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Year of the Artist, Day 6: Steve Ditko, Part 1 – Daring Love #1

10-12-2013 11;45;10AM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Steve Ditko, and the story is “Paper Romance!” from Daring Love #1, which was published by Gillmor Magazines (an imprint of Key Publications) and has a cover date of September 1953. These scans are from Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives volume 1, my copy of which was published in 2009 by Fantagraphics. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 1: Jack Kirby, Part 1 – Blue Bolt Comics #10

10-03-2013 01;55;39PM (2)

Yes, I took last year off after my post-a-day madness of 2012, but during that long year, I had another idea for a post-a-day for an entire year: a series on artists and their development. While I was posting the first pages of comics, I think I got better at writing about art, so I wanted to write about it more. I’ve always been interested at how artists evolve through their careers, and picking up some random older collected editions in 2013 made me curious to see this progression and write a bit about it. So for this year, I’m picking artists and seeing how they draw a particular comic. Each day will feature only one comic, but it might be a whole series of sequences or just one sequence or even one panel. I’m also not going to limit myself to a progression – some artists I might only feature once, but I hope to show several examples over the course of some days. Obviously, I can only show art of comics I actually own, so I might miss some of your favorites. Sorry! I hope, in this way, to show how an artist gets better at the job of drawing a comic (of course, I might even show how an artist gets worse, but that’s far more depressing). Plus, I’d like to see how changes in technology affect some of the art in comics. I did this a little when I featured the first pages of comics, focusing on a single artist a few different times, so I might skip those artists I featured in 2012. We’ll see. And, of course, I’m starting with the King. I mean, I kind of have to, don’t I?
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Say It With Manga – The Underground Anthology Edition

Mercy Flesh

I’ve always been amused by the lack of short story anthologies available in English for manga.  There’s a good reason for it.  The short story anthology graphic novel isn’t really a done thing in Japan, primarily because all manga is released serially in themed anthologies, and on any given week you can pick up hundreds of different ones with both chapters and short stories in any genre you want.  About the only type we see in English, aside from the infamous Four Shoujo Stories (a very rare and “unauthorized” graphic novel collection), are underground short story anthologies.  They appear very rarely, but are a fantastic place to see several artists and stories that usually don’t appear anywhere else.  Also, plenty of gross-out stuff.  Here are the four big ones I can think of off the top of my head, and all are worth checking out for at least a story or two.


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The Orange Won’t Peel – In which a publisher kicks to start

The Open

God, I’m getting topical.

The Feature 

Fantagraphics Books, the publishing beacon of alternative comics, must fund their “Spring 2014 Season” via Kickstarter, an effort publicized yesterday, resulting in an already sizable donation amount of (this writing) $64,489.


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Flippin’ through Previews – November 2013

zorro (2)

Hey, Previews #302 is promoting smoking this month! Won’t someone think of the children?!?!?!?
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for October 2013

MissFurySensationalSundays (2)

“The ghouls all came from their humble abodes / To get a jolt from my electrodes”
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Say It With Manga – Year 24 Group Edition


In the US, there’s been a recent surge in teen fiction – novels that are written specifically for and about a teenage audience.  Fifteen years ago, it didn’t exist, but now it’s one of the hottest-selling categories of literature.  While there are several mainstream hits, browsing the section at any bookstore will tell you that most of these titles are aimed at teenage girls.  They feature more complex emotional themes, characters that one can easily relate to, and are (debateably) only a step removed from adult literature.  And the category covers a variety of genres, as well.  A similar thing happened to manga for girls in the 1970s.  A group of female artists, who themselves grew up on the popular manga series for young girls, decided that there should be manga for a slightly older female audience as well.  The name “Year 24 Group” refers to the fact that many of the artists were born in 1949, or Showa Year 24.  A lot of the series written during this time period by these artists remains classic to this day, but criminally little of it has been translated into English.  This week, I’m going to feature 3 very different series by 3 Year 24 Group artists that are available in English.  And honestly, there’s not a whole lot more than this.

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Quote of the day from the late Bernard Krigstein (1919-1990)

When told in 1965 that Stan Lee was helping revitalize comics over at Marvel, Bernard Krigstein responded:
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Flippin’ through Previews – June 2013


It’s time for Travis Pelkie’s favorite column! Huzzah!
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for April 2013

NexusOmnibusvol2 (2)

“And for a while things were cold / They were scared down in their holes / The forest that once was green / Was coloured black by those killing machines”
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It’s time for a COMICS FACT!

50Girls50 (2)

You will not read a more beautiful comic book this week or possibly this month than 50 Girls 50, the new collection of Al Williamson EC science fiction stories that is published by Fantagraphics. SO STATES OBVIOUS MAN!

Obvious Man is obvious!

Obvious Man is obvious!

Flippin’ through Previews – April 2013

ballistici-issue1cover_darickrobertson (2)

I’m back on schedule, so let’s dig into Previews #295 and see what’s what!
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What I bought – 27 February and 6 March 2013

03-07-2013 01;12;50PM (2)

George looked at his granddaughter’s empty suit. He thought of Job. Satan lacked imagination. To crack a man’s faith, one need not resort to burning his flesh, ruining his finances, or any such obvious afflictions. One need only take a man’s species away from him. (James Morrow, This Is The Way The World Ends)
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What I bought – 9 January 2013

She said, “In every age, there must be truths people can’t fight – whether or not they want to, whether or not they will go on being truths in the future. We live in the truth of what Freud discovered. Whether or not we like it. However we’ve modified it. We aren’t really free to suppose – to imagine – he could possibly have been wrong about human nature. In particulars, surely – but not in the large plan –” (A. S. Byatt, from Possession)

Pills solve everything! Batman sez: Why won't DC leave the damned Joker out of my comics for a few furshlugginer years?!?!? Avert your eyes!!! Frazer Irving is a crazy dude, man Dude should take better care of his cape Heart transplants don't work that way Drama! This won't end well It's BACK! Probably only 90 per cent pure awesome, but still pretty good Nice of this to finally show up! More cheap comics from Valiant! Another one bites the dust More American history than you can shake a stick at! Yeah, it's a book about fishing - wanna make something out of it? Does anything in this book exist anymore?  What's the point? Yeah, I'll give this a look ...
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Flippin’ through Previews – January 2013

So the wheel turns back around, and a fresh catalog of Previews arrives on my doorstep. Issue #292 is here!
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