Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Toby Radloff, Genuine Nerd.

You know him you love him from Harvey Pekar's American Splendor. Check out Toby's Genuine Nerd Movie Trailer (shot by Radloff's personal videographer Wayne Alan Harold of Lurid Entertainment).

Year's ago when MTV once used Toby for a series of promos in the 80's and Kurt Loder profiled him, I simply couldn't believe he wasn't acting. But decades later Toby remains intact and it's no act. You couldn't create this guy if you tried. A true American original.

Joe Sacco faces off with Art Speigelman over the Danish cartoon furor at The Nation

It's a sad day when a cartoonist like Sacco feels the need to advocate self-censorship as a means of placating extremists.

Will this controversy cause cartoonists and graphic artists to self-censor their work more frequently?

SACCO: No. I think maybe the idiot cartoonist should feel a need to be a little more self-censoring, when it comes down to it, but a thinking cartoonist weighs what he or she is doing. Frankly, I don't give a damn about these Danish cartoons. In the end, yes, there is a principle about the freedom of expression that concerns me, but I'm always sorry to have to rush to the defense of idiots.

A cooler head prevails in this case thanks to Speigelman (who knows what it means to be allowed to offend, as he offended much of the NYC establishment with his New Yorker cartoons on the Amidou Diala shooting years ago).

SPIEGELMAN: There has to be a right to insult. You can't always have polite discourse. Where I've had to do my soul-searching is articulating how I feel about the anti-Semitic cartoons that keep coming out of government-supported newspapers in Syria and beyond. And, basically, I am insulted. But so what? These visual insults are the symptom of the problem rather than the cause.

In 1897 politicians in New York State tried to make it a major offense to publish unflattering caricatures of politicians. They were part of a Tweed-like machine who didn't like insulting drawings published of themselves, so they spent months trying to get a bill passed and to make it punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

What happened?

SPIEGELMAN: It got killed. We have this thing called the First Amendment that was in better shape, maybe, then than now.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Fayetteville State University will hold an exhibition of comic art titled Blam! The exhibit will showcase at least 40 framed comic books and scanned excerpts, original sketches and at least one rare lithograph. The exhibit is dedicated specifically to superheroes from 1963 to 2006 and will run until March 24.
"Part of putting on this show is getting people to understand it's not just for kids anymore. I'm so excited about this. I'm hyped like a 4 year old in a candy store." said event organizer and FSU art instructor Jonathan Chestnut (in an unfortunate quote that sounds suspiciously childlike).




"Ultimate Avengers," the first of eight direct-to-DVD superhero projects from Marvel and Lions Gate, essentially retells a story from the comic book. "We have to be true to the original storyline," said Steve Beeks, president of Lions Gate. "That's what the fans are going to want."

The idea is to make movies intended for a niche audience at a relatively low price. The animation work for "Ultimate Avengers" was done in South Korea, and such projects could be made for "less than $5 million apiece," according to Mr. Beeks. "But we're producing them in a way that they're going to look like they're much more expensive." He said that he expected "Ultimate Avengers" to sell 600,000 to a million copies.


New Delhi:Spirit of the Forest is a comic book created to educate the Indian populace about forest conservation.
"A lot of research work doesn't get read, or reach the common man. We decided on a comic format to make it more readable for the common man" said Rukmini Shekhar director of the Delhi-based Viveki Foundation.

Friday, February 17, 2006


From the Congo to Colombo, can't stereotype my thing, yo!--M.I.A.

Every time you think Dave Choe is bullshittin' you about where he's been and where he's going next, he comes back with the 100% proof. Here are a few photos he forwarded from his latest amazing travels (& travails).

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Message to Dick Cheney: Please Take The President Hunting With You Next Time.

The real leader of the gang who couldn't shoot straight finally did something positive for America. Killing (well almost) two birds with one stone, so to speak, by taking out both a conservative lawyer and a fellow hunter with one shot.

Great work Mr. Cheney! Now get your saggy ass back up to Washington. There's work to be done in the House of Representatives. And don't forget your buckshot

Support Denmark and free speech.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

One of the funniest cartoons yet about this whole matter.
[incendiary devices sold separately courtesy of Haliburton-Cheney Toy Division]


From reknown Cairo-based blogger comes this remarkable item.

"they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present. Al Fagr isn't a small newspaper either: it has respectable circulation in Egypt, since it's helmed by known Journalist Adel Hamoudah. Looking around in my house I found the copy of the newspaper, so I decided to scan it and present to all of you to see."

He goes on to cite several examples where the governments of several Arab countries tolerated the subsequent outrageous protests resulting from the cartoons as a way of distracting from various recnt tragedies and unpopular new laws.

The infamous cartoons published on the
interior of the newspaper.

No news yet on whether angry torch-bearing mobs have turned away from Lego's corporate offices and are now heading post haste to burn down the pyramids.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Headline Should Read: EU Contemplates Cowardly Capitulation to Religious Zealots

LONDON (Reuters) -

The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday. In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show "prudence" when covering religion. "The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression," he told the newspaper. "We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."

Doesn't this prove the point of the cartoons in the first place. They were initiated to examine to what degree cartoonists would self-censor their own material (apparently because of the not-so-far-fetched concern that they may each end up with fatwas on their heads and suffer the fate of Salman Rushdie, or far worse that of Theo Van Gogh ). Now cartoonists themselves are not only afraid to tackle the subject of Islam, but entire nations...continents are capitulating.

You can't help but wonder once this furor blows over if we'll ever again see a cartoon depiction of Mohammed. Not that I really need to, but the very idea that violent proponents of a religion, any religion, are effectively truncating and censoring freedom of speech throughout the world is an incredibly offensive concept. Free-thinking peoples throughout the world should be angrily marching the streets in righteous protest. Putting leaflets on cars, singing "Freedom of Speech" ditties copping Arlo Guthrie's melodies, and banging on old typewriters. But nah...let's just try not to upset the slavering maniac in the corner of the room, and hope he'll go away. Until our next offense.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Composer Yoko Kanno, best known for the bluesy score on Cowboy Bebop as well as Vision of Escaflowne, and Ghost In The Shell: Standalone Complex, has a Myspace site (or at least someone has created one in her honor). Either way, it's a score for Kanno/Ghost in The Shell fans, as four songs from Standalone Complex are available for free download on the page. This includes SAC's ethereal theme song Inner Universe, and Lithium Flower another Japano-blues number familiar to SAC fans.

(and the site pages they are or were attached to)

Review of Jaime Hernandez' Penny Century
Ethiopian Singles (I have no idea what metafile or keyword generates this one)

Review of Ted Rall's Generalissimo el Busho
Meet Republican Singles (ugh, I'd rather eat them than meet them)

Review of Paul Pope's Heavy Liquid
Dove Self-Esteem Fund (Self-esteem for young girls. Um yeah)

Paul Pope interview
Anti-Terrorism Degrees (well this was generated by a specific question about Bush's "War on Terrorism". Oh, I hope they don't wiretap my phone now because I mentioned "terrorism" on this blog.)

Captain America goes Libertarian? Paul Pope (Left) appears with one of the "Baby Batter Twins" at the annual Superhero Ball (Jan. 13, 2006). Pope may actually be one of the few noteworthy comics artists out there who can sport the spandex stars and stripes without looking like he's expecting twins.

This has since been posted on Seth Fisher's website. Damn he was too young.

"It's much too soon,
but the Flowering Nose
will flower no more.
Seth has died.
July 22, 1972 - January 30, 2006
Monday, January 30th Seth Fisher died accidentally from a fall. His death was sudden, swift, and a great loss to us all. His funeral and cremation occurred on February 2nd in Nagoya. Condolences can be sent to his wife Hisako and son Toufuu via the contact information on this site."

Friday, February 03, 2006


The sudden and tragic death of artist Seth Fisher, the result of a fall from rooftop in Japan, has resulted in a considerable outpouring of sympathy and sadness throughout all the disparate tribes of the comics community. Fisher's amazingly vibrant artwork seemed a perfect amalgam of manga and euro styles mixed with a considerable measure of the artist's own apparently unlimited imagination. He will be sorely missed.

From Chris Arrant at Newsrama:

" The following open e-mail has been sent to Fisher�s friends from his relative, April Fisher. It reads:

Dear Friends of Seth,

I've just hung up the phone from talking with Vicki (Seth's mother) in Japan. She is with family and friends at the wake. She was overwhelmed when I told her so many people are talking about him online, in blogs and forums. She thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. It seems Seth fell seven stories off the roof of a club in Osaka. The autopsy revealed massive internal bleeding and suggests that he died instantly.

The funeral in Japan is on Saturday. Condolences may be sent to Hisako (his wife) at:

Hisako Sugiyama
Miyoshi Building 3C
2-13-8 Matsubara
Naka-ku Nagoya-shi
Aichi-ken 460-0017

There will be a service at Sacred Heart in Coronado (San Diego) when his mother returns from Japan (at least a week from now). The church will have the details (

Sacred Heart Parish
655 C Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
619-435-3167 "

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I was genuinely shocked to come across a 6-page(!) feature on Paul Pope in WIRED, of all places. The tenuous connection between Pope's comics work and Wired's focus on all-things-technology comes as a result of Pope's forthcoming Batman: Year 100 set in the year 2039. Pope lends this interesting take on his future Dark Knight: "He's someone with the body of David Beckham, the brain of Nikola Tesla, and the wealth of Howard Hughes, who is pretending to be Nosferatu."

It's mentioned that Hollywood has been sniffing around Pope for years and is all the more intrigued in the wake of Frank Miller's success with Sin City. But Pope says he's "more likely to go into fashion design" than dip his toes in Hollywood's fickle waters. Although he admits he'll take their money. Also DC editor Bob Shreck(formerly of Dark Horse and Oni) calls Pope a "far-reaching visionary."

Unfortunately the piece (as is typical of big mags) is a little short on text and insight, but who can complain when Pope's sumptuous art is given over to several pages?


Rare interview with Vincent Deighan (aka FRANK QUITELY) in the British "How To" magazine Digital Creative Arts which is geared towards graphic designers and illustrators.

Most interesting revelation is that Quitely learned Photoshop on the fly from colorist Jamie Grant so he could do a CD cover for crooner Robbie Williams (he's huge in Asia, believe me). Now Quitely has fallen in love with Photoshop and claims that as a result all his future work will be digitally colored. Unfortunately (because it may result in fewer comics) he's also looking to do more illustrative work in the future.

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