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    CONCENTRATED RAGE UNDER A MAGNIFYING GLASS: Underground Cartoonist Rick Trembles remembers Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

    It doesn’t matter that I never managed to become a stop-motion animation special effects monster movie maker myself. You see, because of Ray Harryhausen, that’s what I desperately wanted to be when I grew up. It doesn’t matter that his medium’s been obsolete for decades. Despite his passing, I will continue to obsessively hunt down any information I can find on the techniques he mastered till the day I die, as if I were about to embark on my own dream-Dynamation extravaganza any second now. I still want to be Ray Harryhausen one day.

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    “‘TAIN’T THE MEAT… IT’S THE HUMANITY! AND OTHER STORIES ILLUSTRATED BY JACK DAVIS” and “50 GIRLS 50 AND OTHER STORIES ILLUSTRATED BY AL WILLIAMSON” (Book Reviews)

    Fantagraphics Books continues their classic EC COMICS cartoonist anthologies collection with two more mind-blowing offerings. EC’s hugely influential horror and sci-fi lines (George Romero, among many of its devotees) were a haven for groundbreaking comic artists in the 50s until the company got shut down for being considered a bad influence on kids. One of Jack Davis’ more notorious stories was even underlined by Dr. Frederic Wertham in his SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, the alarmist book that largely triggered this anti-comics hysteria. The story in question, FOUL PLAY, featured a person’s decapitated head and intestines being used in a baseball game. FOUL PLAY appeared in another seminal EC title, THE HAUNT OF FEAR, and not TALES FROM THE CRYPT, which is what ‘TAIN’T THE MEAT… IT’S THE HUMANITY! concentrates on, but believe me, there’s plenty more Davis gore to go around.

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    MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE: COMIC BOOK STORIES BY B. KRIGSTEIN (Comic Review)

    FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS’ latest in classic cartoonist anthologies celebrates the groundbreaking work of BERNIE KRIGSTEIN (1919-1990). Starting with some whimsical westerns, swashbuckling adventure yarns, and rather rote noire thrillers that he broke into the biz with and managed to elevate above the hack writing he was assigned, MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE winds down with quirkier fare he tried to infuse his innovative flare into before dropping out of the field entirely, to pursue fine art, weary of the restrictions put upon him by the industry. But the in-between stuff is where everything really clicks, particularly during his mid-century years at EC COMICS.

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