Posts Tagged ‘This Week in Comics’
Monday, February 21, 2011
This is the final story art from the final issue of Roarin’ Rick’s Rare Bit Fiends, #21, a 1996 production of creator Rick Veitch’s King Hell Press. It was the first episode of a project called Subtleman, culled from particular dreams of his — as, to some effect, were all issues of the series — “in hopes of creating some sort of definition as to the size, shape and sounds of the fifth dimensional experience.” That mission statement came at the top of the letters column, and was quickly followed by a more pragmatic, very post-distribution crash wish: “I also hope RARE BIT FIENDS survives long enough for me to finish it!” (more…)
Labels: Rick Veitch, This Week in Comics
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Yeah, I’m still a little woozy from finishing that post yesterday (and I scanned too many images), so let’s get right to the new funnies: (more…)
Labels: This Week in Comics
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
“Hello, this is Chris Ware, listen, I’m stuck in a Charlton comic… no, LISTEN, I am trapped inside a late 1960s Charlton comic book, ’67, ’68… the same way it happens every time! Every fucking time! It is absolute hell in here, the paper quality is garbage, the coloring is off-register… no, no I’m subsisting on onion gum and trick black soap. Yes, I’ve built mighty astronaut muscles in double quick time, can we just… Steve Ditko. D-I-T-K-O, I think it’s a superhero thing, everybody’s talking about ethics. Look, you’ve gotta hurry, I – I think I’m a self-portrait. Wha- yes, I’ll hold, thank you.” (more…)
Labels: Chris Ware, Steve Ditko, This Week in Comics
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Here we see Steve Ditko in as close to a conciliatory mood as his solo work tends to get. It’s part of a Heads strip from the 1985 comic Charlton Action: Featuring Static #11, an all-Ditko special facilitated in the twilight of the Charlton press with editor Robin Snyder. As part of its introduction to the Ditko Series, “a view of art, man, and life, a look at values, conflicts, right and wrong, and justice,” the artist’s Heads — at least as prominent to me as his hands, because what is the Avenging World if not wrinkled with the sweat and agony of compromised individual principles? — seems content at the moment to merely suggest possibilities, with the idealistic middle head, though closest to Ditko’s own disposition, given a kind of daffy eyes-to-heaven grin. Nonetheless, the rest of the issue proves an adequate guide to the artist’s preferences. (more…)
Labels: Robin Snyder, Steve Ditko, This Week in Comics
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Just a collection of faces by Roberto “Magnus” Raviola, from Catalan Communications’ 1987 edition of The Specialist: Full Moon in Dendera, one of the later (1982) installments of the artist’s Lo Sconosciuto, your typical international man of danger. By that time, the Unknow(n) title character had moved to the back of his own stories, functioning in Dendera as a Golgo 13 type of character who zooms in and out of the action, finally shooting a bunch of people to resolve the ambling plot. So, mostly, it’s an excuse for Magnus to draw a number of smooth, detailed, splendid characters discussing ancient Egyptian art and culture, and engaging in extremely dense political games. Maybe Catalan felt it gave the work more of a ‘literary’ quality – or maybe that was all they had access too? Mostly they published albums of Magnus’ erotic Necron series, leaving the Specialist rather unique indeed.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Yes, comics are always racing to your friendly local merchant, but some arrive faster than others! For example, apparently Midtown Comics in NYC is expecting a whole stack of Fantagraphics releases this week, including the Lorenzo Mattotti-drawn Stigmata and vol. 2 of Pirus/Mezzo’s King of the Flies, but Diamond doesn’t have them listed for this week. As a result, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled – you never know what might turn up.
I’ve been reading a stack of new Steve Ditko comics lately — you might say I am Paying Attention — but I don’t want to comment until I’m done, so let’s go right into the new releases:
Labels: This Week in Comics
THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (1/12/11 – Not too much of interest, so I’m gonna post a bunch of gross pictures.)
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Above we see last weekend’s reading material, Mike Howlett’s The Weird World of Eerie Publications, a 2010 Feral House release focused on the one of the shadiest corners of the b&w horror magazine scene of 1965-83. It’s a breezy piece of fandom enthusiasm, heavily illustrated; the meat of the book, for me, comes in a single 85-page chapter toward the end that walks you person-by-person through every artist that ever worked on Weird or Witches’ Tales or Tales of Voodoo or any of the rest, doling our their backgrounds and explaining their approaches.
The vast majority of the Eerie Pubs stories were either retouched, gored-up reprints of pre-Code comics or remakes of pre-Code comics — ‘scripted’ by handing the artists photocopies of the original stories and asking them to accommodate the same narration and dialogue — which isn’t exactly a recipe for critical adulation, so I suspect a bunch of Howlett’s information will be new, particularly concerning the large contingent of Argentinian artists on the payroll. But even more interesting to me was the information on the all-important Eerie Pubs cover art, which was my first exposure to the stuff, via a gallery included on one of Something Weird’s dvds a few years back.
Indeed, Howlett’s interest in the material is not unlike that of a dedicated exploitation movie enthusiast, thrilled by the shameless money-making antics of bullshit magnate Myron Fass (NSFW – and boy, who would ever name a magazine FLICK, as if it’d look like “FUCK” on the newsstands, gosh that’s silly!) while working through the actual magazines’ tendencies to fail to credit artists or ruthlessly slice ‘n dice and recycle material. Like a low-budget movie crew happening upon a prime, cheap location, the acquisition of a big cache of Johnny Bruck cover art from German sci-fi paperbacks would prompt the Eerie crew, in 1971, to not only launch a pair of similarly cheap sci-fi comics magazines but make over the existing horror lineup in sci-fi style, perhaps until the stash ran low. Sizzle before steak, etc.
Yet the lingering style (by which I mean the cover style) of the Eerie Pubs didn’t come from Bruck, or moonlighting Selecciones Ilustradas artist and Warren contributor Fernando Fernández, or Argentine artist Oscar Antonio Novelle, whose work is detailed for the cover seen up top – no, I agree with Howlett that the ‘face’ of Eerie was one Bill Alexander, perhaps the most prominent black artist of the b&w horror magazines, albeit in terms of works displayed rather than credit given, which really made him nearly invisible.
Labels: Bill Alexander, Mike Howlett, This Week in Comics, Tony Wong
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
As mentioned a few days ago, redoubtable L’Association co-founder Patrice Killoffer has recently enjoyed a second North American release for Q4 2010, following NBM’s publication of vol. 3 of Dungeon: Monstres, which collected his 2004 contribution to the sprawling franchise created by Joann Sfar and fellow L’Association progenitor Lewis Trondheim. This one’s a newer work, and not a comics job – it’s one of a series of illustrations created for The Man Who Refused to Die, a novella by Belgian writer Nicolas Ancion, published near-simultaneously in French and English (translated by Paul Buck & Catherine Petit) as part of publisher Dis Voir’s line of Illustrated Fairy Tales for Adults. It’s the second entry in the series, after The Adventures of Percival from artist Nicolas de Crécy and writer Pierre Senges (whose work Killoffer has also illustrated, in the 2004 Verticales release Géométrie de la poussière).
I can’t say it’s a very good book — feel free to skip this paragraph if you don’t want the mystery ruined — although Killoffer’s work is often quite nice. The plot concerns your typical doomed noir-ish private detective, investigating the possible sexual abuse of his great-grandmother at her nursing home, only to stumble into a terrible plot to surgically prolong the lifespan of extremely rich men, apparently based upon actual research by one François Taddei, who is credited accordingly. Everyone winds up either dead or immobile, with their minds digitized and left to collect dust with the rest of the world’s prolific and ignored digital detritus, still the closest possible thing to eternal life.
It’d have made a decent enough late-period short serial in Eerie, and maybe a fine Killoffer comic, but mostly we’re left with the artist’s lovely full and double-page spreads of gurgling entrails and swirling amoebae and dense metal piping – lavish spaghetti & meatball renderings of How Things Work, stripping away the skin of a few more straightforward illustrations of people gesturing in rooms. Oddly, it reminded me of another transformation from last week, one less depictive than housed in the comics form, and tangentially concerning another rebellious group of seven comics artists who came to define the 1990s, and comics of the future as well.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Yes, time is running out for 2010, and panic seems a natural enough reaction. Do you have money left after the holidays? Not me. Luckily, there’s not much in the way of comics due either, though a few standouts are notable. Let’s be both lazy and industrious and get right to them: