Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Tue
01
Jan

Mort Walker: Fifty Years of Beetle Bailey

In 1938, while comic books were just entering the Golden Age, Mort Walker staked his claim on the newspaper comic strip pages. He was 14 years old. The most notable of Mort's creations is undoubtedly Beetle Bailey, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year.

I was privileged to speak with Mort about Beetle's comic and real-life misadventures, as well as a few other interesting tidbits you may not know about.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to talk with Mort, you're missing a lot of stories, and a lot of laughs. Mort has a rich, deep voice that rivals that of Thurl Ravenscroft (Tony the Tiger, for those who might not know). This was one of those interviews I was sorry to see end.

First of all, congratulations on your Distinguished Civilian Service medal from the army for fifty years of Beetle Bailey. I understand the military wasn't always enamored of Beetle, though, were they?

Mon
07
May

Neil Gaiman: American God (By Way Of Britain)

Neil Gaiman

An introduction of sorts will go here, for which I am completely and utterly far too immersed in Gaiman-speak to get into right now, for fear I'll present the whole thing up as some sort of unintentional parody. Suffice it to say, I'll give it the short introduction, something a bit longer than "Ladies and Gentlemen: Winston Churchill." And I'll probably be rather emphatic that the interview was conducted over the phone on May 5, 2001, for purposes of putting into perspective certain things like where the writers' strike talks were, and how this all fits into events surrounding the recent Miracleman brouhaha, and so forth. It will be a dandy introduction once it's finished, and it will actually mention, at least once, that the whole thing was done largely to talk about Neil's new novel, American Gods, which will be released on June 19th. So there's nothing really left but for the writing of it.

Which, oddly enough, it seems I have now done.

Mon
01
Jan

Running Comics Like a Business: Mark Alessi and Crossgen

Crossgen Logo

After having a conversation with Mark Alessi, it's not uncommon to come away feeling as though you've just attended a Tony Robbins' seminar. Throughout the halls of CrossGen Comics, everyone--from the receptionist through the top management--exudes a confidence and enthusiasm generally seen in small town crowds after a tent revival or traveling medicine show.

But these aren't yokels, and it's no snake oil salesman's spiel they're buying into. They're veterans of the comic book industry, and what's drawing them into the CrossGen fold is the time-proven business principles for achievement, principles Alessi practices with as much conviction as he preaches them.

Wed
09
Feb

Bob Ingersoll: Taking the Stand For Comics

Bob Ingersoll Attorney Comics

Wouldn't it be nice if, whenever your friends gave you the usual line about how comic books are "less than literary," you could point to some comic-reading role model? A doctor, maybe, or perhaps a minister?

How about an attorney?

Bob Ingersoll is the writer of the weekly column The Law is a Ass. If your friends point out the poor grammar of the title, you can confidently 'pooh-pooh' their lack of literary education. According to Bob: "The phrase 'the law is a ass' is from Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' -- chapter 51 to be exact. In said words, Mr. Bumble, an ungrammatical and vulgar character, is told that he is legally responsible for the wrongs of his wife, because the law presumes a husband can control her actions. Mr. Bumble's ungrammatical and vulgar response was, 'If the law supposes that, the law is a ass -- a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor.'"

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