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Saturday December 19, 2009 4:05 pm

Weekend Reading: James Bond, Wally Wood, Stan Lee and Frank Frazetta




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, DC Comics, Independent

FrazettaIt’s old-school comic book week for the past several days as Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, Stan Lee and that crazy caveman Alley Oop pop up. If that’s not all, Evan Dorkin opened up an excellent thread on health insurance and freelance artists that’s must read for anyone who’s ever seen a 1099 form.

Wally Wood: Gold Key Stories posts a complete issue of M.A.R.S. Patrol Total War, with art by the great Wally Wood. Fanboys drool over this kind of stuff, and I’m not ashamed to say I’m one of them.

Frank Frazetta: A backhoe, a museum and millions of dollars worth of original art add up to a very sad family tragedy for the great artist. Heidi MacDonald over at The Beat has been on top of the story here and here and that’ll get you started. Be sure to follow through and read all the comments and updates.

Free Content: Xark has a great take on why newspapers complain so much about the online readership who wants it for free, but it’s really diners and coffee-sippers who are the real content thieves who don’t pay for what they read.

Health Insurance: Others have linked to this, but it’s too important a topic to not bring up again and again. Evan Dorkin talks raw facts about health insurance for freelancers, cartoonists, and comic book people. Facts, figures and anecdotes all provided in Dorkin’s clear-eyed prose. Be sure to read all the comments as well. Evan: “We don’t like to discuss money, not only in comics (what’s to discuss—? oh, ha ha) but in most professions. But we should be talking insurance, because comics is ass-backwards and we’ve never had unions or safety nets for freelancers.”

Stan Lee: Stan’s Soapbox was a Marvel Comics fixture for a long time and set the tone for the company that made so many people long to work in Marvel’s famed Bullpen. Now Marvel Comics has collected a bunch of Stan’s old Soapboxes into a nifty trade paperback. Alan Cranis over at Bookgasm has the details. Take a way out trip and flashback to your old granddaddy’s past, man, because Stan the Man will make a True Believer out of you. Excelsior!

James Bond: Keeping in a Bookgasm frame of mind, Rod Lott takes a look at the first volume of The James Bond Omnibus which reprints the first 1,128 British newspaper comic strip adventures of 007, as written by Anthony Hern, Henry Gammidge and Peter O’Donnell, and illustrated by John McLusky.

Minty Lewis: Rod Lott is yet another reviewer over at Bookgasm and he read Minty’s collected mini-comics book, PS Comics: “I can place her among the growing group of super-talented women whose under-the-radar work in DIY comics deserves a wider audience.”

Sales Figures: Over at Bear Alley, Steve Holland has some sales figures for this year’s British Annuals like Beano, Peppa Pig, Ben 10 Alien Force and Top Gear.

Alley Oop: Over at Somebody Dies, Craig Clarke saw a documentary that he enjoyed: Caveman: V.T. Hamlin and Alley Oop by Max Allan Collins (yup, the mystery novelist and comic book writer). It’s an historical overview of the classic caveman comic strip (back in the time when dinosaurs and cavemen lived together in comic strip harmony). “Caveman even suggests that Hamlin was responsible for getting modern children interested in dinosaurs by including factual information along with the entertainment, and he also used the platform to introduce kids to other historical figures like Shakespeare and Cleopatra through his use of time-travel storylines.”

Balloon Boy: Forget the balloon boy. If you’re serious about sending a kid into sub-orbital space, this is the way it’s to be done:

Jabba The Hat: If you love the Star Wars and you love hats, imagine what it’s like when the two mash-up. Don’t you want a Jango Fett Fedora or a Chewbacca chapeau?

Superman: Over at Uncle Eddie’s Theory Corner, Eddie Fitzgerald, the animator, retells the origin of Superman, I mean “Sooperman,” in funny photos. Some images on the site may not be safe for work.

Batman: Gary Sassaman picked up a copy of Batman: The Black Casebook and took a flawed trip down his own memory lane.

And that’s it! Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, please have a good one!

[Artwork: one of my favorite paintings by Frank Frazetta. I think it was the cover of an old Warren magazine at some point. © Frank Frazetta]

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