If you've stumbled here courtesy of the Blogger Next button, you're reading the semi-discarded shell of my blog. Until I manage to transfer the old posts to the new site, I'll treat this as an archive.
There are comic strip artists in Maine? :D And here I grew up thinking it was just lobsters and moose. The things you learn! :D
Somehow, I like Buddy with his hat better than without. It kinda looks like a woodsman's hat to me. Since Buddy is a frog of the wild and all... I've gotten used to the hat this winter so now, without it, he looks sort of, well, bald.
The biting midges belong to the genus Culicoides of the family Ceratopogonidae; they are the smallest of the bloodsucking insects and are common pests in the NE United States, where they are called punkies, sand flies, and no-see-ums. The adults have mouthparts that pierce and suck and inflict irritating bites on humans; some species ride the wings of dragonflies and lacewings, sucking the blood of their hosts.
We all know by now that Frank Miller's cult-comic series Sin City is hitting the big screen this Friday, and that it's directed by both Robert Rodriquez and Miller. Legend has it Miller thought Sin City was un-make-able until Rodriquez invited him to his Texas castle movie studio and shot, edited, FX'ed and scored an entire scene from The Babe Wore Red in one day. The results impressed the author so much, he decided to trust Rodriquez with his baby, but only if he co-directed, of course. It's been obvious throughout the project that the two were visually sticking close to the books.
Even the late Will Eisner, who often received credit for coining the genre's moniker, preferred to characterize the marriage of text and images in book form as "sequential art." He invented the term "graphic novel" out of desperation, in an attempt to sell his first book - a series of illustrated short stories - to a publisher who didn't dabble in comics. The publisher passed, but Eisner's work eventually found a home. A Contract with God was published in 1978, marking the birth of a new genre.
Our researches have proved that there is a significant correlation between crime-comics reading and the more serious forma of juvenile delinquency. Many children read only few comics, read them for only a short time, read the better type (to the extent that there is a better type) and do not become imbued with the whole crime-comics atmosphere. Those children, on the other hand, who commit the more serious types of delinquency nowadays, read a lot of comic books, go in for the worst type of crime comics, read them for a long time and live in thought in the crime-comics world...
Many comic books describe how to set fires, by methods too various to enumerate. In some stories fire-setting is related just as a detail; in other stories such as "The Arson Racket" the lesson is more systematic. There are other sidelights, like how to break windows so you cannot be found out; all this highlighted by the philosophy of the character who says: "From now on I'm making dough the easy way -- with a gun! Only SAPS work!" That lesson, incidentally, is true of crime comics as a whole: glamour for crime, contempt for work...
Another comic book shows how a youngster can murder for profit. He gets a job as a caddy, loses the ball, then kills the player when he goes searching for it...
A fifteen-year-old boy was accused of having shot and killed a boy of fourteen (the authorities chose to consider this accidental), of having thrown a cat from a roof, of having thrown a knife through a boy's foot, of sadistic acts with younger children, of having shot at a younger girl with a B.B. gun. After a full study of the psychological and social background, we came to the conclusion that the fact that he was an inveterate reader| of comic books was an important contributing factor. His favorite comic book, read over and over, contained no less thank eighty-one violent acts, including nineteen murders...
The World of Fanzines is a masterpiece of scholarship gone off the track. It's the only book you'll find about its subject in most libraries even though the author never quite understood what he was writing about. He never said as much - he couldn't admit it for the sake of professional pride, perhaps - but The World of Fanzines contradicts everything Dr. Wertham wrote about comic books and their readers in his previous books.
In the end, he decided, we'd turned out pretty much all right.
The treatment comprises a molecule that loosely links a feline and a human protein together. The feline end is a protein called Fel d1 found in cat dander and saliva that causes so much misery in allergy sufferers. On the other end sits a piece of human antibody that docks to a cell receptor that can be recruited to stop allergic reactions.
The investigators named the molecule GFD, or Gamma Feline Domesticus, for its human and feline parts, according to lead scientist Andrew Saxon of UCLA. The cat allergen end of GFD binds to antibodies on the surface of the cell. The human end of GFD links to a different cell surface protein that interrupts the allergic response.
Saxon's team first tested GFD in blood donated by people allergic to cats. Scientists cultured blood cells with either GFD or with a purified human antibody as a control. Then they added the cat protein that triggers allergic reactions to all the blood cell cultures.
"We measured more than 90 percent less histamine in the cultures with GFD," they wrote in the paper, "those results suggested that GFD successfully prevented the immune cells from reacting to cat allergen. The next step was to test GFD in mice that we had made allergic to the allergenic protein found in cat saliva and dander.
"For a bulky segment of a century, I have been an avid follower of comic strips — all comic strips," Parker wrote. "This is a statement made with approximately the same amount of pride with which one would say, `I've been shooting cocaine into my arm for the past 25 years.'"
'Every hour spent in reading comics," she asserted, "is an hour in which all inner growth has stopped.'"
We've put out interview with Dan "Bizarro" Piraro on the website at http://www.cagle.com/hogan/interviews/piraro/piraro.asp. It's one of our favorite interviews, as Dan is fearless, funny and very candid about the industry, the challenges involved in being creatively innovative and the challenges of being funny every day, even when your life is not so amusing. If you didn't read it when we published it, here's your chance!
In recent HA newsletters, we've dropped coy hints about the subject of one of the story's features. We've said the feature focuses on an artist who worked on a famous comic-strip character whom he did not create, and that he died after receiving a beating in a barroom brawl (that he most likely instigated). After having seen the cover of the issue, you might surmise, correctly, that the cat is out of the bag: The cartoonist profiled is George Luks, whom Joseph Pulitzer hired to write and draw the Yellow Kid at the New York "World" after creator R.F. Outcault jumped ship for W.R. Hearst's New York "Journal." Our article was meticulously researched and written by renowned Yellow Kid scholar Richard Olson, and it's one of the finest pieces we've published, featuring lots of little-seen artwork, some of it never reprinted since its original publication! Luks was a fascinating, complex man who was actually far more famous for his fine art than for his cartooning. If you're interested in the comic strip's formative years and key creators, you'll want to read this article.
Longtime comics historian Bill Blackbeard also makes his debut in the Alley this issue, writing about Harry Tuthill and his woefully underappreciated strip The Bungle Family. Bill's essay is a lively, informative introduction to the reprint sequence we also present. If you've never read The Bungle Family, or if you've only seen isolated samples in various cartooning histories, these never-reprinted strips from the late 1930s are your chance to introduce yourself to a longtime critic's darling.
ODDS AND ENDS: Congratulations to Jim Meddick, creators of one of our favorite strips, "Monty." Meddick's strip--which, as longtime HA readers know, was born as "Robotman"--recently celebrated 20 years on the comics pages, a very impressive feat in an industry where most new strips fail within five years. Here's to 20 more, Jim! You can see what Jim's been doing recently at http://www.comics.com/comics/monty/index.html
. . . Speaking of five years, we want to give a hearty shout-out to Rick Stromoski, whose acerbic, demented and very funny "Soup to Nutz" celebrated its five-year birthday. Longtime readers will remember that we sang the praises of this quirky strip in issue #10. Read it at http://www.comics.com/comics/soup2nutz/ . . . Correspondent James Wall asks us what new strips we're enjoying. A quick and thoroughly unscientific poll of the office finds Tim Rickard's "Brewster Rockit" has a lot of fans. Rickard's strip is a funny homage to science fiction movies and TV shows. Check it out at http://www.ucomics.com/brewsterrockit/. We also thoroughly enjoy "La Cucaracha," Lalo Alcaraz's strip that combines sociopolitical commentary with humorous observations about everyday life. Try it at http://www.ucomics.com/lacucaracha/. And Hollis Brown and Wes Hargis have hooked us with Franklin Fibbs, a strip about a relentlessly imaginative prevaricator. The character might lie, but the strip doesn't: http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/fibbs/about.htm . . . Correspondent Tim Schmidt e-mails us to ask what, in our humble opinion, is the "best bad strip." If you mean which strip is our biggest guilty pleasure, the discussion begins and ends with Apple Mary herself, "Mary Worth." While it's not a "bad" strip, it's entertaining in ways we suspect are not intentional: It features people who rarely act sensibly, plots predicated on characters making self-defeating, befuddling personal choices and dialogue whose earnestness is matched only by its awkwardness. Having said all this, we never miss it!
We'll spill the beans: In Hogan's Alley #13, we have a positive review of About Comics' "It's Only A Game," the book that collects all of Charles Schulz's comic panel about various sports and games. It's an interesting look at a hitherto little-known aspect of Schulz's career (the strip was produced from 1957 to 1959 and was contemporaneous with "Peanuts"), and while it's obviously not groundbreaking cartooning, it's enjoyable. But Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post found less to enjoy in his review at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17917-2005Mar8.html
Usually, we agree with Mr. Weingarten's informed musings about comics, and while we thought his review was a bit harsh, we hope that his readers were encouraged to seek the book out for themselves. Even lesser Schulz is still worth reading.
We at Hogan's Alley like to support the teaching of comics as a discipline that should be studied and taught properly, so we're pleased that our friends at the Center for Cartoon Studies are going to offer a five-day workshop on comics and self-publishing from June 27 through July 1. The "Create Comics" seminar will take participants from generating ideas to designing the final product. The faculty includes professional James Sturm, Steve Bissette and James Kochalka. The tuition is $650, and space is limited to 20 students. The CCS is in White River Junction, Vermont, and believe us: There are worse places to be in the dead of summer than Vermont! Find out if this is for you at http://cartoonstudies.org/summer.
The recently released Incredibles DVD reminded us of what a deeply satisfying movie it was. Longtime comics fans like us recognized the liberal borrowing of elements from the Fantastic Four, but it was handled in such an original and innovative manner that it didn't seem derivative. We only wish we felt as optimistic about the Fantastic Four movie, which opens in July. We bow to no one in our respect for the Jack Kirby-Stan Lee creation. (Roughly from issues 40 through 80, it was quite possibly the best superhero comic book ever, mixing the cosmic and the quotidian as no title has done before or since.) Special effects technology has evolved to where the quartet's adventures could be shown convincingly, but the FF was always about more than eye candy. It was about remaining together despite difficult relationships (which is, after all, the essence of a family) and the mutual reliance that success requires. We realize that it's difficult to convey these subtler qualities in a brief theatrical trailer, but the one we've seen (it's viewable all over the Internet) doesn't fill us with optimism, though we're never opposed to seeing Jessica Alba in a bodysuit. The decision to have Dr. Doom acquire his abilities through stowing away with the FF on their space flight is a major break with established and venerable continuity (not to mention being frightfully close to Dr. Smith's stunt on "Lost in Space") that the producers will have to REALLY sell to make acceptable to purists. We're keeping open minds, but we still remember the train wreck that was the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," which also had very fine source material. Oh wellâ€¦we hear that Joss ("Buffy") Whedon is in talks to helm a Wonder Woman movie, so we'll have that to look forward to. (Lynda Carter was always one of our favorite special effects.)
SPREADING THE GOSPEL DEPT.: As part of Emory University's "Evening at Emory" curriculum, Hogan's Alley editor Tom Heintjes will deliver a lecture and slideshow on the history and development of the comic strip on Wednesday, April 27, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. If you live in the Atlanta area and wish to attend, here's a link to the course's description and registration:
You can also register by phone by calling (404) 727-6000 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. weekdays. If past seminars are any indication, it will be an enjoyable evening; seminar participants will look at comic art, vintage Sunday sections and key pieces of early animation as Tom leads attendees through the evolution of the comic art form. No one will leave empty-handed as Tom and his lovely young assistant (also known as his wife, Kathy) will send attendees on their way with copies of Hogan's Alley and assorted cartoon book collections. Seating is limited, so if you live in the Atlanta area or plan to be in Atlanta on April 27, please consider attending. The cost is $55, and seniors or Emory students and employees receive a discounted rate of $46.75.
SUBSCRIBE TO HOGAN, WIN ORIGINAL ART! Well, to be honest, subscribers have a CHANCE to win original art. We have obtained 18 sketches by the great Bud Blake, who recently retired after a legendary 40-year run at the helm of TIGER and who is the subject of a career-spanning interview, conducted shortly after his retirement, in Hogan's Alley #13. We'll be randomly inserting these original drawings into subscriber copies, and the lucky recipients will have their own Blake. Subscribe now to receive issue #13 delivered to your home and to have an opportunity to receive the bonus artwork--even without a piece of original art tucked inside, it's going to be a great issue! Here's a link to our subscription page:
If you want to subscribe but don't wish to pay online, you can send a check for $22.95 to Hogan's Alley, P.O. Box 47684, Atlanta, GA 30362. And if you want to use your subscription to get a back issue or two (a savings off the single-issue price of $7), just include a note and we'll get it right out to you!
"I posted an article on a frog hospital in Australia that is closing because of lack of funding. It is the only hospital of it's kind. Maybe we frog bloggers could spread the word."
...let me make a point or two. I've seen a lot of reports about money given to charity that never reaches its intended beneficiaries. Food rots in warehouses or the charity has administrative costs that eat up 80% or more of the donations and so on. This is one instance where you can be certain that a donation goes directly to the benefit of those it is intended to help. Maybe they are just frogs, but we are in danger of losing this link in the food chain, and that will cause the extinction of other links; every link that disappears brings all of us that much closer to losing our little link in the big chain.
However, even if the ball of plasma is a black hole, it is not thought to pose a threat. At these energies and distances, gravity is not the dominant force in a black hole.
It's a Saturday morning in 1981.
I'm ten, but I consider myself a pretty old kid. I am, after all, the big brother. Todd and Corey are both up too. Todd is eating a bowl of Rice Krispies with sugar poured all over it. Corey is eating English Muffins, or as my dad calls them, "Ishals" with butter and honey. I'm happy with two slices of "Grammy bread" with butter. "Grammy Bread" is what Todd and Corey and I call the pumpernickel/rye loaf that my grandmother always seems to have at her house. We call it "Grammy bread" because we don't know the real name. Plus, only Grammy seems to know where to get it.
I've been watching the crappy cartoons and shows that come on before 8:00am. Stuff like "Captain Bob's Drawing Show," and "The Barbapapas." Todd and Corey came down a few minutes ago. It's almost 8. Todd yells, "TURN IT."
"I KNOW, TODD!"
I'm well aware that it's time to turn it to ABC. The first "real" cartoon is on at 8am. Superfriends is the beginning of the three hour block of Saturday Morning Cartoons. I turn the dial on our impossibly huge, wooden, console television to channel 5. ABC.
My dad walks into the family room. For my dad, Saturday morning means an early trip to Dunkin' Donuts, loading wood onto the porch and reading the "Union Leader" in the living room with my mom. As he enters, he sings one of his crazy songs. This one is called "Humpty Hadey." I interrupt his singing.
"Dad, did you watch cartoons when you were a kid?"
"What did you watch? Superfriends?"
"No, I don't think we had that back then. I used to love the old Ganubs Ganubby!"
Todd and Corey and I laugh. My dad always renames things with his own crazy language and makes up songs about everything. We recognize "Ganubs Ganubby" as dadspeak for Bugs Bunny.
"Want to watch Superfriends with us? You'll like it."
Todd excitedly exclaims, "Yeah!" Corey too is excited about the prospect of dad watching cartoons with us. She begs him, "Daddy please?" He thinks about it for a second. Wasting no time, we pounce on him with our common tactic of chanting in unison until he surrenders.
"watch cartoons. Watch Cartoons. Watch CarTOONS! WATCH CARTOONS!"
"OK. I'll watch for a little while."
We all cheer. And he watches. He laughs with us at the dumb jokes and makes up a song about the Wonder Twins' monkey "Gleek." For a little while, he lives with us in our Saturday morning kids' world, and it's really fun.
Saturday mornings were special to me. The cartoons were great, but that's not why I loved them. Saturday morning was the day that our family was almost always together. The three kids happily watched Saturday Morning TV while my parents popped in and out as they got coffee, started lunch and did yard work.
My parents are amazing.
My dad is my idol. He is 3,000 miles away, but he is always with me when I'm making decisions. When my brother and sister were young, we put a message in the paper for him on Father's Day. It read:
"For the best father in the world who always has time."
It's as true today as it was then. Because even when he doesn't know I'm looking to him for answers, his lifetime of being there has filled me with an invaluable reference which I can always turn to. He's been a living example of how to live, how to be honest and how to be a father for my whole life.
My dad gets up at the commercial to head back to his paper.
"You're right, this is good!" he tells us as he walks out.
Todd and Corey and I smile at him and at each other. It occurs to me that when I grow up, I'm going to watch cartoons with my kids.
"Drawing style?" I asked, hungry for compliments, hoping he'd gush over the warmth of my line, the brilliance of my wit.
"Yeah," he said. "That thing you do with the foreheads."
"You don't draw them."
The residents split into two groups - one pretending to be from the bridegroom's side and the other from the bride's family. Accompanied by beats of drums and cymbals, a Hindu priest performed the marriage rituals with turmeric pastes and vermilion splashed on the frog 'couple'.
And amid the chanting of religious hymns - and some croaking of the frogs - the two were declared 'man' and 'wife'.
"My first drawings -- in 1976 -- were scribbled self-portraits. I had no art training and when I drew my face, which -- at the time -- included big glasses, I didn't have room for a nose. The drawings were so cryptic the people at Universal Press Syndicated mistook my rendition of glasses as giant eyeballs, and only wondered why I had drawn lines sticking out on either side of them (they were supposed to be the sides of glasses). They thought the giant eyes, while unusual, were "expressive." So I got rid of the lines, but never got back to figuring out the nose.