Who owns Marvelman? Part I and part II - the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full.
Windsor McCay was one of the first superstars of the American comics strip, a pioneer in both cartooning and animation, massively prolific. All of his work is in the public domain, but where to start? Over at Robot 6, Chris Mautner provides the lowdown in the first installment of a new series of Comics College, "a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work". [more inside]
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously).
Stephen Strange was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie since Marvel was purchased by Disney. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman, a draft script by Alex Cox (1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review), and a draft script by Bob Gale (January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles, or YT playlist). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid. Depending on who you ask, it's a more or less entertaining/accurate take (warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online.
"Alan Moore is a writer and magician from Northhampton. He's a stranger to hairdressers and worships his very own god in his very own way, blurring the lines between religious belief, magic, and the power of the creative imagination. If you film him from strange angles, you can make him look very sinister." It is his fifty-eighth birthday. The beard is pushing 40. [more inside]
Perhaps I don’t have the allegiance to paper that I ought to because anybody who invests in The Absolute Sandman, all four volumes, is now carrying 40 pounds of paper and cardboard around with them. And they hurt and they complain, “Oh, I feel guilty.” And I look at it and go, you’re not getting anything that is quantitatively or qualitatively better than the experience you’d be getting on an iPad, where you can enlarge the pages, you can move it around, it’s following the eye, and you can flip the pages. - Neil Gaiman on digital comics. Will this be the year of comics readng devices, as comiXology CEO David Steinberger says? Comixology is certianly leading the way, announcing tools for independant comics creators that will allow them to publish their comics via the comixology store, complete with the "guided views" which are a core part of their viewing experience. One creator who is full embracing digital is Alex De Campi, whose Napoleonic comic Valentine is not only published across a range of devices (iOs, Epub, Android, Kindle) but also in 14 languages, something that would have been difficult-to-impossible otherwise. Previous digital comics, Comixology suggestions
Wednesday Comics, DC's spectacular new oversize anthology featuring characters from Batman to Adam Strange and Kamandi in one page installments of serialized stories, launched yesterday to much acclaim from the internet. USA Today will be reprinting the Superman story for the duration of the comics 12 week run.
Leo Baxendale, Hunt Emerson Neil Gaiman, Melinda Gebbie, Brendan McCarthy, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Posy Simmonds, Bryan Talbot - Paul Gravett's Heroes of UK Comics
A man -- Christopher Handler -- has been arrested in Iowa for possession of explicit yaoi and lolicon manga. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman celebrates 20 years since the first publication of Sandman. Yes it’s that old. Io9 lists five ways in which Sandman changed the comics world.
Gunnerkrigg Court is a lovely and strange webcomic by Tom Siddell. While its scenario bears a passing resemblance to Harry Potter (magic school, main character with a strange destiny, etc.), there's something quite different going on here. Chapter One, for instance, deals with how to get an anthropomorphic shadow back to its forest home, using only a box of discarded robot parts and a young girl's initiative. And that's just the beginning. Need a more trustworthy endorsement than mine? Neil Gaiman likes it.
Co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko is famous for weird, distinctive art, his 1966 departure from Marvel Comics, and granting very few interviews in the course of his decades-spanning career, preferring to let creations such as The Creeper, the Objectivism-inspired Mr. A, and Squirrel Girl speak for him. Okay, Squirrel Girl not so much. Jonathan Ross turns the spotlight on the artist in the BBC4 documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko. Did they find him? Well, that's The Question, isn't it?
Neil Gaiman 1997 essay on the myth of artistic inspiration