Every year many bleeding hearts tiptoe through their keyboards decrying the spread of book banning in state and local schools and libraries. And by “every year,” I mean “well, actually, every couple of days.”
As we’ve seen this month, a huge part of the Virginia gubernatorial race focused on the horrific nightmares evoked from the work of author Toni Morrison. She was the winner of the American Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Humanities Medal, the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and over 100 other A list awards. Lord knows, that’s not the type of person whose work you’d want in your library, is it?
These lists often come out of Texas because their school library habits influence purchasing patterns all over this bigoted nation… and that’s because, when it comes to electing government officials, Texas is to fascism what Florida is to prostitution.
Therefore, every year I find myself dancing across my own keyboard bitching about censorship. Technically, that word only applies to works banned by a government, so it certainly applies here. But in a democracy – yeah, I know; stop laughing! – the government acts in the name of the people, so I subscribe to the overreaching definition of that term. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Burning Down The House!” →
As I recall, 1986 was a great year. I was in Boston at that time and had just started a career in advertising. Boston was a glorious place; I enjoyed every minute of my time there. I especially enjoyed the town’s many comic shops – including Million Year Picnic, New England Comics and Newbury Comics- they were all in Harvard Square (if you can believe that) near where I lived.
It was good to have so many shops nearby because it was also a great year for comics. But in some ways, 1986 seems to echo through today with the resounding and triumphant evolution of Geek Culture.
I thought a lot about that as I was reading the big Sunday NYTimes article(s) on the new HBO Watchmen series. The show looks interesting, but I couldn’t help but think how wonderfully odd it is, even today, to see Dave Gibbons’ panels in a major newspaper.
Watchmen debuted in 1986. We tend to forget, but right when we were all hooked, the twelve issue comic series started shipping late. It was a drag, but so worth the wait. And of course, those intricate Alan Moore stories could be read and re-read, and new meaning could be found each time while we were awaiting the conclusion.
One of the most satisfying parts of Watchmen used to be that it was finite. The comic series was a cohesive and comprehensive story. Like Casablanca, you kinda wanted to know what happened to those characters afterwards, but it was all so perfect that there was a “let’s just let it be” attitude.
Buuuut… we’ve had a lot of new Watchmen adventures over the years. The series has been reprinted in many formats many times. (And that’s a whole ‘nuther story right there.) And the Zach Snyder movie brought Watchmen to the big screen in 2009.
There have been new adventures in the comics too. I just rescued a few random Before Watchmen issues from the bargain box in Oswego’s A Comic Shop on Saturday. I was that guy who went into the store five minutes before their official closing (hey, I happened to be in the area). I wanted to be respectful to the owner (more likely than not it had been a long day for her) so I quickly grabbed those comics. Plus, my wife was waiting in the car.
DC Comics is currently publishing The Doomsday Clock series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. It’s a gorgeous-looking book that weaves the Watchmen characters into the modern DC mythology. Frank’s artwork is stellar, and kudo’s to Johns for his characterizations of Don McGregor’s Nathaniel Dusk and the new heroes/villains, Marionette and Mime.
More 1986 in 2019
Comic fans, by their nature, are always glancing over their shoulders to the past, while paradoxically always looking to the future – anxious to find out “what’s next”. We didn’t know 1986 would be a big deal then. We certainly didn’t think it would still be a big deal in so many ways.
Pulitzer-Prize winning artist to discuss Maus as part of Rockwell’s Questioning Identity series
Corning, N.Y. : The Rockwell Museum is pleased to host an evening with Pulitzer-Prize Winning artist Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman will discuss his groundbreaking Maus graphic novel and its place in current global conversations in this culminating program of The Rockwell’s Year of Questioning Identity. Continue reading “Rockwell Museum to Host an Evening with Art Spiegelman” →
Living outside of New York City for years and years spoiled me. I was able to see and meet so many “big-names” in various industries. Entrepreneurs, authors, actors and especially big-name creatives from the world of pop culture. That time with Tom Hanks was my wife’s favorite, I think.
On the other hand, I have been able to drag a few icons from comics to my new home, the Finger Lakes: Neal Adams, Walter Simonson, Louise Simonson and Mark Waid. That’s all been a lot of fun. But still…the opportunities to speak with and spend time with creative professionals is less frequent.
That’s why it’s so exciting that The Rockwell Museum in Corning, N.Y. is hosting an evening with Art Spiegelman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Artist/Illustrator will be discussing his graphic novels Maus and Maus II and their place in global discussions, as the culminating part of the Rockwell’s year of Questioning Identity. Continue reading “With Further Ado #057: The Rockwell Museum Hosts Art Spiegelman” →
Seems we’re getting sentimental this week, kiddos. As I read our illustrious HBIC’s column this week, I couldn’t help but join in the fun. No, seriously. She’s holding me at gunpoint. Help! Ahem. I mean… that is to say… What comic have I had in my collection the longest? Much as I’d love to tell you it was the aforementioned X-Men Adventures book that ignited my original passion for pulp. Or perhaps the sentimental favorite pair of Malibu books that I still maintain are more than mere homage. But no. Most of my original set of comics were lost to a flood long ago. But not my graphic novels.
The comic — nay, the graphic novel— that has remained in my possession the longest is Art Spiegelman’s Maus.
And it’s time for a true confession. Well, a pair of them, if I must. First? I didn’t buy my copy. I stole it. That is to say, I borrowed it from the Hebrew School library, and refrained from ever returning it. No late fees or fines ever were sent home. So, there it stayed in my desk drawer for the better part of two and a half decades. And my second confession? It’s been so long since I’ve read it, I honestly remember nothing about the book.
Despite my larceny and lame memory, there are a multitude of reasons it remains one of my most cherished tomes. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #011: The Comic I’ve Had the Longest” →