If you find this guide helpful, please subscribe, like and use the link below and give love to my sponsors. Come back next installment for more!
If you find this guide helpful, please subscribe, like and use the link below and give love to my sponsors. Come back next installment for more!
BATMAN: KELLEY JONES Regular Edition
248 pgs • 12′ x 17″ • Smyth-Sewn Hardcover
“Graphitti Designs proudly launches their new, large-format hardcover book series with BATMAN: KELLEY JONES GALLERY EDITION. For the first time ever, Dark Knight fans and collectors will have the opportunity to see and own museum-quality reproductions of memorable Batman art…as it was originally conceived by the artist. Printed in color from high-resolution scans of the actual original art, this first entry in Graphitti Designs’ new Gallery Editions line replicates the look, feel and attitude of the artwork. Every page is reproduced at original size on heavy paper stock, capturing the artwork – stray pencil marks, whiteout, coffee stains and all! The pages are alive with all of the subtleties and nuances one would expect from investment-quality original comic art.
BATMAN: KELLEY JONES GALLERY EDITION is the first in a series of deluxe, hardcover books from Graphitti Designs that faithfully reproduces the original art from select, key DC Comics series. This inaugural volume contains the covers and interior pages from BATMAN #515 through #525, minus the interior of issue #520, which Kelley did not draw. These stories are written by Doug Moench, with most pages inked by John Beatty.
Graphitti Designs’ Gallery Editions reproduce the look, feel and attitude of the original art as it was originally created by the artist. Though it appears to be printed in black and white, the contents of these books are sourced from high-resolution, full color scans taken directly from the artwork. Each high-quality, Smythe-sewn hardcover book captures every detail of the art at actual-size, and are printed at 200 line-screen on a rich, heavy paper stock. Replicating the original art experience is our goal. Our Gallery Editions are the next best thing to holding the original art in your hands – and easier on the wallet, too!”
The best available films of and about the great Suspense Director Henri-Georges Clouzot
In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their expensive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur) is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France s legendary master of suspense Henri Georges-Clouzot.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
Restored high-definition digital transfer with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Video interviews with assistant director Michel Romanoff and Henri-Georges Clouzot biographer Marc Godin
Interview with Yves Montand from 1988
Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant, a 2004 documentary on the director s career
Censored, an analysis of cuts made to the film for its 1955 U.S. release
PLUS: An booklet featuring an essay by novelist Dennis Lehane
A big, masterly movie…it joyfully scares the living hell out of you as it reveals something about the human condition. –Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot (Le corbeau, The Wages of Fear), which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of a sadistic school headmaster—who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and unforgettably scary images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret (Casque d’or, Army of Shadows), Vera Clouzot (The Wages of Fear), and Paul Meurisse (Le deuxième souffle, Army of Shadows).
New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray editionSelected-scene commentary by French-film scholar Kelley Conway
New video interview with Serge Bromberg, codirector of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s, Inferno
New video interview with horror film expert Kim Newman
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty
This masterful adaptation of Prévost s 1731 novel Manon Lescaut marks quite a departure for Henri-Georges Clouzot, the French director lauded for his acclaimed thrillers The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques.
A classical tragic romance transposed to a World War II setting, Clouzot s film follows the travails of Manon (Cécile Aubry), a village girl accused of collaborating with the Nazis who is rescued from imminent execution by a former French Resistance fighter (Michel Auclair). The couple move to Paris, but their relationship turns stormy as they struggle to survive, resorting to profiteering, prostitution and even murder. Eventually escaping to Palestine, the pair attempt a treacherous desert crossing in search of the happiness which seems to forever elude them…
Clouzot s astute portrayal of doomed young lovers caught in the disarray of post-war France wowed the jury of the 1949 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion award. Unjustly overshadowed ever since by the director s suspense films, Manon now returns to screens in glorious High Definition with a selection of elucidating extras.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of thriller masterpieces Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear, began work on his most ambitious film yet.
Set in a beautiful lake side resort in the Auvergne region of France, L’Enfer (Inferno) was to be a sun scorched elucidation on the dark depths of jealousy starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager (Serge Reggiani). However, despite huge expectations, major studio backing and an unlimited budget, after three weeks the production collapsed under the weight of arguments, technical complications and illness.
In this compelling, award-winning documentary Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea present Inferno’s incredible expressionistic original rushes, screen tests, and on-location footage, whilst also reconstructing Clouzot’s original vision, and shedding light on the ill-fated endeavor through interviews, dramatizations of unfilmed scenes, and Clouzot’s own notes.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
The final film of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) brilliant career, La Prisonnière (1968) is a sensuously colorful film of voyeuristic sexual obsession. It maps a love triangle between abstract sculptor Gilbert (Bernard Fresson), his TV editor girlfriend Josée (Elisabeth Wiener), and art gallery owner Stanislas (Laurent Terzieff). At an art opening, Gilbert ditches Josée, so she ends up going home with Stanislas, who shows her a photograph of a woman in bondage. The image is shocking and alluring, and Josée asks to attend his next erotic photo shoot, her first step in unlocking the depths of her desires. Making full use of the psychedelic optical effects that Clouzot developed for the unfinished L’Enfer, La Prisonnière is a visionary swansong for this legendary cinema artist.
Special Features: Audio commentary by film historian Kat Ellinger • Booklet essay by film critic Elena Lazic The Rebellious Elisabeth Wiener (25 minutes) • Trailer
Since there is little talk about “La Prisonnière” when ever there is some kind of documentary or article about Henri-Georges Clouzot , It hasn’t been shown on TV for a very long time and so I thought it must be a weak film, probably done with a small budget and only half-heartedly because of bad health. Boy, was I wrong! After Clouzot’s collapse at the filming of “L’Enfer” he had to refrain from filming for some time. He already had a breakdown earlier in his career and his reputation for being excessively obsessed with perfection was very likely the reason for it. He filmed only every few years because he planned his films methodically. After the disaster of “L’Enfer” it looked as if he had to retire because of his health problems. But he recovered and was able to finish one more film.
When you have seen the documentary “L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot” then you know that all the tests he had made for it have not been in vain. “La Prisonnière” looks very much like another try on “L’Enfer” from a different point of view. The strange lightning tests he made with Romy Schneider, Dany Carrel and Serge Reggiani and the experiments with shapes and optical illusions, that all and much more went into “Le Prisonnière”. And here it makes more sense than in “L’Enfer” since the male character is an art collector and gallery owner who exhibits modern designs. From all we can see of the fragments of “L’Enfer” through “L’Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot” it would have been a great film. And since so many good ideas could not be used there, he gave them all to “La Prisonnière” – and it is a great film! There are pure cinematic moments in this film too, and I had a feeling that Clouzot realized this would be his last film and he wanted to use everything that he had not tried yet and to finish with a bang.
Use the link below to get your issues today:
If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, please subscribe, leave a like and comment. And what are your favorite cover runs, or cover artists/artwork?
Till next time… be well!!
‘The fascinating thing about the writers who were working in Pulps, was they were writing what was considered disposable fiction, trash. I mean, most of these stories you’d read them and throw them out, and yet… the top writers in these fields, whether Westerns or Science Fiction or Horror or Mystery, they are now considered the literary giants of the 20th century.’
A word about subscribing, there are a lot of demands on our time, too much for all of us to be aware of all the cool people and cool things, we might like to be aware of. Wednesday Words was a well received feature I did years ago, and it was just a quick touch on people whose name and work you may want to have on your radar. Subscribing will get you, every two weeks a very short, but very informative edition of WEDNESDAY WORDS.
So if you haven’t subscribed, please do, and bring a friend with you. Collaborating, especially in these oft marginalizing times… seems like the right answer.
SYFYWIRE’s Matthew Funk says it best when they say…
“G.I. Combat #88
Kubert’s contributions to the visual language of war stories can’t be overstated, and this cover proves as much. This is very Stanley Kubrick-style imagery, but the comic predates Full Metal Jacket by 26 years. Kubert was creating iconic, haunting, and cinematic images of war that would influence generations of storytellers.”
Ready to own some of these great comic books?
Then use the link below and start ordering:
BATMAN: SECRETS-SAM KIETH Gallery Edition
248 pgs • 12 x 17″ • Smyth-Sewn Hardcover
AVAILABLE FEB. 14
BATMAN: SECRETS series, this large-format, Smythe-sewn hardcover edition is sourced from and captures the look and feel of the original boards. Rounding out this 248- page presentation is the complete art from BATMAN: CONFIDENTIAL #40, BATMAN/LOBO #1, Kieth’s eight-page story from BATMAN #38 and an extensive gallery section containing covers and pages from SCRATCH, ARKHAM ASYLUM: MADNESS and BATMAN: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.
Graphitti Designs’ Gallery Editions replicate the look, feel and attitude of the original artwork. Every page is reproduced at full board size on heavy paper stock to provide fans and collectors with museum-quality reproductions that are unobtainable from any other source.
Containing samples of Kieth’s art from his early days (1992) to the present (2015), this book gives the fan, collector and art student a never-before-seen overview of his incredible work.
Auction of the Day Link:
First Point, Youtube via your laptop or computer I find annoying and not worth your time.
Youtube via Roku, on my big screen TV, and absent all stupid comments I find incredibly useful and watchable.
Here without further ado, my additional points, Youtube Winners and Losers for First Quarter 2018.
I like buying artbooks, and graphic novels, and collected editions, so I find some of these channels very helpful in helping me decide if an item is worth buying. Especially when you are dealing with something like artist editions that can run hundreds of dollars.
So here are channels that helped me make great purchase decisions.
GABE INFINITY WATCH
GEM MINT COLLECTIBLES
NEAR MINT CONDITION
WALT’S COMIC BOOK CHANNEL
Anyone who uses acronym’s such as SJW in their headlines, or as a snarky insult (I’m looking at DIVERSITY & COMICS channel, which is not about Diversity and is not about comics, but is about click baiting and laziness) is generally not a channel you should support or be subscribed to. The thing with acronyms is you end up blindly lumping things together that have nothing to do with each other. And instead of dealing with a specific argument, you tend to become the very caricature you are arguing against. You become as misinformed, in your ‘lumping together and your stigmatizing’ as those you accuse of lumping together and stigmatizing others.
Here’s the thing, we are all of us (if not idiots) more than the party line.
Let me say that again, we are all of us more than the party line.
Whatever party you choose to support this day or that. We are conservative when it comes to some things, liberal when it comes to some things. And biased when it comes to some things.
I’m not a fan of witch-hunts. Whether that is the Salem Witch trials, or the McCarthy Witch Trials. Or today’s sexual harassment witch trials. I believe no one should lose their job or be punished, based on unproven allegations. I believe people are innocent till proven guilty in a COURT OF LAW. That goes for Cosby, or Weinstein, or Lauer, or Singer or Spacey, or Gibson, or as it affects comics, Berganza.
I do not like mobs. And I do not like Mob mentalities, and I do not like knee jerk responses, and I do not like talk show mentalities, and most of all I don’t like people tried on twitter and Youtube, and based on the accusations of the unproven, the opinions of the uninvolved, and the fear, and in some cases the vendettas of the powerful, people before trial… are tried and punished.
I do not like it.
Not when it comes to movies, or sports, or newscasters, or the medium of comic-books.
I do not know Editor Berganza from a hole in the wall. He could well be guilty. My problem he was fired on allegations rather than proof. As were all those I’ve mentioned. Accolades and awards and honors they have earned, stripped from them at the merest whiff of scandal. So until proven guilty, a man is innocent, and should be treated as such. I don’t like that comic book artist Adrian Syaf was fired for placing the numbers ‘212’ and the number ‘5:51’ in the background of drawings. Artists sneaking easter eggs into the background of drawings is not new for comics or any other medium. And how that is any different from Christians putting bible verses in the background of their scenes. Long story short, it isn’t. That’s what an editor is for to catch that stuff, and if you don’t you don’t. Based on the agregiousness of it, you take the appropriate action. Which usually involves a good talking to, not ruining someone’s career.
So I do not like witch hunts..
Whether led by a republican, a lesbian, a trans-gender person, a bigot, I do not like witch-hunts. You have a case, prove it in a court of law, not by gathering lynch mobs.
And this overreacting is on both sides of the fence, and the quickness to throw broad dismissive labels, obscures the fact of what you are fighting against, and what you are fighting for.
That is the folly of labels, it makes people side with fools, and fools lead good men to horrible acts.
Labels and acronyms are always shorthand for the lazy, who can’t be bothered to know what or who they are really arguing against or about. If you are using the acronym SJW you might as well carve a swastika in your forehead because that’s the level you are arguing on.
We are all of us gradations of right, and gradations of wrong, and we are all gradations of irrational.
Being aware of those places where the unfair and the fair fight for possession of our soul, being aware of our culpability in any argument, makes us less likely to glibly go along with the mob, or those who would throw the first and last stone.
Being unaware that anyone who uses the term SJW or dem or repub, is in and of himself, guilty of being the exact same thing they would denigrate; makes you ignorant.
But that is fine, we are all ignorant of something.
Staying ignorant however, makes you stupid or evil.
And that is not fine.
You have to know in any argument, you may not be on the side of the right. And you must learn to accept no truth you went to bed with, as the truth you’ll wake up with. Only through constant questioning of yourself, and the things you love and the things you hate, and the things you believe, can you grow and stay on the right side of those things.
And just as surely… assuming you are always right, especially your side or group or acronym is always right, is the surest way to go marching down the road to hell.
Deep waters for Youtube and comics, huh?
Here is the thing, it doesn’t matter over what we conflict, How seemingly trivial or important. it matters that we always know, the conflict is with ourselves first. And reason and right is not a given, it must be continually retried within ourselves.
I generally do not gravitate to comics that have trans-gendered or homosexual people in it. That has nothing to do with either of those groups, and everything to do with me. I would like to think it is less about homophobia and more my aversion and dislike of talk shows and reality shows and Lifetime movies, and not wanting that in my comic. Though definitely homophobia plays a part. But mostly its an aversion to those topics heavy handedly crowbarred into what should be a a superhero/action genre. That was my problem with Supergirl Season 2. And why I stopped watching it. It was the gay subplot, handled incredibly annoyingly.
Now contrast that to JH Williams III’s BATWOMAN which was a brilliant superhero book, that just so happened to have a Lesbian character. Or Priest’s DEATHSTROKE with its bisexual character, and these things aren’t written in 20 point type, it’s just another brilliantly layered part, or a brilliant superhero story.
But most people aren’t as talented as a Priest or Williams, so when my comic reads more like a mission statement it is time for me to find a different comicbook.
And it is specifically a superhero/comic related bias, I have an archaic definition of what Superhero and other comics are and should be, an idea that works for me. An idea of what entertains me in comics, So I understand this bias in me, and I buy the comics that appeal. However I’m not going to have a problem with their being homosexual or trans-gendered comics or creators, that do want to focus on the lifetime channel or talk show extremes. If there is an audience for those stories great. I won’t be reading them, but neither am I going to have a fit because these stories or creators or characters exist. And that is because I ‘m good with the world being what it is, and me being what I am, and I am aware what part of the failing is me rather than the world.
There is a lot of talk on youtube about social justice warriors, mostly by white men (mostly but not exclusively, there are also enough Black and Brown and Red and Yellow idiots to go around), who see comics by creators not like them, and filled with new characters not like them, and they are not comfortable with that.
That is not a problem. Like I said, I also feel that discomfort for things outside my comfort zone.
But here is the difference, they feel threatened by these things out of their comfort zone, and attack. Rather than allow people to ‘do them’ (as the kids would say), and simply choose to not patronize the books and creators they don’t like, and just buy and read and enjoy the things they do, instead they want to attack, and force the industry to only reflect them and exclude the other.
That is a problem.
It is a problem of ignorance, and it is a problem of fear, and it is a problem of not knowing yourself, that the world is wide and wonderful, and we don’t have to agree to like the same books or like the same creators.
But we do have to agree to, not stop others from liking what they like.
We do have to agree, to fight with ourselves before we fight others, because most of the time when we lose control, and take up arms against others, it is because we haven’t solved something with ourselves.
So that was an incredibly long aside to get you to my list of Youtubers who are doing a disservice to our hobby, by waging war with others, because they can’t just embrace this idea… that ‘you do you’. :).
Case in point…
cAPN C-SUMTHING (not worth remembering the dudes correct channel, or name) – emphasizes one of my pet peeves, people who think having an opinion is enough. When it comes to sharing and broadcasting it to a larger audience, it is not enough to have an opinion. It needs to be an informed. You are sitting in a movie theater, and because you are warm you start screaming fire, and spreading an opinion, that with two seconds to inform that opinion… you may have realized you still have your jacket on, or the person a row in-front of you is smoking; so the theater is not actually on fire. So your initial knee-jerk animal brain opinion may have been ‘fire’, but shouting out that uninformed opinion, in the theater to a crowd, would create panic and possible injuries; whereas a moment to look around and inform that opinion, makes all the difference.
An informed opinion is worth sharing, an uninformed opinion is not. This Capn C-something perfectly illustrates the type of knee-jerk reactionary that is the bane of the Internet and the world.
First he has the money to buy a 100+ dollar Artist Edition, the time and resources to want to do a video on it and share his opinion on it, however he doesn’t even know what it is. When the description of the artist Edition is on every blurb about it, as well as on the back and inside cover You don’t even know what you are buying, and you are trying to do a review on it. Strike one.
Next he’s one of these reactionaries who uses acronyms and labels coined seemingly just to be denigrative. Social Justice Warrior, and then he is too lazy, to use the whole word. The kind who resorts to shorthand like SJW and Dems, the sign of someone who can’t be bothered to research the bandwagon he is jumping on, or the things he supports or objects to in any great depth. Strike two.
Third he sees a post by Christopher Priest, lamenting his pigeonholing by DC Comics as a Black Writer,and Priest stating that a good writer can write characters outside his ethnicity and gender, and that the publishers should not be lead by the ‘twitterverse’ the vocal minority who comments on titles they have not read and subjects they are not informed on. Capn Crumudgeon responds to this by saying ‘this Priest guy gets it’ while showing his ignorance by not knowing the writer currently works for DC and is one of their most acclaimed writers, and that Capn Cummudgeon by definition is the vocal minority Priest is calling out. Priest is not railing against diversity, he’s railing against editorial mandates decided by people who can not be bother to be informed on the positions they take.
Strike 3, you are out. What really lit me up about this, is a lazy acronym user like this guy, has more subscribers than actually informative people like some of the users listed above. It’s like people subscribing to JERRY SPRINGER instead of COSMOS. People stumble across his channel, probably like I did (i did not subscribe to him) because of his numerous Artist Edition reviews, and then he uses that as a platform for this half baked uninformed drivel, posing as a stance or world view. It reminds me of the brain damaged circus that passed for the last presidential debates. Something that debases viewer and viewed. If you are subscribed to this guy, unsubscribe. There are better places to get your book reviews from. And I list a bunch of them above. :).
And to not end on a down note here are more people/channels you should be watching and even subscribing to:
JARED OSBORN- He offers weekly pull list comic book hauls, and the occasional collected edition
POPE CEREBUS THE FIRST-
THE DARK NATE
DRACIR’S COMICS AND THINGS
So any of the above are better than those who embrace attacking the difference of others, rather than simply trying to better understand… the difference of themselves. CAP’N and DIVERSITY (in name only), Youtube channels, come to mind, but any channel using acronyms such as SJW to cloak their ignorance and fear, you should strongly consider unsubscribing from.
Don’t support the uninformed who want to spend their time screaming fire, in a theater where there is no fire. Instead support the above channels that are trying to help people just find the seats, that are a good fit for them.
Here endeth the lesson.
Things lost in the Fire, may yet be found in the Ashes
“There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up. He must have been the first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’re got on damn thing the phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that remember every generation.”
― Ray Bradbury,
“Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.”
― Thomas Paine,
“Father… you speak with absolute assurance, completely convinced that your vision is the only proper way, and like all men who speak thus … you are mad.”
— Steve Englehart, MASTER OF KUNG OMNIBUS VOL 1
Bernie Wrightson, Len Wein, Rich Buckler, Darwyn Cooke, Steve Dillon – great creators lost in 2016/2017
They were not actors, and they were not sports figures, they were creators and myth makers working in an oft castigated medium, but delivering words and images and concepts, that would transcend their newsprint origins and outlive naysayers.
This installment is dedicated to Bernie Wrightson. Over a year into his passing and I wanted to reflect on Wrightson, the artist, again:
Bernie Wrightson had a suitably Baroque name for someone whose beautiful, exquisitely detailed and ornate artwork and sensabilities was the best of the Baroque meets the gothic. I’m an art lover, I own a large selection of art books from Dali to Duncanson, and Wrightson”s mesmerizing FRANKENSTEIN where he created full page plates to accompany Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s celebrated and cautionary tale, remains not just the only version of FRANKENSTEIN one needs own, but one of the most significant art books made in the latter half of the 20th century.
Wrightson quickly proving himself one of the preeminent Pen and Ink artists of all time, up there with the 19th century’s celebrated Louis-Auguste Gustave Dore and the criminally under-heralded mid-20th century Virgil Finlay.
Thankfully, Wrightson’s most lauded work, FRANKENSTEIN, often rumored of rather than seen, was republished by DARK HORSE BOOKS in the 21st century, in an even better quality version.
In this writer’s opinion it is a book, not just any American household should have, but all households should have. The myth of Frankenstein is old and oft told, but you will not find it better told in print anywhere, than in this pairing of Wollstonecraft and Wrightson.
It is currently out of print, but I see this book as one that Dark Horse will bring back in print. Especially considering next year, 2018, marks the 35 year anniversay of the book’s initial release.
As far as Gustave Dore, here’s a nice affordable coffee table overview of his work:
And Virgil Finlay,
This remains the best introduction and overview of his work, including many of his quality works that fail to show up in later versions. Unfortunately a softcover, however do what I do, pay a book binder to make a hardcover out of it.
And a few other departed genius that deserve mention in the above company… Segio Toppi, Franklin Booth and Basil Wolverton:
And some living, breathing pen and ink geniuses that you should be seeking out, buying their books, hiring for projects? Glad you asked, they are:
A very prolific and in-demand artist, Bradstreet’s MAXIMUM BLACK art book dates from the turn of the century. A new collection of his art, covering the work he has done in the two decades since, would make a welcome addition to this first book.
Chichoni: Mekanika – A game, film, and dimensional artist, Chichoni does very little printed work. This is his only art book to-date. That it is also one of the best artbooks, only makes it more pressing that he does another one. His art is that good.
Andy Brase – This guy is going to be huge. Looking forward to his first artbook.
Stephen Bissette & John Totleben ( yes I’m cheating here)- Bissette’s pencils married to Totleben’s inking, on DC’s revamping of floundering title SWAMP THING, with evolutionary writing by relative newcomer Alan Moore, and all of it mid-wifed into being by the late great Len Wen, remains, 30+ years later, seminal, ground breaking and unsurpassed work. And Bissette not only as instructor for new generations of creators, but as scholor and historian and reviewer and Indie Comic supporter remains an essential and insightful voice for the medium of words and pictures. His podcast interviews on a variety of shows, starting with the late Indie Spinner Rack, remains, like his artwork, top notch. I’ve sought out podcasts he has done, and each one reveals more about comics as hobby, as job, as calling, as artform, and as cultural touchstone.
Look for his podcast interviews on MAKING COMICS, INDIE SPINNER RACK, and DECONSTRUCTING COMICS to name some. And in addition he is a prolific reviewer and writer.
Geof Darrow – When you think of detailed, intricate artists, Geof Darrow’s name comes up near the top of the list. Long before there was an IDW publishing doing tabloid sized treatments of famous artists, there was Frank Miller and Geof Darrow ‘s ground breaking tabloid work for Dark Horse Books. A superlative addition to any library.
Predrag Djukic – I will be at the front of the line to get this gentleman’s first artbook
Like any list, this one is also a distillation of the writer’s biases, his experiences, his major passions, and his minor blindspots, as such it can by definition not be comprehensive, only revealing. Chalk up any omissions of your favorite pen&ink artist to my head and not my heart. Brevity demands limiting the list, but shine light on those I have missed, by leaving your comment of those past and those present… deserving of attention!
Thanks for looking!!
During my formative years I discovered this comic SWAMP THING by relative newcomers Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben.
I was a kid, but old enough to realize even then that this was something special. Alan Moore’s words and Bissette and Totleben’s visuals even at the time, and it was a strange time because everything felt in flux and on the brink of changing, even at the time, getting these off the stands, the combination of these three men working together felt like greatness.
And some things are hot in the moment, but some things, some work that is rushed out for the masses, to meet deadlines for a castigated medium, some work screams greatness from the go, and time only makes it more great.
From pioneers like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway and Steve Englehart and Chris Claremont and Kraft and Giffen and O’Neil and Neal Adams and Jim Steranko and Bernie Wrightson there was a new generation building on the foundation they laid down.
Creators such as…
Don Lomax (who I had the pleasure to interview) would give us VIETNAM JOURNAL.
Doug Moench, a pioneer in his own right, off of MASTER OF KUNG FU (issues 38 and 39 remains the best two parter ever) would do some of his most heartfelt work in Moon Knight (that first 21 or 22 issues is gold, everything from dealing with the death of John Lennon, to familial abuse)
Frank Miller would give us DARK KNIGHTS and RONINS and YEAR ONES.
William Messner Loebs would create a frontier masterpiece, unfotunately a hidden gem to most, with JOURNEY.
Bruce Jones – With his TWISTED TALES would almost singlehandedly give birth to a new EC inspired golden age of Horror Comics, but making comics that were horrifying to a Reagan era age.
and of course… Alan Moore.
Alan Moore would birth many such works, particularly in the waning decades of the 20th century. SWAMP THING was one of his earliest successes and remains one of his most iconic works. And for me one of his most beautiful works, working with the art team of Bissette snd Totleben, they were visual storytellers that could really add and evolve and enrich the scope of Moore’s script, throwing in their own ideas and visuals.
It is very much the work of three young men riffing on their loves, and remains now 30 years later still very seminal work.
Bissette in the years since has become one of the most respected instructors, teaching at the celebrated Center for Cartoon Studies in vermont.
One thing you may not know about him, and I first discovered listening to an Indie Spinner Rack podcast episode (that great now defunct show) is he is a FANTASTIC speaker. He is such an engaging and erudite and interesting wealth of information on this beloved hobby and artform and the personalities behind it.
And I love podcasts to begin with, so combining this walking encyclopedia of not just comic lore, but film and film journalism, books, the art of creating, of self publishing, of blogging, and for me… that is entertainment.
So ever since I’ve listened to him, whenever I catch him interviewed on a podcast.
So here without further ado is hours of audio greatness with one of the best artists in Comics, and one of its most engaging speakers.
INDIE SPINNER RACK #79 8 May 2007 – My first introduction to Stephen Bissette post SWAMP THING, this put him on my radar as just a fantastic and informative speaker. A great interview/conversation.
Talkcast #102 8 Oct 2011 – Very annoying hosts makes this one almost unlistenable, but fast forward to where Bissette finally gets to speak about fundraising and HP Lovecraft.
LOST IN THE STATIC #99 -25 Nov 2013- Fun informative hosts lead inro a really compelling interview on Bissette, that includes Edgar Allen Poe, Greg Irons, Skull #6, Moore, Veitch, Totleben and the Saga of the Swamp Thing. Indie work on Gore Shriek, Shriek, and the ground breaking Dave Simm funded TABOO. Structure of TABOO inspired by Harlan Ellison’s brilliant DANGEROUS VISIONS and AGAIN DANGEROUS VISIONS. Bruce Jones TWISTED TALES, X-MEN’S Brood Saga. TABOO designed by Bissette to be taken seriously, and push the envelope and make people ‘drop it on the ground’. Kirby Awards. A must listen podcast.
Adam Greenfield’s great podcast MAKING COMICS has had Stephen Bissette as a guest three times, and all three are brilliant, with nice Vincent Price/Poe Intros. Well worth hunting down. Oct 2014,2015, & 2016.
DECONSTRUCTING COMICS #465,#500 – Sept 2015, June 2016
POD SEQUENTIALISM #2 – October 2015
TV GUIDANCE #228 – May 2017
RADIODROME #323 – Mar 2017
UNDER CONSTRUCTION – Come back as I flesh out the content in all the interviews and conversations!
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