As everyone crawls back to the mundane world—having spent the weekend bleaching and pressing now season-appropriate white clothing items—let’s round up a few things from the weekend past.

§ Chris Mautner’s “Comics College” feature at Robot 6 gets to Charles Burns and succinctly explains “Why we should care.” He also points out that there is no Charles Burns art book! WHYYYYYYYYYY?

As with Gary Panter, Lynda Barry and Mark Beyer, Charles Burns came to prominence during the indie comix scene of the 1980s mainly thanks to his contributions to the Raw anthology. As such, he was one of the more significant members of that generation to change the general public’s (and the fan’s) conception of what comics could be like and about. His work immediately garnered notice both for his thick brush work, where the ink threatened to swallow the page, as well as for his subject matter, grotesque displays and stories (occasionally told with a wink) that drew both on classic sci-fi and horror as well as an awareness and disgust of the body and its urges. Like filmmaker David Cronenberg, Burns was fascinated by the relationship between sex and death and the anxiety both produced and those themes show up in his work time and again.

§ People say the ’90s were a shit decade for comics. People are wrong.

§ Tom Spurgeon’s massive San Diego Comic-Con tips post has turned into more of a “Pro Tips for General Survival” kind of thing—find a means of telling the time; leave time for parking; don’t go to Mexico—but the general message is definitely “go with the flow.” The subtext being that the flow is now a raging river filled with roaring whirlpools of pocket fandoms and sharp rocks of studio publicists. Pro Tip #1: bring a raft!

§ This is your monthly reminder to check out the astonishing lineup of comics at Study Group Comic Books.


§ Colleen Coover continues to curate artwork based on the Wolverine/Freddie Mercury meme, bless her.

§ Former Marvel staffer Scott Edelman pushes back against rumors that ’70s era Marvel letterpages orchestrated a campaign to turn fans against Jack Kirby by examining scans of those letters pages.

So what will they reveal? Was there truly an orchestrated effort by us staffers, as some have claimed, to use the letters columns to sow seeds of dissatisfaction with Kirby among fandom?

The shocking answer in the link.

§ The strong female characters are back, and the Brokeback will never be the same.


  1. Edelman’s 4/21 blog post about Kirby’s writing was interesting:

    Kirby was a god to us for what he did during the ’60s, but what he was doing at Marvel in the ’70s made us wince, and we didn’t have the tact or maturity to say it appropriately. So we acted like ungrateful punks. But now that the years have passed, as I read some of those issues of Captain America over again, I’m wincing still. [. . .]

    Not only do none of the characters talk the way people actually talk—or even the hyperbolic, melodramatic way superheroes talk—but they are barely coherent. And what’s worse, in Captain America #207, old winghead, after discovering that a tyrannical dictator in a banana republic was torturing his people, decided to do NOTHING, basically declaring it none of his business! [. . .]

    If I ever needed a reminder of how much Stan Lee and Jack Kirby needed each other, neither ever creating separately at anywhere near the level they did when together, man oh man, this was certainly it.

    How widely is Edelman’s assessment of Kirby’s ’70s writing on Marvel titles shared? How important was Lee in giving voices to Kirby’s characters?


  2. while separately, these following folks have created some great stuff in their respective fields, together they were gold: martin & lewis, roth & van halen, gleason & carney, lennon & mccartney, redford & newman. i’m sure there are tons of others i’m forgetting, but the point is that lee & kirby while separately have created some good stuff, together (like the rest of the folks above) were gold.

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