I know the question you’ve been asking yourself lately: What’s Spain Rodriguez been up to since the publication of Che: A Graphic Biography?
Spain is perhaps one of the few artists to share a name with a country who is also one of the grand masters of the underground comix with his contemporaries like Robert Crumb, Skip Williamson, Gilbert Shelton and Jay Lynch. Spain is best known in those circles as the creator of Trashman and his work appeared in the East Village Other and Zap Comix back in the day when people were uptight about working for the man, baby.
This October, Spain’s illustrations will be enhancing a new book by author David Talbot called Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America. Published by Simon and Schuster, the book is part of their non-fiction Pulp History series of true stories of “extraordinary feats of bravery, violence, and redemption that history has forgotten.” The book also features a promotional blurb by Robert Crumb himself.
It’s easy to toss around the word “genius,” especially when it comes to comics. We all have our favorites and we all like to think ours are the great ones. But one look at Roy Crane’s work and anyone can see that he definitely was worthy of the “genius” tag.
Crane created two great adventure classics, Wash Tubbs (which later became Captain Easy) and Buz Sawyer, with Wash being called the first true newspaper adventure strip. He’s been dead for 30 plus years, but looking through his strip work, you can see his influence in comics from Milton Caniff to Alex Toth to Howard Chaykin. Even the modern strip, Rip Haywire by Dan Thompson shows a Crane influence as does Randy Reynaldo’s Rob Hanes.
And in a classic Comics Journal interview, Art Spiegelman calls Crane an influence on Jack Kirby.
Continuing my series on cartooning and cartoonists, Roy Crane wrote about himself and his work back in 1964. This is pulled from an oversized saddle-stitched magazine from Allied Publications with the creatively-challenged title These Top Cartoonists Tell How They Create America’s Favorite Comics. It featured an introduction by Beetle Bailey’s Mort Walker and was compiled by Allen Willette.
Here’s Crane on Crane:
Comic Con International in San Diego is closer than you think. Years ago, I started compiling my own list of convention secrets starting with a great place to go to the bathroom that’s tucked away in a corner, just minutes from the convention floor, and no one seems to know about it. Then I read the list compiled by Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter and I am ashamed of my own ineptitude. If you’re going to the con this summer, you need to read Tom’s list of 135 tips.
After you’ve finished reading Tom’s tips, here are a few other links to brighten your weekend…
Want To Be A Writer?: Of course you do. Who doesn’t? Step into any cocktail party or backyard barbecue and it’s full of people bursting with ideas, if only they can find someone who could take a few minutes to write it all down for them. The real trick is finding places that might be interested in publishing something once it’s all written down. If you feel like writing some stuff down, John Scalzi (the Hugo Award-winning sf author) and Wil Wheaton (yes, that Wil Wheaton) have joined forces to create a writing contest that’s win-win-win for all. Maybe even you.
If you were someone (like myself) who had better things to do than watch the MTV Movie Awards pre-show last night, you unfortunately missed out on a first look at a fight scene from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Well, you’re in luck—catch the clip above, which director Edgar Wright introduces himself.
In the scene, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) dukes it out with Ramona’s (Elizabeth Mary Winstead) second ex-boyfriend, skateboarder-turned-A-lister Lucas Lee (Chris Evans). Can Pilgrim defeat Lee and his stunt men? Find out when the film hits theaters August 13!
Memorial Day 2010 has been good to fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim comic: out now is a second trailer for the film adaptation, directed by Shaun of the Dead‘s Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera as the eponymous character.
In this trailer, viewers get a better look at Jason Schwartzman’s character, who is the seventh, final boyfriend Pilgrim must defeat to get with Ramona. I love Wright and his editing, but I’m not particularly convinced that the soft-spoken Cera portrays Pilgrim too well. He looks a little too silly in the action scenes…
On a different note, where’s Knives?!
Read More | Comic Book Resources
Numerous replaces reported it and then the founding editor confirmed it. The British comics magazine, Comics International, has ceased to be. I’ve read a lot of comic book magazines over the years, from The Comics Buyer’s Guide and The Comics Journal to Wizard and Hero Illustrated. My favorite of all of them was Comics International, which was founded by Dez Skinn and under his guidance ran for 200 issues.
Dez was no stranger to comics before CI – he worked on the magazines Doctor Who Weekly and House of Hammer and founded his own company, Quality Communications. From there he launched the acclaimed Warrior magazine which featured the revival of Marvelman/Miracleman as well as the original V For Vendetta. He started CI back in 1990.
Read More | Dez Skinn
When Tony Lee set out to adapt Seth Grahame-Smith’s imaginative retelling of Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, his goal was simple and nerdishly fantastic: “I got to 150 pages and noticed that we needed more zombie scenes.”
Artist Cliff Richards seemed to have had no problem with adding to the graphic novel’s zombie population, as he’s worked with other classic monsters on his 5-year stint with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8.
The book, published by Del Rey, is in stores now. Check out more previews of the novel after the jump!
Read More | USA Today
Happy holiday weekend for those of us in the US who love a long weekend, some grilled meat and a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. And since there’s no football game, you can spend that extra time surfing the internet. Here are some links to fill the game-less void:
Vertical: Given the significant changes at manga publishers Viz (massive layoffs) and CMX (DC shuttered the division), it’s interesting to read about someone with a little different take on events. Rod Lott at Bookgasm has a chat with Ed Chavez at Vertical (publishers of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, among other things). “While I will always say there is plenty of grade-A material to license from Japan available, access to those properties has become quite limited over the last three to four years. I find it curious that this lack of competition has occurred during the recent decline of the U.S. manga market.”
Steve Perry: The death of the Thundercats and Timespirits writer is just about the saddest way for a comic book creator to go. Johnny Bacardi exchanged correspondence with him recently, but I don’t want to spoil his story, except to say that it’s one you’ll want to read.
Little Orphan Annie, the plucky little orphan girl, died today after an extended illness, just a few weeks shy of her 86th birthday. The official cause of death was listed as a broken heart after discovering that she’d been appearing in just 20 newspapers.
Afflicted by a disease that gave her blank eyeballs and kept her perpetually a little girl, Annie began her career in the self-titled comic strip as the ward of the infamous war profiteer Daddy Warbucks, a mouthpiece for conservative politics who launched frequent anti-union tirades. Because of her association with one of the world’s richest men, Annie was often the target of thieves, spies, and villains.
Read More | Little Orphan Annie
Frank Frazetta died this week. I wish there was a nicer way to say it. I never met him - and if I had I’m sure only fanboy drool would’ve burbled out in place of actual words - but I sure have a lot of his stuff around my office.
If you’re not familiar with Frazetta’s output, then you are missing out on the main influence of fantasy art for the last couple of generations. And seriously, if you’re really not familiar with his work, I’m unfriending you right now.
I bought I lot of books I’m never going to read and am not at all interested in - just because they had a Frazetta cover. I wanted to have that cover and couldn’t care less about the pages behind it. Just a couple of weeks ago, I bought a copy of Night Walk by Bob Shaw (”Sightless, marooned on a prison planet, Sam Tallon faces a desperate odyssey - to save the Universe that had disowned him”). Frazetta’s cover painting showed some guy using a spear to jam a giant spider into some sort of gooey liquid. I’ll stare at that cover again and again, and never read page 1. I’m sure there’s a medical term for my condition.
Read More | Comics Beat