Big Pink



Cover to The Pink Panther #30 © 1975 United Artists.

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Get Carta


The Geronimo Jackson single “Dharma Lady” is currently available as a free iTunes download in the US.

Cover to Geronimo Jackson's 'Magna Carta' with stylized psychedelic lettering over photo of four members in hippie-style attire

I don’t know how long the promotion will last. The info was shared this morning over
at Nik at Nite
, in our third day of conversation about the latest episode of Lost (5.09, “Namaste”), by frequent commenter Benny.

Foyer, Guns, and Honeys


It Rhymes with Lust was the first in a short-lived line of Picture Novels from St. John Publications, crossbreeding the comic book with the somewhat more respectable, certainly more adult entertainment of the prose paperback potboiler. The digest-sized volume, with black-&-white interiors under a color cover, hit newsstands in 1950; Dark Horse Comics released a replica edition in 2007 [ISBN 978-1-59307-728-0].

A woman with determined look on her face rushing down a mansion staircase past a man who turns to look at her

How Green Are My Graphics



Peppermint Patty TM Peanuts Worldwide.

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Force Clicks


Darth Vader in the style of Gustav Klimt

I recently followed a link to an exhibition of Star Wars as Classic Art that's worth checking out for several first-rate Photoshop creations. The former Anakin Skywalker is a favorite subject, as seen above in the faux Klimt and at bottom in what the captioneer at Something Awful should've titled Whistler's Vader. A contributor with the handle Palpak did both of those, while Tyja is credited for swapping in lightsabers on the Gérôme below.

It’s Bananas



Cover to Magilla Gorilla #1 © 1964 Hanna-Barbera Productions. 

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Money vs. Funny


Jon Stewart gesturing to Jim Cramer to have a seat as they shake hands

The Daily Show on Monday night was a great example of Jon Stewart and his
writers at the top of their game. Stewart’s rant at CNBC and Jim Cramer in particular is the best excerpt. You could also just watch the whole megillah. [see below]

Comics of March



Cover to Superman #276 © 1974 DC Comics. Pencils, Inks: Nick Cardy.
Letters: Gaspar Saladino or Joe Letterese. Colors: Unknown.


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The Dr. Manhattan Transfer


'Watchmen' movie poster with group shot of six main characters — Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and Comedian — on a rainy city street, dark with neon signs, the Owlship high above

It’s a given that Watchmen the movie won’t be Watchmen the book. The content
of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel is utterly bound to its form — via the reader’s ability to linger, to focus on a panel within the context of a page, to flip back and forth between pages when images recall other images or time periods collide. And its original release as 12 issues over 14 months had the added effect of demanding that each chapter be considered as a distinct unit within the larger framework.

Minutes to Midnight


I’ve had some friends and family asking what Watchmen is all about so I thought
I’d offer a primer. The post looks long, but you can pick and choose from among the chunks of information.


Yellow clock face without numbers, hands set to about 11:55, against black background with no text
Cover to the slipcase of Watchmen: The Absolute Edition

Here’s a story overview from my review of the film:

Coffee and Synchronicity


Label for Nite Owl coffee

I found the above in my E-mail last Thursday, courtesy of Amazon.

My first thought was that it was a surreal and ludicrous (if admittedly creative) promotion, whoring out a concept as completely as possible. Then came bemusement over having had a long, freewheeling conversation at local haunt Showcase Comics just the day before on the upcoming Watchmen film, largely about Alan Moore’s displeasure with publisher DC over rights issues; his decades-old frustration stems partly from early Watchmen merchandise. Then I actually read the body of the message indicating that the coffee isn’t simply a marketing tie-in but is featured in the movie — which one familiar with the characters might surmise from the Veidt Enterprises logo atop the bag, although the Watchmen logo and date are likely absent onscreen.

Night Moods


U2 lit up late night last week, visiting CBS’s Late Show to goof with David Letterman and perform five nights in a row. I was surprised by how funny the “on hold” sketch and Top Ten were — Edge’s ad-libs about Sting were particularly good.

Late Show with David Letterman title against backdrop of tall city buildings at night with random pattern of lit windows

A visit from Jon Stewart was icing on the cake, as he and Dave compared notes on hosting the Oscars.

DK Delight


If you have young Batman fans in your family, or are one yourself at heart, the Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group release Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight [ISBN 978-0-67006-255-3] is a perfect gift.

cover to 'Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight', with Batman swinging above rooftops on rope that trails off top right corner of image

At $15.99 it’s rather a slight read for the price — the length of a single issue at the cost
of a graphic novel in comics terms — but that’s par for the course in the wider market of children’s books. I think you’ll find it worth the splurge whether you want to display it as a handsome collectible or read it over and over to your kids.

Cool Beans


Professor Garbanzo, the Boom'r Band, and Mr. Spook

The first of two hardcovers collecting Larry Marder’s Beanworld was released
last week by Dark Horse [$19.95; ISBN 978-1-59582-240-6]. It reprints Tales of the Beanworld #1-9, is titled Wahoolazuma!, and contains 270 pages of pure delight — mostly comics, naturally, but also a new preface from Marder, Scott McCloud’s introduction to the first Beanworld collection in 1989, a glossary, and a key to the highly stratified titular locale.

I Watched Watchmen


iconic round yellow smiley face, as depicted with red splotch in 'Watchmen', the smile replaced by a frown

And I’ll have a full review up later [Voilà!], but the short version is this: If you’re on
the fence about it? Don’t bother... I didn’t find it a very good movie whether or not you’ve read the book; especially frustrating, though, if you have.

March with Archie


Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie sitting on playground swings and jungle gym wondering what high school will be like
Pg. 1 of “Freshman Year” from Archie #587 © 2008 Archie Comics.

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Seuss’ CV




Dr. Seuss’s children’s books aren’t exactly comics, no, but they’re kissing cousins.
And like many comics readers — many readers, period — I started out with such classics as One Fish, Two Fish and The Cat in the Hat. While it’s not widely known, however, those books were preceded in the Seuss oeuvre by a short-lived 1935 newspaper strip called Hejji.

Empaneled


Casper, Wendy, and Richie Rich, in baseball gear, with their usual disproportionately large heads

I’ve been stockpiling material to share here for a while now. Maybe because other
stuff has felt more timely, I haven’t posted much on comics — but if I were a tag cloud that would probably be the biggest label on me.

Number Ones


Do you remember your first comic book?

I read at a young age thanks to my parents’ awareness, encouragement, and possibly genetics. Both were teachers. Mom in particular noticed my natural aptitude while reading me Hop on Pop and Old Hat, New Hat. She doesn’t recall whether I glommed onto my first comic book after basking in the four-color glory of a spinner rack at
7-Eleven or she picked up on my outsize enthusiasm for Super Friends on TV and surprised me with the most amazing thing ever; I’m sorry that, despite having some very strong memories from very early on, I don’t recall either.

Based on those memories and physical evidence, I was collecting — well, more like accumulating — comics by 4 years old. And not just to look at the pictures, mind you, although that was a huge part of their pull. I remember a friend having me read from the newspaper to his disbelieving parents back in nursery school.


My first 8 years of life and many summers thereafter were spent in Wildwood — or (most of) “The Wildwoods”: North Wildwood, Wildwood proper, and Wildwood Crest, which share a fairly small barrier island with Diamond Beach right above Cape May,
the southernmost point in New Jersey. The Wildwoods long were a popular family resort, their population ballooning from 15,000 in permanent residents to 250,000 on a summer weekend. We lived in both the North and the Crest at different times, and I was often at my grandparents’ store in downtown Wildwood, so the whole island was my backyard. It had a bountiful array of shops where my comic-book habit could be fed.