Hate Mail: Comic Strip Controversies

An article called ‘Hate Mail: Comic Strip Controversies‘,in the Amarillo Globe-News, looks at those comic strips that ‘pushed the envelope’.

“‘Hate Mail: Comic Strip Controversies’ is an attempt by the 16-year-old museum to illustrate the often anachronistic relationship Americans have with the funnies. The show features reader responses and inflammatory debated cartoons by seven artists, ranging from Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau, who is in his 33rd year as a comic strip rebel, to such young muckrakers as Frank Cho, creator of the racy ‘Liberty Meadows,’ and Aaron McGruder, the satiric mind behind ‘The Boondocks.’

“Dietzen said the public’s image of cartoons as a purely G-rated medium recalls a time that never was. Early versions of “Brenda Starr” showed a reporter as buxom as Cho’s latter-day heroine, Brandy, while “Dick Tracy” fans were treated to a steady diet of violence. Harold Gray used “Little Orphan Annie” as a platform for blasting Roosevelt’s New Deal politics, and “Pogo” openly lampooned communist-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy.” Continue Reading


Voices of Dissent

From an article at TheJournalNews.com, Drawn & Quartered.

“The comics page is usually thought of as a refuge from the rest of the newspaper. But throughout the Iraqi crisis, two comic strips in particular have offered voices of dissent — or at least sharp-edged satire — that have stood out on the comic pages like prickly pears in a petunia patch.

“In Garry Trudeau’s ‘Doonesbury,‘ published in more than 1,200 newspapers around the country (including this one), darts have been tossed at, among other things, President George W. Bush’s budget policies, the run-up to war and what they see as an American sense of empire.

“In Aaron McGruder’s ‘The Boondocks,‘ a three-year-old strip featured in 275 newspapers nationwide, McGruder’s tart-tongued African-American characters have made sport of national jitters about the war on terrorism and the policies of Attorney General John Ashcroft, among other topics.

“Curiously, at a time when boycotts are threatened for any celebrity who dares question America’s Iraq policy, little has been made of the two strips that state contrary opinions. Editors at Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes ‘Doonesbury’ and ‘The Boondocks,’ say they’ve had few complaints from editors at the newspapers that carry them.”

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Interesting New Additions to Marvel DotComics

Marvel has added two new and interesting additions to their DotComics lineup: 411 and X-Men Movie #2.

411 is another series put out by Marvel as a result of the events of 911. Marvel has received a lot of grief lately from CrossGen’s CEO Marc Alessi as a result of those series, that they are in fact cashing in on 911.

X-Men Movie #2. X-Men Movie #1’s success caused the huge interest (Spider-Man added to it) in adapting comic’s for the big screen.
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Comic book discourages migration

Fascinating article at Washington Times.

“In the fictional village of San Gumer, an impoverished young man’s thoughts are candied by images of U.S. dollars, the Statue of Liberty, hamburgers and blondes posing with brand-new cars.

“‘It’s a paradise, brother,’ a veteran migrant named Checho devilishly tells Berny, the naive country youth who has lost his factory job and is tempted to migrate illegally from Mexico to the ‘Yunaites Staites.’

“From this scene forth, an unhappy tale of dashed dreams unfolds on the pages of a new comic book designed to show that illegal migration is no laughing matter. The 20-page comic features heroes and villains, tearful mothers, grieving widows and sage village elders.

“The comic is a popular attempt to reach people in a state where migration has emptied some villages of all their young men and some of their young women. Journeys over the border are claiming more and more lives.” Continue Reading


Still Ahead Of Their Time?

As per an interview @ Anime News Network, Comics One stopped using ebooks due to low sales. They felt they were ahead of their time… would things be different now? If not, when will ebooks be a viable form of distribution?

ANN: Comics One when it started, was only releasing manga titles over the web using software from Adobe. Can you tell us what led to your company originally doing this and then moving away from it?

Nicole: We originally felt ebooks were the next big thing. They had many benefits: portable, easy distribution, no warehousing issues, cheap sales, price, etc… Unfortunately, after a few months of low sales, we knew we were ahead of our time and we began publishing hardcopy books. We now only use ebooks for promotional purposes.

Read more at Comics One Profile Continue Reading

Copyright protection, URL’s and web comics

A recent article in Econtent covers the case of a Dilbert fan who created an unofficial Dilbert webpage using official Dilbert strips.

“Wallach, an avid fan of the Dilbert comic strips, found the layout of United Media’s Official Dilbert Web site ‘really lame’. And so, taking it upon himself to offer the world a better layout, he linked—the better to skirt the copyright issue—directly to United Media’s Web server. He called his creation The Dilbert Hack Page.

“‘It didn’t take long for UM’s lawyers to come knocking. ‘Thank you for your enthusiasm,’ they wrote. “However, this material is copyrighted by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.'” Continue Reading

Comic strip mirrors Caltech life

There’s a story in the Pasadena Star News on Crippling Depression, a comic strip about life at Caltech.

Published in Caltech’s student newspaper for nearly two years, the strip chronicles the highs and lows of life at the notoriously challenging school.

“It’s supposed to be entirely fictional, but no one ever believes us, Wan said.”

“There was a time when everyone assumed that whatever was happening in the comic was what was happening in our lives, like Tim’s and Mike’s parents,” Lee said, laughing. Continue Reading

WowComics.com Update

John Thomas of CandleLight Press has emailed me an update to the WowComics.com situation.

Just talked with Shiwoo Lee on the phone. He gave me a short history of the Wowcomics project. He helped develop the technology and acted as CEO of the American part of this (originally) Mohenz project. It was spun off into it’s own company late 2001 and shut down shortly after that.

Lee says the reason he left the site up was to ‘attract more investors’. When told that it was impossible to register as a new customer, he didn’t really have an answer. He is sorry that the business didn’t work out. He says that the contents of the Wowcomics offices are stored in his garage. He says he will root through them soon to return discs and such. In the short term, he will delete the books of those who request it. He indicated that he prefers to be contected directly by each company, so here is the contact info for that purpose: Shiwoo Lee — lee@coe.neu.edu

He also has an offer for anyone who’s interested, and I promised to pass it along. He’s looking for someone to run Wowcomics for him. The deal would apparently involve out and out partnership. So if you’re curious, ask him about that too. I’m involved with Unbound Comics now, so I really can’t do it.

I’ll keep checking in with him on the return of discs and the like, and it’s a good idea for all of us to do that.So if you’re passing the word to other publishers who want off Wowcomics, please refer them the the above address and not deletemybooks@hotmail.com — if I do get them, I’ll forward them, though.

Thanks John!!

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NY Press Cartoonist Renee French signs with Modern Tales’ serializer.net

Modern Tales, the leading publisher of subscription-based webcomics, announced this week that New York Press cartoonist Renee French will be producing an original experimental series for its avant-garde online “webcomics anthology” serializer.net.

Renee French is known for her highly textured, visceral, and often surreal comics and stories, beginning with “Grit Bath” published by Fantagraphics Books in 1994. Since then she has published 2 books with mainstream comics publisher Dark Horse, a children’s book called “The Soap Lady” for Top Shelf and “Marbles In My Underpants” published by Oni Press, which is a 200 page collection of her work. Continue Reading