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Friday July 24, 2009 6:37 pm

WEEKEND READING: SpongeBob, Wally Wood, Philip K. Dick, Star Wars and Harry Potter!

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials,


Gather ‘round, internet pals. There’s a lot of great stuff all over the internets this week and not all of it has to do with Comic Con International. For example, there’s George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, Joe Murray and Wally Wood, Doug Mahnke and a whole lot more out there. Let’s roll some of it out:

DOUG MAHNKE: You might know Doug Mahnke as the original artist on The Mask with writer John Arcudi. Maybe you know him from Major Bummer or Stormwatch, or even the new Green Lantern series with Geoff Johns. But Tom Richmond knows Doug as one of the inventors of live airbrushed caricatures, and he tells all over at The Mad Blog.

RED ROBIN: Todd Klein is not only a great letterer and logo designer, he’s also a blogger. Over at his blog, Klein Letters, he breaks down the step-by-step process he used to design the logo for DC’s new Red Robin comic book.

WALT DISNEY: With Disney’s new The Princess And The Frog animated film due later this year, expect all kinds of blogposts about the Disney empire. Here’s a good one: Over at Bookforum, writer Hannah Frank revels in the ubiquity of the Disney brand by looking at five Walt-themed books that are not the usual “Disney is God” hagiography. One of the books even has Walt’s HUAC testimony where he outs one of his employees as a communist. Fascinating!
(h/t Galleycat)

GEORGE ORWELL’S 1984: Alternative Reel presents 10 quotes, all of them depressing, from Orwell’s classic about Big Brother and The Thought Police. It’s Illustrated with the covers from different editions of 1984, which actually makes the quotes less depressing. Okay, not really, but you still want to check it out. Or not. Ignorance is strength.

TOY CLOWN: When I look at Sheharzad Arshad’s creepy and grotesque cartoons involving children, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, two words immediately spring to mind: Book, please!

PHILIP K. DICK: Orange Coast Magazine writer Patrick J. Kiger has a nice, though sad, piece on the last years of the classic sci-fi writer’s life, including a filmography.
[h/t LA Observed]

ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE MEETS SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life and Camp Lazlo, is working on expanding his eBook for a traditional dead-tree publisher. It’s called Crafting A Cartoon, and he’s interviewing a bookload of cartoon people for the new edition. He’s posting portions of the interviews on his blog. Here’s one with Steve Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants.

WALLY WOOD: There’s nothing like a little morning Wood, especially when it’s the Wally Wood kind. Steven Thompson, of Booksteve’s Library, has a complete story by Wally Wood that looks like a hard-to-find gem: Vengeance of the Armored Arm, from Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery #9 (1965). It’s over at Steve’s Wood-themed blog, Hooray for Wally Wood, and we are all better people for it. Thanks, Booksteve!

KUNG FU PANDA? NOT!: Animation historian Jerry Beck over at Cartoon Brew has discovered, well, you have to see the trailer to appreciate his find.

DEUS EX COMICA BY ADAM BESENYODI: This looks like a book I need to read. That’s what Wired.com tells me, and they know me.

THE FAMILY CIRCUS: The great animator Michael Sporn reprints a 1975 interview between Jud Hurd and Bil Keane that ran in Cartoonist PROfiles. Fascinating old-school stuff. Here’s some quotage about his schedule: “On most mornings I get up about 7:30, hit the studio (which overlooks the tennis court in case somebody wants to play) about 9, and work through most of the day with a break for lunch. It seems that the creative juices flow best late in the afternoon and will continue into the evening. I occasionally work after dinner till about 10 P.M.”

STAR WARS AND HARRY POTTER: Okay, follow along… Star Wars and Harry Potter are both tales of the Chosen One. Naturally, Lance Mannion has something to say on the matter. “It’s gotten to the point where I can’t sort out whose Chosen One-ness came first and who’s chosenness is informing whose, but with Anakin Skywalker and Harry Potter, it’s now impossible for me not to see the two boy-heroes’ stories as running commentaries on each other.” There’s plenty more worthwhile commentary in the rest of the piece.

Who wouldn’t want to read this book? It looks exactly like something Steve Gerber or Gerry Conway might have adapted for the back of Marvel’s old Tales of the Zombie magazine.

That’s it for the internets this week. Most of you are already at Comic Con International and Tweeting and live-blogging your little hearts out. Mark Evanier is not only moderating panels two-at-a-time, but he’s also blogging about his San Diego experience. He speaks for me in these matters.

As for me – my free badge (thank you, Pro-Reg) sits unclaimed as I struggle to meet some bone-crushing deadlines. Maybe next year!

[Artwork: Cover to Red Robin #1 ©DC Comics]



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