Tagcomics

How Chris Claremont hid queer X-Men characters in plain sight

Excerpt from Excaliber # 5

Excerpt from Excaliber # 5

Sigrid Ellis on realizing that Kitty Pride is gay, and that she is too:

As is so common in queer history, though, an ostensibly fair and even-handed treatment of sexuality in comics makes gay and lesbian relations invisible. The heterosexual pairings among the X-Men could kiss or hug, could call their time together a date. The queers could not. Moreover, there’s that “perversion” clause. Ego-dystonic homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1986. [2] New Mutants #36 was published in February 1986. When it was written, lesbianism was legally and medically a perversion. Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, the writer and artist of New Mutants at the time, could not say that Illyana came to the rescue of her some-time girlfriend Kitty who had been defeated by a demon with a penchant for classic bondage porn. But they could write it, and draw it, without ever acknowledging that is what they were doing. The relationship, the subtext, the highly sexualized imagery, all these things were presented not as queer kink but as friendship and heroism. The kind of relationship any high school girl might have with her best friends.

Full Story: Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men: Kitty Queer

(via Metafilter, where the commenters explore some of the more problematic elements of Claremont’s work)

Ellis also wrote “No Return Address,” one of my all time favorite short stories.

Copra Issue 1 Now Online for Free

COPRA issue 1

The first Michel Fiffe’s beautiful Suicide Squad inspired indie comic Copra is now online for free.

Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes Do Webcomic for the BBC

The Key by Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes

The Key is a short, wordless webcomic by Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes and published by the BBC.

What It’s Like to be a Woman at a Comic Book Shop

woman-in-comic-shop

Read the whole comic by Noelle Stevenson.

(via Metafilter)

Previously: If Male Superheroes Were Drawn Like Female Superheroes

One hundred years later, why is George Herriman’s Krazy Kat still so radical?

Krazy Ka

But some years later, Hearst came across another strip that truly captured his imagination. With this comic he cut against his usual razor instincts for business and made what appear to be irrational decisions: he spent far more money on it than even the artist—and certainly the public—thought it was worth, and he issued the artist a stunning no-strings-attached lifetime contract that guaranteed George Herriman complete creative freedom. […]

While the setup is not altogether different than other strips that appeared alongside Krazy Kat, Herriman’s comic transmogrified into something radical. By refusing to settle into the very formula it invites upon itself, Krazy Kat works the same way a hallucination does—or a dream, a vision. That is, in both language and pictures, it contains multiple realities at once. It is a typical playful strip featuring anthropomorphic characters and a theater of physical lunacy, and, at the same time, it is pioneering art that literally breaks outside the box with compositional innovations and astoundingly good drawing. […]

Unusually, Krazy Kat’s admirers included artists, writers, and art critics. Poet e.e. cummings wrote the introduction to the very first collection of Krazy Kat strips. Willem de Kooning was an avid fan, especially of the fanciful southwestern landscapes. So was Walt Disney. After Herriman’s death, Disney wrote to the artist’s daughter: “As one of the pioneers in the cartoon business, his contributions to it were so numerous that they may well never be estimated.”

H.L. Mencken loved Krazy Kat too, as did Gertrude Stein and T.S. Eliot. Jack Kerouac said the strip was a precursor to the Beat Generation, with common roots in “the glee of America, the honesty of America, its wild and self-believing individuality.” Even President Woodrow Wilson was a noted fan.

In what is almost certainly the first instance of an art critic taking comics seriously as art, Gilbert Seldes devoted a whole chapter to the strip in his 1924 book, The Seven Lively Arts. He wrote that the strip was “the most amusing and fantastic and satisfactory work of art produced in America today.”

Full Story: Guernica Magazine: Krazy Komik

Free Sci-Fi Comic: The Azimuth Job

The Azmuth Job

“The Azimuth Job” is a short comic by Sean Witzke, Technoccult-pal Ian MacEwan, Sloane Leong and Jared Lewis. It will be published as a backup series in Brandon Graham‘s Prophet series at Image.

Check out the rest of it on Ian’s blog.

Previously:

My interview with Brandon Graham

Witzke on David Bowie and Watchmen

Ian’s other comic, The Yankee

Kook Komix Debuts with “Mister Probert in Etherland”

Kook Komix by Juan Ochoa and Brendan Simpson

Juan Ochoa revealed the first installment of Kook Komix today: Mister Probert in Etherland. Juan is working with Kook Science — which includes Technoccult alum Brendan Simpson — on this project.

Here’s some background on Probert, from Brendan:

Who was Mark Probert? By his own accounting, he was a drop-out and a drifter, skipping from the Merchant Marines to horse jockeying, serving a stint as hotel bellhop then as a Vaudevillian song-and-dance man, before finally settling into his role as a “Telegnostic from San Diego”. Mr. Probert is scarcely known today, but, in his time, his “sleeping psychic” mediumship was the prime link between the later days of California Spiritualism and the nascent Ufology of the post-war period, and he served as forerunner to all the Space Brother contactees who soared to prominence in the early years of the 1950s. Probert saw himself as ultimately a humble servant to outside forces, ever self-effacing, quite unlike many of those he later inspired, and alway offering all credit to the voices he believed he channelled, and to his partner and wife Irene Probert.

Full Story: Juan Ochoa: Mister Probert in Etherland

Is This The World’s First Comic Book?

Medieval comic book

From Medieval News:

Damien Kempf on Tumblr came across this image from a 12th century manuscript known as the Bible of Stephen Harding. This work contains many images, including this page that details the story of King David. Just like a modern day comic book, you are supposed to go through this page from left to write and top to bottom, and read the caption for each box.

Full Story: Medival News: The first ever comic book?

(via Leah Moore)

That does sound like it could be the first comic book, though there are older example of comic strips, such as cave paintings. There’s also this Iranian goblet from around 3192 BC that includes a sequence of images that could well be considered a comic if you consider art to be comics:

goblet-comic

Steve Bissette Working On A Book About Alan Moore, Asks People To Publish His 1963 Stories Online For Free

1963

Rich Johnson just posted a letter from Steve Bissette calling on fans to post his pages from 1963, a comic written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Bissette and others in the early 90s, online for free since it’s unlikley it will ever be reprinted. He also mentioned that he’s working on a book about Moore:

FYI, This emerges from my work on my own forthcoming Alan Moore book; since I own my pencils, and articles on any of our work is fair game for any party out there, I’m running a few articles (by others) in my book, and illustrating them with my sketches and pencils, which is fair enough under the terms of our agreements, I reckon. If not, I’ll hear about it soon enough.

Full Story: Bleeding Cool: Steve Bissette Working On A Book About Alan Moore, Asks People To Publish His 1963 Stories Online For Free

Clearly I’m missing something — why won’t 1963 ever be reprinted?

Arm Cannons and Futurism, an Interview With the Creators of Light Years Away

lab_Lightyears_004

After a while, most serialized webcomics start to look the same. Just about every series seems to strike a similar balance of influences from anime and western animation. But not Light Years Away, which draws inspiration from European sci-fi comics by artists like Moebius and Tanino Liberatore.

LYA is set in a world where many — perhaps most — people have cybernetic implants. But there’s a growing, violent anti-implant movement called the Puritans. The first story arc, Escape from Prison Planet, tells the story of Milo, a repeat offender doing time on an off-planet penal colony, where he ends up in the middle of a prison gang war between the Puritans and the implantees. Soon, however, he finds out there’s something bigger going on.

I talked with writer Ethan Ede and artist Adam Rosenlund — the Boise, Idaho based duo behind the series — about webcomics, the future of the series and other projects they have in the hopper.

Ethan Ede and Adam Rosenlund
Left: Ethan Ede Right: Adam Rosenlund

Klint Finley: First, I’m curious why you guys self-published online. Did you shop it around to publishers first?

Ethan: We self-published this story because we wanted to do it our way. Having control over our product is very important to us, that’s one of the reasons there are no ads on the site, because that is content we can’t control. At the time when we started Light Years Away we were shopping several products around to publishers and we wanted to put something out in the meantime. We actually picked LYA because it is the least like the stories we normally tell.

Adam: As well as the story being built for the format. We were kind of frustrated at the pitch process when we decided on LYA. We just wanted to get some stories out there and read, and at the time, no one was buying science fiction. The market was in contraction, and publishers were reticent to take a chance on what we were selling.

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