November 16, 1992 |
Superman dead? Just how can they kill off a comic-book hero, not to mention one that stands for truth, justice and the American way, after some five decades of crime fighting? Before wondering what they'll say in the eulogy, keep in mind that comic- book companies, like television networks during sweeps weeks, are plenty crafty at conjuring up ways to boost circulation. Lots of characters have "died" in comic books over the years, few actually making it to the morgue. Bucky - "Captain America," a title popular during World War II, was revived in the '60s, but with one hitch: writers retroactively rubbed out Bucky, the title character's Robin-like pal. Captain Marvel - Forget about the whiny wimp who screamed "Shazam!"
June 29, 2009 |
Although most of the public thinks of comic books as "kids' stuff," there are few titles being published for small children. Indeed, the average superhero comic is either too violent, sophisticated or boring for those 10 and younger. There are far more "Mature Readers" titles like "The Boys: Herogasm" (see below) than books like "Scooby Doo. " The convenient excuse is that with so many other entertainment options available to them, kids have left comics. In reality, comics have left kids - young boys and girls will happily read comics that are aimed at them and that engage them.
December 9, 1993 |
I read an interesting article this week. It was out of one of the comic distributors' newsletters. It said that from January of 1992 to June of 1993, the comic industry grew more than 400 percent. From June through October of this year, the same market shrunk almost 200 percent. Most of this was attributed to investors getting into and out of the market, but other factors have contributed. Image burst onto the scene and initially created a great amount of interest. Most of the comic industry's hot artists jumped over to Image.
August 6, 2012 |
Shakespearean classics as comic books? Dante reduced to some sleazy strip out of the Sunday funnies? The Great Books - all those texts teachers told us to revere as holy, inviolate - increasingly are showing up on the graphic-novel shelves. For some, it's a potential nightmare: Homer's Iliad sitting next to Homer Simpson; Shakespeare's Tempest next to Peanuts . Yet artists and teachers alike are embracing recent graphic novelizations of a dozen great books, from the Bard of Avon's greatest tragedies to novels and short stories by Franz Kafka.
February 3, 1986 |
There were better ways that 41-year-old Ralph Deyo could have spent a Sunday than crowded into a room with about 50 young comic-book fiends, all heavily engaged in the commerce of heroes and villains. It wasn't exactly that it was undignified. It just felt a little odd, Deyo indicated, to be the only guy in the room wearing a coat and tie and not cradling carefully selected comic classics in his arms. But then, Deyo could empathize with the passion, if not exactly with the cast of characters.
August 21, 1997 |
First it was "Batman & Robin. " Then came "Men in Black," "Spawn" and, last weekend, "Steel. " With all these movies in theaters, this season should be dubbed "The Summer of the Comic Book Superhero. " One main factor brings audiences to these live-action films based on comic books again and again, said Kevin Smith, writer/director of the movie "Chasing Amy," which centered on characters who wrote and illustrated comics: "The guys in tights kicking ass. " Smith, 27, is also owner of Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash, a comic-book store in Red Bank, N.J., the town where he was raised and still lives.
November 30, 1993 |
Whenever Chuck Dixon got very quiet in math class, his teachers always knew exactly what he was doing. Drawing. Pictures of Superman, Batman, Spiderman - anyone and anything except equations. "I used to get in trouble because whenever I was bored, I would draw," Dixon said. "I learned to read from comic books. Now, I realize how important math is, but I also want my former teachers to know I make my living through comic books. " Dixon, 39, who grew up in Upper Darby, is a writer for Batman and Robin comics, two of D.C. Comics Inc.'s biggest sellers.
March 7, 1994 |
They marched in single file and dropped their toy guns one after the other, some hesitantly. Several seemed to question whether they had made the right decision. They were told, repeatedly, that they had. The youths had not executed acts of surrender. Rather, they had taken steps that area leaders hope will ignite the war against violence in Chester. Fifteen children, mostly boys, last night traded in plastic rifles, shotguns, water guns and cap guns for comic books and calendars at a rally planned by the local Chapter of the National Political Congress of Black Women (NPBW)
June 7, 1999 |
The violence was breathtakingly real, particularly if you were a youngster - heads and arms and legs being blown off willy-nilly, blood spattering from bullet-riddled bodies, monsters devouring other monsters and unwitting civilians. There seemed to be no end to the gore and it was all in living color. Protest groups were formed, as ministers and politicians and psychologists and an army of mothers shuddered over what all this uncontrolled mayhem was doing to the nation's young, speculating that an increase in teen delinquency was a direct result.
April 5, 1999 |
They called it the Bullpen, the House of Ideas. High atop the Empire State Building, it was home to an Olympian court of comic-book writers and artists, a hall of legends. Here two of the most gifted of all comic creators enjoyed one of the most intensely productive partnerships in the history of comic books. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee helped create the contemporary comic-book industry, culminating in their creative captainship of Marvel Comics. In Fantastic Four, X-Men and other heroes, Kirby and Lee enjoyed the rare privilege of creating a universe of their own. They were born Jacob Kurtzberg and Stanley Martin Lieber, two Depression-era kids from New York City.