Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 
Happy 20th Anniversary to Dark Horse Comics.

Over the years Dark Horse has provided a comfortable home for huge mainstream talents either disenchanted or underappreciated by the Big Two. Artists like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Paul Chadwick, Mark Shultz and Dave Gibbons.

Additionally they were at the forefront of bringing quality manga like Lone Wolf & Cub to a US audience decades before there was a Tokyopop or Digital Manga.

As if that weren't enough, the eclectic Dark Horse Presents anthology published everyone from Paul Pope to Harvey Pekar to Troy Nixey, and Renee French. Bringing those names to a wider audience.

Mistakes, they've made a few (quite a few, I'm sure...Barbwire) and the company was often easy to ignore as it lingered somewhere between ugly stepsister status to Marvel, DC, and Image on the mainstream side and more credible indie publishers like NBM, Drawn & Quarterly and Top Shelf on the other side. But the industry as a whole has been considerably more robust over the past two decades with Dark Horse churning out a broad variety of comics, than it would have been if DH had never existed. And for what it's worth Sin City and Hellboy proved pretty damned entertaining films, with Miller's 300 waiting in the wings.

 



I'll be at HeroesCon in Charlotte on the sunny Indie Island Friday-Sunday (June 30-July 2). The Guest List this year looks sweet--Los Brothers Hernandez (including Mario!), James Jean, Jordan Crane, Dash Shaw, Peter Bagge, Warren Ellis, Steven Weissman, Jeffrey Brown, (and a bunch of other people even less famous than me) so stop by and say "hi."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

 
I was researching something else and followed a link to a review of Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.'s new version of The Eternals. Having some fondness for Kirby's Eternals from the 80's, it may be one of those rare mainstream comics in which I check out a few issues. It's interesting to see what Gaiman can do with Kirby's playthings, and I've always really liked Romita Jr's art whenever I've stumbled across it (I've probably only seen a few dozen of the hundreds upon hundreds of comics he's drawn over his career).

Anyway the covers are drawn by Rick Berry and really, what's not to like?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Check out a few of DAVID CHOE 's stunning paintings (colored with soy sauce and piss) done during his incarceration in Japan. The full story on how and why Choe was arrested in Japan, as told by Choe himself, ran in Giant Robot #33.

Also dive into some incredibly half-assed attacks on Choe from people who should know better.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

 
Yeah I've got World Cup Fever! Today I enjoyed the great finish to the Tunisia vs. Saudi Arabia match which finished 2-2 thanks to each country scoring a goal in the final minutes. Also Germany's gripping 1-0 result over a tough, but overmatched Polish team that played the fateful final 15 minutes down a man.

Now I anxiously (but nervously) await the US vs. Italy on Saturday. The Americans who only looked comfortable passing the ball backwards against the Czech Republic (which routed the US 3-0), is going to have to play with controlled fury and abandon if they're going to save face (and this World Cup appearance) against Italy. Bring on Eddie Johnson who I thought looked unstoppable in several "friendly's leading up to the Cup. And for godsakes serve some balls to Donovan and McBride in the box. C'mon yanks!

 


Ted Rall on the far left is actually getting lumped in with rightwing Aryan nutbag Ann Coulter as a result of Coulter's recent verbal attack on the widows of 9/11. Rall, of course. famously drew the fiery ire of conservatives (and more than a few liberals) as a result of his infamous "Terror Widows cartoon in 2002.

On his blog Rall writes of the Terror Widows aftermath:

"And the fall-out from "terror widows" was serious for me. Not only did I lose the Washington Post online website as a client, countless readers will always associate "Ted Rall" with "9/11 widows." It's not like I don't do other stuff besides making fun of the widows and widowers who, like Lisa Beamer and Ted Olsen, exploited their spouse's deaths to promote books, their fringe religious beliefs or wacky right-wing political agendas on national television--but you'd never know it to read some accounts.

And there were the death threats, of course. I wonder if Ann Coulter will get any of those?"

In Coulter's latest idiot tome she writes:

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."

Among Coulter's previous statements, she advocated the invasion of non-Christian nations after Sept. 11 and the deportation from the U.S. of "all aliens from Arabic countries." She said American Taliban John Walker should be executed to show liberals what happens to traitors. And she said the only real question about President Clinton was "whether to impeach or
assassinate."

ABCnews writer Phillip Elliot condenses more of Coulters wit, wisdom and hate-baiting here.

Ted Rall draws the following distinction between his and Coulter's take on the widows:

"[Coulter is] a lot meaner to the widows as people than my cartoon was, which explored the way specific media figures–Mariane Pearl, Theodore Olsen and Lisa Beamer–exploited their spouses’ deaths to make money or political hay."

The prolific Rall has himself two more books on the immediate horizon.

From Rall's blog:

"Not only is my new Central Asian travelogue/graphic novel/current affairs analysis SILK ROAD TO RUIN coming out this summer, there's another treat for fans of my cartoons.

AMERICA GONE WILD will come out this fall. It's a 160-page cartoon collection similar in format to SEARCH AND DESTROY, collecting my work from 2001 until now and featuring an introduction by hard-hitting UK Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell. A special bonus is my extremely lengthy behind-the-scenes discussion of the media shitstorms surrounding my most controversial cartoons, including "Terror Widows", "FDNY 2011" and those about Pat Tillman. Here for the ages is the hate mail and death threats I received, my personal interactions with personalities like Bill O'Reilly, etc.--all the dish you've always wondered about. Do I go too far? Find out in AMERICA GONE WILD."

And who among us wouldn't want a peek at Ted Rall's hate mail?



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 
He's Here, He's NOT Queer, Get Used To It!

Yahoo actually placed this item on their front page. Basically in the Marvel Comics "Civil War saga" (whatever that is?), Spider-Man unmasks himself to the stunned press stating "I'm proud of who I am, and I'm here right now to prove it." Spidey went on to add "My two movies made a billion fucking dollars so you fanboys can bite me!"(Okay I made that part up).

"It's about which side you are on and why you think you are right," said Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. (Kinda like the Civil (court) War 'tween Ted Rall and Dirty Hellman. Cartoonist brother fighting cartoonist brother in a bloody war waged by pseudonymous scum on internet message boards. Some of them boys got too much lead shot floatin' 'round in their skulls if you know what I mean.)

Read the full story here.



Sunday, June 11, 2006

 
An interesting interview with DC Editor (and former Dark Horse and Oni man) Bob Shreck at the Comicbookbin.
I may be wrong (if that's even possible) but I believe Shreck was instrumental in bringing Paul Pope into the fold at DC.

 
Here's an interview with The Ganzfield's Dan Nadel from the Washington Post. Nadel was scheduled to give a slideshow presentation on early twentieth-century cartoon strips at the MOCCA art festival this weekend.

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