Stan Lee, "Spider-Man!" Amazing Fantasy No. 15 (Sept. 1962)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Trailers for the End of the Year

Here's two more trailers for upcoming films based on comics:

I'm unsure about the first one here. The Dark Knight was a bad film in so many ways, and The Dark Knight Rises (despite its hope-filled title) paints a bleak picture for Batman and Gotham (plus the end tag here--"The Legend...Ends"--suggests a depressing conclusion for all).

One the other hand, The Men in Black films are always fun; let's hope the latest installment does not disappoint.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New OV Justice League: Doom

A new original video from the DC Animated Universe is due out in February. Here is the advance trailer:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Plug for Sequart Research

I recently came across the web site for the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization. They seem to bring the ground between popular scholarship of comics and academic discussions of the medium. The group maintains a lively blog and has published a series of essay collections on a variety of topics, including companions to recent films (see also the following link for more details: http://www.sequart.org/magazine/5111/sequarts-books-get-new-cheaper-editions/). This is definitely one to watch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spidey Art Book

Spider-Man turns 50 next year, and Marvel begins the celebration with The Art of Spider-Man Classic, a visual survey of the character's history in the comics. I won't say it is a "must have", but it is interesting to look at to explore the character's evolution on the comics page. Further details at Westfield Comics.

New Alex Ross Art Book

Here's a great read from Dynamite Entertainment:


Rating: Teen +
Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Alex Ross
Artist: Alex Ross
Publication Date: Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 328
ISBN-10: 1-60690-244-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-60690-244-8

The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross has now EXPANDED to 328 PAGES!!!!!! Containing sketches, designs, layouts and pencils, interior work, covers, and a wealth of unpublished art, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross can be found at comic stores everywhere December 7th! But now, it is going to come with over a hundred and twenty-eight more pages, at the same price! Originally just over 200 pages, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross will be a whopping 328 pages with ABSOLUTELY no price increase!

Alex Ross' ultra-realistic, painted renditions of iconic superheroes have made him a superstar. In the vein of acclaimed and fan-favorite Alex Ross books such as Mythologies and Rough Justice, we are proud to present the ultimate collection of Alex Ross art from his extensive collaboration with Dynamite, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross. Containing sketches, designs, layouts and pencils, interior work, covers, and a wealth of unpublished art.

Collecting all of Alex's Dynamite covers and interior art in one complete hardcover volume, also featuring Marvel pages, along with commentary throughout the book by Alex Ross himself, as well as special bonus material, this is a package not to be missed. A must-buy for Alex Ross' legion of fans!

Tintin Movie

Due out this week:

2011 In Memoriam

I'm perpetually behind on blog posts but did want to at least acknowledge the recent passing of two Golden Age greats: Jerry Robinson and Joe Simon. I was not very familiar with Robinson (and now look forward to reading N. C. Christopher Couch's biography Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics [2010]), but Simon's recent autobiography provided much insight into his life and career.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Monday, November 28, 2011

New From McFarland

Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed.
William B. Jones, Jr.

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-3840-2
EBook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8840-7
357 photos (48 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
409pp. hardcover (8.5 x 11) 2011
Price: $55.00

About the Book
A significant expansion of the critically acclaimed first edition, Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed., carries the story of the Kanter family’s series of comics-style adaptations of literary masterpieces from 1941 into the 21st century. This book features additional material on the 70-year history of Classics Illustrated and the careers and contributions of such artists as Alex A. Blum, Lou Cameron, George Evans, Henry C. Kiefer, Gray Morrow, Rudolph Palais, and Louis Zansky. New chapters cover the recent Jack Lake and Papercutz revivals of the series, the evolution of Classics collecting, and the unsung role of William Kanter in advancing the fortunes of his father Albert’s worldwide enterprise. Enhancing the lively account of the growth of "the World’s Finest Juvenile Publication" are new interviews and correspondence with editor Helene Lecar, publicist Eleanor Lidofsky, artist Mort Kunstler, and the founder’s grandson John "Buzz" Kanter.

Detailed appendices provide artist attributions, issue contents and, for the principal Classics Illustrated-related series, a listing of each printing identified by month, year, and highest reorder number. New U.S., Canadian and British series have been added. More than 300 illustrations--most of them new to this edition--include photographs of artists and production staff, comic-book covers and interiors, and a substantial number of original cover paintings and line drawings.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: “Good Stories” 1

I. Albert Kanter’s Dream 9
II. Of Musketeers and Mohicans: The Jacquet Shop 17
III. Louis Zansky: The Painter’s Touch 26
IV. Eccentricity Abounding: The War Years 35
V. Arnold Lorne Hicks: Transitional Figure 42

Between pages 48 and 49 are eight pages containing 22 color plates

VI. Enter Iger: The Fiction House Artists 49
VII. Henry Carl Kiefer and the Classics House Style 63
VIII. Alex A. Blum: “A Prince of a Man” 76
IX. A “Newer, Truer Name”: The Late Forties 90
X. Blood, Sweat, and Rudy Palais 104
XI. Painted Covers and an Extra Nickel: The Early Fifties 111
XII. Maurice del Bourgo: A “Man’s World Artist” 131XIII. Canonical Matters and Classical Curiosities 135
XIV. Lou Cameron: “If John Wayne Had Drawn Comic Books” 144
XV. Norman Nodel: “A Certain Integrity” 153
XVI. From the Crypt to the Classics: The EC Era 165
XVII. George Evans, Reed Crandall, and the Tradition of EC Realism 182
XVIII. Roberta the Conqueror 197

Between pages 200 and 201 are eight pages containing 26 color plates
IX. High Tide and Greenbacks: The Late Fifties 201
XX. Gerald McCann: The Colors of the Sky 213
XXI. Gray Morrow: “Real People and Real Events” 217
XXII. “Roberta’s Reforms”: The Early SixtiesXIII. William E. Kanter: About a Son 240
XXIV. Five Little Series and How They Grew: Picture Progress; Classics Illustrated Junior; Classics Illustrated Special Issues; The World Around Us; The Best from Boys’ Life Comics 244
XXV. “Frawley’s Folly”: The Twin Circle Era (1967–1971) 270
XXVI. Classics Abroad: The Worldwide Yellow Banner 274
XXVII. The Wilderness Years: The Seventies and Eighties 280
XXVIII. Great Expectations: First Publishing’s Graphic Novels 283
XXIX. “Your Doorway to the Classics”: Acclaim’s Study Guides 291
XXX. Restoration: Jack Lake Productions and Papercutz 294
XXXI. Classics Collected: Notes on the Evolution of a Pastime and a Passion 299
XXXII. Classical Coda 306
Notes 309

A. Classic Comics and Classics Illustrated 317
B. Classics Illustrated Giant Editions 334
C. Fast Fiction/Stories by Famous Authors Illustrated 334
D. Classics Illustrated Educational Series 335
E. Picture Parade/Picture Progress 335
F. Classics Illustrated Junior 336
G. Classics Illustrated Special Issues 342
H. The Best from Boys’ Life Comics 343
I. The World Around Us 344
J. British Classics Illustrated, First and Second Series 349
K. Classics Illustrated, Second Series (Berkley/First) 353
L. Classics Illustrated, Third Series, Study Guides (Acclaim) 353
M. Classics Illustrated, Fourth Series ( Jack Lake) 355
N. Classics Illustrated Junior, Second Series ( Jack Lake) 357
O. Classics Illustrated Special Issues, Second Series ( Jack Lake) 359
P. British Classics Illustrated, Third Series 359
Q. Papercutz Classics Illustrated DeLuxe Editions 360
R. Papercutz Classics Illustrated Editions 360
S. Correspondence Between Roberta Strauss and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, re: The Dark Frigate 360
T. Letter from Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht to E. Nelson Bridwell 361

Bibliography 363
Index 367

About the Author
Attorney, teacher, and freelance writer William B. Jones, Jr., lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Portraying 9/11: Essays on Representations in Comics, Literature, Film and Theatre
Edited by Veronique Bragard, Christophe Dony and Warren Rosenberg

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-5950-6
EBook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8896-4
4 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
184pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2011
Price: $40.00

About the Book
Commentators and artists attempting to represent the events of September 11, 2001, struggle to create meaning in the face of such powerful experiences. This collection of essays offers critical insights into the discourses that shape the memory of 9/11 in the narrative genres of comics, literature, film, and theatre. It examines historical, political, cultural, and personal meanings of the disaster and its aftermath through critical discussions of Marvel and New Yorker comics, American and British novels, Hollywood films, and the plays of Anne Nelson.


Acknowledgments vii

Part I: Comics
Covering 9/11: The New Yorker, Trauma Kitsch, and Popular Memory
Spandex Agonistes: Superhero Comics Confront the War on Terror
“Whose Side Are You On?” The Allegorization of 9/11 in Marvel’s Civil War

Part II: Literature
September 11 and Cold War Nostalgia
Don DeLillo’s Falling Man: Countering Post–9/11 Narratives of Heroic Masculinity
Misplaced Anxieties: Violence and Trauma in Ian McEwan’s Saturday
The Mediated Trauma of September 11, 2001, in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition and David Foster Wallace’s “The Suffering Channel”

Part III: Performance
Terror and Mismemory: Resignifying September 11 in World Trade Center and United 93
From Flying Man to Falling Man: 9/11 Discourse in Superman Returns and Batman Begins

Authenticating the Reel: Realism, Simulation, and Trauma in United 93
Connecting in the Aftermath: Trauma, Performance, and Catharsis in the Plays of Anne Nelson

About the Contributors 173
Index 175

About the Author
Veronique Bragard is associate professor in comparative literature at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Christophe Dony combines teaching and research activities at the Universite de Liege, Belgium, where he is a PhD candidate in English Literatures. Warren Rosenberg is a professor and chair of English at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

CFP Joker Collection

My thanks to the NEPCA Journal for the head's up:

Call for Abstracts

The Joker: Critical Essays on the Clown Prince of Crime

Robert Moses Peaslee & Robert G. Weiner, Editors

“Nobody panics when things are going according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying.”

-- The Joker (Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight (2008)

If one were to survey the global public about their favorite superheroes, the results would likely place Batman, Spider-Man, and perhaps Superman in the top tier. If one were to ask about super villains, however, it’s unlikely that any character would receive more attention than the Joker. To date, the character has appeared in thousands of comics, numerous animated series, and three major blockbuster feature films dating back to 1966. One could make a strong argument that the Clown Prince of Crime is the most popular and well-known fictional villain in the history of popular culture. A superhero is only as interesting as the villains he or she faces, and the Joker stands out among hundreds of villains as one of the most complex, culturally resonant, and morally ambiguous characters to ever grace a comic book page or movie screen. In 2006, Industry publication Wizard ranked the Joker as the number one comic villain of all time.

Academic studies and collections of Batman abound, both as a text and as an industry (DiPaolo, 2009; Eury, 2009; Schopp, 2009; Kuwata, 2008; O’Neil, 2008; Zehr, 2008; Brooker, 2007; Morris, 2005; Pearson & Uricchio, 1991; Beard 2010). Despite the Joker’s popularity, however, there has never appeared a serious scholarly monograph or edited collection based around the character. The editors hope to rectify this gap in the literature of sequential art, film, media, and cultural studies. Our aspiration is to compile the definitive volume on the character, encompassing historical, textual, institutional, and interpretational approaches from a wide variety of disciplines.

To this end, the editors seek abstracts of no more than 500 words outlining proposed essays of 6,000-8,000 words. Abstracts should make clear the author’s approach to the material in epistemological terms and indicate whether or not the piece has appeared in previous forms elsewhere. Abstracts should show potential as rigorous primary research, theory development or criticism.

A by-no-means-exhaustive list of possible topics includes:

• Historical-textual examinations of the Joker’s emergence and evolution
• Comparative analyses of the Joker’s various characterizations and adaptations
• Socio-cultural approaches to the Joker’s symbolic potential
• The Joker and gender, race, sexuality, ability, etc.
• Gaming environments and the Joker’s manifestations in ludic narratives
• The Joker as an entertainment marketing tool
• The Joker pre- and post-9/11
• Relationships between the Joker and other heroes and/or villains
• Author- or creator-driven analyses
• Theoretical approaches to the Joker’s visual composition
• Narrative and rhetorical criticism
• Archetypal explorations of Joker pre-cursors
• Psychological or psychoanalytical analyses
• Humor and/or clowning and their relationship to the sinister
• The para-cinema of the Joker
• Fan communities and performance
• The Joker as a stabilizing or confounding force in sequential art taxonomies
• Joker philosophy
• Art historical or visual culture-driven analyses of the Joker
• The Joker as a pedagogical tool

Abstracts should be submitted no later than Dec. 15, 2011. Please send abstracts via email to rob.weiner@ttu.edu.

Those authors whose abstracts are accepted will be notified no later than February 1, 2012. Full essays will be required by April 1, 2012 and will be reviewed by both the editors and guest reviewers.

Note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the volume. Selected authors will be notified over the summer of 2012.

Rob Weiner
Humanities Librarian Texas Tech University
Email: rob.weiner@ttu.edu

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CFP Monsters in the Margins Conference

From the ImageTexT News Feed (note that the conference conflicts with the meeting of the Popular Culture Association in Boston):
"Monsters in the Margins" April 13-15, 2012
Posted 20 Nov, 2011

UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels

In any crisis, whether economic or cultural, there is a sense of an unimaginable danger right around the corner. These unknown and unfathomable terrors fascinate the imagination and dramatically play out our anxieties in a more cognitively relatable form—we attempt to embody them, to transplant them, or to make them somehow tangible—yet the underlying terror persists. The narratives and mediums we channel our terrors into become our monsters.

In the midst of the first true economic crisis of the 21st century, we return to these sites with renewed curiosity. How can we depict the sublime terror of our anxieties? How can we convey our unabashed horror through image and text, and communicate those feelings? Why do we keep trying to re-imagine the same monstrous templates, especially when the tools of a craft are perpetually unable to represent the unimaginable?

The 9th University of Florida Comics Conference hopes to address these issues by welcoming any and all explorations into the representation of monsters in a visual/textual form. We are especially interested in how text augments the imaginative image (or vice versa) and approaches horror in ways that help the conscious mind endure and (hopefully) resolve the trauma that the unknown antagonizes within us. From traditional genres to new horizons of horror, we seek to examine the monsters of media and attempt to understand how the medium influences the message.

Submissions should maintain a focus on comics, manga, children's literature, video games, imaging technology or any other form that includes both image and text in its representations (either simultaneously or indirectly).

Building on the interdisciplinary and multi-modal aims of the conference, "Monsters in the Margins" encourages scholars and artists from all fields to consider alternative, interactive presentation models that utilize both technology and audience collaboration.

While traditional lecture models remain the core of the conference, "Monsters in the Margins" will also re-think the margins of the conference itself by hosting discussion-oriented panels that emphasize and incorporate audience participation. We hope that this conversational framework will facilitate a discursive space in which audience and speaker can come together to explore content, theory, and process. If you are interested in this alternative format panel, please submit an extended abstract outlining your topic and approach. Abstracts will be published online prior to the conference to help facilitate these colloquia.

Suggested topics and approaches include (but are not limited to):
Historical (EC Comics and the censored monster, historical context and development of a monster/the monstrous through manuscripts or newspapers)
Cultural (monster as metaphor for crisis, mimetic manifestations in monstrous traits)
Graphic/Image (illustrating the monster, monstrous representations)
Graphic/Text/Digital ('wording' the monster, 'voicing' the monster's image, ghost in the machine)
Adaptation (monsters across mediums, times, and periods)
Topological (landscapes, territories, terrain, environment, haunted spaces)
Socio-Cultural (PTSD and its manifestations, the neighbor, anxiety and influence)


21 January '12: Extended abstracts for experimental panels

15 February '12: Presentation abstracts

Please direct all items and inquiries to imagetext@english.ufl.edu

ImageText for Fall 2011

Just came across the following:


Volume 6, Issue 1 (Fall 2011)

Fidelity and Period Aesthetics in Comics Adaptation byMatthew Bolton
The Violence Museum: Aesthetic Wounds from Popeye toWe3 by Jonathan Gaboury
Two Texts on "Comics" from China, ca. 1932: "In Defense of 'Comic Strips'" by Lu Xun and "Comic Strip Novels" by Mao Dun by Sean Macdonald
When Photographs Aren't Quite Enough: Reflections on Photography and Cartooning in Le Photographe by Nancy Pedri
The Empirical Twilight: A Pony's Guide to Science & Anarchism by Walton Wood

Review of Charles M. Schulz's My Life With Charlie Brown by Eric L. Berlatsky
Review of History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels by Anne Cirella-Urrutia
Surveying the Field: Recent Scholarship on Superheroines by Megan Condis
Review of Caped Crusaders 101: Composition through Comic Books by Michael Dean
Book Art: a review of Art of McSweeney's by Zara Dinnen
Review of Theodor SEUSS Geisel by Donald E. Pease by Rebekah Fitzsimmons
Review of Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic by Andréa L. Gilroy
Review of José Alaniz' Komiks: Comic Art in Russia by Alison Mandaville
Review of Teaching Visual Literacy by Clinton L. Robison
Review of Toni Johnson-Woods' MANGA by Caleb Simmons
Review of Animators Unearthed: A Guide to the Best of Contemporary Animation by Walton Wood

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SANE 1.2 on Alan Moore

The new issue of Sequential Art Narrative in Education is now available. The journal is provided free of charge but accepts donations from readers.

VOL 1, NO 2 (2011)

Articles examining how the comics of Alan Moore and his associates can/should/ought to be taught and the issues surrounding teaching Moore's work in various classroom settings.
Introduction to Edition 1:2: "Teaching the Works of Alan Moore" PDF
James Bucky Carter, Ph.D. i-iii

Comprehending Comics and Graphic Novels: Watchmen as a Case for Cognition PDF
Travis White-Schwoch, David Rapp, Ph.D. 1-16

Lost [and Found] Girls: Teaching a College Course in Alan moore PDF
Matthew J. Smith 17-28

Learning "Stuff" and Using V for Vendetta in the Composition Classroom PDF
Stacey L Kikendall 29-42

Rationale for V for Vendetta PDF
Susan Spangler 43-46

Rationale for Teaching Watchmen PDF
John Carl Weaver 47-51

Rationale for Saga of the Swamp Thing Volume 1 PDF
James Bucky Carter, Ph.D. 52-55

Review of Di Liddo's Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel PDF
Orion Ussner Kidder 56-58

DC Comics for the Kindle

DC Comics has recently released its first set of collected editions of Amazon's Kindle reader. Details at the DC Comics blog The Source at http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/11/22/new-dc-entertainment-storefront-launches-on-amazon-com/.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Comics Papers at NEPCA

The following papers where presented this weekend at the annual NEPCA conference. I attended the keynote and second session and learned a lot from the presentations.

Comics and Graphic Novels I: Disturbing and Disturbed Bodies
Chair: Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“ ‘I Know it When I See it’: Mike Diana’s Use of Childhood Iconography as ‘Obscene’ Mode of Discourse”—Lisa Cunningham, University of West Georgia

“Boundless Monstrosity: The Evolution and Intertextual Development of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”—Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“Bam! Biff! Pow!: Batman and the Evolution of the American Romantic Hero”—Forrest C. Helvie, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Professor William H. Foster, III

Comics and Graphic Novels II: Damsels Causing Distress
Chair: Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“ She-Hulk: A Cultural Study of the Pornographic ‘Angry’ Woman”—D. L. Stephenson, Western Connecticut State University

“Vampiric Viragoes: Villainizing and Sexualizing Arthurian Women in King Arthur v. Dracula (2005) and Madame Xanadu (2008)”—Kate Allocco, Western Connecticut State University

“Women in Comics”: Jessica Gamache, Western Connecticut State University

“Drawing from the Margins: Truth, Fiction, and Power in Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen”—Lindsey Hanlon, Boston College

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

CFP Transnational Boys’ Love (BL) Fan Studies

Transnational Boys’ Love (BL) Fan Studies, special issue of TWC
Call for Papers Date: 2012-03-01
Date Submitted: 2011-06-06
Announcement ID: 185722

“Transnational Boys’ Love Fan Studies,” a special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, edited by Kazumi Nagaike and Katsuhiko Suganuma, Oita University

The editors of this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures seek papers examining the activities of transnational ‘BL’ (Boys’ Love) fans, fan communities, fandom, and the production of fan fiction beyond Japan and North America. Specifically, we are seeking contributors who are engaged in the exploration of non-Japanese and non-North American contexts (e.g. Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and others). Transnational BL fan studies may also be incorporated into the broader socio/political critical frameworks offered by studies in economics, gender/sexuality, race/class, and other areas.

‘BL’ (Boys’ Love), a genre of male homosexual narratives (consisting of manga, novels, animations, games, films, and so forth) written by and for women, has recently been acknowledged, by Japanese and non-Japanese scholars alike, as a significant component of Japanese popular culture. The aesthetic and style of Japanese BL have also been assumed, deployed and transformed by female fans transnationally. The current thrust of transnational BL practices raises a number of important issues relating to socio/cultural constructs of BL localization and globalization.

We welcome submissions dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics:

--Case-studies and ethnographic examinations of BL fans, specifically examining fans’ sex/gender, age, occupation, class, race/ethnicity, et cetera.

--Local ethnographies relating to BL fans’ production, distribution, and use of these materials. Discussions concerning the ways in which broadly framed socio/political issues or forms of consciousness (e.g. gender/sexuality formations, authorities’ interference, censorship, and so forth) impact fans’ BL activities.

--Media and social responses to fans’ involvement in BL activities.

--Commercial aspects of BL and fans’ contribution to the development of BL economics.

--The integration of research on BL fans into a wider discussion of social theory, differing cultural discourses, and globalization.

--Discussions concerning the ways in which BL fans’ forms of production, distribution, and consumption might challenge traditional notions of Author, Reader, and Text.

--Theoretical overviews reflecting traditional/contemporary ideas of fandom, fans, fan communities, and fans’ means of communications, demonstrating how these ideas specifically relate to BL fans.

--Explorations of the ways in which BL participants are motivated to become involved in other fan-oriented activities (e.g. cosplay; female fans’ cross-dressing as male BL characters).


TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing. Contributors are encouraged to include embedded links, images, and videos in their articles or to propose submissions in alternative formats that might comprise interviews, collaborations, or video/multimedia works. We are also seeking reviews of relevant books, events, courses, platforms, or projects.

--Theory: Often interdisciplinary essays with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offer expansive interventions in the field. Peer review. Length: 5,000–8,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

--Praxis: Analyses of particular cases that may apply a specific theory or framework to an artifact; explicate fan practice or formations; or perform a detailed reading of a text. Peer review. Length: 4,000–7,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

--Symposium: Short pieces that provide insight into current developments and debates. Editorial review. Length: 1,500–2,500 words.

Submissions are accepted online only. Please visit TWC’s Web site for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail editor@transformativeworks.org.

##Due dates##

Contributions for blind peer review (Theory and Praxis essays) are due by March 1, 2012.

Contributions that undergo editorial review (Symposium, Interview, Review) are due by April 1, 2012.

Kazumi Nagaike, nagaikeoita-u.ac.jp
Katsuhiko Suganuma, suganumaoita-u.ac.jp
Oita University, Japan
Email: nagaike@cc.oita-u.ac.jp
Visit the website at http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/19

CFP: Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels

CFP: Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, June 15-16, 2012
Location: Colorado, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2012-01-15
Date Submitted: 2011-08-28
Announcement ID: 187474

CFP: Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, June 15-16, 2012

Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, June 14-15, 2012, is a new literary conference devoted solely to the scholarly study and teaching of the sequential arts. What sets this conference apart from others is its unique mission to combine an educational classroom initiative with the benefits of theoretical and critical discourse. RMCCGN is being held in conjunction with the newly-emerging Denver Comic Con at the top-rated Colorado Convention Center, June 15-17 2012. All profits from both events directly benefit Comic Book Classroom, a nonprofit free after-school program for children, whose focus is raising literacy through comic books and graphic storytelling.

The conference is designed to bring together a wide range of theoretical, pedagogical, and disciplinary perspectives, and is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as academic, independent, and fan scholars. Any topics in the field of comics and graphic novels are welcome.

We seek proposals of 200-300 words for talks of 15-20 minutes in length and should be sent along with a brief, 100-word biography to Christina Angel at christina@comicbookclassroom.org. Deadline for submission is January 15, 2012 and notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed by or before March 1, 2012.

Please visit our websites: www.comicbookclassroom.org and www.denvercomiccon.com for more information about these events.

Exciting guest announcements are coming soon – stay tuned!

Christina Angel, PhD
Email: christina@comicbookclassroom.org
Visit the website at http://denvercomiccon.com

CFP Graphic Novels, Comics and Popular Culture SWTXPCA

Call for Papers: Graphic Novels, Comics and Popular Culture-SWTXPCA 2012 Feb 8-11th
Location: New Mexico, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2011-12-01 (in 29 days)
Date Submitted: 2011-09-16
Announcement ID: 188088

Call for Papers: Graphic Novels, Comics and Popular Culture-SWTXPCA 2012

Please make plans to attend our 33rd Annual Conference
February 8-11, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
330 Tijeras NW,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA 87102
Tel: +1 505 842 1234 or 888-421-1442

Proposal submission deadline: December 1st 2011

The SW/TX PCA/ACA area chair invites papers on Comics, Graphic Novels and Popular Culture.

Any Aspect of Comics and Graphic Novels in Popular Culture will be considered.

Possible panel/discussion topics

With the recent rise in the Superhero movies, a discussion of 2011’s summer of the superhero or superflop would be welcome eg., Captain America, Green Lantern, Thor, X-Men First Class. What is the future of the superhero based movie?

Pedagogical approaches to teaching graphic novel content. This has become an increasingly important part of comic studies and the area chair seeks those scholars who would like to present on this topic.

Zombies and Vampires in comics continue to rise in popularity. Why are these monsters ideally suited for four colored pages?

Other topics:

Sequential Art and Storytelling
Manga, Anime and the Movies
Comic-Conventions-Fan Culture
Particular Artists or writers (Bendis, Steranko, Kirby, Everett, Niles, etc)
The Rise of the Graphic Novel
What is a Graphic Novel?
History of Newspaper Comics!
Gay Characters in comics
Film and Superheroes!
Adapting Graphic Novels for the Screen
Racism and the X-Men
Spiderman as the Everyman
Cartoon Network: Good or Bad for Comics
Comics and Philosophy
Graphic Novels as outlets for social justice (ie,, World War III )
Comics as political satire (eg,., Tom Tomorrow, Addicted To War )
Horror Comics
The Resurrection of Captain America-Why NO comic character ever stays dead?
DC, Marvel, and Comic corporations
Comics Studies and Film Studies: How do the two intersect?
The Definition of the Superhero.

Indies and their role
Comics and Graphic Novels around the world (eg., Tintin, Asterix).
The scholarly study of Graphic Novels/comics in the academy
Libraries and Graphic Novels

Proposal submission deadline: December 1st 2011

Please submit your title, and 100-250 word abstract through our website database which can be accessed at http://conference2012.swtxpca.org

33rd Annual Conference Southwest/Texas Popular/American Culture Association
February 8-11, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center in Albuquerque,
New Mexico.
Submission Deadline: 12/1/11
Priority Registration Deadline 12/31/11
Conference Hotel:
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
330 Tijeras NW,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA 87102
Tel: +1 505 842 1234 or 888-421-1442

Rob Weiner
Area Chair: Graphic Novels, Comics, and Popular Culture
Humanities Librarian Texas Tech University

CFP Religion and Comics

On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2011-12-01 (in 29 days)
Date Submitted: 2011-09-12
Announcement ID: 187932

The last half-dozen years have seen an explosion in U.S. publications addressing the intersection of religion and comics, but little has been said on the body of work taken as a whole. Outside of individual reviews, rarely are these works discussed in terms of their applications, their intertextuality, their audiences, their shortcomings, or the new questions they raise. This panel is to act as a forum addressing either portions of these works, entire books, their shared space, or the next steps to which they may all lead. In addition to the print publications recommended below, this panel also invites reflections on some of the websites and blogs conducting similar work, also listed:

Books: Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture (2005), Up, Up, and Oy Vey (2006), Our Gods Wear Spandex (2007), Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman (2007), Disguised as Clark Kent (2007), Holy Superheroes! Revised and Expanded Edition (2008), From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books (2008), The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches (2008), Jews and American Comics (2008), India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes (2009), Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010), Supergods (2011), The Seven Spiritual Laws of the Superhero (2011), Do the Gods Wear Capes? (2011)

Online: ComicAttack.net “Comics Are My Religion” columns, ComicBookBin.com “Religion and Comics” columns, By Rao! Religion and Religion site, Jewish Comics blog, Faith in Four Colors site

Other English-language, U.S. market pieces of scholarship may be considered, but the focus should remain on already-produced analysis, not on works-in-progress nor on the comics themselves. Submissions should be thoughtful reflections on how these pieces function, what opportunities they present, where they may fail, and what has been overlooked.

Abstracts of 100-250 words, a C.V., and brief bio are due by December 1 to ADL@bu.edu for consideration. The full panel will be proposed for the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) Annual Conference 2012 in Boston from April 11-14, 2012.

A. David Lewis
Boston University
Department of Religion
147 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02115
Email: adl@bu.edu
Visit the website at http://captionbox.net/loosepages/?p=900

CFP Smallville Collection

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on the recently-concluded WB/CW television series Smallville (01/15/12, 06/01/12)
Call for Papers Date: 2012-01-15
Date Submitted: 2011-09-23
Announcement ID: 188301

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on the recently-concluded WB/CW television series Smallville.

Areas of analysis: American Studies, Cultural Studies, Fan Studies, Fan Studies, Film and Television Studies, Folklore, Gender Studies, Popular Culture Studies.

Editors: Cory Barker, Chris Ryan and Myc Wiatrowski, Bowling Green State University

When the WB/CW television series Smallville ended its unprecedented 10-year run this past May, it was the longest-running comic-book based series and the longest-running North American science fiction series in television history. The televised story of Clark Kent’s long, complicated journey to becoming Superman survived dysfunctional networks, actor and creator departures and two years in the “Friday night death slot.” Yet, despite the series’ decade-long stay on the air, very little has been written about Smallville in critical and academic circles. This collection of essays seeks to rectify this academic blind spot and examine Smallville from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

*Clark Kent’s journey to becoming Superman within Smallville

*Character arcs for Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Chloe Sullivan, Oliver Queen and other Smallville supporting characters

*Clark Kent’s relationships with Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Chloe Sullivan and other supporting characters

*Relationships between other characters (i.e. Lex and Lionel, Chloe and Lois, Oliver and Chloe, etc.)

*Representations of masculinity, femininity, race, sexuality and family within Smallville

*Explorations of good and evil, heroes and villains and the concept of justice within Smallville

*Explorations of the role of legend and folklore within the diegetic framework of Smallville

*Smallville’s relationship to the Superman mythology or other Superman-related productions

*Smallville’s usage and representation of known DC Comics characters and stories

*Smallville’s narrative techniques, including “Freak of the Weak” stories and long-term story arcs

*Smallville’s visual style and practices, including special effects, direction and costuming

*Smallville as an example of the science fiction, superhero and teen drama genres

*Chapters discussing individual episodes or story arcs

*Critical reception to Smallville

*Smallville in popular culture

*Fan readings, productions and activities related to and about Smallville

The deadline for proposals of 500 words is January 15, 2012. Please email your abstract and a short biography to Smallville.Book@Gmail.com. The subject line should contain the writer’s surname followed by “Smallville Abstract.” If an abstract is selected for the collection, the full essay of 5,000-7,000 words will be due June 1, 2012.

Myc Wiatrowski
Department of Popular Culture
Bowling Green State University

7A Hanna Hall
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Office Phone: (419) 372-9182
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:00am-11:00am
Email: michaw@bgsu.edu

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making of Books

Marvel Worldwide recently released The Art of Captain America: First Avenger by Matthew K. Manning, and it can be ordered from the usual online dealers. The book includes a very brief introduction to the character of Captain America and his history and the remainder of the book presents a detailed look at making of the film with commentary by cast and crew. The book is well illustrated by pictures of costumes, weapons, and various concept art, though, as with Manning's The Art of Thor (2011), these do get somewhat boring after a while. In addition. unlike similar tomes, one never gets the sense here that either the filmmakers or stars had any connection with the character or his legacy; there are also few comments by comics creators, aside from some quotes by Joe Simon, Cap's creator, to connect the film to its origins. Instead, the filmmakers have become the spokesmen for the character and his legacy.

In contrast, Paul Ruditis's The Walking Dead Chronicles: The Official Companion Book (Abrams, 2011) is a well-illustrated and loving tribute to the television series and its comic book source. Forewords by show-runner Frank Darabont and series creator Robert Kirkman detail their involvement in the franchise, while the book itself, which features copious commentary by the cast and crew--all proponents of the comic and its TV adaptation--covers the history of The Walking Dead phenomenon from its initial proposal to hints for season two of the TV series, set to premiere on 16 October.

Other sections include detailed discussions on the makeup, visual effects and filming of the series, and, in addition to his narrative history Ruditis provides synopses of the first six issues of the comic, which parallel, events of the first season of the show and, later, synopses of each of the six television episodes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Joe Simon Autobiography

Titan Books has recently published Joe Simon: My Life in Comics, an intimate look at the life and career of comics creator Joe Simon. It's a quick and interesting read that offers insight into the comic book industry and its history.

Joe Simon: My Life in Comics

ISBN: 9781845769307Joe Simon, Steve Saffel

Dimensions: 6 1/8” x 9 1/4“
Hardback: 256pp + 8pp colour
Publication date: June 21 2011
Illustration detail: 128 b&w, 8pp colourRRP $24.95


In his own words, this is the life of Joe Simon, one of the most important figures in comics history, and half of the famous creative team Simon and Kirby. Joe Simon co-created Captain America, and was the first editor in chief of Marvel Comics (where he hired Stan Lee for his first job in comics).

Simon began his prolific career in the Great Depression, and this book recounts his journey to New York City, his first comic book work, his meeting with Jack Kirby, and the role comics played in wartime America. He remembers the near-death of the comics, and the scramble to survive. And he reveals what it was like to bring comics out of their infancy, as they became an American art form.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marvel News

I've been remiss of late in reporting on affairs in Marvel Comics. Important stories of late include the death of Ultimate Peter Parker/Spider-Man in a truly heart-wrenching tale (details at Comics Alliance, as reported by David Uzumeri) by creators Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley and published in Ultimate Spider-Man No. 160 that paves the way, ultimately, for the introduction of a new multiracial Spider-Man and, as also reported by Uzumeri at Comics Alliance, the end of the long-running Uncanny X-Men series in anticipation of the launching of a new Uncanny X-Men series and Wolverine and the X-Men featuring a splintering of the team as result of the Schism crossover event.

Still More on the New 52

In case you're as deeply confused as me, I came across some interesting posts at Comics Alliance detailing how the New 52 universe differs from the established DCU. Primarily, the new universe is created as a result of the conclusion of Flashpoint (out in colected editions later in the year), and heroes have only been active for about 5 years! Detailed comments by David Uzumeri on the indivual books are in four parts: one, two, three, and four.

Uzumeri seems to be the DC guy at Comics Alliance and has also written a guides to the birth of the New 52 in
"The New 52 FAQ: Answering Your Questions about the Relaunched DC Universe" (31 Aug.), while a post by Andy Khouri details DiDio's disturbing news regarding DC's various Crises, which have been wiped from continuity: "DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio: No 'Crisis' Events In DCnU" (3 Oct.). Despite this, Earth-Two still exists, as reported in "DC Comics Announces Relaunched 'Justice Society Of America' And The Return Of Earth-Two" (28 Aug.) by Uzumeri, and its adventures will be chronicled by writer James Robinson, who returns to his Starman roots later this year in a 12-issue series on the Shade, which will perhaps bridge between the New 52 Earth and the new Earth-Two. 

Digital Comics Wars

Recently, Barnes and Noble has announced that it will pull some of its stock of collected editions and graphic novels published by DC Comics from its physical stores after DC announced an exclusive deal with Amazon.com to distribute digital editions of those books solely on its Kindle platform. Further details and links at Comics Alliance.

The New 52 Info

It occurred to me that readers may not be familiar with the New 52 being published this fall by DC Comics, and I've come across a handy introduction to the series and its various components (with details on all 52 new books) at io9.com. Another article on the site includes an interview with some of creators, including Dan DiDio, the current co-publisher of DC, who states part of the logic for the re-envisioning of the brand is to "bring a more youthful feel across the entire line." This is a rather disturbing comment because, as noted on the various posts from PopMatters, the overwhelming majority of comics readers are older males in their 20s, 30s and beyond, a demographic equivalent to the majority of DC's creators. In moving out of its niche, DC runs the risk of alienating its established fan base for short-term profit and the curiosity of new readers.

Wonder Woman's Dad

As further evidence of the companies attempts to alienate old readers with the New 52, DC Comics has recently revealed that the new Wonder Woman has been retconned a father in the figure of the Greek god Zeus. Details at the Source, DC's blog, and a reaction at the New York Post.

More on the New 52

Reaction to the new 52 has been dramatic, and Jill Pantozzi of Newsarama offers a particular strong reaction as a female fan in "Is THE NEW 52 The Wrong Relaunch?" (28 Sept.).

DC's The New 52

DC Comics recently rebooted the entire DC Universe in an effort to attract new readers. The initial details can most easily be accessed by an article on Newsarama. Now that the books are coming out, some of the fallout has been detailed on the PopMatters website. The following pieces were most insightful:

"DC Reboot Gives Comics a 'Logan's Run' For Their Money" (10 June 2011) by Lana Cooper

"Detective Comics 881: The Death of a 74-Year-Old Legend" (15 August 2011) by Michael D. Stewart

"A Pointless, Truncated History Winds Up the "Batman" " (22 August) by Michael D. Stewart

"Is It Just Us?" [review of new Justice League series] (2 Sept.) by shathley Q
"Reanimated: Snyder Reasserts the Moody Genius of Swamp Thing" (9 September 2011) by Shawn O'Rourke

"Choice in DC Comics' New 52" (19 Sept.) by shathley Q

"Revisiting the Rabbit Hole in 'Batman #1' " (23 September) by Michael D. Stewart

"Thus Far: DC's New 52 at the Halfway Mark" (26 September 2011) by shathley Q and Michael D. Stewart 

"The Flash's Long Road Back to Existence" (30 September) by Andrew Ly

"Prodigal Sons and Daughters Return in Teen Titans #1" (30 September) by Shawn O'Rourke

"An Awfully Big Adventure: Wrapping Up DC’s Extreme Makeover" (5 Oct.) by Michael D. Stewart

Additional content can be found on the site's recent news page for comics.

Heroes and Superheroes

I've added a new section to the blog on "Heroes and Superheroes" to keep track of the interesting and/or insightful pieces I have come across in using heroes as a writing topic these past three years as an adjunct at the Community College of Rhode Island. I hope you find them useful and welcome further suggestions.

Michael Torregrossa

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Early American Comics at Dartmouth

The Dartmouth College Library's digital collection now features downloadable PDFs of the following examples of nineteenth-century American comics alongside a variety of books, manuscripts, maps, and other material:

 Töpffer, Rodolphe. The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck. New York: Wilson & Co., [184-?]. 

The first comic book printed in the U.S.

The Fortunes of Ferdinand Flipper. New York: Published at the Brother Jonathan Office, 185-?. 

The first comic book written in the U.S.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Captain America and Green Lantern DVD/Blu-ray Updates

Amazon has finally posted the contents on the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger and Green Lantern DVD and Blu-ray releases. Here are the details (once again note that almost all the extras are exclusive to Blu-ray):

Captain America: The First Avenger (TBA) 

- Two Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes and more

Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy: 
- Includes Digital Copy
- Deleted Scenes
- Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
- Marvel One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer -- Go deeper inside the Marvel Universe and unveil secret plans to assemble the ultimate superhero team, the Avengers.
- And more!

Green Lantern (14 Oct. 2011) 

- Deleted Scenes
- Preview of new Justice League book #1

Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy:
- Theatrical Feature & Extended Cut Films
- Maximum Movie Mode with PiP
- Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern
- Universe According to Green Lantern
- WBA Green Lantern Animated Series Promotion
- Digital Enhanced new Justice League book #1
- Deleted Scenes

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dr. Horrible the Book

Recently published by Titan Books. The book is a must for die-hard Whedon fans and a maybe for the rest  for the rest of us:

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book


ISBN: 9781848568624
Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 10 7/8”
Paperback: 160pp
Publication date: March 29 2011
Illustration detail: Colour photos throughout
All authors: Joss Whedon


“Once in a generation, a movie comes along that changes everything. Dr. Horrible is way better than that. It’s like a combination of everything-changing movies; it’s Gone With the Wonderful Life of Citizen Goonies. And it’s shorter.” -- Joss Whedon

“I hope you enjoy the pictures of me. I know I do.” -- Captain Hammer, from his introduction.

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) stars as Billy, A.K.A. Dr. Horrible, a budding super-villain whose plans for world domination continually go awry. His two goals: getting accepted into the Evil League of Evil, and working up the guts to speak to his laundromat crush Penny, played by Felicia Day (The Guild). The only thing standing in his way is Captain Hammer, Billy's superhero arch-nemesis played by Nathan Fillion (Castle). With one big score, Billy could get into the E.L.E. and earn the respect of Penny, but only if he can keep her away from the dashing Captain Hammer...

Joss Whedon’s award-winning, Internet server-melting, genre-twisting musical tragicomedy shook the movie industry to its very roots, and quickly became a sensation. Here, at last, is the book the fans have demanded! Compiled by Whedon and the production team, this definitive companion features:

Behind-the-scenes memories from Joss and his fellow writers Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.

Exclusive contributions from stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day and Simon Helberg.

The full, uncut shooting script, original handwritten lyrics, costume designs, and scores of previously unpublished photos.

The official sheet music.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

George O'Connor's Olympians

I recently discovered George O'Connor's ongoing series of Olympian graphic novels, which presents the Greek gods as the world's first superhero. The first volume, Zeus, offers an innovative and interesting account of the rise of the Olympian gods and the creation of the world. This is definitely a series to watch.

Other volumes include: Hera, Athena, and, due in 2012, Hades. O'Connor also runs a website that presents details on the creation of the series and a wealth of resources for students and teachers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Batman: Year One--The Movie

Due out on 18 October 2011 from Warner Bros. is the new animated film Batman: Year One:

Details on the upcoming film can be accessed at its website. All versions of the film include a Catwoman short set within the movie universe and preview of the next film, Justice League: Doom. In addition, the Blu-Ray combo pack includes the most extras (including 2 featurettes, commentary, and 2 Batman: The Animated Series episodes from the "Bruce Timm Collection"), and a two-disc DVD includes a sampling of the extras (but no commentrary track). There is also a one-disc DVD option with no extras. Given the various editions, I ask, once again, why can't we have a DVD with all the extras and omit the non-essentials, like the extra cartons and the additional previews of older DCU animated films that reappear with every release?

Catching Up on Green Lantern

I posted back in May on upcoming GL films, and, while there is still no release date on the DVD/Blu-Ray versions of the GL feature film, here are the details on the original video prequel Green Lantern: Emerald Knights:

The film is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray, but (alas) all of the extras are on the Blu-Ray disc (a disturbing trend):

Sneak Peek at upcoming DC Universe animated movie
Sneak Peek at “All-Star Superman"
Featurette:“Only the Bravest: Tales of The Green Lantern Corps”
Featurette: “Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns"
Feature Film Commentary with Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns
Pod: “From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur”
Pod: “From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto"
This short pod will take a peek into Geoff John’s Green Lantern Secret Origin book, which for the first time, showed fans what really happened to Abin Sur before he crashed landed on Earth, and passed on his ring to Hal Jordan.
Bruce Timm’s Picks:
-Excerpt from “The Siege of Starro! Part One” from “Batman: The Brave and The Bold”
-“Revenge of The Reach!” from “Batman: The Brave and The Bold”
Digital Comic: Green Lantern

I (for one) continue to not see the point in Warner Bros continually replicating its trailers and sneak peeks for older DCU original animated videos and the "Bruce Timme collection" of cartoons. Why can't we get a DVD (as we did in the beginning of the series) with the extras and commentary track instead?

In addition to the feature film, original video, and upcoming animated series, Warner Bros. is also releasing on 11 October Best of the Green Lantern, a compilation DVD including appearances of the Green Lantern in various DCU animated series, including Superman: The Animated Series, The Justice League, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold:

Studio: Warner Bros.
Run Time: 88 minutes
Episodes Info :
In Brightest Day
In Blackest Night Part 1
In Blackest Night Part 2
Ring Toss
The Eyes of Despero!
Packaging Type: Eco Amaray Case

Together for the first time is the best of the Green Lantern in a single disc. Each Green Lantern has been chosen by the Guardians of the Universe and wields a power ring that can generate a variety of effects, sustained purely by the ring wearer's strength of will; the greater the user's willpower, the more effective the ring. The ring can be used for antigravity, space travel, flight, unleashing torrents of energy, translating alien dialects, and creation of green objects (constructs) of any shape. Across the years, the ring has been shown capable of accomplishing anything within the imagination of the ring bearer. This compilation contains 5 fan favorite action packed episodes that have been taken from other series.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New to DVD: Secret Origin

Narrated by actor Ryan Reynolds and written/directed by Mac Carter, Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics is an original film released to DVD and digital download last fall. The film offers a comprehensive history of DC Comics and includes insightful commentary from many influential writers, artists, and editors at the company.

Chapman on British Comics

Coming soon from Reaktion Books:

British Comics: A Cultural History
James Chapman

234 x 156 mm
320 pages
70 illustrations

978 1 86189 855 5
Forthcoming October 2011

British Comics is a unique cultural history of British comic papers and magazines, from their origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day. It shows how comics were transformed in the early twentieth century from adult amusement to imaginative reading matter for children, and relates the rise of the major comic publishers and the emergence of the mighty duopoly of Amalgamated Press and D.C.Thomson that would dominate the industry for half a century.

Beginning with the first British comic ‘superstar’, Ally Sloper – ‘A Selection, Side-splitting, Sentimental, and Serious, for the Benefit of Old Boys, Young Boys, Odd Boys generally and even Girls’ – whose various misadventures reflected the emergence of a middle-class leisure economy in the late nineteenth century, British Comics goes on to describe the heyday of comics in the 1950s and ’60s, when titles such as School Friend and Eagle sold a million copies a week, and analyses the major genres including schoolgirl fantasies, sport and war stories for boys. The author charts the development of a new breed of violent comics in the 1970s, including the controversial Action and 2000AD, and also considers the attempt of an American comic publisher, Marvel, to launch a new hero for the British market in the form of Captain Britain. He goes on to document the appearance in the 1980s and ’90s of adult-oriented comics such as Warrior, Crisis, Deadline and Revolver and alternative comics such as Viz, and concludes by considering the work of important contemporary comic writers including Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Ian Edginton, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis.

British Comics explains what children and adults thought of their comics and why some titles prospered while others failed, and also maps the changing structure of the comic publishing industry and how comic publishers, writers and artists have responded to the tastes of their consumers. Ultimately, the book argues that British comics are a distinctive kind of publishing that is different from (and certainly not inferior to) American, French and Japanese comics. An invaluable reference for comics collectors and fans worldwide, British Comics is a fascinating and thorough history that showcases the major role that comics have played in the imaginative lives of British juveniles – and some adults.

James Chapman is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester, UK. He is the author of many books, including Cinemas of the World: Film and Society from 1895 to the Present (Reaktion Books, 2004) and War and Film (Reaktion Books, 2008).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Contents List IJoCA 12.2-3

As promised, though I apologize for odd formatting. See their website for a cleaner list.

Vol. 12, No. 2/3, Fall 2010
708 pages / 38 Articles

John A. Lent 1 Editor’s Note
Fabrice Leroy 2 Yves Chaland and Lue Cornillon’s Rewriting of Classical Belgian Comics in Captivant: From Graphic Homage to Implicit Criticism
Giancarla Unser-Schutz 25 Exploring the Role of Language in Manga: Text Types, Their Usages, and Their Distributions
Rick Marschall 44 Nurturing the Butterfly: My Life in Comic Art Studies
Derik A. Badman 91 Talking, Thinking, and Seeing in Pictures: Narration, Focalization, and Ocularization in Comics Narratives
Enrique Garcia 112 Coon Imagery in Will Eisner’s The Spirit and Yolanda Vargas Dulché’s Memín Pinguín and Its Legacy in the Contemporary United States and Mexican Comic Book Industries
Kerry Soper 125 From Jive Crows in “Dumbo” to Bumbazine and “Pogo”: Walt Kelly and the Conflicted Politics Reracinating African American Types in Mid-20th Century Comics
Robert Furlong and Christophe Cassiau-Haurie 150 Comic Books, Politics, and Manipulation: The Case of Repiblik Zanimo, the First Comic Strip and Book in Creole
Grazyna Gajewsk 159 Between History and Memory – Marzi: Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia
Matthew M. Chew and Lu Chen 171 Media Institutional Contexts of the Emergence and Development of Xinmanhua in China
Jörn Ahrens 192 The Father’s Art of Crime: Igort’s 5 Is the Perfect Number
Marco Pellitteri 209 Comics Reading and Attitudes of Openness toward the Other: The Italian-Speaking Teenagers’ Case in South Tyrol
Iren Ozgur 248 Have You Heard the One about the Islamist Humor Magazine?
Weidan Cao 251 The Mountains and the Moon, the Willows and the Swallows: A Hybrid Semiotic Analysis of Feng Zikai’s “New Paintings for Old Poems”
Candida Rifkind 268 A Stranger in an Strange Land? Guy Delisle Redraws the Travelogue
Daniel Stein 291 The Long Shadow of Wilhelm Busch: “Max & Moritz” and German Comics
Hannah Miodrag 309 Fragmented Text: The Spatial Arrangement of Words in Comics
Christopher Eklund 328 Toward an Ethicoaesthetics of Comics: A Critical Manifesto
Muliyadi Mahamood 336 The Malaysian Humor Magazine Gila-Gila: An Appreciation
Roy Bearden-White 354 Inheriting Trauma in Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Philippe Gauthier 367 On “Institutionalization”: From Cinema to Comics
Marc A. Londo 376 Mr. Tap and His African-American Cartoons of the 1940s/1950s
Marcia R. Ristaino 395 Two Linked by Another, Ding Cong: Interviews with Betty McIntosh and Shen Jun
Shelley Drake Hawks 402 Ding Cong’s “True Story of Ah Q” in Art and Life
John A. Lent and Xu Ying 425 Fengjing – The Town That Claimed Ding Cong
Phillip Troutman 432 The Discourse of Comics Scholarship: A Rhetorical Analysis of Research Article Introductions
Ross Murray 445 Referencing Comics: A Comprehensive Citation Guide
Sylvain Rheault 459 Curvy Alterations in “Gaston” by Franquin
Miriam Peña-Pimentel 469 Baroque Features in Japanese Hentai
Yuko Nakamura 487 What Does the “Sky” Say? – Distinctive Characteristics of Manga and What the Sky Represents in It
B.S. Jamuna 509 Strategic Positioning and Re-presentations of Women in Indian Comics
Meena Ahmed 525 Exploring the Dimensions of Political Cartoons: A Case Study of Pakistan
Camila Figueiredo 543 Tunes Across Media: The Intermedial Transposition of Music in Watchmen
Rania M. R. Saleh 552 Making History Come Alive Through Political Cartoons
Bill Kartalopoulos 565 Taking and Making Liberties: Narratives of Comics History
Toni Masdiono 577 An Indonesian Bid for the First Graphic Novel
John A. Lent 581 In Remembrance of Five Major Comic Art Personalities
Perucho Mejia Garcia 588 Ismael Roldan Torres (1964-2009) of Colombia: A Memorial Tribute
Zheng Huagai 598 Tributes to Two Famous, Anti-Japanese War Cartoonists: Zhang Ding and Te Wei
John A. Lent 614 The Printed Word
620 Book Reviews
644 Exhibition and Media Reviews
696 Correction
697 Portfolio

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Nicholas Cage returns as the Ghost Rider in next year's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance feature film. Images from the film have been posted to the Empire magazine website. (Again, thanks to Spinoff Online for the head's up.)

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

Coming this fall to Cartoon Network:

There is also an extended clip at the show's website.

Man of Steel First Look

Warner Bros. has recently released the first look of the new Superman for the upcoming film Man of Steel. There has also been some significant updates to the cast, and these can be reviewed at Spinoff Online, which links to the original articles.

Spider-Man and Batman Trailers

The fruits of Comic Con: trailers for next year's films The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises, a reboot and continuation, respectively, of the popular Spider-Man and Batman film franchises.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New TV

The cable network G4 is now airing two new anime series based on Marvel's Iron Man and X-Men franchises. Trailers follow:

Monday, August 8, 2011

X-Men First Class DVD Details

Details are now available on the extras for the DVD and Blu-Ray release of X-Men First Class (due of 9/9/11) as follows, and, as is now the trend, the majority of the extras are only on the Blu-Ray set:


Theatrical Feature
Children of the Atom


Disc 1: Theatrical Feature Blu-ray
X Marks The Spot
Composer's Isolated Score
Cerebro: Mutant Tracker
Children of the Atom – 8 Part Featurette Series
Deleted Scenes

Disc 2: Digital Copy

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spider-Man and EW

The latest (22 July 2011) issue of Entertainment Weekly features images from the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man feature film. A complete archive can be accessed at the magazine's web site.

Capes and No Ordinary Family on DVD

Last year's superhero-related television shows The Cape and No Ordinary Family are coming to DVD. The Cape will be released 7/5/11, and No Ordinary Family on  9/6/11.

More from TwoMorrows

The Quality Companion 
256 page Trade Paperback with COLOR - by Mike Kooiman with Jim Amash

This product will be in stock on Wednesday 26 October, 2011.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60549-037-3
ISBN-10: 1-60549-037-7

THE QUALITY COMPANION provides the first dedicated look at the prolific Golden Age publisher which spawned a treasure trove of beautiful art and classic characters, including the modern-day “Freedom Fighters”—UNCLE SAM, PHANTOM LADY, BLACK CONDOR, THE RAY, HUMAN BOMB, and DOLL MAN—as well as PLASTIC MAN, the BLACKHAWKS, and others now under the DC Comics umbrella. It provides the first-ever A-Z in-depth character profile of every Quality costumed hero, many of whom were superbly-produced but are now long-forgotten. It also reprints, in FULL-COLOR, several 1940s key stories of these characters from such rare 1940s collector’s items as SMASH COMICS, POLICE COMICS, NATIONAL COMICS, FEATURE COMICS, and CRACK COMICS, and features Golden Age art by the top artistic talents of that era, including LOU FINE, REED CRANDALL, JACK COLE, CHUCK CUIDERA, MATT BAKER, WILL EISNER, and others! There’s a contextual chronology, a unique oral history featuring commentary by many of the major Quality creators and their progeny, and studies that shed new light on Will Eisner's relationship with Quality! Plus: It covers the characters’ revival from the 1970s to today, including Plastic Man’s short-lived 1960s series, the classic Justice League/Justice Society crossover that introduced the Quality characters into the DC Comics universe, the Freedom Fighters’ own 1970s series, plus the Ray and Black Condor series of the 1990s, up through the current versions of the characters at DC. Creators who were instrumental in the revival of the Quality characters from the 1970s to today are interviewed, including ROY THOMAS, LEN WEIN, JIMMY PALMIOTTI and others! There’s also an introduction by ROY THOMAS, and a new cover drawn especially for this book by the late DICK GIORDANO! Written by Mike Kooiman with Jim Amash!

Marvel Comics In The 1970s 
An Issue-By-Issue Field Guide to a Pop-Culture Phenomenon
224 page Trade Paperback - by Pierre Comtois

This product will be in stock on Friday 26 August, 2011.

ISBN-13: 978-1-605490-034-2
ISBN-10: 1-60549-034-2

By popular demand, TwoMorrows Publishing presents Marvel Comics in the 1970s, the sequel to Pierre Comtois’ heralded first volume on the 1960s! This book covers Marvel’s final historical phase: the twilight years of the 1970s, after the initial ’60s wave of popularity pushed the company to the forefront of the comics industry, and made many of its characters household names. This full decade of pop-culture history saw Stan Lee’s role as writer diminish as he ascended to Publisher, the stunning departure of Jack Kirby to DC (and his later return to Marvel), the rise of Roy Thomas as editor (and eventual Editor In Chief), and the introduction of a new wave of writers and artists who would expand the boundaries of comics beyond super-heroes, while planting the seeds for the company’s eventual self-destruction. Comics such as the Spider-Man “drug” issues, Conan the Barbarian, Tomb of Dracula, Master of Kung Fu, Howard the Duck, the new X-Men, and more are covered in detail—along with the creators who wrote and drew them, including Chris Claremont, Barry Windsor-Smith, Gene Colan, Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, John Romita, Gil Kane, Sal Buscema, and many others. So don’t be satisfied with only half the story! Check out Marvel Comics in the 1970s and find out why Marvel was once hailed as The House of Ideas!

Alan Moore Book

Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel 
By Annalisa Di Liddo
Great Comics Artists Series

192 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
978-1-60473-212-2 Unjacketed cloth $50.00S
978-1-60473-213-9 Paper $22.00T

Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose.

In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo argues that Moore employs the comics form to dissect the literary canon, the tradition of comics, contemporary society, and our understanding of history. The book considers Moore's narrative strategies and pinpoints the main thematic threads in his works: the subversion of genre and pulp fiction, the interrogation of superhero tropes, the manipulation of space and time, the uses of magic and mythology, the instability of gender and ethnic identity, and the accumulation of imagery to create satire that comments on politics and art history.

Examining Moore's use of comics to scrutinize contemporary culture, Di Liddo analyzes his best-known works--Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, Promethea, and Lost Girls. The study also highlights Moore's lesser-known output, such as Halo Jones, Skizz, and Big Numbers, and his prose novel Voice of the Fire. Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel reveals Moore to be one of the most significant and distinctly postmodern comics creators of the last quarter-century.

Annalisa Di Liddo is an independent scholar and translator based in Milan, Italy. She has been a contributor to Cityscapes: Islands of the Self, Londra tra memoria letteraria e modernità, and Cross-Cultural Encounters: Identity, Gender, Representation, and her work has appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art.

Image--Cover of Watchmen (1987) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons