2016 and 2017 : Remembering Writers and Artist – Wrightson & Wollstonecraft and The Best Pen & Ink Artists!

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, Fahrenheit 451

“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, The Age of Reason

“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

 

RIP to:

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.

 

Bernie Wrightsons Frankenstein

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:

The Drawings of Gustave Dore:Illustrations to the Great Classics

And Virgil Finlay,

Book of 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:

Sharaz-de: Tales from the Arabian Nights

The Collector

FRANKLIN BOOTH

Franklin Booth: American Illustrator

 

Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life And Comics Of Basil Wolverton Vol. 1

BASIL WOLVERTON WEIRD WORLDS ARTIST ED HC

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:

Tim Bradstreet

Maximum Black
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.

Oscar Chichoni

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.

Teen Angels & New Mutants

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.

Big Damn Hard Boiled

Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot (King Size B&W) (Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot)

 

Mark Schultz

Mike Hoffman

The Mike Hoffman Comics Reader: 300 Pages Volume One

Tim Vigil

 

Lucas Ruggieri

Predrag Djukic – I will be at the front of the line to get this gentleman’s first artbook

Art Adams

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!!

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What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

 

You can order most items listed below (or earlier issues) by going here:

LONE STAR COMICS

or going here:

from this link you can search for everything else Highlighted in this installment.

IMAGE

Back Issue #81 (C: 0-1-1) -Well last installment we covered comics you can pre-order in March for May shipment, and covered some of the best from a variety of publishers. But we have saved the absolute best publisher and its best books for this installment.

 blksci14

As the Dimensionauts struggle to save a helpless reality from the chaos the Pillar has wrought, their newfound heroics are threatened by one of their own. Is Kadir up to his malicious old ways again?

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Rick Remender
  • Artist: Matteo Scalera, Moreno DiNisio
  • Product Code: MAR150556
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/6/2015

dyingatded5

‘THE CITY’ All our disparate players collide together in an underground City, and it all hinges on an ultimate betrayal.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
  • Product Code: MAR150562
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

inject1

Once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life. INJECTION is the new ongoing series created by the acclaimed creative team of Moon Knight. It is science fiction, tales of horror, strange crime fiction, techno-thriller, and ghost story all at the same time. A serialized sequence of graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting, about the wild future and the haunted past all crashing into the present day at once, and about five eccentric geniuses dealing with the paranormal and numinous as well as the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Warren Ellis
  • Artist: Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150468
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

Once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life. INJECTION is the new ongoing series created by the acclaimed creative team of Moon Knight. It is science fiction, tales of horror, strange crime fiction, techno-thriller, and ghost story all at the same time. A serialized sequence of graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting, about the wild future and the haunted past all crashing into the present day at once, and about five eccentric geniuses dealing with the paranormal and numinous as well as the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Warren Ellis
  • Artist: Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150468
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

 

intersecttpb

The terrifying, surreal journey of the Intersected begins in this volume! Start at the beginning with the book critics have called ‘truly original, truly unreplicable, and truly terrifying…’ Collects INTERSECT #1-6

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer/Artist/Cover: Ray Fawkes
  • Product Code: MAR150538
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

 

intersect

NEW STORY ARC A new chapter in the twisted world of Intersect brings readers to a disturbing new setting, following the story of the mysterious Lady Flock as she flees the remains of Detroit and navigates the new world…

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer/Artist/Cover: Ray Fawkes
  • Product Code: MAR150567
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

lazarus17

 

NEW STORY ARC: ‘POISON,’ Part One The Families are at war, Malcolm hovers at death’s door in the wake of Hock’s assassination attempt, and Forever must hold the line against enemies from without as well as within…including her siblings.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Greg Rucka
  • Artist: Michael Lark
  • Cover Artist: Owen Freeman
  • Product Code: MAR150572
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

manhattanproj3

‘UNRELIABLE’ If you’re depending on a lying robot not to get you into trouble with an intergalactic criminal science organization called the Library, then always bet on Black. The greatest FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE book in the long history of man returns in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS: THE SUN BEYOND THE STARS.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Jonathan Hickman
  • Artist: Nick Pitarra
  • Product Code: MAR150574
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

manifestdest16

One of the crew goes native, while the rest try not to lose their heads. Or get them ripped off. Or bitten off. An issue of unimaginable horror!

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Chris Dingess
  • Artist: Matthew Roberts, Owen Gieni
  • Product Code: MAR150575
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

 

material1

A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed. An actress receives an offer that can revive her career. A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement. A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Look around you. Everything is material.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Alex Kot
  • Artist: Will Tempest
  • Cover Artist: Tom Muller
  • Product Code: MAR150477
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

mythic1

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF $1.99! Science is a lie, an opiate for the masses. The truth is, magic makes the world go ’round. And when magic breaks, MYTHIC fixes it. Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma are the crack field team assigned with keeping the gears of the supernatural world turning, and more importantly, keeping you from ever knowing about it. Join Eisner nominee PHIL HESTER (Green Arrow, The Coffin) and Eisner winner JOHN McCREA (Hitman, The Boys) on their latest expedition to the dark heart of weird comics.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Phil Hester
  • Artist: John McCrea
  • Product Code: MAR150473
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/6/2015

 

nameless4

The world descends into chaos and the astronauts stranded in the Tunnels of Xibalba must endure unspeakable tortures when their captors finally reveal themselves. As all human hopes, fears, doubts, and dreams are subjected to the cruel and merciless scrutiny of an inhuman, sadistic intelligence, is reality collapsing? Or sanity?

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Grant Morrison
  • Artist: Chris Burnham
  • Product Code: MAR150580
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

outcast9

What lurks within.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Robert Kirkman
  • Artist: Paul Azaceta, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • Product Code: MAR150584
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

sex21

The next phase begins right here.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Joe Casey
  • Artist: Piotr Kowalski
  • Product Code: MAR150594
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

spread8

‘THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE’ There is a place that offers sanctuary from the Spread. The only problem? No and company need to escort a group of children through the Spread to get there.

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Justin Jordan
  • Artist: Kyle Strahm, Felipe Sobreiro
  • Product Code: MAR150601
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

surface4

The city mutates. Nasia runs. The ghosts are more than ghosts now-they are real, and decisions are made.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ales Kot
  • Artist: Langdon Foss, Jordie Bellaire
  • Cover Artist: Langdon Foss & Various
  • Product Code: MAR150603
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

notlikeus6

CHAPTER SIX: ‘COMPLICATED SHADOWS’

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Eric Stephenson
  • Artist: Simon Gane, Jordie Bellaire
  • Product Code: MAR150605
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

velvet13

Velvet’s answers begin falling into place, and everything is much worse than she ever thought it would be!

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ed Brubaker
  • Artist: Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • Product Code: MAR150612
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

walkingdead141

Opportunity.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Robert Kirkman
  • Artist: Charlie Adlard & Various
  • Cover Artist: Charlie Adlard, Dave Stewart
  • Product Code: MAR150613
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/13/2015

 

wicked11

The end of Fandemonium. The end of Ragnarock. The end of the arc. The start of something else. Everything’s going to be okay.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Kieron Gillen
  • Artist: Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson
  • Cover Artist: Matthew Wilson, Jamie McKelvie
  • Product Code: MAR150616
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

wytchestpb

SPECIAL LOW INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF $9.99! When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry. Collects WYTCHES #1-6

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Scott Snyder
  • Artist: Jock
  • Product Code: MAR150524
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/20/2015

zero17

There’s still time.

 

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Writer: Ales Kot
  • Artist: Robert Sammelin, Jordie Bellaire
  • Cover Artist: Robert Sammelin, Tom Muller
  • Product Code: MAR150617
  • Expected Ship Date: 5/27/2015

 

the majority of titles listed i read, and the others i am interested in, and have pre-ordered to read. titles like velvet, lazarus, spread, wytches, outcast, manifest destiny are not just good comic books/slims, they are great books. surpassing the quality of most tv shows you’ll find, and the fact that one company, image, produces all these quality books is impressive, to say the least.

if new to graphic literature, or comic books, or slims (pick your name) there is no better company to start with and no better books to start with than those listed above.

use the above links to try them for yourself. We’re getting this month’s list out late, next month april, we’ll get our list out earlier. THANKS FOR PERUSING THIS segment, AND IF YOU FIND IT USEFUL SHOOT ME A MESSAGE.

HAPPY READING!

 

TODAY’S BEST COMIC BOOK AND TPB COVERS

TODAY’S BEST COMIC BOOK AND TPB COVERS

THUNDER AGENTS 2. Hearing nothing but good things about Nick Spencer’s work on this series.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 1

BLACK PANTHER 527. Great Francavilla cover highlights this issue. I’m going to pick up the trades.

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, Vol. 1

Fear Itself: Black Panther: The Man Without Fear
Black Panther – The Most Dangerous Man Alive: The Kingpin of Wakanda

I would also recommend picking up the following Christopher Priest trades to see the character at his best:
Black Panther Vol. 1: The Client
Black Panther: Enemy Of The State TPB

Saw some pages of this horror story that takes place during the era of Napolean. Looks promising.
Black Fire

X-MEN 23- Too many X-MEN books, translates into me being uninterested in reading any of them. That said, that’s a great cover.

AVENGERS ACADEMY 24- Simialy too many avengers books, means I have no interest in reading any of them. That’s the problem with MARVEL/DISNEY comics, they saturate the market, choking their own products/brand to death. It’s like a garden with too many plants, too close together, fighting for soil and light… they all end up dying. That said, another great cover.

VESCELL 5- That’s a great cover. Unfortunately the interior sample pages were just a bunch of talking heads, gabbing on about nothing. Too bad, the cover showed promise.

VAMPIRELLA VS. DRACULA- Great cover.

BLUE ESTATE TPB VOL II- That is a phenomenal cover. Unfortunately the interior art that I saw doesn’t look anything like that, and the writing was pretty darn pedestrian/boring. You can decide for yourself.

Blue Estate Volume 1 TP
Blue Estate Volume 2 TP

FATALE 2- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have for the last few years been making some of the best comics available, and one of the few you really should be buying monthly rather than waiting for the collected edition. Though you can’t go wrong with their CRIMINAL DELUXE EDITION. Their take on pulp noir is always highly recommended.

Criminal (Deluxe Edition)

COMIC BOOK COVERS OF THE DAY

COMIC BOOK COVERS OF THE DAY


ultimates7


ultimatespiderman7


spiderdynamite1


jenniferblood9


warlordofmars10


allstarwestern6


avengers21

You can buy all these comics either from your local comic store, or online. I’ll post various online sellers you can get these from or just drop me an email.

The return of UNDER THE RADAR Vol2 Iss 2! Pt 2 of 2!

Here’s the remainder of recommended pre-order items that will arrive in stores in January (Along with links to buy current issues):

IMAGE COMICS

$3.50 INFINITE VACATION #1

story NICK SPENCER art & Cover CHRISTIAN WARD JANUARY 12 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 WELCOME TO THE INFINITE VACATION, WHERE CHANGING YOUR LIFE IS ALWAYS JUST A CLICK AWAY! Mark lives in a world where alternate realities are up for sale, and buying and trading your way through unlimited variations of yourself is as commonplace as checking your email or updating your status. But when other “hims” start dying suddenly and he meets a mysterious girl who wants nothing to do with “life-changing,” he’ll learn the truth about the universe he stumbles through, and what happens when your vacation turns on you.

I’m hearing good things about this Nick Spencer, I’m pretty sure this is the 3rd of 4 books I’m picking up by him. Hoping the story and writer… impress.

$2.99 INVINCIBLE #80

story ROBERT KIRKMAN art & cover RYAN OTTLEY & FCO PLASCENCIA JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $2.99 DINOSAURUS returns! Hellbent on righting what he sees as wrong in the world he comes face-to-face with Invincible and the result is devastating.

$3.50 MORNING GLORIES #6

story NICK SPENCER art JOE EISMA cover RODIN ESQUELJO JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 Mutually Assured Destruction. “Nick Spencer gives each of our six teens a distinct voice, whereas Joe Eisma gives them each a distinct look. I think this is a case where one is not better than the other, they expertly mesh into a fairly flawless book.” -Newsarama Best Shots “Verdict is that anyone that loved the Runaways needs to check this out. It’s a strong story with awesome artwork. This will be a book I will watch very closely!” -Eric Ratcliff, Comic Related

I was late to the game with the Luna Brothers’ THE SWORD , which was a great series that recently ended. I’m getting the same vibe from MORNING GLORIES. You can pick up the previous issues here.

$3.99 PROOF ENDANGERED #2

story ALEX GRECIAN art & cover RILEY ROSSMO JANUARY 12 32 PAGES / FC $3.99 “ENDANGERED,” Part Two–Proof’s deadliest enemy is going to kill the people Proof cares about. And he’s willing to destroy all of Chinatown to get at them. Elvis and Ginger are in for the fight of their lives and there’s no way they can win unless Proof surrenders himself.

I missed out on the first series of PROOF, so happy to get on board with this new series.

$99.99 SWORD COMPLETE COLL DLX HC #1

If you can afford it, I highly recommend the Luna Brothers’ THE SWORD. I own the original issues and I’m still tempted to get this oversized collected edition. It’s odd about the art of the Luna Brothers, the cover artwork I don’t typically find impressive, it can look very stilted, but their interiors I find excellent. They are very good storytellers. Try preordering this book to get it for at least 30% off.

$100.00 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS HC VOL 03 (MR) #3

story ROBERT KIRKMAN art & cover CHARLIE ADLARD & CLIFF RATHBURN JANUARY 5 560 PAGES / B&W $100.00 S&N LTD ED $150.00 This deluxe hardcover features the next 24 issues of the hit series along with the covers for the issues all in one massive, oversized slip-cased volume. Perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead. Strictly limited to a print run of 3000. Collects THE WALKING DEAD #49-72 WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

I had owned the previous two omnibuses, but sold them both for multiples of what I paid for them, and now I’m kicking myself, because it would be nice to have them back. So I’m definitely buying this one. The quality goes up and down, but I’m generally now convinced of writer Kirkman’s skill, and am along for the ride. And I don’t even like ghoul/zombie movies or books!

$3.50 WEIRD WORLD OF JACK STAFF #9

story PAUL GRIST art / cover PAUL GRIST & BILL CRABTREE JANUARY 26 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 Sgt. States is the embodiment of the American Dream–a symbol of hope in a time of despair. He’s also a bloodsucking vampire killer, but everyone has their dark side. But what could make Sgt. States seek out the help of his former teammate, Jack Staff, and the woman he killed, Becky Burdock?

$2.99 MURDERLAND #5

story STEPHEN SCOTT art DAVID HAHN & GUILLEM MARI JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $2.99 “LOOSE ENDS & FRIENDS”–Before The Arabber renews his pledge of non-violence, he has a pair of loose ends to tie up: The Fairy Bombs. But to any roller derby squad, there are more than just two players. It may be hard to kill the Arabber, but it isn’t impossible. WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

DARK HORSE COMICS

$24.99 FINDER LIBRARY TP VOL 1

Carla Speed McNeil (W/A) On sale Mar 16 b&w, 616 pages $24.99 TPB, 6″ x 9″ Lose yourself in a world beyond your wildest dreams… Since 1996, Finder has set the bar for science-fiction storytelling, with a lush, intricate world and compelling characters. Now, Dark Horse is proud to present the first four story arcs of Carla Speed McNeil’s groundbreaking series in a single, affordably priced volume! Follow enigmatic hero Jaeger through a “glorious, catholic pileup of high-tech SF, fannish fantasy, and street-level culture clash” (Village Voice), and discover the lush world and compelling characters that have carved Finder a permanent place in the pantheon of independent comics. * This first of two Finder Library volumes collects the multiple Eisner Award-nominated story arcs Sin Eater, King of Cats, and fan-favorite Talisman. * Introduction by Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics).

IDW

$39.99 AMAZING 3D COMICS HC

(W/A) Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bob Powell, Al Jaffee, Russ Heath, Milt Stein, Alex Toth, and more (C) Various Before there were 3-D movies, there were 3-D comics! In the mid-fifties, comic-book great Joe Kubert hit upon the idea of doing comics in 3-D, which resulted in some of the best-selling comics of all time–print runs in the millions! Eisner Award-winner Craig Yoe collects the best of these stories and samples by artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bob Powell, Al Jaffee, Russ Heath, Milt Stein, Alex Toth, and many more. Carefully re-mastered and reproduced in large format so that every dynamic, eye-popping effect can be looked at in astonishment. The comics cover every genre: superhero, jungle adventures, horror comics, science fiction, funny animals, satire, western and romance! The fascinating behind the scenes introduction is by the mastermind behind 3-D comics himself, Mr. Joe Kubert! Rare art and ephemera as only Yoe Books does it. And, yes, of course, this book comes with special FREE 3-D GLASSES! BUT WAIT! There’s more! This must-have hardback book has a special lenticular 3-D cover that puts the amazing in Amazing 3-D Comics! Expected in-store date: 1/19/11 HC, 9×11, 176pgs, FC $39.99

AARDVARK VANAHEIM

$3.00 GLAMOURPUSS #17

(W/A) Dave Sim glamourpuss “tees off” on “honor killings” by certain unnamed South Asian and Middle Eastern religions while Dave Sim provides the cover feature, “The Wit and Wisdom of JFK.” In the History of Photorealism in Comics section, the events of September 6, 1956 continue to unfold. 24pgs, B&W $3.00

I’m not a fan of Dave Sim’s views, but I find his artwork/history rumination in the pages of this mag, extremely compelling. Pick up current and previous issues
here.

ANTARCTIC PRESS

$3.99 SARAH PALIN VS WORLD ONE-SHOT

(W) Fred Perry (A) Ben Dunn Sarah Palin — politician, author, commentator… maverick. She’s on the way to meet her dream job. But to get it, she’s got to defeat some of the nastiest opponents in the country. From career politicos to “gotcha” media men to secret service agents, they all want some control of her dream. Has she got what it takes to beat the world? You betcha! 32pgs, B&W $3.99

Not a Palin fan. But to be fair I don’t like most people, but still this looks idiotic enough to give me a chuckle or two.

$3.99 TIME LINCOLN CUBA COMMANDER ONE-SHOT

(W/A) Fred Perry Time Lincoln his Travelers Team journey to the Bay of Pigs on April 1st, 1961 to face Cuba Commander and his Chronocommunists! The villains plan to have their own monstrous agents replace key CIA operatives who are running a secret mission in Cuba, turning the whole country into a massive atomic “time bomb” factory. Things turn sour for both Time Lincoln and Void Stalin when Cuba Commander double-crosses his leader and traps everyone within a paradoxical vortex. Now Stalin’s only hope for escape is the Travelers Team, and Lincoln’s salvation lies with the Chronocommunist cabal! 32pgs, FC $3.99

Wow! What an insane description. Have no idea what it means, but I’m interested.

$3.99 SOCORRO #2 (OF 2)

(W) Steven Grant (A) Tony O’ Donnell, Adam Sutherland Socorro is a CIA-trained former soldier of a brutal Latin American dictatorship. When he finds that he cannot stomach the atrocities of his superiors, he escapes to Los Angeles and begins a one-man crusade to bring justice to the poor, the disenfranchised, and those with nowhere else to turn. Created and written by comic legend Steven Grant (Punisher, 2 Guns)! 32pgs, FC $3.99

APE ENTERTAINMENT

FREAKSHOW #1 (OF 3)
(W) David Server, Jackson Lanzing (A) Joe Suitor Ape Entertainment’s long-awaited dark superhero epic launches with a giant-sized debut issue! When five refugee survivors develop monstrous mutations from a devastating chemical explosion that leaves their city in ruins, they band together to seek revenge. But do these terrifying new abilities make them monsters — or heroes? 48pgs, FC (1 of 3) $3.95

$6.95 TEDDY SCARES RASPUTINS REVENGE GN

(W) Jim Hankins (A) Various The Teddy Scares are back for vengeance in the second season premiere! Artist Rob Guillory and Rolando Mallada head up a twisted group of artists in this latest installment, which features a revelation about Rita’s past and a fight for the dump with the terrifying Rasputin! (C: 0-0-1) 6×9, 52pgs, FC $6.95

ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

$14.95 TUMOR HC W/ DUST JACKET

(W) Joshua Hale Fialkov (A) Noel Tuazon Frank Armstrong has an inoperable brain tumor that’s killing him. In his final days, with his body, senses, and mind failing him, he’s going to do the one thing that he’s never been able to do before — save the girl. After debuting on the Amazon Kindle and holding the #1 spot on the Kindle Graphic Novel Bestseller list for over two months, Archaia is pleased to bring this acclaimed graphic novel to print! (NOV090604) (C: 0-1-2) MATURE THEMES HC, 6×9, 224pgs, FC $14.95

$3.95 FREAKSHOW #1 (OF 3)

(W) David Server, Jackson Lanzing (A) Joe Suitor Ape Entertainment’s long-awaited dark superhero epic launches with a giant-sized debut issue! When five refugee survivors develop monstrous mutations from a devastating chemical explosion that leaves their city in ruins, they band together to seek revenge. But do these terrifying new abilities make them monsters — or heroes? 48pgs, FC (1 of 3) $3.95

ASPEN MLT INC

$2.99 LADY MECHANIKA #2 CVR A BENITEZ

(W/A) Joe Benitez THERE’S A NEW LADY IN TOWN! From the imaginative mind of Joe Benitez with colors by the incomparable Peter Steigerwald, comes this all-new supernatural action-adventure series! The tabloids dubbed her “LADY MECHANIKA”, the sole survivor of a psychotic serial killer’s three-year rampage through London. Found locked in an abandoned laboratory amidst countless corpses and body parts, with her own limbs amputated and replaced with mechanical components, her life began anew. With no memory of her captivity or her former life, LADY MECHANIKA eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. But, she has never stopped searching for answers… Now, disturbed by haunting memories from her past, LADY MECHANIKA is consumed by a need for answers and focuses all her efforts on investigating the mystery of the Mechanical Girl. The trail leads her to a traveling show run by a band of gypsies, where help might not come as easily as anticipated. But even with the aid of the Gypsy Queen, can LADY MECHANIKA discover who created the Mechanical Girl and why? And will the answers bring her one step closer to uncovering the truth about herself? LADY MECHANIKA#2 is in stores January 12th, 2011! FC, 32pgs $2.99

BONGO COMICS

FUTURAMA COMICS #53
(W) Rogers (A) Kazaleh, Pepoy A volatile cargo, a damaged ship, no food or water or means of communication to the outside world, and a renegade group of cannibalistic robots are all part of the Planet Express crew’s latest mission. And this time it looks like Professor Farnsworth will be paying his employees in wages of fear! 32pgs, FC $2.99

$2.80 SIMPSONS CLASSICS #27
(W/A) Matt Groening When Moe’s gall bladder goes on the fritz, Homer, Carl, Lenny, and Barney are forced to face the prospect of life without beer — unless Moe’s Bar’s best barflies bound from their barstools becoming bartenders to save their buddy’s bread and butter. Then, Homer drives a tank to work, escalating tensions and hurl Springfield toward the brink of destruction! Magazine, SC, 64pgs, FC $3.99

$2.10 SIMPSONS COMICS #174
(W) Boothby (A) Ortiz, DeCarlo While Lisa’s best humanitarian instincts lead her to restore an injured owl to health, Homer’s base behavior towards his fellow man intrigues Mr. Burns, who takes advantage of those qualities in a “get rich quick” real estate scheme. SC, 32pgs, FC $2.99

BOOM! STUDIOS

$3.00 (save $0.99) 28 DAYS LATER #19
(W) Michael Alan Nelson (A) Ale Aragon Britain is destroyed. The U.S. Military is trying to re-build the island. Someone in their ranks has their sights on Selena. Can Clint and Selena survive the Infected while also being hunted down by a rogue agent? You’ll know by the end of this senses-shattering issue of the horror series that continues to shock fans everywhere! Cover by Sean Phillips. SC, 32pgs, FC $3.99

I was not a fan of the movies, but I’m hearing good things about this series. Pick up previous issues or the trade
here.

$3.00 (save $0.99) WALT DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES #715
(W/A) Daan Jippes, Carl Barks, Don Rosa Classics are back at BOOM! Celebrating 70 years of Walt Disney’s comics, this oversized anniversary issue proudly presents some of the greatest Disney stories ever told! Join Donald, Mickey and the gang for the unforgettable adventure “70th Heaven!” by Daan Jippes in its American publishing debut. Check out the previously untitled Li’l Bad Wolf/Donald Duck tale by Gill Turner in its first appearance since 1950! See Ruud Straatman & Don Rosa’s Daisy Duck story “Forget Me Not” from 1989, and the 1969 Carl Barks written “Life Savers” story, redrawn by Jippes in the Barks style and staring those Junior Woodchucks — published for the first time in the U.S.! (C: 1-0-0) 40pgs, FC $3.99 (preview artwork is available)

BROADSWORD COMICS

$2.95 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #66

(W/A) Jim Balent “The Trickster God,” Part 1: “Loki.” A thunder god falls to earth. A trickster god demands that Raven Hex be his mistress. Salem is cut off from the rest of the world. Tarot and her mother are imprisoned. A lone Graveyard Guardian with a legendary hammer in his hands sets off on a fatal quest to take on a God. MATURE THEMES SC, 32pgs, FC $2.95

KING HELL

$16.95 SHINY BEASTS GN

(W/A) Veitch (W) Alan Moore (A) S.R. Bissette Another showcase of Rick Veitch’s innovative Epic Magazine stories that seared the minds of a generation of Marvelites. These nine fully-painted fantasy shorts create unimagined worlds that entertain, enlighten, shock, and horrify. Completely remastered from the original art, this volume includes “Love Doesn’t Last Forever” (written by Alan Moore) and “Monkey See” (with S.R. Bissette). (FEB073614) MATURE THEMES SC, 10×8, 84pgs, FC $16.95

MOONSTONE

$2.99 SPIDER #1

(W) Martin Powell, Gary Phillips (A) Pablo Marcos, Roberto Castro For the first time ever, since his beginnings in 1933, The Spider now has his own ongoing straight-up comic book series! The most relentless destroyer of the guilty the world has ever seen is back in all of his “bloody pulp” action! There was no escape for Nita Van Sloan, abducted by a horde of inhuman monstrosities, doomed to become the victim of a diabolical experiment. The Spider, Master of Men, strikes back with a vengeance, fighting alone against the brutally brilliant creator of the Frankenstein Legion, in a desperate race against time to save the only woman who shares his darkest secrets! Covers by Dan Brereton and Doug Pagacz. (C: 0-1-0) 32pgs, FC $2.99

$7.99 SPIDER BURNING LEAD FOR THE WALKING DEAD GN

(W/A) Mark Wheatley Eisner Award-winner Mark Wheatley brings us a plague of blood crazed zombies that are spreading across the city. Only the swift cold justice of The Spider stands between the remnants of humanity and the hoards of the Cannibal Queen. Will even The Spider have enough burning lead for the walking dead? 7×10, 64pgs, B&W $7.99

NBM

$20.00 FRACTURE OF THE UNIVERSAL BOY GN

(W/A) Michael Zulli The acclaimed Sandman illustrator retreated for years to produce this semi-autobiographical tale that takes readers into the most treacherous recesses of the human experience. Nearly two decades in the making, Fracture is less a graphic novel and more a self-exorcism onto the printed page, evidence of how emotionally explosive graphic novels can be. MATURE THEMES SC, 208pgs, B&W $20.00

ONI

$3.99 SIXTH GUN #8

(W) Cullen Bunn (A/C) Brian Hurtt In a decaying mansion in the blackest heart of the Louisiana bog, Drake uncovers more secrets of the Six… and angers a spirit that wants to ensure the gunslinger never leaves the swamp alive! It’s man versus some of the meanest man-eaters to ever crawl out of the marsh! FC, 32pgs $3.99

REBELLION

$19.99 COMPLETE BAD COMPANY TP

(W) Peter Milligan (A) Brett Ewins, Steve Dillon Danny Franks knew that the war against the Krool would be hell. They kill without compassion, taking prisoners for torture and experimentation; their armies are infinite; their weapons are horrifying. But Danny had no idea that the real horrors would be his comrades — he’s in Bad Company! (C: 0-0-1) SC, 320pgs, PC $19.99

$22.50 GREYSUIT PROJECT MONARCH TP

(W) Pat Mills (A) John Higgins The covert operatives known as Greysuits enforce the British Government’s interests in the world’s most dangerous places. Specially conditioned to have heightened strength and reflexes, Greysuits are the most deadly secret agents alive. (C: 0-0-1) SC, 128pgs, FC $22.50

TITAN

$75.00 SUCKER PUNCH VISIONS O/T FILM LTD SGN ED HC

(W) Zack Snyder (A) Various From Zack Snyder, the director of 300, Dawn of the Dead, and Watchmen, comes Sucker Punch, an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. In this official book, Snyder guides you through the many amazing worlds and characters of the film, with eye-popping production art and stunning photographs by Clay Enos (Watchmen: Portraits). This gorgeous limited variant comes in a slipcase exclusive to this edition, in a print run limited to 750 numbered copies, each signed on a special bound-in sheet by Zack Snyder himself! (C: 0-1-2) HC, 11×8.5, 256pgs, FC $75.00

VANGUARD PRODUCTIONS

$39.95 ART OF NEAL ADAMS HC

(W/A) Neal Adams From his Ben Casey newspaper strip to Creepy magazine work to his groundbreaking work in comic books, Neal Adams’ work serves as an inspiration for every illustrator who works in the field. Included in this collection are classic and rare works spanning the artist’s noted career and a unique selection of Neal’s seldom-seen paintings. Fully annotated by the artist, this is the one we have all waited for. This Deluxe Signed Slipcased Edition, which comes with 16 additional pages of vintage Adams artwork is a Previews Exclusive edition. A standard hardcover is also available. DELUXE SIGNED EDITION (MAY101154)–HC, 9×12, 152pgs, FC $59.95 REGULAR HARDCOVER (MAY101155)–HC, 9×12, 136pgs, FC $39.95

There are quite a few sites you can do online preorders from. DCB Service is a popular one among comic book pod-casters. However, I don’t use DCB Service because their site requires javascript for functionality. And I don’t support javascript… ever. So that and Flash required sites are probably the two easiest online ways to stop me from giving you my attention or my money.

So some other alternatives are Westfield, Mile High Comics, G-Mart and Lone Star Comics.

That’s all for this installment, quick and to the point. 🙂 .

Microsoft, Apple, Marvel, DC, Boom Studios, FBI, HTML Comics and suing customers to own them

On my mind

A few things.

We’ll start with 2:

1/Marvel and DC trademarking the term Super-Hero and 2/The “Task-Force” of comic companies that unleashed the FBI on HTML comics.

Stick with me, we’ll get to the other stuff. But a lot of it begins here.

With comics.

On the first point, Marvel and DC trademarking the term Super-Hero, yes, as quiet as it is kept these 2 companies have trademarked that term. Originally done in 1978 an odd time, when the field was looking ripe for the plucking. With Charlton on its last legs, and soon to sell their superhero interest to DC. and Time/Kinney/Warner in all its various names having owned DC since 1967, with the Superman Movie on the horizon, the TW/Kinney/WB suits smell… that finally they can make some money from these stupid comic properties. And bringing that studio mentality of trademark everything they’ll let you get away with, they do just that, even partnering (out of necessity) with the only other big player on the field, Marvel Comics, to push their trademark claim through. And having recently (smelling a new generation of superhero money in the water) renewed that trademark.

Trademarking the term super-hero when both companies are quite aware they have no claim to that term. Here is how you know the validity of that trademark. Would DC have been able to trademark the term Superhero without Marvel objecting (and I think successfully spoiling any trademark attempt)? No.

Would Marvel have been able to trademark the term Superhero without DC objecting (and successfully spoiling any trademark attempt)? No.

So if individually neither company has a valid trademark claim, why together should their claim be any more valid?

Answer: It’s not.

I understand they are thinking in terms of 25 year plans, and the new money-making viability of concepts such as comics and superheroes, that were considered, just a decade ago, as beneath notice.

But that mindset taking into consideration, it still takes some fing balls to try and trademark that term, just as it takes a monumental amount of ignorance (or greed) on the US Trademark Office’s part to actually award such a trademark.

But make no mistake, these companies have no more right to trademark that term then they have to trademark the word man or dog or adventurer or witch. It’s part of the popular lexicon and is used by companies besides the so-called “Big 2”. Used before the so-called “Big 2”., and it is used by other companies today. Small startups like Marvel and DC used to be.

If I’m a comic company in the business today, Like BOOM or IDW or Dynamic Forces or Dark Horse or Image, then one of my goals would be putting out a superhero book every other month, or something with superhero on the cover every other month.

Not because you particularly care for Superhero books or have any real interest in that market, but because you one day may have an interest, and you don’t want to, on that day, have to beg Marvel /DC to use that term. You make an issue if it now, because you do not want to roll over for that ideological land-grab by these two companies .

That trade-mark is bs, and any creative person at marvel and DC, is aware it’s bs.

But it is a funny thing, we tend to cede our better natures to the storms that carry us. So while a company may boast talented, creative, and astute, humanitarian people, the actually company they work for may be one step away from barbarism. And because of the storm, they don’t even think of questioning their companies policies (providing they are in positions to do so. Though none of us should be so lowly at a company that we can’t share a constructive viewpoint on that company. If you are unable to, that may be a sign you need to find a different company).

So whether that storm is Marvel or DC or Germany of 1937 or America post 2001, what is best and rational in us, tends to remain quiet to the insane storms that decide to see how far they can blow every so often. But I find that you have to hold your ground, sometimes I think that’s even what the wind is looking for, a man who will stand up to it, until it can put its heavy weight of howling down.

So comic book companies of today would be well served by challenging that particular trademark and getting it thrown out while there is still plentiful proof of prior art, and living reminders to the fact that Marvel and DC did not invent, nor do they own the term super-hero.

*******************

But it never fails, companies that only gained popularity and market share due to certain freedoms, use those freedoms as a ladder, than start outlawing and destroying those freedoms, they burn the ladder, for others. Like robber barons of oil, or rubber or transportation who only gained their status by taking liberties of the most heinous nature, now having the temerity to use their clout to get declared illegal the very practices they used to gain market share!!

Amazing, and predatory and nothing remotely resembling free enterprise, at least not in any sane definition of that term.

In a free enterprise system Linux and not Microsoft would be the major operating system being used. It’s benefits over Microsoft are just staggering, and on a side by side comparison, the best Linux distros, blow Microsoft away!

But what does Microsoft do when they can not out innovate a problem, or buy it out? They get in bed with the movie studios, and they lobby to make various codecs (software) illegal. Like record companies, and every other company these days, they don’t want to earn your business by creating a better product, they want to force, sue, intimidate, and lock, you… their supposed customer, the person they are supposed to be working for, into paying.

21st century companies have become some twisted version of protection rackets selling liquor at the point of a gun. You have to buy their overpriced, and shoddy product, whether you want to or not, or else.

And corporate talking heads, suits, will justify this predatory and clearly immoral business model, as being true to their responsibility to increase revenue for their shareholders.

Anyone who tells you that is full of utter crap.

Fuck the bs about working for shareholders, the purpose of even having shareholders is only to earn money to better innovate and serve your customers. Your real customers! A shareholder is only a means to an end, not the end.

The satisfaction of your customer, and continued improvement of your product is the end. And the fact that companies and wall street have lost sight of this is why, particularly, the American economic outlook is so dire.

It is run by people who increasingly have no fucking common sense. People who lose sight of why they even started a business to begin with.

It wasn’t to crush other companies, and to stifle and outlaw innovation and civil liberties.

Was it Jobs? Was it Gates?

No you started the paltry startup, because it was the fucking wild west, and there was no Microsoft or Apple to legalize you out of the game, and because you were young, and you were having fun, and you had a product you thought was the bomb (yes, I did just say Da Bomb :)), , and the world looked like an endless tomorrow. I was there, I remember.

Microsoft and Apple.

My God, from where you two began how did you get to where you are. Into someplace, odd and petty, and somehow while grandiose and large, somehow… stinking of fear, and afraid of tomorrow.

So that fear at work, Linux basically is legalized into being a crippled system. Competition is legalized away. Law enforcement and the legal system again as thugs, always as thugs, for the deepest pockets.

Companies seeking to take an adversarial approach to their customer base. They seek to maintain and grow their dominance by governmental protections and indeed enforcement of their status qua. That is not free enterprise, this concept of grandfather clauses, and law enforcement and the FBI as the attack dogs of companies from Movie Studios, to Apple and Microsoft, to now the comic book companies.

This recent case of comic companies siccing the FBI on a bloke for offering scans of comics online. And everyone is rushing to roll over or attack or disparage this person’s claim of being a library, or to call it immoral.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I heard someone on a podcast saying “you can’t just call yourself a library.” Why the fuck not? You just called yourself a podcast didn’t you?

Where is your license to do that ?

You don’t need one right now do you? Same with a library.

So shut the fuck up before you do.

It’s getting to the point in this world, because of people who roll over like these fucking podcasters (and yes I like podcasters. But for the love of God, think before you talk), that you are going to need a license even to breathe.

Even to breathe.

The dictionary definition of Library is (if you need one. Or here’s a thought, be original. Define yourself) : A collection of books and a place where books are collected.

It says nothing about you having to be licensed by any particular governmental agency.

It pisses me off when people just roll over and take the side of whoever can pay the press to tell you something. Just cause someone with a badge says it’s wrong don’t make it wrong. Been a long time in this country since the law and right were the same bloody thing.

So the man says he had a library, that’s good enough for me.

Now that said, that definition of his service, does not free him from his responsibility to remove material others feel they have a right to. If indeed he received cease and desist letters for particular works he was holding (that’s another thing that pisses me off, lawyers and their fucking cease and desist letters. Come to someone like a person, before you turn the fucking lawyers loose. You might get someplace that is better than where we’re going, if we can settle things without lawyers first) he should, finding the request valid… comply.

But from what I understand a lot of the site was public domain comics. So I’m not seeing a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and go after this dude civilly and criminally for, bottom line, being a collector.

Maybe not the brightest of collectors, but a collector none the less.

And the lawyer who commented on this case, like lawyers do, is trying to say it’s about sending a message, and a moral victory. Don’t ever say the word moral and the greed of companies (or the culpability of the FBI) in the same sentence. A lawyer has nothing to do with morality.

********************

I like collectors, always have.

I come from a people who believe in Sineaters. Believe there are those who perform a vital, if not always loved or lauded duty, to the health and functioning of a society. For the Sin-eater it was assisting with the passing of the spirit, clean, into the other world.

I think the collector, while no such spiritual heavyweight, still serves still a most significant function in our culture. Particularly the American culture, because we’re in such mercenary hands, where everything is in flux. Buildings, neighborhoods, stadiums, all having a relatively brief life before they are torn down for something else.

That’s not healthy. Never has been. Never will be.

A collector, seeks to maintain things, that the bankers of a culture, may not find value in, but things that should persist, and still have a life, beyond a mercenary and fleeting view of value. Things that in and of themselves… are beautiful or artistic.

In the words of a long remembered poem, “Against the day of trouble, lays by some trifling thing, a smile, a kiss, a flower, for sweet remembering”. That’s what a collector does. It’s an odd calling, neither loved nor lauded, but necessary. Oh so necessary.

This guy was/is a collector.

It’s because of guys like this that we have today copies of films such as Metropolis or The Third Man or any number of beloved Film Noir movies, saved from the bonfires of Studios that did not forsee a financial worth to old films beyond their cinema release, Companies that burned their films, and ordered theaters to do the same, when the films cinema life was up.

Thank god, for collectors, who gave a finger to big companies back then, and said, “you know what, I like this movie, and I want to keep it around, regardless if you think it has no financial value anymore”. Fast forward a few decades and those saved films now become money making DVD releases by studios that in their short sightedness would have let them burn.

Same thing for Old time Radio shows. I love listening to Old Time Radio. I was not around when that stuff came out, but today I love listening to it. I love listening to stuff like THE SHADOW, or SUSPENSE or ESCAPE, etc.

These shows didn’t survive because of the companies that produced them, or the stations that aired them, these shows survived because of collectors.

Because of collectors.

So when people start ragging about so-called “bootleggers” or “scanners” or whatever, I’m always very mindful that it was these often single minded individuals that kept alive much of what otherwise would have been lost to time and neglect.

When the production companies were erasing old tapes because they could not foresee a financial value to them, it was collectors who often, copying this stuff off the air, preserved much of these classic radio programs, and by so doing preserved not just entertainment for a new generation, but a historical record of a time, and a place in a younger America. The same goes for music.

And the same with comics. The comics medium, has survived extremely lean years, because of rabid collectors like this man they have loosed the FBI on.

“A task force to protect their rights.” really?

A man and his family being raked over the coals, because the suits smell money in the water. And they want to play RIAA. And sheep like you just bow your heads, and say “yes massa” and regurgitate words like “copyright infringement” like dogs being taught to beg.

You make me sick. And you know who you are.

Hell the companies finally caught on, years after the fact, to the viability and need for scanning because of collectors. Now I understand companies, finally pulling their head out of their ass and seeing the viability of digital distribution, may see free labors of love, that offer comics for free, as a barrier to their money making schemes. I get that.

I don’t necessarily agree with it.

I think much of the product companies claim is owned should be in public domain.

I think this continued erosion of public domain, by companies that continually push for extension of copyright is utter crap.

I think all concepts that have persisted for 50 years, should be in the public domain.

Because it means these concepts have been around long enough to be part of the cultural language, the cultural conversation and as such, have been both enhanced, diluted, and changed by that conversation.

I think there is a great beauty in anyone being able to do an Edgar Allen Poe story, I think the world is invaluably richer because we have a million different takes on Edgar Allan Poe tales, From Roger Corman to Marc Olden to Jan Svankmajer and the list goes on. We are enriched as a society by everyone being unhindered to use this common concept, that has made its way, survived as part of the cultural conversation.

So I think Superman should be in the public domain, it is a public domain concept, period. So is Batman, and Mickey Mouse, and Captain America, and the Shadow to name a few. And the fact that companies are disputing the public domain status of concepts such as these is just plain criminal.

They all need to join Frankenstein and Don Quixote and… it shows you how bad the 20th century was for the concept of Public Domain, in that you really have to go back to the 19th century to get unchallenged concepts that are in the public domain. And we as a culture and a society are poorer for it.

All that brings us back to the law being used by companies… poorly.

It is being used to deprive the individual and the culture of rights, at the behest and to the benefit of corporations.

When the last days of America are written, that will be the reason. Is the reason.

Corporations are lobbying our supposed representatives to deprive us of rights, so they can make a nickel more.

Comics were immune from this attention for a long time, but with Hollywood dollars focused on the medium, it means we now get Hollywood type “protection” or “hired thugs” whichever you prefer.

We get the F of the B of the I.

We get one of those pleasant acronyms, designed to make us… relent.

Never relent baby.

Never relent.

So in closing my support is always with the Collector. Not the companies, and not the FBI. Because these companies, these bankers of our age, gray men, with gray souls, seeking to make a gray world, do what they do for petty monetary reasons, no different from their earlier versions that burnt films or smashed records, they do nothing for beauty’s sake.

And because of that, nothing these gray men do… will last. Because in the end, even if beauty fades, the things we do for beauty’s sake… will not. These and these alone… persist.