I once met Alan Moore, had dinner with him in fact. A dinner that included Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.
I must stress that they did not have dinner with me at my invitation - I was at the table as a guest of Gary Groth and Kim Thompson from Fantagraphics. Also in attendance was Dave Olbrich. The creative trio - currently on DC’s Swamp Thing - was on their way to NY and had stopped in at the Fantagraphics offices to meet with Gary and Kim and head for Chinese food. And I got to tag along.
I spent a couple of hours listening to Moore and his companions regale the group with story after story. At no point did I ever think of Alan Moore as crazy. In fact, I thought he was one of the smartest guys I’d ever met. He was also not like anyone I’d met either before or since. He was different, alright. But crazy? No. Weird? Hardly.
Which brings me to this:
Veteran comic book artist and all-around good guy, Tony DeZuniga, is having health issues that's creating financial issues.
Tony was a mainstay of both DC and Marvel in the 1970s, and there was an elegance to his work, even handling a violent Jonah Hex story. (He co-created Hex with writer John Albano.)
Author Scott Edelman has more details about what's going on and, more importantly, how you can help.
He also has a note from creator Neal Adams about how important Tony's arrival in U.S. comics was so important in the 1970s.
If you can help, this is a very worthwhile cause.
[Artwork: All-Star Western, cover by Tony DeZuniga, © DC Entertainment]
Read More | Scott Edelman's Blog
Welcome, weekend warriors! The internets have released a bounty of digital delights, so let's check 'em out!
John Rogers (Leverage) talks about his role in Mark Waid’s digital comics venture, and also talks about digital comics in general. John's a very smart guy, so he's well worth listening to.
One of my favorites, SF author Jay Lake (Rocket Science; Mainspring), is profiled in the Sunday Oregonian.
Over at John Scalzi’s Whatever, author Justin Jordan writes about the trade collection of his Image comic, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, inspired by those Charles Atlas ads in old comics. After reading about it, it’s now something I need to get.
Heidi nails what’s going on over at Disney, with link to Nikki Finke.
David Brothers nails Before Watchmen. I love the phrase “ethical rot.”
If you’re at C2E2 this weekend, I hope you’re having a great time. And if you’re not at C2E2, what’s your problem, buddy?
This is the weekend that I close out a lot of tabs and polish off some links that have been in my inbox for a couple of weeks. But if you haven't caught these stories yet, that makes them new, right?
Daniel Best has been on fire lately with his posts on Gary Friedrich and the Archie Comics lawsuits. He’s got another good one up now - a look at the behind-the-scenes backstabbery and finger-pointing surrounding the Spider-Man musical.
I like this political cartoon by Monte Wolverton.
Creator/writer/artist Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary) talks about writing, especially sub-plots, and he illustrates his points with comic strips.
Here are my picks for Oscar night: Nobody named Oscar will actually win anything.
So let’s see what the internets are yapping about:
You can tell that something’s brewing when creators start to go a bit public with payment problems at publishers. Bleeding Cool reported on two this week.
Cartoonist Lew Stringer finds there’s a lot to like about the new one-shot The Clock Strikes, a noirish adventure set in the 1930s that revives an old comic book character.
Longbox Graveyard tackles the news. Sure, it’s news from blogger Paul O’Connor, but it’s all good news.
Novelist and comic book writer Victor Gischler (The Deputy) hopes you’ll pick up his latest: the X-Men: FF hardcover.
It's the weekend time again and since we're between the end of football season and baseball season, at least in the U.S., it must be comic book season. Let's take a look.
Author Joe Konrath is a very smart man on the subjects of book publishing, Amazon, and the future of the written word business. He makes a great case in a post called Amazon Will Destroy You.
Tom McLean at Bags And Boards looks at both sides of the Before Watchmen argument and comes up with some smart thoughts worthy of attention.
J. M. DeMatteis runs a very nice appreciation of his sometime collaborator Mike Ploog.
Cartoonist Lew Stringer uncovers an old Dave Gibbons strip you might not be familiar with.
This is an old link, but it’s a nice profile of gag cartoonist Bob Vojtko.
Here come the...MARVEL COPS! Officers Joe Cease and Mickey Desist are ready for legal action in the first episode of Marvel Cops. Tonight, things are not what they seem at the comic book show in San Diego where a costume parade full of perps violates trademarks on center stage. Acting on a tip, the Marvel Cops and their attorney sidekicks then takedown Artists’ Alley where people make extra money sketching trademarked Marvel characters for “fans.” Afterwards, it’s on to the original art dealers for selling artwork depicting corporate-owned characters, but not before tasering several cosplayers for displaying unlicensed sewing. Then it's edge-of-your-seat excitement, true believer, when the Marvel Cops sit in on various convention panels where a host of gag orders prevents writers and artists from saying they created beloved corporate icons. But don't touch that remote! Stay tuned for a special second episode where the Marvel Cops seize the servers at Deviantart and start tracking user names!
[Check Local Listings]
[Image dinged from My Comic Shop and © Marvel Comics]
Read More | Bleeding Cool
He’ll now be officially called by his magic word: Shazam! That’s the word that changes poor red-shirted newsboy Billy Batson into the fully-grown Captain Marvel.
That’s the equivalent of changing the name of Superman to “Up, Up And Away!” but DC says it has to be done. There’s confusion in the marketplace since Marvel Comics also has a Captain Marvel of their own.
Marvel’s Captain Marvel was created after DC Comics sued the original Captain Marvel’s publishers (Fawcett) and drove them out of business, leaving a Captain Marvel void in comics. Years later, DC acquired the rights to the Fawcett Captain Marvel, which they could publish, but only under the Shazam! name so as not to compete with Marvel’s trademark. Are you following all of this or do you need a moment?
This made the rounds of Facebook all day the other day. It's a little snippet about Gary Friedrich, Ghost Rider and who created what.
I couldn't trace it back to the original poster, so I apologize for not giving him or her their deserved credit, especially in a post about credits!
One of the issues between Marvel Comics and Gary is the issue of Gary's credit as the sole creator of Ghost Rider.
While it may not be definitive, this is an excerpt from Marvel's own Bullpen Bulletins page in August 1972.
Marvel says of Ghost Rider: "...this GR is a mad, mod, mystic hero who straddles both the world of motorcycles - and the supernatural! (And that's some job of straddling!) It's by the titanic team of Groovy Gary Friedrich who dreamed the whole thing up, and Madcap Mike Ploog, whose own Werewolf by Night series is scheduled to gain its very own mag in a month or two!"
Daniel Best, who originally broke the story of Gary's fight with Marvel, has an update separating fact from rumor.
[Artwork: Bullpen Bulletins, © Marvel Comics]
Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the last several days, you’ve no doubt heard about Marvel Comics' demand against one of their former writers, Gary Friedrich.
Friedrich sued Marvel for compensation related to exploitation of a character he created, Ghost Rider. He lost the first round, and Marvel’s coming after him. Here’s a round-up of just a handful of links and commentary to get you better acquainted.
Daniel Best at 20th Century Danny Boy broke the story about Marvel’s pushback against Friedrich, with a post that includes documentation.
Here’s an update with a note from Friedrich.
Mark Evanier has a sane and rational view of the situation.
One of the greatly appealing things about webcomics is that the creators managed to hold onto their rights and are free to exploit their work according to their own path. Gary Tyrrell at Fleen has some thoughts on Friedrich’s situation.
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