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February 21, 2013
[comics] Antony Johnston on phoning Alan Moore‘So this friend of mine, this guy I’ve gotten to know since entering the now-largely-online comics community, asks me if I want Alan Moore’s phone number. Do what, I say. He repeats the offer. Just don’t tell anyone where you got it, he says, or Alan will fucking kill me. Go on then, I reply. Why not? Half a millisecond after I write it down, I realise why not: I can never call this number.’
February 19, 2013
[comics] Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios, Malta, 1983 … by Phil Noto

A picture of Matt Murdock and Elektra

February 11, 2013
[comics] “Son of Sam” and the Comics Industry … fascinating story of how the detectives investigating Son Of Sam visited DC Comics after it was suggested that Sam’s handwriting was like the lettering in comics … ‘Upon hearing why I’d been called into Sol’s office, a few of my cohorts had their own ideas about who might be the Son of Sam, including a couple of fellow staffers. The most convincing argument, however, was made for a somewhat reclusive artist whose ultra-conservative leanings might have made him a suspect as the killer of “loose” women. We did not, however, share any of this with the NYPD.’ [via Neilalien]
February 6, 2013
[batman] An Extensive Discussion Of Batman Punching Animals‘I don’t think I actually have a comprehensive list handy, but I can assure you that Batman has gotten into fistfights with dogs, wolves, panthers, lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), gorillas (regular), gorillas (telepathic), gorillas (other), sharks, horses, crocodiles, at least one eagle, and I distinctly remember an ostritch, although the issue number escapes me at the moment.’
February 4, 2013
[watchmen] Rorschach’s Father: The Lost Tapes … previously little seen Alan Moore interview from 1987 on Watchmen … ‘The Nazis weren’t villains but ordinary human beings who did terrible things. Her­oes are usually people who, if you happened to be on the opposite side of any battle, would be famous monsters. It is all totally subjective. There aren’t any pure heroes; there aren’t any pure villains; there’s just people. But people like there to be heroes and villains, because if we can say “That person is a monster”, it makes us feel better or not so bad. Or it makes it not our responsibility. Mrs Thatcher isn’t a monster, sh’es just a fairly nondescript intellect, but she’s a greedy and an ambitious woman. It’s too bad that she’s Prime Minister. I mean, if she’d have stayed in her greengrocery business, probably not many peuple would have shopped there an awful lot, but it wouldn’t have done anv great harm. But a lot of the left wing in Britain like to portray Mrs Thatcher as a monster.’
January 30, 2013
[batman] Batman Keeps Gotham Tidy

A Keep Gotham Today Poster

January 22, 2013
[comics] Alan and The Mad Reader … a look on the early influence of Mad Magazine on Alan Moore … ‘The chief importance of the Superduperman story to Moore seems to have been the basic idea of a totally fresh way of looking at Superman, a character whose stories at that time were extremely formulaic. Apart from this, one small point worth noticing is the way in which the emblem of the hero’s chest keeps changing – just like that of Dourdevil in Moore’s Daredevil parody “Grit” (The Daredevils #8, 1983).’
January 15, 2013
[comics] The New (and very liberal) Superhero Power Couple … fabulous mock up by Phil Noto of a 1972 Esquire cover with Black Canary & Green Arrow …

Black Canary & Green Arrow

January 14, 2013
[comics] A Collection Of Quotes From Alan Moore’s Weeping Gorilla‘I guess all the Waltons must be dead by now.’
January 4, 2013
[comics] The Comics Reporter’s 50 Comics Positives For 2012 … a great list of good things that happened in comics during the last year … ‘Stan Lee Turned 90’
December 31, 2012
[comics] Steve Bell’s best cartoons of 2012

Steve Bell - Austerity Isn't Working

December 28, 2012
[crime] The Myth of the Lone Villain … Kevin Kelly looks at why lone, murderous, technically advanced super-villians don’t work in the real world … ‘The lone evil genius works in a high tech haven, hidden from others, all by himself. At this point, the scenario is total fiction because no one can run all that technology by themselves. It is hard to keep 3 computers and a network going all by yourself. The madman’s electronic door hatch probably crashes once a month, particularly if the madman just invented it. So can you invent and keep operational the death ray? No. Way. No solo genius can destroy mankind. That kind of power takes cooperation.’
December 20, 2012
[comics] The Watchmayan Calendar

The Watchmayan Calendar

December 19, 2012
[comics] Alan Moore: why I turned my back on Hollywood … a profile of Moore from The Observer … ‘When another of Moore’s old computer keyboards was put up for auction on eBay, last year, the seller hazarded that it “may contain otherworldy powers”. It went for £461, despite having a faulty Z key. Walking in Northampton, Moore explains that his old keyboards have ended up on eBay, or in that museum in Charleroi, because he has had to decommission so many of them. He currently writes on an industrial-strength keyboard made of metal, properly meant for use in foundries and conflict zones. The plastic sort used to last him a few months before melting under the constant spray of cigarette ash, or otherwise breaking from overuse.’
December 18, 2012
[comics] How to make Batman squirt in your face … a look at a remarkable Batman water pistol from a more innocent time … ‘Why so legendary? Well it was made in the late sixties at a time when kids, and adults alike for that matter, wouldn’t look at that and instantly start cracking wise about its design. Where do I start? Batman’s prone position bending forwards while reaching back seemingly to grab his buttocks? The fact that the water for the gun is refilled in his butt with a big plug hanging out…’
December 12, 2012
[comics] Dave Sim On Creating A Judge Dredd Cover‘I originally thought, “Well, Dredd has easily the most complicated costume of any costumed character, so there’s no way I will be able to do that costume accurately in these tiny little spaces.” I was going to do the drawings twice up and have the IDW production department reduce them and place them. “Dave Sim work-made-for-hire cover: some assembly required”. But then it came time and I thought, “Hell, if Brian Bolland can do it, I can do it.” So there I was with a fresh Hunt 102 and my magnifying glass.’
December 5, 2012
[comics] Brendan McCarthy: ‘Best Of Milligan & McCarthy Due 2013’‘Expect a big announcement on that from a major comics company soon. It will include pretty much all the classic ’80s material from Peter Milligan and myself: Paradax!, Rogan Gosh, Skin, Freakwave, etc., plus some early, archival snippets from The Electrick Hoax and Summer of Love.’
November 23, 2012
[comics] Dave Sim’s 1986 Marvel Portfolio

Shang-Chi Master Of Kung Fu

November 14, 2012
[space] Happy Little Crater on Mercury … Another smiley face crater for Dr Manhattan to visit in our Solar System.
November 9, 2012
[comics] Tom Spurgeon On 27 years Of John Constantine: ‘Here’s something I noticed when I got that 27-year-old number. That means that more time has passed between John Constantine being created and now than between the creations of Hal Jordan and John Constantine. That is… I don’t know if that’s depressing or astonishing or what. These characters aren’t young. An era of comics that many of us think of as still ongoing is really receding in the rear view mirror.’
November 1, 2012
[comics] Bizarro Back Issues: Dracula Fights The Silver Surfer Because of Reasons (1976) … Chris Sims analyses a weirder than usual issue of The Tomb of Dracula‘I will take issue with the Surfer’s dialogue on the cover about Dracula being “the most deadly horror the Earth has ever known.” Believe me, I will be the first one to agree that Dracula is a pretty bad dude, but the Silver Surfer used to hang out with a guy who literally ate planets to survive. Dracula eats people, yes, but on his best day, I really don’t think he could eat six billion of ’em at once. Not that he wouldn’t try.Case in point, our story opens with Dracula doing what Dracula does, which is attempting to eat a young lady, calling everyone around him fools and dolts, and then flying off in a huff…’ [via Sore Eyes]
October 24, 2012
[comics] The Thrills and Chills of Jack Kirby’s Next Issue Teasers in ‘Captain America’ … a look back at some of the back-issue blurbs from Kirby’s run on Captain America in the 70’s from Chris Sims‘I’m particularly excited about #209’s promise of “Yesterday’s fantasy! Today’s truth! Tomorrow’s terror?!”, which of course turned out to be a dude with a video camera for a head and a giant TV with his face on it where his stomach should’ve been. And the fact that Kirby considered that to be “yesterday’s fantasy” and “tomorrow’s truth” is a pretty good summary of everything great about his work.’
October 18, 2012
[comics] Dan Clowes inks Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko‘Every once and a while, here at danielclowes.com HQ, we’ll pull out unusual artifacts that were uncovered while rummaging through the artist’s archives (often to the discomfort of Mr. Clowes) to share with all.’
October 17, 2012
[comics] The Avengers vs. Batman‘And you, Mr Wayne… take away your Batsuit and what are you?’
October 15, 2012
[comics] The Credible Hulk

October 14, 2012
[comics] Q&A with Chris Ware‘Q: If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose? A: My grandmother.’
October 11, 2012
[comics] Lost Comics: Garry Leach’s Warpsmith … Forbidden Planet on some unreprinted (until recently) Alan Moore comics from the early part of his career … ‘The Warpsmiths themselves were created by a very young Alan Moore, and subsequently worked up into fully formed characters by Moore and Garry Leach for Warrior magazine, where they appeared in Marvelman and their own Warpsmith strips. According to reports, Leach was gifted ownership complete by Moore, and subsequently allowed their use in Miracleman, where they become an important part of the final Olympus storyline. When Garry Leach started the A1 anthology in ’89, he and Moore brought the Warpsmiths back. And that’s about it. A short but important history. Lost to time now. Except…’
October 9, 2012
[comics] Alan Moore’s Lost Stan Lee Essay … Originally published in 1983 … ‘Like most readers of that period I had become totally brainwashed by the sheer bellowing overkill of the Marvel publicity machine. If a cover-blurb in formed me that Millie the Model meets The Rawhide Kid was “The Greatest Action Epic of All Time” then by God, so it was and never mind about War and Peace, The Bible, King Solomon’s Mines and Moby Dick. As far as I was concerned, if it wasn’t written by Stan Lee it wasn’t in the running.’
October 4, 2012
[comics] Banned and Challenged Comics REVEALED! … a list of frequently banned and challenged comics in American libraries and schools … ‘Two employees of the Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky were fired after they took it upon themselves to withhold the library’s copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier from circulation because they felt it was pornographic.’
October 3, 2012
[comics] Alan Moore On the first twenty years of Cerebus … an article from 1997 …

“Did you see the look on her face when I suggested that the whole Cirinist/Kevillist agenda is to smother the light of reason in the dark of emotion? She had absolutely no answer!”

“Dave, that’s the last time I introduce you to my mother.”

September 30, 2012
[movies] Ridley Scott’s Storyboards … a look at the sketches Scott uses as storyboards for his movies. It’s interesting to see the Moebius-influenced Alien sketches – Moebius did concept-art for Alien and seems to have inspired Scott.
September 14, 2012
[comics] Top 10 best Judge Dredd comic-book stories … Discussing the ‘America’ storyline: ‘Judge Dredd’s own Dark Knight Returns, All-Star Superman and Kingdom Come, all wrapped up tight in a blood-splattered Star Spangled Banner.’
September 13, 2012
[comics] Director’s Commentary: Glyn Dillon … some notes on the process of creating the graphic novel The Nao Of Brown from Glyn Dillon … ‘I really love drawing with a pencil and paper, I’m pretty sure I’ll never go completely ‘digital’, with a Cintiq or whatever, but at the same time ‘digital’ has changed the way I make comics. And I can definitely say I’m much happier for it.’
September 12, 2012
[comics] With Great Power Comes Great… ‘WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!’
September 11, 2012
[comics] Glyn Dillon: The Nao of Brown … a preview of Glyn Dillon’s new comic The Nao Of Brown (with interview) … ‘A dazzling, daring graphic novel of over 200 pages, The Nao of Brown marks the return to comics of Glyn Dillon after 15 years of mainly storyboarding and concept design, and struggling to get personal film and TV proposals to the screen. This is also his first work in the medium as a writer. What started in 2008 as an idea for a spare-time project mushroomed into a year’s obsession, filling almost every waking hour, requiring such intensive work that Dillon wound up in hospital two weeks after completing it.’
September 7, 2012
[comics] The Supreme Writer … Alan Moore Interview (from 1999) On Jack Kirby … ‘So I met Jack very briefly before or after that panel, but all I remember was that aura he had around him. This sort of walnut colored little guy with a shackle of white hair and these craggy Kirby drawn features. This sort of stockiness. I just remember him chatting with me and Frank Miller and he was saying in this kind of raspy voice, “You kids, I think you’re great. You kids, what you’ve done is terrific. I really want to thank you.” It was almost embarrassing to have Jack Kirby thanking me. I just assured him that it was me who should be thanking him, sort of because he had done so much to contribute to my career. He had a glow around him, Jack Kirby. He was somebody very, very special.’
September 6, 2012
[comics] The Daily Mash: Men torn between Anna Karenina and Dredd 3D‘Sure Dredd 3D will have heads exploding in slow motion, customised motorbikes and flamethrowers, but Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a classic portrayal of forbidden love with a timeless social message.’
September 5, 2012
[comics] Diesel Sweeties On 2001: A Space Odyssey

Diesel Sweeties On 2001

August 31, 2012
[comics] Thirteen Comics Purchases You Can Make For The Same Price As Buying Before Watchmen As Serial Comics … some interesting ideas for new comics to explore from Tom Spurgeon‘I’m hoping to engage a broader point about what comics cost and what is presented to us as something to buy. $145 at the comics shop is what one of the major players in the market is telling me is a worthwhile way to spend my money. Here are 13 other pretty casually gathered-together options for that same outlay.’
August 30, 2012
[comics] Some Thoughts on David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again Artist’s Edition‘This is a book made more for looking than for reading, I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s Miller’s finest application of his hard boiled noir obsession to comic book heroes. There’s an emotional intelligence here that immerses us in the particular world being depicted, so that the characters around Daredevil, particularly the writer Ben Urich, assume primary importance. Urich is intimidated, his wife is nearly killed, and finally he himself kills, all in harrowing detail, and all because of the ripples from his subject’s actions. Yes, the Catholic redemption of Daredevil is important, but nothing is more (to use Mazzucchelli’s phrase in his introduction) gut-wrenching than watching the smashed up lives of the minor characters.’
August 29, 2012
[comics] The Adventures Of Sexy Batman

Sexy Batman and Catwoman

August 25, 2012
[comics] I wonder if they’ll call it “Heckblazer.” … Mike Sterling on what might happen to Hellblazer after issue 300 … ‘I suspect this series, now DC’s highest numbered series being published, is getting a little long in the tooth in this era of digital sales and reboots and people wanting to be able to get the “whole” story right away rather than just jumping in and hanging on. The recent retooling of the Hellblazer trade paperback line, reprinting all the issues in consecutive order in books with actual volume numbers on the spine, is a start in rebuilding some readership, I suppose, but I think a restart after 300 is within the realm of possibility.’
August 20, 2012
[comics] ‘Jesus, What Is It Now?’ Says Man Putting Down Swamp Thing Comic To Answer Phone Call From Wife

Throughout the brief phone call, Bogen repeatedly said “uh-huh” as he scanned the story that showed Swamp Thing ripping gigantic, finger-like roots from the earth and causing the lake to empty out and wash away the vampires in a rush of water.

“Yes, I am listening,” added Bogen, focusing entirely on Alan Moore’s prose, which switched the point of view to the pained thoughts of the vampires as the surging water peeled the rotted flesh from their skeletons. “Of course I want to hear about it.”

“Tell me when you get home,” Bogen added.

August 10, 2012
[comics] Against Pussiness: An Interview with Howard Chaykin … A fascinating (and indiscreet) interview with Howard Chaykin … ‘I have a very strange reputation, because in the fans, I’m regarded as an obnoxious asshole, and yet – [raised eyebrows] oh no, they say it, trust me. Believe me, I have no illusions or confusions about who I am – while, in the context of the profession, I’m regarded as a go-to guy that can be depended on all the time, and it’s a very different relationship. And I’m more interested in being well-received by my colleagues and my employers – my clients – than I am that I give a shit about the fans. I mean, I was a fan. I have a picture of myself at 17. I weighed 265 pounds, and I was that kid. I was those guys. But I’ve learned a certain distance. I said once that for comic-book readers, it’s every Wednesday at the book store, for me it’s every morning on my desk. And that makes a difference in the relationship. But I love the process, enormously. I’m very… I am so grateful.’
August 9, 2012
[comics] Alan Moore: one of the finest exponents of the comic book art form to have ever lived. … another Alan Moore interview – this time from Nottingham’s Leftlion website …

Q: You’ve always refused to put your name to film adaptions of your work. I know this is going to be hard to put a figure on, but how much money do you think you’ve turned down, for taking a moral standpoint on this?

Alan: Well, they asked me if they could give me a huge amount of money to bring out these Watchmen prequel comics – which they were going to do anyway – and that was probably a couple of million dollars. I should imagine with all of the films it would be another few million? In a way it’s really empowering to do that.

You can’t buy that kind of empowerment. To just know that as far as you are aware, you have not got a price; that there is not an amount of money large enough to make you compromise even a tiny bit of principle that, as it turned out, would make no practical difference anyway. I’d advise everyone to do it, otherwise you’re going to end up mastered by money and that’s not a thing you want ruling your life. Money’s fine if it enables you to enjoy your life and to be useful to other people. But as something that is a means to an end, no, it’s useless.

August 7, 2012
[comics] 40 MORE Of The Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings … more selections of the most awful comic art from Rob Liefeld… ‘Do you know how many drawings a comic book artist pumps out over the course of 20 years? SO MANY DRAWINGS. So the truth of the matter is that there can never truly be a 40 “Worst” Rob Liefeld drawings until the dude is dead and gone and his remains have been blasted into the sun in a gold-plated space shuttle with diamond-encrusted control panel. Maybe not even then. There are so many awful Liefeld drawings that B and I could probably do a list of 40 every other month, forever.’
July 20, 2012
[comics] “The Life and Works Of Alan Moore” On Mastermind ..

July 19, 2012
[comics] Barack Obama Names Alan Moore Official White House Biographer‘President Obama announced that he had appointed legendary comic book writer Alan Moore as the official biographer of his time in the White House. “As evidenced by his epic run on Swamp Thing #21–64, Moore’s deft hand with both sociopolitical commentary and metaphysical violence makes him an ideal choice to chronicle my time in office,” Obama said of the author of Watchmen and From Hell, whom he reportedly chose over others on a short list of potential biographers that included Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, and Bob Woodward.’
July 17, 2012
[comics] Frank Miller’s Year One Screenplay … intriguing analysis of a screenplay Frank Miller wrote for an aborted revamp of Batman with Darren Aronofsky. ‘…the end result simply isn’t Batman. In some ways, it’s more like Marvel’s character Punisher. Batman may be seen as the quintessential super-hero without super-powers, but such a departure from his traditional background seems an injustice to the character. The screenplay’s vision of Batman is a compelling and a vital one, one arguably more logical than the normal Batman formulation – and a bolder depiction of a super-hero vigilante with a generalized war against crime. But it’s just not Batman, and fans would have been vocal in saying so. Batman fans would certainly not have tolerated such a high-profile project making such fundamental changes to the character – nor its reinvention of Alfred as Little Al. Most fans of the comic, for all their admiration for Frank Miller, would likely feel grateful to get Batman Begins instead of Miller’s Year One screenplay.’
July 16, 2012
[comics] R. Crumb Interviewed … a huge Comics Journal-style interview … ‘I’m not antifeminist. I like strong, independent women, like the matriarchs of Genesis—they ordered the men around. The sex-fantasy thing was a whole other side of myself, and when that started coming out, I could no longer be America’s best-loved hippie cartoonist. Also the racial stuff: the racist images that I used. That also shut a lot of people off about my work. The feminists despised me. I had a couple of defenders among them whose defense of my work was: He’s just being totally honest about the male mentality. He’s revealing the thoughts that most men are walking around harboring about women all the time. I have to agree with that. I just revealed myself.’