I once met Alan Moore, had dinner with him in fact. A dinner that included Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.
I must stress that they did not have dinner with me at my invitation - I was at the table as a guest of Gary Groth and Kim Thompson from Fantagraphics. Also in attendance was Dave Olbrich. The creative trio - currently on DC’s Swamp Thing - was on their way to NY and had stopped in at the Fantagraphics offices to meet with Gary and Kim and head for Chinese food. And I got to tag along.
I spent a couple of hours listening to Moore and his companions regale the group with story after story. At no point did I ever think of Alan Moore as crazy. In fact, I thought he was one of the smartest guys I’d ever met. He was also not like anyone I’d met either before or since. He was different, alright. But crazy? No. Weird? Hardly.
Which brings me to this:
Greetings, Weekenders! Still up in arms about DC’s new logo? The wrongness of SOPA/PIPA? Forget it. Let’s just enjoy the internets while they’re still free:
The John Carter Files poses some questions about the upcoming John Carter movie.
Two new Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey are coming in 2012.
Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is getting the graphic novel treatment via DC Comics (and their Vertigo imprint). Denise Mina - no slouch as a mystery novelist - is writing with Leonardo Manco, art is by Andrea Mutti, but just check out the kick-ass cover by Lee Bermejo. Omnimystery has all the deets.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, power outages. It's been a wild couple of climate change-enhanced weeks. Let's play catch-up across the internets:
Cullen Bunn is having a career year and let’s hope it’s the first of many. The creator of The Sixth Gun got his Oni Press series, The Damned, picked up by Showtime for a series. He’s already gotten The Sixth Gun optioned to SyFy for a series. If they both make it to air, Bunn will have two more shows on the air than DC Comics.
Apes: Rich Handley reviews the fourth issue of Darryl Gregory and Carlos Magno’s Planet Of The Apes, from Boom! “BOOM!’s Apes run stands on a pinnacle, one sure to end badly for humanity.” But all good for readers and fans.
Republicans: My pal Doug Molitor from Funny Or Die looks at 12 Republican super-heroes. My favorite? The Human Torturer!
Jack: Man, that’s a lot of nice Jack Davis work that Michael Sporn posted. I really love those western covers, too.
For starters, let’s all wish writer Tom Spurgeon a speedy recovery. He took a blogging break earlier this year for health reasons and his essay about his health, his love of comics and his work is even more essential than his already-essential blog. If you read nothing else today, make it this.
Now let’s see what else is going on across the internets:
Sherlock: Oh, that lovable curmudgeon Sherlock Holmes is causing trouble for the uneducated, easily threatened, fragile book burners of America. Apparently, A Study In Scarlet, a classic Holmes adventure, features an insensitive remark about Mormons. Imagine, a fictional character - not Holmes or Watson - from Victorian England having an unprogressive attitude. Forgive me while I clutch my pearls and head for the fainting couch. Galleycat has more on the story, including links to downloading the public domain book for free.
Don McGregor: The writer of Killraven and Black Panther (to name but two) has some thoughts about his wife Marsha on her birthday.
You can’t beat the power of the hammer. There’s a new Thor trailer floating around that feels much more impressive than the earlier Fortress of Solitude one. I’m liking it more and more, even if the big battle in the desert town looks very movie set-ish.
Now let's read some stuff...
Chaykin: Here’s an interview with one of my favorite creators, Howard Chaykin, talking about his upcoming work at Dark Horse.
Chew: Marc-Oliver Frisch at Comics Beat tackles John Layman to the ground and asks him lots of questions about food, comics and work-for-hire.
Smart: I wanted to conduct an interview with Darryl Cunningham, but he’s so smart that it would only serve to point out how not-smart I am. Fortunately, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter is a smarty and he landed an excellent interview with the creator of Psychiatric Tales.
Batman: The Pullbox talks to my old friend, the comics historian Peter Sanderson. Subject: The Batman TV series from 1966.
The new teaser image for the upcoming Captain America movie is out. Looks like the art director grew up reading Image Comics. Now let’s see what you can read:
Heroes: Robin Brenner at Early Word, a site for librarians, has a rundown on superhero graphic novels. “Superheroes For The Uninitiated” focuses on the big names from the MU and the DCU, but she promises a future installment that goes outside Marvel and DC.
Bat: It’s been Bat-Week at Tor.com all week. If you’ve missed it, it’s all still there in all its Bat-goodness. Nick Abadzis is there and so is Gotham City: 14 Miles editor Jim Beard.
British: Beano artist Lew Stringer has news of a new, independent graphic novel from England called Armageddon Patrol, a “what if” that poses the question “what if super-heroes fought the Vietnam War?” I gotta get one of these.
Is there enough money to get Ricky Gervais to host the Eisner Awards this year? Please tell me there is. In the meantime, enjoy this link-based goodness:
Tracy: Here’s a nice profile of Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, the duo taking over the Dick Tracy strip on March 14. Bonus: the article features a 2-panel sequence from the Tracy strip by the new guys. I’m in! [Link: Daily Cartoonist]
Bonfire: Heidi at Comics Beat has the first part of a solid, smart interview with Ed Catto. You might know him as the Captain Action guy, but he’s also one of the guys behind the new comic-related advertising agency, Bonfire.
Tony: Mr. Tony Isabella has found a new comics writing home for himself over at the relaunched Atlas imprint. He’ll be co-writing the Grim Ghost, a series he worked on back during its original incarnation. Tony’s a good writer with an excellent sense of story & structure and he writes some snappy dialogue. I’m going to get this.
The War on Christmas is nearly done for another year, and there’s just enough time left for the War on New Year’s. Let's see what you should be reading this week:
Joe: This is simply a great, honest and open interview with Joe Casey, comic book writer/creator and co-creator of Ben 10. Perfect holiday reading from interviewer Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter.
Thor: So there’s some controversy from an all-white group that’s upset that Marvel has cast an actor of color to play a Norse God in Thor. Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot has a thought or two.
Polly: Animator Michael Sporn is happy that Dean Mullaney’s new book has arrived (as am I). Polly and Her Pals: the Complete Sunday Comics 1925-1927 comes from Dean’s The Library of American Comics via IDW.
If you need to take a break from Christmas shopping and sit down in front of a warm computer and fill your body with the sweet, sweet taste of egg nog, here are some nice links to keep you company.
I love Christmas cards from cartoonists, and Hogan’s Alley has posted a whole pile of them from Dik Browne, creator of Hagar The Horrible and one of the greatest cartoonists, ever. As if that weren’t enough, there’s this: “Every year since 1936, the Newspaper Enterprise Association has syndicated a Christmas strip. In 1968, Jack Kent produced a daily-only King Aroo sequence, which we are thrilled to present here!”
Castle: If you like Nathan Fillion’s TV series, you’re not alone. Here’s what one loyal fan created.
Amazons: David E. Kelley talks about his Wonder Woman project. The bottom line: don’t get your hopes up.
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