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by John Tamarri

28 Dec 2016


Comic book anthologies never went away. They just became harder to spot since the ‘60s. One reason is because Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent prompted the creation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The CCA’s censoring made it hard for EC Comics to continue publishing its anthologies, which printed the work of Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, and many other legends in the field.

Another reason is that many anthologies turned into single character books. Dark Horse Presents, Papercutters, Negative Burn, Kramers Ergot, 2000 AD, and dozens of others kept anthologies alive while single-story comics and graphic novels grew to become the big draw to comics readers. They come and go, get canceled without notice, sometimes only get released once a year, and move to digital. This is the way of the serial anthology. Now that the juggernaut of serial anthologies, Heavy Metal (published since 1977), has Grant Morrison as Editor-In-Chief, it joins Amazing Forest and Islands to make up three serial anthologies on stands today that are offering some of the best variety between two covers.

by Michael Barrett

13 Jul 2012


July brings the latest volumes in Fantagraphics’ project to present the definitive catalogue of the two greatest ouevres in Disney comics: Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse newspaper strips and Carl Barks’ Donald Duck comic books.

Volume 3 of Mickey’s adventures chronicles 1934 and 1935, an era of increasing maturity and responsibility for the scrappy adventure-loving mouse as he deals with Wild West banditry and then comes home to run a newspaper that exposes racketeering and corruption at City Hall. After crusading for justice at home, he does his patriotic duty as a special agent inside a Nautilus-like submarine captained by a thinly-veiled Nazi villain several years before the war.

There’s still no explanation for how some animals are “humans” while others are just animals, like how Mickey can ride a horse in the West and then come home to be greeted by his pal Horace Horsecollar. Or the eternal quandary of why Pluto is a pet while Dippy Dawg (later Goofy) is a chum. Some mysteries won’t be resolved on this plane.

by Vince Carducci

14 May 2012


Quite often when I read mainstream American social science, especially of the “quantoid” variety, I’m reminded of much I appreciate literature. While acknowledging the importance of objective data collection and analysis in distinguishing social facts from all-too-fallible everyday perceptions, I also can’t help thinking that deeper, perhaps more significant meaning goes missing in the process.

by Michael Barrett

15 Nov 2011


“Barks was perhaps the most widely-read but least-known author in the world. Like other comic-book artists at the time, he was anonymous during the years he was producing his comics. At the same time, because his work was so exceptional, he developed a huge number of fans, who only knew him as ‘the good artist.’ His best work is ‘pure Disney’...and yet his work was so distinctive that it actually displaced the Disney vision in the direction of his own individual talent. His success thus depended on his anonymity as well as his autonomy.”

This insightful remark comes from Donald Ault’s introduction (more like a love letter) to this first in a series devoted to collecting Carl Barks’ Disney comics, over 6,000 pages from 1942 to 1966, reprinted in glorious color. This volume reprints tales from December 1948 through August 1949, when Barks was in high feather as a creator of breathless adventures and light comedies for his Ducks: Donald (handled by Barks as a resourceful Every-duck hero removed from his irascible screen persona), the billionaire Uncle Scrooge McDuck (a great creation of equal parts fantasy and frustration), the nephews Huey, Louis and Dewey, and supporting characters like the cursedly lucky Gladstone Gander.

by Kerrie Mills

14 Jun 2011


Every now and again I get sucked into participating in one of those blogger memes where you have to pick out your favourite book. The thing is, I maintain a LiveJournal, and frankly get just a little bored with trying to ensure my picks show me off as deep and sensitive to a community that includes feminist rants about Firefly.

Thus, charter member of the Junior Iconoclasts that I am, I recently decided to get cute and pluck out something like the most obscure or weirdest book I own.

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Stevie Wonder Takes a Knee as Green Day and Others Also Speak Out at Global Citizen Festival

// Notes from the Road

"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.

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