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Comics A.M. | Trial begins in 2014 ZombieWalk crash

ZombieWalk: San Diego 2014

ZombieWalk: San Diego 2014

Legal | The trial began Monday in San Diego for Matthew Pocci, the driver who plowed through a crowd of pedestrians, injuring one, last year at the annual ZombieWalk, held during Comic-Con International. He;s charged with felony reckless driving. Pocci, who’s deaf, said he was frightened by the crowd, but prosecutors say he was angry and impatient. New video shows the car moving through the crowd and running over one woman. [NBC San Diego]

Political cartoons | J.J. Sedelmaier shows off some political cartoons by Winsor McCay on the topic of Prohibition, taken from a compilation, Temperance—or Prohibition?, that Sedelmaier picked up in a used bookstore. [Paste]

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Marvel alum James Viscardi launches comics podcast

lets talk comicsJames Viscardi may have left Marvel, but he’s clearly not finished with comics: The publisher’s former associate manager, sales & communications has launched his own podcast, the aptly titled Let’s Talk Comics.

Described as “a new podcast that aims to tell the origin stories of all your favorite creators in the comics industry,” it debuted this week with an in-depth discussion with Rick Remender, the writer and artist known for his work on titles ranging from Strange Girl and Fear Agent to Uncanny Avengers and Black Science (and I’m looking forward to his upcoming Image Comics series with Wes Craig, Deadly Class).

“Rick Remender is quite the journeyman when it comes to being a comic creator,” Viscardi writes in his introduction to the episode. “He’s drawn comics, he’s written comics, he’s worked in animation and he’s written video games. In today’s show, Rick and I go down memory lane and tell some pretty fascinating stories about life as an up and coming creator, how he broke into Marvel (twice), and how he’s somewhat associated with Meg Ryan!”

You can listen to the lengthy interview below.

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U.K.’s top comics podcast Sunnyside Comics relaunches at new site

Northern Ireland’s little podcast that could, Sunnyside Comics, has relaunched at a new location, sunnysidecomics.com. The show’s mix of opinion and hilarious, scurrilous in-fighting has left it with the reputation of being the comics equivalent of The Ricky Gervais Show. The show has a similar tripartite chemistry (with PJ Holden in the outspoken Gervais role, Ron Abernethy as the droll Stephen Merchant lynchpin and Scott Ferguson as their Karl Pilkington), and a similarly irregular broadcast pattern.

Holden is a Belfast-based comic artist who’s been working for 2000AD for more than a decade. In the U.S. he’s drawn Happy Valley (part of Garth Ennis’ series Battlefields for Dynamite), Robocop/Terminator (with Rob Williams) also for Dynamite, and Fearless (written by Mark Sable and Dave Roth) for Image Comics. His work is appearing in Judge Dredd for 2000AD. Ron Abernethy is a face and voice familiar to anyone acquainted with Belfast’s music scene, and has worked for Northern Ireland’s leading commercial media company. He’s responsible for producing the podcast. Scott Ferguson is involved in the technical end of media production, and works on one of the biggest TV series in the world, Game of Thrones. Below, we speak to Paul, Ron and Scott about the relaunch and the trio’s unique relationship.

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Happy Holidays from Robot 6

from Matthew Petz

It’s Christmas Eve, and we’re winding down here at Robot 6 to go spend time with family and friends. Before heading off to celebrate, though, you’ll find a collection of holiday-themed links after the jump, along with this year’s collection of holiday cards we received.

On behalf of all of Robot 6, have a great holiday and stay safe. We’ll see you next week.

(Above: a Christmas showdown by Matthew Petz)

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Comics A.M. | Archie-Valerie romance rekindled; cartoonist resigns

Archie #631

Creators | Dan Parent discusses an upcoming Archie storyline that will bring Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats to Riverdale, causing sparks to once again fly: “The fans can expect the next step in what I think is the most romantic story in Archie history. The chemistry between Archie and Valerie was hot the first time they got together, and now you’ve really got to see it simmer, all the way from the rekindling of their romance to getting much more serious than we’ve seen before.” [USA Today]

Editorial cartoons | Cartoonist Jeff Stahler has resigned from The Columbus Dispatch following accusations that he lifted ideas from other cartoons, including one that ran in The New Yorker. [Poynter]

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Comics A.M. | Jerry Robinson Detective Comics #67 cover up for sale

Detective Comics #67

Art | Jerry Robinson’s cover artwork from Detective Comics #67 is expected to bring in more than $300,000 when it goes up for auction Nov. 15. “Robinson penciled and inked this cover and the detail of his art is amazing close-up,” said Todd Hignite, consignment director for Comic Art at Heritage Auctions, “particularly his shading lines on Batman and Robin, and on the feathery details of the ostrich being straddled by that bird-of-prey, the Penguin.” [Art Daily]

Business | Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment Inc. and Vuguru, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s independent studio, are partnering to produce “original digital content.” [press release]

Comics | Darryl Ayo has a small manifesto about comics that makes a lot of sense: “Things that don’t make sense in North American comics: 1) comics that exist after their creators have ceased to. 2) these comics’ existence continues despite minimal effort to applicable to contemporary culture. Things that make perfect sense in North American comics: people’s general lack of interest in comics.” He points out a number of reasons why the comics audience is small and challenges creators and publishers to “Do better.” One point he makes that is rarely mentioned: The critical importance of editors. [Comix Cube]

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The day indie rock defeated Alan Moore: Al Columbia reveals what happened to Big Numbers #4

Is this the only Big Numbers #4 art you'll ever see?

Is this the only Big Numbers #4 art you'll ever see?

It’s one of comics’ greatest mysteries, and Inkstuds interviewer extraordinaire Robin McConnell just solved it. And the answer involves…’90s indie-rock icons Sebadoh?

McConnell covers a lot of incredibly fascinating ground in his astonishingly candid and in-depth interview with cartoonist Al Columbia — do not say “tl;dl” to the two-hour podcast — but he also cuts right to the chase, asking the mercurial artist what, exactly, happened to the artwork he created for Watchmen demigod Alan Moore’s great lost comic Big Numbers #4. As you might recall from our post on Columbia’s one-time mentor Bill Sienkiewicz’s recent words on the subject, Big Numbers was intended to be Moore’s magnum opus.

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The coolest Best of 2010 list you’ve ever listened to

The latest episode of Robin McConnell’s indispensable comics podcast Inkstuds is a fun one: It’s a critics’ roundtable on the best comics of 2010, featuring Chris Butcher, Bill Kartalopoulos, and Tucker Stone. It’s a rare treat to hear any of these guys talk at length about great comics: Tucker is the busy manager of Brooklyn’s Bergen Street Comics and divides most of his writing time these days between film, music, and kicking the crap out of the latest Wednesday shipment; old-school comics blogospherian Chris has mostly moved away from criticism in favor of running Toronto’s beloved Beguiling comics shop and organizing TCAF; and Bill’s thoughts on comics are generally reserved for the lucky few who take his classes at Parsons, sit in on the panels he organizes and moderates for SPX and BCGF, or visit the comic art exhibitions he curates. To hear the three of them bat around the likes of Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza, Brecht Evens’s The Wrong Place, Dash Shaw’s Bodyworld, Blaise Larmee’s Young Lions, the comics of Michael DeForge, Charles Burns’s X’ed Out, and Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez’s Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 is to hear three great comics minds pull apart what worked — and what didn’t — in some of the year’s most notable and forward-looking releases. Standout moments include Bill’s point on how improved color reproduction has given artists the freedom to do more with color than simply filling in the lines, Chris’s admission that he’s just never been in the right place to read Footnotes, and Tucker’s arguments for why both of Los Bros Hernandez handed in some of their best-ever work in the latest L&R.

Joe Quesada marks a decade as Marvel’s puppet master

Joe Quesada, by Alex Maleev

The Mighty Marvel Podcast marks its 100th episode with an interview with Joe Quesada, who was named editor-in-chief of Marvel 10 years ago this week. Quesada, who in June was promoted to chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, reflects on his time overseeing the Marvel Knights imprint, his role in the creative of the Ultimate Universe and more.

To help commemorate the anniversary, Alex Maleev created an illustration depicting Quesada as puppet master — no, not that one — of the Marvel Universe. See the full image after the break, and read more about Quesada’s tenure at Marvel.com.

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Rock out to the music of the ’60s Spider-Man cartoon


Move over, Bono and the Edge: Now this is the musical Spider-Man I’m interested in! Cold Heat cartoonist Frank Santoro and retailer Bill Boichel of Pittsburgh’s Copacetic Comics bring our attention to a pair of posts on the blog of free-form radio station WFMU, in which the secrets of the groovy background music from 1967-1970 Spider-Man animated series are revealed at long last. Here’s part one, here’s part two.

Everyone knows the famous “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can” theme music, but the jazzy, freaky tunes that soundtracked Spidey’s fight scenes and swings through the city have always been a bit of a mystery. WFMU’s Kliph Nesteroff tracked them down to an English stock-music library, which is where shows ranging from Doctor Who to Dallas bought them and used them as well. Nesteroff put together an awesomely long podcast comparing the music as heard in the episodes themselves to the crystal-clear original recordings. At the speed of light, they’ve arrived just in time to make your Monday a lot more fun-sounding.

Williams on Batwoman: ‘I don’t know if that’s going to happen’

iFanboy.com has posted a video of footage from the Emerald City Comicon, where they spoke to several creators at the show about what they were working on. Around the 4:00 mark they talk to artist J.H. Williams III and ask him if the Batwoman title that was mentioned as being in the works last year will still happen.

“I don’t know. We were hoping for that,” Williams said. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen.” The artist, who worked with Greg Rucka on an amazing Batwoman run for Detective Comics, did say he was working on a short story for the upcoming DC Legacies title featuring the Seven Soldiers and another upcoming issue of Jonah Hex.

You can watch the entire video below, which also features interviews with Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Lemire, Jim Rugg and Peter Tomasi.

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

PlayStation Digital Comics

PlayStation Digital Comics

Digital comics | Sony launched its much-anticipated PlayStation Digital Comics service on Wednesday with hundreds of titles from such publishers 2000 AD, Archie, Disney, IDW Publishing and Marvel. Several titles, including Atomic Robo #1, G.I. Joe #0 and Young Salem #1, are being offered for free download to PlayStation Portables. [PlayStation Blog, Kotaku]

Crime | More details emerged Wednesday in the family feud that led to the arrest last week of Alfonso Frank Frazetta Jr. on charges of stealing 90 of his father’s paintings from the Frank Frazetta Museum near East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. A notary supported Frank Jr.’s claim that his 81-year-old father had authorized him, in a signed document, to secure the paintings “by any means possible.” The notary also said she revoked the power of attorney held by Frazetta Sr.’s other three children Bill Frazetta, Holly Taylor and Heidi Gravin. A judge reduced Frank. Jr.’s bail from $500,000 to $50,000. Meanwhile, Frazetta Sr.’s art collection, valued at $20 million, has been removed from the museum by Bill Frazetta, who says, “They’re not going to be displayed back here in the Poconos after this.” [Pocono Record]

Crime | Closing arguments are expected to be delivered today in the trial of Jevon Sawyer, the 19-year-old accused of shooting retailer David Pirkola during the April 2008 robbery of Apparitions Comics and Books in Kentwood, Michigan. Pirkola, 58, spent weeks in a hospital and still hasn’t fully recovered from his injuries. [The Grand Rapids Press]

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