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And how about a Library of America volume of Walt Kelly? They printed cartoons in the Thurber volume, and they looked great. All the poems he wrote. The prose portions of Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo are classic.

Failing that, a book of his poems.
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Now that they've proven they can get it right when making a movie with super-heroes and top-secret agents, I think it's time to start a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents franchise. Set it in 1966.

Be sure and light NoMan from above so his eyes are pools of dark. For Dynamo, strong blue gel from one side with a smaller yellow gel on the other for the highlight.
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assembled

May. 5th, 2012 02:24 pm
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There was some organized excursion to go see the Avengers movie yesterday, and I decided to go along with Sarah. I bought my ticket online (they already had purchased hers) and at the theater I found that everybody else was booked into the 3D showing. James's mother said I should just go in with them and gave me a pair of glasses to wear. I didn't want to be separated from everybody in a show that ended fifteen minutes later, so I went.

They must have been children's glasses, as they were at least an inch narrower than my skull. I carefully pulled the temples out and balanced the rest inside my glasses, like my sunglasses inserts. I needed to adjust every couple of minutes for the rest of the movie, which knocked me out of the show more than the illusion of depth pulled me into it. Perhaps some sort of head vise would have kept me properly oriented instead of allowing me to move microscopically in ways that made multiple images appear.

I tried turning the glasses the other way to see how things looked in negative 3D. It's a strange effect that I've had before with stereo slides that were pasted up the wrong way, and even more strangely by looking at a hologram from the back. In this case, it resulted in double images that would not resolve. (Beamjockey, if you're reading this, why double images??)

Anyway, the movie exceeded any and all expectations, even my expectation that it was going to be good and that I would enjoy it. I seem to have missed all the prequels except Iron Man and maybe the version of The Hulk that they consider canonical this week. The action sequences are exciting, fun, and totally implausible. The characters are all worth watching even when they're not supering around. I rather liked Agent Coulson, who is sort of like a fan who made it. The Black Widow is actually more impressive when she's not fighting than when she is. Her interrogation of Loki is one of many moments when I couldn't help smiling.

The level of wisecracking is very good, and not excessive. Whedon has enough confidence in his audience to set things up that don't pay off for a long time. There are tons of great lines, such as [transmission suddenly cuts out]
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[transmission suddenly resumes]
"Smash." Sarah was still quoting it when we got home. There's also a wonderful response to Loki's I'm-a-god-and-you're-just-riffraff moment. I was a little distracted waiting for Stan Lee to show up and get it over with. It's something like 4/5 of the way through the climactic battle. He'll be on a TV screen of reaction shots.

It's over two hours, though I didn't look at my watch until I was in the lobby. I got up and stood in the wheelchair gap in the back non-balcony row to see if the 3D was better away from the periphery of the theater. "He was with them," somebody said, and a moment later a man sitting by the gap asked me if I was with the row of kids that had just left. I said yes, and he said that after they were gone, he found a $20 on the floor right there (He indicated a spot. Oddly, when I think of the moment, I 'see' the bill just where he said.) and said it was in front of a seat right by Sarah's (he had seen me bring her her popcorn). I thanked him a half dozen times, and we chatted briefly, on the surprise appearance of a familiar-looking portion of a face at the end (my first thought was of this one character from the DC universe), and on the movie as a whole. I said it reminded me of why I used to read comic books in the first place, and it really was. It was all there — the repartee, the sets (their S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier is more believable than Steranko's), and the hitting each other. I thanked him a couple more times.

Then I left the text credits rolling and went out for fear everybody would have vanished if I waited any longer. I saw a manager and accosted him, telling him my tale of being led into a life of crime by my daughter's friend's mother, and offered to settle the difference, and he said everything was fine and he hoped I'd enjoyed the movie. Then I talked to Sarah, who said that Jacob had dropped a big bill during the show, and she had stopped looking for it after she bumped her head on the seat.

Then we went home, and Sarah told Cathy the best lines before I could.
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Many of you know I'm a big fan of the late Jess Collins (aka Jess), whose meticulous cut-and-paste jobs on Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy" comic strip resulted in some seriously crazed images. Jess was a pop-art pioneer who doesn't get enough credit. There should be a book of his Tricky Cad masterpieces (a gallery owner told me that the fragile newsprint originals won't last forever, and at least one is no longer viewable!). Until there is, there's my flickr page, where I've collected every example I could find of these masterpieces.

TRICKY CAD IV-B

And here we have a sort-of new one. I have a shot of one of the notebooks (this one resides in the Odyssia Gallery in NYC, and I hope one day I'll get to see it directly), and the second page is at an angle and not easy to see. Well, now it's easier to see.
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eureka!

Feb. 25th, 2012 09:23 pm
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Many years ago, around 1982, I worked in the map room of a college library. Sorting quad maps of Georgia, I found myself looking at the Okefenokee Quadrangle intently. I found what I was looking for, Southeast of Waycross: Fort Mudge.

At the level of detail of a quad map, outside of city limits, every building is shown. For this locale, nothing was shown but the name, Fort Mudge, next to a blank stretch of CSX railroad tracks. I pictured it as a sign by the tracks; a rectangle of metal with block letters on it. It probably got stolen by some Pogo fan who put it in his den. Or perhaps it was one of those metal boxes out in the middle of nowhere that they keep secret railroad junk in.

Anyway, Google Maps don't have it. MapQuest shows it, still convenient to the railroad tracks. It appears that they've built a road through it now. You can see the details by changing to satellite view and zooming in (it goes to the penultimate magnification, then it suddenly turns conceptual).

Next time I go to Waycross, I'm taking a road trip. I wonder if there's a sign now.

PS It's at Yahoo! Maps too. Change view to satellite and zoom in.
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MARK TRAIL’s 22 PANELS THAT ALWAYS WORK

1. Giant bird(s)
2. Talking cabin
3. Giant squirrel on a branch
4. Huge close-up of Kelly Welly
5. People standing around talking
6. IT IS RUSTY!
7. Distant shot of Dinkyburg
8. Giant… gopher!
9. Huge close-up of Mark
10. Pancakes
11. Fist o’ Justice!
12. Huge close-up of Kelly Welly again
13. Giant quail
14. Cephalopod doing anything
15. Marmaduke on the couch again!
16. Driving the station wagon
17. Somebody listening to another person talking
18. People standing around not talking
19. Walking through the forest
20. Giant squirrel on the ground
21. Elrodball
22. Rusty… in danger!
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Toon River Anthology, part 9:

BARNABAS "BARNEY" GOOGLE

Why am I summoned
To return to the world
To be among men?
Years ago, I wanted to be
The center of attention,
The phrase maker,
The hero of song and joke.
When I was slowly pushed aside
By a one-note bit player,
I was angry and resentful.
Tried to reassert myself,
Tried to push back in
To no avail. As time passed
I realized what a blessing it was
Not to stand center stage,
Not to carry everything on my shoulders,
Not to play the clown.
But I am summoned,
So for this brief time, I return
Smile at punch lines,
Google my eyes,
And wait for the time
I can depart again,
A thing without aspect,
Without time,
Just like the world outside.


LOWEEZY SMITH

Oh, I were bodacious.
Tiny waist, nice apples,
Blond hair that fell lak
Water ripplin' down a hill
All the way t' my li'l cut-offs,
Then it were laigs, all th' way down
T'mah big ol' bare feet.
Snuffy caught me 'hind th' hen coop
An' we trysted, an' Paw caught us both.
We said our I Dos in front o' his sawed-off,
An' I started a-swellin' up right away,
Not 'cuz I had a bun in th' oven, mind,
It's jest what wimmen hereabouts do
When we're married, er fifteen,
Whichever come first.
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Also posted at The New Pals Web-Log and The Comics Curmudgeon.
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Comics Curmudgeon reader "Shrug" today dropped a bombshell:
I’ve got to say that I too was skeptical about the world ending in 2012 because the Mayan calendar didn’t contain data for any subsequent years, but I just looked closely at the new “California Scenery” calendar we got for Christmas and have now hung up on the bulletin board, and to my horror I find that IT ALSO STOPS AT THE END OF 2012!!!!

Horrified, I ran down to my local Barnes and Noble and checked out the large calendar selection there, and so far as I can see all of them also fail to contain any significant data for a year subsequent to 2012!!! IT’S NOT JUST THE MAYANS!!!
I suggest we all make peace with our loved ones and put our affairs in order. Oh, and happy new year, everybody!
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We are pleased to announce that "[Old Man] Muffaroo" has attained, for the remainder of the week, the coveted top spot in the Comments of the Week at The Comics Curmudgeon. Mainly because we are [Old Man] Muffaroo. In case I didn't already mention that enough times.
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MARK TRAIL

I was a confident, take-charge guy,
Savvy to the ways of nature, a two-fisted he-man,
And a family man with a loving wife and a spunky kid
Waiting for me at home after each adventure
With a stack of pancakes to make it all perfect.
Yet I threw myself into peril
Over and over, risking it all on each toss,
Miraculously carried through by brute strength
And my abiding hatred of facial hair.
It was all too easy. I couldn't lose.
I started taking more risks, and more.
I even let myself get shot in the head,
And escaped with nothing but an inch-long dab of medical tape.
It was then that I understood I wanted to die.
My life, I realized, was a sustained falsehood.
And nobody would end it for me. I was too strong.
Well, I finally stopped relying on proxies and did the deed myself,
With organic, sustainable hemp rope.
I left no note. What would I have said?
"I'm sorry, Cherry, but I have been living a lie.
The man you thought you knew was a fraud,
And you may as well know this:
I was only pretending to love pancakes."

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also published at the Comics Curmudgeon and the New Pals Club Web-Log

images

Jun. 16th, 2010 08:25 am
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I read a short chapter of The Mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty this morning and thought briefly about the problems of swimming from a boat to a small island. This musing was accompanied by a mental flash of an image of a mariner floundering in choppy surf. I identified the image a moment later as coming from "Robinson Crusoe!" in MAD Comics.

This caused me to wonder how many of the go-to images in my mind can be traced directly to Will Elder. I think the time I spent pondering the first handful of MAD paperbacks (the five 'originals' plus two more that had a strong presence of stories from the comic books) engraved those pictures right onto the bony structure around my brain, where they will outlast the soft tissue.
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closure

Jun. 15th, 2010 05:12 pm
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ANNIE WARBUCKS

"Daddy" made me feel loved and welcome.
He even got rid of that wife of his
Who acted like I was some sort of trophy;
A proof of her virtue. She was soon gone.
In her place, the lethal Asp and towering Punjab,
And Sandy. Always loyal, wonderful Sandy.
I would see "Daddy" mostly when he came in,
Guns blazing, fists flying, to save me
From the enemies of our country,
As well as from callous orphanages and cruel caretakers,
Just in time to sever them from success
And to protect this nation, and me, and Sandy,
And his own financial interests as well.
As days accreted into years, I wondered
Why my loving "Daddy" always ended up placing me
Back into those dark places where I had no protector
Save the good-hearted weak ones who folded like leaves
And sometimes a sympathetic gangster or mystic,
And I began to notice how my salvation and their demise
Solved at once some pressing business problem of "Daddy"'s
Until, at last, I resolved to contrive a test for him;
A setting of peril for me without any hope of profit for him.
And lo! here I am, beneath this stone forever
As Sandy, faithful Sandy, watches over me
Crying helplessly at the cold white eye of the moon.

from Toon River Anthology (part 3)
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Georges "Herge" Remi passed away with one last Tintin book loosely sketched out. It has been finished by others. Canadian fan Yves Rodier made the art, and it has been scripted, colored, and translated into English.

The first time I found this online, it was still in French, and only the first few pages had been colored. This is a pleasant pastiche, complete with covers and end pages. I've often said that the trouble with some fan fiction is that they can get the characters properly dressed and standing around, but don't know how to plot for them. Luckily, in this case, the plotting has been done for them by the sole and singular creator of the entire milieu (no relation to Snowy). I still haven't purchased the published volume of the very loose version of this left by Herge, so I can't be sure whose idea it was to have various secondary characters pass through. I'm not complaining, though.

I wonder if the other completion of this, the one signed as being by "Ramo Nash" (a character in this tale), has been fully finished now. There were interesting differences between them, owing to the vagueness of the outline both started from.

Anyway, please enjoy this. It's a valedictory curtain call -- and a sort of gift to a Tintin fan who thought they already had everything.
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This was my week last week. I was waiting for a job that seemed pretty likely to be coming in (still waiting, but hope springs eternal). I was watching the days go by, leading up to colonoscopy on the 26th.

So last Tuesday, my gut sprang a leak. Well, actually it was just diarrhea, but of a rather virulent and unremitting sort. Barfed a couple of times, too, but that was a mere distraction. Wednesday, still at it. I complained to Cathy that it was just like doing the prep kit early. So she suggested I call the med center where I was having the procedure and tell them I was ready early. Thursday, I was still spending most of the day lying down, though I felt well enough to venture out for some Immodium.

I kept referring back to the literature they sent me about the prep, because every couple of days, there was something else I couldn't take or eat. Cumulative jollity. On Friday I felt well enough to go out for lunch with Sarah, who was home from school all day because of teacher's conferences or something. We went to Simply Crepes, and I had another Reuben. No time for dessert, but she had ice cream that night.

On Saturday, she went to her Chinese class, attending about half of it. She's pretty tired of those classes and will probably make a clean getaway from them before too much longer. I was feeling more or less normal by Sunday, so we went bowling. I rolled a double in the first game (without hitting the bumpers), but that was as good as it got. By the end of the second game, I was getting bitter. We left without the customary round of Dance Dance Revolution; I was that dejected. We grabbed Subway sandwiches (they've stopped doing wraps, alas) and took them home to share with Cathy.

Sunday night was the big event for me: the long-postponed lecture by Art Spiegelman (or art spiegelman), which had originally been scheduled back in October or thereabouts. The venue was moved to RIT, so I Googled the location to be sure I could find it.

I would like to curse Google Maps for about five minutes now. They moved RIT to a location in downtown Rochester, many miles from the actual campus, and gave me a convoluted path to use in getting there. Once I found out (by frantically phoning Cathy) that all I'd needed to do was go out Jefferson, I couldn't even get back on 490 until I crept -- more accurately, I drove behind a car that crept -- through a series of detours and blocked-off on-ramps. I opted to take South Street down to Jefferson, and that worked fairly well, apart from the traffic lights and slow speed limits. RIT itself had obligingly posted signs that led me to a parking lot, after which a locator map showed me about where the auditorium would be. The likeliest-looking door, however, was some sort of religious center, so I apologetically hailed a student who confessed that he didn't remember where the auditorium was. I found it anyway, by going in the direction he'd come from.

I was only five or ten minutes late. He gave a terrific talk -- witty and understated, and full of love for the comic medium. After it was over, I stood in line for about an hour to get his autograph on MAUS and MAUS II. The time passed agreeably as I chatted away with the college guys in line ahead of me. It was the social high point of my week, if not my month. One guy in line runs a book store. I should have asked him which one, but things like that don't occur to me until much later. The reason for the delay turned out to be that Spiegelman was not just signing, but sketching as well, so now my books have spiegelmice in them. My copy of MAUS already had my name on the signature page, because when we got it (as soon as it came out), I had no idea I'd one day be getting it signed. He obligingly drew a thought balloon around my handwriting and had it coming out of the Maus's head.

During the seconds when he was efficiently inscribing my books, I was able to ask him how his brother's name had been pronounced. "Ri-shoe," he said, more or less. "I actually changed the spelling in the book so it would be pronounceable. In Polish, it's something completely different." I also told him how pleased I'd been to see Old Man Muffaroo in a crowd scene of old comic strip characters in one of his drawings.

It was good and dark by then, and I hurried out to my car and drove on home. Sarah was asleep in the downstairs comfy chair, as is her habit these days. I carried her up to bed and kissed her goodnight.
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ANNIE WARBUCKS
"Daddy" made me feel loved and welcome.
He even got rid of that wife of his
Who acted like I was some sort of trophy;
A proof of her virtue. She was soon gone.
In her place, the lethal Asp and towering Punjab,
And Sandy. Always loyal, wonderful Sandy.
I would see "Daddy" mostly when he came in,
Guns blazine, fists flying, to save me
From the enemies of our country,
As well as from callous orphanages and cruel caretakers,
Just in time to sever them from success
And to protect this nation, and me, and Sandy,
And his own financial interests as well.
As days accreted into years, I wondered
Why my loving "Daddy" always ended up placing me
Back into those dark places where I had no protector
Save the good-hearted weak ones who folded like leaves
And sometimes a sympathetic gangster or mystic,
And I began to notice how my salvation and their demise
Solved at once some pressing business problem of "Daddy"'s
Until, at last, I resolved to contrive a test for him;
A setting of peril for me without any hope of profit for him.
And lo! here I am, beneath this stone forever
As Sandy, faithful Sandy, watches over me
Crying helplessly at the cold white eye of the moon.

more at The New Pals Club Web-Log
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ALAN THE ARTIST
Talent only takes you so far.
Praised in school, successful at first,
I saw my path to fame, to glory,
To all the good things in life.
But ideas were few, and I went
To the pool of creativity, which I found
In a glass pipe Jones gave me
Along with my first taste of the stuff
And I painted, painted, until I thirsted,
Went back to the pool, then painted some more.
But before long, the thirst was more important
And the next trip to the pool, and the next,
And my curtains grew tattered, and I began
To leave my shirt unbuttoned at the top,
And I even forgot to brush my teeth some times.
And then I sought out Ray, who was looking for me,
And things went bad from there, and I perished.
Students of art, always try to find yourselves
A cheaper form of creativity than mine,
And lay in abundant supplies
Before you prime your canvas.

PHILLIP WINSLOW
Dottie and I saw him in the window,
A small puppy, looking helplessly at us
Canting his head as if to hear something
We had just said. We brought him home
To the delight of the children. In my mind,
I had some reservations about his paws,
Which looked too large for such a small dog.
"He'll grow into them," Dottie said,
As if that was a good thing. And grow he did
Until he was bigger than any of us,
And wilfull, and selfish, and bone stupid,
Although he was clever at driving a car,
Making phone calls and operating a computer.
He was less like a dog than he was a demon,
Sucking the life out of our family,
My marriage, and our finances
Until the day I called him out to the car
And took him far away, into the mountains
And tried to lose him on a lonely road.
I got the beefsteak out of the trunk
And called to him to have a treat
But when I looked up, he was in front
And had undone the parking brake somehow
And he rolled right over me before he went
Clattering down the road, until the car stopped
Gently, the front bumper just touching a pine tree.
My last moments seemed to stretch out for me,
Seeing the quizzical expression again on that face,
With that long-ago puppy's face showing behind it
And I saw the irony as well, and had to admit
That in a way, it really was dog-gone funny.
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MARY WORTH
Time heals all wounds.
There are other fish in the sea.

I told them. For years, I told them all.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
And when they put me aside,
And pitied me, behind their smiles,
(Let a smile be your umbrella!)
I didn't let on that I saw through it.
You catch more flies with honey!
But I think they realized, most of them.
Happiness isn't a gift, it's earned!
At the end, they knew who to thank.
The end justifies the means.
Toby, plunging into endless night--
It's always darkest just before dawn--
Aldo, dying of natural causes,
(For what is more natural than sleep?)
And all the rest of them, whose stones
Surround mine, as if listening for advice
Which I dispense, as I once sold apples.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
A stitch in time saves nine.


PRIVATE BEETLE BAILEY
I trembled between them. There was no escape.
Then I saw the recruiter's door. I stepped inside.
Things blurred for a while, and I came to myself
With my porkpie hat gone and an army cap in its place.
And I found that in giving up freedom and self,
I had gained blamelessness and slack,
And what was at first temporary became instead
The permanent surrender of choice in exchange
For the permanent evasion of responsibility.
And as I stayed at Camp Swampy, year after year,
I was astonished one day to realize with a start
That nothing ever changed there. Nobody left
And nobody new came in, and nothing happened
Until the day I realized I had been dead thirty years
And that all of us were already in our private hell.

PETER PARKER
I never asked to be bitten. I only wanted
To listen to a scholarly talk about science
But there it was, I had great power now
And learned quickly what that entailed.
A lesser soul, gaining what I'd gained
Might have succumbed to vanity or greed,
But I had the lesson of Uncle Ben before me
And set out to make the world a better place
Whether the world wanted it or not.
For my pains, I was scorned, excoriated,
Lied about in the paper, and had my image
Which I provided for a modest fee, paraded
Before the credulous public as a menace.
Is it any wonder that I finally surrendered,
Took the easy way out, married my girlfriend
And stayed at home most days, watching TV?

THE UNKNOWN PLUGGER
Here I lie, in a humble pine box
None of your fancy caskets for me
If I'd died a few years later, it might have been
A cardboard carton for my eternal rest.
I didn't ever ask for much from the world;
Just a small-screen TV and a padded chair
The one to sleep in, the other to sleep
In front of on the nights when I didn't have to go
And work the next day. I kept my personal data
On the icebox in the kitchen. My watch
Only told time, and didn't bother me with
Phone calls, headlines, music, or games.
When I was hungry, I ate a burger with fries,
Drank the cheapest coffee, married a big chicken,
And played board games with my bored kids.
Until the day I felt my heart burst in my chest
And couldn't puzzle out the medicine cap in time.
Now I nap under a piece of granite,
Carved with my parents' names, with a line
Left for my family to fill in with mine
When they can afford it.

(originally presented in The Comics Curmudgeon)
more at The New Pals Club Web-Log

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This came from The Comics Reporter (linked from bOINGbOING). Reading it, I was struck by how much overlap there was between the writer's tastes and my collection. At the end, the writer had the idea of making a meme of the list, bolding what one has, leaving unbolded the ones one doesn't have, italicizing the ones we don't have enough of, and underlining the ones that maybe shouldn't be on the list.

1. Something From The ACME Novelty Library
2. A Complete Run Of Arcade
3. Any Number Of Mini-Comics
4. At Least One Pogo Book From The 1950s
5. A Barnaby Collection
6. Binky Brown and the Holy Virgin Mary
7. As Many Issues of RAW as You Can Place Your Hands On
8. A Little Stack of Archie Comics
9. A Suite of Modern Literary Graphic Novels
10. Several Tintin Albums
11. A Smattering Of Treasury Editions Or Similarly Oversized Books
12. Several Significant Runs of Alternative Comic Book Series
13. A Few Early Comic Strip Collections To Your Taste
14. Several "Indy Comics" From Their Heyday
15. At Least One Comic Book From When You First Started Reading Comic Books
16. At Least One Comic That Failed to Finish The Way It Planned To
17. Some Osamu Tezuka
18. The Entire Run Of At Least One Manga Series
19. One Or Two 1970s Doonesbury Collections
20. At Least One Saul Steinberg Hardcover
21. One Run of A Comic Strip That You Yourself Have Clipped
22. A Selection of Comics That Interest You That You Can't Explain To Anyone Else
23. At Least One Woodcut Novel
24. As Much Peanuts As You Can Stand
25. Maus
26. A Significant Sample of R. Crumb's Sketchbooks
27. The original edition of Sick, Sick, Sick. (What I have is an early but not original edition paperback. I think he's just bragging.)
28. The Smithsonian Collection Of Newspaper Comics
29. Several copies of MAD
30. A stack of Jack Kirby 1970s Comic Books
31. More than a few Stan Lee/Jack Kirby 1960s Marvel Comic Books
32. A You're-Too-High-To-Tell Amount of Underground Comix
33. Some Calvin and Hobbes
34. Some Love and Rockets
35. The Marvel Benefit Issue Of Coober Skeber
36. A Few Comics Not In Your Native Tongue
37. A Nice Stack of Jack Chick Comics
38. A Stack of Comics You Can Hand To Anybody's Kid
39. At Least A Few Alan Moore Comics
40. A Comic You Made Yourself (the comics I did in junior high are all gone, but I've done more since)
41. A Few Comics About Comics

42. A Run Of Yummy Fur
43. Some Frank Miller Comics
44. Several Lee/Ditko/Romita Amazing Spider-Man Comic Books
45. A Few Great Comics Short Stories
46. A Tijuana Bible
47. Some Weirdo
48. An Array Of Comics In Various Non-Superhero Genres
49. An Editorial Cartoonist's Collection or Two
50. A Few Collections From New Yorker Cartoonists

Of course, anything I don't have doesn't belong on any serious list. Haf-kaff. He offered to let people make suggestions for things they'd put on there, as long as they take one off for each one they add. That gives me about six, except I'll say that two of them are probably my own fault and just suggest four. I'll say "anything by Harvey Kurtzman" and show Executive's Comic Book for the visual. And I'll throw in VIZ, the rude, vulgar British comic magazine which embodies the logical culmination of over a century of dysfunctional characters -- all monomaniacs who live pointless lives surmounted by unrelated puns in the last panel. And my visual example would be a "Billy the Fish" strip to be named later... or maybe "Zip O'Lightning," one of the most cruelly hilarious one-shot strips ever. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is a case unto itself, a self-standing series (and a couple of spinoffs) about all-too-human agents who punch a time clock and go risk their lives using devices they don't understand themselves. Collections of 1950s panel gags from magazines are full of great stuff (including many appearances by artists who would soon become legends of comic strips, like Mort Walker and Johnny Hart) -- I'd probably illustrate this with one of those collections from "True, the Man's Magazine" that brought so many great VIP cartoons to my attention. He should have had Herbie in there, too, a comic whose neatly drafted buttoned-down artwork by Ogden Whitney only made it even more dadaistic. That's five. Deal with it.

Of course, I'll think of other things I should have said, but I'm going to stop. Now.

Wait a second. Hang on.

There. Now I'm stopping.
.

December 2016

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