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.

Screen Savor

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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:

Watchmen is set in a world where costumed crimefighters have been around since
the 1940s, but true superheroes — or any beings with actual superhuman powers — were just the province of comic books until a lab accident created Dr. Manhattan in 1959. It opens with the murder of The Comedian, source of that iconic bloodstained smiley-face pin, and plays out in late 1985 with glimpses of the earlier days of such characters as the gadget-laden Nite Owl, sexy Silk Spectre, and disturbed, trenchcoat-wearing Rorschach. Masked adventurers were outlawed in America in 1977 unless sanctioned by the government, which The Comedian was and Dr. Manhattan still is;
his nearly godlike abilities are the main deterrent to nuclear war between the Soviet Union and a United States led by Richard Nixon in his fifth term as President.

Coffee and Synchronicity

Label for Nite Owl coffee

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Night Moods

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Dark 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.

Related: Minutes to Midnight The Dr. Manhattan Transfer Clocking In

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

Cover of The Cat in the Hat © 1957 Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

This post is currently down for maintenance (but you can still visit Seussville).


Casper, Wendy, and Richie Rich, in baseball gear, with their usual disproportionately large heads
Cover to Richie Rich, Casper, and Wendy — National League
© 1976 Harvey Comics. National League icons ® Major League
Baseball. Harvey characters and logos ® Harvey Comics.

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.