October 3, 2008
[comics] Brown Now! … a comic interview with Chester Brown looking at his libertarian political beliefs. [via Mondo A-Go-Go]
October 2, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore Knows the Score … the Guardian art critic on Moore …

I wouldn’t want to make him sound respectable. Moore’s comics are utterly mad. He believes in the occult and is a practising Magus. In Black Dossier his characters end up in a mystic alternate reality which he seems to be claiming is a real place, not a fiction. In fact he appears to believe that fictional personae have their own existence in some spiritual realm he can access through magic. Now you’re disturbed. Well, we’re always being told art should disturb. Moore makes artists like the Chapmans look like the middle-class entertainers they are. He’s a real force of imagination in a world that is full of fakes.

September 29, 2008
[comics] The 50 Things That Every Comics Collection Truly Needs’22. A Selection of Comics That Interest You That You Can’t Explain To Anyone Else — Every great comics collection needs something inexplicable and odd to it…’
September 25, 2008
[comics] Grant Morrison’s Favourite Superman Issues and Moments … On Superman vs. Muhammad Ali: ‘How could you forget that one? Because it had to happen! I had to travel many, many miles to find that comic. I remember getting it and it didn’t quite live up to the hype. But the more and more the years go by, the better that comic gets [because of] the contortions they go through to make sure Ali wins.’
September 24, 2008
[comics] Concordance: 2000 AD … a glossary from the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic‘Earthlettes – similar to Earthlets, but applied to females only. This caused a furore on the letters page and eventually was deprecated in favour of the now gender-neutral term “earthlets”, though now “Terrans” seems to be in vogue.’
September 20, 2008
[comics] From Batman to Incognito, Ed Brubaker Loves the Ultraviolence … Ed Brubaker interview from Wired … ‘I think noir and comics really do go together, yeah. I think the use of close-ups and angles and shadows in noir is really influential to modern comics in general. They taught guys like Eisner and Toth and Johnny Craig how to establish mood on the page.’
September 17, 2008
[comics] How the mighty Maus fuelled my flights of fancy … Ken Russell on Comics … ‘Comics seem to cater to a certain class of berserkers and brainiacs who like to absorb the big issues through gorgeous drawings, seditious characterisation and wild plots.’ [thanks Kabir]
September 15, 2008
[comics] Menace taken out of Dennis to avoid accusations of gay-bashing Walter … the Times on how political correctness neutered Dennis the Menace in the late 1980’s … ‘We eventually gave Walter a girlfriend too, as a measure to combat any further criticism.’
September 9, 2008
[comics] Mr. Moore defends rational thought … another reason why Alan Moore is the greatest living Englishman … ‘The protest, organised by Northampton Socialist Forum, came after an information sign about Darwinism at the museum was partially covered following a complaint by what appears to be a Christian fundamentalist. Pat Markey explained the events leading up to the protest, and writer/artist Alan Moore gave an entertaining speech about religion, free speech, and censorship.’
September 8, 2008
[comics] All Star Superman in Eleven Panels … [via Metafilter] … #1:

September 3, 2008
[comics] How would you answer if asked what Watchmen is about? … interesting question posed by Tom Spurgeon‘Watchmen is the ultimate mid-life crisis: like Fight Club, but with giant blue balls.’
August 31, 2008
[comics] Q&A: Seth … part one of an interview with the Canadian cartoonist. Seth on memory: ‘I recall the sense of being somewhere—the visceral feeling of being in a childhood room, for example. The images themselves in such memories are Frankenstein constructions of what might have been in the room. You almost have to reassemble the room piece by piece when thinking of it. Feelers go out and supply the details. The mental images are somewhat akin to high contrast photographs—much of the detail is gone but the graphic moment is captured in the bold shapes…’
August 29, 2008
[comics] Lord Taco-Puss, The World’s Worst Cat … from Diesel Sweeties‘You’ll note that Clango doesn’t remember L.T.P. in this one. His memory was wiped back in this storyline, which began with Wii sports, suspicions of cheating and ended in a laser attack, a giant magnet and rediscovery of ex-girlfriend and kitten.’
August 14, 2008
[comics] Watchmen Movie Poster Comparison … compare the recent movie posters with Dave Gibbon’s original posters for the comic … ‘Who Watches the Watchmen?’
August 13, 2008
[comics] The Craft … another long interview with Alan Moore …

I remember Julie Schwarz telling me – who was a lovely man – he told me about Mort Weisinger’s funeral – and this was probably just an old Jewish joke that he’d adapted – for Mort Weisinger – but he said that apparently during Jewish funerals there’s a part where people can stand up and spontaneously will say a few words about the departed – personal tributes, things like that. So it’s Mort Weisinger’s funeral, and it gets to this bit in the funeral and there’s absolute dead silence, and the silence just goes on and on and on and nobody gets up and says anything and eventually this guy at the back of the synagogue gets up and says: “His brother was worse!” (laughter).

August 12, 2008
[comics] Seth on the Quiet Art of Cartooning‘There is something very lovely about the stillness of a comic book page. That austere stacked grid of boxes. The little people trapped in time. Its frozen and silent nature acting almost as a counterpoint to the raucous vulgarity of the modern aesthetic. Of course, the drawings aren’t really frozen. When we look at them, we immediately invest them with life. That little ink world pops into life as our eyes move across the drawings.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
August 7, 2008
[comics] Spotlight on Howard Chaykin … some interesting points from a panel with Chaykin at the San Diego Comic-con … [via Beaucoupkevin]

At one point in the panel, just to clarify (or maybe rationalize) his language, Chaykin said, ‘anybody under 18 who would actually be interested in sitting and listening to me is obviously on drugs.’

When asked about illustrating the Star Wars comic adaptation: ‘If I’d known the movie was going to be so successful, I would have done a better job.’

Chaykin said he is at work on a ten-issue prequel to ‘Black Kiss’ for Dynamite Entertainment. ‘Each issue will be a decade of the 20th Century, with the filth appropriate to that decade.’

August 6, 2008
[gywo] Get Your War On – Animated … nicely done cartoon of the brilliant webcomic‘America loves a list…’ [via Fimoculous]
August 5, 2008
[comics] Retronomatopeya … Cute Flickr set of sound and movement effects from Comics [via Metafilter]

flickr set of sound and motion effects from comics

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.’