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, […]

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.

Must read: Todd Klein’s history of lettering

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Todd Klein is the dean of comics lettering in the US, with more awards than he can carry, and a portfolio of logos and classic lettering that would be hard to touch. And he’s put it all together for a seven part series on the history of comics lettering:

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.

Marvel Teases X-Men ’92, One More day and yet more events of the past

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Let me see, we kind of left off last week’s parade of Marvel event teasers, as it was beginning to get a little same-old, same-old, but here’s one that  got hearts pounding on a Monday morning,  a call back to the 1992 animated show that—along with Batman: The Animated Seris—helped start the whole  of the comics industry. Or […]

On the Scene: Reception at Society of Illustrators for Heroes of the Comics

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by Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Just before the mad crush of New York Comic Con a crowd of comic book royalty gathered at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan to hear a stellar panel talk about Heroes of the Comics, Drew Friedman’s wonderful book featuring some of the best and least known artists, publishers and writers who […]

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:

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 […]

Webcomic Alert: The Utopian City That Wasn’t by Eleri Mai Harris

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Australian cartoonist/journalist Eleri Mai Harris isn’t just an editor at The Nib, Medium’s marvelous comics section, run by Matt Bors. She’s a trained journalist who turned to comics to tell stories and in today’s Nib she has a good one: the story of the abortive designs for Canberra, the capital of Australia. Like a few other planned capital cities—Celebration and Brasilia comes to mind—the structural, utopian approach to city design rarely works out. The story also includes a dandy forgotten woman—Frank Lloyd Wright’s associate Marion Mahony Griffin. So sit back and learn some Australian and architectural history.

Must Read: Women Who Conquered the Comics World

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Lisa Hix of Collectors Weekly sat down with Trina Robbins and runs through a few chapters of Robbins’ Pretty in Ink, her third history of women cartoonists. The result is an immense article that could function on a primer on the history of women cartoonists going back more than 100 years, starting with Rose O’Neil:

SPX ’14 party poop: this is the year of the Prom and the Wedding

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This weekend the Small Press Expo takes place in North Bethesda, MD. The show is known for its collegial, summer camp vibe, but this year, it is going ALL OUT. There will never again be talk about the pig roast or the softball game or the karaoke or anything else, because this year there is […]