Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
While this might be obvious to everyone, I only just realized that Last Gasp don’t have a logo. Or rather they do… they have hundreds of logos, practically one for each book, letter, and business cards… This was such an insane concept in amongst our uniform, mass-produced world that I had to take a moment to look at a few of the logos by old and new authors, and find out the thinking behind such an adventurous approach to branding.
Last Gasp is the one of the largest and oldest underground publishers and the most well-established company not to have a consistent logo. Founded in 1970 by Ron Turner to publish underground comix, the job of adding a Last Gasp logo was given to each individual who published a book with them, from Robert Crumb, to Bill Griffith, to Frank Kozik (see below for examples, click to enlarge). Authors are asked only to make sure that they “incorporate a skull or a skeleton reading a book or with a book. Ideally the skull should have eyeballs and a tongue.”
Last week I went to see the opening of an exhibition of William Wray’s paintings. Having a passing acquaintance with his wild cartoon style I wasn’t sure what to expect, and the last thing I anticipated was a deeply touching commentary on the human condition through the medium of the California landscape and popular American superheroes.
William Wray’s paints portraits of superheroes in the context of the real world. They are heartbreakingly human, depicted in simple moments looking lost, alone, and bone-tired. Whether slouched in a corner or simply walking down a dilapidated street, Wray’s superheroes are anything but super, their bright suits standing out garishly against the faded colors of their surroundings. His perverse sense of humor and affection for the subject matter allows Wray to depict this pathos without it becoming unbearable to look at, it is as if he has taken the sting out of the reality he is forcing us to acknowledge. Continue Reading »
This Friday sees the opening of an exhibition of original art inspired by the relationship between Batman and Robin at Mission Comics and Art from February 6th – March 3rd. The exhibition includes original works from 30 artists, including Ed Luce, Sina Grace, Beth Dean, as well as the curators; Justin Hall and Rick Worley. I spoke with Worley and Hall about the exhibition, and they gave us a preview of art which will be included in the show (which I’ve included below the interview.)
Please note that some of the imagery is of a graphic nature and will not be appropriate for all ages.
With the publication of his newest book The Martian Confederacy, Volume 2: From Mars with Love, I sat down with San Francisco-based comic book writer Jason McNamara to discuss the process of writing his diverse range of independent books. All images shown here are exclusive sketches from The Martian Confederacy by artist Paige Braddock.
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