"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Peanuts is celebrating the 47th anniversary of the beloved comic strip’s first African-American character by declaring today National Franklin Day.
It’s a bit of promotion tied to the upcoming 3D-animated feature The Peanuts Movie, but it casts a welcome spotlight on Charlie Brown’s longtime friend, who was introduced by Charles M. Schulz on this day in 1968.
Inside Out, Pixar’s heartwarming animated comedy about the anthropomorphized emotions within the mind of an 11-year-old girl, has struck a chord with critics and audiences alike, earning more than $550 million worldwide. However, more than a few readers of the U.K. magazine The Beano have pointed out the hit film’s premise bears a striking resemblance to “The Numskulls,” the long-running comic strip about tiny technicians who live inside the mind of a boy named Edd.
Long silent about the similarities, the editors of The Beano finally responded today with a special “Numskulls”-themed issue in which Edd goes to see Inside Out. The Numskulls are unimpressed, taking digs at the film — “What am I looking at!? A giant mirror!?” — until they realize the movie is making millions.
Bazooka Candy Brands thinks it’s time for a new Bazooka Joe — Bazooka Joe 2.0, if you will.
The division of Topps has enlisted four artists to develop new looks for the 62-year-old (yet eternally youthful) character, whose tiny comic strips encased the company’s pink bubblegum until a couple of years ago.
Taking on the issue of gender equality, a United Nations organization has launched a competition intended to spotlight women’s rights through comics.
Organized by UN Women, with the help of the European Commission, the Belgian Development Cooperation and UNRIC, Gender Equality: Picture It! is open to residents of the European Union ages 18 to 28. “Show us what comes to your mind when you reflect on women’s rights and empowerment and on the relationship between women and men,” the website states.
Family Circus has been memorably mashed up with True Detective, and Peanuts with Morrissey lyrics, but when will poor, poor Cathy gets its moment in the pop-culture sun? Right … about … now.
Athens, Georgia-based artist Eric Simmons appears to have recognized the solutions to the many mundane problems of Cathy “Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!” Andrews (Hillman) in the profanity-laced comments of comedian Louis C.K. (Honestly, that seems as good of a place as any to find them.) With his Tumblr Cathy CK — “Cathy Comics Enhanced With Louis CK Quotes” — Simmons allows Cathy to finally say what she’s been holding in for the past four decades, which naturally involves several F-bombs, making her strip infinitely more readable.
Over the past few years, Mike Maihack’s adorable Batgirl/Supergirl comic strips have become a holiday tradition. Today, the creator of Cow & Buffalo and Cleopatra in Space is back with a new Christmas edition, in which the eternally cheerful Maid of Might wants to go caroling in Gotham. Which is apparently a lot like trick-or-treating …
“I feel like every Batgirl/Supergirl comic I’ve drawn so far has led up to this one right here,” the cartoonist writes. “Anyhow, Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope everyone is okay if this is the last of these for a while. 2015 is going be a busy, busy year for me.”
Years before his breakthrough works such as Why I Hate Saturn, Kyle Baker was an intern at Marvel. And although he was admittedly a poor fit for superhero comics, his editors saw something in the artist and gave him an outlet in It’s Genetic, a series of one-panel comics for the company’s promotional magazine Marvel Age.
Although Baker would go on to do different things, these early illustrations demonstrate how Baker — to say nothing of Marvel — wasn’t afraid to poke fun at one of the company’s biggest properties. Take this for instance:
Fantagraphics is bringing one of the pillars of South American comics to the United States for the first time.
In August 2015, Fantagraphics will publish an English adaptation of the first storyline of El Eternauta, aka The Eternonaut. Created in the late 1950s by writer and revolutionary Héctor Germán Oesterheld alongside artist Francisco Solano López, The Eternonaut is a rollicking sci-fi tale about a group of people living in the midst of an alien invasion. The story is post-apocalyptic, but veers into the weird with mutated animals, insects and even humans that the group fights just as much as the alien invaders. Midway through the story, the group is split apart due to a malfunctioning time-travel device on one of the alien’s ship, stranding some of the heroes in time and sending them on a new quest to find each other.
With its glacial pacing, signature earnestness and freakishly out-of-scale wildlife, Mark Trail is a fairly easy target for mockery, but the 68-year-old comic strip does have its fans.
Cartoonist James Allen, who worked as Jack Elrod’s assistant for nearly a decade, thought he had a pretty good idea of what those fans wanted: the occasional window into Mark’s family life (with a giant dog or goldfish, perhaps?). So after he taking over the daily strip in April, he set the khaki-clad adventurer on a course to spend a little time with long-neglected wife Cherry and son Rusty. Boy, was that so not what fans wanted.
After receiving several letters from “annoyed” readers, the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine, contacted Allen, who explained:
Following news of an expanded partnership with Marvel for its Artist’s Edition line, IDW Publishing has announced it will release deluxe hardcover editions of the Amazing Spider-Man comic strip through its Library of American Comics imprint.
The strip debuted in January 1977 with a storyline by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. that pitted wall-crawler against Doctor Doom, and it’s continued daily ever since. For much of its run, the comic has been produced by Larry Lieber, who was joined in more recent years by Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk and Joe Sinnott.
When you curl up with a collection of Bill Watterson’s beloved comic strip, you likely give no thought to the actual costs of the path of destruction cut by Calvin and Hobbes during their nearly decade-long free-for-all. But a certain Matt J. Michel has.
The editor of Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science (ahem, PNIS), “a part-serious, part-satirical journal publishing science-related articles,” Michel addressed the issue with all the seriousness — or at least part-seriousness — he could muster. Sitting down with the four-volume Complete Calvin and Hobbes, he scoured each of the 3,150 strips, attaching a price to each piece of damaged property explicitly depicted or attributed to the eternal 6-year-old.
Sixty-four years ago today, the beloved and influential Peanuts debuted in nine newspapers with a four-panel strip that set the tone for the future of “good ol’ Charlie Brown,” introduced through the words of Shermy, who admits his hatred for him.
Things didn’t get any better for the round-headed boy in the second installment, in which Patty (no, not Peppermint Patty) punches him in the eye. Snoopy doesn’t arrive until the third, but Schulz ensured the faithful companion wouldn’t make life much cheerier for Charlie Brown over the course of the 17,894 strips that followed.
The three original comic strips from Bill Watterson’s surprise guest stint last month on Pearls Before Swine will be displayed this week at Comic-Con International before they’re sold at auction Aug. 8, with proceeds benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The collaboration, which came at the suggestion of the Calvin and Hobbes creator, marked Watterson’s return to the comics page after a 19-year absence. Pastis teased readers that the week’s storyline would “contain a mind-blowing surprise,” but didn’t reveal what it was. Nevertheless, some fans quickly uncovered clues that some of the strips were ghost-drawn by Watterson.
The original Wonder Woman comic strip will be collected for the first time in August in IDW Publishing’s 196-page hardcover Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip 1943-1944.
It’s part of the March 2013 partnership with DC Entertainment and the Library of American Comics that includes the Superman and Batman comic strip collections. Unlike the other two superheroes, who had lengthy tenures in newspapers (even if the Caped Crusader’s was broken up into three major runs), Wonder Woman’s was short-lived, lasting only from May 1, 1943 to Dec. 1, 1944.
To answer a question that many people have been speculating on: Yes, Bill Watterson did contribute to Pearls Before Swine this week.
The creator of the comic strip, Stephan Pastis, confirmed on his blog what many people have been speculating — the Calvin & Hobbes creator did indeed return to the comic strip page and teamed with Pastis on three strips this week.
Comparing the experience to searching for Bigfoot, Pastis describes how the collaboration came about. It started with a comic strip tribute to Watterson (see above) and Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis, who worked with Watterson on The Art of Richard Thompson, giving Pastis Watterson’s email address. Pastis didn’t think he’d get a response.