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Friday February 26, 2010 9:08 pm

Weekend Reading: James Bama, Alex De Campi, Kids and Guns!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,

Judge ParkerBefore going any further, let’s just pause for a minute (which is like a week in internet-time) and send some good thoughts out to Eduardo Barreto, the great comic artist who currently draws the Judge Parker comic strip. He’s ailing with Meningitis and has had to push himself away from the drawing board while he recovers. Aside from being a good guy, he’s a terrific artist and Parker is one of the best-drawn comics currently on the page. We at Comix 411 wish him a speedy recovery. Eduardo’s pal and frequent collaborator, Beau Smith, has an excellent appreciaton as well as an update over at Busted Knuckles.

Kids And Guns: One thing I’ve learned is that kids from the 1950s and 1960s loved their guns, and companies were only too happy to fill their hands with iron, okay, well, plastic and metal parts, but still. Over at Cyclops Central they’ve got an excellent post to prove that point with ads from comics books and television.

Doc SavageJames Bama: Bama has one of those names that would’ve been suitable for some kind of tough private eye. Fortunately for all of us he became a painter instead, one mostly associated with covers to the Doc Savage paperbacks as well as westerns. He did a lot of other great work, too, and Evan Lewis over at Davy Crockett’s Almanack has posted a pre-internet two-part interview with Bama. Here’s a snip from part one: “I have done commercial work for twenty years and I hate it! I will never do it again. I haven’t wanted to do a strip since I was seventeen years old, when Alex Raymond was my hero. I only do book covers now and paint for myself.”

Don’t Bogart That Comic Joint: I found this by accident while searching for images of Steve Roper and Mike Nomad (hey, it’s a weird world) and I think you’ll find it amusing too. The Reefer Madness Museum’s online site has famous marijuana messages from actual newspaper comic strips back when the hysterical anti-pot movement was even more hysterical. Steve Roper, Steve Canyon, Charlie Chan, Dick Tracy, Rex Morgan, Buz Sawyer, Kerry Drake, and Johnny Hazard are all represented with sample panels from each strip.

British Comedy: Yeah, it’s not comic books, but a lot of British TV shows crack me right up. Even the awful ones can be pretty funny. The Quietus has an excellent takedown of the 10 worst Britcoms (anyone remember Heil Honey, I’m Home?). Naturally, you may disagree with their selection, but that’s what the comments box is for!

Batman And Robin: I’ve been enjoying generating my own panels of Batman and Robin weirdness. Won’t you join me?

Graphic Novels: Over at Lawyers, Guns & Money, SEK is co-writing a book that features “three or four substantial chapters focusing on 1) rhetoric generally, 2) the history of the medium, 3) the mechanics of comics, and 4) the rhetoric of comics.” He’s putting together a list of ten graphic novels to help make his case. Naturally, he’s got some favorites of his own like David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, Frank Miller’s 300, Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, but he’s opened up the comments for suggestions based on not “the best-and-brightest the medium has to offer, but to offer a selection of novels that will be useful to the greatest number of potential teachers.” Well worth your clickage.

Alex De Campi: John Scalzi‘s Whatever blog has a recurring feature called The Big Idea where authors can talk about the inspiration for their recent sf book. Scalzi did something a little different recently and got a Big Idea contribution from De Campi who talks about her graphic novel, Valentine, that’s illustrated by Christine Larsen. It’s described as a “tale of intrigue, war, and mystical creatures, set in the year 1812.” Bonus: Napoleon.

That’s all for this week. Tune in again next time as I continue my quest to follow the internet to its end point.

[Artwork: A snipped panel of Eduardo Barreto goodness from Judge Parker (top) and a nice James Bama cover (bottom)]



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