She Makes Comics is now available, and here’s an exclusive clip about Friend of Lulu

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She Makes Comics, Marisa Stotter’s documentary about women in comics, is now available. You can download it for $9.99 or pre-order a DVD for $19.99 (It’s $24.99 for both.), all from the Sequart website. The documentary studies the history of women in comics with interviews with Karen Berger, Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jenette Kahn, […]

Dover to publish a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala

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The other day I mentioned how Dover Books is bringing back a bunch of out of print graphic novels including Puma Blues and A Sailor’s Story.

Well, you can add one more book to that list.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Dover is reprinting a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by myself and Philip Yeh

Reminder: Walt Disney was a sexist Jerk

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Yeah yeah, Walt Disney was a genius and a trailblazer and a visionary…but he was also a racist and a horrible sexist. The letter informing a woman applying for a job at the studio informing her that “Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.” has been floating around for years, but recently a newspaper story by Disney biographer Bob Thomas laying out his ideas of women’s capabilities has been unearthed and it’s even worse.

She Makes Comics documentary available for sale on December 9

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This gets a HYPE ALERT rating since I’m in it, but Marisa Stotter’s documentary She Makes Comics will finally be available on December 9th—either as a DVD from Sequart or via digital download. The film was directed by Stotter and produced by Patrick Meaney and Jordan Rennert of Respect! Films, with exec producers Julian Darius […]

Dover Graphic Novel reprint line now available for preorder

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As a kid, Dover Books was just about my favorite publisher, bringing out fine reprints of sheet music, fairy tales, art and all sorts of other goodies (yeah that’s the kind of kid I was.) And they’re still around and now bringing back long OOP graphic novels in a new line. Publishers Weekly had all […]

The unbelievable world of 80s comics sales

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Over the holiday I spotted something pretty eye-popping on Tumblr—this comics sales chart from Amazing Heroes #49, published in 1984 and posted by Sam Humphries.

Your jaw will drop in amazement to see a world where American Flagg!, a daring SF comic by Howard Chaykin outsold Captain America, and Groo outsold Batman, Detective and Green Lantern.

Throwback Saturday: The Golden Apple c 1987

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Via Leonard Pederson’s Facebook page here’s a photo of me interviewing Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz about Elektra Assassin at the Golden Apple in LA c1987. I guess I could make a better guess to the time by looking at the books in the background. Void Indigo, Mage and The Far Side.  I think that’s Mikal […]

Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood reimagine Crockett and Tubbs for MIAMI VICE comic

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Lion Forge, the mostly digital but going to print comics company, picked up some nice 80s licenses like Punky Brewster and Miami Vice.

In the modern era of licensing, it isn’t about likenesses and wooden stories, but about reimagining things.

So Lion Forge hired Joe Casey and artist Jim Mahfood to do Miami Vice. Bringing Crockett and TUbbs to the modern day.

Since both Casey and Mahfood are certifiably bonkers*** this is awesome.

Jill Lepore on the secret history of secret women in comics

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Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, talks about how the Amazons origins are tied up with the history of suffrage and birth control and nicely sums up the history of women in comics in a couple of paragraphs:

Things about Denys Cowan: Dewars, Static, Shaft

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I totally stole this from artist/producer Denys Cowan’s FB page, but it’s an interesting little sidenote, Back in the 90s people still read magazines, and liquor companies would purchase full page advertisements in these magazines. Man, history is SO WEIRD, right? Anyway, Dewars scotch ran a series of profiles of debonair achievers attempting to convince you that if you drank their scotch you would also be a debonair achiever. Cowan, then well known for his Batman and Question comics and about to co-found Milestone Media, was a fitting choice but it did seem like a win for comics at the time. This predated the Rob Liefeld Levis commercial, but both are a reminder that cartoonists as media figures is far from a recent phenomenon.

The Hermit of Shooters Hill – An Interview with Steve Moore, Part 6

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Here’s the sixth part of my interview with the late Steve Moore, with more to follow. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th parts are already online, along with some explanation of how the interview came about. One note on the text, which is particularly relevant in this section, so worth repeating: As we went […]

24 Hours of Halloween: Hansel and Gretel by Mattotti and Gaiman—with events!

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This extraordinary book—surely one of the most beautiful picture books of the year— has a complicated history. It began with Mattotti’s phenomenal illustrations, originally commissioned for the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007 production of Engelbert Humperdink’s opera Hansel and Gretel. Later French publisher Gallimand commissioned Jean-Claude Mourlevat to write text to go with it. And now Neil […]

Legal matters: The Wallace Wood Estate suing Tatjana Wood for Wally Wood artwork

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Here’s one of those matters where there are really no winners. The Wallce Wood Estate, which is administered by J. David Spurlock, the publisher of Vanguard Publishing, is suing Wood’s ex-wife Tatjana Wood, for the possession some of 150-200 pages of Wood art. According to the complaint, the pages are worth between $2000-25,000 each.

Looking at Marie Duval, Victorian cartoonist

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Who is Marie Duval? While not a household name in comics circles she’s actually one of the most important Victorian cartoonists, artist on Ally Sloper, one of the early cartoon sensations. The tale of a no good lazeabout that ran from 1857 on, it was created by Duval’s husband, Charles Ross, but gained its greatest fame after Duval took over in 1859. The Guardian has a tribute to her.

The secret history of alternative manga

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Manga isn’t all awkward schoolgirls and giant robots. There has long been a very strong alternative and literary thread of manga, and two recent articles give you some perspective on it.

I would call Ryan Holmberg’s Proto-Gekiga: Matsumoto Masahiko’s Komaga a must read, but I have to confess, it is very long and involved, and I have set it aside for weekend reading. BUT the important thing is that he compares and contrasts Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who is kind of credited as the father of “gekiga” or realistic manga, with Matsumoto Masahiko, a figure who appears in Tatsumi’s autobiographical A Drifting Life under another name. Masahiko’s work went down a slightly different path than Tatsumi’s but Holmberg shows that it was equally important:

NYCC ’14: Carol Tilley on how one man nearly killed reading comics

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by Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Frederic Wertham’s name is akin to the devil incarnate in the comics world. Wertham was one of the ringleaders of the anti comics movement in the early 1950’s with his book Seduction of the Innocent. Carol Tilley, scholar, professor and librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has written extensively […]