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July 13, 2020
[comics] An oral history of Carol Kalish: the most important comic book figure you’ve never heard of … Remembering the influential marketing exec at Marvel. ‘What she did was just bring sensible business practices to an industry that, when she started, largely worked out of cigar boxes. She modernized the comics industry in a lot of ways.’
July 6, 2020
[comics] The Wreckage Part One | Part Two … Engrossing long read on Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol. ‘So I guess I’m talking around the problem, said problem being – these comics don’t sit as easily as they might once have, for a number of reasons. They don’t seem so radical, for one thing, now that all their best moves have been copied by subsequent generations. It seems like these book have a lot of something that was very, very cool in 1990 and thereabouts, but which really isn’t quite the same thing precisely as “cool” in 2019. And it’s not like it’s uncool exactly, but nether is it the rather deathless 1960s Batman show, the virtues of which seem more and more enduring with every passing year, as we see that camp silliness was never really something anyone hated but self-righteous nerds. Stuff that purposefully eschews any attempt to be cool often ages better…’
July 3, 2020
[comics] Alan Moore’s Supermen…

July 2, 2020
[comics] Grant Morrison Batman Reading Order … I’ve been trying to work out the reading order of Grant Morrison run on Batman and Final Crisis – It’s complicated.
June 30, 2020
[comics] Milton Glaser and the DC Bullet … Todd Klein analyses the symbol designer Milton Klein created for DC Comics in the 1970s. ‘DC was still using letterpress printing for all their comics. Glaser’s design, with it’s thin lines and thin white spaces, looked great at a larger size, but comics printing wasn’t really up to making it work well at the small size used on covers. In the 1980s DC began gradually transitioning away from letterpress to offset printing with much better and more accurate presses, and then the original DC bullet would have worked fine.’
June 24, 2020
[comics] JAKA’S STORY: What It Was in 1988, and What Cerebus Used to Mean … A melancholy look at Cerebus and the fall of Dave Sim. ‘MELMOTH was spent talking about the illness and slow death of Oscar Wilde, at a time people were still dying regularly from AIDS and little was even being tried to stop it. It was deeply sensitive and empathetic. And I still see nothing insincere in Dave’s empathy and affinity to Oscar Wilde, both in the more fictionalized version of Oscar here, who is never not entertaining, but also MELMOTH where it’s virtually the real man himself. That’s what makes later on so baffling.’
June 19, 2020
[comics] 10 Questions: Chip Zdarsky Interviews Annie Nocenti … Fascinating discussion about Daredevil between the current and former writer of the comic.
June 11, 2020
[bignumbers] The Meaning of Big Numbers … Some interesting analysis of Big Numbers plot and what it might have meant. ‘If there’s mathematical order in the apparently chaos of these divinely beautiful fractal images, and we buy the theory that there must then be mathematical order and divine beauty to life, too, just an order too grand for us to comprehend (sure enough, the chaotic soup of unconnected human interactions in this story seem to end up giving the good people what they want, and punishing the bad people)… then perhaps letting a numerical system take over our life isn’t so different to our present existence. Perhaps there’s a divine beauty in that that’s beyond our comprehension, too. Perhaps the story is an optimistic one.’
June 9, 2020
[comics] Alan Moore’s Big Numbers Outline Chart… The script outline for AM’s unfinished comic Big Numbers typed out and handily converted to an HTML page with annotations.

Big Numbers Outline Chart

June 4, 2020
[comics] Why I Hate Christians. … I love a rant from Dan Clowes – here’s a complete set of original art pages from Eighball #11.

Dan Clowes - Panels from Why I hate Christians

May 14, 2020
[comics] An Interview with Rick Veitch… Dicussing his run on Swamp Thing. ‘My involvement was really a secondary career, I had a really great thing going at Marvel, writing and drawing a creator owned series at Epic. So I didn’t think of it as my money-making career, I really wanted to learn more about this… magic… Alan was conjuring. In the process I got to know the editor, Karen Berger, so it seemed natural that when Steve and John left, that I would become the regular penciller on the book.’
May 13, 2020
[books] Best 250 Adventures of the 20th Century … Great list of Adventure books and comics. ‘Neil Gaiman’s occult fantasy comic The Sandman (1989–1996) …As he searches for his lost objects of power, Morpheus genre-hops — from myth to pulp fiction, and everywhere in-between. Also, Gaiman inserts pop culture and literary references and jokes into nearly every panel. It’s a dazzling display of high-lowbrow literary fandom… one leaving even the most well-read fan wishing for extensive, Chester Brown-esque footnotes… which, thankfully, are now available via annotated editions. Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, and others contributed appropriately eerie and amusing art, with lettering by Todd Klein and covers by Dave McKean.’
May 12, 2020
[comics] ‘Morning Of The Magician’: Swamp Thing meets Jesus Christ – The Lost Swamp Thing … Full script and pencils for Rick Veitch’s unpublished Swamp Thing #88. ‘In his first major storyline, Veitch had Swamp Thing going backwards in time, meeting up with historical DC characters, and historical characters in history. The storyline had been mapped out in advance, and editors had been notified, and there was some concern as Veitch wanted to end the story with Swamp Thing meeting none other than Jesus Christ…’
April 30, 2020
[comics] You are so fucked! … By Evan Dorkin.

Evan Dorkin's You are so fucked!

April 24, 2020
[comics] A Holy Grail in the Library of Congress: Visiting Steve Ditko’s Amazing Fantasy #15 Original Artwork … A look at the original art for the first Spider-man comic. ‘The pages look like they were drawn yesterday. The ink is dark, the pages are crisp and you can still read the phantoms of Stan Lee’s erased pencil notes to artist Steve Ditko (“Steve, remove spider—change position of hand.”). You can also see, very clearly, when Ditko ignores Lee’s edits in Spider-Man’s origin story.’
April 21, 2020
[comics] Brian Michael Bendis’ Stuck at Home Comic Book Reading List … Another good list of comics to read while stuck at home. ‘Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo- On a list like this including Akira is like saying you like the Beatles or Nirvana. Way to go out on a limb! But soooo many people say to me, “Oh, I always meant to read that.” Well, there is no better comic book binge-reading meal than Akira. It is completely fulfilling.’
April 20, 2020
[comics] Graphic Content: At the Intersection of Comics and Crime With Howard Chaykin … Recent interview with Chaykin on crime comics. ‘Although EC’s CRIME SUSPENSTORIES was hardly a crime comic book—rather, it was a stream of variations on bad marriages where divorce was never considered as an option while murder was the obvious choice—still, the look of this material, in particular the brilliance of Johnny Craig, is deeply informed by the fatalism and nihilism of the novelists I’ve mentioned, as well as the sort of movies reflecting his outlook. His stuff owes an unacknowledged debt to Cornell Woolrich. And Wallace Wood’s rotting urban disturbia in SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES completely informs my mind’s eye view and understanding of Jim Thompson and David Goodis. In terms of more recent crime comics, I loved the first few arcs of 100 BULLETS. I’m very fond of the CRIMINAL series, as well.’
April 14, 2020
[comic] Free Viz Comic … Free download from the great British humour comic. ‘Under the powers vested in us by the Fulchester Town Council Emergency Powers Act 2020, here is your third FREE Viz download to keep you safely out of trouble for the next bit of the hoo-ha.’
April 13, 2020
[comics] Biffo the Bear in Lockdown

Biffo the Bear in Lockdown

April 7, 2020
[comics] Tom King’s 12 Comics to Read While You’re Sheltered in Place … interesting list of comics.‘DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore – Alan Moore is the master of modern comics and this is my favorite work of his. It collects the one-shots and short stories he did for DC in the ‘80s, including his work on Superman, which in my opinion are the best superhero comics of all time. Writers and artists have been mining these few comics for inspiration for decades and will continue to do so for decades more. Many of the secrets of modern comics are found in these pages. Please don’t tell.’
April 3, 2020
[comics] 5 Tips for would-be comics writers from Alan Moore‘This is by no means the most glamorous profession. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.’
March 31, 2020
[comics] Bryan Talbot Offers Free Comics Compilation Download … With comics written by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Nick Cave and others. Download: PDF / CBR.
March 25, 2020
[comics] Frank Miller’s “Famous Detective Pin-Up” portfolio … a gallery of Frank Miller art about classic pulp detectives.

frank-miller-famous-detective-pinup

March 16, 2020
[comics] A jam comic cover from Mick McMahon, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons and Kevin O’Neill … Created for a 1979 Society of Strip Illustration (SSI) newsletter.

Jam Comic cover - Bolland, Gibbons, O'Neill & McMahon

March 11, 2020
[comics] Hand Painted Colour Guides for the Death of Gwen Stacy Issue of Spider-Man from 1973 … Some historic comics process art spotted the Bristol Board tumblr.

February 19, 2020
[comics] The horror comic that wasn’t: Alan Moore and Bryan Talbot’s Nightjar … Pages from one of Moore’s lost comics.

February 14, 2020
[comics] Young Alan Partridge Adventures #1‘Issue 1 – The Poachers of Swaffham Wood!’

February 10, 2020
[dredd] The Best Comics of the Decade (Are All Judge Dredd) … Some interesting analysis of the last ten years of Judge Dredd comics. ‘With seven pages per chapter there is never much time to overthink things. 2000AD remained the pinnacle of to-the-point presentation – never more than necessary, never less than what you want. These are procedural comics taken to its zenith. Henry Flint, John McCrea, Colin MacNeil, P.J. Holden and (of course) Carlos Ezquerra have all brought their own little touches to the world of the strip, always in service of the story. But, the reason Judge Dredd is the best comics of decade is more than that. It’s more than any single story or creator. It’s not about what it does, it’s about what it is. To me at least, Judge Dredd in the 2010’s is zeitgeist. It’s a story about one of the biggest moral questions in the West – can you be a good man in a bad system?’
February 6, 2020
[comics] Image Comics Free First Issues … Huge collection of taster comics. I recommend: Criminal #1, Die #1, Kill, or be Killed #1 and The Fade Out #1.

February 1, 2020
[comics] 100 of the Best Horror Comics of All Time‘Gyo: An undercurrent of black humor runs throughout much of Junji Ito’s work, and nowhere does he play with that contrast as fruitfully as in Gyo. Subtitled The Death-Stench Creeps, Gyo commits dozens of pages to bloated, infected humans essentially farting themselves to death, but any hint of a laugh is dashed when the full scope of Gyo sets in. These gasbags are trapped in mechanical carapaces drudged up from the ocean floor, remnants of some long-ago war effort returned to haunt the living. What at first seems like “only” an invasion of land-bound sea creatures (including the most chilling shark scene to ever take place out of the water) soon turns into an Apocalyptic vision of body horror as only Ito can conjure.’
January 28, 2020
[comics] The Forbidden Planet Blog Archive … Good to see the an archive of Forbidden Planet’s blog appear – There is a huge collection of interviews, art, reviews and more. Go click: Brendan McCarthy, Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore.
January 20, 2020
[comics] “I Feel Like Comics Needs Its Own Thing” … Daniel Clowes interview from 2014. ‘I’m doing The Complete Eightball right now, and I’m doing all these new images for it, for the covers and the slipcase and all that. And I’m trying to draw all these old characters for the first time since I originally drew them, some of them 20 or more years ago. And it’s funny, some of the ones that have this kind of real angular stiffness, I literally can’t draw it as stiffly as they originally looked, even though I’m trying to. I’m trying to recapture that feeling, and it’s just impossible. I’m much more relaxed and confident, and you can’t, like, summon a lack of confidence like that. I’ve been really trying to, like, listen to the same kind of music I used to listen to and really get in the same “headspace” as they would say, but it’s very difficult.’
January 17, 2020
[comics] Captain America by Ed Brubaker Reading Order … I’ve been bingeing on a lot of Ed Brubaker comics recently and this reading order was a great help. ‘It’s the most celebrated run on the Captain America modern series.’
January 14, 2020
[moore] A Handwritten Alan Moore Interview from 1987‘Q: If Jim Shooter and Dick Giordano wrestled, who would win? Alan: The mud.’
January 9, 2020
[comics] Sandman to Hark! A Vagrant: the best comics of the decade … another comics roundup of the past decade this time from the Guardian. ‘Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (2015-17) – The capstone to Moore’s remarkable career in comics, Providence is a horror narrative of staggering depth and detail. The book works as a complex meditation on identity and morality, but it’s also a huge addition to the body of narrative gamesmanship surrounding HP Lovecraft, who lived and worked in the city that gives the story its name. Providence (the comic) at first appears to be a collection of oblique, linked short stories and then resolves into a gigantic vision of inevitable – providential – destruction, wrought by countless tiny, familiar failures.’
January 4, 2020
[comics] The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill – it’s been a blast … Reviewing the final major comics work from Moore and O’Neill. ‘Power is often a sham in The Tempest, and many of its superheroes are amateur copies of American originals, who themselves are built on a lie; those behind the scenes are not to be trusted. Moore and O’Neill, of course, are also using the creations of others. But they make something new from them. For all the silliness, there’s a reverence here, and a giddiness to these grumpy old men that spills from The Tempest’s pages in joyful hat-tips and preposterous set pieces. As a reader, you feel like a visitor at a party with a bewildering guest list, two hosts who won’t shut up and a new wonder around every corner.’
December 19, 2019
[marvel] A Very Marvel Christmas… Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 … Pictures from Marvel’s 1979 Office Christmas Party. ‘To the left is Larry Hama, who at that point in time – and taking over Crazy Magazine — was still new to the offices. We were getting used to this scary, extra handsome long-haired man-with-no-eyes look and he was getting used to us. Lynne can be seen in the background, apparently getting proposed to by Larry from the mailroom. The three coma victims on the couch are Ralph Macchio, Mark Gruenwald and Creator Writer Steven Grant.’
December 5, 2019
[comics] Best comics and graphic novels of 2019 … With mentions of Ware, Moore & O’Neill and Seth among others. ‘At the heart of the epically inventive Rusty Brown (Jonathan Cape) is a single day at a Nebraska school in the mid-1970s, from which Ware spins the life stories of a shy nerd, his frustrated father, the privileged class jerk and a thoughtful, banjo-playing teacher. A doll is lost, a space mission charted, a car crashed and cupcakes baked, while snow tumbles, pages turn red with trauma and panels shrink to postage-stamp proportions – this is beauty you have to squint at.’
November 20, 2019
[comics] The Death of the Age of Stuff … Interesting 2013 comic from Peter Bagge on being a cartoonist in the internet age.
November 15, 2019
[comics] The A.V. Club’s 25 best comics of the 2010s … Really interesting end-of-the-decade list highlighting how comics are changing. ‘Hark! A Vagrant: Long before Hamilton hit the scene, Hark! A Vagrant made funny, pop culture references to history cool. In the humor comic, based on historical events and famous works of fiction, creator Kate Beaton’s skill with pacing and sense of humor are excellent, and her ability to convey a lot of information in a single panel has made her work eminently meme-able. (You might recognize the final panel of her comic about the relationship between Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne.) A limited grayscale palette and sketchy lines give Beaton’s work a retro feel, and allows the facial expressions and ridiculous situations to be at the fore. It’s surprising that a comic about the history of murderous royals and rampant disease is laugh-out-loud funny, but Hark! A Vagrant really is just that good.’
November 12, 2019
[comics] And I’ll Look Down and Whisper… “OK Boomer”

And I'll Whisper Down... OK Boomer.

November 4, 2019
[trump] Follow This Twitter Account… Pres. Supervillain (@PresVillain) … Red Skull and Trump mashed up.

Red Skull / Trump Mashups

October 29, 2019
[comics] Ed Brubaker Takes Criminals From Comic-Con To Amazon Prime … Ed Brubaker interview updating on recent work in TV and his comics with Sean Phillips. ‘I think there’s something very special about comic books, and the whole trek to the comic shop every week to see what’s out. I think everyone should put more effort into making the single issues less of just a chapter of a trade, you know? Make the comic itself something special. Then make the trade or hardback collection special too. They’re different formats, they each have advantages, but a lot of publishers single issues seem like afterthoughts lately. So I want to make sure our comics stand out from that, and are always worth your money. I take a great amount of pride in that, even though almost no one but me seems to care.’
October 25, 2019
[comics] Untold Constantine Tales … Steve Bissette on one of the inspirations for John Constantine. ‘We’ve always talked about the Police and Sting‘s role in Quadrophenia, the movie (1979), but it was indeed Sting‘s ominous presence and role in Richard Loncraine‘s theatrical film adaptation of Dennis Potter‘s Brimstone & Treacle (1982) that fueled those fires back in 1983-84 for us.’
October 7, 2019
[comics] Alan Moore Episode / Neil Gaiman Episode … Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman have both been on BBC Radio 6 Music show Paperback Writers recently.
September 30, 2019
[comics] ‘I envy writers who suffer from no self‑doubts’: inside the world of graphic novelist Chris Ware … Interview with Chris Ware in the Guardian … ‘As a kid I was made fun of for reading superhero comics, but once I grew up I lost all interest in them. Which is why I find it a little disquieting, though not necessarily surprising, that such stuff has become mainstream American culture, and one that adults now find a satisfying diversion. Then again, mythologies aren’t going away anytime soon. For me, however, regular human life is already so extra strange, moving and complicated I’m more than happy not plugging it into any amplification.’ [Previously]
September 20, 2019
[comics] Rusty Brown by Chris Ware, reviewed. … Slate reviewer attempts a not entirely sucessful Chris Ware takedown review. ‘Rusty Brown has two kinds of stories: Either a character is punished by the world because he deserves it, or he’s punished by the world even though he doesn’t. The book’s 356 pages contain more upskirts of underage girls (two) than complex human characters (maybe one) because actual people would revolt at being treated and depicted in such a fashion. The view of humanity in the book is dime-store Freudianism: Scratch a character and you’ll find their primal wound, which then overdetermines their behavior. There’s little compassion to be found in Rusty Brown, because compassion requires curiosity, and Ware has worked out everything too carefully for that. The schematic lifelessness that results creates a kind of numbing effect. You may not know the story in advance, but you know where it’s headed: straight to Sadtown, Population: Everyone.’
September 16, 2019
[comics] Tales Of The Black Freighter: Marooned – Reconstructed … Watchmen’s EC comic-within-a-comic recreated using existing panels and word balloons.

Panels from Watchmen's Marooned comic-within-comic

September 10, 2019
[comic] Great collection of ten years of British comic art from UKCAC convention booklets

September 9, 2019
[comics] How Ex-CIA Officer Tom King Became the World’s Hottest Comic Book Writer … The Daily Beast profiles Tom King. ‘The most inspired moments in Mister Miracle relegate the physical war against Darkseid to the background, often literally. In one sequence, Scott and Barda deflect lasers, wade past freakish sea monsters, and take out armed guards as they break into Apokolips. They spend the entire scene—nine-plus pages—discussing little more than the cons and merits of decluttering their condo. After Scott is sentenced to be executed in a rigged trial, they spend a day at the Santa Monica pier, then stuck in traffic, shooting the shit in the comfortable banter of a long-term couple. And Darkseid’s most memorable transgression, apart from being an evil warlord, is double-dipping a half-bitten carrot in a veggie platter’s ranch tray.’