Arni's Tyrant sketch

Arni's Tyrant sketch ©2006 SR Bissette

New Year’s Day, 2009! I awoke from a promising dream — I was exploring a new comics shop, unlike any that I know of in this world, where the works for sale were inexpensive, modest packages but very beautiful, personal and quite exquisite and tantalizing. As I came around the corner of one of the spacious shelving units, there was a round-table discussion going on, and among the cartoonists gathered were some of my CCS alumni and students, now older, and my ol’ pal Rick Veitch. I was invited to sit with them…

Marge and I at Amagor Torv 2006; photo ©2006 Arni Gunnarsson

Marge and I at Amagor Torv 2006; photo ©2006 Arni Gunnarsson

For some reason, I also awoke thinking of Marg’s and my 2006 trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the convention, and all our friends from that marvelous trip. Arni Gunnarsson was among those who made it all possible, and the above images are photos Arni snapped during our visit — that’s the Tyrant sketch I gifted Arni with, and the pic of Marge and I at the fountain on Amager Torv in Copenhagen — ah, sweet times. So, here’s to 2009, and friends, comics, travel and art — may 2009 be abundant with all of those, for all of you.


Odds & Ends:

  • Cartoonist extraordinaire and ol’ Kubert School classmate (Kim was in the Class of 1979, if memory serves) Kim DeMulder has begun posting his memories of his initial years in the comics industry, and it’s well worth reading and sticking with for future installments.
  • Though some seem to mistake these posts as pure ego-boo, I think it’s invaluable to have a record of the past — if only to ensure the current and next generations of cartoonists learn from our experience and don’t repeat all our mistakes! Kim’s engaging, enjoyable and in-depth reveries are terrific reading and full of nuts-and-bolts ‘how to’ tips for those on a similar path today. Thanks, Kim, and I’ll be among those keeping up with this venture!

    Edd Cartier art

    Edd Cartier art

  • Edd (Edward Daniel) Cartier passed away last month — he was one of the great pulp fantasy and sf illustrators of all time, and lived a long life (94 years!). Thanks to Neil Gaiman for alerting many of us to this sad passing — another great, gone from this Earth.
  • Among the happier end-of-2008 news bits was this: “Paleontologists in east China have dug up what they believe is one of the world’s largest group of dinosaur fossils…” though they really have to get a handle on the difference between a platypus and a hadrosaurid (Hadrosaurids are commonly referred to as “duck-billed dinosaurs,” members of the family Hadrosauridae composed of ornithopods like Edmontosaurus, Parasaurolophus and other duckbills — they are not platypus, which are still-living marsupials, and hence mammals).
  • Who knows what will be discovered in 2009? Keep Digging the Dirt…

  • Speaking of dirt and digging: This mind-blowing disaster on American soil should be paid to the mounting ‘clean coal’ mythos both sides of the political aisle have been imbedding into the American brainpan. An entire Tennessee community has been irrevocably slagged and demolished by toxic coal waste — as explicit a metaphor for the American plight in 2008 as could be imagined.
  • Also speaking of dirt and dinosaurs, we were only this week alerted to the fact that Hurricane Katrina “was the final nail in the coffin” for President George W. Bush, according to insiders and aides to the President who are finally speaking out. Hell, where were you guys and gals when we the People needed you? It’s infuriating to read now, though the comments about Vice President Dick Cheney are far more revealing: “He became vice president well before George Bush picked him… and he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum.”
  • May Bush’s vacuum presidency never be lionized as Reagan’s has been, and may Vice President Cheney find the appropriate circles in hell.

  • No worries, though, America — the growing registry of real-life superheroes is growing by the day (meet Razorhawk, ladies and gents), and 2009 looks to be the year we need to be watching the Watchmen,
  • if it indeed becomes possible for the film to be released at all. Gotta love the ongoing insane evocation of “The Work Of Alan Moore’s Magical Powers” — look, if Alan had magical powers, the fucking movie would not exist at all. Can we at least agree on that?
  • That said, you really should read the judgment itself, which is fascinating. “Plaintiff Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. (“Fox”) has sued defendants Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc., WB Studio Enterprises, Inc., and Warner Brothers Pictures (collectively, “Warner Brothers”) for copyright infringement, interference with contract, and breach of contract. Fox seeks to enjoin the scheduled March 6, 2009 release of Warner Brothers’ big-budget comic-book feature, “Watchmen,” and also seeks an accounting of profits, declaratory relief, actual or statutory damages, and punitive damages…”
  • After reading this, I can’t for the life of me figure out what the fuck Warner Bros. is doing, other than harrassing Fox and the producers of the film: “Warner Brothers exercised its option to acquire Gordon’s rights after being placed on notice of Fox’s claim and having received the documentation upon which this Court bases its ruling. Thus, Warner Brothers cannot argue that its interest in “Watchmen” takes priority over Fox’s interest.” Warners, in short, blew it, and now they’re trying to pull their weight as they have for decades with creators — claiming and/or extending options illegally — and it just isn’t working out the way they’re used to in the out-of-sight, corporate-bully-world of DC and Vertigo contracts. Correct me if I’m wrong, anybody.

  • Sweetest discovery of 2008 for me, personally, was finding out another of the Vermont kids I knew when they were kids has grown up to make marks in the world — in this case, Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim, whose music I’m big-time enjoying.
  • More on Matt later this week, I’ve a memory to share.

  • Me, I’ll kick off the year savoring this brief but sweet review on the Teens Read Too site of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, and lock my sites on the new projects underway for 2009.
  • Once again, Happy New Year, one and all!

    Discussion (4) ¬

    1. Sam Kujava

      A NICE dream to start out the New Year with, Steve!
      One of my favorite movies of the year past, and one I hope you get a chance to enjoy, was
      SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, from Danny Boyle.
      And one of my favorite books, about one of our favorite people, was the Joe Kubert biography,
      MAN OF ROCK, by Bill Schelly.
      It would be good to read your comments, on these, and anything else you’ve partaken of, in this
      new year of 2009!

    2. James Robert Smith

      Oh! Cartier!! I thought he was long gone! I’ll never forget my first sighting of his work–it was a little demon from an UNKNOWN tale who was small enough to bathe in the embers of a tobacco pipe. He was brilliant!

      Kim DeMulder, in addition to being a truly talented inker, is a very nice guy. I’ll hit those recollections of his Kubie days.

      I would assume that Alan Moore is laughing his ass off at the legal struggles between FOX and WARNER BROTHERS. What a weird world.

    3. Kim DeMulder

      Thanks for the mention, Steve! Now, I’ll have to make sure that I keep writing more of these !

    4. Roger Green

      I suppose I should mention that YOU, Steve Bissette , are mentioned in MY blog today.

    Comment ¬

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