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Friday, May 18, 2012
In our soon-to-be-published exclusive with Rob Salkowitz on his groundbreaking Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, Rob talks about the joys, and also the fears of the writing process…

“Put my clarinet beneath your bed till I get back in town…”, Tom Waits, ‘Tango Till They’re Sore’



I’m a couple of hours from now, I’ll have some time in hand and I’ll reread Hell & Back, a Sin City love story. Specifically I’ll want to read Wallace’s trip that happens around chapter 6 (chapter 7?) because I believe very strong that this is the very culmination of a project that Frank Miller earlier in his Sin City series. Not in the original series of Sin City yarns, those very first episodes that were published in Dark Horse Presents. But a project begun in Family Values, a project about independence, and about freedom.


The freedom here isn’t necessarily the usual kind of freedom we imagine from this period in comics history. Very shortly after Miller penned those very first Sin Cities, the episodes that would eventually be collected into the sleek, luscious volume, the Hard Goodbye, top tier Marvel artists would break out on their own to establish Image Comics. Titles like Spawn, WildC.A.T.s, Youngblood and later on Witchblade and the Darkness would leverage significant commercial success. It seemed just as we were beginning to see the first generation of internet millionaires (“I remember when a million was a million”, Tom Waits croons out on his triple disc album Orphans), we would also begin to see comics millionaires. That was the very first time the idea seemed a plausible one, an achievable one.


But the dream of that quickly died.


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Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

It’s the second day of the Pittsburgh Comicon, and I’m stuck behind two Mandalorians in line for a slice of pizza.

I rarely take note of costumed fans at conventions. But as I see the two intergalactic bounty hunters ahead of me and an impatient Lobo behind me, I begin to ask the obvious question.


What’s with the costumes?


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Thursday, Jan 14, 2010

The first story in the first issue of Crime SuspenStories presents an interesting case of a tale that reverberates back and forth through the last half of the twentieth century.


First published in October 1950 by the notorious EC Comics, Crime SuspenStories #1 opens with “Murder May Boomerang,” drawn and most likely written by the legendary Johnny Craig. In the 2007 EC Archives edition, author Max Allan Collins notes that “Murder” was probably inspired by the short story “Revenge,” by Samuel Blas, which had appeared in a 1947 issue of Collier’s magazine.


In Blas’s story, a husband seeks to avenge his wife’s rape, while in the EC Comics version, a son is driven to murder after his father is brutally attacked. In both stories, the crime that sets off the quest for vengeance is random, the victim beloved by someone, and the bleak, ambiguous “moral” seems to be that every act of violence haunts the victim and perpetrator forever; one brutal act can never erase a previous one.


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