Archive for January, 2007

Woody


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Monday, January 22, 2007


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Today Tom Spurgeon offers an excellent explanation of the appeal of Wally Wood. I remain fascinated by the late work of Wood. His and Ogden Whitney’s work have occupied my brain for the better part of a year now. Both create such odd, tactile visual spaces and both, in some ways, are under-appreciated. The recent biography of Wood, Wally’s World, by Steve Starger and J. David Spurlock does little to remedy that. It’s a slapdash affair that at times borders on incoherence. There’s a great book to be written on Wood–it just doesn’t exist yet. In the meantime, check out Tom’s succinct take on a unique artist.

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Comics Enriched Their Lives! #3


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Friday, January 19, 2007


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Nabokov‘s interest in comic strips was not limited to his childhood. Axel Rex, protagonist of Laughter in the Dark, is a cartoonist, the creator of Cheepy. Bend Sinister also features an invented comic strip (Etermon) and Speak, Memory pays its coded tribute to Otto Soglow‘s strip The Little King. Alfred Appel, whose 1974 Nabokov’s Dark Cinema (New York, Oxford UP) remains the best introduction to Nabokov’s use of images from popular culture, surveys his American comic strip allusions (pp. 74-85). Dick Tracy and Kerry Drake figure in Lolita, as does Lo’s favorite strip Penny. Appel also quotes a personal conversation in which Nabokov mused: “Dennis the Menace doesn’t look like his father. Could he be illegitimate?” (31). When he ponders writing a letter about it to The Herald Tribune, “he is dissuaded by Vèra who remarks that the paper had not printed his earlier letter about plot inconsistencies in Rex Morgan.”

—D. Barton Johnson, “Nabokov’s Golliwoggs: Lodi Reads English 1899-1909″
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Inkstuds Out of Time


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Friday, January 19, 2007


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Sickness unfortunately prevented a full interview, but Dan was able to call in for an all-too-brief fifteen minute conversation at the end of last week’s Inkstuds podcast.

In other news, I have nothing to say about comics at the moment. But if you were intrigued by the Dick Ayers piece in Comics Comics #1, and live in the New York area, Ayers is making an appearance at the Big Apple convention tomorrow, and will doubtless be selling copies of his three-volume autobiography in comics.

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Links & Promotion


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Friday, January 12, 2007


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I know a lot of Comics Comics readers have already seen Marc Singer’s recent part-right, part-way-off-base review of MOME, because I recognize the names of a lot of the commenters there, but if you haven’t seen it yet, the post itself and the comments that follow are pretty interesting.

Via Jog — who, by the way, somewhat recently wrote one of the more insightful reviews of Cold Heat (drawn, as you probably know, by CC editor-at-large Frank Santoro) I’ve yet seen.

Speaking of Frank, judging by their Website, Copacetic has only a few copies of his ’90s masterpiece Storeyville left, and I believe they’re the only place where you can still purchase it. So this may be your last chance if you want to get your hands on Storeyville in its original format.

Finally, and via Tom Spurgeon, a Steve Gerber anecdote from Marvel’s Tom Brevoort. [UPDATE: Gerber has responded.]

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Comics Enriched Their Lives! #2


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Thursday, January 11, 2007


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I started reading comic books that were published in the 1980s, when I was about 20 years old, and they all dealt with repression in Franco’s Spain. These were comic books that were published in Spain. At the time, they were sort of the equivalent of the underground comics in the Sixties in America. They were very anarchic, very against the system, against the establishment, and a lot of them dealt with the situation of postwar Spain. There was one in particular that influenced The Devil’s Backbone more than Pan’s Labyrinth that dealt with an orphanage in postwar Spain; that was called Paracuellos [by Carlos Giménez, 1981].

Guillermo del Toro, in an interview from the Austin Chronicle

This one is too easy, I know, but this series needs to live on as more than just a cheap ploy to lure unsuspecting readers from a barely related (at best) “blog-a-thon”—if only so I can sleep at night. Sometimes you have to go to blog with the post you have, not the post you want to have.

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The Comics Comics Five (and Counting)


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Monday, January 8, 2007


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As mentioned earlier, new Comics Comics issues should be available through Diamond starting in February, but a few prescient stores have gotten their hands on copies early. If you can’t wait for your fix, go visit them. They are all excellent boutiques, and very deserving of your money and patronage.

THE COMICS COMICS FIVE
(in alphabetical order)

1. Big Brain Comics, in Minneapolis

2. Domy, in Houston

3. Family, in Los Angeles (& don’t miss co-proprietor Sammy Harkham‘s terrific related blog)

4. Jim Hanley’s Universe, in Manhattan

5. Rocketship, in Brooklyn

P.S. It’s possible we’ve missed a few stores, so if you work at a location stocking Comics Comics or if you spot an issue somewhere, drop us a line, and we’ll keep a running honor roll. In the meantime, these are the five greatest stores in North America.

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Can O’ Worms


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Tuesday, January 2, 2007


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Well, my fave comics of ’06 list caused a little tizzy in web-land. And Dirk got kind of annoyed. All because of my flippant remark about Fun Home. My remark was just that: flippant; and not really meant as a substantive criticism (obviously), but rather as an example of a disagreement with the PW list. That said, I don’t really have much to add: I found the narrative devices in Fun Home to be rather forced and the cartooning too often stiff and inexpressive. Most of all, it just seemed overstuffed and not really in control of the medium. Mostly, it just doesn’t interest me enough as a book to write any further about it. It’s not a terrible book, just kinda mediocre.

I don’t agree with Dirk that my not liking it represents some kind of comics-elitist (something I’m certainly not–though I’d like to see a list of qualifications) reaction against mass popularity. I totally understand why it has wider appeal than Kim Deitch’s work (which is vastly more successful as art)–ummmm, that’s the way world works. I’m not surprised at all, nor do I expend any energy being annoyed at it. Culture is what it is and the most we can do is to work for and promote and write about the things we believe in and hope for the best.

And further, contra-Dirk I don’t make my aesthetic judgments based on the relative popularity of a work or what “scene” it emerges from. Who cares about that stuff? I might have at age 14 but certainly not now. I judge things based on their relative successes as art, and that’s it. So that’s pretty much my response. I didn’t like the book that much, but anything else–scenes, cred, popularity and all that other foolishness is besides the point.

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