Peter Bagge’s Founding Fathers Funnies coming from Dark Horse

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Peter Bagge is prolific and hilarious, a very good combination in a cartoonist. He’s been running short one page historical comic strips in recent issues of Dark Horse Presents and his own series Apocalypse Nerd, and these will be collected in the one shot Founding Fathers Funnies. Bagge is all over the humor of the great people who founded our great nation, and i’m sure it goes beyond cherry trees, kites and wooden false teeth.

Did Watchmen Steal From The Outer Limits, Or From Jack Kirby?

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[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Watchmen, The Outer Limits, and some old sci-fi you probably weren’t planning on reading.] At the end of Watchmen, a television set in the background announces a rerun of The Outer Limits episode “The Architects Of Fear.” This was a reference to a creative debate that occurred behind the scenes between writer […]

The strange history of the Fantastic Four movie franchise

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This weekend’s new superhero movie is Fantastic Four, not to be confused with Fantastic Four or Fantastic Four Or even The Fantastic Four The 1978 cartoon version famously substituted a robot named H.E.R.B.I.E for the Human Torch. Although the reason given for years was that networkexecs children would set themselves alight during play, given everything […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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.