Sunday, September 12, 2010
"Suspended Animation: The Man of Spinach" (pages 97-100) by Jim Korkis [Seriously. Does it get any better than Mr. Korkis writing on the history of animation? As can be expected from Mr. Korkis, his column on the history of POPEYE cartoons begins with short histories of both the Fleischer Studios and the comic strip POPEYE. He then proceeds with a step-by-step evolution of the Fleischer POPEYE cartoons (from the pilot cartoon in the BETTY BOOP series) followed by the Famous Studios version, the ultra-streamlined television incarnation by Gene Deitch, a rare ABC Saturday morning feature-length one shot movie starring Popeye, and a 1978 Hanna-Barbera effort. Searching YouTube we can put together a visual version of Mr. Korkis' essay:
"Suspended Animation: Animation 1981 The New Age of Animation" (pages 100-101) by Jim Korkis [Not content with the minutiae-rich POPEYE animated history Mr. Korkis also follows the theme of the issue with a short overview of all-things-animation in 1981. Ralph Bakshi's AMERICAN POP; Disney's THE FOX AND THE HOUND; HEAVY METAL movie; and Warner Brothers THE LOONEY, LOONEY BUGS BUNNY MOVIE are the feature movies he discusses. While Leonard Maltin's OF MICE AND MAGIC; Jeff Lenburg's THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANIMATED CARTOONS; Roger Maxwell's ART AND ANIMATION; Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald's WARNER BROTHERS CARTOONS; and, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston's DISNEY ANIMATION: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE are the books he lists from the previous year. Saturday Morning television cartoons from 1981 singled out are: SPIDERMAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS; THE KID SUPER POWER HOUR (Captain Marvel); THE SMURFS; Jack Kirby's GOLDIE GOLD; HEATHCLIFF/MARMADUKE; and, the (then) new Disney television show WALT DISNEY ON CBS. Mr. Korkis also recalls the deaths the previous year of Michael Maltese, Steve Bosustow, Lotte Reininger, and Hans Conreid. He concludes with a look ahead to the animation front in 1982.]
"The Lake Isle: Sturgeon: Love as Knowledge" (pages 104-105) by Carter Scholz photo [This a short, yet detailed, review of Theodore Sturgeon's writing in general, and in particular his two short stories "Brownshoes" and "Slow Sculpture." Carter Scholz was a prolific science fiction writer and critic at this time, a bilbiography of his writings can be found here.]
"Panel Progressions: The EC Progressives, Part Two: Bernard Krigstein" (pages 107-112) by Greg Potter [This long-running column was inaugurated in The Journal 47 (July 1979) with a column analyzing Will Eisner (accompanying the second half of a Will Eisner interview that issue). Subsequent installments ran in in issues 53(Neal Adams); 59(Jack Kirby); 63(Alex Raymond and Hal Foster); 67(Harvey Kurtzman, reprinted in THE COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY Volume 7 without a copyright notice); this issue; and, a last gasp version that ran only once (that I'm aware of) in The Journal 94 (BAT LASH, supposed to be "analyses of the great comic series of the 1960s and 1970s" page 110), these were "from a work in progress by Gregory Potter." (The Journal 47, page 56) Mr. Potter also had an off and on career as a comic book writer as detailed at GCD.
This issue's installment focuses on Bernie Krigstein and his work on "Master Race." After a brief (and not necessarily accurate) capsule history of Mr. Krigstein's career up until his EC days, Mr. Potter does a fine turn describing the "single panel theory" of sequential art, it's strengths and weaknesses, and how it differs from the prevailing attitude of Will Eisner's "cinematic" storytelling (for a more modern example of the former, I believe Jaime Hernandez's storytelling is similar). Following this introduction of Mr. Krigstein's techniques he examines in detail, panel by panel "Master Race" (IMPACT 1, 1955. writer: Al Feldstein) which is also conveniently reproduced in it's entirety along with this essay. Coming at the story from structural, storytelling, fine art, and historical viewpoints Mr. Potter brings added insight into what is, arguably, one of the more revolutionary achievements in mainstream comics.]
THE COMICS JOURNAL (c)2010 Fantagraphics Books Inc.
"Popeye" (c)2010 King Features Syndicate, just saying is all.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
[This issue is an early version of the long-running "best-of-the-previous-year" editions that had it's first installment in, if I recall correctly, The Journal 44, and last in The Journal 296 (covering the best of 2008). In this particular instance editors, writers, reviewers, and columnists alike take a look at "Comics in 1981." Back in those days it seems there was Frank Miller's original run on DAREDEVIL representing the best of the Mainstream Super-Heroes, ELFQUEST/CEREBUS/Anthology magazines representing the "groundlevel" or independent companies, and RAW MAGAZINE representing the contemporary underground scene. Did I mention the writers got to choose the "best and worst" of 1981? This could get ugly, people!]
"The View From the Curb" (pages 31-33) by Jan Strnad [Jan Strnad chats about Marvel Comics, er, being too chatty, or having "too many words." He picks out Chris Claremont's 1981 AVENGERS ANNUAL and Roger Stern's Doctor Strange story "A Time For Love, A Time for Hate" as the most over-written of the Marvels he read. Bill Mantlo gets honorable mention for most annoying speech pattern for his "Bug" character in 'tik' MICRONAUTS. He has high praise for David Michelinie's IRON MAN, the Pini's ELFQUEST, and the aforementioned Chris Claremont's "Kitty's Fairy Tale" in X-MEN.]
"The Age of the Alternatives" (pages 33 35-36) by R. Fiore [Mr. Fiore singles out the above mentioned DAREDEVIL/CEREBUS/RAW trio for his take on Comics in 1981. Although, he does mention the long-forgotten PHANTOM ZONE mini-series by the late Steve Gerber and Gene Colan (both of whom are remembered more as the creative team behind HOWARD THE DUCK in the 70s) as a good turn on the Superman franchise. Mr. Fiore also takes the unique stand of comparing RAW MAGAZINE to it's two contemporary underground anthology competitors: WEIRDO and RIP OFF COMICS. The latter two don't fare too well in the comparison, Mr. Fiore perceptively adds, "The traditional underground (odd phrase) has a bad case of tired blood." Bravely, he also tackles the comic strips of the day, succinctly damning most of the field: "Three out of every four new strips about born losers. When Schulz started the trend it was a change of pace, but now with ZIGGY DRABBLE KUDZU ad infinitum ad nauseum, it's becoming a chorus of national demoralization. The fourth will be 'sophisticated' (read smug, enervated and hopelessly middlebrow). All four will be authored by someone who can't draw[...]" (excerpts (c)1982 Robert Fiore)
"Waiting for the Fruit Salad" (pages 36-37 39-40) by Kim Thompson [Mr. Thompson wades into the three major anthology magazines of the day: HEAVY METAL is singled out as best of the group despite it's reliance on METAL HURLANT translations and mediocre to indecipherable American contributions; EPIC ILLUSTRATED is called out for not being consistent or "very good"; while ECLIPSE MAGAZINE recycled mainstream writers and artists to bad effect. Mr. Thompson has something to say on nearly everything else: Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Steve Leialoha, Walt Simonson, Gil Kane, Michael Golden, KA-ZAR, Alan Brennert, Jim Aparo, Gene Colan, DENNIS THE MENACE (comic book), MARVEL TALES, "Mister Wilcox, Mister Conrad" by Munoz and Sampayo and Art Spiegelman's "Maus" both from RAW, FREAK BROTHERS, WEIRDO, Kitchen Sink Press, Howard Cruse, Reed Waller's "Omaha," PHOEBE AND THE PIGEON PEOPLE, NARD 'N' PAT, CEREBUS, THE COMPLET WEIRD FANTASY, THE COMPLETE SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES, ELFQUEST, REID FLEMING WORLD'S TOUGHEST MILKMAN, VALERIAN, LUCKY LUKE, GARFIELD, BLONDIE'S AMERICA. Mr. Thompson also suprises with this short note: "The Hernandez Brothers' LOVE AND ROCKETS, a witty and gorgeously drawn collection of stories and vignettes." This is the only other contemporary mention of the original self-published LOVE AND ROCKETS I've come across, besides the formal review by Gary Groth in The Journal 67.]
GARY GROTH (middle) at 1982 San Diego Comic Con. PHOTO BY ALAN LIGHT (source)
"Recycling the Old, Searching for the New" (pages 40-41 43-47 49-51) by Gary Groth [Mr. Groth examines Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL and Art Spiegelman and Francois Mouly's RAW MAGAZINE in depth in his take on Comics in 1981. He fires a salvo across the bow of the 1981 comics industry with this paragraph: "What the comics published in '81 make clear, I think, is the codification of two distinct points of departure for creating comics. Broadly speaking, every artist working in comics gravitatates toward one approach or the other. On one side is the traditional mass-market Marvel-DC-superhero format, and the other stems from the underground movement begun in the early '60s. The difference between these two approaches is fundamental and so vast that one ultimately represents paralysis, the other greater possibilities of expression." (excerpt (c)1982 Gary Groth)]
"Another Year for the Road" (pages 51-53) by Gene Phillips [Mr. Phillips comments on HEAVY METAL in 1981 in general, and Druillet's "Salammbo" serial in particular. EPIC ILLUSTRATED is again deflated as "the largest disappointment." General overviews of Marvel and DC's best and worst are followed by positive remembrances of CEREBUS 31 and "Gilbert Shelton, ELFQUEST, several concepts in RAW," as well as ECLIPSE MAGAZINE and early Pacific titles.]
"From Elfland to Smallville" (pages 53-56) by Dwight R. Decker [Mr. Decker comments on Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL, Roger Stern's SPIDER-MAN, Roy Thomas's work at DC, Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger's SUPERBOY, ELFQUEST, THE FIRST KINGDOM, CEREBUS THE AARDVARK, and concludes with a short note on French Comics.]
R.C. HARVEY (right) at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con. PHOTO BY ALAN LIGHT (source)
"Newstand Comics 1981: The State of the Art" (pages 56-57 60-63) by R.C. Harvey; illustration: R.C. Harvey [Mr. Harvey dissects the storytelling strengths and weaknesses of Roy Thomas and Frank Miller. The latter is different than his essay on Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL in THE ART OF THE COMIC BOOK (University Press of Mississippi, 1996)]
"DE-ELFING COMICS" BY JOHN CLIFTON
(pages 64-67 69-74 76-77) [Mr. Clifton delivers a brutal, but ultimately perceptive essay on the overuse of fantasy elements (elves in particular) in then contemporary comics. ELFQUEST, WEIRDWORLD, and THE WIZARD KING are the targets on which he sets his critical sights.
Perceptive in that this essay belies the growing pains of comics and comics' critics as the comics market expanded in new directions. Mr. Clifton gives us the brilliant (and probably still true) theory that just because a comic is different in format or subject matter does not automatically anoint it as a superior effort than mainstream superhero comics. Mr. Clifton puts forth a unique theory which he lays out in this sentence: "Perhaps the three books examined would be more successful if they did not fall in one degree or another for the Elevator Fallacy, which stipulates that a heightened regard for a medium must be followed by its packaged or costly presentation in supposedly heightened formats." (page 74)
Fan favorite ELFQUEST is mercilessly deconstructed, whether it be storytelling weaknesses or illogic and false-ringing issues within the narrative. Early painted-comic experiment WEIRDWORLD (or "Warriors of the Shadow Realm" three-part magazine series and in EPIC ILLUSTRATED) is deplored for lazy, muddy coloring and inconsistent writing. Wallace Wood's THE WIZARD KING gets off fairly easily only being scolded for it's "worthless and insulting use of myth." (page 74)
Mr. Clifton's masterstroke may be the hubris he shows in the last two paragraphs of his essay, by comparing ELFQUEST and RAW: "But I don't wish to imply a relationship between such polar opposites of fandom fetish as ELFQUEST and the 'experimental' RAW MAGAZINE. Rather let me say it directly--RAW and ELFQUEST are identical! They are extremes that meet, in the intuition as in the fact, and together work to assure everyone concerned that yes, without question, without fail, comics history is moving onward, for our learning and intellect have signed the contract to keep it so. ELFQUEST is a thoroughly safe comic that gaurantees art in the comics today, this moment, through the right creatures and the right quota of sending. RAW is a thoroughly safe magazine that gaurantees us art, theoretically independent from anyone ever liking it, by giving us comics criticism and self-journalism in the form of panels, and by replacing mere imaginative activity with sure-stuff, cute-to-astute inventions of aesthetic-analytical speculation. Both provide a literalist, Time to Feel Important consumerist high for those obsessed with 'accomplishment' rather than inspiration, imprisoned wakefulness as over dreaming abandon, 'the state of comics' as against appreciating a comic and with conserving intelligently cultured laboratory specimens for the academical banter of fandom clerics, rather than making strips anyone will ever love, creatively experience, or play with again. RAW is medicine for bumptious sods and slithering psycho-wunks, so stapled with 'elevated values,' so adult, so much Velanna, we must give it dentures; gerontologists, not art, will have use for it. ELFQUEST can't even manage to be clearly bad; it sequentially teddy-bears us, teaches us supernatural inconsistency and societal garble, and celebrates 'the way' of happy determinism.
"It makes one almost want to start reading the X-MEN again--even mainstream hack was never like this. The real dispute on the direction of comics is not over whether it should be a child's medium or an adult medium, but over whether it is already an 'elevated art' or not. The adultists believe it is not, despise its centrally child-oriented locus, and cry into the night for its elevation, mostly through aesthetic speculation and adaptations; they suffer from a defective confidence in the medium as it is. Those who know that the comics medium already is elevated believe so precisely because the form has avoided eclipsing itself into academicist privatism, going thud in the dungeon on programmic, deadening research into 'itself'--remaining instead undirected, public, and child-centered for its very life; these are the progressives, for they are right. The difference is, as ever, in believing that the art is all around us and is external to us, versus believing that we have to work or borrow to 'achieve' it: perception and historical example versus invention and logical possibilities. RAW (actually well cooked and harmless) or comics? Elves (despite their fans) or comics? The dreamers for either have their work cut out for them." (page 77, excerpts (c)1982 John Clifton)
This unjustly forgotten piece also, in my opinon, has some weak points that get back to my point on the past growing pains of comics critics as well as the comics they wrote about. As when Mr. Clifton details the inconsistencies in both Wendy Pini and Art Spiegelman's storytelling and linework. This comparison seems to me (in hindsight, mind you) incongruous as both folks were coming at comics from two very different schools of thought (see Mr. Groth quoted above who deftly explains the difference).
Mr. Clifton also contributed two more essays to The Journal (as well as some letters in "Blood & Thunder"):
"The 7 Deadly Comics Cliches" illustrations: Joe Sinardi [in THE COMICS JOURNAL 53 (Winter 1980), yeah something else besides the infamous Ellison interview was in that issue!]
"Bite Now, Suckers" illustrations: [in THE COMICS JOURNAL 90 (May/June 1984), a supremely bizarre dialogue between the comic characters The Watcher, Cerebus the Aardvark, Vladek Spiegelman, and real-life character John Clifton. (source)]
Dean Mullaney and MIKE FRIEDRICH (respectively) at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con. PHOTO BY ALAN LIGHT (source)
"Reaching for the Stars With Mike Friedrich" (pages 79-81 83-87 89-92) interviewed by Kim Thompson ("[...]during the Summer of 1981[...]"). Transcribed and edited by Kim Thompson. Copy-edited by Mike Friedrich. photos: uncredited. [I'm not sure if it's possible to be someone as important as Mike Friedrich is to the history of comics to also be little-known outside of the industry today, but to me that's how it seems. Therefore this interview cames as a revelation to me as it details his journey from comics fandom, through writing for Marvel and DC, starting up his own comics company (Star*Reach) and its foreshadowing of independent comics/direct market of the early 80s, and finally his work as Manager of Direct Sales for Marvel Comics during the golden years of the Jim Shooter-era. There is also a wealth of firsthand details of the birth and infancy of the direct sales market and the rise of the specialty comics stores.]
[For a complete bibliography and history of STAR*REACH the comic, and a 2005 interview with Mike Friedrich conducted by Richard Arndt (who also interviews STAR*REACH contributors: Lee Marrs, Steve Leialoha, Trina Robbins, and Mike Vosburg) look at Mr. Arndt's site here.]
[For something more recent, here is a link to Mike Friedrich interviewing Bill Everett's daughter, Wendy Everett for COMIC BOOK ARTIST 2 (TwoMorrows Publishing).]
Roy Thomas at the 2003 Torino Comics festival. PHOTO BY GIANFRANCO GORIA (source) image (c)2003 Gianfranco Goria
"Roy Thomas" (pages 94-96) moderated by Adam Malin at the Los Angeles Creation Convention (November 1981). Transcribed and edited by Gary Groth. illustrations: Kevin Nowlan [Wonder Woman, Arak/Captain Carrot!] [For a three-page convention transcript Roy Thomas talks about quite a few things, including his career history from fandom days through leaving Marvel for DC that year; writing CONAN for Marvel; writing ALL-STAR SQUADRON for DC; working with Gerry Conway (future LAW & ORDER franchise writer/producer) on the screenplay for Ralph Bakshi's FIRE AND ICE animated film; and, the general state of contemporary comics.]
THE COMICS JOURNAL (c)2010 Fantagraphics Books, Inc. All excerpted text is (c) the respective authors, only used under Fair Use.
[1982 San Diego Comic Con photos and many more comics and celebrity related photos can be found on Alan Light's Flickr home page.]
[More photos of Fantagraphics Books staff and cartoonists can be found on the American Virus Flickr home page.]
[More pictures of comic book personalities in foreign countries can be found on Gianfranco Goria's Flickr home page.]
Sunday, August 15, 2010
THE COMICS JOURNAL 71 (March 1982) buy here
GARY GROTH Executive Editor/Art Director
Peter Poplaski created this fondly remembered (by me, at least) "battle of the century" between the Segar-era Popeye and the equally Segar-esque no-neck big belly Hulk of Marvel Comics fame! Mr. Poplaski is probably best remembered as the long-time art director for so many Kitchen Sink Press comix and books and a contributor to the majority of that company's publications from the 70s through the 90s. Check here for a good sales listing of many of the varied projects he's done for Kitchen Sink over the years, and detailed bibliographies at GCD under Pete and Peter, and a rare interview with the artist by Bob Andelman.
"Science in Comics: As conceived by Michael Hollingshead, a freelance
scientific writer whose work has appeared in Omni, the Titan Science Series is
intended as a series of comic books explaining scientific fact in comic book
"Origin Issue: The first issue of the series, which is planned to be
published in the regular 32-page format, is being prepared for this summer.
Written by Jim Shooter and Steve Bissette, it will be the ultimate origin story
in comics: the birth of life and man on Earth.
"Bissette will also be drawing the second issue. After that, Shooter said,
the list of creators would read 'like a Who's Who of Marvel.'" page 9 (c) 1982
Sunday, August 8, 2010
THE COMICS JOURNAL 59 part two: buy here
THE COMICS LIBRARY/GRAPHIC STORY REVIEWS:
"McGregor's 'Detectives, Inc.': Artless, Prating Emotionalism" (pages 40 42 44 46) by Kim Thompson [Remember a lifetime ago, when going over The Journal 38, I suggested Mr. Thompson and Gary Groth would find more worthy subjects for their review efforts? No, didn't think so. Anyway, this is a murder in print of Don McGregor and Marshall Rogers's original Eclipse-graphic-novel-version of DETECTIVE INC. (even the letterer, Tom Orzechowski is kicked in the family jewels for his part in the debacle). This might be a harbinger of things to come. As The Journal continually refused to accept mediocre comics dressed up as "graphic novels," or published outside the big two publishers as pale shades propped up in genre trappings of melodrama or power-fantasy, as the maturing of the medium. Were in fact insulted or angrily disappointed by this betrayal of what they thought was the comics medium's potential.]
[this entire review was posted on tcj.com and is found in the archives here, a well-reasoned counter-point review of DETECTIVES, INC. by Robert Fiore was published as the opening piece of The Journal 65.]
"God Isn't Dead! He's Just Blitzed Three Sheets to the Wind!" (pages 46-47) by David Stallman [Something that supposedly was a rarity in The Journal, a positive review! This time of "The Alchemist Supreme" serial by Godard/Ribera (translated by interview subject Ted White) from HEAVY METAL May-September 1980 (also a link to HM index of issues edited by Ted White). Reviewer Mr. Stallman gets so worked up he even quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson at the beginning of his article.]
"Super-Heroes Without Pictures" (pages 49-50 52) by Peter Sanderson; illustrations: Tony Caputo, Scott McCloud [Perhaps it might be strange to some to see sometime Marvel historian Mr. Sanderson writing for The Journal, but I believe the editors never discriminated against good writing. And this is a well-written critique of a precursor to so many superhero prose novels, short story collections, or shared-world anthologies that proliferated in the late eighties and beyond. THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES was one of those Pocket Books/Marvel Comics efforts, only this one (edited by Len Wein/Marv Wolfman) contained original prose short novels written by comics writers Jim Shooter, Mary Jo Duffy, the aforementioned editors, and the possibly pseudonymous Kyle Christopher.]
"Justice League of America 186" (page 52) by David Stallman
"The Hulk! 23" (pages 52-3) by Gary Groth [This review starts out with a hellish thrashing of a Jim Shooter Hulk story, a must read for admirers of Mr. Groth's writing: "Don't homosexuals have enough problems with heterosexual bigotry without being cast as thugs and rapists in the latest issue of the HULK! magazine? To be fair to the writer, Jim Shooter, homosexuals aren't the only literary victims here: heterosexuals get it too, and, believe it or not, even drug addicts are maligned in what may well be the most falsified characterization of a drug addict in the history of American media. I can't even begin to enumerate the bad dialogue, melodramatic fakery, and manipulative sentimentality with which this story abounds. Even the Hulk's tantrums, turning over cars, smashing buildings, and mouthing infantile dialogue looks sillier than usual when placed in the context of bad human melodrama. Suffice it to say that this is Marvel's version of an adult story, replete with an attempted homosexual rape of Bruce Banner, a portentious child-custody trial, a suicide, sex, and drugs. You can just imagine the horrors." (c) 1980 Gary Groth.]
"Machine Man 15-17" (pages 53-4) by Dale Luciano
"Bald Ego Cartoon Stories 1" (page 54) by Kim Thompson [Note to Frank Santoro: This comic sounds tailor-made for one of your comic boxes, an Earl Geier classic.]
"Abbott and Costello Meet the Bride of Hembeck" (page 54) by Kim Thompson
"The New Teen Titans 1" (page 54) by David Stallman
"A Life on the Fringe of Comics: An Interview With Ted White" conducted by Gary Groth (with Kim Thompson, Gary Kwapisz, and Dan Steffan) on 8/15/80. Transcribed by Mr. Thompson and edited by Mr. Groth; illustrations: Ricky Livingston (2), Harry Bell, Ingrid Neilson, Grant Canfield, Gilbert Hernandez [Dennis the Menace's Father as Elvis Costello?], and Gary Kwapisz
[The safe pick for this period of the The Journal would have been issue 53 with the Harlan Ellison interview, but (no offense to the talented Mr. Ellison, of course) that interview is unreadable and a bit dated in my opinion. This interview with Ted White may have escaped notice over the years, as it to is dated in some subjects, however Mr. White's opinions are entertaining and well-stated throughout. Personally, I've always thought this was a high point of early Journal's, with Mr. White talking at length about a number of non-comics subjects, or at least non-Marvel and DC subjects: his dismissal as Editor of HEAVY METAL, background information on working at HEAVY METAL in 1980, on working with Julie Simmons and John Workman at HM, three amazing pages talking about drugs/perceptions of drugs/drug culture (a short excerpt: "I believe that these are drugs we need to counteract the dehumanizing influences of a mechanistic, highly populated society, and for that reason I am in favor of both marijuana and the psychedelics. I am not in favor of alchohol, downers, speed -- cocaine I'll leave somewhere in limbo. Certain people can take it past the point where it does them any good, but for some people it seems to be good. Again, it also depends on your metabolism. Some people get a different thing from the same drug than I would." page 65 (c)1980 Ted White.), debating the potential of the comics medium, Art Spiegelman, Jack Kirby, Archie Goodwin, editing in general, critiques his October 1980 issue of HEAVY METAL in regards to storytelling content, Neal Adams, "conventional comics," Don Heck, Gene Colan, Dick Ayers, Stan Lee, EC Comics, visit to EC offices in 1955 with Lary Stark and Fred Von Bernewitz, writing in comics, the stages of Mr. White's comics fandom, a great couple paragraphs on die-hard older comics fans, comics continuity, fandom days (with Larry Stark, Fred Von Bernewitz, Bhob Stewart, John Benson, Bill Spicer), Phil Seuling, "nurds" and "pear-shaped people" (yes he's talking about you, twinkie breath!), Don McGregor and DETECTIVES, INC., the function of art, Michael Fleisher and CHASING HAIRY, and finally gives his opinion on THE COMICS JOURNAL itself.]
[Mr. White has had a long, varied career as fanzine contributor/editor, science-fiction author, editor of AMAZING and FANTASTIC sci-fi magazines, disc jockey "Dr. Progresso," editor of HEAVY METAL, and musician among many other outlets. An index of his comics work can be found here courtesy of GCD.]
[Also, Mr. White was a writer for The Journal during two different periods, writing reviews in 76-78 81 83 (source) and his series "The History of Comics Fandom" in 231 234 235 (from my spotty collection). BONUS: here are some online science-fiction fanzine reviews by Mr. White that were contemporary with his second run on The Journal.]
"The Gods and Heroes of Jack Kirby" (pages 84-89 91-93) by Greg Potter [The third in Mr. Potter's series of comics analysis this time examining Jack Kirby's "The Pact" from NEW GODS 7.]
"Double Your Pleasure! Double Your Fun! Two New Animation Books Reviewed" (pages 94-5) by Jim Korkis [One of the finest writers on animation reviews two classic books on animation: OF MICE AND MAGIC by Leonard Maltin (w/Jerry Beck) and THE AMERICAN ANIMATED CARTOON: A CRITICAL ANTHOLOGY by Danny and Gerald Peary. links to amazon.com and abebooks.com sales pages, respectively]
"In Memoriam: Tex Avery [February 28, 1908-August 26, 1980]" (page 95) by Jim Korkis [Mr. Korkis delivers a four-paragraph obituary covering the legendary animator's entire career.]
[Jim Korkis was the animation writer at The Journal for many years, his work can be found in The Journal 39, 41-45 48 56 59 60 62-64 66-69 71. source. Here is a wonderful recent podcast featuring Mr. Korkis speaking on Disney history, and recently he has been mentioned on Didier Ghez's Disney website.]
[above recent photo of Jim Korkis via.]
"A Melonhead's View of History" (pages 101-103) by Bill Sherman [Mr. Sherman reviews Larry Gonick's THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE Volumes 1-4, the comic book version published by Rip Off Press.]
"Capsule Reviews: FIFTIES FUNNIES and FREAK BROTHERS 6" (page 103) by Bill Sherman
COMICS CHECKLIST: OCTOBER 1980:
Comics that were scheduled to be released during October 1980, note that Marvel and DC had different release dates back then! We didn't really notice at the time as most of us still bought off the spinner rack! Just for the heck of it, here's the list of The Journal's direct market distributors back then: Sea Gate Distributors (NY); New Media/Irjax (FL); Bud Plant (CA); and, Glenwood Distributors (IL). Here is a link swarm to various GCD cover posts for your nostalgiac meandering:
MARVEL: AMAZING ADVENTURES 14 10/28; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 212 10/14; AVENGERS 203 10/21; BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 23 10/28; CAPTAIN AMERICA 253 10/14; CONAN 118 10/21; DAREDEVIL 168 10/7; THE DEFENDERS 81 10/28; FANTASTIC FOUR 226 10/28; FANTASY MASTERPIECES 14 10/21; GHOST RIDER 52 10/14; INCREDIBLE HULK 255 10/21; IRON MAN 142 10/28; MAN-THING 7 10/21; MARVEL SPOTLIGHT 9[CAPTAIN UNIVERSE] 10/28; MARVEL SUPER-ACTION 27 10/28; MARVEL SUPER-HEROES 95 10/7; MARVEL TALES 123 10/21; MARVEL TEAM-UP 101 10/28; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE 71 10/7; MARVEL'S GREATEST COMICS 94 10/21; MASTER OF KUNG FU 96 10/28; MICRONAUTS 25 10/14; MOON KNIGHT 3 10/14; ROM 14 10/21; SAVAGE SHE-HULK 12 10/14; SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN 50 10/28; SPIDER-WOMAN 34 10/7; STAR TREK 10 10/7; STAR WARS 43 10/28; TALES TO ASTONISH 14 10/21; THOR 303 10/14; X-MEN 141 10/21. MARVEL MAGAZINES: CRAZY 69 10/14; HULK 24 10/21; SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN 59 10/7.
DC: ACTION COMICS 515 10/23; BATMAN 331 10/9; BRAVE AND THE BOLD 170 10/23; DC COMICS PRESENTS 29 10/9; DETECTIVE COMICS 497 10/23; FLASH 293 10/9; GHOSTS 96 10/9; G.I. COMBAT 226 10/9; GREEN LANTERN 136 10/23; HOUSE OF MYSTERY 288 10/23; JONAH HEX 44 10/9; JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 186 10/9; LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 271 10/23; MYSTERY IN SPACE 115 10/23; SUPERBOY 13 10/23; NEW TEEN TITANS 3 10/9; SECRETS OF SINISTER HOUSE 32 10/9; SGT. ROCK 348 10/23; SUPER FRIENDS 40 10/23; SUPERMAN 355 10/9; SUPERMAN FAMILY 206 10/9; UNEXPECTED 206 10/23; UNKNOWN SOLDIER 248 10/9; WARLORD 41 10/23; WEIRD WAR TALES 85 10/9; WONDER WOMAN 275 10/9.
Whitman: BATTLE OF THE PLANETS 9 10/28; BUCK ROGERS 9 10/28; CHIP N DALE 69 10/21; DAFFY DUCK 131 (there's something so wrong about this cover) 10/28; DAISY AND DONALD 47 10/21; DONALD DUCK 224 10/21; FLASH GORDON 31 10/28; LOONEY TUNES 35 10/28; MICKEY MOUSE 209 10/21; PINK PANTHER 77 10/21; TOM AND JERRY 382 (there is no such issue, but reversing the last two numbers brings us the first Whitman issue of this series) 10/21; TWEETY & SYLVESTER 107 (cn/a) 10/28; UNCLE SCROOGE 181 10/21; WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES 483 10/21; YOSEMITE SAM 70 10/28.
HEAVY METAL: HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE November 1980 (October).
WARREN: EERIE 117 10/7; 1994 16 10/14; ROOK 5 10/21.
COMELY COMICS: CAPTAIN CANUCK 12 (October).
AARDVARK-VANAHEIM: CEREBUS THE AARDVARK 21 (October).
FANTACO: MUGSHOTS (October); SMILIN' ED COMICS 2 (October).
"Untitled" (inside back cover) by "Red Meat" [cartoon of Jim Shooter, Stan Lee, and Jim Galton stabbing Roy Thomas in the back. I think the pseudonymous artist was Gary Kwapisz, but I'm not certain.]
"Machine Man vs. Doctor Octopus" painted by Dennis Fujitake
THE COMICS JOURNAL (c) 2010 Fantagraphics Books, Inc. Unauthorized, but fairly used throughout. Anyone owning copyright to illustrations, and wishing them removed please send a complaint through the comments -- they will be immediately taken down.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Found another Gilbert Hernandez Stussy t-shirt for sale on the above Japanese retail-site. More close-up shots and the back of the shirt can also be found at the above link. Art (c) 2010 Gilbert Hernandez.
Missed it in my earlier post of Hernandez signings at San Diego Comic-con 2010, Abrams ComicArts was giving away posters of THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ at their booth, #1216. Jaime Hernandez and Todd Hignite were scheduled to sign at the ComicArts booth Friday 7/23 from 3:00-4:00pm, and Saturday 7/24 from 10:00-11:00am. via Comic Book Resources/Abrams press release 7/20.
Academic: COMIC ARTS CONFERENCE SESSION #15: ALTERNATIVE COMICS. "[...]Sheri McCord (Saint Louis University) argues that Jaime Hernandez's characters Maggie and Hopey reveal the complexities of being sexual women to their audience and illustrate the conflict between friendship and attraction, love and desire." This was to be held Sunday 7/25 from 1:00-2:30pm in Room 26AB at the San Diego Comic-Con 2010.
Panel: "Writing Queer: Creating and Writing LGBT Characters" a panel featuring Gilbert Hernandez, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Judd Winick, Paige Braddock, and Howard Cruse. This was to be held Thursday 7/22 6:00-7:00pm in Room 32AB at the San Diego Comic-Con 2010.
Mike Baehr reports from the Hernandez Family signing Friday 7/23 at the San Diego Comic-con, looks like a huge crowd for the crew from the seven photos posted by Baehr. via FlogBlog
Tom Spurgeon reports on 7/24 from the San Diego Comic-con that LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES 3 was among the brisk sellers at the Fantagraphics table. via comicsreporter.com
Mr. Spurgeon also reported that COMICS REPORTER won the 2010 Eisner Award in it's category. Congratulations, very well deserved.
Fantagraphics Books photos from San Diego Comic-Con 2010 on flickr.com.
Mike Baehr reports on three new signed bookplates by Jaime Hernandez when you order copies of PENNY CENTURY, LOCAS, and LOCAS II from Fantagraphics. via FlogBlog
Mike Baehr digs up another tattoo based on LOVE AND ROCKETS at FlogBlog.
Mike Baehr also finds some old photos of Jaime and Gilbert on the Hernandez Brothers' Facebook page, linked through/via FlogBlog.
Review: Sean T. Collins reviews MOME 17-19, including Gilbert's "Roy" story in the latter. via Flog Blog
Essay: Bob Temuka writes about the perception of LOVE AND ROCKETS in general, and reviews Jaime's GHOST OF HOPPERS collection specifically. A rare lengthy exploration of the L&R universe. via FlogBlog
Essay: Spanish-language review of Gilbert's work via FlogBlog
Various and Sundry:
Fun Stuff: Tom Spurgeon posed the challenge of naming five future inductees into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame in his "Five for Friday 219." Mr. Spurgeon and a few others named the Hernandez Brothers, I agree but only had five choices! I don't know if a Hall of Fame is something a comic book artist of the Hernadez's level actually covets, but they certainly deserve to be named among the best cartoonists in history.
Review: R.C. Harvey reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for tcj.com. Hasn't it been established that Harry Lucey was more of an influence on Jaime then Dan DeCarlo? Is this something that exists only in my own fevered brain? Lucey's work is fairly swiped in several of the most effective panels in Jaime's stories.
Essay: @ComicsComics T. Hodler's "To Be (or Not to Be) Continued" mentions the Hernandez Brothers' work in relation to his question of how serial works were/would be affected by imminent/unimagined collection into book form.
Upcoming Comics: Laura Hudson reports that Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez will be contributing to the Marvel series, STRANGE TALES II. via comicsalliance.com
Upcoming Comics: Albert Ching, at Newsarama, interviews STRANGE TALES II editor Jody LeHeup who gives up the Marvel characters Los Bros did for that upcoming series. "Space Phantom" by Jaime and "Iron Man" by Gilbert.
Upcoming Comics: LOVE FROM THE SHADOWS, Gilbert's third Fritz-movie hardcover graphic novel (after CHANCE IN HELL and TROUBLEMAKERS) is set to be released 12/31/10. via infibeam.com (India)
Upcoming Comics: Chris Mautner reports Fantagraphics to release a trade paperback collecting all nine issue of YEAH the late-lamented DC series by Peter Bagge and Gilbert Hernandez.
Review: EnComics reposts an Amazon.com review of LOVE AND ROCKETS Vol. 14: LUBA CONQUERS THE WORLD, which generated two comments.
Historical Artifiact: Another copy of the self-published first issue of LOVE AND ROCKETS has turned up on eBay for sale. It seems a bit high-priced, but there aren't a lot of these around any more (this makes three I've caught on this auction site alone).
Susan E. Thomas reports on Calvin Reid's donation of graphic novels and other books to the BMCC Library, including unknown titles by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez.
In a review of Ian MacDonald's DESOLATION ROAD Jason Pettus refers to an old influence of Gilbert's: "I have however, already read and reviewed yet another [ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF] SOLITUDE ripoff from these same exact years, Gilbert Hernandez's PALOMAR stories [...]."
George Beliard posts a rare early original art page by Gilbert, page three from his "Heartbreak Soup" story dated 1983. via comicartfans.com
Rene Dorenbos posts Gilbert original art from two calendar plates and an original series cover for LOVE AND ROCKETS (all "Poison River" era pieces). via comicartfans.com
Scott Eder Gallery posts a page of Gilbert's original art from "Human Diastrophism" (censored). note: not a link to the SE Gallery.
Greg Moutafis posts a Jaime commission sketch. via comicartfans.com
IDNKT: "In the first story in 'The Rocketeer,' Jaime Hernandez worked on a page with Dave [...]," Scott Dunbier quoted in an article about IDW's reprinting of Dave Stevens' THE ROCKETEER series. Article is written by Comic Book Resources staff writer Shaun Manning. Good article, Mr. Manning! [oops, I'll have to backtrack a link for this one.]
The Hernandez Brothers and LOVE AND ROCKETS are mentioned as influences on Jim Mahfood in this profile of the artist.
List: Joe Vince's list of "Eight Comic Book Musical Acts That Are Ready for the Big Screen" includes Hopey Glass.
List: Casey Seijas's list of "Comics Most Bizarre Sex Scenes, Situations & Creators" list Gilbert's LUBA series.
Weird: LUBA hardcover cover posted on Hairy Sack of Magic, what appears to be a design blog. I wouldn't click anything on, curiosity killed the browser.
Monday, July 19, 2010
LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES 3 cover image (c) 2010 Jaime Hernandez via
from Mike Baehr at FlogBlog: Gilbert's daughter Ms. Hernandez will be signing at Comic-con 2010, along with the elder Hernandez's, in support of the debut of her THE ADVENTURES OF CRYSTAL GIRL #3. Be there or miss out!
Courtesy of Mike Baehr of FlogBlog and Heidi MacDonald at The Beat here are Gilbert and Jaime's (and Mario, too) signing schedule at Comic-con 2010:
Thursday 7/22: Gilbert and Mario at Dark Horse table (#2615) from 1:00-2:00.
Thursday 7/22: Gilbert and Jaime at Fantagraphics table (#1718) from 2:00-4:00
Friday 7/23: Gilbert and Jaime at Fantagraphics table (#1718) from Noon-2:00
Saturday 7/24: Gilbert and Jaime at Fantagraphics table (#1718) from 3:00-5:00
Sunday 7/25: Gilbert and Jaime at Fantagraphics table (#1718) from 2:00-4:00
When you are done experiencing the Hernandez's and buying all their new work, you ought to check out the awesomeness that is Tom Spurgeon on his many Comic-con panel appearances. Mr. Spurgeon is a favorite here, if I may say so while destroying whatever thin line of impartiality I may have had, and his interviewing skills and comics knowledge should make all these varied panels even more enjoyable.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Tom Spurgeon writes a comprehensive obituary/celebration of the late Harvey Pekar here. There you can read Robert Fiore's unique insight into Mr. Pekar's influence on the 80s alternative comics cartoonists, very well thought out. Above is a rare collaboration between Mr. Pekar and Gilbert Hernandez, inside AMERICAN SPLENDOR 4 (Vertigo, February 2007) Gilbet illustrates the six-page "Today I am a Mouse" story. Check it out, and find an AMERICAN SPLENDOR collection at your local library and honor the man by reading his work.
above image (c)2007 Harvey Pekar and DC Comics
Sunday, May 23, 2010
These are in stock at MOTIVATION BOUTIQUE; 1203 S. University Avenue; Ann Arbor, MI 48104. phone 734-769-2260, or follow the link above which will take you indirectly to their online store.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Daniela Capistrano interviews Gilbert for an MTV-related blog.
Audio and Transcript of the "Art of the Superhero" panel at MOCCA 2010 with Jaime, many photos posted, as well. via JournalistaR.C. Baker interviews Jaime for THE VILLAGE VOICE at MOCCA 2010. Cover and link courtesy FlogBlog here.
Christopher Irving interviews Jaime at MOCCA 2010. via FlogBlog and highly recommended.
Steve Bunche interviews Todd Hignite (THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ) for publishersweekly.com
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tom Spurgeon reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for comicsreporter.com
Parka short review, many pages posted, video of book preview of THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
The A.V. Club reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
Tim Heffernan reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for esquire.com
John Seven reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
Aaron Krach reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
Gary Sassaman reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
Joe reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ at the Forbidden Planet blog
Richard reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ at the Forbidden Planet blog
Diane Rios short review of THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ, and personal anecdote of Jaime
Gerald reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ on facebook
Ebooks Reviews (an Amazon Affiliate partner, whatever that means) posts five customer reviews of THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
BBC 6music reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ via Flog Blog (Not specified which particular show reviewed the book, so I'm linking to the whole bloody day's programmes. Should be able to access until 5/24.) [see comments section as of 5/23]
Update 5/23: Jeremy Estes reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for PopMatters
Michael Pinto reviews/kills the upcoming CBGB 1 on fanboy.com
Garrett Martin reviews HIGH SOFT LISP for bostonherald.com
Win Wiacek reviews HIGH SOFT LISP for comicsreview.co.uk (it's not every day Gilbert gets compared to Gustave Flaubert!)
Anonymous Publisher's Weekly staffer reviews HIGH SOFT LISP via FlogBlog
Jason Michelitch reviews HIGH SOFT LISP at comicsalliance.com via FlogBlog
Anonymous Publisher's Weekly staffer reviews PENNY CENTURY via FlogBlog
Scott Cederlund on PENNY CENTURY: "I think I have a few issues of Jaime Hernandez's PENNY CENTURY mini. All I really remember of it is women wrestlers. I still need to finish the original LOCAS stories one of these days." [Just buy the damn books and stick 'em in a box somewhere, buyers not readers that's what we want! New Fantagraphics ad campaign coming soon. Seriously, this is one of my favorite capsule reviews, it's nice to come across a casual L&R reader.]
Jared Osborn reviews THE TROUBLEMAKERS
Andrew Wheeler reviews THE TROUBLEMAKERS via FlogBlog
David Leibow reviews THE TROUBLEMAKERS for monkeygoggles.com
Justin Spotten reviews THE TROUBLEMAKERS for associatedcontent.com
Roberto C. Madruga posts on LUBA hardcover
Michael C. Lorah reviews LOCAS II hardcover
Grant Goggans reviews LOCAS II hardcover
Encomics short review of THE EDUCATION OF HOPEY GLASS, many good comments following
Snow Wildsmith reviews MySPACE DARK HORSE PRESENTS Volume 4, including Gilbert's "Dreamstar" story
Sterg Botzakis reviews SLOTH
Encomics reviews THE GIRL FROM HOPPERS, good comment following by Scott Allen
LeMc reviews THE GIRL FROM HOPPERS
Sarah reviews HEARTBREAK SOUP (Love and Rockets Library edition)
Hannah Seidel contrasts HEARTBREAK SOUP with AMERICAN SPLENDOR
Jared Osborn reviews LOCAS I hardcover
Tom Knapp reviews LOVE AND ROCKETS original collections Volumes 1-10 12 20, NEW TALES OF OLD PALOMAR 2, LOCAS I hardcover, and PALOMAR hardcover.
Mary Harvey reviews CHANCE IN HELL, same link as above
Annaleigh Clark reviews LOVE AND ROCKETS VOLUME 6: DUCK FEET and L&R series in general at isak.typepad.com
Friday, May 14, 2010
*Seth Kushner posts photos from MOCCA 2010 including several of Jaime (in group and portrait)
*Press release for Jaime and Todd Hignite signing at VROMAN'S BOOKSTORE May 5.