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11 June 2024
[comics] Why is the Sonic comic so controversial? … A really fascinating look at the personalities, controversies and lawsuits around Archie’s long-running Sonic The Hedgehog comic.

5 June 2024
[comics] Greatest Comics Of All Time as Chosen by 45 Writers and Artists… Al Ewing on Dan Clowes Ice Haven: ‘It’s really hard to pick a favorite from Dan Clowes’s work, and I actually like The Death Ray more, but in many ways this is the perfect starting point for a modern Clowes enthusiast-a small town mystery presented as a collection of one-page comic strips. It’s filtered through the various personalities who live there, each with their own voice, which Clowes communicates through shifts in his own style, showing off his absolute mastery of the medium and the comics form. He’s arguably the greatest cartoonist living today, and you owe it to yourself to read his work.’
28 May 2024
[watchmen] On the Cutting Edge of Innovation: This guy Just Found a New Way to Misinterpret ‘Watchmen’‘Roche sat down in a recent interview to explain his journey of bastardizing Moore’s iconic series. “I started off like everyone else,” Roche explained. “I was like, oh, Rorschach freaking rules. He’s just Batman if he was a normal guy. Like, he’s just rational and everything he does makes perfect sense. Why would you cripple a criminal when you can kill his dogs, chop off his arm and burn his house down?” Roche’s shelf is littered with comic books and a weird shrine to Steve Ditko–which he kept trying to avert our gaze from by aggressively coughing.’
8 May 2024
[comics] Every Issue of Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing” Ranked by How Likely They’ll Get a Conservative Book Ban‘Swamp Thing #42 (November 1985): “Strange Fruit” – Swamp Thing burns down a plantation haunted by racist ghosts. – They hate this one. They fucking HATE this one.’
6 May 2024
[comics] Escape Magazine … Escape Magazine, a British comics anthology magazine from the 1980s has been fully scanned and is online at the Internet Archive.

Escape Magazine 05 Cover

22 April 2024
[comics] UKCAC Programmes [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3] … A nostalgic look back at programmes from UK Comic Art Conventions in the 1980s and 1990s.

16 April 2024
[comics] Go look at Tom the Dancing Bug’s Trump Illustrated Bible … ‘Jubilate as he preaches to the prostitutes!’
12 April 2024
[comics] Aard Labour: Conclusion | Epilogue … Tom Ewing’s reread and analysis of Cerebus concludes.

One thing that does happen when your comic is full of dissemblers and layers of meaning and contradictory versions of reality, and when you go on for 300 issues, is that you’ll have produced a text with enormous discursive potential. Whether that discussion is worthwhile is another matter. I had no idea, starting this project, that it would end up at 60,000 words long. I still feel like there’s more to say, but also that there’s no real way of reaching a conclusion about this extraordinary, accursed, vivid folly of a comic.

I’ve loved writing about it, I’ve often loved reading it, but I feel shocked that I did write to this extent. I think I like the work more than I did going in, but the artist even less. At one point I planned in this final post to try and work out who the best comparison to Dave Sim might be – Ditko? Morrissey? Lovecraft? Rowling? Kanye? In the end it doesn’t matter: what he shares with them all is that initial fascination and horror turns to exhaustion in the end.

8 April 2024
[comics] This is Fine

2 April 2024
[comics] Aard Labour 0: There Are Three Aardvarks … Tom Ewing is working on a spot-on analysis of all the books of Cerebus … ‘Melmoth is the moment where Sim sets out to demonstrate – to his own liking, if not the market’s – that “a 300 issue comic about a talking aardvark” really can include absolutely anything he wants it to. He proved the point: Melmoth is one of the high watermarks of Cerebus. Even if nobody in 1992 understood what “Cerebus can include anything Dave Sim wants” might really entail.’
18 March 2024
[books] How Michael Met Neil… How Michael Sheen Met Neil Gaiman. ‘When I went to drama school, there was a guy called Gary Turner in my year. And within the first few weeks, we were doing something, having a drink or whatever. And he said to me, “Do you read comic books?” And I said, “No.” I mean, this is … what … ’88? ’88, ’89.’
15 March 2024
[comics] Heckblazer … The indignity of being John Constantine.

6 March 2024
[comics] The Art and History of Lettering Comics … Todd Klein has released for free online his authorative book on lettering in comics.
27 February 2024
[batman] The Adventures of Unicorn Man Can Only Be Read By Diehard Comic Fans … Diesel Sweeties on Batman.

21 February 2024
[comics] Moon and Serpent Rising… John Couthart delivers some insider information on the long-awaited The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic written by Alan and Steve Moore. ‘The Bumper Book may superficially resemble a children’s annual but this isn’t a book for children. The essays include discussion of the use of drugs and sex in magic, and there’s a lot of nudity (also a fair amount of sex) in the illustrations. The book is a serious study, but not, I hope, a boring one. Several of the features are presented in comic form, with eight of the pages being among the last works of the late Kevin O’Neill. Ben Wickey has done a fantastic job for the fifty pages of Old Moores’ Lives of the Great Enchanters which runs throughout the book and covers the entire history of Western magical thought from the Stone Age to the present day.’
5 February 2024
[comics] Fast Fiction Info Sheets … An archive of A4 pamphlets distributed in the 1980s promoting British small-press comics.

1 February 2024
[comics] Miracleman: The Marvel Age. … Mike Sterling on Gaiman & Buckingham’s Miracleman. ‘This whole hoohar is written by Moore and Gaiman, absolute giants in the field. But it feels like Miracleman’s time in the sun is pretty much done. It was huge when that first Eclipse Comics issue was released in 1985, when Alan Moore had just become a red hot commodity in American comics. And it continued to sell very well as the series continued to push the boundaries of just what a superhero comic was, through Moore’s 16 issues and Gaiman’s following work. But that 30 year gap. That ain’t nuthin’…’
16 January 2024
[comics] “I’ve Had The Life That I Wanted When I Was 10 Years Old”: A Conversation with Dave Gibbons … Gibbon’s discusses his autobiography and much more. ‘I probably won’t say too much about it other than what is public knowledge, that there’s been talk of a Rogue Trooper movie. And again, I think there are so many characters in 2000 AD that would make wonderful big screen stories. I did actually as recently as last week get a little glimpse behind the curtains of that. And I’m very excited by what I saw there. So I’m very happy, because I like the people who are doing it. And I think they’re approaching it the right way.’
15 January 2024
[comics] The Mercy Giants – ‘We Think So Loud’ … Today I learned that artist and co-founder of Deadline Brett Ewins released an 12″ Acid House Single in 1988. ‘There’s very little about it on the web but I love these musical comic crossovers (the Madness off-shoot ‘Mutants of Mega City One’ is another) even if the sounds often play second fiddle to the artwork.’
11 January 2024
[books] Neonomicon – Moore, Alan, & Jacen Burrows – 2011 … And people say I’m hard to shop for… ‘£1,750.00’
9 January 2024
[comics] Comics Kayfabe: Alan Moore’s LOST Swamp Thing Comic! … A deep dive into a Superman/Swamp Thing team-up Moore did with Rick Veitch and Al Williamson.
4 January 2024
[comics] Junji Ito’s Horrifying Uzumaki Artwork is Highlighted in Adult Swim Series Trailer … Junji Ito’s spiral manga will be releases an an anime in 2024. ‘The new trailer uploaded on Adult Swim’s YouTube channel offers a glimpse into the terrifying world of ‘Kurouzu-cho’ crafted by the original artist. The trailer begins with Shuichi Saito telling his girlfriend Kirie Goshima about the strange events happening in the town and asking her to leave Kurouzu-cho with him. “Don’t you feel any of it? The stream has been full of whirlpools lately. It’s even the wind. Whirlwinds have been popping up nonstop lately. I think it’s because of this town that my dad’s been getting strange,” says Shuichi. He also shares his worries about his father’s odd actions, as he becomes fixated on spirals and locks himself in his study, surrounded by objects with spirals.’
2 January 2024
[comics] Wyrd Britain: Moorcock and Moore in conversation‘This video shows Michael Moorcock and Alan Moore engaged in a wide and free roaming conversation about Moorcock’s life and work that takes in his post-war childhood, his editorship of ‘New Worlds’, modernism and the modern author, Jerry Cornelius, being left wing in Texas and of course, due to the occasion, Colonel Pyat and the holocaust.’
28 December 2023
[comics] Jeffrey Lewis tells the story of Alan Moore

21 December 2023
[comics] Ian Gibson, 1946-2023 … Comic artist Ian Gibson’s obituary from the Comics Journal. ‘Always an independent-minded artist, which got him into hot water with more than one publisher, Gibson treated Moore’s scripts with much less reverence than one is used to see, as detailed in Thrill-Power Overload: “I had already got into the habit of deconstructing a script and putting it back together in a way that would be visually more effective. I tended to take Alan’s verbose ramblings with a pinch of salt and do it my own way!” Originally planned for nine ‘books,’ only three were completed before Moore cut ties with 2000 AD over royalty and ownership disputes, never to return. It is a testimony to the sheer quality of these stories that the magazine, even when bought out by video game company Rebellion, resisted the temptation to continue Halo Jones with other creators.’
15 December 2023
[comics] Popverse’s best comics of 2023… Some interesting comics in this “Best of” list. ‘If comics could have a ‘great American novelist’ like a Cormac McCarthy, we have that in Emily Carroll. Her 2023 one-shot A Guest in the House paints in broad strokes, being simultaneously deep while also airy – letting me (and you hopefully), find the story for yourself. While some might categorize this as horror, it’s a broader story about the human condition that a label of just ‘horror’ would be limiting.’
14 December 2023
[comics] Born on the Bayou: An Inside Look at the 13 Pre-Flashpoint Eras of Swamp Thing … A great guide to the many different series of Swamp Thing. ‘In a single chapter, writer Alan Moore un-did all that had come before. Readers had followed Alec’s journey for a dozen years, yet Moore-with artists Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben, Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala-revealed that Alec could never regain his humanity (Edward’s genius notwithstanding), because he’d never had it to begin with. Alec had been dead since day one, and the creature with his memories was a plant that thought itself a man. That revolutionary change carried Swamp Thing to the stars, introduced occultist John Constantine, and culminated in the game-changing reveal of the Parliament of Trees, providing Swamp Thing with a vast elemental lineage that included the original House of Secrets story.’
11 December 2023
[comics] The Woman in Room 237! … An impressive Shining cover from Matt Talbot’s series of romance-horror comic mashups.

7 December 2023
[comics] Best graphic novels of 2023 … Some great comics with mentions of Dan Clowes and Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. ‘Why Don’t You Love Me? (Drawn & Quarterly) follows a couple struggling through parenthood and blagging their way in baffling jobs. British cartoonist Paul B Rainey builds his story from bleakly humorous page-long strips, while the larger question – how, exactly, did these absurdly underqualified people get to where they are? – slowly moves into focus, giving his inventive drama a real emotional weight.’
5 December 2023
[comics] Classic 2000AD Covers From Kevin O’Neill … Really vivid colour on these great scans from 2000 AD production art owned by Steve Cook.

4 December 2023
[comics] The Ditko Version … A comprehensive look at Steve Ditko’s reminiscences of his time at Marvel in the 1960s. ‘Stan’s synopsis to me did not mention any (two) wrist shooters, or hidden belt, or any specific costume or specific spider-like actions. Those are my ideas and creation.”’
28 November 2023
[comics] Dave Gibbons – Letterer … Todd Klein provides an in-depth analysis of Dave Gibbons’ approach to lettering comics. ‘WATCHMEN was a groundbreaking project in many ways, including Dave’s suggested storytelling device of making most pages a nine panel grid. Dave also experimented with lettering styles, with Alan Moore’s encouragement. Dave said, “Watchmen was so full, and it was so vital that the lettering read well and didn’t obscure anything important in the pictures, the lettering would be the first thing I would both pencil and ink. Then I would start doing the drawings and make any adjustments so it wouldn’t cut off people’s heads. I really don’t think Watchmen would have been feasible if I hadn’t lettered my own work.”’
27 November 2023
[comics] Talking to Rick Veitch About Boy Maximortal, Turtles & Swamp Thing … Rich Johnson interviewed Rick Veitch about his latest comic, Boy Maximortal. ‘Over the decades, there have been numerous discussions with, and honest attempts by, DC to not only publish Swamp Thing #88, but to also let me finish my time travel storyline. But something always seemed to derail it. I know there are great people up in DC right now who would love to make it happen. It’s one of those corporate Gordian Knots!’
17 November 2023
[comics] The long and complicated guide to collecting Charley’s War … A thorough guide to the publishing history of Charley’s War. ‘The first world war series (I’m glossing over the second world war series here) originally ran for 293 episodes in Battle from 6th Jan 1979 [issue 200] -26th Jan 1985 (that’s a total of 316 weeks so not many weeks missed) and charted the hellish story of world war one from the perspective, not of an officer and a gentleman, but rather from the viewpoint of an underage working class lad who joined up to ‘do his bit’ for King and country. The story is rightly regarded as both an anti-war classic and a high-water mark in British comics. Let’s start with the most recent reprints and go backwards from there…’
15 November 2023
[movies] We Almost Got a Superhero Movie from The Exorcist Director William Friedkin‘In 1975, four years after the release of The French Connection, William Friedkin revealed to a reporter the inspiration for the film’s celebrated car chase scene. It was the cover of a comic book: a man runs terrified on elevated tracks, just a few steps ahead of a train. He is handsome and athletic. Save for a domino mask, he is dressed like a classic Hollywood detective, in a blue suit and loose tie; he bears no resemblance to Gene Hackman’s slovenly everyman “Popeye” Doyle. The cover was from The Spirit, a comic that ran as a seven-page newspaper insert throughout the 40s and early 50s. The series, created by Will Eisner, was admired for its black humor, innovative compositions, shocking violence, and its setting in a precisely realized urbanscape. “Look at the dramatic use of montage, of light and sound,” Friedkin told the reporter.’
31 October 2023
[moore] Recent two-part Alan Moore interview done after the release of his paperback lluminations…

Interviewing Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore: “It’s one thing to quit comics, a different thing to stop thinking about them”

“The Superhero Dream Is Essentially Fascism”: Alan Moore Eviscerates Superheroes & Fixes Pop Culture in In-Depth Interview (Part 2)

“The comics medium is perfect. It is sublime. The comics industry is a dysfunctional hellhole. So why did I want to return to it in this story? Like you say, it’s exorcism. As one of the characters finds in ‘Thunderman’ it’s one thing to quit comics, but quitting comics is a different thing to being able to stop thinking about them. Writing this got an awful lot out of my system. It said a lot of the things that I’d always wanted to say but I’d never really had the right context to say them in.”

19 October 2023
[comics] John Constantine, Hellblazer, returns to DC in January 2024‘In one of his finest magic tracks yet, John Constantine is back – and has reunited the creative team of Si Spurrier and Aaron Campbell for a new miniseries bringing the character to the U.S. on a mission featuring some very familiar faces for fans of DC’s iconic Vertigo imprint.’
18 October 2023
[comics] Pen Lettering for Comics … Todd Klein does a deep dive into the traditional ways to letter comics. ‘From the earliest days of creating comics until the advent of all-digital art, the basic tools for artists and letterers remained essentially the same. You need a drawing board with a comfortable chair and an adjustable desk lamp, usually attached to the drawing board with screws or a clamp. You need a T-square to keep things aligned, large and small triangles, masking tape or pins to hold drawing paper, India ink, pens, brushes, pencils, erasers, something to hold clean rinsing water, a rag or paper towels and a wastebasket. There are other useful tools, but those are the basics.’
9 October 2023
[comics] The Man Who Knows Fear: Imposter Syndrome and Horror with D.G. Chichester Long interview with the comic editor and writer as he returns to Daredevil. On the Hellraiser comic:‘ I knew the book was going to work both when the John Bolton cover came in, which John Bolton issue looking up painting flames from Hell. It was beautiful and twisted and erotic, and scary and nasty… and it was the story that the editorial group then said, “You’re not running the story in the first issue. It’s too much. You’re coming in too hot. Take it out of the first issue, run a different story. We’ll run it in the subsequent issue.” I dug my heels in and I said, the book is called Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. That’s what it’s called. Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. What the hell did you think you’re going to get?’
6 October 2023
[comics] the SETH shoot interview … Long interview with Seth on Joe Matt and much more from Cartoonist Kayfabe.

4 October 2023
[comics] Remembering Joe Matt … Memories from friends including Seth and Chester Brown. Seth: ‘It always struck me as funny when someone would read one of Joe’s comics and get angry. “What a jerk” they’d say, getting all worked up about Joe and his actions in the story. What amazed me was that they were reacting to the work as if they’d just watched a documentary about him. Totally forgetting that this was a work of art by a very calculating and smart artist who deliberately made the choices in the book that caused this reaction. Joe knew exactly what he was doing. He didn’t paint himself as a creep by accident. That was the point. He did everything on purpose. That weird obsessiveness of his made absolutely nothing an accident. Every line, every panel, every exclamation mark was carefully considered (too carefully considered!). He was a master cartoonist and the work shows it.’
2 October 2023
[comics] Farewell to a Poor Bastard … Jeet Heer’s obituary for Joe Matt. ‘I got to know Joe Matt while I was working as a journalist in Toronto in the 1990s. I would occasionally write about Joe’s work and also that of his two cartoonist friends Chester Brown and Seth (who sometimes showed up as comic foils in Joe’s work). I had shown my wife, Robin Ganev, Joe’s just published graphic novel, The Poor Bastard. Robin delighted in the book as an accurate portrayal of the dating scene among young Toronto bohemians in the 1990s. Joe’s portrait of himself as a heel impressed her as an essentially accurate rendering of an all-too-common male type. As my friend the journalist Nathalie Atkinson notes, “Many women love Joe Matt’s comics-in part because he confirms everything we suspected.”’
22 September 2023
[comics] Ed Brubaker remembers Joe Matt‘Joe was renting a room in a house and his room was full of big sketchbooks with his newspaper strip collections. That was his big passion right then, collecting Gasoline Alley strips and glueing them into huge books. There’s a scene in BAD WEEKEND where the cartoonist takes his assistant down and shows him the strips he collected his entire life, and that was directly inspired by those big books of Joe’s. He spent countless hours going over those old strips and I’m pretty sure those were hours of childlike joy at the art of comics.’
20 September 2023
[comics] A Letter from Joe Matt … I’ve was shocked to hear the news of Joe Matt’s sudden death yesterday. ‘today i learned that cartoonist joe matt, was found dead of a heart attack yesterday at his drawing desk. he’s only 60 years old, and had been complaining of chest pains for months, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t afford to) see a doctor. fucking america.’
6 September 2023
[comics] Tom Tomorrow – The Never Ending Story … File the Dr. Manhattan on Mars meme under things I will never tire of.

31 August 2023
[comics] Comic Book Character Says “Bollocks” Every Once in a While so You Don’t Forget He’s English‘Gary London, a long time fan of John Berry and his adventures, finds the whole thing patronizing and lazy. “These daft wankuhs have no idea how the British have a good natter,” explained London, calling from a red phone box with Big Ben in the background. “I mean, I go up the apples and pears, get on the loo, and try to read my comic and every English bloke is ‘bollocks this’ and ‘innit that’. It’s just bollocks, innit?” Creator of John Berry, Alan Shaw, said he doesn’t really care how the dialogue is written, he just wants royalties from his creation…’
22 August 2023
[moore] An Interview With Alan Moore … an hour-long interview with Alan discussing Northampton with some talk of comics towards the end.
16 August 2023
[web] Anna’s Archive … A search engine for huge semi-hidden collections of books and written material on the internet. ‘📚 The world’s largest open-source open-data library. ⭐️ Mirrors Sci-Hub, Library Genesis, Z-Library, and more. 📈 21,278,536 books, 86,614,441 papers, 2,451,043 comics, 508,999 magazines – preserved forever.’
10 August 2023
[comics] Junji Ito’s Horrifying Uzumaki Artwork is Highlighted in Adult Swim Series Trailer

9 August 2023
[comics] Looking back on Nancy Collins’ Swamp Thing … An overview of Nancy Collins 1990s run on Swamp Thing. ‘In response to causing the breakup of one of DC’s most iconic couples, Collins would later observe, “Let’s be frank – no woman in her right mind would put up with the bullshit Abby Holland was subjected to on a regular basis. In fact, the first time I spoke to Alan Moore, he commended me on giving Abby the guts to walk out of an unworkable relationship.” Regardless of having chosen to spare Abby and Tefe rather than fridge them, she was to receive plenty of hate-mail for this decision.’