Saturday, January 10, 2015

Asterix artist pays tribute to Charlie Hebdo

"Asterix" artist Alberto Uderzo has come out of retirement to pay tribute to cartoonists slain earlier this week in a terrorist attack on the offices of the French satirical newpaper Charlie Hebdo.

Two Uderzo sketches referencing the incident were posted on the official Asterix Twitter feed.

Uderzo, who retired from Asterix in 2011 told Le Figaro:
Charlie and Asterix have nothing to do with each other obviously. I simply want to express my affection for those designers who have paid with their lives. 
Here are the sketches:

Pop artifacts: vintage Doctor Who key rings

Pop culture roundup: Super DC; History of DC mural; Doctor Who bigger in the U.S. than U.K.?; Sherlock Holmes in Fairyland; Phil Spector and the Ramones

Kid Robson shares covers from Super DC, an anthology title of the 1960s that collected Batman and Superman stories for the British market.


More DC: A giant mural showcasing many DC characters has been removed from the lobby of the publisher's New York offices in favor of a new one showing the "New 52" lineup. DC is in the midst of moving its operations to Burbank, so the future of the older mural is unclear.


This year's Christmas episode of "Doctor Who" drew a record audience for the show in the U.S., but in Britain, viewership was down nearly 3 million from Christmas 2011. New Doctor Peter Capaldi also was overlooked for a prominent British TV award. All of which causes the Guardian to ask:
So if Doctor Who is following the Downton ratings trajectory – falling in the UK, rising in the US – can we expect more stetsons and Daleks in Manhattan-type episodes in 2015?

Why was the creator of Sherlock Holmes fooled by photographically manipulated fairies?
In a 1985 television interview on Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers, an elderly Elsie and Frances confessed to their accidental hoax, with Frances remarking of Conan Doyle and other believers, “I can't understand to this day why they were taken in—they wanted to be taken in.”

Music fans have probably heard the story about record producer (and convicted murderer) Phil Spector pulling a gun on the Ramones. Now Marky Ramone tells the full story in a lengthy excerpt from his new memoir.
There were turrets on either side of Phil Spector's Beverly Hills mansion.

...George Brand let us in the front gate, past the fountain, and in through the large wooden entrance doors. The furniture was mostly red velvet from the mid-seventies, which was recent history but receding fast. George led us to the living room, where behind a grand piano sat Phil Spector.

"Ramones! You ready to make the best album of your lives?"

"Yeah, yeah, ready."

Sitting on the love seat was Grandpa Al Lewis. Lewis would forever be connected to the role he made famous on the sixties TV show The Munsters. But I loved him even before that as Officer Schnauser on Car 54, Where Are You? It was surreal seeing him in Phil Spector's living room— or anyone's living room, for that matter. And the next surprise arrived when Grandpa stood up. He was well over six feet tall. In the cowboy boots and ten-gallon western hat, he looked closer to seven feet. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Deluxe, illustrated edition of Will Eisner biography on the way

Coming from Twomorrows Publishing in April, "The Spirited Life" is heavily illustrated new edition of Bob Adelman's biography of cartoonist Will Eisner.

The book is available for pre-order from Amazon now. Details:
An expanded, full-color deluxe edition of the out-of-print biography that explores the fascinating life of Will Eisner, detailing a more than 70-year career where he spearheaded comics for adult readers and created the first widely accepted graphic novel, A Contract with God. 
Eisner's influence has been felt by such diverse talents as Batman creator Bob Kane and Jack Kirby, as well as underground comics legend R. Crumb and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists Jules Feiffer and Art Spiegelman - all have hailed Eisner's cinematic approach to comics, and his enduring character The Spirit. 
From his childhood to famously turning down a proposal for Superman, to educating Army soldiers in P.S. Magazine, Eisner's personal and professional life is told in dramatic detail. 
Author Bob Andelman spent almost three years interviewing Eisner prior to his passing, researching his life and work and interviewing friends, family, and colleagues including Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Denis Kitchen, Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Jules Feiffer, Neal Adams, and Patrick McDonnell. 
In addition to hundreds of full-color images from Will's archives and private collections (not found in the original edition), this expanded Deluxe Edition includes a series of new interviews with Drew Friedman, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Sergio Aragones, Michael Uslan, and others, which clear the air on some topics left unfinished by the first edition, and add depth to the reader's knowledge of Eisner's body of work. 
Featuring an insightful introduction by Michael Chabon.

Netflix announces airdate for Marvel's Daredevil series

Check out the poster:

Here's the first Ant-Man trailer!

Behind the scenes pic: Psycho

New comics and more Jan. 7, 2015: Showcase Presents Unknown Soldier; Steve Canyon 1955-56; Tom Sutton's Creepy Things; Wally Wood sci-fi; Batman 1966 car decal

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Showcase Presents Unknown Soldier Vol. 2
The Unknown Soldier's mission deep behind enemy lines continues in these stories from STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #189-204 and UNKNOWN SOLDIER #205-226.

Steve Canyon Volume 5: 1955-1956
Milton Caniff's square-jawed hero is back in the Orient and crossing paths with old friends and new enemies. Doe Redwood and the Hall family reappear on the scene, as does another young friend who is working hard to grow up. There are also more hearts and flowers in store within the tangled web that ensnares Steve, Summer Olson, and Copper Calhoon, while Happy Easter returns stateside but ends up having a Gay old time on the Savannah. As 1956 races to a conclusion, a new member of the Canyon clan steps on-stage-get ready to meet Cousin Poteet!

Tom Sutton's Creepy Things
Get ready for a mind-bending walk on the weird side with the very best of Tom Sutton's 1970s horror tales for Charlton Comics! Sutton was at his most expressionistic and experimental with the scores of stories he drew for Charlton's "ghost" line, whose titles said it all: Creepy Things, Ghostly Tales, The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves, and more. A full sixteen stories, unpublished art, and more than a dozen of his creepy-crawly covers are faithfully reproduced from rare original artwork!  Edited by Michael Ambrose, editor of the insightful Charlton Spotlight magazine, who provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes introduction profusely illustrated with rare art and photos. Dementedly designed by Donnie "Lum and Abner" Pitchford.

Spawn of Mars and Other Stories
The science fiction genre owes a debt, especially visually, to EC Comics, and this highly anticipated Wallace Wood collection shows why. It features over two dozen comics stories drawn in Wood's meticulously detailed brushwork (his "lived in" spaceship interiors helped inspire Star Wars' Millennium Falcon). And with titles like “Spawn of Mars,” “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “A Trip to a Star,” “The Invaders,” “The Secret of Saturn’s Ring,” and “The Two-Century Journey,” how can you go wrong? Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Spawn of Mars and Other Stories features essays and notes by EC experts on these superbly crafted, classic comic book masterpieces. Black & white

Batman Classic 1966 TV Series Logo Car Window Sticker Decal