It’s with mixed feelings that we have to say goodbye to Comics Comics for now.
We’ve been offered a great opportunity to be co-editors of The Comics Journal online, and after five very rewarding years of editing Comics Comics, we feel it’s time to try something new. With the infrastructure and resources of TCJ, we’re confident we can explore the medium with even greater depth and verve.
Comics Comics will remain online, exactly as it is, but there will be no further posts, and we will be closing comments in a week or so as well. We want to thank our co-founder, Frank Santoro, our founding publisher, Laris Kreslins, and our contributors, Jeet Heer, Joe “Jog” McCulloch, Nicole Rudick, Dash Shaw, and Jason T. Miles, our amazing design team, Mike Reddy and Ray Sohn, and all the many artists and guests. Most of all, we want to thank you the readers, for your attention, your comments, and your support.
Today is the last official day of the Comics Comicspledge drive. Act fast if you want to grab hold of any of the amazing stuff we have for sale. Everything from Bushmiller and Frank King originals to Paper Rad and Jim Rugg prints. Dash Shaw. Matthew Thurber. PictureBox multi-book packs. Mini-comics curated by Jason T. Miles and back issues selected by Frank Santoro. And Johnny Ryan is still taking commissions. Don’t let these opportunities slip away…
We’re halfway through our big Comics Comics fund-raising drive, and we’re still in the red! People ask us constantly when we’re going to publish a new print issue of Comics Comics, and our ongoing debt is a big reason. We have a whole bunch of other potential projects simmering in our heads, too, but need to pay off our debt and raise some capital in order to realize them. Thank you so much to those of you who have already given or purchased—you are bringing the long-awaited debut of a new Comics Comics age that much closer.
In the meantime, between now and the end of the week, we’re going to keep bringing you incredible new offers.
4. And, an extra-special offer for those of you who have always wanted to browse through Frankie’s famous long-box sales, but haven’t been able to attend any of the shows where he offers them: a mystery grab-bag of five awesome hard-to-find back issues specially curated by Frank himself.
*And don’t forget!* As the headline should remind, you, for a mere $100, the great Johnny Ryan will draw an 8 x 10 portrait of you, the Comics Comics reader (or person of your choice), being “erotically violated.”
This seems like the perfect gift for any occasion. Dedicated readers choosing this option should first order this “item” via PayPal. Send $100 to orders (at) pictureboxinc (dot) com and include your address and a message. Please also send a photograph to the same email address. Mr. Ryan will then get to work. Allow at least 60 days before delivery.
Finally, if for some reason you’d like to support us, but don’t feel like buying anything in particular on offer, you can tip us any amount you like via the PayPal button below.
Longtime readers of Comics Comics know that this is a labor of love — and it will continue to be, at least until we figure out how to “monetize” critical discussion of Harry Lucey and old issues of ROM Spaceknight. Once we get that settled, it will only be a matter of time until we are rolling in dough, Scrooge McDuck-style.
Currently, though, we are still somehow losing money, and it’s gotten to the point where we need to try and offset some of our costs. For lack of a better idea (and enough traffic to inspire advertisers!), we are launching a PBS-style one-week pledge drive. Nothing big and nothing too obnoxious, we hope, just a quick, deep, searching grab at our readers’ cash while everyone’s flush with springtime-inspired resolutions to give to charity. We are a good cause, more or less.
We have many delightful ways for you to GIVE US YOUR MONEY, all of which allow you, the kind reader, to receive something in return.
1) Comics Comics contributors and pals have donated artwork (see below!).
All of these items are or will be available at PictureBox’s eBay store, which will be updated from now through Thursday the 27th.
2) Johnny Ryan has very generously offered to donate his drawing services to the cause. Until May 27th, for a mere $100, Johnny will draw an 8 x 10 portrait of you, the Comics Comics reader (or person of your choice), being “erotically violated.” This seems like the perfect gift for any occasion. Dedicated readers choosing this option should first order this “item” via PayPal. Send $100 to orders (at) pictureboxinc (dot) com and include your address and a message. Please also send a photograph to the same email address. Mr. Ryan will then get to work. Allow at least 60 days before delivery.
3) You can purchase “variety packs” of PictureBox books at a crazy good discount. These will also be available at the PictureBox eBay store.
4) If for some reason you’d like to support us, but don’t feel like buying anything in particular on offer, you can tip us any amount you like via the PayPal button below.
Thanks for listening in any case, and we apologize for taking up your time with something like this. We don’t plan on making this a habit, or even something that we will repeat. We just want to keep this dog-and-pony show running for a while longer. Thanks again.
We are constantly in training here at the Comics Comics mansion, keeping the Danger Room busy while always trying to hone our critical acumen, broaden our coverage, and sharpen our skills. We vow never to stop improving, growing, and providing better philosophical funny-page fodder. As the song says, “Time will not allow you to stop still. No.”
As you probably noticed, yesterday a brilliant writer made her debut as a new occasional contributor to the Comics Comics juggernaut. For those who don’t know, Nicole Rudick is a freelance writer and critic. She formerly worked at Bookforum, and was responsible for commissioning much of the great comics content there in recent years, including hiring a bunch of us from here, including myself, Dan, Jog, and Jeet. She’s also interviewed cartoonists such as Gipi, Adrian Tomine, and Dan Clowes, among others. (The Clowes interview will appear in an upcoming issue of The Believer.) She is sure to be a great addition to the site.
"I know! Let's wreak vengeance on the forces of evil!", B. Kliban, 1973
And…. we’re back! Phew. You may now resume your lavish praise of this site. Or at least begin the backlash. Maybe everyone was too busy thinking about Jim Lee to worry about us. I hope so. Anyhow, on with the blogging.
Well, it’s finally here. Comics Comics day. Dan and I have been spending lots of time lately with tech wizard Ray Sohn, who has been explaining about all the FTPs and ethernets and whatnot that we need to corral to make things work. As you can see, we’ve got a whole new look—and a new attitude to boot!
Two years (or months, maybe, but who’s counting?) in the making, ace designer Mike “Ever” Reddy’s visual “upgrade” of our site isn’t just cosmetic. It’s comprehensive, conceptual, and not entirely consensual. Over the next few days and weeks and months, you will start to notice a few changes around here. I’m not going to get into them now. Suffice it to say there will be an almost-steady stream of new features, new art, and new faces.
Stay tuned for all the thrills, chills, and spills that a haphazardly curated comics criticism website can provide. We hope you enjoy the new Comics Comics more than we enjoyed making it—a low bar—and thank you for your continued patronage!
In a vague attempt to try to write about comics more frequently, I’m going to start a series of posts wherein I detail my daily trips through the library, the storage bin, other people’s libraries, and, of course, the internet.
I spent a good chunk of yesterday messing around with George Wunder. First I read his obituary and then I read his wife’s. Then I read his sister’s. And man, it was like watching the whole family escape me one by one! Down they went, click by click. I took some notes and thought about contacting his nephews or grandnephews. I ought to. Then I discovered a cache of original art at Syracuse, but apparently no papers. I can’t find an interview with him (though my index to Cartoonist Profiles is in storage — there’s probably something in there) and am intrigued by the dearth of info. He had no children. Where are all the letters and such? Where are the diary entries that explain his inky grotesques? He had a way of depicting giant craniums that verges on abstraction. Wonderful, odd stuff. But who was he? Caniff we know, right down to his shoes. But Wunder? I dunno. Wood assisted him at one point, I know that. And he apparently was in the military sometime. But what else? Ah well.
Then I got distracted and went down a rabbit hole looking for more on Jesse Marsh. Ordered a copy of a fanzine with a supposedly long Russ Manning article about him. Marsh died unmarried, but he did have siblings — seven according to some reports. In all my research for Art in Time, I wasn’t able to turn up anyone still living who knew him first hand, though I imagine someone from Western must still be around, and the thought tweaks me a couple times a week. Marsh remains a mystery to me. There might be some info in the hands of E.R. Burroughs collectors, which is the rabbit hole I dove down yesterday, mired in ERB fan sites trying to find some new little morsel that might have recently appeared. Has someone from his family contacted Dark Horse, I wonder? What became of his paintings? Of his legendary reference library? Some of these West Coast guys passed before fandom really kicked in (though according to Alex Toth, Marsh most likely would’ve rebuffed any queries anyway) and so we’re left with lots of questions. Manning seemed to have known him well, but he’s not talking either.
My last stop of the day was a lengthy digression into my favorite comics web site, Comic Art Fans, on which I combed through the Jack Kirby holdings hoping to find material for the 1940s and 50s Kirby exhibition I’m curating for the 2010 Fumetto Festival. For sheer volume of incredible visuals, it’s the best site going.
On the not-comics-but-related front, went to see a buncha exhibitions yesterday, including the Mike Kelley show at Gagosian and the Robert Williams show at Tony Shafrazi. Best of all were the Hockney show at Pace and the Sister Corrita show at Zach Feuer, but man, seeing the Williams and Kelley shows in the space of a few hours was awfully fun. Couldn’t be more different artists, but both are insightful painters of male angst/worry/paranoia/obsession. Check ’em out.
And that, dear friends, was my “research” for the weekend.
p.s.: Our offer still stands: Comics Comics wants a good, serious article about The Studio, 30 years on. We want to know about shag carpeting and questionable wall hangings? We want to know where the work came from and where it went. We want to know the economics of it, and the relationship between it, comics, fantasy, and illustration. Contact us!