More big-time catchup.


As convention season swings into HIGH HIGH Gear (ECCC just past, C2E2, MegaCon, Wondercon, MoCCA, Stumptown, various Wizard Worlds, TCAF…etc., etc., etc.) this photo of gear for SXSW from Film Threat’s Mark Bell seems to sum up the necessities pretty well. Bell also compares SXSW, which lasts well over a week, with various iterations (interactive, film, music) and is still going on, with Comic-Con:

Today was quite different from the calm of yesterday. Upon waking and heading over to the Convention Center, I was met with a sea of people, much like the massive crowds at the San Diego Comic-Con. Still, SXSW could never be Comic-Con (no comics or giant movie marketing presentations and junkets masquerading as “panels”)… but it FELT like it. At one point it was pointed out to me that as long as no one was in costume, it couldn’t remotely be like Comic-Con. So, of course, I saw people in costume, including a guy dressed like a ninja turtle.

BTW everyone who says Comic-Con should last over a week…no, just……no.

§ Jim McLauchlin presents an excellent profile of artist Russ Heath, who is now 84, and needs a new knee.

Jokes come easy. Walking comes hard these days. And that’s odd, because Russ Heath is the last guy you’d expect to slow down. Even into his 70s, Russ was running six miles a day and playing tennis four times a week. But today, as he wears an old pair of tennis shorts, you can see that the right knee is visibly swollen, 50% larger than the other. “It doesn’t hurt that bad,” he shrugs. “It just doesn’t function. I don’t walk too far. Maybe 50 yards at a stretch.”

Knee replacement surgery and the lengthy rehab on the other side are inevitable, but not something Russ is looking forward to. “By the time I get this one done, they might tell me I need to get the other done,” he says. “That’s all I worry about.”

The whole piece is worth a read, both for what it says about artists who don’t have retirement funds, and how fans rally to help these artists.


§ Edie Fake at The Daily Cross Hatch

It was a queer performance tour, Fingers. It was really amazing. There were nine of us traveling in the school bus, and it felt like such a labor of love. It was a vegetable oil bus, so there was a lot of grease thieving, as well.

Those are the ones that smell like French fries all of the time.

Yeah, yeah. Or there was always a greasy sheen to everything in your life. It was good. It was so much work to fill up the tank, so it was good to have all of those people. We each had a performance, but on each tour date only a few of us would perform, and then the rest of us would be relaxed and scrounging grease, doing this and that, and cooking a meal.

§ Rob Clough talks toMariNaomi:

Many times I’ve made the excuse of “being a writer someday” to try some pretty crazy stuff. But I like to think I’d have done it all anyway.

§ At MTV Geek, Bendis and Oeming talk again about TAKIO, their all ages comic:

MO: We honestly didn’t set out to do that. The all ages book that slants towards girls specifically was a side effect about writing a comic featuring our family. I’m very proud that this book fills a gap in the industry that is missing, but we didn’t set out to do that.


§ Paul Gravett talks to Mariscal, the Barcelonan polymath who is one of the world’s most influential cartoonists and designers. The subject is Los Garriris, his iconic, humorous characters:

“This gang of characters was born suddenly, without me realising. They were uncontrollable. When I draw Los Garriris, I always feel they are the ones who make the decisions. Out of all of them, the tall one, Fermin, and the short one, Piker, decided that they were enough.” The pair like nothing better than to ride their Vespas, hang out with girls and go to the beach with their fishing dog, Julian. “Julian is the most intelligent. He never speaks but he controls the situation. He has his head on his shoulders.”

§ SECRETS OF THE COMICS: Ever helpful Tom Brevoort alludes to the secret reason we will never see the Ultraverse again:

The reason we’re not using the Ultraverse characters and material is not the reason you seem to think–but because of the contract, I can’t actually openly discuss what the real reason is. Suffice it to say that it prevents us from doing anything with those characters as things stand.

§ Newsy bits: Kelly Sue DeConnick is the latest writer to take over SUPERGIRL for an arc, ChrisCross and Marc Deering complete the team.

§ By now you all know that the reason for the BATWOMAN ongoing’s sudden delay is yet another one of those secrets of the comics, as artist JH Williams wrote:

Well, its obvious to many that Batwoman’s release has been pushed back yet again. This was not our choice, and as to why, I’m not at liberty to really discuss. So the release may be farther away now, but be assured that work is still commencing. The upside to a later release means that gives us plenty of time to get a lot of issues done. Amy has turned in some variant cover work for the series and has shown us thumbnails for issue 6, looks really nice. So while I’m moving forward, she is too, we’ll have my arc done and hers well on it’s way to completion by the time this thing rolls out. The only real downside is that solicits were pulled on us twice, making readers heads spin, wish that didn’t happen, but it has, lets just make the best of it. I’m fast approaching the middle of issue 3’s interior art, Haden and I’ve started working on script for issue 8, the first 5 covers are done, and Dave has had issue 2 in his hands for his special magic touch.

To assuage pain, Williams proved he had been working on a cover by posting it, above.

§ Cartoonist Seth likes cartoonist Ben Katchor, like everyone should:

This is but the tiny tip of a giant iceberg of imaginative play. Every page of the book boils over with invention. Katchor clearly loves the cheap, the mundane and the disposable, yet he doesn’t bore us with this fixation. He turns it on its head. His books are like fantastic window displays, stacked up pyramids of banalities: shampoo bottles, desk calendars, gummed labels, rubber seat cushions, orthopedic shoes. Trivial on the surface and yet, as we peer in closely at them, we see that there are worlds within worlds – invented spaces where objects recombine to form whole new absurd philosophies or histories, even entire new imaginary cultures. It’s the work of a cartooning illusionist. And it is genuinely funny stuff, as well. Not laugh-out-loud funny, of course. More shake-your-head-in-astonishment funny.


§ Former Marvel staffer Scott Edelman has been digging deep into his archives for some classic ’70s memos from Stan Lee and co., but here’s a late ’70s rejection letter from Paul Levitz that will make at least five of our readers laugh out loud.

§ Oh, brother.

§ So you think you know Popeye?

§ Congrats, Sean T. Collins.

§ While poking around Flickr, we were reminded that Alan Light’s stream is a treasure trove of old comics stuff, like this set of Old Time Cartoonists. Here’s Jimmy Murphy (Toots and Casper), William Randolph Hearst, Rube Goldberg and George McManus (Bringing Up Father) hanging around LA’s Ambassador Hotel in the late 1930s, looking all swanky like it was the most natural thing in the world for cartoonists to be lunching with Citizen Kane.


  1. Great to hear that Russ Heath is still at it.

    I’ve always liked his work, whether it was 50’s horror, Sgt Rock or even the more risque National Lampoon parody material.

    If I could make a suggestion to his agent, it would be that Russ produce a series of high quality limited edition prints, then sign and maybe add a sketch to them.

    Less time consuming than drawing recreations, and the lower price point would make the prints attractive to more buyers.

  2. A “The Beat” Question: Why all the snark about the Batowman #1 delay in a second post? Gleaned nothing new from today’s “report” than the one you posted on 3.10. What’s the point?

    BTW, if it takes waiting until 3-6 months for DC to resolicit Batwoman #1 to have an uninterrupted run of floppies, I can’t imagine anyone who loves JW3’s work… Especially the DC with the critical/financial goldmine they have on their hands with this book.

  3. Wow. Bad mispellings and missing words day. Sorry. Trying again…

    A “The Beat” Question: Why all the snark about the Batwoman #1 delay in a second post? Gleaned nothing new from today’s “report” than the one you posted on 3.10. What’s the point?

    BTW, if it takes waiting until 3-6 months for DC to resolicit Batwoman #1 to have an uninterrupted run of floppies, I can’t imagine anyone who loves JW3’s work minding… Especially DC with the critical/financial goldmine they have on their hands with this book.