Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Tweeted with Mitchell Landsberg

Twitter struck me initially as a useless curiosity but now I do see some value in it for me. The Hayfamzone Blog has reached its tentacles outward into new frontiers thanks to Twitter. Also, I like being able to directly and immediately contact certain artists or writers.

Last week after I wrote about Comic Book Hair I sent direct tweets to the authors of the article that had bothered me. Mitchell Landsberg of The Los Angeles Times was one of those authors. He tweeted back and  I found our tweet-conversation to be interesting:

What is comic book hair? Do I have comic book hair? Do you have comic book hair? Who has comic book hair?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yes, I am a Teacher

I have been gainfully employed as a math teacher for 32 years and it's been wonderful! After all that time I still look forward to going to school every day. It's a great feeling and not only in the classroom.

Last week I was at the Car Repair House asking multiple questions with follow-ups regarding the circumstances of my vehicle's ailments. The other customer who had come up to the counter asked the owner, "Is he driving you crazy with all those questions?" The other customer was not referring to my questions but both the owner and I did think that was what he meant. Not at all minding what I thought he meant, the edge of my lips curled up into a wry smile as the owner answered him by saying, "He's a teacher. He wants to understand everything." The owner was so correct!

Here's another true story. Chicago has new parking meters that are not as simplistic as the old ones you just plunked a coin into. A few months ago I was standing next in line at one of the meters behind a gentleman who was obviously perplexed by the contraption. I described the steps to him as I showed him the sequence to go through, and he graciously thanked me. As he walked away the man said, "You're a teacher, aren't you?" I liked that question!

What about the world of comics, you ask? Back at the dawn of time when I was doing my student teaching at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois, I started a Comic Book Club! I was a semi-regular customer at Gary Colabuono's nearby Moondog's Comics, and Gary agreed to grant all members of the Club a 10% discount on their purchases. I hope that Comic Book Club is still going strong.

Back in that era I also wrote and drew a commentoonie that mashed comics and mathematics together. My drawing saw print in Alan Light's Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom #471 in 1982. It's been hidden from view for thirty years but you can see it over here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jack Kirby on Long Island

This week over on his blog, Mark Evanier showed his readers the above empty mailing envelope from 1968 that he had just come across in his own files. He explained that he no idea what the envelope ever contained, no inkling of what Stan Lee sent to Jack Kirby in it. The envelope is just a mysterious relic from the distant past.

But maybe more can be garnered from this artifact. What about that address? That's where Jack Kirby lived in 1968? How about if I investigate the lay of the land, I asked myself. Here is a map of the vicinity. So this is a view of the neighborhood where Jack Kirby lived before he moved to California 

I never did get to see Jack Kirby in person, but I follow every lead I come across to try to deepen my understanding of the man. When I hold in my hand one of my Jack Kirby originals, I am reverent about the fact that that piece of paper was on his drawing board and that his pencil arced across that very page. Every time I read the blog of Mark Evanier (who worked with Mr. Kirby in the early 1970s), I start thinking and wondering about the great Jack Kirby.

I have to admit that looking at the map of 367 Congress Avenue in East Williston, New York did not give me very much new insight to a wonderful genius whom I admire. But I will continue watching for new leads.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Female Comics Creators

Of course women have been involved with creating comics for just as long as there have been comics. The two earliest practitioners that occur to me are Ramona Fradon (who entered the field in 1950) and Marie Severin (1949). I always got a little tickle when a comic convention panel was entitled "Women in Comics" as if that were some new phenomenon.

I am pleased to show you a Freedom Fighters full-page splash drawn in the 1970s by Ms. Fradon (and lettered by Ben Oda) which I used to own (I purchased it at the charity auction at the 1977 Chicago Comicon). You might even be interested in purchasing the newly published Art of Ramona Fradon. I and so many others have enjoyed the art styles of both Ms. Fradon and Ms. Severin for many decades.

This all comes to my mind now because a full page article was published this week in The Chicago Tribune under the title Women get foothold in comic books. You can read that article for yourself over here and discover some up-and-coming female artists whose comics you may not have encountered yet. (The print version of the article was about five times as long as this online version but I don't see the unabridged piece posted anywhere; sorry about that.)You might even want to explore the Women in Comics wiki which has 536 pages as of this writing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Comic Book Hair"

Stripped of his body armor, the 24-year-old suspect turned out to be slender and pale, with a thousand-mile stare and tousled, comic-book hair, which looked bizarrely out of place in the formal setting of a courtroom.

From an article on page 1 of yesterday's Chicago Tribune, the above passage is an example of poor writing. Lazy writing.

Comic book hair? What exactly is comic book hair? Does Superman have comic book hair? Does Wolverine have comic book hair? How about Black Lightning 1977 or Black Lightning 2012, do they have comic book hair? Does everybody in a comic book have comic book hair, and how is that hair different from the hair of people that do not have comic book hair?

Maybe the phrase "comic-book hair" has a meaning to the three co-writers of that article but they made no attempt to make clear what their meaning might be. I'm ready to go out on a limb and say that I have read more comic books than those three co-writers combined. And I do not know what the phrase "comic-book hair" means. Does anybody?

Any author who purports to be a professional expository writer has a responsibility to make his or her meaning clear.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Batman Antenna Topper (Part 2)

Okay, it's up!

I received my Batman antenna topper in the mail and I have rushed to install it on my car antenna. Start counting; today is Day 1.

I mentioned back here that Batman antenna toppers were sold at Warner Brothers Stores. Those fun retail Stores offered many exclusive items featuring DC Comics characters and were located in shopping malls from 1991 until they went out of business in 2001. I fear I may have contributed to their demise.

One time I was in one of the Stores and I picked up a two-foot-tall statue of Superman to see how I liked it; the statue slipped out of my fingers and fell to the hard floor and shattered. A WB Store employee rushed over to me and apologized for the inconvenience and told me he would get that cleaned up immediately. He couldn't have been nicer!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mama Wolf and Girl Cub

 Yesterday I was motoring along Hayfamzone Boulevard when I noticed up ahead, in the crosswalk, a lady walking across the street. She was pulling behind her a small cart like the one I show in the photo above. All well and good, no worries so far. As I came right up to the intersection and that lady was stepping up onto the sidewalk because she had just finished crossing the street, I glanced over and saw something I hadn't noticed from farther back.

A little girl four or five years old was in that cart! She was getting a comfy ride from her mom and just her little head was visible above the top edge of that cart.The girl was looking directly at me when my eyes caught a glimpse of her. Well, this struck me as funny and I gave out such a laugh! The girl smiled and I laughed some more as I turned the corner away from those two and we all lived happily ever after.

Later in the day it occurred to me how this event tied in with comics. (I always try to tie things in with comic books, like I told you way back here.) Lone Wolf and Cub was the story of a masterless samurai who had adventures as he wandered the countryside with his infant son accompanying him in a pushcart. It's been out of print for a while now and some hayfamzonders may never have heard of it. I am not the biggest big fan of manga but Lone Wolf and Cub by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima is a masterpiece that all comics fans should investigate.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Batman Day

Today is Opening Day for The Dark Knight Rises. I went to the midnight premiere of the other two Christopher Nolan Batman films but I didn't go to last night's. I do have a couple of things to share, however.

1. I was horrified to hear on the radio news this morning about what happened in the Colorado theater last night. President Obama is scheduled to make a statement about the tragedy today and I hope Mr. Nolan will make a statement also.

2. Bane is the main villain of the movie, as you've probably heard. Rush Limbaugh was telling his radio listeners this week that the name of the villain was (paraphrasing here) formulated by the left-wing Hollywood elite to serve as a subliminal slam against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney because of its homonymic relationship to Mr. Romney's former company Bain Capital. (A tip of the hayfamzone bowler to Richard Roeper for sharing this tidbit.)

3. Neal Adams has posted a spoiler-free review of the movie over here. I cannot believe that Mr. Adams is 71 years old. Have I mentioned before that I interviewed the gentleman in 1978? I'll save that for later, but down below is a photo from last week's San Diego Comicon of Mr. Adams palling around with the real-life Deadman.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Legion #300 Cover Contest

Back in 1983, The Legion of Super-Heroes was ready for a special anniversary issue #300. DC Comics decided to have a little fun with it and the 28 Legionnaires on the jam cover were each drawn by a different artist. You can see a larger version of that above cover over here.

But they did not announce who drew each character. Instead editor Karen Berger (yes! she existed before Vertigo did!) decided to run a contest to identify the artists. The first-place prize was to be a page of Keith Giffen Legion original artwork so I was all over that contest. I have always enjoyed the puzzle of trying to figure out an artist by his or her style, so I had a little fun and entered.

I scored all right, too, correctly identifying at least 18 of the 28 artists. That was good enough for me to tie for second place in the contest, and you can see my name below (or over here for a larger version) as printed on the letters page of Legion #306. I don't have a recollection of receiving the Legion poster that was sent to the second-place winners, but I'm certain I did. Karen Berger wouldn't kid about something like that!

Be sure to challenge yourself by looking at the artwork above first because the 28 artists are matter-of-factly revealed down below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Batman Antenna Topper (Part 1)

Antenna balls or, as they are more generally referred to, antenna toppers are a wonderful invention. When a parking lot is filled to capacity with a sea of cars, an antenna ball helps me navigate to and easily locate my vehicle. The Hayfamzone Limousine is not quite as massive or showy as a Batmobile or a Green Hornet Black Beauty and the antenna ball as tracking device has many times been helpful to me. (I am amazed at how often my car is the only one sporting an antenna topper in a huge parking lot. People don't know the convenience that they're missing!)

A few years ago on ebay I bought an assortment of a dozen random and generic antenna balls. The one on my antenna right now is a generic red ball. It does the trick but it is so generic. I got the idea to search for a Batman-symbol topper and yesterday I found one and I placed the order.

I knew of the existence of a Bat topper because I owned one before. They were produced for and sold at Warner Brothers Stores and that's where I bought the one I used to have. (Don't get me started about the WB stores because I miss them quite a bit!)

So, you're wondering, what happened to the Bat topper I had? Easy answer. It was stolen. Some Batman fan could not resist the temptation and took my Batman topper as his own. Probably he put it on his car and somebody took it from him!

Part of my motivation for making my purchase yesterday was to perform one of my hayfamzone experiments. (You can read about a previous hayfamzone experiment over here.) I am anxious to see how long the Batman antenna topper will survive on my car until somebody cannot resist a devilish temptation. I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thirty Years of Love and Rockets

I arrived at the party just slightly late, discovering Love and Rockets upon the 1983 publication of its third issue, but I've been at the front of the fan line ever since. Back in those early 1980s this creation of the Hernandez Brothers was not nearly as well known as it has come to be, and I tried to do what I could to spread the word. Up above I am happy to share for the first time in many years my drawing of Maggie the Mechanic as it appeared in my commentoonie published in 1984's The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom #539.

Fantagraphics was promoting heavily at last week's San Diego Comicon that 2012 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Love and Rockets, and rightly so. Gary Groth and his associates have enriched the world of comics by publishing this masterpiece for all these years. By the way, the publisher has tweeted out a website where the writer Sean T. Collins blogged effusively every day for a week about all things L & R and you might enjoy taking a look.

Do you know, though, that new Love and Rockets stories are being published currently? Way to keep a secret, guys. How this flew under my radar I can't begin to guess, but it is my pleasure to once again climb to the summit and proclaim the Hernandez glory. Love and Rockets: New Stories began being published annually in 2008, though I discovered it only a couple of months ago! Late to the party again, but at least I have my foot in the door. 

Jaime, Gilbert, Mario, everything that ever drew you Love and Rockets is up and running again. And plenty of it! Four issues have been published so far (with number 5 due this fall) and each one is over 100 squarebound pages. Honestly I prefer this hefty and solid format to even the magazine-sized format that started it all. Now that I've joined the party again, I hope I'll see you over there.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Visit The Flash Museum

The Flash Museum played a role in a number of Flash stories during and since the Silver Age. The Museum has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times, of course, and it even made an appearance on The Flash television show from twenty years ago. (I enjoyed that show very much!)

Well I'm here to inform you today that in Chicago there is a real-life Flash Museum. Sure, it's inside a comic book store and, no, there isn't a curator and, okay, it consists mostly of toys, but still! You can read about Chicago's Flash Museum over here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Live from San Diego Comicon

There is a cable television channel named G4. I never heard of it before yesterday. You might want to investigate it, though, because this weekend they have been broadcasting live four-hour blocks from the San Diego Comicon.

I just watched the first few minutes of today's coverage, which opened with an interview conducted on a balcony over the convention floor with actor Don Cheadle about his role in Iron Man 3.

The action then moved down to the floor itself and one of the G4 reporters perpetrated a lame skit as he was rifling through a dealer's comic box. The reporter was trying to find a bargain-priced Amazing Fantasy #15 but was saddened to find only a #16 and a #14. Of course there was no Amazing Fantasy #16 and not really even a #14, so G4 doesn't seem to place much stock in rudimentary research.

Still it's interesting to know this show exists and you might want to check it out on your cable system. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Barack Obama and Alan Moore

The Onion seems to have scooped everybody else on this one. President Barack Obama has selected Alan Moore as his White House biographer! More details are available over here. "Who watches the Watchmen?" indeed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle

I remember the day I bought Mister Miracle #1 off the rack at my neighborhood Guardian Pharmacy. I looked forward to every Jack Kirby DC comic much the same way as a dog will sit drooling and wagging his tail as his master fetches a hunk of steak for him out of the icebox.

Many young whippersnappers these days probably don't know that the escape artist aspect of the Mister Miracle character was based on the illusionist days of the ever-dapper Jim Steranko. And, whereas Jack Kirby's Darkseid made a big splash in the closing season of Smallville, Darkseid's 'adopted' son Mister Miracle is virtually unknown outside the pages of his comic book appearances. That's why I was very pleased with something that Patrick McDonnell did this week.

I have told you previously that Mutts by Patrick McDonnell is my favorite strip currently running in any newspaper. This is at least the second year that Mr. McDonnell has tipped his hat to the San Diego Comicon by devoting a week of strips to what he titles Comic Cons. Each day he dresses his characters as well-known superheroes and builds a gag off of it.

So far this week Mr. McDonnell has invoked The Flash and Aquaman and The Riddler. Those names are well known in most households, I would say. But this great comic strip artist went ahead and dug a little bit deeper. One of this week's Comic Cons introduced Mister Miracle to the world. You can read it for yourself over here, and I hope everybody will start following Mutts every day. Hooray for Patrick McDonnell!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scoop It! Jack Kirby!

You'll never know what you'll find when you go snooping around the internet!

Yesterday I stumbled upon a website named Scoop It which has been harvesting articles from The Hayfamzone Blog! The site seems to be dedicated to Jack Kirby, and yesterday they were displaying links to two Jack Kirby articles I posted last week. Great! All are welcome in the hayfamzone, no matter what route they take to get there.

You can investigate Scoop It yourself right over here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Most Hated Artist Ever?

There is now a retrospective of the career of Roy Lichtenstein at the Art Institute of Chicago. The show is touted as being the first-ever Lichtenstein retrospective. I hope the curator isn't waiting for me to walk in the door because I won't be attending. I hate what Lichtenstein did. And I'm not the only one.

With a disdain for the man bordering on being legendary, Neal Adams has called Lichtenstein a thieving hack as recently as this spring's C2E2 convention. This article reports, interestingly, that Joe Kubert harbors no ill will for the man even though Lichtenstein stole from Kubert on numerous occasions.

The controversy of course is that Lichtenstein made millions by copying the images of hard-working but far-from-millionaire comic book artists without giving them any credit or sharing any of those riches. Lichtenstein said that he used the original images as "inspirations" from which he constructed "abstractions," but who's kidding whom? Mr. Kubert's forgiveness stems from his feeling that all artists steal, but I am unable to whip up that kind of generosity within myself.

Take a look at the "Lichtenstein piece" that I've selected for the top of this article. Would you say that the "inspiration" for that piece came from a comic book panel by John Romita or Arthur Peddy? Probably Arthur Peddy. Many people have never heard of Arthur Peddy, and that's the shame! Mr. Peddy drew Justice Society stories in the 1940s and a trove of DC romance stories in the 50s and 60s and, you know what? Peddy probably earned less in his lifetime than one Lichtenstein piece based on a Peddy drawing sells for. Here is a website devoted to Arthur Peddy that displays another Lichtenstein "abstraction" "inspired by" a Peddy drawing.

Maybe Lichtenstein had a pang of guilt for what he did. This article reports that his wife had to stop him one time from destroying with a knife a number of his own works. I would not have shed one tear if he had slashed every single one of his canvases.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Valiant Comics Has Me Worried

Do you remember Tekno Comics? No, nobody does. And if the management of the new incarnation of Valiant Comics isn't careful, that company also will find itself in the deep Sargasso of Trivia Question Fodder.

 Tekno Comics burst onto the scene in 1995 with great talents like Neil Gaiman and Bill Sienkiewicz in their stable, but the airplane never got a chance to take flight. They were distracted. They gave a free t-shirt to all passersby at the Chicago Comicon that year and, as I clenched one of those shirts in my fist I said to myself, What are they thinking? So engrossed were they in promotion, Tekno Comics never sufficiently focused on the comics they were producing.

Yesterday's New York Times had an article about Valiant Comics on page 1 of its Business Day section, and the subtitle read "Revived Comics Publisher Stakes Its Future on Movies." Huh? We're talking about a comic book company here, right? They should be staking their future on producing the best furshlugginer comic books that ever rolled off a printing press, because then the cinematic chips will fall favorably for them.

Are the new Valiant Comics any good? We'll see. I have written already that I found Harbinger to be excellent, but I found X-O Manowar to be fluffier than a cloud of cotton candy and I afterward resented having paid $2.99 for it. Bloodshot #1 comes out this week and Archer and Armstrong comes around next month.

Near the end of the article a Valiant executive says "Readers are very discerning, and they are not looking for a movie pitch in comic book form." Yet the article ends with another Valiant executive saying "What matters is the quality of the movie you make." Huh? Maybe these two guys should have a meeting to decide whether they are a comic book company or a movie producer because I'm hearing two different songs there.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Superman Plus One

I will recommend two new books which sound interesting (though I have not yet read either one myself).

1. Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero is by Larry Tye, and here is a review of the book. The cool drawing above by Christoph Niemann accompanied that New York Times review (and I am far more partial to this image than I am to the artwork on the cover of the actual book).

2. Life at Home in the 21st Century is by Jeanne E. Arnold, et al, and will be published next month. One thesis of this book seems to be that we are drowning in the sea of collectible-stuff that we accumulate. Hmm.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

ROY G BIV and Green Lantern

There's an interesting item in the  Green Lantern and Philosophy book that I neglected to mention the other day. This will be noteworthy to anyone who reads the modern day Green Lantern comic book.

You learned about "ROYGBIV" way back when you were a tot. I know I first heard of it when I was in elementary school. An abbreviation to help kids learn that the colors of the spectrum, in order, are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, ROYGBIV may have been the first mnemonic I ever knew.

Now look up at how I split ROYGBIV up a bit in the title above, and you'll notice how this relates to the multi-colored Lantern Corps that Geoff Johns has introduced into the Green Lantern mythos. In the comic, the Red Lanterns, Orange Lantern, and Yellow Lanterns are kind of the bad guys, the Blue Lanterns, Indigo Lanterns, and Violet Lanterns are kind of the good guys, and the Green Lanterns are the fulcrum that balance all those other guys. Am I the last one to catch on to the ROYGBIV Corps-ordering pattern?

According to the bibliography of Green Lantern and Philosophy, Geoff Johns spelled this out in a magazine interview he gave but it seems to never have been explicitly mentioned in the comic book. I thought everybody should know about it!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ditko Considered

Artist Javier Hernandez has posted a wonderful nine-panel poster-comic that gives an overview of the ongoing career of the legendary Steve Ditko. There are so many fine touches to what Javier has done that I can't compliment this page highly enough. Don't squint trying to read it above, though; you can find a full-size version of the poster-comic at Javier's website right over here.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Punisher by Gray Morrow

I used to own a painting.

I owned dozens of nice pages of original comic artwork but, among them, just one painting. And it was spectacular.

The Punisher was created by Gerry Conway and made his first appearance in 1974's Amazing Spider-Man #129. The character caught on immediately and, although not awarded a series of his own until the mid-1980s, made numerous appearances not only with Spider-Man but also with Captain America and Daredevil.

The Punisher did appear in one solo story not long after his debut, in 1975's Marvel Preview #2. Marvel Preview was an entry in Marvel's underappreciated black and white magazine line; the first issue of the series had featured stories drawn by Alex Nino and Dave Cockrum under a sharp Neal Adams cover (I do not remember those stories and now I have an itch to dig out that issue and look it over). The second issue of Marvel Preview was dominated by The Punisher, weighing in with a 32-page story by Mr. Conway and Tony DeZuniga. And that spectacular cover. By. Gray. Morrow. Yes it's a bit blood-soaked, but still.

I didn't give the cover all that much thought as I picked that magazine up and bought it off the newsstand. But a decade later I purchased the original painting and I owned it proudly for twenty years. It is the only artwork I ever owned that I framed. The painting was a huge two feet wide by three feet tall if I'm remembering correctly (and I am). You can see a larger version of the above snapshot I took of the painting over here.

Now, listen as I cue the fast-forwarding-tape sound effect and bring us back to the year 2012. Earlier this year I wrote about the cable television disappointment entitled Comic Book Men. I gave you my impression immediately after watching the first episode and planned to report again after seeing the entire six-hours series. I did take notes every week and there were some things I was going to bring up, but guess what. I threw those notes out. Let it go. The show stunk. There is just one last little thing I want to say about it, however.

On one of the episodes, an individual brought a comic book into the store that he wanted to sell to 'the guys' and it was Marvel Preview #2! I said to myself Now this is bloggable! The guys behind the counter blathered on about the history of the character for a while but (now get ready for this) a graphic on the screen incorrectly identified the comic book with the below cover as The Punisher #2 from 1986. Huh?

I wrote yesterday about how seventeen professors of philosophy got every comic book reference correct in their 280-page Green Lantern and Philosophy book. So why would the supposed experts of Comic Book Men not do just a little bit of fact-checking and catch an egregious error like this one before it ran out of the barn?

Just breathe, let the blood pressure come down a bit and, like I wrote earlier, let it go. Please do take a minute to soak in this painting, though. It's a beauty.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Green Lantern and Philosophy

Green Lantern and Philosophy is an interesting book. I bet you never heard of it. I hadn't, so I certainly wasn't looking for it, but I just happened to stumble across the book on ebay. I enjoyed reading it a great deal (and, at $4, it was a great deal)!

Copyrighted 2011, it is an entry in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series from Wiley Publishing. The book consists of twenty separate essays that border on the scholarly. Each article shows how the Green Lantern mythos interfaces with the various branches in the study of philosophy; Utilitarianism and moral relativism and moral absolutism all get wheeled out and are explained clearly. Classical philosophers like Plato and Aristotle and Hegel and Kant and Descartes have their principles delineated, plus some latter-day philosophers about whom I had not previously known are presented.

Most impressive to me is that all the comic book references are correct, every single one. The first third of the book focuses mainly on Geoff Johns' helming of the Corps, later articles hone in on the Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams run, and a number of the articles refer all the way back to the debut of Hal Jordan in Showcase #22. (Alan Scott is mentioned a half-dozen times but this is not his book.)

There is a Contributors list introducing to the readers the seventeen individuals who served either as a writer or an editor on the book. The majority of them are college professors of philosophy. Who knew that so many philosophy professors were comic book fans! Again I must emphasize that I did not notice a single error in the text, and there are specific references to specific comic books on every page. Good job, profs!

I see that this Comics and Philosophy series also has editions that focus on each of Batman and Spider-Man and Iron Man and The X-Men and even Watchmen! I have not pulled the trigger on any of those yet but, based on how well done this book is, I probably will.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Declared UnKirby

Barry Pearl wrote an interesting piece in which he claims he was the biggest Jack Kirby fan ever (hey, wait a minute, I thought I was!) but that he was declared "UnKirby" for not denouncing Stan Lee and for appreciating the work of Steve Ditko and Don Heck and Dick Ayers (whose only infraction was that they were not Jack Kirby). You can read Barry over here.

When Kirby stopped drawing Captain America in 1978, Barry Pearl stopped reading comics. I part ways with Mr. Pearl at that point. Although many of my favorite comics of all time were created by Jack Kirby, many others were not. It has been my great pleasure to tell people about great new comics I felt deserved a wider audience, starting with Love and Rockets in the 1980s and continuing right up to Mudman in recent weeks. I will never stop seeking out comics that are so great as to make me feel the same way as the Kirby comics I read in my youth. Hooray for Jack Kirby!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Steve Ditko Draws Eight Hours Every Day

Steve Ditko is 84 years old with wisps of white hair. He has never married and has no children. He travels to his New York City studio and draws for eight hours every day.

Maybe you knew all these details about the gentleman already but they somehow escaped my notice. I learned all of this in an article in today's New York Post. I've written before that I attended an Artist Party at Craig Yoe's home in 1983 and now I discover that Craig  had lunch with Mr. Ditko in the 1990s, so I am thrilled to know there is only one degree of separation between Steve Ditko and me!

I enjoyed learning a little bit I didn't know about one of the comic book industry's most excellent artists in this article.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Jenette Kahn Wrote a Book

Jenette Kahn wrote a book that was published during her last year as Publisher of DC Comics. Probably it escaped the notice of most comics fans since it has not too much to do with comics, but we leave no stone unturned here in the hayfamzone.

Entitled In Your Space, the book is all about interior design. Ms. Kahn wrote about decorating her homes as well as her DC Comics office. Designer Milton Glaser is mentioned for one paragraph; he is the gentleman who designed the much-beloved DC bullet logo for DC Comics in 1976 at the request of Ms. Kahn.

I have found quite a bargain for you if you would like to own this book.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Beware of Alan Moore

Here is a fun little two-minute video in which an actor playing Alan Moore gets a little more aggressive about protecting his intellectual property. The movie is quite well done!

Jack Kirby Interviewed by Greg Theakston in 1987

Yet another 1987 interview with Jack Kirby has resurfaced after years of obscurity. It seems like only yesterday I was sharing a 1987 Kirby interview with you!

This one was conducted by artist Greg Theakston over the phone. In it Mr. Kirby talks about how he was friends with musician Frank Zappa, and he is asked whom he would like to see play the role of Jack Kirby if there were a movie about his life. You can read a transcript of this fun interview over here.

The photo above of Roz and Jack Kirby is from the same time frame, and over here you can read one fan's account of getting to meet Mr. Jack Kirby in that eventful year of 1987.