Comic Book Heaven: meet the crankiest old comics shop owner maybe ever

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Joe Leisner, the 80 year old former owner of Comic Book Heaven, a comics shop in Sunnyside Queens and the star of the above short film, is a character. An authentic New York character, as they say, and someone who’s been running a comics shop for 50 years, long before it became fashionable. So long that having a Shrek poster hanging in his store, or pondering the price of an issue of Moby Duck is the same to him as the latest Convergence title. If you watched the film,, you’ll definitely see a comics shop as it once was, and many still are: a little messy and timelost, a kingdom of ragged long boxes, but a friendly place for the regulars.

Batman in Dior

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Girl in Dior has been getting great press worldwide for its depiction of one of the most influential premiere collections in fashion history, but there are a couple of classic superhero connections as well.

The New 52 is now the Old 52: a look back

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With Convergence, aka Atlas Moving Vans, now rolling out in the DCU and the New 24 about to launch, several websites have taken a look back at The New 52, which launched in September of 2011 and super-charged the comics industry. As I’ve written several times before, the pr for the New 52 immediately lifted the entire comics industry with more customers coming into stores and finding a lot of new comics to read. Call it the Millennial Rush. The debut of Saga #1 six months later hooked those who were just nibbling and he rest is history: record breaking sales.

SF’s Cartoon Art Museum has to find a new home

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This is sad but not surprising—given the insane rise in real estate prices in San Francisco, it was only a matter of time before the Cartoon Art Museum, which occupied a spacious and accessible spot near Market Street has been evicted so its space can be converted to something expensive and greedy. The museum will stay open until June 28th, and in a release they note that the move was not unexpected and they had already begun preparations, just like Cutter and Skywise.

To do tonight: Spiegelman, Mouly, and Charlie Hebdo: IT’S TOUGH BEING LOVED BY JERKS screening

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And another event, this one a screening of a documentary about one of Charlie Hebdo’s earlier controversies followed by a talk with Art Spigelman and Francoise Mouly: With TOUGH BEING LOVED BY JERKS, director Daniel Leconte (Fidel Castro: L’enfance d’un chef) offers a real-time account of one of the most important trials in the 21st century […]

Goodbye 1700: DC’s New York offices close for good today

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Usually when I say someone retiring is the end of an era, I mean that the way that person did business is gone. In this case I really do mean it is the end of the era of New York publishing in general, and New York comics publishing in specifics.

The Buddyback pose: A brief history of buddy cops posing back-to-back in front of a car

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I was tooling around on the internet the other night, and unexpectedly came across this masterpiece, a monument to the 80s culture of buddy cop TV shows that features perhaps the most perfect execution of the “buddy cops standing back to back in front of a car with their arms crossed” pose, a pose parodied as much as it is worshipped worldwide. Sometimes the arms are not crossed sometimes they are holding guns, sometimes they are standing in front of other things. But it’s the “I got your back, buddy!” pose that says these partners are going to solve crimes together no matter what the dangers.

Unassuming Barber Shop: Age of Ultron, Vision, and Spock

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The passing of Leonard Nimoy last week was, as Lance Parkin notes, “a significant event.” Trekkers Everyone mourned this actor, and this character, by watching Wrath of Khan, taking LLAP selfies, and retweeting Nimoy’s last public words. We took a moment. The character of Spock is an icon of American popular culture. But what about […]

Kickstarter alert: Comic Book People 2: Photographs from the 1990s by Jackie Estrada

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Somehow I have neglected to mention until this moment that Jackie Estrada is crowdfunding a second book of photos taken at conventions over the years, this one focusing on the 90s. The first volume was a roaring success. This second one (Despite not having me on the cover) looks to be just as good. And […]

Hero History: The Paradoxical World of Harley Quinn

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What makes Harley Quinn so popular? Abraham Riesman digs into her history to try to find answers.

Michael Davis talks about why he’s not in Milestone 2.0

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In the last few weeks there’s been a bit of online speculation about why Michael Davis, one of the original Milestone Comics founders, along with Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and Dwayne McDuffie, and co-creator of Static Shock, is not involved with the new Milestone 2.0, which is being run by Cowan, Dingle and Reggie Hudlin. […]

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.  

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.

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:

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, […]

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.