You are currently browsing the archives for December, 2003

Ant Mania.

§ December 31st, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Ant Mania.

It seems to me that the reaction the John Byrne Forum had to this interview with Daniel Way (writer of Marvel’s Ant Man mini) was exactly the response Way was hoping for.

I’m sure his gag about not knowing who Giant Man or Yellowjacket were probably caused heart palpitations in some hardcore Marvelites somewhere, too.

Sheldon Mayer

§ December 31st, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Sheldon Mayer

I don’t buy very many back issues any more…given that I’ve been reading comics for (gack) 30 years, I already have most of the funnybooks from the last few decades in which I’d have any interest.

However, there are a few things I do keep an eye out for…I collect old fanzines (The Comic Reader in particular), the occasional inexpensive Archie or Superman-family related comic from the 50s and early 60s, The Fox and The Crow by Jim Davis (no, not that Jim Davis)…

…and anything that contains any work by Sheldon Mayer.

Given that it seems increasingly unlikely that we’ll see any extensive reprinting of Mayer’s work (despite the recent reissue of the first Sugar & Spike and the high hopes of the DC Archives page, as seen by the mock-ups here and here), I’ve been buying his work whenever I come across it. Sugar & Spike and, to a lesser extent, Three Mouseketeers (though he didn’t do all of these) are relatively easy to track down, finding some of his other work requires digging through the back-up stories in titles like The Dodo and The Frog or Nutsy Squirrel. I still haven’t come across any of his Scribbly material, though, aside from a reprint in A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics. Mayer’s work is always worth the search, and it’s a damn shame today’s kids won’t get exposed to it.

It’s even more of a damn shame that if today’s kids were exposed to Sugar & Spike, they’d think it was just a Rugrats rip-off.

Additional linkage:

There was a short Golden Age Red Tornado story by Mayer that appeared in Secret Origins #29 in the late 1980s.

An interview with Mayer’s daughter appeared in an issue of Comic Book Artist, which is online here, with lots of art by Mayer.

Me and Manga.

§ December 29th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Me and Manga.

It’s getting to be the end of the year, and it’s that time when everyone starts making their lists of best, worst, and most notable whatevers. (You can find a fairly comprehensive collection of links to lists of this sort right here.)

I don’t really have a Best/Worst list for the year, but one category that I would have mentioned is this one:

THE COMIC THAT FINALLY GOT ME TO READ MANGA: Gyo Vol. 1 by Junji Ito – I’ve never had anything against manga, and I’ve had only a passing interest in it as a whole…my interest in comics history would lead me to read articles and histories of manga, for example, without actually reading any manga (I recommend the excellent Manga Manga: The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik L. Schodt). However, the sheer wrongness of some of the imagery in this book compelled me to give it a try. Seeing fish on legs invading an island community…there was just something primally disturbing about this idea, and given that I have an interest in horror comics in general, this was a natural book with which to break my manga drought.

Of course, this now has me interested in Ito’s other horror work, such as Uzumaki. You (and I as well) can learn more about Ito here.

Plus, now that I’ve broken down that barrier, I find myself looking at more manga, such as Sgt. Frog, which is about as far away from Gyo as you can get. Don’t ask me to explain.


§ December 28th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Mask.

Oh dear, they’ve made a sequel to The Mask…complete with a CGI baby. I only found out about it as I was listening to a call-in movie show on the radio (the things you’ll do for entertainment when you’re sick), and someone called in to complain that Jim Carrey wasn’t going to be in this new Mask movie. (It’s starring Jamie Kennedy.)

Sadly, we haven’t seen much of the Mask in the medium in which he/it first appeared…the last Mask comic that I remember was the Joker/Mask series from ’00. The Mask comics were fairly entertaining, the best being the initial two mini-series (the original from ’91, and The Mask Returns from ’92). Also notable was an odd mini-series starring the Mask’s mute nemesis Walter, Mask/Marshal Law, and the Lobo/Mask mini gets a guilty laugh out of me on the one page where Lobo finally puts on the Mask.

The oddest permutation of the Mask had to be Rick Geary’s children’s books!

And if you ever wanted to know who would win in a fight between the Mask and, oh, say, Freakazoid — take a look at the discussion here.

A quick post.

§ December 27th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on A quick post.

I’m very sick today, and only posting to break the monotony of being flat on my back in bed, so all you get is some quick linkage to here, where pal Ian points out Marvel’s latest bad idea.

The Amazing Cynicalman

§ December 26th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on The Amazing Cynicalman

Many years ago, Eclipse Comics released a regular-sized issue of mini-comics mainstay The Amazing Cynicalman by Matt Feazell. In the text pages of this comic, Feazell made readers an offer (no longer good, I am guessing) to send a free mini-comic to anyone who sent in their own drawing of the title stick-figure character, along with an SASE.

Well, I took him up on that offer, sending in my illustration of “The Amazing Cynicalman in 3-D” (yes, in red and blue ink) along with my SASE. Some time later, I came back from my first day of college to find two envelopes from Mr. Feazell! As it turns out, the SASE I used was too small, so Feazell used another envelope to send me my mini-comic. The envelope I did send he filled with photocopies of sketchbook material and a personal letter (mostly just to explain why he had to send another envelope!). Well, that was very cool, I thought, and even though I had been a fan before, I was even more of a fan now…and even 16 years later(!), he’s still one of my favorites.

Anyway, I found out just recently that he has a new book out, and I placed an order for it late Sunday evening. Today, Friday, I have it in my hands. Now that’s some fast shipping, especially for Christmastime! And it’s even signed, with a Cynicalman pencil sketch.

He’s still a cool guy, and I recommend that everyone visit his website and buy his stuff.

Two true stories:

1. When I first joined AOL (way back in the dark ages) I almost used “cynicalman” as my username…good thing I didn’t, because Feazell is using it now!

2. The very first issue of Scott McCloud’s Zot! I bought was the mini-comic Zot! in Dimension 10 1/2 drawn by Feazell in the stick-man style. That got me to read the regular Zot! comics and become a McCloud fan…so I have Feazell to thank for that as well.


§ December 25th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on ABCDEFGHIJK MNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

illustration by Mike Carlin

Hulk Unchained #1

§ December 24th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Hulk Unchained #1

Don’t end your Hulk comic (that’s based on a video game) with a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson.

I mean, honestly:


§ December 24th, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Cerebus.

No matter what you think of Cerebus, its 300-issue run is certainly an achievement…though creator Dave Sim encouraged some small amount of consternation with his attitudes on gender relations (among other things), it’s hard to ignore his commitment to telling the life of his lead character for the last quarter of a century. Sim gives his goodbyes to his life’s project here. (His regards to Jeff Smith did strike me as a little odd…wasn’t Dave challenging Jeff to a fight at one point?)

Other good Cerebus links and info can be found at the Cerebus Fangirl site…one of my favorites is this one, providing early fan-produced radio show adaptations of the first six issues.

Mr. Bissette.

§ December 23rd, 2003 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Mr. Bissette.

Former Swamp Thing artist and Taboo mastermind Steve Bissette moderates his own message board, and unlike most comic creator boards, it’s readable, enjoyable, and informative. Most of the discussion centers around Bissette’s passion for horror movies, but comics do get brought up once in a while as well.

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