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November 7, 2004
[comics] The Comics Reporter — Tom Spurgeon’s comic news weblog.
November 4, 2004
[comics] Milk and Cheese on the US Election Result:

Milk and Cheese -- WHEEEEE! Four More Years Of Hell!

November 3, 2004
[comics] Snowed-under Briggs resorts to eBay — Raymond Briggs has so much The Snowman merchandise stored at his house that he’s decided to attempt sell it all on eBay … ‘Briggs, 70, admitted he is a novice at internet selling. ‘I didn’t know about eBay. A lady who works for me is putting the stuff on. It could be a disaster: there are already pages of Snowman things there. I assumed everything would be £10 at least, but I’m amazed to see some of it going for 50p. Why bother? There are all the costs of postage and packing. You can buy something for that in a charity shop. ‘We’re starting with one item to see if it will work: a Snowman toy holding a tiny teddy bear, which I’ve signed. It’s very well made, like Steiff teddy bears, and I can’t remember if we’ve said £50 or £150. There are mad collectors out there who will buy anything with signatures…’
October 17, 2004
[comics] The Ascent Of Fan — Ninth Art on Comics Fans … ‘Far from discussing their love of comics, the fans seem to spend more time debating the precise reasons why they suck, with particular reference to why things aren’t as good as they used to be – whether ‘used to be’ goes back two years, five, ten or twenty. This, of course, is the basic joke of THE SIMPSONS’ Comic Shop Guy. For a man who’s devoted his life to comics, he doesn’t actually seem to like any of them very much. And remember, these are the people who really adore comics. Just imagine what the people who can’t stand them must be like.’ [via Neilalien]
October 14, 2004
[comics] The Sim/Gaiman Project — a collection of letters that Dave Sim has been sending to readers of Neil Gaiman’s Blog.‘…for those who haven’t actually responded to the offer, it should be known that the sometimes irrascible tyrant and fire-breathing dragon Dave Sim has been enjoying tremendously the response he received from the Gaiman blog readers and those whom they’ve infected with the knowledge. These form letters are delightful and charming and so enjoyable that now everyone who has seen one wants to know what others have received.’
October 12, 2004
[comics] Cerebus No. 84, Page 2 — Dave Sim on Marvel Comics, Jim Shooter, Secret Wars and a page from Cerebus … ‘Another of Big Jim’s hard and fast rules of storytelling was that “conflict creates character” which is why Dirty Fleagle and Dirty Drew spend most of their time as the Secret Sacred Wars Roach’s henchmen beating crap out of each other.’
October 11, 2004
[comics] Christopher Reeve Obituary: ‘Of playing Clark Kent, Reeve reckoned that “there must be some difference stylistically between Clark and Superman. Otherwise you just have a pair of glasses standing in for a character.” Reeve, though he played the two roles straight without any sign of camp, revealed a deft Cary Grant-inspired comic timing. Unfortunately, the three sequels were a matter of diminishing returns and, after Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987), Reeve, determined to ‘escape the cape’, explained: “Look, I’ve flown, I’ve become evil, loved, stopped and turned the world backward, I’ve faced my peers, I’ve befriended children and small animals and I’ve rescued cats from trees. What else is there left for Superman to do that hasn’t been done?”‘
[comics] “Face Front! Clap Your Hands, You’re on the Winning Team!” — Rolling Stone article on Marvel Comics from 1971 … Marie Sevrin on Comic Fans: ‘”Gee,” she said, “they’re so uninteresting, that why they’re fans. If they were interesting they wouldn’t be fans. I mean, is a hospital ward interesting? The fans buy the books, but they don’t support comics. Comics are supported by many other normal little children, but the fans are the ones who are hung up on it. I think fans are very lonely.” She says the fans are arrogant now. They don’t gasp and ooh and ahh anymore. The new breed of fans just want to lean over your shoulder and tell you what you’re doing wrong.’
September 30, 2004
[comics] Comics 101 — nicely done column profiling the history of various comic books including Daredevil, Doom Patrol and V for Vendetta … On Marvel’s Secret Wars II: ‘In this 9-issue train wreck, the Beyonder, his interest in humanity piqued by his observations last time around, shows up on Earth and decides to try humanity on for size. The Beyonder creates a body for himself (a perfect duplicate of Captain America, as a matter of fact) gives himself a Jheri-curl hairstyle and heads off to discover life as a human, starting off with a trip to Spider-Man’s apartment, where he gets a lesson in how to take a crap. (“The experience is consummated!” says the Beyonder as he exits the bathroom.) I only wish I was kidding.’
September 17, 2004
[comics] Saved by the Beagle — profile of Fantagraphics‘When Love and Rockets debuted, underground comics consisted primarily of, as Thompson puts it, “Batman with tits — just like regular mainstream comics, but with a little bit of sex and violence thrown in.” The Hernandez brothers may have had a knack for beautiful female characters, but the stories — rich, multifaceted, character- rather than plot-driven — were an anomaly. Along with Crumb’s Weirdo and Art Spiegelman’s Raw, which appeared around the same time, Love and Rockets helped reinvent the comics underground for a post-hippie age, and it put Fantagraphics on the map.’
September 16, 2004
[comics] Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison and Alan Moore… as Lego. [via Neil Gaiman’s Journal]
September 13, 2004
[movies] Sin City Preview Trailer‘A hardtop with a decent engine and make sure it’s got a big trunk.’


Click Image for Stills from Sin City.

September 9, 2004
[blog] Progressive Ruin — new-to-me, nicely done blog about comics.
September 8, 2004
[comics] Disney With Fangs — Newsarama interviews Grant Morrison on We3 … The Influences on We3: ‘Anything to do with innocent, misunderstood animals on the run from vicious human bastards. Animals getting their own back. The events played out in We3 are very different and far more shockingly violent than the adventures of Thomas O’Malley and the Duchess in The Aristocats, for example, but the basic idea of the animal odyssey across country in search of some seemingly hopeless safe haven is a very resonant and appealing theme which no-one has really played much with recently… certainly not in comics. I’ve always wanted to do one of those classic animal stories that make people cry, so this is like that… Disney with fangs. We3 is probably one of the first of these kind of stories to treat the animal heroes as animals and not as anthropomorphized representations with human emotions and speech patterns. So basically, we gave the popular old ‘animal quest’ idea a sci-fi coat of paint, spliced it with Miike Takashi uber-violence, and created a vehicle to demonstrate the ‘Western Manga’ storytelling style Frank and I are trying to develop.’
August 31, 2004
[comics] Drawing Pains — a Guardian profile of Art Spiegelman‘Next year he will publish a visual memoir of his 10 years at the New Yorker, “with all the different covers and images I did. It’s basically a history of the wrestling matches, of what it means to try to graft an underground cartoonist’s sensibility on to the DNA of the New Yorker. God bless ’em, they tried. And God bless me, I tried. I guess I got spoiled at an early age. I got used to publishing myself without editorial interference.”‘
August 28, 2004
[comics] Let’s get Vizical — BBC News Magazine on 25 Years of Viz‘In the 25 years since Viz comic first appeared, Sid [the Sexist], one of its most enduring characters, has spectacularly failed in the pursuit to which he has single-mindedly committed himself: having sex. Yet it almost didn’t happen like that, says Simon Donald, who started the comic with his brother Chris. When they set out to find a serious publishing deal, Sid’s crass exploits did not raise a smile with the suits at one of Britain’s magazine publishing giants. “They wanted Sid the Sexist to be Sid the Smooth Talker. They were offended by the fact he was politically incorrect,” says Simon Donald.’
August 25, 2004
[comics] Green Arrow’s Journal of Crime Fighting and Goatee Maintenance — allegedly Oliver Queen’s Weblog … Evil Do-ers Beware: star city smells like piss in the summer. the only thing that gets me thru my daily rooftop patrols is the new wilco album on my ipod.’
August 24, 2004
[comics] The Beat — another weblog about comics – this one from Heidi McDonald.
August 19, 2004
[comics] 2000AD and British Comics — nicely done website from the BBC Cult. Includes a reprint of Alan Moore’s DR & Quinch Have Fun on Earth (with art from Alan Davis) … ‘My name’s Ernie Quinch, college student. I like guns and starting fights. My psychiatrist says I’m a Pyschotic Deviant. But that doesn’t mean I’m a Bad Person, right?’
August 18, 2004
[comics] Bags and Boards — Variety Magazine’s weblog about ‘…the trends, the buzz and the business of the comic book industry.’
August 16, 2004
[comics] We3 #1 Preview — the first four Pages from Morrison and Quitely’s new comic which is out next week … ‘They’re the ultimate cyborg assassins; armed with missiles, poison gas, state-of-the-art computer technology and unbreakable exo-skeletons. The government has spent millions to fuse the firepower of a battalion with the nervous systems of a dog named Bandit, a cat named Tinker, and a rabbit named Pirate. As part of a program to replace human soldiers with expendable animals, the U.S. government has transformed three ordinary pets into the ultimate killing machines. But now, those three animals have seized the chance to make a last, desperate run for ‘Home’. A run that will turn into a breathless hunt to the death against the might of the entire military/industrial complex.’
[comics] Something Awful Photoshops Watchmen


‘…the harrowing specter of sexual dysfunction.’

August 12, 2004
[comics] The Grant Morrison Experience — nice PR site from Vertigo – includes a video interview and a sneak peak of Morrison’s latest comic We3 … [via Barbelith]
August 9, 2004
[comics] Michael Chabon’s Keynote Speech at the 2004 Eisner Awards‘Children did not abandon comics; comics, in their drive to attain respect and artistic accomplishment, abandoned children. And for a long time we as lovers and partisans of comics were afraid, after so many long years of struggle and hard work and incremental gains, to pick up that old jar of greasy kid stuff again, and risk undoing it all. Comics have always been an arriviste art form, and all upstarts are to some degree ashamed of their beginnings. But frankly, I don’t think that’s what’s going on in comics anymore. Now, I think, we have simply lost the habit of telling stories to children. And how sad is that?’
August 6, 2004
[comics] Doonesbury Goes to War — interview with Garry Trudeau from Rolling Stone Magazine. ‘…I was overwhelmed by some of the letters that came in about B.D. It was so emotional. People wrote that it made them feel they had a personal stake in the war — like someone they knew had been harmed. People were even more astonished when B.D.’s helmet came off. It signified his vulnerability and made it all the more difficult for them to accept. I was talking to a soldier in the hospital, and I said, “I draw this comic strip, and I have this character named B.D. who lost his leg.” The soldier’s eyes widened: “B.D. lost his leg?!” Here’s this mangled, broken hero lying in his bed, and he’s concerned that this character he knows had such a terrible thing happen to him. It was very moving.’
August 5, 2004
[comics] V for Vendetta Annotations — includes an interesting list of pop culture influences which Alan Moore and David Lloyd drew on whilst creating V for Vendetta [Related: More Moore Annotations]…

‘Orwell. Huxley. Thomas Disch. Judge Dredd. Harlan Ellison’s “Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.”, “Catman” and “Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World” by the same author. Vincent Price’s Dr. Phibes and Theatre of Blood. David Bowie. The Shadow. Nightraven. Batman. Farenheit 451. The writings of the New Worlds school of science fiction. Max Ernst’s painting “Europe After the Rains.” Thomas Pynchon. The atmosphere of British Second World War films. The Prisoner. Robin Hood. Dick Turpin…’

July 30, 2004
[blogs] The Guardian uses Blogging to Tap into Niche Publishing — Simon Waldman on the Guardian’s plans for blogs. ‘…offering blogs from columnists such as Simon Hoggart or Gary Younge was also one of the things under consideration.’
July 29, 2004
[comics] Superhero Costume Boots — for the well dressed crime-fighter … ‘Ever see a superhero wearing shabby boots? Not if he’s serious about keeping the world a safe and villain-free place. Our superhero boots are top notch, one piece constructed, Lex Luthor stompers!’
[comics] Morrison’s Big-Time Return To The DCU — Newsarama interview with Morrison regarding two new DC Projects. Morrison On JLA: Classified: ‘Aquaman has no beard and John Stewart is Green Lantern so it’s pretty much set in some kind of current continuity but I’m afraid it’s not the gloomy ‘adult’ world of Sue Dibny’s shredded lycra pants so keep well away if it’s attempted rape you crave. Cannibalism, yes, rape, no. My DCU is a day-glo, non-stop funhouse, where the world is threatened every five minutes and godlike beings clash in the skies like fireworks.’
July 26, 2004
[comics] State of the Art — Charlie Higson reviews McSweeney’s 13: The Comics Issue … ‘Why does the novel maintain its exalted status as the pinacle of human achievement? Any idiot can write one: you just need patience and a massive ego. It seems extraordinary, when we are surrounded by so much visual information, when we rely on the visual to tell us so much, and the lines between comics, films, advertising, TV and computers are becoming so blurred, that comics should still be considered trivial in some quarters.’
July 23, 2004
[comics] Dave Sim’s Follow-Up to Cerebus‘The Collected Dave Sim Letters: Just when you though The Last Day would end it all, scheduled for Spring 2005, is a compilation of Dave’s responses to EVERY letter that he received since 2001 (when Carol West quit). 691 pages (at least in Word). Dave’s been working on these responses, at a rate of 3-4 letters per day, since his post 300 “vacation” ended on January 23, 2004. He’s now working on an INDEX for the volume, using Word’s INDEX function. It took him 4 hours to get through the first 19 pages (of the 691).’ [via Meowwcat’s Cerebus Links]
July 20, 2004
[comics] The Fink Brothers – Mutants in Mega City One — a MP3 curiosity from the 80’s – Suggs and Carl from Madness perform a song about Judge Dredd and Mega City One as “The Fink Brothers”. Probably of interest to aging fans of 2000AD only … ‘From Justice Hall to Zappa Block, We patrol the streets around the clock! Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge Dredd! My God, my brain’s exploding!’
July 19, 2004
[comics] Every Generation’s Favourite Superhero — profile of Spiderman… ‘For each new generation of teen inadequates, he is the hero-as-nerd, the shy, tongue-tied, non-jock ninny who nevertheless wastes the bad guys and gets into the bra of the top cheerleader. He is always stuck somewhere between 17 and 22. He is the Immortal Teen who, for brief periods, turns into the Urban Übermensch. For the mag-loving kid in the omniplex stalls, he could so easily be one of them. That’s why fans, anoraks and commentators discuss his exploits as if he’s a friend and call him by the matey diminutive “Spidey”. No Batman fan ever dreamt of calling his hero “Batty”.’
July 15, 2004
[comics] Collector Amasses Complete DC Collection‘A private collector in the northeastern United States has accomplished the astounding and unprecedented feat of assembling a complete collection of every comic book ever published by DC Comics. For those of you who have trouble visualizing the enormity of the task, that’s over 30,000 individual comic books!’
July 14, 2004
[cartoons] Useful — All Steve Bell’s recent Editorial Cartoons as an RSS Feed.
July 12, 2004
[comics] Not Funnies — long NYT article on Graphic Novels … ‘In certain ways, graphic novels are an almost primitive medium and require a huge amount of manual labor: drawing, inking, coloring and lettering, most of it done by hand (though a few artists have begun to experiment with computer drawing). It’s as if a traditional novelist took his printout and then had to copy it over, word by word, like a quill-wielding monk in a medieval monastery. For some graphic novelists, just four or five panels is a good day’s work, and even a modest-size book can take years to complete.’ [thanks Kabir]
July 9, 2004
[comics] Interview with Craig McGill – Grant Morrison’s Biographer … ‘As I mentioned, the book is now about everything in his life – school years, when he dressed as a woman, the drugs, the friends, the fallouts, magic. Everything. Doing it chronologically will make it easier for the incoming reader who is not au fait with Grant’s work and the book will probably run in a very linear sense. I think if I had to sum up one core part of it, it would be honesty. It covers all of his life, but he’s being very blunt with himself and about others. There’s an emotional core to the book, I don’t know if there’s a focus on one part of him, more than any other though.’
July 8, 2004
[comics] Grant Morrison: Master & Commander — a huge Popimage interview with Grant Morrison‘What people often forget, of course, is that Magneto, unlike the lovely Sir Ian McKellen, is a mad old terrorist twat. No matter how he justifies his stupid, brutal behaviour, or how anyone else tries to justify it, in the end he’s just an old bastard with daft, old ideas based on violence and coercion. I really wanted to make that clear at this time.’
July 2, 2004
[comics] Women in Refrigerators — a list of female characters in comics who have been “killed, raped, depowered, crippled, turned evil, maimed, tortured, contracted a disease or had other life-derailing tragedies befall her.”
June 25, 2004
[comics] Remixed Spiderman Strips — amusing, nasty, probably NSFW … [via Die Puny Humans]


June 18, 2004
[comics] A Farewell to Aardvarks — another summing up of Cerebus … “If Dave Sim recorded an album, it would be called Genius, Asshole or Madman.” [via Meowwcat’s Cerebus Links]
June 9, 2004
[comics] 5 Questions for… Seth — the writer/artist is interviewed by Alan David Doane at Newsarama … ‘If you were to take the first part of Clyde Fans and change the electric fan, like all references to electric fans, to comic books, it would kind of explain who the character of Abraham is, because being a cartoonist in the 20th century has that same kind of feeling of, say, being an electric fan salesman, it’s a kind of an antiquated occupation that’s sort of fallen by the wayside as technological progress has moved us into such totally different media. In many ways, like working as a cartoonist, just drawing little things on pieces of paper seems like such an old fashioned method compared to all of the technological computer science that has come along.’
May 28, 2004
[iraq] Doonesbury at War — the Guardian takes a look at Doonesbury’s coverage of the War in Iraq along with a brief profile of Garry Trudeau. ‘…the syndication arrangement under which Trudeau operates gives him almost unprecedented reach and influence. With little or no editorial control, he talks to millions of readers worldwide. And even though Bush and Donald Rumsfeld profess not to read the newspapers, even they must be wary of the potential influence of such an untrammelled mind.’
May 25, 2004
[comics] Dennis ♥ Minnie — What happened when Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx grew up?
May 21, 2004
[comics] New Age of Morrison — another interview with Grant Morrison… ‘The real problem is this: in spite of all our attempts to insist that one exists, there is actually NO mass market for traditional superhero comic books – why would there be? It’s such an esoteric and old-fashioned branch of popular culture and seems to have more in common with collecting stamps or 60s retro kitsch. You can imagine Bryan Hitch drawing Steve Buscemi playing the sort of guy most people think is into these kinds of comics. After all the recent superhero movies and cartoons, at a time when Robin and Beast Boy and Spider-Man have their faces all over buses, comics sales have not improved significantly at all – it’s never going to happen unless we change the pricing, the format, the content and many other things about traditional U.S. superhero books. Kids like manga because manga comes across as modern and cool and exotic; I fear that trying to make Golden and Silver Age superhero characters appeal to a young audience is like trying to sell wax cylinder recordings of Al Jolson to consumers who listen to Outkast MP3s. As I say, comics could use some new ideas, new characters and competitive formats but change comes slowly.’
May 19, 2004
[comics] Keith Giffen: “Comics need to be four-colour crack.” [via Warren Ellis]
May 17, 2004
[comics] Chaykin On New Flagg For American Flagg Collection — interview with Howard Chaykin on the new reprint of American Flagg … ‘Though it’s been discussed before, it still should be touched on again — though few realized it in the early ’80s, reading American Flagg! was the comic book equivalent of reading H.G. Wells or Jules Verne in the 19th century. With a helluva lot more sex and violence, though. Case in point – commonplace elements in Flagg!: reality television, CGI actors (synthesbians), the collapse of the USSR with resultant Islamic militant groups controlling large portions of the former country, mass epidemics, German reunification, radical militant groups using children as soldiers, and the fractionalization of America into more and more factions.’
May 14, 2004
[comics] The Problem with Superman — Time Magazine looks at Superman … ‘He’s a metaphor for America, but an outdated, obsolete America: invulnerable to attack, always on the side of right, always ready to save the rest of the world from its villainy whether or not it wants to be saved.’ [via Neilalien]
May 11, 2004
[comics] Four Page Preview of Seaguy — from Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart‘Set in a world where all the major battles have been won, Seaguy is a wistful, would-be hero who, with his pal Chubby Da Choona, embarks on a fantastical, picaresque voyage through a post-Utopian world filled with bizarre adventure and terrible sacrifice.’ [via Barbelith]
May 10, 2004
[comics] Grant Morrison Talks Seaguy — Newsarama interview with GM regarding Seaguy … ‘My work’s always been sweet and gentle – it’s about animals and losers and hapless dreamers. I dedicated twenty years of my life to the welfare of six abandoned cats and I give my money to numerous charities and causes. I’m from Glasgow; land of the sentimental hardman. I can nurture to Olympic standard.’