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The Wacky World of Comic Book Propaganda

An official comic book adaptation of the 9/11 commission report is due to hit bookstores this month. The U.S. Army seeks an Arabic-speaking comic book creator. Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger suspects a Kuwaiti company of misusing Marvel and DC comics. These are just the latest incidents in a long-running history of using comic books for propaganda purposes, ranging from Mussolini and Hitler to Captain America vs. the Nazi-affiliated Red Skull to anticommunist comics for Catholic parochial schools to a phony Black Panther comic book created by COINTELPRO to a comic book of the American invasion of Grenada. However, my favorite site of comic book propaganda tends to focus on more innocuous domestic issues such as bicycle safety, USDA nutrition standards, and fighting crack cocaine. (OK, that last issue isn't so innocuous, but comic book propaganda about health & safety issues still generally blows.)
posted by jonp72 on Aug 4, 2006 - 38 comments

How Tos now on Fecal Face

I've linked their site before, but now Fecal Face has instructional How Tos: Stuff a Mouse, Make an Oil Painting, Screen Print a Poster, Make a Mini-Comic/Zine. The site has many other features as well but remember that where there's art, the occasional nsfw image may wait, brooding.
posted by dobbs on Jul 27, 2006 - 9 comments

Jack Jackson

Jack Jackson, writing as Jaxon, may have created the first underground comic, God Nose, in 1964. In 1969 he was one of the founders of RipOff Press. Jackson's work at that time included horror stories (in Skull Comics, RipOff's tribute to EC) and political fare. Jackson returned to his native Texas in the 70s and began work on a series of comics on Texas history. In 1979 he published Comanche Moon, the story of the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker and of her son, the great Comanche chief Quanah Parker. Jackson was influenced by Texas History Movies, a 1920s comic strip by Jack Patton and John Rosenfeld that was compiled into booklets and used in Texas schools until the 1960s. Other works by Jackson included the story of Spanish-Americans in the war for Texas independence, the Alamo as seen from both sides, and a look at Sam Houston's relationship with the Cherokee. The subjects of Jackson's comics tended to be history's dispossessed and, in 1998, he published Lost Cause, a look at post-Civil War white Texans. Accused of racism, Jackson replied that he intended to show history as it was, not as people wanted it to have been. The Comics Reporter: "Jackson's Texas was capable of grotesquery and atrocity because Jackson's art was able to communicate extreme, transcendent moments without hesitation or shame." Aside from comics, Jackson wrote a number of books on Texas and other history, including the award-winning Los Mestenos, a study of Spanish ranching in Texas. He was a lifetime member of the Texas State Historical Society. Jackson's health deteriorated as he grew older and he suffered from diabetes and prostate cancer. On June 8, Jack Jackson committed suicide near the Stockton, Texas cemetery where his parents are buried.
posted by CCBC on Jul 26, 2006 - 19 comments

for the day of the Laird is at hand

Teaser trailer for the 2007 Ninja Turtles computer-animated film. [more inside, dude]
posted by zennie on Jul 26, 2006 - 59 comments

The Worst and Therefore Greatest Musical of All Time

"Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?" [MP3] A stupefying song (sung by the Joker) from a forthcoming Batman musical, written and sung by Jim Steinman of Bat Out of Hell fame. He discusses the matter in depth on his blog. If it's a hoax I fell for it. But a cursory Google search bears it out!
posted by BackwardsCity on Jul 24, 2006 - 17 comments

Writing "the girl"

Eight rules for writing a female comics character worth reading Karen Healey lays a cursory path for avoiding the major pitfalls of women in comics. Part of the larger Girl Wonder site (previously). Also good is Designated Sidekick's takedown of IGN.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 21, 2006 - 59 comments

The Museum of Black Superheroes

The Museum of Black Superheroes: There are galleries, articles, exhibits. See villians like Dreadlox and Hypno-Hustler, and heroes like Muhammad X and, well, Hero. All of these bios together in one place present an interesting picture.
posted by OmieWise on Jul 20, 2006 - 25 comments

"I wanted to tell the story the way I thought HE saw it"

Here's an interview with Richard Linklater about A Scanner Darkly and Philip K. Dick, in comic-book format. Also: the much longer transcript of the interview.
posted by whir on Jul 17, 2006 - 25 comments

Modern Tales unbound

Modern Tales, the subscription-only webcomics site, today makes most of its content available for free. Joey Manley explains why. Any recommendations?
posted by barjo on Jul 17, 2006 - 9 comments

I'll be needing a body for this!

"It's as I always say... all really intelligent people should be cremated for reasons of public safety!"
Hot on the tail of the forthcoming Hellboy animated series, the Sci-Fi Channel has adapted Mike Mignola's marvellous, absurd Eisner-Award-winning comic The Amazing Screw-On Head into a 22-minute animated pilot. The episode is available for viewing on Sci-Fi's site right now.
posted by terpsichoria on Jul 14, 2006 - 33 comments

A Man Outstanding In Garfield

Garfield, Deconstructed! An engaging, adoring daily analysis of Garfield—behold such a lens through which even Jim Davis' legacy starts to seem redeemable.
posted by cortex on Jul 12, 2006 - 61 comments

"cute gone bad"

kawaii not?
posted by me3dia on Jul 7, 2006 - 43 comments

Try LALAPALOOZA on them -- it's a panic!

How to Spot a Jap... scan of a 1942 US military educational comic strip, illustrated by Milton Canniff.
posted by crunchland on Jul 6, 2006 - 61 comments

The Strippy Tickle

The Strippy Tickle Putting the "ick" back in comics; daily remixing of stodgy syndicated comic strips. [via mefi projects]
posted by sveskemus on Jul 1, 2006 - 22 comments

The World's Youngest Published Cartoonist

Meet Alexa Kitchen, the world's youngest published cartoonist (who R. Crumb says is "fantastic"). Check out here work. Meet her via Rocketboom (Quicktime).
posted by JPowers on Jun 22, 2006 - 36 comments

Scary Bear

The aptly titled Comic Strip. Get your drunken cowboys, evil Macs, dating tips and pope right here. (warning: risque banner ad)
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party on Jun 21, 2006 - 19 comments

The Strange Case Of Gordon Lee.

The Strange Case Of Gordon Lee. “It is highly unusual to have a single defendant face three arraignments in less than two years for the same alleged criminal conduct. In my fifteen years of practice, I have never seen such an occurrence.”* [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand on Jun 16, 2006 - 20 comments

Girls read comic books?

Girl-Wonder.org is a new site tackling the portrayal of women in comics, written in the same vein as Women in Refrigerators and sequential tart.
posted by FunkyHelix on Jun 15, 2006 - 18 comments

Wherever there's a bang-up.

Superman marries Lois Lane. Superman dies. Batman's back is broken. Robin dies. Spider-Man gets married. But one storyline taboo, revealing one's secret identity, has never been broken with a major comic book character. Until now (big-time spoiler alert).
posted by solid-one-love on Jun 14, 2006 - 125 comments

Tim Hildebrant 1936-2006

Tim Hildebrandt, half of the Brothers Hildebrandt artwork team, died yesterday due to complications from diabetes.
posted by WolfDaddy on Jun 12, 2006 - 28 comments

CBC Radio Available in Podcast Form

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is pumping out a pile of podcasts that have covered the importance of offensive comics to Art Spiegelman, 600 bands over 54 shows, Captain America versus the American government, Amy Sedaris and geekdom, the journey of young immigrants, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Harper's publisher John MacArthur discussing Europe and America perspectives since 9/11, the after life, sex with monkeys, what radio producers do, the french word "corps", Bonnie Fuller's "The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)", Veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas and some other bits & bobs [Breakdown inside]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 5, 2006 - 25 comments

Superman hates milk

How bad does All-Star Batman and Robin suck? Super-bad, apparently. Tales from the Long Box (and it's predecessor Hey Dork! Let's talk comics - all about halfway down the linked page) at i-mockery.com continue the fine tradition of providing perspective on both the anciently awful (such as the transcendental Superman Jr and Batman Jr's Excellent Adventure - Saga of the Super Sons) and the up-to-the-minute. So why is it more fun to read about comics these days than to read the things themselves?
posted by Sparx on Jun 3, 2006 - 54 comments

"Holy Queering of Pop Culture, Batman!"

"And on the rare occasion when nonwhite heroes were included, names like Black Panther and Black Lightning telegraphed the difference" (NYT). Nonwhite and non-traditional superheroes aren't new, but a "lesbian socialite" Batwoman is. How about "The Great Ten," a "Chinese government controlled superteam" also to be featured in the ongoing "52" Series from DC comics (an alternate superverse bereft of A-league stars like Batman and Superman)? When I was a kid, it was pretty shocking to know of at least one gay superhero (and a Canadian to boot), but I wasn't aware that there were actually so many. Of course, the irrepressible Stan Lee claims he created the first gay superhero in the persona of Pvt. Percival Pinkerton. (Previous mefi discussion of Pavitr Prabhakar, the "Indian Spiderman" here.)
posted by bardic on Jun 1, 2006 - 41 comments

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes
posted by afu on May 26, 2006 - 53 comments

Comic books and bondage. Two great tastes that...

The Comic Book Bondage Cover of the Day - Massive archive of... well, it's pretty self-explanatory.
posted by dobbs on May 17, 2006 - 22 comments

A physical marvel, a mental wonder.

And so begins the startling adventures of the most sensational strip character of all time : SUPERMAN!
posted by crunchland on May 7, 2006 - 24 comments

Comix Remixed

Better Comix The concept behind this is to use comics from the same day and mix them, good ol cut and paste style, so that they become a tad more funny, depending on your sense of humor.
posted by jasonspaceman on Apr 27, 2006 - 16 comments

Murr!

You think your tattoo is nerdy? From Dinosaur Comics to Exploding Dog, these webcomic fans show their love in a permanent fashion. Hmm. I'm sure I have room for Choo-Choo Bear somewhere.
posted by frykitty on Apr 25, 2006 - 34 comments

Songs About Comic Strips

A few songs about comic strips. Here is Edward Meeker performing "Oh Min!" (mp3 link), a song about Sidney Smith's "The Gumps". Barney Google also had a song or two (mp3 links). Little Orphan Annie is probably the most famous (Real Audio), aside from Popeye.
posted by interrobang on Apr 25, 2006 - 12 comments

D.C. Loses "Superboy"?

D.C. Loses "Superboy" Copyright Battle. On March 23, 2006, the Ninth Circuit District Court ruled that the wife and daughter of "Superman" co-creator Jerry Siegel -- not D.C. Comics -- owned the copyright to "Superboy," beginning retroactively as of November 17, 2004. He additionally opined (but did not rule) that the "Smallville" television series infringes on their copyright.
posted by WCityMike on Apr 17, 2006 - 38 comments

One piece of paper.

One piece of paper. "It was an experiment to see how long it could last. Draw a comic, rub it off, and draw another over the top. Once it had finished, a second experiment was started on another piece of paper. Current data - one piece of paper can survive an average of 65 cartoons being drawn on it" [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie on Apr 14, 2006 - 29 comments

Holy Racist Athletic Gear, Batman!

Adidas earns the love of the masses once again, this time with racist shoes! The most offensive part of the design is taken from original work by Barry McGee. Yeah, maybe it's taken out of context (of, say, other work dealing with racism), or is it some kind of inevitable comic artist attraction to stereotypical imagery of the past? At any rate, those wily Asians at Giant Robot seem to like it, and his fans don't seem that offended.

Whether you love or hate that particularly inscrutable mascot, McGee is actually an experienced, prolific, and talented guy. (He was also married to artist Margaret Kilgallen until her death in 2001, and is now the single father of their daughter Asha.) McGee once said, "Sometimes a rock soaring through a plate of glass can be the most beautiful, compelling work of art I have ever seen". Oh, and p.s.--he's half-Chinese, you cry-babies ;-) More on the controversy: 1, 2, 3.
posted by ibeji on Apr 10, 2006 - 48 comments

Digital Funnies: Comics Preservation by Jonathan Barli

Digital Funnies: Comics Preservation by Jonathan Barli. Welcome to Digital Funnies, dedicated to preserving the history of this most neglected of art forms and reintroducing it to scholars and new readers alike. While several well-known titles such as Krazy Kat, Gasoline Alley, and Peanuts are being given their proper due in published form, there is still much of the rich history of comics and cartooning that will more than likely never see print again and worse, fade away with time. [Via Drawn!. And involved in this project is our very own Adam Kempa.]
posted by soundofsuburbia on Mar 23, 2006 - 9 comments

How do you say "Webhead" in Arabic?

Spider-Man in Arabic. Through a licensing arrangement with Marvel Comics, Kuwait-based Teshkeel Comics has started producing the adventures of your favorite heroes in Arabic, starting with Spider-Man. The Hulk is next. But don't miss their own in-house pack of super-powered do-gooders: The 99 ("the world's first superheroes conceived from Islamic culture"). India in 2004. Saudi Arabia in 2006. Where will the world-travellin' webslinger be in 2008?
posted by grabbingsand on Mar 17, 2006 - 23 comments

Who wants to be a superhero?

Who wants to be a superhero? Forget Survivor. Forget Beauty and the Geek. This is the ultimate reality show. Who wouldn't want to see a middle-aged comic-book geeks decked out to fight crime? Apply now! Our safety depends upon it! (Maybe Peter Pan would be interested?)
posted by jdroth on Mar 15, 2006 - 22 comments

Brother Power started out as a dummy left in an abandoned tailor shop inhabited by a bunch of shiftless hippies

It's 1968. Hippies are everywhere, and they're reading underground comics. Your name is Joe Simon. You want to create a mainstream comic book with a hippie as a hero. What do you come up with? Brother Power the Geek.

It only lasted two issues. Of course, it did a little better than the Black Bomber, a white bigot who sometimes turned into an African-American superhero. That comic was never printed.
posted by Astro Zombie on Mar 15, 2006 - 12 comments

Adapted from a work by Allan Smithee?

"He said to me, 'I'm going to hang up on you if you don't stop talking to me,' " Graphic novel author Allen Moore takes a hard line with Hollywood. Reminds me of this story about Ex-Door John Densmore.
posted by hwestiii on Mar 11, 2006 - 56 comments

Superman tribute video

Cool Superman tribute video. It's a DVD trailer but it made me feel nostalgiac as hell.
posted by johndog on Mar 9, 2006 - 41 comments

Married to the sea

Married to the sea. Drew of toothpaste for dinner fame and his wife Natalie have now paired up in this collaborative work, turning old-style comics and drawings into something we've grown to expect from them.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party on Mar 5, 2006 - 50 comments

Double Fine Action Comics

Double Fine Action Comics. My favourite adventures, from their beginning episodes: Art Director Scott Campbell's 2HB & friends, and Nathan Stapley's My Comic About Me. Prepare thine LOLerskates for some fun terrain! p.s. your favourite webcomic sucks.
posted by elphTeq on Mar 1, 2006 - 7 comments

Christ on Campus cartoon

Offensive cartoons aren't limited to Islam. Others: 1,2,3,4, 5. The cartoonist's name? (wait for it) Christian Keesee. In the current environment, Radford's Whim Internet Magazine is getting "exciting" media attention.
posted by spock on Feb 28, 2006 - 56 comments

Do you think she's missing anything?

(COMICS NERD FILTER) Have you, like me, ever imagined that that somebody could convince a woman that looks remarkably like Katee Sackhoff to portray Power Girl in a fan film about Kara's search for a "real job?"

Imagine no more. Ambitious for a fan film, quite entertaining and the rewards for True DC Comics Fans are quite abundant.
posted by beaucoupkevin on Feb 23, 2006 - 23 comments

Kill Harry

Kill Bill + Harry Potter = Kill Harry, featuring cameo appearances by Bender the robot, Bruce Campbell, and Zombie Rick James, bitch.
posted by Gator on Feb 20, 2006 - 16 comments

Znort!

RanXerox is a science fiction graphic novel series by Gaetano 'Tanino' Liberatore and Stefano Tamburini. "Ranxerox in New York" ran in the magazine Heavy Metal back in 1982. The series follows the adventures of the intensely violent robot named "RanXerox" and his pre-teen girlfriend Lubna. Still somewhat underground in popularity despite the game, the desktop theme, the t-shirt, the podcast (there were rumblings of a movie). The stories are dark satire. The adult artwork made it sophisticated enough to ban in some countries. (Some images NSFW, babelfish can help translate pages)
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 15, 2006 - 22 comments

Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass

Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass Frank Miller is working on a Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic. At least he's being honest that it's utter propaganda.
posted by jbielby on Feb 15, 2006 - 82 comments

The Center For Cartoon Studies

The Center for Cartoon Studies, nestled in the historic village of White River Junction, Vermont, will learn you up good on how to be a comic artist/graphic novelist. They operate under the charter of the National Association of Comics Art Educators; Charles Schulz's widow Jean hooked them up with funding for a library in town. When you apply for admission, don't forget to include that story about you, the snowman, and the robot. A photo tour of the Center and its surroundings can be seen here.
posted by Gator on Feb 13, 2006 - 10 comments

for ATARI

So it's you, ninja-endo! I'll be Atari, I'll be back!!. From this thread, but I felt it needed an FPP of it's own
posted by delmoi on Feb 11, 2006 - 11 comments

Garfield without Garfield

"I hypothesize that if you remove all the text of Garfield's speech, or thoughts, or whatever that is, that it becomes an oddly surrealist comic."
posted by Johnny Assay on Feb 10, 2006 - 28 comments

You bet your ass there will be profanity on stage

Of course, you've seen Get Your War On the comic strip, but have you seen Get Your War On, the Musical? It's playing in Austin, apparently to rave reviews and sold out shows. They even have photos of a performance.
posted by mathowie on Feb 9, 2006 - 23 comments

Comic Artist Cavalcade

Comic artist Seth Fisher died unexpectedly; this rotten news led to a session wallowing in his online gallery to see one side of what the world lost. But, with so many comic artists putting galleries online, why wait until someone's gone to appreciate their work? You could admire the energy in Mike Wieringo's figures, or the stylized coolness of Cameron Stewart. You could bask in the freaky genius of Mike Allred, or scratch your head and wonder how Phil Bond's characters feel so real with such weird proportions. You could look to the future with Ryan Sook, or, if you're more into the retro thing, there's always the old standby John Byrne.
posted by COBRA! on Feb 2, 2006 - 22 comments

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