August 3, 2008
[comics] What can I learn from comic books? … interesting list of educational / information-rich comic books from Ask Metafilter … ‘Oh, and while I suppose this may go against AskMe ettiquette — you really shouldn’t answer your own question — I’d like to add that nearly everything I know about American history and politics from the late 1970s through the early 1990s I learned from Doonesbury.’
August 1, 2008
[comics] So Superman Went Ballistic … Batman describes a fight with Superman … ‘I’m the goddamn Batman.’ [via Sore Eyes] (more…)
July 31, 2008
[comics] Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet‘Al Gore—or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al—placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity’s hubristic folly…’ [via Beaucoupkevin]
July 30, 2008
[comics] R. Stevens Steers Diesel Sweeties Back to Its Roots … Wired interviews R. Stevens on Why Diesel Sweeties is Going Web Only Again … ‘I did my taxes. I realized that I made less money than the last year that I wasn’t syndicated. It’s a hard business and it takes years and years to build up a client list and get paid. I just kinda thought to myself that I spent years and years learning how to make money off the internet. Why should I continue to injure myself, when I could just do what I’m good at? Get creative again, get excited again, change my business model and learn new things, rather than be constantly struggling with deadlines.’
[comics] The Voices of Marvel Comics 1965 … featuring Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky, Artie Simek, Sam Rosen, Chic Stone, Wally Wood, Dick Ayers, Don Heck and Stan G‘In 1965, Marvel released a special recording featuring the voices of the famous Marvel Bullpen (the staff at the comic book company), to the Marvel Comics fan club members, The Merry Marvel Marching Society.’ (more…)
July 29, 2008
[comics] Has The Comics Industry Really Done All That Well During Legitimate Recessions? … interesting analysis from Tom Spurgeon‘For Miller the key is how comics gets tied into factors of risk. “I’ve said before I think ‘economics is local’ where this is concerned — the prevailing structural conditions in the field often trump whatever is happening outside — or, better put, they either amplify or stifle the negative stuff coming in from outside. Conversely, if our model is fouled up, we don’t feel the positives from an uptick in the economy — just see the late 1990s!”‘
July 24, 2008
[comics] Dave Sim / Cerebus segment from a documentary about Comics … Sim is interviewed on Ken Viola’s 1987 documentary Masters of Comic Book Art‘It strikes me as a kind of interesting thing to document for 26 years… 26 years!’ (more…)
July 23, 2008
[comics] Blood, sweat and ink … Phil Jupitus on his love of Comic Strips … ‘I asked Trudeau to sign my dog-eared copy of Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years, and when he did I felt like a kid again. Here was a man who to me was more punk than the Pistols, funnier than Seinfeld and a better artist than Picasso. That’s what I like about being a real fan of something – the irrational love.’ [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]
July 22, 2008
[batman] Meanwhile, in London… Police Arrest Batman … [part of the Evening Standard Headline Crisis 2008]

Police Arrest Batman

[comics] Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight’ brought Batman back to life … a look back at Miller’s Dark Knight Returns … ‘For his part, Miller says, “There are 50 different ways to do Batman and they all work. In fact, I’ve probably done about ten of them. I was once asked if I felt like I’d been handed a Ming vase” when he first took on the character. “I said no, it’s more like an unbreakable diamond. I could smash it against the wall or ceiling without hurting it. It’s just a matter of finding a facet no one’s used before.”‘
July 21, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore Still Knows the Score! … Moore interview from Entertainment Weekly … ‘I was also quite heartened the other day when watching the news to see that there were demonstrations outside the Scientology headquarters over here, and that they suddenly flashed to a clip showing all these demonstrators wearing V for Vendetta [Guy Fawkes] masks. That pleased me. That gave me a warm little glow.’ [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]
July 17, 2008
[comics] The 10 Mental Illnesses Batman Indisputably Has … #2 -Munchhausen-by-Proxy: ‘This disorder, which usually exhibits itself in terms of a parent causing the illness of a child in order to garner attention, sympathy, and means of support for themselves, is something close to what Batman does with his many “wards”. Namely, he puts them in constant danger so that, perhaps, he can save them as his parents failed to save him from the life he’s inherited. Also, so he can stand in front of a glass case displaying the Robin togs they died in, so he can feel bad about himself…’
July 16, 2008
[comics] Can cartoonists go too far? Yes. Should we go too far? Yes … Steve Bell on the New Yorker’s Barack Obama Cover

So should we tread warily, lest we are misunderstood? Of course we should. Cartoonists are some of the most painstaking, careful, shy and sensitive people on earth, yet we do play with fire, toying with other people’s (and of course our own) most deeply held beliefs and most cherished illusions. Is it possible to go too far? Of course it is? Should we go too far? Of course we should. That’s what makes our job so interesting. There’s no better feeling than, having taken a risk in a drawing, seeing the thing in print and knowing it works. The converse is also true, which is why I work in a bunker on the south coast.

July 14, 2008
[comics] Jack Chick’s Lisa Tract … the cold, dark, disturbing heart of Jack Chick’s evangelical comics (unsurprisingly unpublished on his website) … [via Metafilter]
[comics] Requiem for a Cheeky ‘Batman’ … Script-writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. on the Batman TV Series … [via Forbidden Planet’s Blog]

From the very beginning, Bill Dozier and I had seen millionaire Bruce Wayne and his Bat regalia as classy comedy, hopefully appealing to kids as an absurdly jolly action piece and to grown-ups for its deadpan satire, entirely nonfraught with psychological issues. I mean, golly gee! How else can one view a character who enters a nightclub in full Batgarb and mask, accompanied by a gorgeous chick, and when greeted by the maitre d’ with an obsequious “Good evening, Batman! A table for two?” gravely replies, “Yes, thank you. But please, not too near the music — I wouldn’t want to appear conspicuous.”

July 13, 2008
[comics] Empire Magazine’s 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters … don’t let #50 put you off – skip to #49… Captain Haddock: ‘The full-bearded alcoholic, rageaholic, commitment-phobic British sea captain lucked into a fortune (Red Rackham’s Treasure) and wound up drinking himself insensible in Marlinspike Hall, occasionally giving vent to amazingly picturesque salty language (often through a megaphone) when assailed by bashi-bazouks, troglodytes, prize purple jellyfish, Incan mummies and Signorina Bianca Castafiore, ‘the Milanese nightingale’.’ [via Metafilter]
July 11, 2008
[comics] Tom Ewing on Secret Invasion and Final Crisis: ‘In the 60s Marvel wanted to be something hipsters could dig, ironically or not. In the 70s it flirted with the counter-culture. In the 90s it pushed the whole comics business into the toys and cards and collectibles market, and now its comics aim for the sharpness and drama of successful TV and film properties. Only in the 80s did it pass the aspirational baton, when its editor-in-chief mandated simple, colorful, and accessible stories at a time when others had their eye on loftier and more literary goals.’
July 10, 2008
[comics] Galactus is Coming!‘YMB’s crack investigative team has unearthed the long rumored, but never confirmed, collaboration from 1983 between Marvel’s Chairman Emeritus Stan Lee and religious comic tract creator Jack Chick.’
July 5, 2008
[comics] Heroes … Ex-comics writer Gerry Conway on work for hire in comics and how he feels about not being credited as one of the creators of the Punisher or for the use of his ideas in the Spider-man movies… ‘So, to put it bluntly, I got nothing for either Punisher film, and nothing for my stories being adapted for the Spider-Man movies. I didn’t even get credit for creating the Punisher, or for the use of my story material in Spider-Man. Honestly, I didn’t expect that I would. I’m not happy about the fact, but I’m resigned to it. I accept the reality of how the business operated when I wrote those stories…’
[comics] Todd McFarlane’s Miracleman … an oddity – McFarlane’s version of the old British Superhero updated by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and currently tied up in legal limbo‘The character’s future remains uncertain as of 2008, due to further complications which have come to light since the end of Gaiman’s case against McFarlane…’
July 4, 2008
[comics] God’s Cartoonist: The Comic Crusade of Jack T. Chick … a trailer for a documentary about Jack Chick(more…)
July 3, 2008
[comics] Batman – The Superman of Planet X! … scans of Batman #113 from 1958 which are being referenced in Grant Morrison’s current Batman:RIP storyline … ‘I’m the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh!’
July 2, 2008
[comics] Two This American Life Animations by Chris Ware: Fake Video Cameras in the Schoolyard and Judgement to the Wife [via The Ugly Truth]
July 1, 2008
[comics] Interview and Q&A with Gerhard (part one) … an interview with Dave Sim’s artistic collaborator on Cerebus … ‘I do… I have… an appreciation for just the sheer amount of work that it took… the sheer amount of, I don’t know, discipline to actually, you know, do those twenty pages a month – month in and month out – I don’t think I could do it now. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it now. ‘Cause I can barely do a commission a month or something.’
June 28, 2008
[comics] The Comics Reporter: So Why Were The X-Men Popular? … Tom Spurgeon on why Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and John Byrne’s run on the Marvel title was so successful … ‘X-Men was solid comic book entertainment that distinguished itself against the comic books of the time in several savvy ways that caught the attention of longtime, hardcore fans, the same kind of fans that were almost certain to look past lot of the title’s more obvious failings (its nonsensical plots, its over-flowery language, its creepy undertones) and a group of people that would likely foster the next generation of creators. It hit in the right way at the right time with the right people, and soon launched itself into the sales stratosphere and took a lot of books with it.’
June 25, 2008
[comics] Final Crisis Annotations … more comics notes from Douglas Wolk who also annotated 52‘Perhaps a less frustrating way to deal with the contradictions is not to try to explain them but to accept them as a pesky but integral part of the story, a sort of continuity koan. Continuity is at least sort of mutable–rarely more explicitly so than in Morrison’s superhero comics. The prolegomenon to FINAL CRISIS is SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE, in which Shilo Norman’s many alternate lives both do and don’t happen. “Hypertime” is one way of putting it; another is to say that all stories are more or less true, but better stories, more satisfying stories, are more true in the long term.’
June 20, 2008
[comics] You want Moore? You got it! … second part of a Alan Moore interview … On his new novel, Jerusalem: ‘It’s mostly all new stuff, well not new stuff, because most of it’s historic, but I’m just finding out new material all the time. I found out the other day that Hitler’s invasion plan for England ended with Northampton, and there was also the eighth century monk who was directed by angels to place a stone cross here because it was the centre of the land. So the way I see it, that if people want to argue with me about the importance of Northampton, then they’re not only arguing with me, they’re arguing with God, and they’re arguing with Hitler. And that, I think me, God, and Hitler, that’s the dream team!’
June 17, 2008
[comics] Top 10 Warren Ellis ‘Tweets’ … … ‘Some days I want to be written by Frank Miller. So I can yell WHORES at random and get looks of concern rather than the usual pity. WHORES’
June 16, 2008
[comics] We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Northampton – Pádraig Ó Méalóid talks to Alan Moore … first part of a long interview … ‘I think that apparently the hardback collections are about the only thing where you’ve got signs of an increase in sales. The pamphlets are falling by the wayside and you’ve got to suspect that this is probably the future.’ [via Pete Ashton]
June 11, 2008
[comics] What should I do with comic books after I read them? … important question of the day from Ask Metafilter …‘Bag and board them, then store them forever in longboxes. this is the only right answer.’
June 10, 2008
[comics] Grant Morrison on Final Crisis #1‘The thing is, we wanted to open with a nasty, execution-style death of a superhero as a way of demonstrating how far behind us the Silver Age is. We’re conditioned to expect the hero to fall after a noble struggle or to give his life saving the universe but this had to be different. The scene was very much about calling time on expectations and letting our readers know up front that the rules have changed.’
June 9, 2008
[comics] Peter Gillis remembers his friend Bob Dienenthal who died recently … Dienenthal worked on one of the first fully computer generated comics in the late 1980’s and sounds like a real Mac fanantic … ‘Thunderscan was one of those kludges that are truly inspiring: you took an Apple ImageWriter dot matrix printer, pulled out the printer head and replaced it with the module. Then instead of sending data to the printer to print, it reversed the flow and, as the head moved back and forth and the platen moved, it would send scan information back to the computer and assemble a graphic. This was before scanners were even available retail…’ [via The Comics Reporter]
June 5, 2008
[comics] Comics USA: Alan Moore Visits New York in 1984 … scans of an article written by Moore after a visit to America in 1984 …

’24th August, Thursday – My Taxi to Heathrow arrives driven by comics’s answer to Robert de Niro, Jamie Delano, who combines scripting ‘Nightraven’ and ‘Captain Britain’ with taxi work. Phyllis and the children Amber and Leah make a brave attempt at concealing the turbulent emotions aroused in them by my departure, but I can tell they are secretly heartbroken. My flight is a seven hour sneak preview of purgatory. I read Alexei Sayle’s ‘Train to Hell’ from cover to cover. I’m sitting in the central aisle and I can’t see out of the window. What’s the point of flying if you can’t see how many thousands of feet you’ve got to fall shrieking to your death?’

May 31, 2008
[comics] US superheroes with Scottish accents… BBC News on Scottish Comics Creators … ‘Along with [Grant] Morrison, the work of some of Scotland’s other great comic book writers and artists has been showcased at an exhibition at the National Library of Scotland. Names such as John Wagner, Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy have dominated the genre in Scotland for decades and have been at the forefront of what Mr Schreck calls “the European invasion” since the late 1970s.’
May 22, 2008
[comics] Interviews with Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard – plus a preview of The Walking Dead #50 (the best serial comic being published at the moment?) …

Since “The Walking Dead” debuted, zombies have become something of a cultural meme and have seen resurgence in virtually all forms of entertainment media, and Kirkman thinks they’re here to stay. “I think zombies have risen to the level of vampires and werewolves and will always be a staple of popular fiction — with highs and lows like vampires and werewolves experience — but I think they’ll always be around in some form or another and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.”

May 20, 2008
[comics] 5 Superhero Movie Scenes They’ll Never Let You See … things from those crazy Comic books you’ll never see in the Movies. On Monsieur Mallah and the Brain: ‘If 51 percent of American moviegoers aren’t ready for gay marriage, then they’re sure as shit not ready for a love affair that combines homosexuality, bestiality, robophilia as well as a little amputee fetishism for good measure.’ [via Feeling Listless]
May 18, 2008
[comics] Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin: Brainiac 5 inadvertently offends all of England.
May 14, 2008
[comics] Commentary Track: “Invincible Iron Man” #1 … Matt Fraction discusses his latest comic … ‘Well, here’s another essential key to Tony, for me– the cad, the ladies’ man. The thing about Bond I always loved is his confidence in social situations — he always knows what to wear and how to wear it, what to order, what to drink, how to play Baccarat… the superspy stuff is a blast, but the character appeal to me — the real aspect of escapism and wish fulfillment to me — is in that social assurance. So I want to play that up in Tony.’
May 13, 2008
[comics] The Comic Book Script Archive … interesting list of scripts from Alan Moore, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Brian K. Vaughan and many others… From Alan Moore’s intro to the Killing Joke script: ‘I want you to feel as comfortable and unrestricted as possible during the several months of your bitterly brief mortal lifespan that you’ll spend working on this job, so just lay back and mellow out. Take your shoes and socks off. Fiddle around inbetween your toes. Nobody cares.’
May 9, 2008
[comics] Milk and Cheese in The Fur Suit of Crappiness

milk and cheese visit a furry convention

May 7, 2008
[comics] The Top 100 Comic Book Runs … interesting list of the best runs in on-going comics series. [via this discussion on Metafilter]
May 6, 2008
[comics] The Making of Glamourpuss … YouTube video of Dave Sim explaining the way he creates his new comic …‘The eyes really are the toughest part.’
May 5, 2008
[comics] Comic Genius … interesting profile of comic artist John Cassady‘Given that an elite illustrator can command up to $1,000 a page for a 22-page comic book and that most popular titles are monthlies, a top talent like Cassaday can comfortably clear six figures annually.’ [thanks Kabir]
May 1, 2008
[comics] Unused Original Art for the Cover to Daredevil #200 … compare and contrast with the John Byrne cover Marvel actually used. [from scans_Daily]
April 30, 2008
[comics] The Flash outruns the reaper 23 years after saving universe and dying … The Return of Barry Allen? …

Many fans had come to like the character better dead than alive after he was disintegrated saving the universe.

“That’s the point of comics – they don’t have to die, because they’re fictional creations,” said Grant Morrison, one of the writers behind the comeback.

“We can do anything with them, and we can make them come back and make them defy death,” Morrison said. “And that’s why people read comics, to get away from the way life works, which is quite cruel and unheroic and ends in death.”

April 28, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore’s Outbreak of Violets‘In 1995 Alan Moore wrote the text for a set of 24 cards, called Outbreak of Violets, which were given away at the MTV Europe Music Awards 1995, and have since become something of a Holy Grail for fanatical Alan Moore completists. Like me. The last time a set came up on eBay I bowed out of the bidding at £200, and the item eventually sold for £800, if I remember correctly…’ [via meowwcat]
April 27, 2008
[comics] Invisible Girls and Phantom Ladies: How far have we come? … a scanned Alan Moore essay on women and sexism in comics from 1983 … Moore on being a teenager: ‘From what I can remember of my own time spent in that frenzied, pimply nightmare-world almost anything is likely to become grist to the mill of the adolescent’s deranged fantasies. Me, I was nuts about Hayley Mills…’
April 22, 2008
[comics] Transcript of Grant Morrison’s Panel at NYCC ’08‘The lights went down for the presentation, and a screen came up saying “Fuck,’ which then changed to “time,” and the introduction for Morrison, with a slideshow of his work, and a reading of a statement from Morrison about the nature of life and fiction. Morrison came onstage to raucous applause and screamed “Lend me some sugar! I am your neighbor!” And then right away through open the floor to questions…’
April 21, 2008
[comics] Grant Morrison Interview … this time from the Daily Cross Hatch‘This was just the meat and drink of my life—superheroes, fashion, British television, because there was some really great British cult TV from the 60s and 70s, so all of that was influential to me, and I would have put that material out, wherever I found it. So if it’s Superman, I’m trying to think of the character as if he were a British television drama, what he would be like.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
[comics] Alan Moore on BBC TV’s Inside Out East … [via Blah Blah Flowers]