Posts Tagged ‘Paul Karasik’

Attention Nancy Boys


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Thursday, April 15, 2010


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Mark Newgarden, CC pal and advocate for actually making good books about cartoonists, writes in to ask for YOUR help in completing his and Paul Karasik’s sure-to-be masterpiece HOW TO READ NANCY.

Mark says:

There are a small handful of specific images that we are still seeking quality scans of.

We are searching for hard copies (or high rez scans 350 dpi or higher) of the following:

FRITZI RITZ  1/2/33

NANCY 6/ 29/ 55

DEBBIE (AKA LITTLE DEBBIE) by Cecil Jensen 6/ 27/ 55

THE 1942 NANCY TERRYTOONS MOVIE POSTER

We are also looking for additional photographs of Ernie Bushmiller; preferably in his studio (and/or related memorabilia). Please let us know what you have in your vaults!

Of course all contributions will be fully acknowledged in the book and all lenders will receive a gratis copy—and a hearty handclasp!

If you can help, please email Mark: mark (at) laffpix (dot) com.

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So Who is Noah?


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


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Comics Comics Correspondent Paul Karasik wrote in to note that he has discovered a startling relationship between one Biblical family, one group of knuckleheads, and a certain cartoonist. Watch this space for more revelations.

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Structure 101


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Thursday, August 27, 2009


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I spoke yesterday with my friend and mentor Mark Newgarden. We talked about structure in comics. It was a very enlightening conversation. Basically, Mr. Newgarden reminded me that reduction is the key to making sequencing and transitions work.

So, as I polish up my next rant about what structure actually is and how most comics today lack any real understanding of structure, I thought I’d direct our readers over to Mr. Newgarden’s website. There you will find not only an assortment of laughs and novelties, but also a remarkable essay entitled “How to Read Nancy”. This 1988 essay written by Mr. Newgarden and Mr. Paul Karasik is a priceless jewel of information. I’d venture to say that it is a self contained comics graduate class. Comics Comics readers are encouraged to start here before any further discussion of structure can take place on this blog.

Please download the “How to Read Nancy” pdf here.

Thank you.

Oh, and don’t forget that “How to Read Nancy” is being expanded into a book that will be published by Fantagraphics in the spring of next year. Details here.

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Paul Karasik on Fletcher Hanks


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Sunday, July 26, 2009


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Paul Karasik is the very first cartoonist I interviewed (well, as an adult. When I was 13 I interviewed Paul Ryan for an 8th grade paper and made a case that he was vastly under appreciated, natch). That first Karasik interview became a lengthy examination of comics history and was published in the very first Ganzfeld back in 2000 with considerable help from our own Tim Hodler and the beloved Patrick Smith. When we debuted the issue, Paul sat behind our table at SPX and helped flog the thing. Why, mine eyes, they grow misty just thinking about it. Ok, wiping away the tears from my keyboard, I now present, nearly 10 years later, Karasik v. Nadel: The rematch. Paul looks better than ever: He’s in lean, tanned, fighting shape, while I am old, graying, bitter, hunched and prone to mumbling. Paul won again. Sigh.

Thanks to Gabe at Desert Island for hosting a fun evening and asking me to interview Paul on the occasion of his book signing for the fantastic second Fletcher Hanks volume, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation. Click below to listen to the interview.

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Fletcher Hanks! Live! (Sort of!) Thursday!


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


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It’s my honor to grill Karasik at the event below!

Come out to celebrate the release of “You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!” by Fletcher Hanks, edited by Paul Karasik.

Thursday, July 23, 2009
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Discussion at 7:30 with signing by Paul Karasik to follow
Desert Island
540 Metropolitan Ave btwn Union and Lorimer
Brooklyn, NY

Karasik will speak with comics historian and publisher Dan Nadel about Hanks’s legacy, and both will take questions.

Fletcher Hanks, who worked under pseudonyms such as Henry Fletcher, Barclay Flagg or Hank Christy, is one of the more mysterious comic book artists active in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His work stood out for its weirdness and themes of brutal vengence, but little is known about the artist himself. Among his comic book heroes are ‘Tabu, Wizard of the Jungle’, the lumberjack hero ‘Big Red McLane’, and the cosmic superheroes ‘Stardust, The Super Wizard’ and ‘Space Smith’. ‘Fantomah Mystery Woman of the Jungle’, is often called the First Female Superhero. Hanks’ work appeared in Fox, Fiction House and Timely Publications for three years (1939-1941) before he abruptly stopped making comics. What little is known about the artist’s fate is outlined in two collections of his work both edited by cartoonist, Paul Karasik. ‘I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets’ won an Eisner Award and the second volume, ‘You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!’, when combined with the first, comprises the Complete Fletcher Hanks.

also: Fletcher Hanks coloring books (with Charles Burns cover!) FREE with purchase of the new book at the event.

plus: a limited edition Hanks screenprint will be available at the event and is now available for preorder.

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I Don’t Read Comics Anymore


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009


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Sorry about that. It makes it hard to think of things to say about them, though.

Actually, I’m exaggerating. I read and mostly liked the two new Urasawa series that finally got published last week, and re-read and loved the Tezuka story that one of them adapted. I still don’t have anything to say about them, though.

So how about this instead?

1. Paul Karasik can still surprise me, which surprises me. Check out his take on the above Jimmy Olsen cover over at the Covered blog.

2. I like a lot of Alan Moore’s stuff, but have recently gotten tired of reading all the articles about how he doesn’t like movies made of his comics. Not that his stance bothers me, but I’ve heard it a million times now, and don’t understand why the entertainment press still thinks it’s so shocking and interesting. So it was funny (to me) that when I read the latest big Alan Moore interview, this part jumped out at me as being particularly enjoyable:

One of my big objections to film as a medium is that it’s much too immersive, and I think that it turns us into a population of lazy and unimaginative drones. The absurd lengths that modern cinema and its CGI capabilities will go in order to save the audience the bother of imagining anything themselves is probably having a crippling effect on the mass imagination. You don’t have to do anything. With a comic, you’re having to do quite a lot. Even though you’ve got pictures there for you, you’re having to fill in all the gaps between the panels, you’re having to imagine characters voices. You’re having to do quite a lot of work. Not quite as much work as with a straight unillustrated book, but you’re still going to do quite a lot of work.

I think the amount of work we contribute to our enjoyment of any piece of art is a huge component of that enjoyment. I think that we like the pieces that engage us, that enter into a kind of dialog with us, whereas with film you sit there in your seat and it washes over you. It tells you everything, and you really don’t need to do a great deal of thinking. There are some films that are very, very good and that can engage the viewer in their narrative, in its mysteries, in its kind of misdirections. You can sometimes get films where a lot of it is happening in your head. Those are probably good films, but they’re not made very much anymore.

I didn’t enjoy it so much because of his critique of film—which I think (or thought) was pretty banal and almost conventional wisdom at this point (Godard’s work isn’t done, I guess)—but because it just seems so refreshing after reading so many articles and interviews with comic-book people who always seem to be trying to pump up comics by saying they’re just like movies, or could make great movies, or that the reason Will Eisner is great is because he used tricks from the movies, etc. It’s nice to hear someone involved in comics who doesn’t have an inferiority complex about them, and just flat out says they’re better, and on top of that, movies are bad for your brain.

Also, usually I get all bent out of shape when someone admits to not paying close attention to comics and movies for a decade or so before turning around and bashing them on and on, but I have to admit this time I was kind of amazed at how accurate Moore was. (Though admittedly his critiques apply mostly to the superhero and blockbuster varieties.) Maybe that’s a power you get when you’re a wizard.

On the other hand, I tried again this winter, and I still can’t get through Promethea. What a chore. It seems like being a wizard has its bad sides, too.

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Attention Nancy Lovers


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Friday, December 5, 2008


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A message from Mark Newgarden & Paul Karasik:

Perhaps you can help us!

Paul Karasik & I are currently expanding our 1988 essay HOW TO READ NANCY into a book-length treatment. Our essay originally appeared in Brian Walker’s THE BEST OF ERNIE BUSHMILLER’S NANCY and is currently being used in comics lit curriculums all over the country.

As you may (or may not) recall one particular NANCY strip [below] is deconstructed in great detail. We are trying to determine exactly when this strip was originally printed.


Our source was the 1961 NANCY Pocket Book which obliterated the original publication date & © info on these strips. From studying a fair amount of period syndicate proofsheets it seems most likely that this strip appeared sometime between 1958-1960 as many of the other strips reproduced in this book did.

Unfortunately many of the likely sources (UFS, Walker, Kitchen, Ohio State) do not have complete runs of the strip for this period and neither do we.

We are circulating this request among NANCY lovers and comic strip collectors confident that someone has the info we seek.

Additionally we are hopeful that someone has high quality reproduction material for this strip (either a proof or the original) and would be willing to contribute a high rez scan.

Even if you don’t have any of this (but perhaps could point us in the direction of someone who does) your name will surely be enshrined in the golden roll of the Secret Bushmiller Society for all eternity!

Best;

Mark Newgarden & Paul Karasik

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