August 18, 2000
[comics] Excellent interview with Authority writer Mark Millar. ‘…I thought Grant was a bit mad. He was going through his ‘Bizarro persona’ at the time. Did you ever hear about that? As a shamanic exercise, he purposely said the precise opposite of everything he meant for six entire months and broke his vocabulary down into “Me am not want drink of Vodka”, etc. It was very, very fucking scary, and his girlfriend of some years had a breakdown during the course of the exercise. He was a good sort, though, and we hit it off almost immediately thanks to my sterling knowledge of Silver Age DCs.
August 17, 2000
Hicksville Cover[comics] Dylan Horrocks the creator of Hicksville sent an email to the Comix Mailing list recently detailing what he’s currently working on. ‘[..] the monthly should be pretty unmistakably me: I’ve been bamboozling mainstream comics press interviewers by describing it (pretty flippantly) as a cross between Tolkien, William Gibson and Jean Baudrillard. ;-) Anyway, enough about that – lest you fear I’m ‘lost to the dark side’ (as Heidi likes to wryly put it), I’m also hard at work on the first issue of ATLAS, my new series from Drawn & Quarterly.’ [Related Links: Drawn & Quarterly, Comix Mailing List, Review of Hicksville]
August 13, 2000
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] Interesting usenet interview with Dave Sim the creator of Cerebus from 1992. ‘Nothing frustrates me more than the twentieth century adherence to the notion that you can find out what ‘actually happened’ and that it is necessary for fiction to set out a linear, quantitative and absolute reality for the readers consumption and assurance. I think EVERYTHING is like the Kennedy assassination(s); riddled with inconsistencies, false trails, overlapping stories and considerations; distortions wrapped inside fabrications and coated with lies. The sooner we get over the idea that reality isn’t like this, the sooner we’ll be able to put together a world that fits our circumstances as they are; not as they never were and will never be. I’m not holding my breath.’
August 12, 2000
[comics] Tom Spurgeon writes disturbingly about his life, family and comics in You Can Lead a Messiah to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Walk. ‘In 1990, I was arrested for drunk driving and grand theft auto. I told the officer in charge I was borrowing the stolen car to meet my friends, “Maggie and Hopey.” The first place I drove a car was Bright’s Book Exchange on Highway 332, where I bought the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The day my friend was murdered I spent buying comics at Comics Carnival, including that issue of Cerebus where he throws the baby.’
[comics] Fantagraphics have released Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde a 240 page comic book about the war in Former Yugoslavia. ‘The New York Times about Sacco’s coverage of the war, referring to Sacco’s journalism as “a searing and amusing look at the motley collection of reporters, war profiteers, criminals, soldiers and hapless civilians trapped in a war zone? Sacco’s drawings are stark, realistic visions of the gray, depressing world of a land mangled by artillery shells and deformed by poverty.”‘
August 10, 2000
[comics] reports that Rick Veitch and DC Comics are in the process of making up over their long running disagreement regarding Swamp Thing #88. Rick Veitch on DC Comics: ‘I would have to say that I sense there is a change up there from ten years ago. There seems to be more openness and a willingness to solve some of these longstanding problems and to focus on the future. All of us who do comics recognize that we have to rebuild this industry from the ground up, and certainly, I think that the ABC line can be one of the pillars of the foundation.’
August 9, 2000
[comics] If you visit one comic related website — make it this one: NeoMcCARTHYISM. A tribute site to Brendan McCarthy one of the best (and strangest) artists to work for 2000AD.
August 6, 2000
[comics] Tom Spurgeon tells us how comics made him fat. ‘I take consolation only in that while I may be fucked, portions of this essay will be re-posted on the Internet after my inevitable obesity-related death.’
August 4, 2000
[comics] newsUnlimited takes a look at comics being turned into film after the sucess in the US of X-Men. [Includes quotes from Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons and Kurt Busiek] ‘Grant Morrison agrees: “Comics have shrunk into comic shops which now look like porn shops and people are frightened to go in there. When Superman was selling between 4m and 6m a month, you could buy them anywhere, in any shop. One of the things they must do is get them back on the streets, back in the hands of children, out of the hands of weird 35-year-old men who collect them and sustain the industry.”‘
[online comics] Scott Mcloud’s Zot Online. ‘Although it was a superhero series, Zot! quickly became known as “the superhero comic for people who hate superhero comics” — which isn’t the best sales strategy in the world, come to think of it… When people asked me to describe the series, I said it was “a cross between Peter Pan, Buck Rogers and Marshall McLuhan” which, uh, wasn’t much better come to think of it…’
August 3, 2000
[comics] Bugpowder — Another excellent comics weblog. [via Blue Lines]
August 2, 2000
[comics] upcomingmovies and comics2film cover Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell. ‘Inspired by “Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution” by the late Stephen Knight, “From Hell” suggests that Prince Albert “Eddy” Victor had fathered an illegitimate child, and when four Whitechapel prostitutes attempted to exploit this information, they were executed (the fifth victim was allegedly a case of mistaken identity). Complicit parties include Scotland Yard, the Freemasons and Victoria herself, while such London notables as Oscar Wilde and John “Elephant Man” Merrick make cameo appearances.’
July 31, 2000
[comics] For sale on eBay…. Neil Gaiman’s Leather Jacket! ‘From 1989 on, it was my leather jacket, worn day in and day out, all over the planet, for the next six years, all through the writing of Sandman. In 1996 I retired it, replaced it with a newer stranger Talanah Gamah and Ieish creation. It’s spent the last four years in a wardrobe, being worn only occasionally. (Recently I had it professionally redyed, so it’s a uniform black.)’ [via Windowseat Weblog]
[comics] Alan Moore interview in The Independent. ‘I was glad to have been forewarned as to his appearance. Draped in black, well over six feet tall, with feral eyes, unfashionably and unfeasibly long hair and beard, and fingers aswarm with silver scorpion rings, Moore looks like the kind of man who might have been thrown out of Black Sabbath for being too weird.’ [via C-Log]
July 29, 2000
[comics] SAVANT Magazine. Warren Ellis recommends it… so it must be good. ‘Never went to San Diego. Have the same feelings about heroin, quite frankly, which I’ve haven’t done either. There’s a little tiny nag to do it once, just once, and never again but deep down inside I’m terrified that one time wouldn’t be enough. Of course, the chances of meeting compulsively masturbating momma’s boys who want to yak my fucking ear off about Aquaman as I try to urinate in peace while in the midst of a grand-mal heroin binge are considerably slimmer.’
July 27, 2000
[comics] C-Log — a weblog about comics…
July 26, 2000
[comics] Jesus: The Dark Messiah Returns. Fantastic… ‘The water on my head feels like a baptism. Because it is. I’m born again. Again.’
July 25, 2000
[comics] The New York Times takes a look at Death Row Marv — based on the Sin City comic from Frank Miller. ‘In “Sin City,” before his death sentence is carried out, Marv has the opportunity to kill the cannibalistic sociopath who murdered the woman he loved, a prostitute named Goldie. That gave him a sense of vindication.’ [via Guardian Weblog]
July 23, 2000
[comics] I cannot believe I have not blogged Jack Chick’s website before now. This Was Your Life gives you a taste of Jack’s special magic… “Your life will be played back at the judgment. Will your name be in the Book of Life? This title is a worldwide favorite, with over 60 million sold in 65 languages!” Here’s Jack’s catalog of comics
July 22, 2000
[comics] A review of the latest Preacher collectionAll Hell’s a-Coming. ‘The characters continue to be chipped away at: Custer lost his eye in the previous volume, having it sucked out of its socket by God. We lose pretty much all the sympathy we had for Cassidy, and Starr, the most powerful man in the world, having lost not only an eye, all his hair and a leg, now loses his genitals to an attack dog. “My cock is in the bitch’s mouth,” he says, “and not in a good way.”‘
July 20, 2000
[comics] The Dave Sim Memorial Note From The President Archive — a collection of writings from the creator of Cerebus. Sim on Superman: “Superman, as originally conceived, as a force for the common man, as an answer to the mindless tyranny with which his name (as a term) had come to be identified, as a foe of corruption and injustice, as the embodiment of FDR-style liberalism and the epitome of the notion that one individual can, should and must, of necessity, make a difference; in all this Superman … Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman… the only true Superman… stands as a beacon of freedom shining as brightly for an adult who holds the ideals of the character sacred as he does for a child seeing him and learning them for the first time. As a symbol of the nearly limitless power of imagination, he has inspired creators for five decades to take up pen and brush in pursuit of excellence, to weave our tapestry once more. To aspire; that one day we might know a tenth… a hundredth of the greatness implied in knowing you are Jerry Siegel. You are Joe Shuster. You are the creators of Superman. And that no monumental and tragic injustice can strip you of that mantle. As comic book creators, this is our greatest heritage… and our greatest debt.” [via Come in Alone]
July 18, 2000
[comics] Frank Miller is apparently going to do a comic book about the life of Jesus. Can you imagine it? [via The Warren Ellis Forum]
July 17, 2000
[comics] I Just Type points out that I maybe wrong about Stan Lee and that the X-Men movie had a good opening weekend….
July 15, 2000
[weblogs] Every wondered what the word Barbelith means? Grant Morrison: “The word ‘BARBELiTH’ is derived from a dream I had when I was about 20 or 21 and coincided with my first structured ‘magical’ experiences and a minor nervous breakdown (in the dream, BARBELiTH was the name of some higher dimension or alternate reality). Like a lot of stuff in INVISIBLES I used the name unconsciously when I needed something to call the red circle that represents our Universe’s placental twin. I’d taken the etymology as far as ‘bearded stone’, which seems much less interesting and less weirdly appropriate than ‘alien stone’. My real life is getting more like the comic every day (in ways I should have suspected but didn’t really expect on this scale). There’s more on the red circle and its many meanings in DOOM PATROL #54, I just realised. That issue was written in near-trance so fuck only knows what’s been trying to get through all these years.”
[comics] Yet another interview with Warren Ellis“I suspect that, to successfully write superhero books through your thirties and forties, you either have to have genuine brain damage — Grant Morrison and Alan Moore come to mind — or be genuinely infantile. Grant and Alan and a bunch of others write great superhero comics because they are mad and that sick energy infuses the work. Too many others look more and more to me like confused, ageing writers-become-hacks making a vampiric living off the young. I’d rather not end up as the comics version of Art Linkletter. Or Krusty The Klown.”
July 14, 2000
[comics] The wisdom of Preacher“I mean look at me: My head looks like a penis, I’ve got one leg, one ear, one eye, and my cock’s been replaced with a rubber tube.”
July 12, 2000
[comics] I’m trying to avoid the X-Men but Salon profiles Stan Lee and manages to mention Jack Kirby. It quite literally amazes me that the media still believe the myth that Lee created most of the Marvel characters. Lee was just the editor of those comics. “Jack Kirby returned to the company that year and, lore has it, found Lee sobbing while movers took the furniture out of Marvel’s offices.” [via Slashdot]
July 9, 2000
[comics] Ramblings 2000 the comic book industry news and rumours column is dead. Rich Johnstone’s column has moved to Next Planet Over“WELCOME, SWINE. Hello, my name’s Rich Johnston, and I’ve sold out.”
July 8, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis discusses if corporate-owned comic icons like Batman should be “saved”. ‘Superheroes are ultimately difficult to take seriously. And a mass audience wants, on some level, to take its mass-market violent action entertainment with a degree of seriousness. And what we’re talking about here is a virgin who can run up walls after being bitten by a nuked spider and a bald rich single old man who lives in a big remote house with his leather-clad “students.”‘
July 7, 2000
[Buy This Comic] One of the finest mainstream comics ever published. I love this comic, I hate this comic… Batman: Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. [Review] “This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscles… broken, spent, unable to move… and, were I an older man, I surely would… but I’m a man of thirty… of twenty again… The rain on my chest is a baptism… I am born again.”
July 1, 2000
[comics] Buy this comic: Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks. Here’s a review
June 29, 2000
[comics] Excellent Sequential Tart interview with Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. “Oh, yeah, why do I hate the Internet. I don’t really hate the Internet. I mean, you’ve got to remember that a lot of people probably see the comments I make on the side in the Preacher letter columns. And, uh, it’s possibly understandable that they take it more seriously than the rest of [what they hear]. I’m sure the Internet is an incredibly useful tool. I’m not likely to use it any time in the immediate future because I don’t have a computer.”
June 28, 2000
[comics] Great site… The Periodic Table of Comic Books.
June 27, 2000
[books] Interesting interview with Alex Garland author of The Beach. Covers the story’s origins as a comic book… . “He had drawn a 60-page comic book, a noir-ish tale based on his experiences in the Far East. He had a go at translating it into a novel. The origins of The Beach, which is written like a sequence of discrete man-on-a-desert-island cartoons, remain apparent. Its comic-book blueprint helps to account for its storytelling pace, and why even in quite horrific and bloody scenes there is a Pulp Fiction element of slapstick.”
[comics] Great two part interview of Grant Morrison in Sequential Tart: [Part One] [Part Two] ‘It lets your head expand and it also throws you on your mettle. I always travel on my own and you find yourself in the middle of Bangkok and you think ‘what do I do?’ and that’s a great feeling to have – you solve it and you go about the world feeling fantastic because no-one knows who you are and no ones putting any personality on you – you can swam into any place and say ‘I’m James Bond!” (laughs)’ — GM on travel.
June 26, 2000
[comics] The New York Times on the problems facing the comics industry. ‘Even the staunchest supporters of comic books say that the industry is facing problems in everything from production to distribution to marketing. There are no hard and fast figures for the industry. Publishers and distributors are secretive about sales. In fact, the only figure that insiders agree upon is the number of comic-book stores. Today, there are fewer than 4,000, down from more than 10,000 during the comic boom in the mid-90’s. “I think people like comics as much as ever, but now it’s very difficult to buy them,” said Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and an icon in the industry. “There used to be so many places to buy comic books; there used to be a corner store in every city.”‘
[comics] According to Ain’t it Cool News Frank Miller may be teaming up with Darren Aronofosky for the next Batman film. [via Ghost in the Machine]
June 25, 2000
[reading] Buy this comic: From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Here’s a review from Salon. ‘As ambitious and affecting as anything ever rendered in pictures and word balloons, “From Hell” combines an intricate mystery, insightful social criticism and unflinching brutality capable of unnerving the most desensitized pop audience. It’s publication as a book promises to give it a new lease on life. That’s what happened with Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-Prize winning “Maus,” which was originally published in installments in the arty comic “Raw.” “From Hell” is the only graphic novel since “Maus” to rival its ambition and historical depth.’
June 24, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis talks about the best comics you don’t read. ‘Harvey Pekar is as fucked a human as you’ll find, put bluntly. And he’s honest about it.’
June 23, 2000
[comics] The Washington Post on Marvel’s new range of comics aimed at kids. ‘Ralph Mathieu first got hooked on the Flash when he was 13 and has read comics the 25 years since. Now the owner of Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas, he believes that no matter how good comics are, convincing large numbers of kids and teens is an uphill battle. “Sadly, the number of kids who’ll pick reading for entertainment over video games, renting movies, the countless channels television offers, or the Internet, is a very small fraction,” he says. “I also think that today, more then ever, kids and teens regard superhero comics as geeky.’
June 20, 2000
[comics] The Guardian’s Steve Bell on the deaths in Dover. [Earlier BBC News Story]
June 16, 2000
[comics] The art of Dave McKean. Really great looking site.
June 15, 2000
[comics] August’s Preview Picks — good list of the best comics out in August.
June 14, 2000
[comics] Salon reports that Lex Luthor is to run for president. [via Ghost in the Machine]
June 11, 2000
[comics] Nice summary/FAQ about Kevin Smith’s comics from ViewAskew
June 10, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis interviews Grant Morrison. “Fans of comics like INVISIBLES and JLA may be interested to know that I was Mr. DeFalco’s unwilling ‘bitch’ for most of the late 80s. Because I was quite young-looking and fairly skinny, I could quickly be done up with a bit of curtain as an ideal ‘visiting niece’ whenever one of Tom’s morbid testosterone build-ups was giving him grief.”
June 9, 2000
[comics] Yesterday was a good day to visit a comic shop…. The first issue of Grant Morrison’s Marvel Boy came out along with Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics. “Comics offers a medium of enormous breadth an control for the author — a unique intimate relationship with it’s audience — and a potential so great, so inspiring, yet so brutally squandered, it could bring a tear to the eye.”Scott McCloud
June 8, 2000
[comics] Grant Morrison issues a call to arms. “This is simple: if you really hate comics so badly you want to see them die, then keep filling the message boards with frustrated, ignorant bile (I’ve been reading some of this stuff and a lot of guys out there really need to get laid or take up meditation). Otherwise, let’s have a momentary ceasefire to figure out ways of rebuilding the profile of the entire comics medium. The responsibility is with us; we all know how awful it is and how crap comics are. We’ve all heard that tired old song of self-loathing long enough and it’s getting to be a real drag. If you think there’s no hope then please f*** off, die quietly and prove yourself right.” [via Barbelith]
June 7, 2000
[comics] Great Steve Bell Cartoon on Elitism and William Hague in the Guardian today. “I, Commonsense Man shall wreak vengence on the Liberal elite”
[comics] Warren Ellis asks: Why Comics? “Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.”Harvey Pekar.