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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.’
July 13, 2012
[comics] Comics Not Just For Kids Anymore, Reports 85,000th Mainstream News Story‘The incredibly perceptive and original article also specifically mentioned the work of writer Alan Moore, an obscure reference point that has only been used in every single article like this ever written.’
July 10, 2012
[comics] Economically Healthy ‘Daily Planet’ Now Most Unrealistic Part Of Superman Universe‘The Daily Planet—which for some strange reason has not been acquired by multimillionaire Lex Luthor with a promise to give readers shorter articles with more sizzle—is so deeply woven into the Superman universe that they had no choice but to avoid the comic altogether. They said even the most exciting stories are routinely marred by absurd depictions of a publication that somehow flourishes in print and whose millions of loyal readers seem oblivious to the idea of getting news online faster and for free.’
July 6, 2012
[comics] More Moore … London’s Gosh Comics provides us with an update to what Alan Moore is up to for the next year or so… ‘NEMO – HEART OF ICE: February 2013 — The next League book hoves into view: it’s Jules Verne meets H.P. Lovecraft in a 48-page one-shot set in Antarctica, in the 1920s.’
July 4, 2012
[comics] The secret hero of Spider-Man … The New York Post profiles Steve Ditko … ‘When The Post knocked on his door, Ditko — who turns out to be a owlish man with wisps of white hair and ink-stained hands, wearing large black glasses and an unbuttoned white shirt with a white tee beneath — pleasantly but firmly declines to answer any questions. Though he did say he reads The Post.’
July 3, 2012
[comics] Glycon Contents List / Index …Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Glycon Livejournal is a fantastic collection of Alan Moore out-of print comics and oddities – this index makes it easy to see what’s available and find what you’re looking for.
June 29, 2012
[comics] Annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III Chapter Three, a.k.a. Century: 2009 … Work-in-progress annotations from Jess Nevins‘Page 13. Panel 1. “QueeQueg’s” is a reference to the harpooner Queequeg, from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851). Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Greg Daly note that “Starbuck” is also from Moby-Dick, so that in the world of League there is no Starbuck’s, there is Queequeg’s.’
June 26, 2012
[comics] Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: Miracleman … Tom Spurgeon On Marvelman / Miracleman … ‘I can sure recall any number of individual moments in these comics. There’s a birth. There’s the way the character initially puts together his “magic word.” There’s a scene where they’re reading comics for clues. There’s a man with scary teeth. There’s one where they talk about sex education as something that should involve having sex as part of that education. There’s a bunch of stuff with the creepy Kid Miracleman character, a wonderful bad guy. There’s the arch-villain that looks like the late Joe Paterno. And then there’s the single issue with all the killing, which I remember mostly in terms of its visual texture, one giant smear of pain. That was one of the actually rare comic books of its day, incidentally; I had two or three interns at TCJ that asked to read the office copy the day they arrived.’
June 18, 2012
[comics] Behold! Alan Moore! Cliff Richard! Shakin’ Stevens! Alvin Stardust! A Black Dog! TOGETHER AT LAST! … quite possibly the weirdest photo of Alan Moore in existence.
June 12, 2012
[comics] Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: American Flagg! … Tom Spurgeon On American Flagg … ‘That first 26-issue run felt like it spanned the entire decade. In actuality, issue #26 appeared a mere 25 months after the debut. Sometimes I wonder if the difficulty in repackaging American Flagg! for other formats comes down to something spiritual. The serial comic book edition was pretty close to perfect in its way: a regular visit to a giddy clash of satire, comedy, adventure-comic beats and general rudeness delivered with aplomb by an artist working at the far edge of his talent while being supported by able, compelling craftsmen. Reading American Flagg! as comics felt like getting a broadcast from someplace else and watching it on a broken, filthy, slapped-together computer screen.’
June 8, 2012
[comics] A Portal to Another Dimension: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and Neil Gaiman … the Watchmen Panel at UKCAC ’86 – moderated by Neil Gaiman … ‘I think that because there’ve been a lot of fascist overtones in Marvelman [Miracleman] people assumed that the superheroes had taken over. There aren’t really any fascist superheroes in Watchmen. Rorschach’s not a fascist; he’s a nutcase. The Comedian’s not a fascist’ he’s a psychopath. Dr. Manhattan’s not a fascist; he’s a space cadet. They’re not fascists. They’re not in control of their world. Dr. Manhattan’s not even in control of the world — he doesn’t care about the world.’
June 7, 2012
[comics] Posy Simmonds Profile … by Paul Gravett‘Posy is simply one the world’s most sophisticated contemporary authors expanding the scope and subtlety of the graphic novel. Based in London, Posy has become renowned since the early Seventies, not only as a brilliant strip cartoonist for the national press, but also as a much-loved author and illustrator of children’s books.’
May 25, 2012
[comics] Dave Sim vs. Spider-man in 1985 … I believe this photo is from a lost episode of Miami Vice where Crockett and Tubbs bust some drug dealers at a comic convention.
May 24, 2012
[comics] Nick Abadzis Interviewed by Tom Spurgeon … long, readable interview with Nick Abadzis the writer/artist of Hugo Tate and Laika … ‘There’s too much crappy work out there to bother wasting time with, and a lot of good stuff that I do want to read, so it becomes a sort of exercise of the instincts, sniffing out the superior work or the stuff with a higher likelihood to engage. There is a lot of incredible talent working today and I do believe we are in a golden age of comics in some ways. It’s such a pleasure to come across the work of a cartoonist I haven’t encountered before and see with new eyes, their eyes. I get excited about that.’