Tag: Ed Catto

WIth Further Ado #012: 3 Girls – Under Cover

WIth Further Ado #012: 3 Girls – Under Cover

During the Halloween season, I always think of the three witch sisters from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. They were very similar to the Three Fates of classic mythology, those sisters who wove the destinies of every individual. And even if you don’t know anything about either of those sets of sisters, you probably know about TV’s Charmed sisters.  They are in the midst of a reboot that has lead to a backlash.

In my own family, the “three sisters concept” is a big deal. We are blessed with the 3 girls. (We do have one great boy too!)  These girls thoroughly embrace being part of their little sorority of three. So much so that I am always cognizant of a set of three girls and especially dads with three girls.

And that brings us to Brian Bendis and some new comics.  Continue reading “WIth Further Ado #012: 3 Girls – Under Cover”

WIth Further Ado #011: Dead Rabbit

WIth Further Ado #011: Dead Rabbit

Boston is a fantastic town. I lived there for several years and looking back, it seemed like every day was a grand adventure. I’m a little disappointed in myself that I don’t make it back to Boston more frequently.

Robert Parker’s detective series Spenser has always been a favorite. I do visit Boston – via books – with Hawk, Susan and the rest of Spenser’s characters. But there’s always room for more, right?

The Boston setting was one reason I was excited for the new noir thriller, Dead Rabbit, by Gerry Duggan and John McCrea.  But it’s not the only reason.  I reached out to co-creator and artist John McCrea and chatted him up a bit. He offered fascinating insights:

Ed Catto: Dead Rabbit has a both a freshness and a world-weariness to it.  That combination, to me, really makes this series stand out. Would you agree and what do you think is special about this series?

John McCrea: I agree that there is an element of world weariness to Dead Rabbit, it’s a reflection of what is happening in the world today, the general erosion of our quality of life by the big companies who rule us…. Rabbit is the little guy starting to stand up to that, albeit in the only way he knows how- stealing and cracking heads! But the thing that makes the series special is the relationship between Martin and his wife Meggan, which is still full of life and joy despite everything that is being thrown at them.  Continue reading “WIth Further Ado #011: Dead Rabbit”

WIth Further Ado #009: An interview with Jacque Nodell

WIth Further Ado #009: An interview with Jacque Nodell

An interview with Jacque Nodell, author of How to Go Steady: Timeless Dating Advice, Wisdom, and Lessons from Vintage Romance Comics

As a young reader, I would have told you out loud that I loved all comics. But that wasn’t really the case. I didn’t have much use for humor comics back then. Teen comics? Well, once my Aunt Elissa gave me a box of Archie comics, I warmed up to them.  War Comics and horror comics weren’t my cup of tea, but I’d read them now and then.

Romance comics, however, were never on the list.  Too icky. Just like girls. So icky.  Like many young boys, my tastes would do a 180 in just a few years. But I still wouldn’t read a romance comic.   

Over the last few years, however, I’ve relaxed these standards. I’ve started to enjoy them occasionally. In fact, I am on a Quixotic quest  for romance comics featuring Jay Scott Pike art. He was a master, and beyond that Showcase issue with the Dolphin story, I never really knew anything about him.  There’s many other great artists in vintage romance comics. It’s a great place to stumble across the early works of favorites like John Romita or Gene Golan, as discovering new favorites.

So it’s not a surprise that I enjoy Jacque Nodell’s Sequential Crush. It’s a celebration of romance comics. And out this page has come her first book.  I had a lot of questions for Jacque, and despite planning for a wedding (true love wins!) she found some time to answer them all!  Continue reading “WIth Further Ado #009: An interview with Jacque Nodell”

WIth Further Ado #008: Kickstarting A Killer

WIth Further Ado #008: Kickstarting A Killer

(Bill Cunningham’s quest to restore the Lost Charles Bronson Film, except that it doesn’t have Charles Bronson in it and it’s not a film.)

I love old movies. When channel surfing, I especially love it when I stumble across an actor I like in a movie I don’t know anything about. In our over-informationalized world, that’s when the magic happens. “What is this movie?” I might ask.  “When did this actor make it?” “Is it treasure or trash?”

This happened to me just the other day when I spotted Leonard Nimoy in BAFFLED! At first I thought it was an old episode of MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE, but soon I realized it was something weird and wonderful. Well…weird and maybe not so wonderful. If you haven’t seen it, I implore you NOT to seek it out. It goes into that: I”ll never get that 90 minutes back” category. 

On the other hand, having just been so snarky, I do wonder if the further adventures of the protagonist, an occult detective, and his beautiful sidekick, could make an interesting comic…

Continue reading “WIth Further Ado #008: Kickstarting A Killer”

With Further Ado #007: Ahoy! Comics! Ahoy Comics!

With Further Ado #007: Ahoy! Comics! Ahoy Comics!

When I was in high school years ago, my buddies and I would often read the Syracuse New Times. At the time, this weekly newspaper seemed to us to be very avant-guard. It was funky and weird, eschewing middle class sensibilities for a kind of suburban Village Voice vibe. And each week we read a comic strip that was really cutting edge – full of snark, pop culture references, irreverent political satire and acerbic wit.  I remember one week when the writer/artist made fun of the political climate of the day with an “Earth Two” joke, and I nearly fell off the proverbial chair.

Today, with the mainstream success of the CW’s Flash, and vocal comic fans, “Earth Two” isn’t that cryptic a phrase.  It might not be in the “Everybody knows that” category, but it’s close. 

But back then, the phrase “Earth Two” was only known to a small portion of the population. You had to read DC comics and pay attention. And I just knew that the writer/artist of that comic strip must have been “one of us”. 

He was!  Tom Peyer, the creator of that strip, is a brilliant creator who’s written so many of my favorite comics (Hourman, Batman ’66 and more) as well as edited a plethora of outstanding comics for DC and the Vertigo imprints.   I always look forward to everything he writes (Aftershock’s Captain Kid last year was fantastic) and I was thrilled to learn about his newest endeavor, AHOY Comics.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #007: Ahoy! Comics! Ahoy Comics!”

With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving

With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving

Everyone loves a bargain, right? And like many comic fans, I love finding lost treasures in a comic shop’s back issue bargain box. While I’ve never found an issue of Action #1 in a bargain bin, or even a friendly neighborhood garage sale, I am delighted and amazed that comics I find in these long white boxes. Like forlorn playthings trapped on the Island of Misfit Toys, these comics just need to find the right person to enjoy and appreciate them.

Now let’s be realistic.  If we all only spent money on back issues bargains, every comic store would go out of business.  But for shops, the bargain bin can be a way to invite customers in, add to a customer’s purchase or just blow-out inventory. And those are all good things. 

So, in the spirit, this column is a celebration of the recent treasures that I’ve rescued from back issue bargain bins, along with a little shout-out to each comic shop too.   Continue reading “With Further Ado #006: Back Issue Bin Diving”

WIth Further Ado #005 Why Don’t You Know About Emanuele Taglietti?

WIth Further Ado #005 Why Don’t You Know About Emanuele Taglietti?

Here in the US, in the late 70s and early 80s, we were reading comics like Marvel’s The Human Fly. But there was something entirely different going on in Italy. The ‘sexy fumetti’ craze had taken hold. This fad put the the scariness of horror films and twisted humor into blender, and then topped it all off with another dollop of unabashed sexiness.  Some people have called them “the most shocking comics ever produced”, and I say that’s an understatement.

A counterbalance these lurid, prurient comics is the outstanding art of Italian master Emanuele Taglietti.  He painted over 500 covers for many comics including Sukia, Magnum 44 and Ulula.  Each painting has a sense of urgency combined with an off-the-charts level of skill.

Korero Press has recently published Sex and Horror: The Art of Emanuele Taglietti.  Clearly, it’s not for the faint of heart or the prudish.  Even liberal thinkers probably need to take a deep breath before reading this one.  Continue reading “WIth Further Ado #005 Why Don’t You Know About Emanuele Taglietti?”

With Further Ado: WAH-HO0 for Gary Friedrich

With Further Ado: WAH-HO0 for Gary Friedrich

It’s been a tough week for classic comic fans as several beloved creators have passed away: Russ Heath, Marie Severin and Gary Friedrich.  Each has left behind an impressive body of work that will be celebrated for years to come.

Gary Friedrich, often tagged with the Marvel nomenclature as Groovy Gary Friedrich, was special as he was the Marvel writer who hooked me in deep.

Friedrich had quite an origin to his own comics career.  He came into the industry along with his hometown pal Roy Thomas. He shared an apartment with Bill Everett and freelanced on Charlton Comics and Mars Attacks! and Superman trading cards at Topps. Friedrich created Hell-Rider for Skywald, and in retrospect it’s easy to see that this character was a prototype for his signature Marvel creation: The Ghost Rider. 

While at Marvel, Friedrich would write quite a number of titles, but beyond The Ghost Rider, there was something special about his writing on one title in particular that grabbed me: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.  Continue reading “With Further Ado: WAH-HO0 for Gary Friedrich”

With Further Ado: RIP Russ Heath

With Further Ado: RIP Russ Heath

There’s a sadness today as news of the passing of  Russ Heath makes the rounds. Heath was a phenomenal artist – bridging the gap between the lush illustrative work of classic works – like Hal Foster on Prince Valiant , with the brutal, sweaty sense of urgency found in modern comic art. He work was technically solid and dynamically riveting. When a tank blew up in a Russ Heath story, readers could  almost feel the intense heat of it and probably flinched just a little to avoid the blast.

Health leaves with world with a voluminous body of work. I’m grateful there is still so much Russ Heath work out there to experience, but if he could’ve just drawn one more exploding Messerschmidt WWII plane that would have been pretty great too.

Heath’s art is inspiring and brilliant.  He knew how to illustrate, how to tell a story, and wow,  did he know how to ink.  I’m not sure I ever heard him talk about “line weight” or “rim lighting” but every inked page of his is worth 10 times it’s weight in art lessons.  Continue reading “With Further Ado: RIP Russ Heath”

With Further Ado #003: Challenging Reboots

With Further Ado #003: Challenging Reboots

Back in 1985 fellow Pop Culture Squad-er, Mike Gold, was one of the guys starting and running First Comics. In one of his editorial columns, he talked about reboots. He mused about how some characters would only be written or illustrated by their creators, while others, like Batman, actually blossomed once more talented folks took over. His insights still seem fresh and this column is worth a read.

You see this push-pull all the time.  I’m not sure how fantastic the original Domino Lady stories were, but I think there’s a lot of fine writers at Airship27 who are really having fun writing the character. Tarpe Mills’ Miss Fury was a perfectly lovely newspaper strip. But after talking to Billy Tucci at San Diego Comic-Con, I can’t wait for his new comic adventures of Miss Fury in the upcoming Dynamite series.

And it seems that there’s a whole section of modern day Sherlock Holmes who carry on the Consutling Detective’s tradition.

Sometimes we do get stuck on one creator’s vision of a character. I’ve been having trouble getting into the comics of my old favorite, Daredevil, after Mark Waid’s spectacular run.  And I have always loved Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books. However, I’ve been procrastinating on picking up recent entries by Ace Atkins, who took over after Parker’s death.  My fellow reader-fans, and a couple of authors, tell me ‘to get over’ myself because the new ones are great. I will, I will …I promise.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #003: Challenging Reboots”