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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.’
September 2, 2019
[comics] We Almost Got an Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill Bizarro Comic? … Details on one of AM’s unstarted projects. ‘Me and Kevin O’Neill would really love to do a Bizarro mini-series, examining this whole Bizarro world. I mean, it’s square. How do the physics work on a world like that? What about the people who live on the corners? If you look at the pictures of the Bizarro world, there are continents that fold around the corners, so presumably you must have people living at right angles to each other. I just want to see Kevin draw it. I’m sure he’d be up to it.’
August 28, 2019
[comics] Dr Manhattan – Don’t blame me. I voted for chaos with Ed Miliband. (Hat Tip: @MartinBelam)

August 21, 2019
[comics] How did a street in Norwich become a location for Alberto Breccia’s “Mort Cinder”? … The mystery of how a Norwich street became a location in one of Argentina’s best comics. ‘Michael Crouch was surprised to discover that a few pages in, the protagonist travels from Chelsea in London to somewhere called Mertonville, near St. Albans. “On turning the page I was surprised to see a very faithful rendition of Elm Hill in Norwich,” he notes.’
August 20, 2019
[comics] Watchmen, t-SNE sorted … Every panel in Watchmen sorted by similarity using a machine learning algorithm by Pete Ashton.

August 14, 2019
[comics] Go look: Alan Dershowitz Remembers His Good Friend Jeffrey Epstein – by Niccolo Pizarro.
August 12, 2019
[comics] A Celebration of Spain’s “Golden Generation” Comic Book Artists … A great gallery of art from Spanish comic artists.

August 7, 2019
[comics] The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest … Deep Dive review of LoEG: The Tempest from the Comics Journal. ‘Moore is uniquely qualified to write a story about the role of stories at the end of narrative. He’s of the first generation of graphic novelists: people who saw the endless serialization of superhero comics and realized they were not as satisfying as an actual work of literature due to the lack of endings. He then worked, really hard, in the pages of Swamp Thing, to have enough characterization and thematic heft that story arcs could end in a satisfying way. He wrote “The Killing Joke” with enough self-seriousness it can be read as a final Batman story. He wrote “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow” after being enlisted to conclude decades worth of Superman stories, a universe of self-referentiality, and made something touching using decades of material containing wild tonal variation built around a core of self-referentiality never intended to cohere as a singular work. That was over thirty years ago, and since then, his own narrative has been taken away from him, in multiple ways. Literally, stories he’s written have been taken away from him, work he created with the intention that it would belong to him has had its meaning compromised by a corporation’s seeing greater potential for profit in franchised garbage than it does in work of literary merit.’
July 11, 2019
[comics] The real reason Big Numbers #3 was never published … Reddit on Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Big Numbers. ‘…The question came up, “Why didn’t they release issue 3 if the art was done?” The answer was always, “Why put out issue 3 if the series would never be finished?”‘
July 10, 2019
[comics] Webcomics: an oral history … A look back at the history of webcomics along with some interesting advice to creators on dealing with change. ‘Meredith Gran: I make my students buy a web host and a domain name and build it with HTML, from scratch. The companies that create platforms get bought and sold nonstop. You can’t be beholden to them. When things fall apart, you’d better be resourceful enough to handle the next thing.’
July 8, 2019
[comics] Posy Simmonds: ‘Women in books aren’t allowed to be total rotters’ … Interview with Posy Simmonds. ‘The most recent of [Posey’s notebooks] show the evolution of Cassandra from a well-upholstered granny to an obese, bespectacled grouch who stomps, effing and blinding, through a London that twinkles with commercialised seasonal jollity. Simmonds’s jewel-sharp illustrations bring the same precisely calculated heft to a West End street scene or a burger and chips as they do to the unfortunate Corker. She still does all her drawing by hand, but technological advances mean that instead of pasting scraps of text on to pictures, her husband – the graphic designer Richard Hollis – can scan them into a computer for her, which has made it much easier to create her trademark collages of word and image.’
July 3, 2019
[comics] Made In The USA report: Fantagraphics Comics … The BBC’s Made in the USA visits Fantagraphics in 1992 and meets Peter Bagge, Roberta Gregory, Dennis Eichhorn & others. [via Comics Reporter]

June 27, 2019
[comics] How ‘This is Fine’ Dog Creator KC Green Made Money From Meme … How a comic creator made lemonade when one of his creations became a popular meme. ‘But most of all, Green has stolen from the people who stole from him. “I can write to Redbubble, or Etsy, or any other place, to ask them to take something down, but I think the best way to try and take it back yourself is to steal other people’s ideas,” he says with a laugh. “Like, Oh, they wanted a tote bag with this on it? Then I’ll make a tote bag with that on it. I’ll stop them. Like, they want a shirt print with just the two panels on it, so they go to Etsy to make a dumb version of the print. Then here” — that is, on his site and on his store at creator-friendly merch site TopatoCo — “we offer a print with just the two panels, or we offer a shirt with just the two panels, because that’s all people fucking want.” Turnabout’s fair play, after all.’
June 26, 2019
[comics] The story of Mad Love’s AARGH! (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) anthology comic‘Alan Moore half-jokingly told a college classroom in Northampton that because he “had access to a lot of famous comic book people [he] could . . . morally blackmail most of them” into contributing something to an anthology. The artists and writers who contributed were myriad, including, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar, Howard Cruse, Dave Sim, Robert Crumb, Mark Buckingham, Dave McKean, David Lloyd, Dave Gibbons, and many, many more. The pieces range from comic strips to bizarre dreams illustrated, from poetry to rhyming couplets of verse mimicking the cautionary tales for children popular in the late 19th century, and countless more forms of art and prose.’
June 24, 2019
[comics] Wallace Wood’s Official Shit List … File under Ancient Comics Gossip. ‘Rick Stoner, who visited Wood’s home in Derby, Connecticut, on the 14th and 15th of April 1978 then went with him to Niagara Falls on the 16th, would give no clues. “I won’t name any names from this list of about twenty or so,” he wrote in his article Remembering Wally Wood, printed in issue 11 of The Journal of Madness in June 2001, “I’m just glad I wasn’t on that one”. Thankfully for us, Stoner took plenty of photographs of Wood’s home on Saturday the 15th April 1978, some of which were reprinted in that same issue of The Journal of Madness, and one of them features a very clear shot of Wood’s Official Shit List. Twenty-one names of important and well-respected members of the comics industry…’
June 18, 2019
[comics] The Bristol Board’s Forgotten Comics Masterpieces … The Bristol Board has a huge list of brilliant over-looked comics. Below, Harvey Kurtzman’s Big If from 1952.

June 7, 2019
[comics] Gaiman & Buckingham Have Worked On New Miracleman Stories … Neil Gaiman updates on progress with publishing the final books of his Miracleman stories. ‘CBR spoke with Gaiman as part of the writer’s press tour for his new Amazon TV series Good Omens, and when asked about the status of the groundbreaking superhero series he and Buckingham inherited from Alan Moore nearly 20 years ago, Gaiman cautiously explained that all hurdles seem to be clear. In fact, the pair have in fact begun creating new Miracleman stories.’
May 29, 2019
[comics] Universe B – The Unpublished Grant Morrison … a comprehensive list of Grant Morrison’s unstarted and unfinished projects. ‘SICK BUILDINGS (1989) – A forthcoming graphic novel mentioned in the author bio in Arkham Asylum, Sick Buldings was a Situationist prank, a story that not only was never published but never existed, and was never intended to exist, in the first place.’
May 22, 2019
[people] It’s Still Roy Cohn’s World, And You’re Living in It … A great comic profile from Levi Hastings and Josh Trujillo.

Ray Cohn comic profile panel

May 17, 2019
[comics] 5 Modern Day Treasures That Got Saved In The Craziest Ways … Amongst other things this article looks at how Moore and Sienkiewicz’s unpublished Big Numbers #3 found it’s way to the Internet. ‘Padraig O Mealoid saw an item on eBay that claimed to include not just Big Numbers #1 and #2, but also a “rare unpublished xerox” of #3 for the low, low price of $49.99. As it turned out, a friend of the seller had worked with Moore on the series, and had been smart enough to hang onto his preview copy of the third chapter. And since there was no legal way for anyone to own a copy anymore, they did the ’90s equivalent of putting it on a torrenting site — they xeroxed a bunch of copies and passed them out to diehard fans, one of whom eventually put his copy up on eBay.’
May 14, 2019
[comics] Katsuhiro Otomo’s Sleeping Beauty … the creator of Akira’s version of the fairy tale.

Panels from Katsuhiro Otomo's Sleeping Beauty

May 10, 2019
[comics] No, I’m not counting that appearance in Super Friends … Mike Sterling looks back at the shock of the JLA’s appearance in Swamp Thing #24. ‘Alan Moore had already been reexamining (or “deconstructing,” if you will) the superhero genre over in England with his reintroduction of original Captain Marvel 1950s knock-off Marvelman. What was once bright and cheery with that character is now menacing and mired in modern day government conspiracies and violence. But the JLA’s appearance in Swamp Thing set the tone for nearly all future appearances of superheroes in this series. They’re never just “as-is,” it’s always in the context of “what’s wrong with this,” or “here’s what’s really odd about them,” or “did you ever realize this?” They’re all recontextualized in the comic’s tone, designed to make you see them differently, to reconsider them, to be kept off-balance by them.’
May 3, 2019
[comics] Grown Man Who Owns Bane Action Figure Has Love To Give‘Saying that he is here, that he is caring, and that he is available, local man Philip Gorney, who owns a 6-inch Mattel action figure of the comic book villain Bane, confirmed Thursday that he has love to give. “I could make somebody happy, I am loving, and I deserve to be happy, too,” said the 31-year-old man who has drawn several full-color illustrations of the superhero Swamp Thing…’
April 29, 2019
[comics] Why are comics shops closing as superheroes make a mint?‘While superheroes have never had a higher profile, the gap between cinema and comics has never been wider. The days when you could pick the latest issue of Spider-Man or Batman from the newsagent’s shelves are long gone. Last week, comic writer Ron Marz tweeted that, during a presentation to a school class, one girl raised her hand and asked him where she could actually buy comics…’
April 26, 2019
[tech] Illustrations of Imaginary Cyberpunk Gadgets … by E Wo Kaku Peter. Below is a portable anti-vampire kit.

April 24, 2019
[comics] ‘What Gets Us Through is Just Getting Through’: Tom King Looks Back on Mister Miracle‘When I read the Fourth World stuff, to me it reads like an incredibly personal work. It reads to me as a guy who’d been through war and come back from it; it reads to me as a guy who’d achieved his greatest dream in life, which was to become this sort of comic creator for his family and then lost it, and was trying to recover it when he moved from Marvel to DC. It’s known that he originally developed the Fourth World for Marvel as this kind of Asgardian world, then he brought it over to DC when he felt disrespected how Marvel treated him. To me, when I read it, I see all of that mixed up – all that anger at Stan Lee, Marvel, all of that combined with a guy who grew up in the Jewish ghettos of the Lower East Side and had to scrap for everything he ever had, and fought his way through World War II – to me, it reads as an entirely personal work’
April 16, 2019
[comics] Lenny Henry’s guide to Graphic Novels and Comics‘Halo Jones – Alan Moore. Designed to be the antithesis of the super-tough women of superhero comics, Halo Jones was a driven everywoman character who lives in the 51st Century. Moore wanted specifically to add a female character to 2000AD comic. The first story arc centred entirely around Halo and her friend going shopping. However, when you live in a crime-riddled floating city, where regular, potentially fatal riots take place, such a simple task requires military planning and precision…’
March 29, 2019
[brexit] Happy #BrexitDay …

March 22, 2019
[comics] Theresa May and Brexit.

March 15, 2019
[comics] Bill Sienkiewicz’s Unpublished Cover to Big Numbers #6

March 14, 2019
[comics] 50 Things Mike Sterling has learned from, or discovered about, comic book retail over the last thirty or so years‘All those foil/die-cut/hologram covers from the ’90s nearly did the industry in, but customers today who weren’t around then for all that nonsense think those fancy covers are great now! I can even sell Turok #1s!’
March 13, 2019
[comics] The Really, Really Missing Alan Moore … Lance Parkin’s listing of Alan Moore’s unstarted and unfinished projects. ‘There are two missing novels. The first is Yuggoth Cultures, a Lovecraft-inspired piece. The second is A Grammar, a psychogeographical work about a path between Northampton and the Welsh border, or a train track between the East Coast and Cardiff, depending which interview you read.’
March 11, 2019
[comics] A Tank Knows No Mercy-Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko-1960 … A war story with pencils from Jack Kirby and inks by Steve Ditko.

February 28, 2019
[comics] Star Wars in 2000AD [Part 1 | Part 2] … Nostalgic look back at the influence of Star Wars on 2000AD. ‘The first mention of the movie appears in the letters page in prog 8 (16 Apr 1977). This would have been my first exposure to the title “Star Wars” — but I don’t remember it. Fun fact: prog 8 was the first issue to print readers’ letters.’

February 25, 2019
[comics] Divorced because of comic books … scan of a story from a newspaper in 1949. ‘SALT LAKE CITY — Mrs. Ida Thompson Thursday sued Henry G. Thompson for divorce because he “frequently bought comic books by the dozens and sat around and read them while refusing to help care for our baby.”‘
February 21, 2019
[comics] The UKCAC ’86 Portfolio [Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12] … A great collection of sketches produced at a UK Comic Convention in 1986. Sketches from Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kevin O’Neill and many more…

January 22, 2019
[comics] More from Grant Morrison’s Captain Clyde [Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7] … The remaining scans of Morrison’s earliest work have been posted online.
January 17, 2019
[comics] Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo … The creator of Akira interviewed. ‘I wanted to draw this story set in a Japan similar to how it was after the end of World War II—rebelling governmental factions; a rebuilding world; foreign political influence, an uncertain future; a bored and reckless younger generation racing each other on bikes. Akira is the story of my own teenage years, rewritten to take place in the future. I never thought too deeply about the two main characters as I made them; I just projected how I was like when I was younger. The ideas naturally flowed out from my own memories.’
January 16, 2019
[comics] Grant Morrison’s Captain Clyde [Part One | Part Two | Part Three] … scans of Grant Morrison’s earliest published work – a Scottish Superhero – appear online.

January 9, 2019
[comics] Tintin in Neo-Tokyo … Tintin and Akira Mashed Up.

January 7, 2019
[moore] Alan Moore Interview from June 1988 … A scan of an interview from the British fanzine FA. Moore is interviewed by Martin Skidmore. It’s contains some interesting comments on how he feels about Killing Joke just after it’s release and also why he stopped doing conventions and his dsyfunctional relationship with fandom at the time. ‘It’s a forty-page Batman story, a forty-page Joker story, that I wrote two or three years ago, around the time I was writing the first couple of issues of Watchmen. Sometimes stories work, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not so good. You can put a lot of effort into a thing and it just doesn’t work sometimes. You can’t write perfect stories every time. With that particular one, I worked at it as hard as I could, there was something at the end of it that seemed a bit heavy, a bit depressing, but at the same time there were some bits of it I really did like. In terms of Batman stories it wasn’t as good as the story I wrote about Clayface. It wasn’t as good as the story I did with Batman in Swamp Thing. My feeling on it is that if you came across that in a normal, floppy, forty-page DC Batman Annual, I’m sure it’d seem okay.’
January 1, 2019
[funny] Richard Scarry’s 21st Century Busy Town Jobs / More Busy Town Jobs … both from Ruben Bolling.

December 27, 2018
[comics] Stan Lee’s True Legacy Is a Complicated Cosmic Mystery … Douglas Wolk takes another look at Stan Lee. ‘But of all the characters with whom Lee is associated, his greatest—and the only one he created entirely on his own—was “Stan Lee”: an egomaniac who thought it was funny to pretend he was an egomaniac, a carnival barker who actually does have something great behind the curtain. Artist John Romita, who worked with Lee on Daredevil and Spider-Man, put it nicely in a 1998 interview: “He’s a con man, but he did deliver.”’
December 14, 2018
[comics] Spider-Ham Origin: Who Is Spider-Verse’s Peter Porker … The amusing story of how Marvel came to publish a funny animal version of Spider-man in the 1980s.

“After December 14, we will live in a world where everyone knows Peter Porker,” says comics writer Dan Slott. “Laymen on the street. Kids with their lunch boxes and onesies. Everyone is gonna know who Spider-Ham is.” He pauses. He laughs at the ridiculousness of it all. “What a world.”

December 7, 2018
[comics] Drunken Baker: Barney Farmer … The writer of the Drunken Bakers in Viz interviewed. ‘Since 2002, Drunken Bakers has been a stalwart of Viz: it has chronicled the demise of traditional services and society as authentically as any economic study of the state of the nation. For Farmer, bakeries were a barometer of British society: “There would be a town full of terraced houses, and at the end of every street there would be a baker. So a town of 50,000 people, it probably had a bakery for every hundred people. “Family-run bakers in Preston have been there for generations. All you need is one poor town, and it gets two Greggs (a national chain), and then that’s four or five bakeries nailed… Supermarket bread on top of that. They’ve come under attack from multiple angles. It was one of the things that dawned on me, that bread was a metaphor.’