Tag: Yoe Books

With Further Ado #141: Discussing “Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books”

With Further Ado #141: Discussing “Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books”

At Ithaca College, I teach a business course called Hidden Entrepreneurs. In this class, we explore and dissect entrepreneurial lessons from the lives and activities of non-traditional entrepreneurs.  These are the folks who are NOT on Shark Tank. These people are the often unrecognized entrepreneurs who nonetheless “make it happen.” Their stories are amazing, and there is so much to be learned from studying them.

Author Ken Quattro has done me one better in his brilliant new book, Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books. This new book details the lives and careers of black comic book creators.  Some are astonishing, some are heartbreaking, and they are non-traditional artists.  Their stories, for the most part, have been forgotten in the mists of time. So, it’s all the more important that historian Quattro, a real life comic book detective, has hunted down all the information and connected all the dots.

Quattro has done this all in a fun, engaging book. The stories of these artists’ trials and tribulations are almost all more interesting than the short comic stories included in this volume.   It shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us, though. His The Comics Detective site is brilliant and always informative. Continue reading “With Further Ado #141: Discussing “Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books””

With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!

With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!

It’s a rainy day here and one of my first thoughts was, “Am I ready to stand out in the rain if it’s like this on Election Day?” And just yesterday the absentee ballots for my Mom and Dad arrived at their house. They’ll get them into the mail ASAP. It’s that kind of season. I think we’re all planning ahead on how to ensure that our vote counts.

Everywhere there seems to be a focus on it.  Even in this past Sunday’s Prince Valiant. The classic newspaper strip was created by Hal Foster and now capably continued by Mark Schultz and Thomas Yeates.  In this week’s adventure, Aleta, Queen of the Misty Isles, remarks upon a unique form of government she had heard about. It’s an idea where self-rule by the common folks.

“Oh, Demokratia!”, she exclaims. And they she remembers that the Greeks “tried it that centuries ago! It worked well for a time…but then the people grew lazy and timid, and decided to just let a tyrant do their thinking for them.” Continue reading “With Further Ado #117: Oh Demokratia! Voting is Your Super Power!”

With Further Ado #104: Johnny Dynamite Is Back

With Further Ado #104: Johnny Dynamite Is Back

Back in the day, I was a big fan of Ms. Tree by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. I liked hard-boiled fiction (and still do), but this comic was different.  Somehow Collins and Beatty took everything that private-eye fans liked, jumbled it all up and delivered a new series that seemed fresh as a counterfeit sawbuck and as enticing as a nightclub singer’s over-the-shoulder wink.

Collins and Beatty developed a rapport with the readers, and soon we all began to understand the stuff that influenced their work on Ms. Tree.  Soon it become clear that it all started with the hard-boiled detective author Mickey Spillane, although there was a little Dragnet in there too.  They also revealed they were influenced by a 50s Private Eye comic series, Johnny Dynamite.

Johnny Dynamite was a character who – “ahem” – borrowed many of the attributes of Spillane’s detective, Mike Hammer. Ms. Tree comics reprinted the old Johnny Dynamite  stories, and the character Johnny Dynamite even ended up crossing paths with Ms. Tree. Eventually, Collins and Beatty created a new Johnny Dynamite mini-series (with great Mitch O’Connell covers).

And it’s taken a while, but now, in the summer of 2020, there’s an explosive new Johnny Dynamite collection just published by the good folks at Yoe Books. It’s a stunner.

I reached out to Max Allan Collins to provide some details: Continue reading “With Further Ado #104: Johnny Dynamite Is Back”

With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey

With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey

There’s a truism in comics that “everybody knows”. Pirate comics don’t sell.  However. every piece of common wisdom needs to be shattered at one time or another, and we were just the scurvy knaves to do it. Sit back, sip your rum, and let me tell you the true tale of how we made a pirate comic!

Last year, I had a brilliant student in one of my classes. Naomi Hanson had many different interests and passions, and one of them was the history of real-life pirates. She was quite the expert and delivered lectures at academic conferences nationwide on the subject.

Naomi was also in the ITHACON class, where we teach students about creating and managing trade shows, and then have them run an actual convention: ITHACON.

After hearing about her lectures – shiver my timbers – I thought about how to take it to the next level. I explained to Naomi that I had vision of a Pirate Panel at San Diego Comic-Con. I knew it would be a long shot making that happen, but she was game to try.

The ideas were accepted by the panel committee at San Diego Comic-Con. I knew she’d be great onstage. I recruited another panelist, renowned library science expert Krista Rozanski.  I would be moderator.  The mizzen masts were about to be hoisted, and we were ready.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #83: Shiver My Timbers, Matey”

With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts

With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts

Happy Halloween!  Have you been partying at Halloween Parties all weekend? Are you ready for trick-or-treaters tomorrow?  And what do you hand out to the kids? Candy? Comics? Anything’s fine by me, as long as you’re not one of those dentists that gives out dental floss. What a bummer that is.

There’s something about that quaint, retro-spookiness of Halloween that makes it all so much fun. I especially applaud the hard-working entrepreneurs of Retro-Go-Go and all their wonderful Halloween merchandise. There’s such a charm in that idealized notion of Halloween that their creative seasonal merchandise evokes.   Continue reading “With Further Ado #066: Spooky Reading with Ghosts”