The OSU Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum acquires Tom Tomorrow’s paper

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OSU’s Billy Ireland library and Museum continues to amass more important collections or archival papers with the announcement that editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow aka Dan Perkins will be donating his papers to the institution. Tomorrow is a alt.weekly mainstay whose made the transition to the inetrent world, with his trenchant comics found in 70 papers, Daily Kos, The Nation, and The Nib.  

Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dali’s Sub-Mariner

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In a previous post, we looked at how Carl Burgos’ original Human Torch might have been inspired by helldivers at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Unassuming Barber Shop is all about that “might”). But you can’t talk about the Torch without his elemental counterpart: the Sub-Mariner. There are multiple accounts of how Bill Everett […]

Nate Powell and Chris Ross on How They Designed ‘March’

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[Editor’s note: The release this week of March Book Two by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell has already made headlines with its story of the fight for civil rights in the 60s, and the covers to both volumes have become iconic in their own right. The message of the courage to fight for equality for all in the face of violent opposition is as relevant and needed today as it was 50 years ago. But powerful images to cover powerful times don’t always spring up fully formed. Here Powell and Top Shelf designer Chris Ross with an in-depth breakdown of how they created these covers and combined imagery to capture both history and ideals.]

NATE: March was originally a single, massive volume, so the initial front and back covers were intended to house the entire narrative: the front introduced the basic visual theme of opposition, with two elements facing off against each other, though a contingent of riot-ready white supremacist police were prominently featured across the bottom. After some discussion with Chris Ross, Andrew Aydin, and Congressman Lewis, we all agreed that we should shift some of that focus to the folks on the front lines, and away from Jim Crow police forces. Around that time, we decided to release the saga as a trilogy, so Chris and I jumped in to further develop the oppositional themes, but playing with different angles and approaches to the cover’s division.

Today’s reading: The Montgomery Story starring Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This educational comic from 1957 is credited with inspiring many to take on non violent protest as a means to achieving civil rights for all. Most famously, a young John Lewis read it and was inspired to march, a story told this week in March Part 2 by Lewis, Nate Powell and Alfred Aydin.

The comic, published by the Fellowship for Reconciliation, was written by pacifist Alfred Hassler and drawn by an unnamed artist in the Al Capp studio; it’s been translated other language and in 2011 used as a tool in Egyptian protests.

A stroll down memory lane: Dan DiDio’s personal history of The Crisis Era

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Say what you will about Dan DiDio: in his time as DC’s first executive editor then co-publisher, he’s remade a lot of what made the company tick, starting with Identity Crisis, the controversial but best selling mini series that kicked off what we at Stately beat Manor call The Crisis Era. (Infinite Crisis and the misleadingly named Final Crisis would follow). As DC’s spring move to the west coast closes the cover on more than 75 years of comics history, DiDio is revisiting his own 13 years at DC on his FB page, as so many do as the new year starts and the cold wind howls outside…so step inside with us for some cocoa and Dan DiDio’s fireside chat:

Review: When Marvel Comics went Underground by Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson

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The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground, published by Dark Horse under the imprint of the Kitchen Sink Press from Denis Kitchen and John Lind is now available. It’s a who’s who of some of the top names in comics. The Introduction is written by none other than Stan Lee himself with a foreword by Denis Kitchen.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Denis Kitchen and John Lind in October at New York Comic Con to discuss the latest publishing efforts from Kitchen Sink Press. Denis Kitchen is considered to be the founding publisher of independent and underground comics. He was instrumental in publishing people like R. Crumb, Harvey Pekar, Howard Cruse and Trina Robbins to name a few.It’s especially prescient to look at the work that Denis and John are currently publishing in light of recent world events. The Best of Comix Book showcases some of the best of the underground comics that Denis published with Marvel under Stan Lee’s direction. This momentous occasion occurred during the period when Stan agreed to help Denis continue publishing while Denis was going through difficult financial times.

She Makes Comics is now available, and here’s an exclusive clip about Friend of Lulu

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She Makes Comics, Marisa Stotter’s documentary about women in comics, is now available. You can download it for $9.99 or pre-order a DVD for $19.99 (It’s $24.99 for both.), all from the Sequart website. The documentary studies the history of women in comics with interviews with Karen Berger, Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jenette Kahn, […]

Dover to publish a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala

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The other day I mentioned how Dover Books is bringing back a bunch of out of print graphic novels including Puma Blues and A Sailor’s Story.

Well, you can add one more book to that list.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Dover is reprinting a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by myself and Philip Yeh

Reminder: Walt Disney was a sexist Jerk

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Yeah yeah, Walt Disney was a genius and a trailblazer and a visionary…but he was also a racist and a horrible sexist. The letter informing a woman applying for a job at the studio informing her that “Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.” has been floating around for years, but recently a newspaper story by Disney biographer Bob Thomas laying out his ideas of women’s capabilities has been unearthed and it’s even worse.

She Makes Comics documentary available for sale on December 9

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This gets a HYPE ALERT rating since I’m in it, but Marisa Stotter’s documentary She Makes Comics will finally be available on December 9th—either as a DVD from Sequart or via digital download. The film was directed by Stotter and produced by Patrick Meaney and Jordan Rennert of Respect! Films, with exec producers Julian Darius […]

Dover Graphic Novel reprint line now available for preorder

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As a kid, Dover Books was just about my favorite publisher, bringing out fine reprints of sheet music, fairy tales, art and all sorts of other goodies (yeah that’s the kind of kid I was.) And they’re still around and now bringing back long OOP graphic novels in a new line. Publishers Weekly had all […]

The unbelievable world of 80s comics sales

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Over the holiday I spotted something pretty eye-popping on Tumblr—this comics sales chart from Amazing Heroes #49, published in 1984 and posted by Sam Humphries.

Your jaw will drop in amazement to see a world where American Flagg!, a daring SF comic by Howard Chaykin outsold Captain America, and Groo outsold Batman, Detective and Green Lantern.

Throwback Saturday: The Golden Apple c 1987

Photo by Leonard Pederson

Via Leonard Pederson’s Facebook page here’s a photo of me interviewing Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz about Elektra Assassin at the Golden Apple in LA c1987. I guess I could make a better guess to the time by looking at the books in the background. Void Indigo, Mage and The Far Side.  I think that’s Mikal […]

Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood reimagine Crockett and Tubbs for MIAMI VICE comic

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Lion Forge, the mostly digital but going to print comics company, picked up some nice 80s licenses like Punky Brewster and Miami Vice.

In the modern era of licensing, it isn’t about likenesses and wooden stories, but about reimagining things.

So Lion Forge hired Joe Casey and artist Jim Mahfood to do Miami Vice. Bringing Crockett and TUbbs to the modern day.

Since both Casey and Mahfood are certifiably bonkers*** this is awesome.

Jill Lepore on the secret history of secret women in comics

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Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, talks about how the Amazons origins are tied up with the history of suffrage and birth control and nicely sums up the history of women in comics in a couple of paragraphs:

Things about Denys Cowan: Dewars, Static, Shaft

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I totally stole this from artist/producer Denys Cowan’s FB page, but it’s an interesting little sidenote, Back in the 90s people still read magazines, and liquor companies would purchase full page advertisements in these magazines. Man, history is SO WEIRD, right? Anyway, Dewars scotch ran a series of profiles of debonair achievers attempting to convince you that if you drank their scotch you would also be a debonair achiever. Cowan, then well known for his Batman and Question comics and about to co-found Milestone Media, was a fitting choice but it did seem like a win for comics at the time. This predated the Rob Liefeld Levis commercial, but both are a reminder that cartoonists as media figures is far from a recent phenomenon.