormity of what you plan to do! You must not tamper with other worlds! You cannot destroy the entire human race!” And it is like he is SAYING, “These are NOT ants, Master! They think..they feel…they have even created the primitive civilization which we see all about us!” But what I am HEARING is, “Galactus, you are fat and no one will ever REALLY love you.” People can be real jerks sometimes…’ [via Do You Feel Loved?]
May 2, 2003
[comics] Fear Factor — profile of Jack Chick‘This Was Your Life! created a template — sin, damnation, the possibility of redemption — for scores of future tracts. The artist’s formula and drawing style have changed little in five decades. When an archivist at the Pasadena Playhouse began rooting through old boxes in the late ’90s, she discovered drawings that he had done in 1948. The single-panel cartoons revealed the same perspiring characters, pop-eyed faces, and 1940s Sunday-comics sensibilities of his current tracts. “He’s not worried about impressing other cartoonists, which is kind of what motivates a lot of cartoonists to pick up their chops a little bit,” says Clowes. “There’s something really interesting about seeing a cartoonist not develop at all.” Art Spiegelman, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust, is less kind. “It makes me despair about America,” says Spiegelman, “that there are so many people who read these things.”‘ [via Boing Boing | Related: This Was Your Life! | Metafilter]
April 30, 2003
[film] Strip Mining — the rivalry between DC and Marvel feature films … ‘Meanwhile [in 1996], DC was treading water. Insiders cite “temperamental” Batman producer Jon Peters as one source of strife. In charge of resurrecting a long-dormant Superman, he wanted to take the franchise in a darker direction. The ex-hairdresser reportedly infuriated scripter Kevin Smith, who worked on the abortive Superman Lives! incarnation, with seriously bizarre suggestions. He decided the film’s villain, Brainiac, needed a “gay R2D2” sidekick. Apparently colour-blind, he felt the man of steel’s traditional costume was “too pink”.’
April 29, 2003
[comics] Peter Bagge Opens Comics Sweatshop [Part 1 | Part 2] — interview with Peter Bagge about his new DC Comic … [via ¡Journalista!]

‘BAGGE: …someone at Fantagraphics will hand me a graphic novel collection of something by Joe Sacco or the Hernandez Bros. and I don’t read it because I read it in the comics.

THE PULSE: You’re the one! You’re a pamphlet peeper, not a book buyer!

BAGGE: Yeah, it suits my attention span better. But also I just like the format. Its cozy.’

April 28, 2003
[comics] The 12 Dumbest Covers of American Comic Books … [via Die Puny Humans]

photoshop this comic cover!

Oddball Comics on The Rifleman Cover: ‘Y’know, I’ve heard the term “sportin’ a woody” before — but this… this… this is just plain ridiculous! And the expressions on the faces of Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford just make things worse — or at least, funnier!’
April 23, 2003
[comics] Millar’s Ultimate Trouble [Part 1 | Part 2] — interview with Mark Millar … Regarding Trouble’s Cover: ‘I actually made a cup of tea, sat down and counted the number of people who thought these two teenage models were transvestites. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life because, like I said, it was an inkblot test for the sexual tastes of the posters — ideas ranging from pedophiles to transgender hookers. Only about ten or fifteen per cent thought these were just normal girls. A whopping forty per cent thought they were transsexuals. What does this say about the messageboards ? And what does this say about what people expect of me???’ [via Neilalien]
April 22, 2003
[comics] Suggested for Mature Retailers — yet another interview with Dave Sim — this time regarding Miracleman, Gaiman and McFarlane from 1995. ‘…basically asking Neil if, bearing the Spawn #10 metaphor in mind, it didn’t make more sense to let Miracleman out of his cage – instead of Neil spending umpty-ump million dollars and Todd spending umpty-ump million dollars to decide whose cage Miracleman is going to be in: Neil’s or Todd’s. So Neil says, “Well, the advantage of being in my cage…” and I interrupted him and said, “Neil, listen to yourself. There is no advantage to being in anyone’s cage.” And there was this dead air on the line. And I’m thinking to myself, This is nuts. I’m talking as if Miracleman is an actual person (laughs). And after a few seconds Neil laughed and said, “I hate it when you make sense.” (laughs) Which was a relief, because I thought what he was going to say way, “Dave. Listen to yourself. You’re talking about a super-hero as if he’s an actual person.” (laughs)’ [via ¡Journalista!]
April 18, 2003
[comics] Charley’s War — really well done site covering the World War I comic from Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun. Mills: ‘A letter (from memory) which said from a soldier to his young wife something like: “Bing! go a bullet – maybe get that man. And you just feel like you’re gonna get the dirt. But you know, dear, you mustn’t worry, because I’ll be all right etc.” The day such letters are respected alongside the university educated poets is the day our schools will be teaching the reality of war. I doubt it will happen. I’ve lived in an army town and the stories soldiers have told me of more modern conflicts suggests things have improved, of course, but still have much in common with Charley’s day. Charley is the ordinary, working class, illiterate but courageous soldier of his generation who was sacrificed by an odious class system.’
April 16, 2003
[comics] Colin’s Gulf War Diary — stripblog from Colin Upton

Panel from Colin's Gulf War Diary...

April 14, 2003
[comics] Juicy, Gossipy SPACE Tidbits — interesting report and gossip about Cerebus from the SPACE comic con … ‘Gerhard almost quit [Cerebus]. He’s back but Dave needs to coach him (he used a baseball analogy: “How’s the arm? How’s the back? OK? Are you up for this? Do you want me to help with your parts?”) and occasionally covers for him. Ger tried to quit for good, but Dave “wouldn’t let him”. What are Gerhard’s “issues”? That’s a feminist thing to ask! They have always been Guys and business partners. They don’t try to get into each others heads.’ [via Cerebus Yahoo Group | Related (kinda): Sim Sketch of “Old Cerebus”]
[war] Drawing Fire — Steve Bell on why he’s not an “embedded cartoonist” … ‘I believe passionately in the idea of cartoon reportage, but not at my age, and certainly not in the present circumstances with the military breathing down my neck. Don’t get me wrong – I would love to hurl myself into foxholes and I really enjoyed the only time I’ve ever been paintballing. But I fear this would be paintballing with extreme prejudice – and just imagine the indignity of being at the beck and call of nuclear-powered wankers like Air Marshal Bertrand Bollocks or whatever his name is.’ [via Metafilter | ¡Journalista!]
April 11, 2003
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] A Chat With Dave Sim. Creator of Cerebus [Part 1 | Part 2] — from Cerebus Fangirl … Dave Sim’s Life: ‘I work six days a week. I’m up at 6 a.m. and I’m usually at work by 7:30 a.m. I usually work until 6 p.m. I pray five times a day. I read the newspaper for two hours. I go to bed. Sunday, when I’m not sleeping I’m reading aloud from the Torah, the Gospels and the Koran, a big chunk of each. [laughs] The only “dirt” I could come up with is Friday night I go out to a bar which, apart from me, is exclusively inhabited by university students. I drink two, three or four beers and I look at dozens of amazingly, dazzlingly, astonishingly pretty young girls – each more amazing, dazzling and astonishing than the last – for all of whom I am completely and mercifully invisible. I look until I think my eyeballs will bleed. Around 1 a.m., when some of the amazingly, dazzlingly, astonishingly pretty young girls have had a little too much to drink and it becomes obvious that I’m becoming visible to some of them, I go home.’
April 10, 2003
[war] New Get Your War On about the fall of Baghdad … ‘Ugh. I hate finding cluster bombs in my cake! They get stuck in my fillings.’
April 9, 2003
[comics] Snake Charmer 2 — second part of an Alan Moore interview from Ninth Art. Moore: ‘Apathy is the key to an awful lot of my behaviour. It’s the reason I’ve got this ridiculous beard and haircut. It’s just simple laziness. I can’t be bothered to shave every morning like ordinary people do. I can’t be bothered going to the barbers or places like that. I could be sitting here writing my silly-arse comic books or composing some new incomprehensible magical tract, which is much preferable to me.’
April 7, 2003
[comics] Snake Charmer — first of a two part interview with Alan Moore. ‘…you find that places definitely do have their own unique essence, made up of their history all of the rumours and legends about them – all of the people who passed through there, leaving a kind of historical imprint. You’ve just got layers and layers of historical meaning and mythological meaning that somehow go together to make the place what it is.’ [thanks Zed]
April 2, 2003
[comics] Grant Morrison: Ten Cats Mad — Jeremy Dennis on Grant Morrison at the ICA. ‘…let’s talk cats! Paul loves cats, Grant loves cats. Grant loves cats so much that he has four in house and six buried in the back garden. “Are you a dog person?” asks Paul. Grant stares at his shiny boots and looks slightly guilty. “I really like dogs,” he says, “But I like cats more. And dogs need so much looking after, so much attention. I think I’d just get really frustrated with a dog.” The guy three rows behind me who came in to listen to Grant talk about acid trips and alien abductions nearly explodes with frustration.’ [via kookymojo | Related: Jeremy Dennis’ Website]
[comics] A Self-Aware DC Universe — Rich Johnson update on Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. ‘…Morrison talked about the basics of life. How it arises from complex systems. And how so comics continuity has become so complex as to support sentience. Expressed his intent to create a comic so complex that it becomes a living self-aware being, as well as bringing that same aspect to the DC Universe, wanting to make the DC Universe realise that it’s alive. He didn’t appear to be joking.’
March 31, 2003
[comics] Ebay Auction — Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland … I’m trying to prune back my comic collection a bit so expect a few auctions to show up here. This is an Alan Moore Batman comic from 1988… The Joker: ‘All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.’
March 26, 2003
[comics] Sex in New X-Men #118 — X-Fans get worked up over subliminal SEX in an issue of the New X-Men … ‘When the issue in question was released several months ago, it went by almost unnoticed, but there is a subliminal message inside. Sure, some readers noticed the word SEX being hidden in the background art here or there, but only after an article in Wizard the general audience took a closer look and in fact the secret message has been discovered 17 times — so far.’ [thanks John]
March 25, 2003
[comics] Zenith Phase 3 Scorecard — amusing list of all the characters in Morrison and Yeowell’s corruption and destuction of a vast array of old British comic heroes … General Jumbo: ‘…this is General Jumbo. While we don’t see him properly until part 5 “Letter from the Underworld”, he is in this prologue – we see him dead, face down in the sea with his trousers round his ankles. Quite what Grant felt he did to deserve so ignominious a death I don’t know.’ [via Venusberg]
March 24, 2003
[comics] Get Your War On — Part 22

Panel from Get You War On

March 20, 2003
[war] Steve Bell’s Iraq Cartoons (so far) …

Single-handedly, Jim lad! by Steve Bell.

March 19, 2003
[war] Douglas Rushkoff has been talking to Grant Morrison about the war in Iraq‘[Morrison] says he’s decided not to think about the war and all this mess, at all. He’s calling it “what the adults do,” and making a strong case for the idea that “we told them this would happen,” and “they never listen to us, anyway.”‘
March 17, 2003
[comics] The “Synchronicity” Triptych — Dave Sim reminisces about Bill Sienkiewicz

‘…Bill walked up and asked if anyone wanted to see some pages from the new project which he was working on with Frank Miller. And, of course, we all said “sure”. What ensued was the most “jaw-dropping” moment I have ever experienced in getting an advance look at a project in my life (smoking dope in a hotel room at Mid-Ohio Con while Frank Miller acted out a lot of The Dark Knight Returns comes a close second, though). The project, of course, was Elektra Assassin and what Bill had were original pages from (I believe) the first two issues. No word balloons, but fully rendered colour. Fully rendered colour but rendered in every imaginable way. Crayon, acrylic, charcoal pencil, pencil crayon, crayon, oil pastel. And collage. This was years before Dave McKean would define the extremes of collage with his Sandman covers, but — before Bill did it — it was completely unthinkable in a comic-book. Unthinkable.’

March 10, 2003
[comics] “A Healing Innoculation of Grime” — Newsarama interviews Grant Morrison about the final issues of The Filth‘The real weird thing about this series is the amount of people who think they don’t get it when they clearly do. What’s that all about? I must admit it’s quite baffling to me – I’ve read reviews saying things like ‘Yes, it’s Art but why should we care?’ and ‘why should I care about an old guy and his cat?’ …and my only answer is ‘why should you care about a fictional character who dresses up like a bat or a man who grows to giant size and abuses his wife?’ Why should anyone care about any story and yet people clearly do, because fiction helps to illuminate life. Personally, I believe that if you can feel sympathy for a ridiculous superhero and not for an ordinary, lonely man tending a sick animal then there’s something desperately wrong with your emotions and your priorities.’ [Related: Crack!Comicks | via Barbelith]
February 28, 2003
[comics] Vertigo X Interview with Grant Morrison [Part 1 | Part 2] … On Reality TV in Scotland: ‘We have McBachelor, where a kilted throwback from the Isle of Eigg wrestles goats to the turf and slaughters kestrels with his fists in an attempt to impress single career women from the mainland.’ [via Barbelith]
February 27, 2003
[comics] Why Team Comics is Still a Bad Idea — Tom Spurgeon dismisses grassroots/fan-based attempts to revive the comic-book industry … ‘Team Comics switches between two basic modes of entreaty: duty, by suggesting someone who really loves comics would do his best by them; and self-esteem, where one is flattered into believing he has the power to create a world in which his choice of entertainment reflects favorably upon him. The first asks for a cynic’s acceptance of standard business practices, while the second requires an optimist’s imagination to see the current day’s output as the medium in full flower. Stan Lee seized on both ideas to galvanize hardcore fans behind Marvel’s efforts in the 1960s. Today’s Team Comics booster resembles a Marvel Maniac with a slightly broader reading palette and industry-wide ambition.’ [via Neilalien]
February 24, 2003
[comics] Comic Links …



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