We might not get laughed out of the room, but the question is: would we want to be stuck in it with some guy who would ask: Since we already have Aristophanes, who needs Kurtzman? Since we have Erasmus of Rotterdam, why would we want Steve Martin? With Wagner still available, who cares about the Firehouse Five? Furthermore, would we let that guy organize the party music?Eddie Campbell on fallacies of comics criticism.
What appears at first to be taking a more stringent view is in fact applying irrelevant criteria. It dismantles the idea of a comic and leaves the parts hopelessly undone.
For their Comic Books are Burning in Hell podcast Joe McCulloch, Tucker Stone, Matt Seneca and Chris Mautner take on Tim Vigil and Faust. Featuring extensive notes and artwork perhaps not suitable for viewing at work. [more inside]
In order to make it easier on himself during the Holiday season last year, Tom Spurgeon ran a series of interviews with various comics professionals on his site: the complete archive is now available. Interviewees range from Alison Bechdel to Mark Waid and from Joe Sacco to Carol Tyler, providing as wideranging a cross section of American comics as you're likely to get anywhere.
Huib van Opstal at Yesterday's Papers on illustrator-writer George du Maurier's work for Punch and the earliest international origins of comic books and strips.
"It looks all but inevitable that Twitter, who acquired Posterous last year, will be eliminating the blog platform. This means that all my blogs will vanish, which is a shame, because all my blogs are actually compendiums of very specialized comic book material, meant to be permanent galleries, available forever."
Scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute successfully encoded several different file formats onto strands of synthetic DNA, which were then sent to an American lab and sequenced to extract the data. Selections included Shakespeare, audio of Dr. Martin Luther King, and photos of their lab. If the idea sounds vaguely familiar, you've probably been reading Dresden Codak.
In 2010, journalist David Axe spent a month in the Congo reporting on the Lord's Resistance Army. When he returned, he wrote a book titled "Army of God: Joseph Kony's War in Central Africa", illustrated by Tim Hamilton and edited by Matt Bors. The book first appeared online, but the paperback rights were acquired by publisher Public Affairs, with plans to publish an expanded edition in 2013. The deal included an advance, which was wired to Hamilton's account. That's where the U.S. Treasury department comes in. Specifically, The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). [more inside]
Saveur's utterly charming "Recipe Comix" features illustrated recipes/short stories by some of the web's best cartoonists covering a wide range of meals.
The everyday life of comic book legends: grabbing a bite, scratching an itch and getting it on (NSFW). See also: Paper Heroes. Artist: Greg Guillemin.
Texts from superheroes. (SLTMBLR, does what it says on the tin.)
The Comics Buyers Guide was founded in 1971 by Alan Light, morphing over the decades (not in the least due to postal regulations requiring a certain amount of editorial content) into the most widely read industry newsletter, highly influential in its heyday under the editorial guidance of Don and Maggie Thompson in the eighties and early nineties. Now its run has come to an end as it will stop publishing with its March 2013 issue. [more inside]
In 2010, Marvel Comics artist Steve Bunch posted an anonymous page to his blog that featured X-Men frontman Wolverine inexplicably encountering Queen frontman Freddy Mercury, an art submission originally sent to Darren Auck, then head of Marvel's art-correction team, in the 1990s. Portland-based comics artist Colleen Coover read Bunch's post, and in 2012 she decided to do something about it: she decided to recreate the page, adding color (both literal and metaphorical) to the meeting of these two (actual and arguable) mutants. Since then, other comic artists have decided to recreate the historic meeting depicted on that original, baffling/brilliant page: Some are magical; some are professional grade (pages one and two); some are prosaic; some are, frankly, adorable. Not all of them are on Coover's page. Do you hold the secret to this story? Coover would like to see your take: "I invite other artists to do the same, by which exercise we may one day come close to the fictional Truth of the matter."
Europe has a long-standing comic tradition, at least equal to that of America. Beyond Tintin and Asterix, there are hundreds of fantastic titles with astonishing art, most of which never see the shores of the USA. However, when a lucky title does get the nod, something bizarre happens when European sensibilities face American censors. [more inside]
Keiji Nakazawa, the manga artist and creator of Barefoot Gen (previously),his autobiographical account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, died on the 19th of December, still living in Hiroshima. His obituary is up on The Comics Journal website, while comics blogger David Brothers adds a more personal note about discovering Barefoot Gen as a preteen.
Tom Spurgeon lists fifty positive comics news stories that happened in 2012.
This past fall, comedians Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser (hosts of popular podcast You Had to Be There) had "the amazing privilege" of hiring a writing staff for their upcoming TV show, Nikki & Sara Live. Sara "was flattered and honored when hundreds of people applied. It was a super fun experience, but it was also an incredibly illuminating one. Reading so many packets made a couple of things very very clear: there are some really easy, basic things you can do to improve your chances of getting a job writing for TV." Step 1: Dedicate Your Entire Life to Comedy
Nimona is the shape-shifting, hell-raising sidekick to Ballister Blackheart, the biggest name in supervilliany. [more inside]
How Steve Rogers copes with being woken up into a world he never made, seventy years after being frozen in ice: diary comics. (SLTMBLR)
"There’s a lack of pretentiousness to the word ‘comic book’ that I think suits the medium itself very, very nicely."
The NYT Book Review just named it one of the 5 best fiction books of the year. The AV Club helpfully posted a video to show you what happens when you open it. Actually, lots of folks posted videos to show you what happens when you open it. Other folks raved in print about the author and his career. The Comics Journal asked a dozen critics of the author's work to send in reviews; this one focuses on the role of disability in the narrative. This one notes the book "is in a very primary sense a comic about women and the private lives they lead, and it investigates more fully than any other comic I have ever read the way they age, fall in love, explore their sexuality, come to terms with compromises they’ve had to make as they’ve grown, accept their limitations, confront squandered ability, have children (or choose not to have children), marry (or stay single), and make sense of the world around them." You might find Chris Ware's Building Stories worth a look or two. Or fourteen. [more inside]
The X-Men animated series opening sequence redone in stop-motion (SLYT).
"I have a confession to make. I think I'm in friend-love with you. I don't want to date you or even make out with you. Because that would be weird. I just so desperately want for you to think that I am this super-awesome person because I think you are a super-awesome person" -- A single link webcomic by Yumi Sakugawa.
"British comics go through peaks and troughs, and currently we’re in a peaky bit. In the mental graph I’m going to attempt to construct in your head, the x-axis begins around 1977 and the y-axis is the amount of interesting stuff happening. Up, down, up, down. Imagine at the moment that we are up." -- Hayley Campbell on "why we're banging on about comics so much", as The New Statesman holds a week of British comics blogging. [more inside]
Executive editor Karen Berger will be leaving DC Comics' Vertigo imprint in 2013 Reactions from the comics industry.
Interested in writing comics? Here are dozens of links on how to do it.
The Hawkeye Initiative Hawkeye drawn in some "classic" comic poses.
What adults may remember best about Bazooka, however, is disappearing. The tiny comic strip featuring the eyepatch-wearing brand mascot Bazooka Joe that has been wrapped around each piece of gum since 1953 is being replaced.
Belts, boots, collars, gauntlets and flared, flared shoulders, a treasure trove of Dave Cockrum art, the artist who made the X-Men popular, all from 1975 to 1985.
Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
Jack Kirby Double-Page Spreads. A flickr set of double-splash-page spreads by the King of Comics.
The private collection of Jim & Gayle Halperin includes original EC comic book art, work by R. Crumb (such as the original Big Yum Yum book), Maxfield Parrish prints and a lot of other great stuff.
Geek Masculinity and the Myth of the Fake Geek Girl - why we get things like the "Imposter" ad and the Tony Harris rant.
"Farmer's Dilemma" is a short, sad and beautiful comic about family and acceptance. From Sam Alden's art blog, GINGERLAND.
Hamish Steele! Be moved by his brief-yet-poignant award-winning animated film The Right Time. Be charmed by his commissioned portraits of couples and their pets. Be inspired by his loose and fresh superheroes (Batman, Phoenix, Hawkeye)! And it wouldn't be Tumblr without an appearance by Sherlock Holmes (not that one).
Bill Roundy is a cartoonist living in Brooklyn, who has a strip in the Brooklyn Paper in which he draws and reviews local bars. 'Nuff said.
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
"I’ve since discovered that dropping in on Steve Ditko unannounced is a pretty common practice. That does’t make me feel any better. I felt gross for having invaded someone’s privacy – there is zero excuse – but the fact that people do this as a sort of known event is even worse. I haven’t pulled that on Ditko since and I never will, but I suppose we’re all free to disrupt the man just to satiate our curiosity, or “just cuz”, as if he were a landmark attraction and not a person." -- On Ditko's eightyfifth birthday, cartoonist Michael Fiffe talks about Steve Ditko, the influence Ditko has had on his own comics and the incredibly gracious way in which he corresponded with him as a young clueless fan.
A family friend, Susi, just turned 90. Since I’m home in Oregon, I attended the B-Day party. Her Jewish family got out of Germany in ’39 and she found herself a teenager in the US. Got an education, got married, raised a family. She was — is — an artist, and she ended up teaching. But she worked as a gag strip cartoonist in New York, from ’46 to ’50. I’m interested in the history of comics, so she loaned me a rather large file box (which I am being very careful with!) Lots of old clippings, old battered bristol board with typed captions taped on. Neat!
There are sixteen panels I can put in this grid. Six are televisions, three are flashbacks, six are close-ups of objects falling through space. The other one... hurts.
In the 1952 presidential race, The Crimson decided neither General Dwight D. Eisenhower nor Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson were good enough to endorse, so the paper went for a certain possum from Okefenokee Swamp: Pogo. Buttons were made, campaign was waged and Pogo's creator, Walt Kelly was invited to give a speech. When he was delayed coming in to Harvard from the airport, riots broke out. [more inside]