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§ First, an Al Feldstein health update. Via his mailing list, Feldstein reports that he underwent open heart surgery on April 17th, and is now home making slow and steady progress toward full recovery. Feldstein is the legendary writer/editor of EC’s horror and crime comics and MAD Magazine.

§ Scott Edelman posts two of the most epochal memos in comics history, both from 1976, when DC, and then Marvel, agreed to pay creators for reprints of their work.

I’ve probably made more money in the first decade of this century from the reprinting of comic books I wrote in the mid-’70s than I earned during the mid-’70s from the original publication of those comics.

When I started working in comics back then, however, the concept of getting paid for reprinted material was just a pipe dream. The artists and writers could complain all they wanted, but the companies wouldn’t budge. At least not until 1976, when both Marvel and DC decided that they needed to institute reprint payment policies to hang on to talent.


Now if someone could dig up the memos about royalties, that would be great, too.

§ DC Comics vs. The Paris Review? Not what you think — it’s an elegiac look at how the dwindling of the magazine industry has led to the dwindling of publishing league softball. But the DC Bullets are still going strong!

§ The history of French-language comics writing via a Wall Street Journal profile of Jean Van Hamme, the 70-year-old writer of such series as LARGO WINCH, THORGAL, and XIII.

Now, as Mr. Van Hamme nears the end of his career, he’s searching for a worthy successor. “I will probably be dead in 10 years, so part of my role is to pass the torch,” he says during an interview in his study as he lights a Gauloises and examines the draft cover art for a new comic.

There’s a problem, however: He says the scripts he gets from aspiring Belgian writers are hopeless.

Aficionados are worried, too. “There are so few good writers….It’s a crisis,” laments Reynold Leclercq, who owns one of the 20 or so stores in Brussels devoted to comics.

§ Canadian cartoon genius Seth gets a detailed profile in The Globe and Mail.

§ More Canadian stuff: Toronto’s comics scene is dubbed “White Hot”.

§ AND, the Calgary Herald looks at D&Q’s first Doug Wright Collection. Wright isn’t very well known here in the States, but his place in Canadian cartooning history is crucial:

“The history of cartooning has quite a few seminal cartoonists who were more important (than Wright) in defining the form in some way, and most of them were much earlier in the 20th century,” says Seth. “I think Wright’s real significance was that here in Canada, where there was such a small pool of working cartoonists and a very small market, he was such a very high-quality artist. There is only a handful of guys worthy of study and Wright is right up there at the very top.”

§ Older gentleman collects Rex Morgan comic strips. And there is a video.

§ There’s also some footage from the upcoming SURROGATES movie online:

  1. Re Doug Wright article in the Calgary Herald where the writer says:

    “But I do think it’s a distinctively Canadian thing that we don’t value things that are in our own media.”

    Yes, I agree with that, and ironically, how sad it is, that the only comment on the Herald site below the article is one from Wright’s widow correcting the spelling of her maiden name.

    Of course, we need to SEE his cartooning, not just talk about it. Here’s one example I found online: http://armourheightsreunion.timetraces.com/photogallery/Odds_and_Ends/image141.htm

  2. @ Al re: “But I do think it’s a distinctively Canadian thing that we don’t value things that are in our own media.”

    It’s an American thing too, you know. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones taught Americans that about music.

  3. That WSJ article omits the fact that Van Hamme ALREADY has a sucessor.

    Belgian writer and editor Yves Sente (who works with Van Hamme on Blake & Mortimer) has already taken the reins of the Van Hamme-created Thorgal series and is supposed to be the next XIII regular writer.

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

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