§ Author on author action as Susanna Clark (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell ) profiles Alan Moore for the Telegraph:

It’s not easy to convey to someone who doesn’t read comics just how Alan Moore has dominated the field since Watchmen. He took something very American – the superhero comic – reinvented it (more than once) and sold it back to them. A list of his most famous works (Swamp Thing, Miracleman, From Hell, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) reads like a list of classic comics of the past 20 years. When he fell out with the largest comics publisher in the world, the New York based DC, he found a home with an American independent publisher, Wildstorm. DC dealt with this defection in a remarkably straightforward way – they bought Wildstorm in order to get him back (an experience Moore describes as like having ‘a really weird, rich stalker girlfriend’). All this without ever leaving Northampton.

200710091124§ The Columbus Dispatch surveys the legacy of Milton Caniff:

Robert C. Harvey, author of the recently published Meanwhile . . . : A Biography of Milton Caniff, met his subject at age 70. “I asked (political cartoonist) James Reston (whether) the man I knew — affable, mellow, charming and engaging — was the Caniff he knew,” Harvey recalled. “And Reston said, ‘You have to understand this about Milton: He was always the most talented person in the room. He could act, draw, dance, sing. He was always going to be the most talented person, and it was not anything he was conscious of.’

§ Director Matthew Vaughn blogs for The Guardian during the UK premiere of STARDUST and drops a tiny bit of THOR news:

Then the premiere. They’ve become non-events in this country, attended by the new breed of celebrity famous for having no talent whatever and full of film industry types hoping that the film will be dreadful. I’m glad to say that we bucked the trend – people came whose celebrity were a by-product of their talent. And then the party at my home, where I was told that the film played well. But what else can you say if your host is also the director?

My phone has just rung. Marvel loves the script. The only problem is that it has been costed at $300m and they ask how I am going to reduce it by $150m. I think I prefer being asked what it’s like working with De Niro.

§ Tony Collett echoes what several people have mentioned, re the new Charles Schulz biography, namely that Schulz wasn’t as competitive with other cartoonists as biographer Michaelis may have made out:

And then there’s this quote: “Even later, when Peanuts reached $1 billion a year in 1989 and he was making tens of millions of dollars every year in the 1990s, he felt so competitive toward another cartoonist that he threatened to draw a Peanuts strip so that “everybody will worry about Snoopy, and nobody’s going to read your stupid story, and I’ll get more publicity than you will! So there!”” Gee, sounds awful insecure there, doesn’t he? But instead of coming away with the impression that he was ruthless, what if I told you that it was his response to Lynn Johnston telling him she planned to have Farley the dog die in her strip “For Better or For Worse”, feeling that as time had passed on the strip it had been well past the time for it to happen. From all reports Schulz was supportive of Johnston and her efforts.


  1. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it suggested before that DC bought Wildstorm simply to have Alan Moore working for them again. It must come as quite a shock to all the talented folks, from Jim Lee on down, that made Wildstorm a desirable acquisition.

  2. Paul, I’ve seen it suggested. In fact I’ve seen it suggested DC tried to buy another small publisher that had Alan Moore working for them. Which is probably why Alan views them as “a really weird, rich stalker girlfriend.”

  3. Regarding the Schulz book, does it deal at all with the fact that some cartoonists came to view Peanuts as far past its prime during its final 20 years? Schulz got so lazy that he’d repeatedly do gags in which the punchline was a character saying “Whatever,” a word which really doesn’t mean anything. Wasn’t it Bill Watterson who said he was ending Calvin and Hobbes because he didn’t want the strip to become a self parody the way Peanuts had become?

  4. I disagree about latter day Peanuts. I think the last ten years are some of the best of the strip, particularly with Rerun’s sequences. I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar the recurring gag you didn’t like (from out of 7300 strips). I don’t recall Watterson ever bad-mouthing ‘Peanuts’. He’s referenced it as his favorite strip and one of his inspirations. I also found this quote – “Every now and then I hear that ‘Peanuts’ isn’t as funny as it was or it’s gotten old or something like that. I think that what’s really happened is that Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ changed the entire face of comic strips and everybody had now caught up to him. ” What I find interesting is that an artist completely against any merchandising of his characters was a fan of the most successfully merchandised strip of all time.