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Saturday, August 14, 2004

The New Comics Journal -- That phrase is about to take on a whole new meaning, not only meaning a new issue of The Comics Journal, but a new iteration of North America's best and longest running quality comics publication. Here's what editor Dirk Deppey has to say about it:

In just two short weeks, The Comics Journal #262 hits the stands, sporting more pages, more full comics, improved paper stock, and added features! In our latest issue:

  • A special section devoted to master cartoonist Alex Toth, including a critical essay by Bob Levin (The Pirates and the Mouse), a 1980 interview with the artist never before printed in English, and 36 pages of classic crime and romance comics from Toth's days with notorious publisher Lev Gleason!

  • An interview with renowned illustrator Steve Brodner, complete with page after page of full-color art and even a gallery of his gorgeous pen-and-ink illustrations!

  • A full-size reprinting of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder's notorious 1960s Archie parody, "Goodman Goes Playboy," with a new introduction by R. Fiore!

  • The inauguration of our new section of industry commentary and opinion, with Steven Grant on the rise of manga in America, Dirk Deppey on Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada's "NuMarvel" experiment, and Gregory Cwiklik on why movies now do superheroes better than comic books can manage!

  • News editor Michael Dean examines the comics industry's many failed attempts to organize into guilds and trade associations, Carmine Infantino's lawsuit against DC, and the strange fate of The Big Book of Wild Women!

As a teaser of the new issue, we've got plenty for you to read over at TCJ.com, as well, including previews of our Steve Brodner interview, and Mike Dean's stories on comics associations and the Wild Women fiasco. In addition, we've posted the first ¡Journalista! column online in its entirety, and a bonus supplement, in which Dirk Deppey reviews the first two months of comics from Marvel's "X-Men Reload" marketing campaign!

(Oh, and did we mention the Audio Archives MP3s, featuring an hour's worth of conversation between Gary Groth and gonzo cartoonist Ralph Steadman?)

The Comics Journal #262 -- on sale in two weeks at finer newsstands, bokstores and comic-book shops!

The percolating of a new era for the magazine has been evident in the past few issues, building on the excellent run of former editor Milo George. With a new look and improved production quality and presentation, this refocusing of the magazine is about the most exciting news in comics journalism since, well, Dirk Deppey originally launched ¡Journalista! as a weblog. The fact that ¡Journalista! will be a part of the magazine is even more reason to pick this issue up and give it a look, if you've not been buying The Journal.

Personally, I've been reading it since Jimmy Carter was President, and I've never been more anxious to get my hands on an issue than this one...except maybe #259, the one that had my Paul Hornschemeier appreciation in it. Yeah, all right, I was excited to get that one, what can I say?

So, yeah, haunt your comics shops and make sure you tell the owner about all the new features and add The Comics Journal to your pull list, if you haven't already. Each issue takes me about three days to read from cover to cover, making the Journal minute-for-minute the best freaking bargain in comics. End of lecture.


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