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Marvel Comics on Film


Friday, February 25, 2011

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Via Sean Howe, we present these fine examples of throne readings.

Marvel Feature #9, Amazing Adventures #18 from Busting (1973)

Amazing Spider-Man #69, Fantastic Four #83 from Putney Swope (1969)

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Friday, February 11, 2011

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Thumbing through my collection of Cartoonist Profiles looking for tips on Hi-Fi stereo equipment, as I am prone to do, I stumbled over this buff nug from issue #40, 1978: An early (the earliest?) story on Jim Davis and “Garfield”. I audibly exclaimed, thanked my Johnny Harts and put down my Frank Robbins and ran to the scanner. Here, kind people, is an early testament.


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Market Report, etc.


Friday, February 4, 2011

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$180,000 (approx), according to Art Info.

Hi there. Over on Art Info there’s a report on the Brussels Antiques and Fine Art Fair, which included a few comic art dealers who commanded some very high prices for original work by Moebius and Milton Caniff. It does seem like prices run higher in Europe overall, and based purely on my conversations with various U.S. galleries and dealers, a tremendous amount of non-hero based comic art (i.e. underground old and new) is sold to European collectors. 180K may seem like a lot in the comics racket, but it’s cheap compared to a masterpiece by a comparable contemporary artist (let’s say, for the sake of argument, Ed Ruscha. Ignore dopey headline.

Speaking of dopey: Dear Chris Arrant at Robot 6: It’s not nice to quote from my article without attribution (that is, directly swiping from an interview I did). Here’s the piece I wrote (with its own dopey headline) about one aspect of Mike Kelley’s current show at Gagosian L.A. Mike’s work couldn’t have less to do with Lichtenstein, but such is life in the dopey-verse.

UPDATE: Robot 6 updated the post appropriately.

Oh yeah, and Frank would like to point out that Dave Sim responded to Jog at length in the comments section yesterday. Check it out.

Happy Friday.

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But Doctor, I’ll Get Out of It!


Friday, January 21, 2011

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Now THAT is an angle.

Goaded by Santoro I had planned to write a post on Jack Kirby’s collage work. Lucky for you, I didn’t. Instead I have this:

1) My biggest comics thought in the last week has been about Deadpool. I read issues 1 and 3 and was “dismayed” by its transparent attempts to shock, it’s sub-Apatow humor, and cynical Tarantino x 10000 retread of outre tropes and “dirty” sex jokes anchored by some deeply strange but very uneven artwork and not any kind of satire and certainly not good comics.  It’s trying to be funny, but instead, like Lapham’s Stray Bullets, it just makes the motions of a genre without having any gravitas or unique ideas underpinning it. So naturally I wrote a heartfelt email to Jog pleading with him to explain to me why I should care about this series. Why? He didn’t try to convince me. But I do find Baker’s artwork interesting because, as Jog said in his email: “My interest is mostly in seeing Baker contort his weird digital style into something increasingly po-faced and funny in the ‘funny pictures’ sense.  I like that Deadpool constantly looks like an action figure – it feels like a presence that needs to exist on the Marvel scene, which is heavier than ever on posed, ‘realist’ shiny art.” Yes, with this I agree.

2) I have yet to see this posted anywhere, but here’s the Wall Street Journal weighing in on the recent upheavals at L’Association. It offers a pretty good overview and ties in the OuBaPo comics movement, which I’d never really considered in this context. I kind of love the Jerry Lewis reference in the headline while also hating it, but mostly because the confluence of Jerry Lewis and comics makes me think of Bob Oksner, and that makes me smile.

3) Over on Facebook someone posted a bunch of Neal Adams Ben Casey Sunday pages from 1964. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them and, man, is there some amped-up drama in there. I hadn’t realized that Adams was working those massive figures and impossible angles so early. It’s Stan Drake on steroids and I like it.

And that, my friends, is that. Happy weekend!

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Tonight! Frank’s “New Values”


Thursday, January 20, 2011

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Tonight in sunny Los Angeles our own Frank Santoro is opening an exhibition of new drawings. Go see him (yes, he’ll be there!) and be sure to ask him about Scorpio Rose. That works every time. I got to see a bunch of the work in progress when I was in Pittsburgh last September and this stuff really is stunning. You’re in for a real treat. I posted a preview over on PBox, and here’s the info:

7914-B SANTA MONICA BLVD T. 772.202.2733

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 20th, from 7 to 10pm

Thursday, January 20th – Friday, February 18th , 2011


Corned Beef Hash


Friday, January 7, 2011

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“Better you look corned beef hash in the face than live in constant expectation of a warm bird and a cold bottle.” So advises Eugene Zimmerman in his recently reissued 1910 how-to book, Cartoons and Caricatures. First, I like this “face facts, you might suck” advice to a young cartoonist, and second I like the idea of Corned Beef Hash (now making a big comeback at old-timey restaurants all over Brooklyn!) having a face. It soothes me somehow.

Anyhow, this reissue is one in a series of books from Lost Art Books focusing on forgotten turn-of-the-century cartoonists, most of whom did caricature, illustration or gags for now-forgotten magazines before these things were avidly reprinted in book form. (more…)

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Out Like a Lamb


Friday, December 31, 2010

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I'll get that apple in 2011!

Well, it’s Friday afternoon and I’ve got nothin! I wrote year-end lists for other sites, worried about my own books place on such lists, and made almost all the way through the now-canceled FX series Terriers, which is basically Charles Willeford on TV. Check it out! Anyhow, comics and such. So, casting about for a post only marginally less lame than Tim’s (I blame Jog for making us look so bad) I now present you with, you guessed it, links!

The end of 2010 has put me in mind of the end of 2000, at which point, I think, we launched the awesome old Ganzfeld web site. It’s still online here, and is full of dated material and goodies like comics by T.E. Powers and Frank King, not to mention an Ben Jones classic. You could pretty much kill the weekend wandering through the site. Boy, the internet used to be really different.

I’ve been enjoying the Four Color Process blog these last months, and now they’ve posted a rather brilliant manifesto. Check it out. (hat tip to Mr. Howe)

Depending on your days, Facebook has become this weird trove of comics, illustration and graphics history (and the same for other media, I’m sure). But for some reason, artists of the 60s and 70s seem to be particularly prolific, and are posting photos and anecdotes that are pretty new to me. It’s bar-talk stuff, in the best possible way.

Artist Alan Kupperberg has lately been putting up really fun photos and commentary on life at Marvel and Atlas in the 1970s. Here’s a doozy of and about Chip (son of Martin) Goodman.

And the great Bobby London has been posting pix of his original Popeye strips from the 80s, a run about which I know almost nothing (the one book collection is rare and pricey) but would love to learn more.

And thus, with other people’s memories dancing in my brain, I close out 2010. Have a great holiday!

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Check please!


Friday, December 17, 2010

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Personal Day

Oh hi! I’m taking a “personal day” today, so this post will be mostly promotional in content, with only a few memorable zingers for you to carry with you for the rest of the day. But really, you’ve had two epic Jog posts this week. What more do you want, people?

Earlier this week Gabrielle Bell immortalized me in comic strip form. I feel humbled, flattered, and yet exalted.

But much of the last two weeks has been taken up dealing with PictureBox stuff, which brings me to the promotional part of this post: There is a TON of new stuff in the shop, most of which will arrive by X-Mas is you order by Monday.

I have, of late, been fishing through bins and finding a few treasures, like D.O.A. Comics, the one-man anthology by the late, great Jim Osborne. Or the anonymous and amazing Junk Comics. Of course there is always some Marshall Rogers and some sweet Moebius.


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The Problem Solverz Are Back!


Friday, December 10, 2010

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You might have been asking yourself, what’s Ben Jones been up to? Well, kind people, he is in Burbank, CA right this minute, working long days on his Cartoon Network series, The Problem Solverz. His first season, which was written with Eric (Futurama) Kaplan, is in the middle of production, with an air date sometime in 2011. This is not, as some of you may know, Neon Knome, which was an Adult Swim project that sprung briefly to life. This new show is, if anything, a more pure expression of Ben’s longtime characters, Horace, Roba, and Alfe. It perfectly exemplifies Ben’s genius for character, dialogue, and strikingly beautiful world building. Below is a clip from the first episode — it’s not complete, but gives you a flavor for this new and wonderful series. If you like it, click on over to YouTube and say so. We are also taking any and all “fan art”, which you can send to me for posting at dan (at) pictureboxinc (dot) com.

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The Most Expensive Gag of All Time?


Friday, December 3, 2010

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I thought he was joking. But Norman assured me he wasn’t. A few weeks back, from the stage of The Society of Illustrators, Sam Gross announced that his iconic (and still REALLY funny) gag cartoon was going on the block for 20K. And lo, it has come to pass. I should initiate a Kickstarter campaign to buy this. By the way: Sam Gross: Still really fucking funny. And underrated!

Herewith the goods.

You get to the buy the front…

… And the back of this piece of original art!

Do it!

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget about the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival! Saturday, 12-9. PictureBox will be on the mainstage with Chippendale, Dorkin, French, Harkham, and Thurber! A gang if there ever was one.

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