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August 28, 2001
[comics] The Great Comic Book Ads — looks at the weird things you can buy from the back of old comics. I always wanted to be a GRIT Salesman‘I’ve easily read 100 comic books for every book I’ve read, but that’s mostly just because I’m not very smart.’
August 25, 2001
[wtf?] Marvel’s Next Hollywood Connection? Celebrity comic writers — the next big thing in mainstream comics… ‘…Freddie Prinze Jr. – maybe the busiest young actor working today – wants to try his hand at writing comic books in the coming months, while he takes a break from acting.’

What next… Perhaps Robert Downey Jr. will write Wonder Woman? ‘Police also found a Wonder Woman costume in Downey’s hotel closet, which authorities believe may have been worn by a woman who had been in his room before police arrived.’
[comics] Mad Magazine Vs. J. Edgar Hoover — the FBI investigated Mad Magazine after J. Edgar Hoover was mentioned in the magazine … ‘Several complaints have been made to the Bureau concerning the Mad comic book, which at one time presented the horror of war to readers. Various comic books of this nature were brought to the attention of the Justice Department, which rendered the decision that such books did not constitute a violation of the Sedition Statutes.’ [via Comic Geek]
August 24, 2001
[comics] Cartoon strip seeks to be first of the first books — Jimmy Corrigan in shortlist for this year’s Guardian First Book Award. ‘Ware has won rave reviews for his subtle, innovative book with its dark portrayal of alienated wage slaves and dysfunctional family relationships. The title character is an introverted office dogsbody whose awkward reunion with his long-lost father brings him further confusion and pain. The author is already being championed by last year’s First Book Award winner. “He should win immediately – I don’t even care what else is on it,” declared novelist Zadie Smith. “It’s a work of genius.” The author Nick Hornby is another fan, who said Jimmy Corrigan was “too beautiful to take anywhere”.’ [Related: Buy Jimmy Corrigan at Amazon, Chris Ware at Fantagraphics]
August 22, 2001
[comics] Sophie Crumb, sketching her own artistic ‘World’ — USA Today on Robert Crumb’s daughter Sophie … ”’Last night, this guy, a fire juggler I met on the street, was looking at something I did and he said, ‘This looks like R. Crumb.’ I said, ‘That’s my dad!’ Crumb, who doesn’t see the resemblance to her father’s work, hopes to avoid cashing in on his fame and plans to pursue a career illustrating children’s books. ”I wish my last name would have nothing to do with it,” she says. ”I thought that Crumb was a common name in Kansas.” She pauses. ”I have to get married to a French guy soon.”’ [via Comic Geek]
August 21, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis Recommends… books, comics and music. ‘I’d just like to take the opportunity to say that Lee Van Cleef always had the best hat.’
August 20, 2001
[comics] You cannot resist him! Evan Dorkin’s Devil Puppet in all his mesmeric glory… [from The House Of Fun]
August 13, 2001
[comics] Fisher Price Theatre Presents… Catcher in the Rye [Part 1 | Part 2] by Evan Dorkin. ”If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and that David Coperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.’ [via Venusberg]
August 11, 2001
[comics] No Laughing Matter — Salon covers Gary Groth’s views on Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics … ‘Faced with a dwindling comic book readership, distribution centered on hobby shops and the depressing news that market leader Marvel is still struggling to emerge from bankruptcy, comic artists and publishers are in a vulnerable state. The Net, like a tornado heading for a trailer, is bound to have some effect, good or bad. “It’s like opera,” says Steve Conley, creator of Astounding Space Thrills, a daily adventure webcomic. “The fighting is so fierce because the stakes are so small. No other industry could have this kind of debate because no other industry is so small and close-knit.”‘ [Related: McCloud Cuckoo-Land (Part 1) (Part 2) — Groth rebuffs McCloud’s Reinventing Comics. McCloud responds… McCloud in Stable Condition Following Review, Groth Still at Large]
August 10, 2001
[comics] Grendels and Mages — an interview with Matt Wagner from Sequential Tart‘Seriously, I view Hunter [Rose] as one of those flash inspirations – one that almost creates itself. Greg Rucka claims that Hunter is my Athena, that he sprang fully formed and armed from the labyrinthine recesses of my brain. He also claims that no one other than me should ever write a Hunter story and, I must admit, I think he’s right.’
August 9, 2001
[comics] Quick profile of Dan Clowes‘Time spent with his book “Ghost World” — now a film that opened here Friday — leaves you with the sense that the gentleman responsible for it must be some frustratingly inaccessible, enervated, neurotic ogre. But Clowes looks like David Hyde Pierce with a more keyed-down demeanor. If Clowes is a dork, it’s from the inside out, his geek sensibility being something he shares with those who read him. Otherwise, he appears to be surrounded by outer peace.’ [via Comic Geek]
August 3, 2001
[comics] Scott Shaw’s Oddball Comics … A collection of pointers to world’s weirdest comics. Some classic comics including Jack Kirby at his nuttiest… 2001: A Space Odyssey ‘”White Zero” is the fictional identity given to mild Harvey Norton in simulated superhero “sequences” artificially created in the high-tech chambers of “Comicsville, Inc.” But during one of his synthetic “adventures”, Norton unexpectedly encounters a floating monolith similar to “the one they found on the MOON in 2001 A,D.” When his manufactured exploit goes awry, Norton’s enthusiasm for superheroics dwindles: Another Comicsville Inc. patron observes: “Man, if you can’t make it in COMICSVILLE, you may as well try KNITTING sweaters!”‘ [Related: Oddball Comics Archive, Gone and Forgotten]
August 2, 2001
[comics] Long, fascinating interview with Grant Morrison over at Disinformation‘What I want to see is people doing their own experience and their own life without trying to be clever or trying to be hip or fashionable. If you do what’s in your own head it’ll always be cool because no one else will have thought of it.’ [via Plasticbag]
August 1, 2001
[comics] Borderline the new PDF format magazine about comics launches… Two versions are available: High Resolution / Low Resolution … It contains news, reviews, articles and an interview with Bryan Talbot‘Borderline is the result of a renaissance in British fan circles during the last two years but with the use of the internet for delivery we hope to offer something with points of interest to readers of comics anywhere in the world.’
July 31, 2001
[comics] A couple of articles about Neil Gaiman …. From the Telegraph — Bitten By The Fantasy Bug and from CNN — Gaiman: ‘I enjoy not being famous’‘The Sandman stands as a key text of the Nineties. In it, Gaiman drew together many of the currents that bubbled below the surface of the times: a millennial preoccupation with alternative spiritualities, a New Age interest in dreams and archetypes, a postmodern fascination with mythologies and storytelling. A decade later, these currents are no longer below the surface. Indeed, it looks very much as though The Sandman presaged our present pop cultural landscape, for today’s biggest stories – from Harry Potter to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – exist in spaces it charted first.’ [Related: Gaiman’s Web Journal]
[comics] Pulp fiction — Guardian review of Comic Book Nation‘According to the New York Times , one in four magazines shipped to US troops during the second world war was a comic book. The superheroes fought the war, too, but they had to find excuses for not winning it immediately. Fortunately Clark Kent failed his eye test, so Superman could credibly remain on the home front.’ [thanks to John at LinkWorthy]
July 27, 2001
[comics] Salon has A Conversation With Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes‘Collectors like us are usually all really troubled people who find solace in their dank apartments filled with decaying old stuff, and they’re often a trial to deal with. Of course, I live in my own little sanctum/sanatorium with all my books covered with Mylar. I collected a lot of sleazy ’50s and ’60s sex paperbacks and recently found one from 1968 called “Ding-a-Ling Broad.” It has the dumbest-looking woman that I’ve ever seen on the cover. It’s something that is an endless source of joy for me.’ [Related: Ghost World Movie Site, Salon Review, GW at IMDB, link via Seething Hatred]
July 26, 2001
[comics] The Disappearing Comic Book — Why are comic books in trouble when comic book characters are strong in other mediums? ‘During the last 30 years, comics have become ghettoized, Munson says, turned into specialty items sold in persnickety little shops, located one per town, if that, and sold only to those who know the secret word. (Los Angeles, with dozens of shops and some of the best, is an exception.) A few popular titles are available at chain bookstores, but I had to squat and look beneath the bottom shelf on a Barnes & Noble magazine rack to find a copy of “Wolverine’.
July 25, 2001
[comics] Comics From The Underground — The New Yorker profiles Dan Clowes… ‘Clowes scowled. “I really hate this shit,” he said. Then he noticed a 1951 “Space Squadron”: on the cover was a squat red rocket and spacemen floating in bulbous suits. “That’s so great,” he said, and his huge gray eyes seemed to glow. “That unthreatening quaintness, that X factor of weird old men trying to draw for children. It’ll be panel after panel of inexplicably strange Freudian dogma.” Gesturing at the “Black Widow” and “Hellblazer” graphic novels below, he said, “This crap looks like it was airbrushed on the side of a van in 1973 by some surly young creep.”‘ [via Robot Wisdom]
July 23, 2001
Jimmy Corrigan Cover[comics] Daddy, I Hardly Knew You — review of Chris Ware’s graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth…. ‘This is a finely crafted, complex book that gets better with every chapter: Ware seems to have matured both as an artist and a person in the years it took to complete. While so many similar projects are little more than strings of striking images, Jimmy Corrigan forces you to pause, flick back a few pages and read again, rewarding you with another insight, another overdue connection. It is a rare and uplifting example of an artistic vision pushed to the limits.’ [via Bugpowder]
July 18, 2001
[comics] Long, fascinating interview with Bill Sienkiewicz‘I wanted to paint Elektra: Assassin at all costs. I wanted to do it so badly, that the rate for the coloring was like $40 a page. They didn’t have a painted page rate at the time. So I was doing all that work for essentially nothing because I needed to do it, I wanted to do it. From working with Frank’s scripts to laughing my head off to being inspired and excited and knowing that whatever he was going to throw back at me was going to inspire me further. It really helped to make it about the work… because it all got turned back into the storyline. It was a very creative environment.’ [Related: Sienkiewicz’s Website]
July 17, 2001
[comics] Comic Genius — review in the Guardian of Preacher from Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon. ‘Preacher, while happily dipping into the ersatz mythological/ supernatural hinterland that forgivably pretentious comic artists have found so convenient – God, the devil, angels, the Grail, vampires, Illuminati-inspired conspiracy theories, and millennial tension – uses them as a means of meditation on more human and timeless themes: friendship, masculinity, honour, love. That Ennis’s feelings on this subject tend to be a tad cornball is fine, as he has taken such an extraordinary route to reach them. A tale in which someone actually gets to shoot at God is extraordinary, no?’ [via Bugpowder]
July 16, 2001
[comics] Marvel provide an interview with Grant Morrison on the New X-Men…. What we can expect from his time on X-Men: ‘High-impact comics: big drama, new threats, new ideas, engrossing soap opera, pain, fear, romance, and some startling new insights into mutant life and culture. Stories will last no more than three or four issues, and no subplot will be left hanging for more than a year. There will be no more narrative captions or interior thought monologues. Readers will have to work out characters and motivations by judging their actions, not by seeing into their heads. Basically, the book will be about the same people, but it will feel very different and show those people from angles we may not have seen often before.’ [via Plasticbag]
July 14, 2001
[comics] Popimage provides a look through comics to be released in Sept 2001… especially looking forward to Atlas by Dylan Horrocks and Campbell and Moore’s Snakes and Ladders‘Atlas is a long, sprawling saga of comics, cartography and magic, revisiting two landscapes introduced in Hicksville: the eponymous comics-obsessed town and the mysterious Cornucopia. Along the way, it will explore the nature of comics, the politics of the new millennium, the frailty of love and the secret to mapping the sky…’
July 13, 2001
[comics] Another first chapter… The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. ‘In Sammy’s closet were stacked dozens of pads of coarse newsprint, filled with horses, Indians, football heroes, sentient apes, Fokkers, nymphs, moon rockets, buckaroos, Saracens, tropic jungles, grizzlies, studies of the folds in women’s clothing, the dents in men’s hats, the lights in human irises, clouds in the western sky. His grasp of perspective was tenuous, his knowledge of human anatomy dubious, his line often sketchy – but he was an enterprising thief. He clipped favorite pages and panels out of newspapers and comic books and pasted them into a fat notebook: a thousand different exemplary poses and styles. He had made extensive use of his bible of clippings in concocting a counterfeit Terry and the Pirates strip called South China Sea, drawn in faithful imitation of the great Caniff. He had knocked off Raymond in something he called Pimpernel of the Planets and Chester Gould in a lockjawed G-man strip called Knuckle Duster Doyle. He had tried swiping from Hogarth and Lee Falk, from George Herriman, Harold Gray, and Elzie Segar.’
July 11, 2001
[comics] Great interview with Eddie Campbell mainly about the From Hell movie at Ain’t it Cool News‘Alan said that, “We all know that serial murderers are not like this. They’re horrible nasty little men with bad hair-cuts!” So with Gull, we’ve created this colossal figure of evil. I hope we haven’t made him attractive. I actually have much admiration for the original Dr. Gull, who was the man who wrote the paper and gave the name to anorexia nervosa. And his name still pops up if you’re reading on thyroid conditions. He wrote the original medical papers on one or two subjects that are still very relevant today.’
July 10, 2001
[comics] Girls And Comics – Oil And Water — a for real Comic Book Guy?! ‘I am a keen observer of human behavior and the attitude of a girl in a comic shop is like that of a Vulcan amongst Ferengi. They think they are so much better than comics. Those girls don’t think I’m watching them from my stool behind the counter as I bag and board comics. But I am. I see them in their little belly-shirts acting like they are so above comics. The reality is that girls lack the imagination of boys and cannot comprehend the bold archetypes portrayed in our (boys?) sequential art-form.’ [via Comic Geek]
July 4, 2001
[comics] Brief preview of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men 2001 Annual….
June 30, 2001
[comics] Tom interviews Grant Morrison [Part One | Part Two]. Morrison on Animal Man: ‘The Animal Man project began as a four issue miniseries in what he describes with a laugh as the “Alan Moore style – lots of poetic captions and interesting scene transitions”, but it soon spiralled away from this concept. “Half-way through the first four issues I decided that I just couldn’t continue with it. They had asked me to do it as an ongoing series, but it just wasn’t the kind of thing that I wanted to do. Suddenly the idea of the ‘Coyote Gospel’ came to me and that basically set the template for everything that I’ve done since.”‘
June 29, 2001
[comics] Popimage has 20 questions with Joe Quesada. Old Marvel vs. New Marvel: ‘…communications between the upper levels of the company and our talent was really disastrous. We also had some very poor hiring methods. For starters we kept hiring editors and assistant editors to write our top books while the competition was recruiting new talent that was really breaking ground. We had no recruitment techniques at all! When we did hire top talent we wouldn’t let them do what they wanted to do, we had a very heavy-handed editorial approach and would make sure that the books were more editorially driven than talent driven. I think that there was also the ego factor, you know “Eff you we’re Marvel and if you don’t like it go work for the smaller companies” and ultimately we were afraid of change. I can’t tell you the fear, concern and jealousy that was felt across Marvel when Marvel Knights was introduced into the system. I could feel it walking down the halls on a daily basis. That first year I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as I walked by certain offices.’
June 28, 2001
[comics] I was a lot younger when I read this the first time… (WTF! 1990?!) Endless Summer by Philip Bond. ‘…a little sappy for you? never mind, there’ll be something much more moronic next week.’
June 27, 2001
[comics] Interview with Alex Robinson — the artist / writer behind Box Office Poison… On having Will Eisner as a teacher at art school: ‘The sad part was that out of maybe 25 people in the class, only five or six paid attention to him. The rest of the students didn’t care who he was and were only interested in being the next Jim Lee or whoever. Some of the kids in the cartooning department had never even heard of Robert Crumb (it was before the movie, of course)!’
June 26, 2001
[comics] Long, interesting interview with Daniel Clowes from Indy Magazine‘Sometimes I think that since I’ve gotten all this minor exposure, I should really go on a crusade to get people to read comics. But I think once you do that, you’re dividing your energy, and you’re much better off doing the best comics you can do. That will ultimately help the cause of comics a lot more.’ [via Metafilter]
June 24, 2001
[comics] The Barbelith Underground discusses The Island Of Forgotton Comics‘And I do wish that John Byrne would tell the world what happened next to the Next Men, although I think I’m the only one who gives a damn.’
June 23, 2001
[quote]
Observation: Multi-Screen viewing is seemingly anticipated by Burroughs’ cut-up technique. He suggested re-arranging words and images to evade rational analysis, allowing subliminal hints of the future to leak through… An impending world of exotica, glimpsed only peripherally. Perceptually, this simultaneous input engages me like the kinetic equivalent of an abstract or impressionist painting
…Phosphor-dot swirls juxtapose; meanings coalesce from semiotic chaos before reverting to incoherence. Transient and elusive these must be grasped quickly: Computer animations imbue even breakfast cereals with an hallucinogenic futurity; Music channels process information-blips, avoiding linear presentation, implying limitless personal choice… These reference points established , an emergent worldview becomes gradually discernable amidst the media’s white noise. This jigsaw-fragment model of tomorrow aligns itself piece by piece, specific areas necessarily obscured by indeterminacy. However, broad assumptions regarding this postulated future may be drawn. We can imagine its ambience. We can hypothesize its psychology. In conjunction with massive forecasted technological acceleration approaching the millennium, this oblique and shifting cathode mosaic uncovers an era of new sensations and possibilities. An era of the conceivable made concrete… and of the casually miraculous.’
June 22, 2001
[comics] First review I’ve seen of the Ghost World movie…. ‘Just out of high school, Enid has vague plans to move away from home and into a starter apartment with best bud Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). Slightly jealous of her pretty blonde pal, our bespectacled post-Goth heroine keeps bailing on the search for a new pad, although she’s clearly sick of living with her meek dad (Bob Balaban, in another of his superbly modulated outings). Adding to the tension between the girls is their mutual ardor for Josh (Brad Renfro), a blandly handsome schoolmate without much evident interest in either of them. (This aspect of the situation, uncharacteristically for the movie, is rather more muted than it is in the comic.) Throwing things out of whack, and eventually into focus, is Enid’s chance encounter with Buscemi’s Seymour, a sad-sack record collector — an amalgam of Zwigoff himself and various Crumb brothers.’ [via Comic Geek]
June 21, 2001
[comics] Nice quality trailer for Ghost World up at Apple’s Quicktime Movie Trailers site… [ …oh… and buy the comic book!! Trust me. You won’t regret it.]
June 20, 2001
[comics] NeilGaiman.Com goes live as his new book American Gods is released. His blog has relocated [t]here as well….
June 17, 2001
Jimmy Corrigan Cover[comics] Charles Shar Murray reviews Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware. ‘This exquisitely packaged graphic-novel edition of the strip, which ran in Ware’s own Acme Novelty Library for most of the 1990s, has been hailed as a masterpiece, and rightly so. Ware has been praised for the acute psychological insight of his writing, for the crisp, pellucid elegance of his art and design, and for his formal innovations, not least the dizzying variety of graphic idioms and narrative through-lines set in different time-periods, which he juggles with awesome self-assurance.’ [Related: Buy Jim Corrigan at Amazon]
June 12, 2001
[comics] Tom interviews Kevin O’Neill [Part One | Part Two] artist on Nemesis The Warlock and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Censorship in 2000AD: ‘It was a scene in which two giant Torquemada statues had a bridge slung between them. I didn’t see what was wrong with – there was no blood or anything. But the editors thought the bridge was some kind of penis! It was above the navel! I just thought, ‘Where the hell does he keep his penis?!’. I made the bridge look thinner and that pacified them. But at the same time, they completely missed that Torquemada was married to an underage girl. We had scenes of him in bed with his 14 year-old child-bride and they never even blinked!’
June 11, 2001
[comics] The Comics Journal looks at Dave Sim, Tangents and his proposed boxing match with Jeff Smith. On speculations on the internet that he is mad: ‘When asked about the speculations on his state of mind, Sim said that “it’s difficult to take seriously from people whose social life consists of talking to a typewriter.” He added that although he is vehemently opposed to such Internet activity, “Gerhard followed one thread and said, ‘Well, that’s one hour of my time that I’ll never get back.'” Without such message boards, Sim maintained, there is barely any controversy at all.’
June 10, 2001
[comics] Preview Picks looks at the comics available in August
June 9, 2001
[comics] Grant Morrison discusses Animal Man… one of his early DC comics… ‘As Animal Man progressed, I moved away from miserablist heroes in their grainy, rainy ‘real’ world (that looked like no real world outside my window) and instead twisted my head into thinking not what would it be like for superheroes to live in the real world but what would it be like for a real person to live in a superhero world – an actual comic continuum, a universe drawn on paper, as thin as the ink surface but as rich and deep and involving as a 50 year-deep, shared, living universe could be. Once I’d worked out the cosmology I decided to start playing with it a little more seriously. I wondered if I could make a comic so close to real life that by writing an event or person into the comic I could make the event occur or the person appear in my own life or in the lives of others around me. I experimented with the Flex Mentallo comic then got serious with The Invisibles, which changed my life and rewrote the world around me.’
[politics] Okay, the final election link — election sketches from cartoonist Posy Simmonds. The Tory Leadership Election starts here… VIVA WIDDECOMBE!
June 7, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis provides a guide to Ordering Comics for August 2001‘Okay. Garth Ennis, co-creator of PREACHER, is the writer. Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of JUDGE DREDD, is the artist. And it’s a World War 2 story. About Hitler’s missing testicle. Which is somewhere in the Middle East, crackling with occult power. Whoever possesses the magic bollock will rule the world. Please buy this, so that Garth and Carlos no longer have to have these wrong thoughts and can rest their sick brains. Please. In the name of God, please.’
June 4, 2001
[comics] Time reviews Eddie Campbell’s “Alec: How to be an Artist. ‘”Alec: How to be an Artist,” uses Campbell’s long-time alter-ego, Alec MacGarry, to tell the story of his struggling years. Using this tether Campbell dives into and returns from extended caveats on subjects like the history of the industry during the ’80s “boom-years,” the difference between craft and art, and the challenges of remaining an Artist in such an historically disposable medium. Thus it bounces from essay, to history, to criticism, to autobiography in a way I haven’t seen comix try before.’
[web] Tom launches the Barbelith Zine… also check out the Barbelith Collective (Blogs) and the Barbelith Underground (Chat). ‘…barbelith.com grew out of discussions of some of the issues raised in [The Invisibles], and went far beyond them almost immediately. It’s a home for dialogues about society, technology, media, magic, religion, sex, and what-all else. It’s a community which is boisterous, passionate, sometimes acerbic, yet on occasion surprisingly tender and supportive. Debate is fierce and standards are high, but no one should feel excluded or too shy to contribute.’
June 3, 2001
“I told you my work is almost completed. Let me tell you now exactly what I’m planning to do. I’ve spoken of the importance of catastrophe to progress and change. Think of the minor accidents that made you and the others what you are today. Now imagine a mass accident if you will. Imagine generating a global catastrophe curve. What might happen then? How would humanity be forced to change and adapt? With the nanomachines I can do it. I can remake the world and everyone in it. I’m not entirely sure what kind of world will exist when I have finished, but I know it will be better for everyone. If I have any faith, I have faith in the unexpected. The unpredictable. I believe in the catastrophe. I welcome it with open arms.
[comics] Alan Moore and Marvel Comics build bridges… Moore’s version and Quesada’s version of what happened… Quesada:‘I flew over, and took the train to Northampton to meet Alan,” he said. “He lives up to his reputation as the comic book Merlin. He’s a big, tall guy with a beard and a walking staff. We walked through Northampton and he showed me where Princess Di is really buried. She’s not where everyone thinks she is.”‘ [via Seething Hatred]
June 2, 2001
[comics] Preview Picks for June 2001 — nice overview of what comics are released this month.