Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four

fabulous-fantastic-four-back

On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first human being to achieve Earth orbit, effectively winning the space race. At NASA, scientists sighed, poured more coffee, and redoubled their efforts. In New York, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four. With a new FF movie coming out, readers and fans […]

Dave Sim receives a $500,000 bequest to turn his house into a museum

Anonymous-Fan-Bequeaths-500-000-to-Cerebus-Trust-Dave-Sim-s-Weekly-Update-93-July-31-2015-YouTube.jpg

In his latest weekly video, Cerebus creator Dave Sim reveals that an anonymous donor has agreed to leave a bequest of $500,000 to The Cerebus Trust Fund. So it turns out someone really likes Cerebus! And Sim need no longer worry about money for getting his comic The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond published, and […]

Manga triumphalism—heck yeah!

paradise_kiss_000-cover.jpg

As I’m probably too fond of saying, each year’s San Diego Comic-Con represents the end of comics’ fiscal year, and we’re now in a new cycle of sales, renewal and looking forward to the next thing. Although the con was not that memorable on its own, it did mark a new plateau in the direct sales era for comics penetration into the mass media, and for having a variety of voices and genres that the medium has probably has never been seen before.

This situation, while far from ideal, still represents a dream come true for a lot of us who have been toiling in the comics industry for a while. I remember as if it were yesterday sitting in various comics industry think tanks in the 90s wondering WHAT could be done to expand the audience for comics, how to bring in genres that weren’t superheroes, and how to overcome the tyranny of the “32 page pamphlet” as it was dubbed by either Kurt Busiek or Marv Wolfman, depending on who you ask. These tasks seemed daunting at the time, and it actually took 25 years to get to a place where it could be argued that its true, and everyone at those meetings is a certified old timer now.

11th Anniversary Special: Really Famous People Holding Comics Books, world politics division

10404341_890009052660_156808095993702882_n.jpg

In honor of the Beat’s 11th anniversary ehre are two epic photos from recent social media. In the first, Congressman John Lewis presents signed copies of the March graphic novels to Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala was shot in the head in her native Pakistan for daring to want […]

Know your exploiters in comics: a brief guide

hqdefault.jpg

This is an old link, but Robort Boyd has posted a slideshow he delivered on Comixploitation! that rounds up some of the more egregious examples of horrible artistic rip-offs in comics over the years, from Siegel and Shuster and Jack Kirby on to modern day matters: So what’s it like for a comics freelancer today? […]

Flashback Friday: historic photos of San Diego in the 80s

55-1980s.jpg

While I was poking around the internet for the history of Marriott Hall the other day, I chanced upon some photos of San Diego in the 80s taken during and just after the construction of the Marriott Marquis and Marina. The first photo is prior to the hotel’s completion in 1987. I’m not enough of an expert in San Diego history to know the history of the marina, but as you can see, it bears very little resemblance to the glitzy high rise neighborhood of today. There’s no convention center, no Hyatt, no Embassy Suites, no Petco PArk, no Omni…nothing really.

D&Q’s 25th Anniversary spotlights the long march of female cartoonists

1084297.jpg

Over the weekend, Drawn & Quarterly got some much deserved attention in the New York Times for their 25th Anniversary and the astonishing accompanying book. First in a round-up of creators and books, and then a longer profile called 25 Years of Drawn & Quarterly, Champion of Female Cartoonists, which probably isn’t the headline you […]