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, 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 ĦJournalista! 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 ĦJournalista! as a weblog. The fact that ĦJournalista! 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.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Moore and Krigstein HCs for YOU! -- I've got Alan Moore's VOICE OF THE FIRE HC and Greg Sadowski's wonderful HC biography B. KRIGSTEIN VOL. 1 for sale or trade.

Send me your trade lists or cash offers. Both new, unread hardcovers, Krigstein still in the shrinkwrap. Taking offers on either or both.

E-mail me!


Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Softer Stan Lee -- If you're the type to wait for the paperback rather than shell out the bucks for hardcovers, you will be interested to know that Tom Spurgeon and Jordan Raphael's excellent biography Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book is out now in paperback.

It's available in most bookstores or online at

If you'd like to learn more about the book, drop by the official website.

I also interviewed both of the book's my Jordan Raphael interview here or download an MP3 audio file of my interview with Tom Spurgeon by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Chosen One -- Hey, Chosen #3 shipped today, the conclusion of Mark Millar and Peter Gross's intriguing take on Christian mythology. Galaxy fans (you know who you are, all three of you!) might be interested to see that I have a nice, big quote on the back cover. You can probably still pick up all three issues of this at better comics shops, so like my quote says, if you like preacher or Sandman or Vertigo-style stuff like that, give Chosen a look.

Also out today is Grant Morrison's third and final New X-Men hardcover with artists Chris Bachalo, Phil Jiminez and others. Great stuff, and I am thrilled to have that series complete in three sturdy hardcover volumes. I don't say this often, but, thanks, Marvel, for doing this one right.

I've Made Up My Mind -- I'm going to this:

So there. Maybe I'll see you there.

Get A Great Graphic Novel -- I understand from Christopher Butcher (and thanks for the love, Chris, right back atcha -- and can I please get a link in your blogroll?) that retailers have underordered the divine Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1. Read Christopher's thoughts on this, and please tell your retailer you want a copy of this book. It would be a goddamned shame for it not to get to readers, because I honestly can't imagine any comics fan thatw ouldn't have a blast reading this excellent book.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Recommended Reading -- Head over to the main page and click on the latest update for my review of Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, most definitely a recommended read and one of the best graphic novels I've read this year.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hornschemeier, Hulk and More -- Click on over to the Galaxy front page to see what's up in our Monday update...including an expanded version of my Comics Journal profile of cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier, and more. And if you haven't had a look yet, the Galaxy interview archives are back and better than ever, packed with tons of interview transcripts and quite a few downloadable MP3 audio files.

Now that the interview section is back, I am really starting to feel that Comic Book Galaxy is back, and I hope you're enjoying what we're doing here. As always, I welcome your feedback.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

For the Fan Who Wants Everything -- I don't know if you caught last night's Justice League Unlimited episode on Cartoon Network, but it was an adaptation of Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, "For the Man Who Has Everything." And it was spectacular.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a note-for-note adaptation -- the TV show has less than 20 minutes to work with once you slice out the commercials and opening and closing sequences. But adapter JM DeMatteis is really to be saluted for distilling down the important moments of the story and getting the gist of it just right:


1. Robin is excised from the story (probably because of Teen Titans Go, not the fact that he was Jason Todd in the original comic), but the witty dialogue in the opening arrival-at-the-Fortress is intact and still amusing.

2. The building sense of horror at what is being done to Superman within his fantasy-world is note-perfect, including the distant rumbles and the still-devastating goodbye to his fictional child.

3. Diana's "Go to HeFZZAAAPPPP" was wonderfully effective, treading the line just right for this all-ages series' nod to old bastards like me and demonstrating why this TV series, in its second season, is likely to remain so superior not only the current version of the comics that inspired it, but to 95 percent of all superhero comics being published today.

4. Although suitable for all ages, this episode's mining of emotional power is really impressive -- virtually every powerful scene from the original comic is intact, from Superman's out-of-control rage at his mindrape to the hilarious sense of relief when the flower is finally dropped on Mongul.

The episode is rerun this afternoon at 5 PM Eastern and probably next Saturday morning sometime as well. I've been hoping for a Justice League Season One DVD set for months now, but this episode needs to be issued on DVD, hopefully as quickly as Starcrossed (last season's excellent season finale) made it into stores. It's a powerful tribute to the enduring appeal of DC's big three superhero icons, a faithful adaptation of one of the most significant stories in superhero comics history, and a vivid action story with a beating human heart that demands rewatching and sharing. I want special features on the making of the episode, and I want someone to work the magick needed to get Alan Moore, DeMatteis and producer Bruce Timm to do the commentary track.

I don't ask for much, do I?

Alan David Doane, Elitist Superhero Hater and Artcomix Snob (as if you couldn't tell...)

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