1954 and 1955 were tough years for the fledgling cartoonist: A life-threatening bout with tuberculosis sidelined him for almost a year, and his main client, Charlton Comics, suffered a devastating flood that forced it to shut its doors temporarily. Yet Ditko's enforced time off and subsequent need to seek out new clients (most particularly Marvel Comics, for whom he would go on to create Spider-Man), as well as his stubborn devotion to his craft, brought about an astonishing series of quantum leaps in his work — as displayed in this volume (following the best-selling Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1) of more than 200 pages' worth of never-before-collected horror and science-fiction stories from the early career of a comics great. Introduction by series editor Blake Bell.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 18-page PDF excerpt (8.5 MB) containing three thrilling tales!
Among the many "things to see" at Ray Fenwick's website is the series of commissioned art books "created in response to a loose idea or title supplied by a patron." They were recently featured on the Caustic Cover Critic blog, as brought to my attention by our own Jacob Covey. Just a little something to whet your appetite for Ray's soon-to-arrive new book Mascots.
Stephen DeStefano and his wife Siobhan have announced that he will be selling some comics and animation art and other memorabilia from his animation career on eBay in an effort to defray escalating vet bills as his beloved kitty Lola battles what's looking like cancer.
Having had our own experience with kitty cancer over the past couple of years, Janice and I strongly encourage you to send your support Stephen and Siobhan's way.
• Review: "This week I read Unexplored Worlds, the second collection of pre-Spider-Man comics drawn by Steve Ditko. This handsomely designed volume mainly collects work Ditko did for Charlton, a mix of sci-fi, western and post-code horror stories. Ditko is in fine form here...; he seems more sure of himself here, full of verve, dramatic angles and odd hand gestures. In some stories, you can see the groundwork being laid down for what was to come in a few years — there’s a sequence where a guy travels to another dimension where you can see the beginnings of Dr. Strange." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "Each story is weird and wonderful in its own way, even when the writers and artists aren’t as skilled as others. Even better is a 32-page cover gallery in the middle, printed on glossy paper, each suitable for framing. I could stare at such covers all day. [Four Color Fear is an] excellent book..., expertly designed and popping with flaws-and-all color. At more than 300 pages..., [its] heft is welcome. For serious comics scholars or just those seeking a nostalgic kick, [it comes] highly recommended as [a] strong year’s-best contender..." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm
• Interview: At The Faster Times, Ryan Joe goes behind the scenes of Four Color Fear with the book's co-editor Greg Sadowski: "The quality of the writing was [the] number one [consideration] — each story had to be a compelling read. The art came second, though I think every story we chose has interesting art."
• Review: "Consider this a warning. If you fail to immediately purchase a copy of Destroy All Movies a swarm of post-apocalyptic punk rock bikers will kick your door down and ram their fists down your throat. [...] This is an exhaustive reference work that is every bit as brash and entertaining as its subject matter. It's well written, exhaustively researched and laid out in a gorgeous, colorful package that'll make it a coffee table discussion piece in geek homes around the globe." – Todd Brown, Twitch
• Interview: Joe Gross of the Austin American-Statesman, who says "Packed with stills from movies both cult and mainstream, filled with reviews of 1,100 films, and featuring interviews with crucial actors and directors, Destroy All Movies is everything one could hope for from a project this esoteric," talks to the book's editors, Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, who says: "It's not like a Leonard Maltin guide where you can just go down to the store and be like, 'Oh, I want this movie.' You're gonna really have to fight to find a lot of the stuff in there. Like some of it isn't even available in this country."
• Review: "I just sat down and re-read thru the new Love and Rockets issue. Shame on you, True Believer, if you haven’t already dog-eared this one. Please, please order this one today and thank me for urging you to do so. ... Jaime Hernandez has outdone himself. I mean, I’m a cynical super fan at times who often believes he’s 'seen it all' and then something like L ‘n R New Stories #3 comes out and just slays me." – Frank Santoro (who goes on to examine Jaime's panel layouts and compare L&R to Rocky and Bullwinkle), Comics Comics
• Interview: At The Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater's chat with Jaime Hernandez continues: "Maggie’s just got so much more going on than the other characters, for me. I like doing the other characters, but I’ll always go back to Maggie and the joy of creating her life. There’s just something about the character that I enjoy playing with and finding out where she’s going and who she is."
• Review: Did you think Sean T. Collins was going to omit Birdland in his "Love and Rocktober" series at Attentiondeficitdisorderly? "Doing a straight-up porn comic that borrows the Palomar-verse characters Fritz and Petra gives Beto the freedom to be as silly and utopian as he wants, something he couldn’t get away with in the naturalist, politically aware world of Palomar and Love and Rockets proper."
Presented by The Beguiling, Conundrum Press, and Fantagraphics Books
Toronto! Get ready for a fantastic comics event as Robin McConnell, host of the INKSTUDS podcast and author of the new book of the same name, will interview Canada's own Dave Cooper, who has recently released his own new artbook BENT! Following the interview will be a moderated Q&A with the audience, and a signing.
The event is going down on Sunday, November 28th, from 3pm-6pm next door to The Beguiling at The Central. Both the INKSTUDS book and Cooper's BENT (as well as other fine graphic novels) will be available for sale.
This is a FREE event, and it's going to be a lot of fun. Come on out and a have a beer and a bite to eat, and enjoy some great comics chatting.
At his Cats Without Dogs blog Jason posts another page from the French edition of his forthcoming graphic novel Isle of 100,000 Graves (written by written by Fabien Vehlmann; coming in English from Fantagraphics in Spring 2011). See a previous glimpse here.
This video by Jim Woodring has been declared a winner in a contest held by Boing Boing — to divulge the nature of the contest would spoil the video, so watch it first and then click over to find out about the contest. Looks like there was a pretty sweet prize too — congrats Jim!
And over at his Woodring Monitor blog Jim shows off a small "home use" handle for his in-progress giant pen project, along with the "before" picture of the raw wood with the lathe pattern drawn on it.
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