Sunday, September 12, 2010

Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal: #71 Part Three

"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

Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal: #71 Part Two


[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)

"PUBLISHER: KIM THOMPSON [PHOTO] BY AMERICAN VIRUS" (source) image (c)2010 Jonas Seaman

"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)]

(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

Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal: #71 part one

This is the third installment of our ongoing celebration of the magazine version of THE COMICS JOURNAL that ran from 37 to 300, and is due to return for it's now annual (or so) incarnation. This is one of my all-time favorite issues mostly for the classic Peter Poplaski cover, but also for the fact that this is during the run where they first turned the magazine over to someone other than the original triumvirate (Gary Groth, Mike Catron, and Kim Thompson). Dwight Decker was a writer for The Journal beginning way back in the tabloid-version days, a fanzine publisher and writer long before that even, and had been promoted to Co-Assistant Editor and C0-Newswatch Editor (with Kim Thompson) in issue 68. I don't have a copy of The Journal 69, but by the next issue (#70) Mr. Decker had been promoted to Managing Editor where he served for a few issues. The Journal 74 and 75 saw Mr. Decker's job re-invented as Assistant Editor and Co-Newswatch Editor (again, with Kim Thompson). While I don't have copies of issues 76 and 77, The Journal 78 finds a Robert J. Sodaro listed as Assistant Editor. Though brief, Mr. Decker's tenure saw some farsighted editorials and a good mix of mainstream, classic comic strips, and the emerging alternative comics scene (including the birth of Fantagraphics Books in a press release written by Mr. Decker in The Journal 70). Even all these years later Mr. Decker is still active in comics fandom, see his letter in Rob Imes's DITKOMANIA 69 (October 2008).

THE COMICS JOURNAL 71 (March 1982) buy here
Fantagraphics, Inc., Stamford, CT
GARY GROTH Executive Editor/Art Director

DWIGHT R. DECKER Managing Editor

PEPPY WHITE Assistant Art Director

KIM THOMPSON Newswatch Editor/Production Assistant

DALE LUCIANO Associate Editor

J. MICHAEL CATRON Circulation Director/Advertising


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.

"The French Zorro starring Peter Poplaski" via Arktown Productions

*"DC Hires Two More Editors" (page 6) by Kim Thompson [Marv Wolfman and Ernie Colon were to co-edit GREEN LANTERN, THE NIGHT FORCE, WONDER WOMAN, and WORLD'S FINEST with four more titles to be named later. Those titles were ARION, BLACKHAWK, THE FLASH. NEW TALENT SHOWCASE, and the MEDUSA CHAIN graphic novel, with Mr. Colon working on and off with Mr. Wolfman from October 1982-April 1985. source]
*"Promotions and Hirings at DC Comics" (page 7) by Dwight Decker [Paul Levitz promoted to Vice President of Operations, Michael Flynn as Promotion Manager, and Declan Mulcahy as Manager/Administration.]
*"DC's Schedule: New Books and Cancellations" (page 7) by Dwight Decker and Kim Thompson [NIGHT FORCE, LEGION OF SUPERHEROES ANNUAL 1, AMETHYST, SGT. ROCK ANNUAL 6, DC COMICS PRESENTS ANNUAL 1, WORLD'S FINEST 283, SUPERMAN FAMILY 222, PANDORA PANN (unpublished), WARLORD ANNUAL 1, BATMAN ANNUAL 8 (the Von Eeden classic), BLACKHAWK, and UNKNOWN SOLDIER 268.]
*"Marvel's Titan Series Nearing Completion" (page 9) by Kim Thompson ["After several months in limbo, the Marvel Titan series announced last Summer is finally making some headway, and the first issue is expected to go on sale this Summer.
"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
Kim Thompson]
*"Marvel Miscellania: Merchandising and More" (page 9) by Dwight Decker and Kim Thompson ["Marvel Comics announced in early 1982 that it had been named licensing agent for merchandise associated with Hasbro's GI JOE doll, the ARCHIE COMICS characters [!], and the characters featured on the children's TV show THE GREAT SPACE COASTER." (page 9); Carol Kalish named Assistant Direct Sales Manager for Marvel; and, Mark Gruenwald promoted to Editor.]
*"Eclipse to Publish Three Swamp Thing Tie-Ins" (page 10) by Dwight Decker [Eclipse Enterprises publishing news: THE MAKING OF THE SWAMP THING MOVIE MAGAZINE, SWAMP THING PORTFOLIO, SWAMP THING SCREENPLAY BOOK, SABRE, SCORPIO ROSE, DESTROYER DUCK.] [1982 Swamp Thing movie trailer]
*"New Media Publications Relocates to Florida" (page 10-11) by Kim Thompson
*"Undergrounds: GEN stops, OMAHA goes" (page 11) by Kim Thompson [GEN OF HIROSHIMA and I SAW IT; BIZARRE SEX 9(Omaha the Cat Dancer) and DOPE COMIX banned in U.K. and Australia, respectively; BIZARRE SEX 10 upcoming; and, THE LOWBROW ART OF ROBERT WILLIAMS published by Rip Off Press.]
*"Archie Comics Cuts Back, Revamps Line" (page 13) by Dwight Decker [also information on Bob Bolling drawing SABRINA at that time]
*OBITUARY: Harry 'A' Chesler (c.1898-December 28, 1981) (page 13) by Dwight Decker and Kim Thompson
*"Pinis Prepare ELFQUEST Companion Magazine" (page 14) by Dwight Decker [YEARNINGS 1 co-edited by Richard Pini and Jane Fancher]
*"New Magazine to Feature Comics Section" (page 14-15) by Kim Thompson [THE AMERICAN BYSTANDER with contributions from David Boswell, Mary K. Brown, Charles Burns, Josh and Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith, Jeff Jones, Patrick MacDonald, Mimi Pond, and Bob Schwartz. Obscure mentions of this short-lived effort from NATIONAL LAMPOON founding editor Brian McConnachie here here and here.]
*"Cartoonists Sought for Payment of Royalties" (page 15) by Dwight Decker
*"Strip News: Two Veteran Cartoonists Dead" (page 15) by Dwight Decker and Kim Thompson
OBITUARY: Wally Bishop (1905-January 15, 1982) creator of "Muggs and Skeeter" comic strip
OBITUARY: Harry Hanan (1916-January 19, 1982) creator of "Louie" pantomine comic strip *"News From Hither and Yon" (page 16) by Dwight Decker and Kim Thompson (no credits on this one) [Pacific Comics: ROG 2000; Look Mom Comics: PSYCHO COMICS 2; Western Publishing (Whitman): ASTRAL FRONTIERS (unpublished until Robin Snyder's REVOLVER series) and BUCK ROGERS by Nicola Cuti/Al McWilliams; John C. Productions (JCP): JCP FEATURE 1, BASICALLY STRANGE 1, HALL OF FAME CLASSICS 1, THUNDER AGENTS 1, SPACE GIANTS 1; Russ Cochran: VAULT OF HORROR Complete EC Library set; Capital Comics: NEXUS; Sal Quartaccio: Portfolio news; Warren: ROOK cancelled; FantaCo: GATES OF EDEN 2; Dargaud: LUCKY LUKE, WALTER MELON, VALERIAN, VAGABOND IN LIMBO, ASTERIX IN BELGIUM. Phil Yeh's THE MAGIC GUMBALL MACHINE and superhero title JUSTICE MACHINE 3 are pictured but not mentioned in the article.]

*Ingrid Neilson: illustration page 19 GCD
*Gilbert Hernandez: illustration page 20 Fantagraphics Who's Who
*Scott Pellegrini: illustration page 21 GCD
*Jaime Hernandez: illustration page 22 Fantagraphics Who's Who [dated 1981 this is a pre-Fantagraphics LOVE AND ROCKETS 1 appearance of Maggie. Curiously, this drawing brings to mind Jaime's later clear-line style, rather than the scratchy early L&R stories. Yes, only at this blog would we droolingly overanalyze a thirty year old spot illustration!]
*Dennis Fujitake: illustration page 24 Who's Who
*Mario Macari: illustration page 25 [The Spirit one two three]
*Mitch O'Connell: illustration page 26 [dated "79"] [Ginger Fox GCD]
*Brian Pearce: illustration page 27 Who's Who [this isn't art related, but here's an argument between Mr. Pearce and Todd Klein over lettering the letter "I." Please step away from the fonts.]
*ALAN BRENNERT (page 19-20) imdb GCD [this is one of my favorite "Blood & Thunder" letters, there is much information on writing for TV and comics both of which Mr. Brennert does/did quite well. A very gentlemanly exchange between Mr. Brennert and Mr. O'Neil all in all.]
*DENNY O'NEIL replies to Mr. Brennert (page 20)
*J.J. PIERCE (pages 21-22)
*CARTER SCHOLZ replies to Mr. Pierce (page 22)
*STEVE STILES (pages 22 24)
*MATT DENN (page 24) [Reading his biography at the link, it seems a real possiblity that the Lt. Governor of Delaware was a big AMAZING SPIDER-MAN fan at the age of 16 and wrote a rather stirring argument against the stereotypical portrayal of an overweight character in issue 226 of that comic. I don't make this stuff up, folks!]
*BHOB STEWART (pages 24-25) [Mr. Stewart letter replying to Jan Strnad, and on the Nostalgia Press EC Library Vol. II that was never published.]
*PAUL R. WILSON (page 25)
*THE EDITORS reply to Mr. Wilson (page 25)
*DR. PHILLIP S. KOTT (pages 25-26)
*KIM THOMPSON replies to Dr. Kott (page 26) [Mr. Thompson is put in the unenviable task of defending his not including Jack Kirby as a "comics great" alongside Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, and Carl Barks, and does quite well in the end.]
*DWIGHT R. DECKER (pages 26-27 29)
*GEORGE EVANS (pages 29-30) [Jim Keefe has a lot of online material on this famous cartoonist here. This letter is a first hand account of George Evans's working relationship with Harvey Kurtzman at EC Comics, I guess it's hilarious reading if you are neither one as they certainly grated sensibilities as far as collaborating on those EC war stories, it seems.] GCD Who's Who
THE COMICS JOURNAL (c)2010 Fantagraphics Books, Inc. This list is unauthorized, but undertaken with respect to the past staff of this great magazine .

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Top 10 Issues of The Comics Journal: #59 part two

image from IDW 2009 reissue of both DETECTIVES INC. stories including the original-graphic-novel, whose review is referenced below. (with bonus Rob Clough customer reviews!) and product pages.

THE COMICS JOURNAL 59 part two: buy here
After a long delay here we are again analyzing some of my favorite issues of the print version of THE COMICS JOURNAL. Acknowledgement must go to Peter Coogan and his ground-breaking online index of The Journal which is an essential tool for anyone doing research on the seminal magazine, and a tool I rely on heavily as I don't have many of those early issues. The late Jerry Bails's online Who's Who of American Comic Books is another great help in researching who was doing what when. And, of course I didn't even know about The Grand Comics Database when I first started this research project! Check out these sites for help in your own comics research, and remember to check around various print and web sources to verify your facts (I'm not the greatest at this but am trying to improve).

"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 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

TED WHITE "Photo by Bill Burns, Corflu, Austin, Texas, 2007" (c)2007 Bill Burns, other 2004 photos of Mr. White by Bill Burns et al can be found here.

"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 and 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.]


"Kubrick's 'The Shining': An Ambitious, Failed Masterpiece" (pages 97-100) by Dale Luciano [View clips on here and here. Before Dale Luciano moved on to reviewing alternative comics and mini-comics in the eighties (he was the force behind "The Newave Comix Survey" in The Journal 96-99 101 102), he wrote many detailed insightful movie reviews. source]

"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 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:
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.
WARREN: EERIE 117 10/7; 1994 16 10/14; ROOK 5 10/21.

"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

Love and Rockets Long Gone Links

image via
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.

Comic-Con Links:
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

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

FlogBlog Spotlight:
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 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

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 (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 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

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

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

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.

Essay: "Remembering Los Angeles as a Hotbed of Alt-weekly Comics" by Ben Schwartz, includes quotes from Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez.

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

Hernandez Family Appearances at Comic-con 2010

LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES 3 cover image (c) 2010 Jaime Hernandez via

Special announcement
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

Harvey Pekar 1939-2010

image via

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

Another Gilbert Hernandez Stussy T-Shirt!

image via (c)2010 Stussy
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

Love and Rockets Links Monster-Sized: Interviews

Here are a number of video interviews with both Gilbert and Jaime conducted this year as well as a few text interviews from MOCCA 2010. These have probably all been up on Flog Blog, but I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place. The Midtown Comics video doesn't start the Gilbert interview until the 5:00 mark, by the way.

Scion Magazine 15: Gilbert Hernandez from Scion ART on Vimeo.

Daniela Capistrano interviews Gilbert for an MTV-related blog.

Peter Guiterrez interviews Jaime and Todd Hignite prior to MOCCA 2010 for

Audio and Transcript of the "Art of the Superhero" panel at MOCCA 2010 with Jaime, many photos posted, as well. via Journalista

R.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



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Love and Rockets Links Monster-Sized: Reviews

Here are all of the writings I've found (on Flog Blog, Comics Reporter, Journalista, and various and sundry other places) since about February on the latest flurry of Hernandez Brothers books:
Tom Spurgeon reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for
Parka short review, many pages posted, video of book preview of THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ
Tim Heffernan reviews THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ for
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

Garrett Martin reviews HIGH SOFT LISP for
Win Wiacek reviews HIGH SOFT LISP for (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 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
Justin Spotten reviews THE TROUBLEMAKERS for

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

Sarah reviews HEARTBREAK SOUP (Love and Rockets Library edition)

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

Friday, May 14, 2010

Love and Rockets Links Monster-Sized: Events

Gilbert at Napoli Comicon 2010. Photographer unknown. via
silksreen print image (c) 2010 Gilbert Hernandez. via

*Chris Estey writes a hilarious description of Gilbert in anticipation of his appearance at the Emerald City Comicon 2010
*Gavin Lees reports on Emerald City Comicon 2010 (3/13-3/14) for, including Gilbert and family appearing to support HIGH SOFT LISP release. via comicsreporter
*Gavin Lees photo of Carol, daughter, and Gilbert Hernandez sitting together at Emerald City Comicon 2010. via comicsreporter
*Stephanie Hayes photo of Gary Groth and Gilbert at Emerald City Comicon 2010. via FlogBlog
*Larry Reid reports on "High Soft Lisp" art exhibition and book signing with Gilbert Hernandez at Fantagraphics Books Store & Gallery as part of 3/13 "Art Attack" events in Seattle, see poster above
*Jonas Seamen posts 25 photos from Gilbert's signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 3/13. via FlogBlog
*Fantagraphics Books posts 32 photos from Gilbert's appearance at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 3/13. via FlogBlog

*Press Release for Jaime and Todd Hignite's 4/9 signing at Jim Hanley's Universe
*Arambulo posts one two photos of Jaime from his signing (w/Todd Hignite) at Jim Hanley's Universe (4/9), Vito Delsante is seen interviewing Jaime in the latter picture
*rhythmbandit posts a couple of Jaime "Maggie" pages in honor of meeting the artist at his Jim Hanley's Universe signing, a comment in the following thread from meatwhichdreams describes meeting Jaime at MOCCA 2010.
*Abrams Comicarts press release on panels and book signings for MOCCA 2010
*Excellent MOCCA 2010 report by Gil Roth, in line by Marc Sobel to see Jaime. Photo of Jaime at top of post. via comicsreporter
*Marc Sobel goes to MOCCA 2010 and meets Jaime, and even found a copy of SILVERHEELS 3 with that rare color Jaime backup story. Yes, I'm jealous.
*Geoff Grogan reports across the aisle from Jaime and his enormous line at MOCCA 2010
*Colin Panetta comments on "The Art of the Superhero" panel Jaime participated in at MOCCA 2010. via comicreporter
*Michel Fiffe writes on talking to Jaime at MOCCA 2010, attending his panel appearance, and meeting Marc Sobel. Michel posts Jaime's contribution to STRIPAIDS USA, as well. via comicsreporter
*C. Edwards reports on "The Art of the Superhero" panel Jaime participated in at MOCCA 2010. via comicsreporter
*Tom Spurgeon deflates "The Art of the Superhero" panel at MOCCA 2010 (I agree with him on this, after reading the panel transcript). via comicsreporter

*My favorite photo from MOCCA 2010 has Jaime apparently playing a heated game of "rock-paper-scissors" with Miss Lasko-Gross.
*Mike Baehr takes 10 photos of Jaime at MOCCA 2010
*Arambulo posts photos of Jaime signing at MOCCA 2010. via comicsreporter
*bh123 posts several photos of Jaime from MOCCA 2010, including one with (I swear) Gary Groth smiling. via comicsreporter
*Two photos of Jaime signing at the Fantagraphics table while at MOCCA 2010. one, two.
*Virtual Memorist posts two photos of Jaime at MOCCA 2010: one of him drawing Beautiful Dreamer that Gil Roth wrote about and the other of him drawing Hopey. via comicsreporter
*Seth Kushner posts photos from MOCCA 2010 including several of Jaime (in group and portrait)
*Seth Kushner posts two more photos of Jaime at MOCCA 2010.
*Brian Heater two photos (also here) of Jaime and other "Art of the Superhero" panelists. via comicsreporter

*David Mazzucchelli wins L.A. Times Festival of Books "Graphic Novel" Prize over Gilbert's LUBA. Article here.

*Gilbert signing at New York City's MIDTOWN COMICS on April 24. press release here
MIDTOWN COMICS website photos of Gilbert and daughter at their April 24 signing. (no permalink so you'll have to scroll down to find the photos)
*Photos from Gilbert and daughter's MIDTOWN COMICS signing posted by blueneurosis. one, two, three.

*Carolyn Kellogg reports on FAMILY BOOKSTORE signing with Jaime, Todd Hignite, and Jordan Crane. May 4 at 7:oopm.
*Jason Chen plugs Jaime's FAMILY BOOKSTORE signing at the fashion blog "The GQ Eye"
*Jaime, Todd Hignite, and Jordan Crane signing at FAMILY (Los Angeles, CA) May 4 at 7:00pm.
5/18 Update: Lilliam Rivera ( reports on Jaime's FAMILY signing, includes several photos

*Press release for Jaime and Todd Hignite signing at VROMAN'S BOOKSTORE May 5.
*Jaime and Todd Hignite signing at VROMAN'S BOOKSTORE (Pasadena, CA) May 5 at 7:00pm.

*Gilbert guest at Napoli Comicon 2010. via twitter
*NAPOLI COMICON 2010: Italian-language homepage, or pdf in English of convention events
5/18 Update: "Adventurist Cartoonists & Far Out Comics" show at FAMILY bookstore at 5:00pm on 5/30. Jaime will present the 1949 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film "A Letter to Three Wives," followed by a Q&A on the movie moderated by Sammy Harkham (Kramers Ergot).