On the Cover: Skottie Young
- This week's Dan Hipp:
- Phil Noto draws Kitty Pryde:
- Terry Moore wants you all to pre-order the Rachel Rising Vol. 1 trade:
- JH Williams III got a spotlight in USA Today:
Co-writer/artist J.H. Williams III and co-writer W. Haden Blackman most fondly remember the comics growing up that focused more on story than just beating up bad guys, and that's what they aim for when crafting the adventures of Kate Kane and her cowled alter-ego in Gotham City.
"It wasn't always 'Let's get to the villain' — there was actual character interactions that were very profound and ended up having some sort of comment on the bigger action stuff," Williams says. "That shows in the work we're doing now."
The current Batwoman character has made a major impact in the DC Universe since first appearing in the maxiseries 52 six years ago. The Detective Comics "Elegy" run from Williams and writer Greg Rucka featuring her was an instant classic, and the portrayal of the lesbian superheroine garnered a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Comic Book in 2010. (The new Batwoman comic is up for the same honor this year as well.)
- Joe Hill installed some new doors in his place:
- Here's a sweet new Sean Phillips:
- Skottie Young has a bunch of new sketches this week, including this one of Hermione:
- Peter David Introduced his daughter Caroline to the original Star Wars movies with an interesting result:
We just completed a long-overdue aspect of nine-year-old Caroline’s education by finishing up showing her the only three “Star Wars” films that really matter: Eps 4, 5 and 6. She actually sobbed copiously when Vader died. You know, we spend so much time bitching about Lucas doing this, that and the other think that sometimes we forget the power these films can pack, especially for younger viewers.
Then we asked her the obvious question. Which of the three was her favorite?
Without hesitation she said, “Return of the Jedi.” I said, “Because of the Ewoks?” She said, “No, because of Leia. This is the first movie she kicked ass.” And I thought about that and realized she was right.
In “A New Hope,” Leia is captured, tortured, waits for rescue. Yes, granted, she immediately takes charge while castigating the guys, shooting Stormtroopers, and leading them into the dumpster. But once they escape the Death Star, she basically allows the Millennium Falcon to lead the bad guys right to the rebel HQ (remember, she says the Empire let them escape; it should have been obvious why) and then stands there silently hoping they don’t get blown up while a slew of men take care of business; she doesn’t have a word of dialogue for the last fifteen minutes except to welcome Luke and Han back.
- Jeremy Bastian has a new print that he's selling on his convention round:
- Yay! Chrissie Zullo!
- Jeff Lemire takes over Justice League Dark:
Following the JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK/I,VAMPIRE crossover in issues 7 & 8, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK will have a new writer.
Beginning with issue #9, superstar Jeff Lemire (ANIMAL MAN, SWEET TOOTH) will be taking over the reins. We asked Lemire about following the sage Peter Milligan and what he’s got planned and here’s what he has to say:
“This is my dream gig at DC Comics, no doubt about it. The characters in Justice League Dark are my absolute favorite in the DC Comics stable, and I can’t believe I’m actually getting a chance to write John Constantine, Zatanna and Deadman (as well as a few new team members!).
I have a huge amount of respect for Peter Milligan. I’ve loved everything he’s done since his original SHADE run in the pre-Vertigo days of DC to his current run on Hellblazer and JL Dark. It’s a bit daunting to take over this title from someone who I revere as much as Peter, but at the same time I can’t help but be inspired by the work he’s already done with this book.
- Dustin Nguyen presents Justice League Beyond:
- Francesco Francavilla posted this WhatNot:
- Will Wheaton, Felicia Day and Jamie McKelvie are making a Fawkes comic:
At long last, it can be revealed: Felicia and I wrote a Fawkes comic together.
Felicia Day and The Guild are back, along with costar Wil Wheaton, for a brand-new story spotlighting Fawkes, the dashing, debonair, and douchey leader of the evil guild Axis of Anarchy! His relationship with Codex threatened to tear the Knights of Good apart until he was thrown off a balcony for his treatment of her. Set after season 4 of the show, this issue reveals how Fawkes deals with his split from Codex and navigates the aggressive personalities of the Axis, and follows his journey to his surprising state when he returns in season 5!
I’m incredibly proud of this, and I can’t wait for people to read it.
It comes out on May 23, and is the first issue set during the series. Covers by Paul Duffield and Emma Rios, art by Jamie McKelvie.
- Ryan Ottley does Brian Wood's DMZ for the Sindiecate:
- Dustin Weaver's been busy on Astonishing X-Men:
- Let’s begin with our weekly fix of Hipp:
- Nick Spencer talks to CBR about Morning Glories. Here’s a taster:
Let's talk Ms. Hodge. We've been "place setting" a lot of characters in these opening arcs for the book from the teachers to Abraham to the kids and their families. Is Ms. Hodge one of the last major piece of the cast puzzle, or are there a few players out there to come?
No, there's still a lot of characters to be introduced that I consider to be...if not core cast then certainly major members of the supporting cast. There are a lot of new faces to be introduced, and we'll start to see some of them in the third arc and then some more in the fourth. She is a very important player, and she's somebody who's going to have a major impact on the story. I think that's pretty clear from this issue. But she's not the last one.
Aside from her growing specific role in the lives of the kids, did you just need a nice member of the faculty for balance?
I don't know. What was really interesting to me about the response has been how many people seemed to take to her immediately. It's always tricky when you're introducing a new character, and we've obviously just been through five "spotlight" issues that covered the background and lives of our main cast members. So I was a little nervous in going from that to introducing somebody new and giving her the spotlight. In my first conception of this issue, she didn't play that big of a role. She would make her first appearance, but my original intention was to focus more on the Glories themselves again. But as I got into writing it, she made a big impression on me. So I decided to stick with her and make the entire issue about her.
I think that the response to her is very strong and overwhelmingly positive, and I think that speaks to the fact that we've established a lot of empathy for the main cast. We're just feeling from the Glories really that there might be someone on this campus that isn't a homicidal maniac. That was kind of nice. Everyone let out a sigh of relief that there might be one person there who might have a little more to them. So she's an interesting piece to throw into the mix because she's clearly very different from Ms. Daramount or Mr. Gribbs or Nurse Nine. She clearly has a very different outlook and approach. And whether or not that means she has the best of intentions is a separate issue. But at the very least, she's not wickedly smiling at the idea of torturing one of our kids. So if nothing else, she's an interesting voice in the mix.
- Jeff Lemire’s very first graphic novel, ‘Lost Dogs’ is back in print. Here’s the cover:
- Charles Soule talks about the process of making comics and the 27 covers. Here’s a sample:
The process of getting a comic together can take some strange turns. From time to time, I’ll have an idea for an element of a book, whether it’s a line of dialogue or a plot twist or just about anything else. I’ll be thrilled about this idea, because it will seem like the best ever. Then, eventually I see the finished version, and I’m like hooooooly crow… mistake. If I’m lucky, it’s not too costly, and won’t require massive rewrites or new art. It’s just part of the process, though. As I’ve said a bunch of times, you don’t always have all your good ideas at once, and being able to recognize and discard bad ideas is incredibly important.
With 27 Second Set, we decided to continue the series’ tradition of using homages to famous images of musicians as the covers for each issue. First Set used members of the 27 Club. Second Set is using one-hit wonders. As I write this, Issues 1 and 2 are on shelves, as well as available digitally, for those who prefer reading on smartphones, tablets and laptops (Issue 3 is out next week, November 23). The cover for Issue 1 is an homage to Vanilla Ice. The cover for Issue 2 references The Buggles. It’s one of my favorite covers of the whole series – Scott Forbes really nailed it.
- JH Williams III is selling some art this saturday. here’s a sample:
- Jason Aaron sat down with CBR to discuss Scalped and other things:
- Peter David authored a Fan/Pro bill of rights for convention behaviour. Its pretty ace. Here’s a sample:
I think it would be an interesting idea to produce a list of simple, basic rights that everyone attending conventions–both pros and fans–should expect. I mean, you’d think that they would be common sense; things that people would just know. On the other hand, the 10 Commandments were pretty common sense too, when you think about it, so I figure if it’s good enough for God…
Obviously there’s the one that tops them all, which naturally I call the Prime Directive:
Fans and Pros have the right to be treated by each other with the same courtesy that they themselves would expect to be treated. Fans and Pros who act like jerks abrogate the right to complain when they themselves are treated like jerks.
But there’s others, such as:
Guest Pros being sponsored by the convention have a right to written confirmation of all terms of their convention attendance at least ninety days before the convention, with travel arrangements finalized no later than thirty days prior. Travel in such instances should never be the expense of the Pro with subsequent expectation of reimbursement unless the Pro agrees to this…in which case, the Pro better be damned sure the organizer is good for it, because otherwise he’s on his own.
Fans and Pros have a right to walk through convention space without being impeded by other attendees who are either taking photographs or posing for photographs. Particularly applicable when large numbers of costumed individuals are posing for a large group of photographers. It’s a convention, not the red carpet at the Oscars. Should such blockages occur, fans and pros desiring to get from Point A to Point B should have the right of way and walk directly through the picture-taking area without the slightest concern about ruining other people’s pictures. If they weren’t courteous enough to worry about you getting to your panel, you shouldn’t have to worry about them getting their photograph of five slave Leias and a Wookie.
- Jim Rugg does some pen drawings for OC Weekly:
- Dave Johnson does Usagi Yjimbo:
- Frank Miller caused a stir this week on his thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here’s his post in its entirety, but check out the blog, because the comments are worth a read:
Everybody’s been too damn polite about this nonsense:
The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.
“Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.
This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find.
Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.
Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.
And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently - must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh - out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.
In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.
Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape.
They might not let you babies keep your iPhones, though. Try to soldier on.
- Brandon Graham announced that the teaser we saw last week was indeed for the King City trade. Here’s the cover:
- Skottie Young has been keeping up his daily sketches, including this one of Wormwood:
- Dan Hipp channels his inner Loki:
- Ben Templesmith posted a whole host of amazing artworks he’s been doing. Check ‘em all out! Here’s one of Cassie Hack:
- Kieron Gillen caught up with Comics Alliance to chat about Uncanny X-Men 1. Here’s an excerpt:
ComicsAlliance: How did you choose your roster for the new Uncanny X-Men out of the huge cast of potential characters?
Kieron Gillen: I knew the X-Men: Schism [event] was coming, so my run up till now has actually been setting up the pieces, and the more philosophical elements. My first issue before the reboot focused on Magneto, and there's that Machiavelli meditation: "Is it better to be loved than feared?" I think if you look back whenever my [X-Men] run ends, you'll see that's my theme. I was very interested in the concept of fear. The first issue ends with a letter of Scott's -- a "Letter to Humanity" that's part of the back matter. We'll continue to protect the world that hates and fears us, but we'll never be victims again.
For me one of the major parts of Schism was Wolverine very much playing the idealist. Since Wolverine kind of walks out, they have to shoulder that burden to protect a world that hates and fears them. That includes [Wolverine's] school. It's actually a very paternalist attitude, "Go open your school. We'll go on protecting everyone. It's ok. Don't worry your furry little head about it." Although I kind of agree with Scotty; he sees that they haven't got time to be idealistic, because there are so few of them left.
CA: Because this is war?
KG: Or, it's survival. There hasn't been a major threat to the X-Men's existence [in a while] except for the Fear Itself stuff, and it's actually been the X-Men in a position of power, which I think you only realize in retrospect. I was very interested in the idea of the X-Men actually being the government [in Utopia], and seeing how they deal with their refugee situation from Breakworld. It's a very optimistic arc, actually. The easy, cynical story to do would be turning the X-Men into everything they hated. There's so much in the book that is Sisyphean. We'll never get into a position where mutants are loved in the Marvel Universe. It's a book about societal change whose whole core concept includes an element that means we can never actually win. There's a kind of element of defeatism to that, and that's my nagging problem with writing the X-Men. But you write around that, and you can show meaningful change in some way.
- Jonathan Luna posted this painting depicting a scene from ‘Stripes’:
- Chrissie Zullo posted some more comissions, including this Red Sonja:
- Grant Morrison sat down with CNN Geekout to discuss Action Comics and All Star Superman:
CNN Geek Out: Did DC come to you write "Action Comics" or did you pitch them the idea?
Grant Morrison: No, actually Dan DiDio (Co-Publisher of DC Comics) came over earlier in the year and told me what the plans were for this whole "New 52" initiative and he wanted me to do Superman.
I had no intention of it really, because I was kind of wrapping up all of the "Batman" stuff and I kind of said what I wanted to say about Superman (Grant wrote for All-Star Superman from 2005 to 2008) and the old Superman book, but I kind of had a little bit left over.
After I‘d done that story, it was kind of the end of Superman’s life, and I was interested in going back to the roots of the character, and his social and political roots, and maybe doing a take that dealt with him as a young man, but I didn’t really have any plans for that until Dan came over and then when he gave me the opportunity, and he said that they were willing to even change the continuity, and to let some new ideas and energy into it, it seemed perfect for that.
So the two things came together.
CNN Geek Out: So, you mentioned "Batman and Robin." Has it been hard to write for Superman after writing for "Batman and Robin" and getting so deep into that mythos?
Morrison: Well, not really because I’m pretty fond of Superman and I’d done all the research for it when I was doing all the research for the old stuff, so it was kind of easy to get back into that mindset.
But again as you say, it’s very different from Batman, as that character was based on mysteries and intricate puzzles, and all that sort of stuff. Whereas "Action Comics'" title demanded that you take it in a much more physical and visceral way, so it was two different ways of thinking which also made it a little bit more fun.
- Bryan Lee O’Malley did what he does best and drew Ramona Flowers:
- Eric Canete also posted artwork, including this excellent Tank Girl:
- Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning chat with USA today about Resurrection Man. Here’s a morsel:
Like in soap operas, characters who die in comic books usually end up alive again somehow. But Mitch is a bit different in that every time he gets killed, he's resurrected with new and unusual powers, be it as a being of water, a guy with X-ray vision or — way back in the day when he was shot by Hitman in the first series — a dude with the ability to create butterflies.
Until their original editor, Eddie Berganza, asked them to bring back Resurrection Man for the new DC Universe, Lanning and Abnett hadn't been thinking about doing another series because they were able to give the original run a satisfying ending before it was canceled.
"That said, we did have and still got a little file of scrawlings and scratchings and — would you believe it — fax messages from people. That's how we used to do stuff back then," Lanning says, laughing. "If we take them out to the sunlight now, they just crumble to dust."
Even though they had "almost done too good a job telling the story the first time," Abnett says, tying up every loose end, they decided instead to give Mitch Shelley a new lease on life by retelling his story, making him a much more proactive character and pulling a bit more from the supernatural this time around.
- Skottie Young sketches up this awesome rendition of the Goon:
- Brandon Graham posted a bunch of preview pages for his upcoming story in Dark Horse Presents 7, as well as this little cartoon he drew at Midnight:
Comic Art of the Week - 5/11/11
- Dan Hipp wishes you a happy Hallowe’en:
- Greg Rucka comments on John Orloff’s film Anonymous, about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. It’s got nothing to do with comics, but Shakespeare is awesome. Here’s a taster:
Caught this piece on NPR this morning, Renee Montagne interviewing John Orloff regarding the movie Anonymous. And aside from the very many reasons to stick a thumb in the eye of the Shakespeare Didn’t Write Shakespeare debate, one thing was savagely clear to me. It’s apparent at the end of the piece, if you read or listen to it – Orloff doesn’t stick to his guns. He’s claiming de Vere wrote the plays, but at the end of the interview, he claims authorship isn’t the issue – it is, he says, “What we’re really doing is having a question about art and politics and the process of creativity. And that’s what the movie is about. It’s not about who wrote these plays; it’s about how does art survive and exist in our society.”
There are two things that really stick in my craw about this whole thing. The first is the basic premise that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays; an argument – in this context – that is entirely contingent on the conceit that only a nobleman could have developed the literary chops to create such enduring works of art. I find this, at its root, a classist argument, a reductive argument, and an inherently snobbish one, to boot (and was hardly surprised to discover that Antonin Scalia is another supporter of the argument – he practically makes my point right there; that Mark Twain would believe the same I find much harder to swallow, but, as Randy Newman once sang, “Pluto’s not a planet anymore, either.”) I find it petty. This is the same kind of argument that extends today, in variation, to declare that genre fiction isn’t “real” literature, or that, God forbid, someone who never attended college cannot possibly write a work of merit.
Wonder what Orloff would think about someone coming along fifty years after his death and claiming he couldn’t have possibly written any of his works, because he didn’t have the right parents, or go to the right school, or because he never even visited the forest of Tyto. (If that’s too oblique, I’ll explain – Orloff wrote the screen adaptation for the second Legends of the Guardians motion picture.)
- Bryan Lee O’Malley goes Freaky Friday for hallowe’en, swapping Ramona and Kim’s attire:
- Peter David goes on a rather interesting tirade about anonymity on the interwebs. It’s a good little read:
For the startling number of people here who post under their own names. Who make the same choice that I routinely make wherever I put my thoughts out there, be it here, other websites, or in print: to attach my name to my opinions. To not hide behind the comfort of anonymity. Even though this course of action has subjected me to: people trying to get me fired from Marvel; people trying to get me fired from DC; attempts at boycotts; my name showing up on blacklists; people challenging me to debates; people writing and publishing diatribes based upon things I never said; people shouting at me at conventions; people showing up at store signings and hurling a steady stream of abuse; and much more.
For me, living in a free society isn’t always a comfortable thing, and that’s the part we should appreciate–and often don’t. Just ask all the would-be censors who want certain books, certain comic books, certain TV shows, certain movies, to just go away or, even better, be driven away through means ranging from organized boycotts to legal prosecution. They’re all in favor of free speech, as long as it’s within their comfort zone. Why would anyone want to share any traits, on any level, with people like that? Lack of comfort is what you should be willing to deal with. That’s the price of a free society.
I’m always reminded that in 1776, a bunch of rich white guys signed their names to a piece of paper telling the king to sod off, knowing that it could cost them their property, their freedom, their lives, their sacred honor. And here we are, 250 years later, and we’re afraid to sign our names to our opinions because we don’t wanna get spammed or trolled?
I totally understand the attraction of anonymity. I can’t say, though, as I think it’s helped rational discourse in this country. I always flash back to that Disney cartoon with Goofy as a driver. He’s perfectly calm and rational and polite until he gets behind the wheel and he becomes an anonymous guy in a car…and then goes totally mental. I think the information superhighway is loaded with guys who wind up turning into outraged Goofys. I see discussion boards where people almost uniformly post under fake names, but it doesn’t come across like discussion. You know what it reads like? Road rage.
So fine. I choose to drive with the top down so people know who’s behind the wheel.
Others are, of course, welcome to do as they wish. Free society, after all.
- The Luna Brothers chat with Girl on Guy about life and comics:
- Brian Azzarello sat down with USA Today to talk about his new series ‘Spaceman’:
If someone were to review the new Vertigo Comics series Spaceman in the future when the book is set, it might go something like this: "Oh em gee. Vertigo duz it agin. Awsum."
A new language not too far from our own is just one of many themes explored in the sci-fi title reteaming the creators of the acclaimed Vertigo series 100 Bullets. Out today, Spaceman won't last 100 issues and 10 years, though — instead, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso are using a TV-like model with a nine-issue monthly miniseries before moving on to a second chapter. Or maybe a whole new idea.
"I wasn't sure if we were going to work together anymore," Azzarello says, adding that he and Risso started to hash out Spaceman around the time when 100 Bullets finished two years ago.
"I had the feeling where we'd probably just shake hands and say, 'Have a nice life,'" he adds. "It didn't happen that way. We were out and he said to me, 'What are we going to do next?' I was like, 'Whoa. You want to continue working together?' And he looked at me and went, 'It's not broke.'"
There weren't many sympathetic characters in their previous crime saga, unlike the big, hulking guy at the center of Spaceman.
- Charles Soule put together a free short comic on his website. Enjoy page 1 below and read the rest of the story here.
- Brian Wood spoke with CBR about Wolverine: Alpha & Omega:
Quentin Quire, the purple-haired telepath who once led a student revolt at the Xavier School, returned to shake up mutant alliances in the recent "X-Men: Schism" miniseries. Even as he unwillingly begins a new life under Logan's tutelage in this month's "Wolverine and the X-Men" #1, it appears Quire has plans to further assert his intellect and power.
Launching in January, "Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega" sees the youth in revolt launch a full-scale attack on the new faction's leader. The five-issue miniseries is written by "DMZ," "Northlanders," and incoming "Conan the Barbarian" scribe Brian Wood with art by Mark Brooks and Roland Boschi. Comic Book Resources caught up with Wood for a quick chat about the series.
"Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega" debuts not long after the big shakeup in "Schism," which saw Logan reject Cyclops' vision for the future of mutantkind and return to Westchester to establish the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters. Quentin Quire, also known as Kid Omega, traveled with Wolverine as a captive -- as of this writing, "Wolverine and the X-Men" #1 has just been released and it's unclear what Wolverine's plans for the notoriously rebellious student might be. Already, though, the January-debuting series will see Wolverine contend with Quentin Quire for control of the school.
"Logan and Quentin square off for sure, but its not the type of conflict you might be guessing at," Wood told CBR News. "This is pretty much a one-on-one type of battle, with Armor caught in the middle -- and it's a battle that's being waged entirely on Quentin's terms. I wouldn't say he's interested in Logan's job so much as he's interested in just beating Logan at something. It's irrational and represents only short term thinking on Quentin's part, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous. It might actually make it more dangerous."
- Fabio Moon asks us to keep an eye out for his story in Dark Horse Presents #6. He also did the cover:
- Peter Milligan speaks with io9, and answers the really tough questions :
Another alien question — who would win in a fight, Doop from X-Statix or Atrocitus?
I don't want to get Marveled up (because this is a DC interview) but it depends on what weapons they use. If the weapons are surreal, then Doop's going to win hands down. In a fair fight, Atrocitus.
Have you sketched out a potential crossover between Red Lanterns and Justice League Dark?
I haven't thought of that, but they do both operate in the DC Universe, but Justice League Dark are these occult magic users, and you might need a little more brute force to handle the Red Lanterns.
I was just wondering because the planet Ysmault definitely has a mystical reputation. That could have room for some crossover insanity.
It's a planet that's large enough to give you anything you want. Also, Madam Xanadu has the power of clairvoyance, which is the same as what Atrocitus can do with his blood magic. There's an interesting convergence of powers. But what's interesting about Justice League Dark is that they exist to deal with threats that the Justice League might not want anything to do with. With characters like Superman and Batman, black magic could pull the rug from out their feet, potentially. The JLD has its uses, as long as it stays together!
I also get asked a lot about writing John Constantine in both Justice League Dark and [Vertigo Comics'] Hellblazer. I quite like that some of the readers are enjoying him in Dark and then checking him out over at Vertigo. I get asked if it's difficult, will readers get confused. I think that's doing the average comic book reader a great disservice — the continuities aren't completely connected, but I think people are sophisticated enough to figure out that this character is used in two different stories.
Is there any way we can get more people to read Enigma? That's really one of my favorite things you've ever penned.
I was re-reading Enigma. This is the really early, early stages but I'm considering doing a sequel. So much has happened in the world since it came out, in terms of how gays are treated in the West. I'd like to highlight those differences of lives of homosexuals in the West compared to gays in Africa, the Middle East, and lots of developing countries.
- Here’s a Skottie Young original. OK, it’s from last week, but check out how awesome it is!
- The Comics Journal Published the best interview you will read this month. One of the all time great comics publishers, Gary Groth, interviews one of the all time great comic creators, Robert Crumb. Here is just a tiny morsel of this massive interview:
You lived on a collective farm?
Well, when Ballantine Books wanted to do the Fritz the Cat book they gave me $10,000 up front. That was big money for us then. That was in ’69. And then Dana, my first wife, immediately wanted to go out and find a place to buy. And she heard about this place three hours from San Francisco in Potter Valley and went up there and looked at it, it was $18,000 for a five-acre place with a house on it, so she said, “That’s the one. I’m going to buy that.” We bought it, and then she had this idea, she had all these people, hangers-on and all that. She wanted to do this big garden thing and that was like early 1970, late ’69. Might’ve been in 1970 that I got roped into pitching in and helping out with this gardening thing.
It ended up a big disaster, ended up being all we could really manage was a small patch, a garden patch about maybe 30 by 20 feet. We couldn’t farm acres; we just didn’t have the knowledge. Nobody really wanted to work that hard in the hot sun. You know these hippies, they all assumed that somebody else would do that, that somebody else would slave in the hot sun, not them. They had more important things to do. [Laughs.] It’s a lot of work, a lot of work, and you had to do it all by hand, without machinery and stuff. Oy!
Who were these hangers on and where did they live?
Well, we had a big place there. I don’t know where they all came from. Some of them lived in shacks nearby. That was a really crazy time. It was all very unstable. People came and went; it was anarchy. I couldn’t handle it. I was no master at dealing with that stuff. And my comics were supporting the whole thing. When everybody was hanging around and taking up my time during the day I had to work at night. It was the only time that people weren’t hanging around. [Laughs.] I have the memory of this in my mind, sitting in my little cabin in Potter Valley with all these people just sitting around, wanting to be entertained, wanting to smoke dope. Just taking up your time. Trying to get some work done was impossible.
You described that situation to me once, working through the night after these hangers-on went to sleep, and I wondered when you got any sleep.
Well, I would work all night ’til like 5 in the morning, then sleep ’til like 1 in the afternoon. [Laughs.] That’s what I did.
You were unbelievably productive during that period.
Yeah, I’m not sure about the quality of all that stuff I did though. I kind of think the quality was declining in the early ’70s. My life was just too crazy and people wanting my attention all the time because I was Mr. Hippy cartoonist, and people wanting things constantly, I was involved in so much nonsense. [Laughter.] Plus, I was running around chasing girls, and wanting to fuck this one and that one. [Laughs.]
Given all that, it’s still utterly amazing how productive you were.
Yeah, but the work suffered. I think it suffered mostly from pot, smoking too much pot wasn’t good for me. LSD was very inspirational, but pot just kind of de-motivated me. The drawing got sloppy and careless.