Reluctant Habits

Lisa Hanawalt (The Bat Segundo Show #502)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, hanawalt-lisa, interview

In this one hour conversation, artist Lisa Hanawalt discusses her collection My Dirty Dumb Eyes, informs us of the appropriate method to neigh like a horses, describes the bizarre business politics she observed at a toy fair, delineates the trappings of pop culture, tells us how to contend with online trolls, and even offers a few sartorial views. During the majority of this conversation, Our Correspondent is licked copiously by Ms. Hanawalt’s extremely friendly dog.

Chris Ware (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, interview, ware-chris

In this 30 minute radio interview, cartoonist Chris Ware discusses Building Stories, cartooning as a singular art, and how an accusation of cliche from Ira Glass inspired a comic strip.

Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, hernandez-gilbert, hernandez-jaime, interview, Love and Rockets

In this comprehensive one hour radio interview, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez discuss thirty years of Love and Rockets, the problems with elevated superheroes, and why it’s easier to draw a child with a big head.

Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, interview, paronnaud-vincent, satrapi-marjane

In this 20 minute radio interview, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud discuss Chicken with Plums, adapting graphic novels to film, and why death threats are ideal for the creative process.

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Posted by in Comics, Film, Reviews, Spider-Man

I put forth the modest proposition that a movie containing this much paralogia should be rejected by a mass audience. Why the new Spider-Man movie is a drag.

The Bat Segundo Show: Daniel Clowes

Posted by in Bat Segundo, clowes-daniel, Comics, interview

In this 45 minute radio interview, Daniel Clowes discusses Mr. Wonderful, illustrating bald spots, depicting eating in visual mediums, and advertising ethics.

The Bat Segundo Show: Adrian Tomine

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, interview, tomine-adrian

In this very special one hour interview, graphic novelist Adrian Tomine discusses Scenes from an Impending Marriage, the intersection between private art and public art, illustrating for The New Yorker, and contending with a nitpicking audience.

Harvey Pekar (1939-2010)

Posted by in Comics, Obits, pekar-harvey

Harvey Pekar, the comic book writer best known for the long-running American Splendor, died this morning in his Cleveland home. He was 70 years old. Pekar was devoted, more than many of today’s lifeless literary practitioners, to depicting the truth behind everyday moments. And it is especially painful to know that Pekar’s passing comes a little more than a month after David Markson’s. Like Markson, Pekar knew that life didn’t offer any tidy resolutions and that art, even at its best, served as an intermediary. “Ordinary life is pretty complex…read more

Super Friends: An Origin Point

Posted by in Animation, Comics, Television

It is difficult to explain the now extinct Saturday morning cartoon experience to anybody under twenty-five, but it shared certain qualities with a Sunday morning religious service, where one dressed in ratty pajamas and multihued Underoos in lieu of serge suit and neck-restricting tie. A soaky bowl of cornflakes replaced the stale sacramental pomp and circumstance of wafers, offering an altogether different eucharist metaphor with slightly more nutritional value. Leaden and predictable hymns, in which one was badgered into belting out a tinny tune identified by number, were uprooted by…read more

The Bat Segundo Show: Laurie Sandell

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics

Laurie Sandell recently appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #306. Laurie Sandell is the author of The Impostor’s Daughter. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wondering if the coalminer was an impostor. Author: Laurie Sandell Subjects Discussed: Chicken recipes, the quest for truth within memoir, how narrative shapes and stretches truth, subjective vs. objective accounts, the essay written anonymously for Esquire, memory vs. concrete evidence, emails from Ashley Judd, how hard evidence enhances a visual diagram, lawyers sifting through evidence, the use of clothing against background, working with a colorist, becoming one’s…read more

The Publishing Industry: An Economic Thought Experiment

Posted by in Board Games, Comics, DRM, Economics, Publishing Industry, Video Games

Case Study 1: During Presidents Day Weekend, the software company Valve tried out an experiment. Valve, the company behind the successful Half-Life franchise, temporarily halved the price for Left 4 Dead, a cooperative first-person shooter title, from $49.99 to $24.99, over the course of a few days through its centralized Steam client. The results exceeded Valve’s wildest expectations. Sales rose 3,000 percent, and the revenue generated over the weekend dwarfed the game’s sales during its launch. By temporarily offering the game at a price point that was affordable to everybody,…read more

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Interview with Dean Haspiel

Posted by in Ames, Jonathan, Comics, haspiel-dean

For his most recent project, Jonathan Ames collaborated with friend and artist Dean Haspiel for The Alcoholic, a graphic novel in which a character named “Jonathan A.,” who bears more than a few physical and character similarities to Jonathan Ames, is depicted in various alcoholic, sexual, and relationship states. To clear up some of the many staggering questions which emerged during my reading of the graphic novel, I emailed Mr. Haspiel five unusual questions. Mr. Haspiel graciously consented to answer these queries. The results are posted here for the benefit…read more

Review: The Spirit

Posted by in Comics, eisner-will, Film, miller-frank

The critics were not happy during the screening. The critic to my left fell asleep in his chair for an hour. The critic to my right — a jovial man who really wanted to like it — gradually realized that this was a film impossible to come to terms with. Gone were Eisner’s primary colors, replaced by muddy and amateurish black-and-white visuals with digitally added snow that never seemed to stick. The Spirit was so bad that it made Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy look like a masterpiece. Everyone was excited…read more

The Bat Segundo Show: Alison Bechdel II

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics

Alison Bechdel recently appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #250. Ms. Bechdel is most recently the author of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. To listen to our previous interview with Ms. Bechdel, check out The Bat Segundo Show #63. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Overly concerned with modifiers attached to artists. Author: Alison Bechdel Subjects Discussed: The relationship between visual developments and storyline developments, how personal developments worked their way into Dykes to Watch Out For, Tips o’ the Nib, narrative authenticity, research through asking people, being afraid of…read more

The Bat Segundo Show: David Rees

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics, Politics

Just in time for Election Day! David Rees appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #248. Rees is most recently the author of Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror: 2001-2008. Condition of Mr. Segundo: Struggling to cast his vote. Author: David Rees Subjects Discussed: [List forthcoming] EXCERPT FROM SHOW: Correspondent: I wanted to also ask about the use of white space, and often the lack of white space, with some of the panels that have this extraordinarily long rant that one of the characters is…read more

The Bat Segundo Show: David Heatley

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics

David Heatley appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #247. Heatley is most recently the author of My Brain is Hanging Upside Down. Condition of Mr. Segundo: On the waiting list for a brain transplant. Author: David Heatley Subjects Discussed: Surreal dream comics, the Ramones, memory and associations, Francois Truffaut looking at an old school photo and remembering all the names of his fellow students over an entire day, the deficits of memory, training your brain with a journal, apologetic footnotes to family members, the ten year rule, protecting careers and…read more

Passive-Aggressive Newspaper Drones in Training at Montclair

Posted by in Censorship, Comics, knight-keith, Newspapers

I learned through The Beat (via Eric) that an installment of Keith Knight’s The K Chronicle has caused an uproar at the Montclair State University newspaper. Despite Knight basing his strip on a real-life incident and not even printing the full word in question, the editors of the student newspaper issued a campus-wide apology, with Montclarion editor-in-chief Bobby Melok stating, “It is never The Montclarion’s intention to offend its readership, and we sincerely apologize to all who were upset with this comic.” I don’t know what’s more disheartening here: a…read more

Mark Millar: The Pursuit of Popularity

Posted by in Comics

Michael Czobit is a writer based in Mississauga, Ontario. He’s not fond of lengthy writer biographies. So the editor has provided two additional sentences to this introduction to provide Mr. Czobit with some necessary heft. When the credits rolled, many people watching last summer’s film adaptation of Wanted didn’t really know Mark Millar. The audience may have known that he created, with artist J.G. Jones, the comic book series that the film was based upon. And “based upon” is important. Despite Wanted‘s (potentially offensive) violence, the movie was scrubbed of…read more

Review: Best Erotic Comics 2008

Posted by in Comics, Erotica

It is doubtful that Best Erotic Comics 2008 (Last Gasp, $19.95), edited by Greta Christina, will receive any kind of mainstream reviewing attention. The volume has, much like Tim Pilcher and Gene Kannenberg, Jr.’s Erotic Comics (released earlier this year), even eluded the seemingly more permissive pastures of alt-weeklies. But it does warrant some attention, if only because erotica, fantasy, comics, and horror remain some of the only areas in American culture where certain forms of human behavior can be portrayed without needless censorship. Like many anthologies, this volume relies…read more

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The Bat Segundo Show: Peter David

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics

Peter David appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #225. He is most recently the author of Tigerheart and the Incredible Hulk novelization. Condition of the Show: Investigating claimed nemeses of Goliath. Author: Peter David Subjects Discussed: On being prolific, producing work quickly, writing stories set in expansive universe, reacting to a universal construct, working with mythos, the Fallen Angel universe, the Star Trek: New Frontier books, Joseph Campbell and Star Wars, Willow, fundamental tropes in storytelling, whether or not all stories are derivative, retinkering the Peter Pan formula for Tigerheart,…read more

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The Bat Segundo Show: Mort Walker

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Comics

Mort Walker appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #216. Mort Walker is the creator of Beetle Bailey. A volume of the first two years of Beetle Bailey is now out. Condition of the Show: Observing fifty years of development. Author: Mort Walker Subjects Discussed: Walker’s drawing pace, the Beetle Bailey production cycle, filtering through the gags, rejected strips sent to Sweden, Beetle’s early days as a slacker in college, the military as the common experience, Walker’s relationship with the syndicate, the curly hair look of Buzz and Lois, portrait-like illustrations…read more

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The Bat Segundo Show: David Hajdu

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Censorship, Comics, hajdu-david

David Hajdu appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #207. Hajdu is most recently the author of The Ten-Cent Plague. Condition of the Show: Dabbling into hidden threats. Author: David Hajdu Subjects Discussed: Hajdu’s approach to journalism, primary sources vs. secondary sources, categories of people to talk with when preparing a book, tracking down people who disappeared, grassroots methods of finding people, changing names, the untold story of women in comics, Irvin Kersener’s early career as an agitprop documentary filmmaker*, corroborating facts against shifting memory, telling history without a fully documented…read more

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Hulk Smash. Critic Write.

Posted by in Comics, Film

Guardian: “Idea is. Dr Bruce Banner – on run. Keep anger under control. Banner hope not turn into Hulk. Banner live …. in Brazilian slum. Work in factory. Total babe there fancy Banner. Banner quite fancy babe. But Banner not make move. Babe in film to keep guys interested. Until Banner’s girlfriend Liv Tyler come into action later. Tyler not mind Hulk thing. Hulk remind her of dad. Steven Tyler. Possibly. Much location work. Overhead shots. Of slums. City of God vibe intended. But this rubbish. Like everything else.”

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Dave Sim: The Stalin of Comics

Posted by in Comics, Misogyny, Sexism, sim-dave

In case you haven’t heard the news, the once great Dave Sim has demanded that anyone who corresponds with him must pledge that Sim isn’t a misogynist. The whole business has erupted into a sad and terrible train wreck in which Sim has nearly alienated his friend Chester Brown and spurned long-time fans. And it’s all because Sim doesn’t appear to be acquainted with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions…read more

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Free Comic Book Day

Posted by in Comics

I walked into my local comic shop and saw few unfamiliar faces looking over a few freebies. I walked out with a thick stack of comic books, headed home, and consumed them in the best way: in one mad tear, one mad comic book binge. It was Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry’s to Halloween. But candy’s handed out in May. Comic publishers supply plentiful issues that are then handed out in comic shops around the world. It isn’t the pounds of sugar that will make your head spin,…read more

NYCC: An Impromptu Interview with Jeffrey Brown

Posted by in Brown, Jeffrey, Comics, New York ComicCon

On Friday afternoon, I began walking the floors of New York ComicCon, collecting strange snippets that will be glued together for a future installment of Segundo. I counted thirty-seven Jedi Knights (some of them portly, making me wonder why Jedi discipline doesn’t seem to involve physical fitness), two Stormtroopers (both in good shape), and two Princess Leias (both in remarkably gaunt shape and dressed to show this). If one must choose a side in the Star Wars/Star Trek dichotomy, I’m more of a Trek man myself, even though I recognize…read more

NYCC: The New York Comics Legend Award

Posted by in Comics, lee-stan, New York ComicCon

Eric Rosenfield reports: The first annual New York Comics Legend Award was held at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square where a number of die-hards ponied up $350 each to see the award given to Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, etc. etc. He’s something close to the PT Barnum of comics, fond of such catchphrases as “True Believer” and “Excelsior!” I had come with this guy. At first, we milled around and ate the excellent canapés. We were upset because the luminaries—including…read more

Interview with Charles Burns

Posted by in Charles Burns, Comics, Edward Champion

Four new podcasts were released today at The Bat Segundo Show. And since we’re on the subject of Segundo, what follows is a short excerpt from my conversation with Philadelphia-based artist Charles Burns, who I chatted with during a recent visit through New York. You might know Burns’s work from his advertisements or his illustrations for The Believer. But he’s best known as the writer and illustrator of the graphic novel, Black Hole, a compilation of his twelve-volume comic book. Burns worked on this over the course of ten years….read more

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December Comics Madness

Posted by in Comics

Since the month of December is typically a slow month for the publishing industry, and since the wintry weather is conductive for this sort of thing, and since I have received several enticing graphic novels over the past few months, in December, I plan to devote these pages to investigating many of these volumes — while also gradually releasing the fifteen (!) podcasts I have in my backlog. In addition, I’ll also be covering the New York Anime Festival in a few weeks. If you are a comics publisher who…read more

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Winsor McCay

Posted by in Comics

I will have more to say at length about Winsor McCay and, specifically, Checker Publishing’s reissue of The Dream of the Rarebit Fiend later. For now, I direct you to Josh Glenn’s slideshow, depicting McCay’s influence upon other filmmakers, and this website for the book. And I must also direct you to this interesting tale concerning “Gertie the Dinosaur.” The story goes that, sometime around 1913, another newspaper cartoonist bet McCay that he could not bring a dinosaur to life. McCay then came up with this groundbreaking animation in 1914…read more

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