Current Transmissions

South Carolina library pulls Alan Moore’s Neonomicon

The director of the Greenville County Public Library system in South Carolina has decided to remove Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Neonomicon from library shelves following a patron complaint — even though her own board recommended that the book continue to be available.

The trouble started in June, when a parent allowed her 14-year-old daughter to check out the book, which was shelved in the adult section. “It looked like a murder mystery comic book to me,” Carrie Gaske said at the time. “It looked like a child’s book. I flipped through it, and thought it was OK for her to check out.”

Neonomicon is, of course, not a child’s book, as Gaske learned when her daughter asked the meaning of a “nasty” word. Gaske then gave the graphic novel a second look and saw that it included explicit sexual content. “I feel that has the same content of Hustler or Playboy or things like that,” she told local media. “Maybe even worse.” Gaske filed an official challenge to the book, and it was removed from circulation while the library’s internal committee discussed it.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Jeff Parker on Dark Avengers

Dark Avengers 184

Dec. 12, marks a new era and a new team dynamics for writer Jeff Parker‘s Dark Avengers as Issue 184 goes on sale. But before the new storyline begins, I convinced Parker to reflect on his Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers run, which started in November 2009 (Thunderbolts #138) as well as discussing what lies ahead with the series. It was interesting to learn his thought process when collaborating with past series artists like Kev Walker and Declan Shalvey, as well as what current artist Neil Edwards motivates Parker to tackle. This interview was a fun romp for me, full of surprises — none more than the first: that Parker nearly passed on writing the series.

Once you finish the interview, please chime in if you agree that Parker should get a chance to write a Man-Thing series for Marvel. And if you missed CBR’s Dave Richards’ interview with Parker regarding Red She-Hulk, be sure to read it to learn about more great Parker storytelling.

Tim O’Shea: You started writing Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers in November 2009. Could you have envisioned it would be a book you would still be writing a solid three years later?

Jeff Parker: No, I almost passed on it. When Bill Rosemann asked me if I’d be interested in coming on after Andy Diggle. I’d never read much of the title, and he described that they wanted to base it around The Raft superprison. And I was wary. “It’s all set in prison? They never go anywhere?” But Bill and Tom Brevoort assured me that they’d be able to go on missions, it just needed to have prison as a big backdrop; that’s what had been discussed at one of the Marvel summits. Bill had asked me because I’d just worked on The Hood sequel miniseries with him and Kyle Hotz and he thought I’d be good for continuing with a villain book.

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Art Barrage | The Jane Austen rule

As Jane Austen once wrote, it is a truth universally acknowledged that any illustrator or painter who sticks a Superman emblem or a Catwoman mask in his or her work will probably end up in Art Barrage. The first artist up to prove the point this week is Niklas Asker, who recently posted work from his latest show “Great Expectations.” I like this guy’s style, so I’ve been hoping he’d give me a decent excuse to run one of his paintings. Mission accomplished, Nik. More fine artists dabbling in comic book imagery, and comic book artists making it in fine art and illustration, below — including Jack Dylan, Rob Schwager, Brian M. Viveros, Thomas Pitilli, and plenty others.

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The Hawkeye Initiative puts our favorite archer in superheroine poses

By Noelle Stevenson, aka Gingerhaze

What began Saturday as an illustration swapping the poses of the two heroes on the cover of Hawkeye & Black Widow #17 turned into a challenge Sunday when Nimona creator Noelle Stevenson suggested that the way to “fix every Strong Female Character pose in superhero comics” is to “replace the character with Hawkeye doing the same thing.” Now The Hawkeye Initiative is a bona fide online movement, with a blog showcasing countless takes on the Avengers’ ever-popular archer striking the poses, and occasionally wearing the adapted costumes, of various superheroines.

The results are always fun and funny, occasionally alarming, and frequently very, very sexy …

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Merry Christmas from Fantagraphics

I’m sharing this mostly because I just like holiday cards from comics publishers, whether I get them in the mail or see them on someone’s blog. But I also appreciate that this one includes three comics incons and the reminder that Fantagraphics has Christmas-related books featuring each of those characters. I’ve already mentioned Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking a couple of times (I have a copy and it is indeed as sweet and lovely as it looks), but didn’t realize that Nancy Likes Christmas and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown are also things that exist. Gonna need at least that Donald Duck one.

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Vertigo’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Vol. 2 arriving May 1

From Lee Bermejo's cover for the second volume of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

The conclusion of Vertigo’s two-part adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the bestselling crime novel by Stieg Larrson, will arrive in stores May 1, the DC Comics imprint confirmed this morning.

Written by Denise Mina and illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti, the graphic novel is the second installment in the six-volume adaptation of Larsson’s celebrated “Millennium” series: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. The first volume debuted last month, supported by a television advertising campaign.

The Millennium trilogy, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide since the release of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2005, centers on Lisbeth Salander, and eccentric computer hacker, and Mikael Blomkvist, and investigative journalist and magazine editor. They’re brought together in the first novel to solve a 40-year-old missing person’s case.

Larsson, a Swedish journalist and author, passed away in 2004 at age 50, leaving the completed manuscripts for the first three novels in what was intended as a 10-book series. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has been adapted twice for film: in 2009 by Swedish director Niels Arden, and in 2011 by American director David Fincher. Sony Pictures plans to film the two sequels back to back sometime next year.

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Bazooka bubble gum axes Bazooka Joe comics after 59 years

As part of an overhaul of its logo and packaging, the 65-year-old Bazooka bubblegum is replacing its red, white and blue color scheme and dropping the tiny Bazooka Joe comic strip that’s wrapped each piece of the pink candy since 1953. Yes, first Twinkies, and now the eyepatch-wearing Joe.

The New York Times reports the new packaging — it’s fuchsia and yellow with graffiti-inspired splattered paint — will begin arriving in stores in January as part of an effort by Topps Company subsidiary Bazooka Candy Brands to revive plummeting sales (from $17 million in 2007 to a projected $8.8 million this year). The new design is already a hit among retailers, with Target, 7-Eleven and Kroger now agreeing to stock the gum in early 2013.

That’s cold comfort to Bazooka Joe and his turtleneck-clad pal Mort, whose cheesy jokes and silly antics will be relegated to the pages of history, replaced by brainteasers, activities and online codes. Not that many of Bazooka’s target audience will mourn their passing: A recent survey found just 7 percent of children age 6 to 12 are aware of Bazooka Joe; of those, only 41 percent liked the character. Perhaps it’s the eyepatch, which turns out to have been a mere fashion accessory all along.

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Buy a Kate Beaton tote bag, get a free Walrus

Kate Beaton has contributed plenty of art to Canada’s Walrus magazine and the publication is continuing the association by re-releasing a limited edition tote bag featuring Beaton’s work. “Last time the beauty was available, the stylish, high-demand tote sold out in a single day,” Walrus reminds. “We’re now making it available with a special bonus for the holidays: buy the Beaton tote, get a ten issue subscription absolutely free.” The bag costs $25.

As I’m typing this on Sunday night, there are still some available, but act fast if you want one. The bags start shipping Dec. 10.

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Comics A.M. | Final Dandy print edition features Paul McCartney

Publishing | The final print edition of the 75-year-old children’s comic The Dandy arrives Tuesday, featuring a cameo by none other than Paul McCartney. When it was announced the publication would move online, McCartney wrote the editors explaining it was his lifelong dream to appear in the comic; tomorrow he’ll be seen along with Desperate Dan. [Daily Mail, Daily Mail]

Passings | Jeff Millar, the co-creator, with Bill Hinds, of the comic strip Tank McNamara, has died at the age of 70. [Houston Chronicle]

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Vertigo to revive Time Warp sci-fi anthology

From Eduardo Risso's cover for "Time Warp" #1

Adding to such recent revivals as Strange Adventures, Ghosts and Young Romance, Vertigo will publish the science-fiction anthology Time Warp #1 in March. Although the announcement at MTV Geek doesn’t specify that the title is a one-shot, all of the previous ones have been.

The issue will feature stories by the likes of Damon Lindelof, Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt,  Toby Litt, Mark Buckingham, Dan Abnett, Peter Milligan, Ray Fawkes, Simon Spurrier, Gail Simone, Rafael Albuquerque and Tom Fowler, with covers by Eduardo Risso (in full below) and Jae Lee.

Time Warp doesn’t have quite the august history that such titles as Young Romance and Strange Adventures have: Debuting in 1979 amid the renewed popularity of science fiction, and in the wake of the DC Implosion, the anthology lasted just five issues. However, it featured an impressive lineup of talent, including Steve Ditko, Curt Swan, Jim Aparo, Paul Levitz, Gil Kane, Arnold Drake and Denny O’Neil.

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What Are You Reading? with Joshua Henaman

Godzilla: Half Century War

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we regularly talk about the comics we’ve been reading lately. Our special guest today is homebrewing enthusiast and first-time publisher Joshua Henaman. He’s the creator of Bigfoot – Sword of the Earthman, a sword, sorcery and Sasquatch epic self-published under the Brewhouse Comics banner with art duties by Andy Taylor. It’s available in select stores and via online ordering at www.bigfootcomic.com.

To see what Joshua and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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A sneak peek into Picturebox’s 2013 catalog

Walrus

Continuing our look at various small press publishers plans for the new year, today i thought we’d take a few moments to delve into Picturebox’s latest catalog. Join me, won’t you?

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Saturday Shelf Porn | Maximum Marvel mini busts

Welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look into the closets, cases and longboxes of comic fans around the world. Today’s collection belongs to Chad Holloway, who shares his vast collection of Marvel-themed mini busts.

If you have some shelves you’d like to show off, send me a write-up and some jpgs at jkparkin@yahoo.com.

And now let’s hear from Chad …

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Chain Reactions | FF #1

FF #1

The Marvel NOW line-up continues to roll out first issues galore, with this past Wednesday bringing the snappiest-looking relaunch so far–FF #1 by Matt Fraction, Michael Allred, Laura Allred and Clayton Cowles. The sister title to Marvel’s original first family, FF #1 features a hand-picked replacement team that’s needed to fill in for Reed and company for a whole four minutes. What could possibly go wrong?

If you were on the fence about the title, here are a few opinions from around the web to help you decide which way to fall:

Ryan K. Lindsay, Comic Book Resources: “FF #1 looked to be the wildest book of the Marvel NOW! line up: Matt Fraction and Michael Allred on a crazy new science team for the Fantastic Four world. It was one of those books that was either going to be too good to be true or belly flop hard. Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t give much of an indicator either way except to leave worry it’s not off to a dazzling start — not that it feels like it’s started yet.”

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Robot Roulette | Kurt Busiek

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back for another round of Robot Roulette. It’s kind of like Vegas, without the mob connections or chances of actually winning money–comic creators spin the virtual wheel and get six questions thrown at them to answer.

Today Kurt Busiek takes his six questions and turns them into gold. Kurt, of course, is the award-winning writer of Astro City, Liberty Project, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Marvels, Avengers, Arrowsmith, Shockrockets, Thunderbolts, Iron Man, Kirby: Genesis, JLA/Avengers, Trinity, Superman: Secret Identity, Conan, Power Company and many, many more comics. You can find out more about him on his website.

My thanks to Kurt for agreeing to answer our questions. Now let’s get to it …

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