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March 17, 2001
[comics] My Obsession With Chess — I’ve been meaning to blog this for ages — a terrific on-line autobiographical comic from Scott McCloud.
March 16, 2001
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] Dave Sim want to have a boxing match with Jeff Smith. ‘Having had a year to try to figure out how to explain this to a largely feminist, largely feminzed crowed I figure the best bet is a (may God forgive me) movie analogy: Do you remember in the movie The Color of Money, the sequel–make that, the “sequel”–to The Hustler where the Tom Cruise character tells the Paul Newman character that he “threw” their big championship game, so he could “clean up” on side bets? And the Paul Newman character corners the Tom Cruise character and challenges him to a game, a for-real game? And he says to the Tom Cruise character, “Let’s clean this up”? That’s what I’m doing here. You can’t “clean up” a mess like this in a circus atmosphere. Jeff, I am saying, flat out, that you have lied. In lying, you have made a mess–a non-masculine mess. You have made a mess. Publicly. Let’s you and me, man-to-man, clean up the mess that you have made. Privately.’ [Related Link: cerebus.org, Hey, kids!! It’s the Dave Sim Misogyny Page!]
[music] Guardian Unlimited interviews Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett about Gorillaz — their ‘Virtual Band’. ‘Tank Girl didn’t even make Hewlett rich. “I made some money,” he says. “You got screwed, mate,” Albarn tells him. “I didn’t get screwed, I mean, Jesus,” retorts Hewlett. “The comic industry just collapsed. But we got to spend the best part of a year hanging out in LA. And we got paid a big lump of cash for it.” Despite a good deal of hype, the 1995 film starring Lori Petty bombed. “I think we always knew it was going to be dreadful.”‘ [Related Link: Gorillaz Website]
March 13, 2001
[comics] The Trials of a Comic Book Hero. Proof that what goes around comes around — Stan Lee gets fleeced… ‘The white-haired comic book legend may be the head of an Internet entertainment startup, but he still hasn’t quite figured out how to work his computer. “This is how you save a file,” the twentysomething assistant begins. “And I double-click?” Lee asks. “No, you only have to click once.” Lee’s naiveté would be touching if it weren’t symptomatic of a potentially bigger problem: gullibility.’ [via Comics Journal Message Board]
March 12, 2001
[comics] Oni Press have produced a free PDF version of of the first issue of Whiteout. Well worth the download… ‘If you haven’t read it, you are stupid and it’s no wonder you’ve got no girlfriend. Official’ — Warren Ellis. [via Barbelith Underground]
March 10, 2001
'I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell.'[comics] Eddie Campbell discusses Finishing From Hell…. ‘Eight years! 500 pages. Must be the longest single work Alan’s done on both counts. The astonishing thing is that he had the whole thing planned from the beginning. All the reference photos for the epilogue were shot in 1988. When Alan phoned me to offer me the gig he gave me a rundown of all the chapter titles, including prologue and epilogue. I don’t think he changed any of them as we progressed, although for a brief time ‘Blackmail or Mrs Barrett’ almost became ‘The Harlot’s Curse’. Any extra material that came to mind was fitted within the existing chapters without changing the total pattern, or structure. That word ‘structure’ sums up what Alan does best in all his work. In From Hell the structural idea behind everything is the architecture of time’ [Related Links: On-Line Preview of From Hell, Buy From Hell]
[comics] I can’t recommend this comic enough…. Berlin by Jason Lutes. ‘Jason Lutes has set this captivating story in Germany during the twilight years of the Weimer Republic. Placing them against the backdrop of the real events of the time, Lutes has created a cast of fictional characters with a particular focus on the lives of two individuals, Kurt Severing and Marthe Muller. Following these people over the course of five years leading up to 1933, Lutes meticulously documents their hopes and struggles, and the dark shadow history has cast over their lives.’ [Related Links: Ordering Information, Preview Pages of Berlin]
March 6, 2001
[comics] Chick Comic Theater does some amusing analysis of Jack Chick’s best work: Don’t Try Suicide, What Do You Expect In A Town called Sodom?, Rock Music…Inside Satan’s Boombox, Dungeons and Dragons…Geeky Pastime, or Gateway to Hell? ‘…if I’m not mistaken, that demon on the right side of the bed is whacking off! I feel sorry for Lance’s Mom. Not only does she have to discover her dead son swinging like a Pinata, but she’s got to clean up the unholy demon spew from his bed, too.’ [via Venusberg]
March 5, 2001
[weblogs] This is interesting… Neil Gaiman is updating a journal about a new book via Blogger and Warren Ellis is doing a what strongly looks like a photo blog…. [via Blogadoon and WEF]
March 3, 2001
[comics] Pow! Wham! Permission Denied! According to Lingua Franca DC Comics rountinely deny reprint permissions to academic writers which write about Batman’s sexuality… ‘DC’s rejection of York’s request fits an apparent pattern of resistance to gay interpretations of Batman. In 1991, Routledge published an anthology titled The Many Lives of the Batman, which includes an article on Batman as a camp icon. Permission to reprint art was denied. In 1993, The New Republic ran a satiric cover cartoon in which Batman and Robin exchange terms of endearment. DC immediately asked for, and received, an apology.’ [thanks to John at Linkworthy]
February 28, 2001
[comics] Queueing up to make superhero movies. It went under ‘WTF?’ a couple of months ago but Ang Lee *is* going to do a Hulk Movie‘…the allure of the Hulk’s irradiated tantrums for Ang Lee appears less clear-cut – until you recall just how unlikely the idea of such a subtle director making a martial-arts movie once sounded, and how sublime the results turned out. Indeed, many of the motifs of Lee’s films find an echo in the story of wide-eyed scientist Bruce Banner struggling to control his over-sized inner child. For a start, there are the strong female characters (in this case, Betty Ross, daughter of the US general intent on eliminating the Hulk); and the indifferent hand of fate as the hapless physicist finds himself increasingly consumed by his strange powers. Most persistently, there is the creeping sense of isolation; or, as the Hulk himself once put it, the knowledge that where he walks, “he walks alone!”.’
February 27, 2001
[comics] Tintin in Thailand — a complete set of scans from the “lewd” comic strip which “shocked Belgium”… [via lukelog]
[comics] Another long, fascinating Alan Moore interview this time from 1998 which was published in the Idler‘I can’t conceive of vapour culture. I might not survive it. But that is where we are heading. I don’t know quite what I mean by my own metaphor, but I have feeling, it may bring in an even greater, faster space of fluid transmission, where no structures, as we used to understand structure, will sustain itself – we will have to come up with new notions of structure where things can change by the moment. I’m talking about physical structures, political structures, I can’t see coherent political structures in the traditional sense lasting beyond the next twenty years, I don’t think that would be possible.’ [via BugPowder]
February 26, 2001
[comics] Slashdot looks at webcomics… lots of interesting links and commentary… From a posting: ‘This all holds fairly well with the subversive traditions of the comic. The web is reinforing those traditions and bringing them to the fore more than they were. This is a golden age for comics – they are being reborn.’
February 24, 2001
[weblogs] New comics related weblog — GLITTERDAMMERUNG! from Chris at Not Enough of Me‘I buy comics for “It.” It is that feeling you get when you discover a really good comic, when you discover something so stunning that you can hardly believe that it’s just ink on paper. No other medium can give me that exact feeling, that “warm, fuzzy glow.” They can create other special feelings within me, but nothing quite like the one that I get from comics – that’s utterly unique. And that is why I buy comics, and that is why I’m doing this blog.’
February 21, 2001
[cannibal comics] In the real world Hannibal does comics… *sigh*… Japan’s own “Cannibal” tries his hand at comics ‘Among the contents of Sagawa’s book is a passage that translates, “When I picked up her flesh in my fingers, it was the consistency of ‘toro’ (the fatty underbelly of the tuna, considered the prime cut). Caucasians are tasty indeed.”‘ [via Plastic]
[comics] Following up from the profile yesterday… Salon has an interview with Los Bros Hernandez‘We want comic books to reach a new audience, to keep getting better and better, to get more perspective, and when we are old men, we want to see new, young comic artists whose work is taken as seriously as any novel. We hope to see that in our lifetime. On the other hand, the comic books are in their own neat, kitschy, junky world that is unique to comics. We like that too. We like that it’s outlaw. You can’t repair comics, you can’t hang them in a museum and say, ‘This belongs next to the Mona Lisa.’ It’s the whole squirrelly factor, like early punk: There is the sense that this is bad, and we want it to be bad.
February 20, 2001
[comics] Salon provides a nice overview of The Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets‘When people talk about the Hernandez brothers, they mention how much their work is like that of Gabriel García Márquez in comic book form, and how, in the early ’80s, they virtually invented the alternative graphic novel as a pleasure for art kids and “mature” readers who would never, ever have picked up a comic book. They mention how they chronicled Latino culture, from the barrio to below the border; and punk rock culture, and women’s wrestling long before these things became part of mainstream American culture.’ [Related Links: Love and Rockets at Fantagraphics]
February 18, 2001
[comics] Now this is bonkers… Bill Sienkiewicz did storyboards for a Thomas the Tank Engine film… [Related Links: More of his work — Comics, Books and Magazines, Film and TV. At amazon.com – Elektra: Assassin.]
February 17, 2001
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] Diamond Previews interviews Dave Sim just before the final story arc of Cerebus debuts… ‘I’m very aware that I could still end up in jail — I’m pretty sure that Cerebus #186 qualifies under Canada’s “hate literature” laws. “Directed against an identifiable societal group” — in this case feminists. I’m sure it qualifies enough to get an indictment returned against me. Or I could end up dead, but that’s been part of the deal all along. One of the first things I expressed to God in my mind. “You know where I’m going with this. If at any time you find it necessary to hit me with the bus (laughter) everyone keeps talking about, believe me, I’ll understand completely.” Of course, it could be much worse than that. I could have to live to the age of ninety in a progressively more feminist world. To me, that makes any bus look like very small potatoes. “No! Please! The bus! The bus!”‘
February 16, 2001
[morrison] Fantastic interview and in-depth profile of Grant Morrison at PopImage… also includes my index of Morrison’s work. :) ‘Just take a look at MARVEL BOY. I never have to SAY anything, I never have to SHOW anything particularly offensive and yet… the whole book reeks of barely-repressed sodomitic, incestuous lustings. I believe there are many and varied ways to inject a bracing dose of steaming eroticism into a given comic book.’
February 15, 2001
[more tintin] David’s Favourite Captain Haddock Curses‘Fancy-dress fascist! Ostrogoth! Duck-billed platypus! Phylloxera! Logarithm! Jellied-eel! Macrocephalic baboon!’ [via Vavatch Orbital]
[comics] Hergé is spinning in his grave… Tintin in Thailand. ‘In another scene that is likely to anger fans of the comic strip, Tintin is pictured in a gay escort bar called “Sexy Boy”, where he is propositioned by two male Thai hosts. The album also contains graphic scenes of sodomy involving Snowy and Tintin’s Chinese friend Chang.’ [Related Links: Official Tintin site, BBC News Report]
February 14, 2001
[comics] Now this is what I call content… the New Yorker has put online it’s archive of cartoons… I’ve searched for the artist Kalo in the database and come up with… nothing. :(
February 13, 2001
[morrison] Here is a transcript of Grant Morrison’s DisInfo TV episode‘…Coca-Cola is a sigil, the McDonalds ‘M’ is a sigil, these people are basically turning the world in to themselves using sigils. And if we don’t reverse that process and turn the world in to us using sigils, we’re going to be living in fucking McDonalds! Magic is accessible to everyone, the means of altering reality is accessible to everyone, and when everyone starts doing it we’re going to see our desire manifest on a gigantic scale. Everyone’s desire. What happens when everyone’s desire becomes manifest?’ [via Ms Woo]
February 12, 2001
[comics] Interesting page about an unpublished Vertigo comic from Grant Morrison, Pete Milligan and Jamie Hewlett — Bizarre Boys. ‘BIZARRE BOYS, VERTIGO VOICES’ most irreverent title, is a story within a story within a story. It’s about some fictional characters called the Bizarre Boys, and about the writers who write them, and about the writers who are writing about the writers… There are two voices telling the tale of BIZARRE BOYS, and they don’t agree with each other at all. BIZARRE BOYS is a comic about a comic and about the process of putting together a comic. It’s a sparkling tapestry of post-modernism and a fast- moving breathless chase across time and space.’ [via the Warren Ellis Forum]
February 11, 2001
[comics] Brief reviews of London Comic Shops… the top three are the best shops in London… Gosh: ‘Fight through the superheroes on the ground floor and head for the stairs at the back of the shop. The lead to a basement full of alternative & independent stuff. Usually a couple of shelves of self-published bits.’
February 6, 2001
[morrison] Grant Morrison updates his website and has published good news for sad, lonely, fanboys everywhere: ‘”Sex is out of the question for me” admits once-promising Olympian John with a chuckle. “When you add my spinal injuries and other morbid disabilities to the obesity I’ve suffered since the accident well, you have the chemical combination for loneliness right there in the palm of your hand. That’s mostly why I started putting aside my spare time for poring over lists and charts and I can assure fans that 2001 will be be a hard and horny one for comics enthusiasts worldwide.”‘
February 5, 2001
[comics] Long, fascinating behind the scenes expose of the formation of Image comics in the early 90’s from The Comics Journal. ‘The story he wants to tell is, in the final analysis, not the Story of Comics but the Story of Todd McFarlane. “The comic-book world could blow up tomorrow,” he told the Journal. “I’m taken care of. The guy you got to worry about the least is Todd McFarlane. I’m bulletproof. I will make no apologies for anything Image has done. I left Marvel to be free. Eight years later, is Todd free? You’re fucking right he is. I can’t even envision the day when I would go back to the plantation and do Spider-Man or Heroes Reborn. I’m free, goddamn it! I’ve got everything I want!”‘
February 4, 2001
[comics] Nice Evan Dorkin fan page with lots of scans of his work from Dork!
February 3, 2001
[comics] Another of those Previews Guides to the comics coming out in April 2001 this time from popImage. What I’ll be purchasing… Ministry Of Space #1 and the following collections: Jar of Fools, Soundtracks by Jessica Abel, and the complete edition of Box Office Poison.
February 1, 2001
[comics] SFX Magazine interviews Warren Ellis — Part One, Part Two.‘…Marvels trying to make a bit of money, bless ’em. They’re in business and that’s what they are there for, but no-one really needs a Ghost Rider film. It’s not important. Its not going to be a life changing event for anyone and its not going to a life changing event for comics. You are not going to come out of Blade or the X-Men and say “Bugger me, I’ve got to get the Yellow Pages and find a comic shop and buy loads of comics, because this was really good”. It’s more “That was alright, now down the pub.”‘
January 31, 2001
[comics] Dan from Venusberg on the Superfriends‘Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Superfriends, but it has filtered so deep into my geek consciousness that I sincerely believe that I remember whole episodes. Most peculiar.’ I’ve never seen it either but I know exactly what he means… [has it ever been broadcast in the UK?]
January 30, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis’ Guide To Previews (for comics published in April 2001) — I can’t help but admire Ellis’ efforts to warp the purchasing tastes of his army of fans… ‘What follows are my personal recommendations from this month’s PREVIEWS. I’ll give you a write-up on it, the page number it’s on, and its order code. Talk to your retailer and find out what they need from you to place a pre-order — or, hell, just print this thing off. But, you know, once the order’s in, consider the money spent. You’ve entered into a contract with your shop. When the comic comes in, you buy it. That’s how it works. Onward, my winged monkeys… ‘ [Related Links: Previews Picks — Another Excellent Previews Guide, Warren Ellis Website]
January 29, 2001
[big numbers] Alan Moore: ‘…with the world political situation as it is at the moment the political radical is put in a difficult position because, hum, how do you rebel against chaos? You know, much as political conspiracy theorists would like to think otherwise, the brutal truth of the thing is nobody’s in control, this is a runaway train. Nobody’s in control, there’s not some big conspiracy in control, whether it’s Jewish bankers or nazis or CIA spooks, the simple truth is that the world is a complex storm of mathematics, basically… Very complicated mathematics that is beyond human comprehension.’
[comics] Another link from the excellent BugPowder weblog… Neil Gaiman’s 24-hour comic — Being An Account of the Life and Death of the Emperor Heliogabolus.
January 28, 2001
[comics] A great online archive of Brendan McCarthy’s Artoons. [Related Links: Excellent NeoMcCarthyism Fan Site, link via BugPowder]
January 26, 2001
[movies] Ghost World movie site launches… ‘Fuck you bitch… THIS IS MY HAPPENING AND IT FREAKS ME OUT!!’ [via the Warren Ellis Forum]
January 25, 2001
[comics] Gone and Forgotten — One of the best comic fan sites I’ve seen in ages — dedicated to finding the worst, most inane, stupidest comic books out there… for example, Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika. ‘Hansi ends up as some kind of Gestapo Candy Striper, taunting injured German soldiers. “I lost MY ideals when I lost my eyes on the Russian front.” says one poor kid. “We are nothing,” snaps back Hansi, cheerfully, “The Reich is everything!” Anyway, eventually Germany falls (my favorite line in the whole book “Germany surrendered! The dream ended! The nightmare began!” Unless you were a Jew, Communist, gypsy, homosexual or dissident, in which case, the nightmare had ended – the authors of this book, I can’t believe ’em)…’ [via Zenith from the Barbelith Collective]
January 24, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis is up to something at OrderingComics.com‘If you want to make comics better, then you need to ensure the good stuff survives, as a foundation for what is to come. It starts here – with you.’
January 21, 2001
[comics] i bought a lot of comics published by Eclipse in the Eighties… So i was wondering… whatever happened to Eclipse publisher Cat Yronwode? [i’ve noticed Cat’s page on Thai Penis Amulets. Fascinating… i think i’ll be needing four or five of them. :) ‘The Thai name for a penis amulet is palad khik, which means “honorable surrogate penis.” These small charms, averaging less than 2′ in length, are worn by boys and men on a waist-string under the clothes, off-center from the real penis, in the hope that they will attract and absorb any magical injury directed toward the generative organs. It is not uncommon for a man to wear several palad khiks at one time, one to increase gambling luck, for instance, another to attract women, and a third for invulnerability from bullets and knives.’]
January 13, 2001
[comics] Just what you least expect… Ang Lee to direct The Hulk? ‘The story concerns research scientist Bruce Banner, who, after being caught in a nuclear explosion, finds that, when under stress, he transforms into the Hulk, a green-skinned personification of his repressed rage possessing superhuman strength. Banner is pursued by the military for a crime he did not commit. Lee’s version of the film, to be set in Berkeley, will be a big-budgeted, f/x-driven tentpole feature for Universal in 2003. No cast has been attached, nor a start date set.’
January 11, 2001
[comics] Piercing — a fine and slightly disturbing online comic about a nipple, a ring and a bit of string… as Pete at BugPowder points out the art is reminiscent of Kyle Baker’s. Well worth the download…
January 6, 2001
[comics] Grant Morrison’s website updates…. Morrison on Lennon (in the Digital Ink section): ‘I was in a band at the time Lennon died and we were all huge Beatles fans (to annoy our raincoat-wearing Joy Division-loving peer-group we had the moptop haircuts, the Chelsea boots, the tight trousers, the psychedelic shirts, the guitars etc – see picture) so I was fairly down when my fave moptop was plugged by a madman but…when all was said and done, I’d been raised a punk on ‘Clockwork Orange’ and David Sherwin so when we went onstage with the band that night we began our set by yelling “THIS ONE’S FOR THE LATE GREAT JOHN LENNON! UP HIS FUCKING ARSE!!!!”. Big? No. Clever? No. Pure Pop Genius? I think so.’
January 3, 2001
[comics] The Mirror of Love — A complete Alan Moore script. He does panel descriptions in caps?! ‘PAGE 1, (PANEL) 1. OKAY, THIS STRIP HAS FIVE PANELS IN EXACTLY THE SAME LAYOUT UPON EACH PAGE: THERE ARE FOUR HORIZONTAL PANELS DOWN THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF EACH PAGE AND A TALL VERTICAL ONE DOWN THE RIGHT. SINCE I’VE HAD TO FIT THE ENTIRE OF KNOWN GAY HISTORY FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES ONWARDS INTO EIGHT PAGES, THERE ARE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND TEN WORDS ON EACH PAGE AND SOME RATHER LARGE CAPTIONS. SINCE THERE ARE NO BALLOONS I FIGURE YOU’LL BE ABLE TO LAY OUT THE PANELS TO ACCOMODATE THESE. THE HORIZONTAL PANELS ALL RECOUNT SCENES AND EVENTS FROM GAY HISTORY, WHILE THE VERTICAL PANELS ARE DIFFERENT.’
January 1, 2001
[comics] Roger Sabin reviews some of the best graphic novels of last year… Talking about Joe Sacco: ‘For example, he is unafraid to put himself at the centre of the story, thus challenging our notions of objectivity. Sometimes, he admits, this could be too much: “I wanted out, out of there… I wanted to put a million miles between me and Bosnia, between me and those horrible disgusting people and their fucking wars and pathetic prospects…”‘
December 31, 2000
[warren ellis] The Sermon On The Mount — Warren Ellis’ final column for Comic Book Resources. ‘And you know what? Eventually, one day, when you come to your local comics store, regular as clockwork on delivery day, to pick up your pile of cheap superhero comics that you really don’t read any more anyway, that really don’t change anything, that only ever get good for a little while and never ever end? You’ll come in alone.’ [Related Links: Tom Coates thoughts on the Column]
December 29, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis on Stan Lee: ‘That man wanted himself completely identified with Marvel and completely beloved, and did everything short of breaking into peoples’ houses and fucking them in the night to do it. To be honest, I’m sure he considered it and was talked out of it by nervous assistants. “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! I’ll do it! I shall dramatically decant myself into the beds of my best beloved brethren, the Mighty Marvel Mavens nationwide, and bring them all to outstandingly overwhelming orgasms with the purposefully pulsating penetrations of my — “‘
December 28, 2000
[comics] The Slush Factory has a interesting interview with Evan Dorkin‘This entire industry is made up of fans… very few people come into comics form outside of comics. We get the best creators, retailers, marketers, and salesmen that the comics fan base can provide. That’s limiting a lot of people. Graphic designers, we are getting some of the best people… sometimes we get some terrific people. Most of the time we get “I was always a fan, I always wanted to have my own store. I was always a fan, I always wanted to have my own comic.”‘
December 27, 2000
[comics] Kathleen reads Watchmen for the first time‘On Christmas Day 2000 I finally read Watchmen for the first time. I tried to stretch out the book over several days but I found I couldn’t put it down for more than an hour at a time. I became anxious and snappy whenever anybody interrupted me from my reading for matters as inconsequential as eating. That’s because ten years late I have learned what everyone else in the world already knew: Watchmen is fucking good.’ I was lucky (old) enough to pick up the original issues. There was the longest delay between issue 11 and 12. Waiting for that last issue almost killed me…