Tag Jack Kirby

Podcast: The Show Must Go On

The Virtual Memories Show Must Go On, with Roger Langridge!

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 24 – The Show Must Go On

“We have to decide what sort of comics industry we want before we decide what sort of books we’re going to work on.”

Roger Langridge has become the best all-ages cartoonist in the business, despite (or because of) starting out in a “mature readers” indy-comics environment. He joins the Virtual Memories Show to talk about how he found that niche, his work on (and love of) The Muppets, Popeye, and Dr. Who, the responsibility of helping attract the next generation of comics readers, his lifetime love of vaudeville, his upbringing in New Zealand, how he learned to write his own stories, how he accidentally became a pioneer in webcomics, why he decided not to work with Marvel or DC anymore, and the one character from one of those companies that he’d love to work on. It’s a delightful conversation with one of the nicest guys in comics!

“I kept entering competitions to draw Popeye, and the prize was always the Robert Altman Popeye film, so I saw it about six times.”

Bonus: Here’s a piece I wrote about his amazing comic from the 1990s, Zoot!)

Rogerpopeye

“I’m not capable of drawing on model to save my life. I try my best to do that, but it always comes out looking like me.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great stuff! Related episodes:

Subscribe to The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Roger Langridge has been producing comics for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has written and drawn Snarked!, Popeye, The Muppet Show and Thor: The Mighty Avenger. In collaboration with his brother Andrew, he drew Zoot! and Art D’Ecco, and his great solo work is the NCS, Ignatz, Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic book Fred the Clown. He recently (late 2011 is recent, right?) published The Show Must Go On, a collection of 20 years of his strips. He currently lives in London with his wife Sylvie, their two children and a box of his own hair.

Credits: This episode’s music is Mahna Mahna by Piero Umiliani. The conversation was recorded at the Bethesda North Marriott during SPX 2013 on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing were done in Garage Band. Photo by me.

Podcast: The Least Insane of Cartoonists

Pete Bagge on The Virtual Memories Show!

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 22 – The Least Insane of Cartoonists

“I was asking not to be taken seriously, but I was also getting annoyed that I wasn’t being taken seriously.”

WrebPeter Bagge, the comics legend behind Hate!, Neat Stuff, Apocalypse Nerd and Everybody is Stupid Except for Me, joins us to talk about his new book, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. We have a great conversation about why he chose to write about the founder of Planned Parenthood, how he made the shift from fiction to nonfiction comics, who his favorite “pre-feminist feminists” are, why he decided to stick with comic books over paperback books (and why he came around on the latter), what the strangest sketchbook request he ever received is, and how he feels about being a comics convention prostitute.

We also talk about how he never got a word of approval from his dad or his editor, how his libertarian politics became ostracized after the 2008 election (and how some people seem to be coming around on that), why he doesn’t draw elbows, and what it felt like to be considered the “least insane of cartoonists” by R. Crumb.

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Related conversations:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Peter Bagge‘s newest book is Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. He is best known for the 1990s comic book series Hate!, which followed the exploits of slacker ne’er-do-well Buddy Bradley (collected vols. 1, 2, and 3). He is a contributor to Reason magazine, which led to the collection Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me, and Other Acute Observations, and his work has appeared in Weirdo (where he served as managing editor), The Stranger, New York Press, Entertainment Weekly, Details, Seattle Weekly, Screw, and more. He is also the author of Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff, Reset, Apocalypse Nerd, Other Lives, and Bat Boy: The Weekly World News Comic Strips, among other works.

Credits: This episode’s music is Hateful Notebook by the Descendents. The conversation was recorded at the Bethesda North Marriott during SPX 2013 on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by me.

Podcast: Readercon 2013 – Fairies and Zombies

John Crowley on The Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 15 –
Readercon – Fairies and Zombies

It’s time for a two-part mega-podcast! I visited the 24th annual Readercon, conference on literary fantasy & science fiction (or “imaginative literature,” as it’s known) in Burlington, MA in July, and came back with a ton of interviews! Readercon is a fantastic (ha-ha) event, with great programming, a good booksellers’ hall, and lots of fun conversation; you should make a point of attending it if your tastes run toward the authors who come up in this and the following episode.

I (not-so-wisely) conducted five interviews in one day so, rather than make a 3-hour episode, I decided to split them up between boys and girls. This time around you get interviews with authors John Crowley and Scott Edelman!

“The big books I’ve written have never had a genre at all. They were certain kinds of fictional possibilities that interested and intrigued me and that I wanted to try to achieve. I wouldn’t say there’s an awful lot in Little, Big that’s realistic, but there’s plenty that was based on my daily experiences of life in New York City.”

–John Crowley

John Crowley is the author of Little, Big (or, The Fairies’ Parliament), which I consider one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. I’d known about it for a long time, but only read it a few years ago, after learning that my wife has been re-reading it every year or two since it came out in paperback in 1983 or thereabouts. You should go read it now or wait for the deluxe edition from Incunabula Press! (He’s also written other amazing books, like the Aegypt cycle, Engine Summer, and more.)

I talked with Mr. Crowley about readers’ devotion Little, Big, the problems he faced in writing it and how surmounting them opened the doors to his subsequent books, how the fantasy genre developed during the course of his career, what his favorite imaginary books are, why I felt unprepared for our conversation despite having read six of his novels, and what it was like to write copy for Maidenform bras when he was starting out.

“One of the most amazing things about writing to me is that, even though you’ve read, and heard, and seen thousands of stories, when you sit down to write one, you have no idea how to begin!”

–John Crowley

Even if you haven’t read Little, Big, you’ll find this a fascinating conversation about the writing process, literary reputation, and what it means to tell a story!

Scott Edelman on The Virtual Memories Show

“You have to write the things you love. They have to be extremely important to you, to give you that tingle when you read them. Because if you’re not moved by it, I don’t see how anyone else is going to be moved by it. . . .”

–Scott Edelman

Then I talk with Scott Edelman, a longtime writer, editor and Con-goer, about his zombie-fiction, being an editor at Marvel Comics in the 1970s, his storytelling tips and his pros and cons of workshops, whether he pays attention to literary markets, what Readercon means to him, and what it was like to move from one side of the convention table to the other.

“Why zombies? Because zombies are the closest we’ll ever see to what we’ll really become. Because there’ll be that day when we’re all walking husks without memory.”

–Scott Edelman

Enjoy the conversations! Then listen to part 2 of our Readercon conversations with Theodora Goss, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, and Nancy Hightower. Meanwhile, check out the archives for more great episodes!

Related episodes:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guests

John Crowley lives in the hills above the Connecticut River in northern Massachusetts with his wife and twin daughters. He is the author of Little, Big, the four-volume Aegypt cycle, The Translator, Novelties & Souvenirs, Lord Byron’s Novel, and Four Freedoms. You can find out more about the special anniversary edition of Little, Big here.

Scott Edelman has published more than 75 short stories in magazines such as Postscripts, The Twilight Zone, Absolute Magnitude, Science Fiction Review and Fantasy Book, and in anthologies such as The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Crossroads, MetaHorror, Once Upon a Galaxy, Moon Shots, Mars Probes, Forbidden Planets. His poetry has appeared in Asimov’s, Amazing, Dreams and Nightmares, and others. What Will Come After, a collection of his zombie fiction, and What We Still Talk About, a collection of his science fiction stories, were both published in 2010. He has been a Stoker Award finalist five times, in the categories of both Short Story and Long Fiction. He is the editor of Blastr at the Syfy Channel. You can find more about him at his site.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fairy Tales by Style Council. Both conversations were recorded in a room at the Burlington Marriott on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Blue Yeti into my Mac Mini, at my Ikeahack standing desk. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photos by me.

Podcast: Classical Pop

Virtual Memories – season 2 episode 14 – Classical Pop

It’s time for a (somewhat) long-delayed new episode of The Virtual Memories Show!

“Picasso said that the way you draw your circle is your style.”

This time, postmodern cartoonist Bob Sikoryak talks about the high/low mashups of his amazing book, Masterpiece Comics, the 1980’s art scene in NYC, the sea change in the acceptance of comics as art and entertainment, the (un)importance of having an individual drawing style, and more!

“It’s amazing to me how comics artists can speak to a generation, and that’s it. When you make something, it’s of your time, no matter what you do.”

We also reflect on the art of mimicry, the history of popular art, and who decides when it’s too soon to goof on Dostoevsky. I’ve been a fan of his work since I first read his Inferno Joe strip in 1989, so getting the chance to sit down with Bob for a conversation was a joy. (He’s the sweetest person I’ve met in comics.)

“My roommate in college said, “If you keep reading those comics, it’s gonna affect your style,” and clearly he was right.”

Listen to the conversation: Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 14 – The Correction of Taste Bob Sikoryak on the Virtual Memories Show

Photo by Kriota Willberg.

About Our Guest

R. Sikoryak has drawn cartoons for numerous media giants, including Nickelodeon Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as for independent publications, films and theater productions. His cartoon slideshow series Carousel has been presented around the U.S. and Canada. He also teaches and lectures on comics and illustration. He lives in NYC with his wife and frequent collaborator Kriota Willberg.

 About Our Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Out of Print Clothing! Visit their site and check out their great selection of T-shirts, fleeces, bags and other gear featuring gorgeous and iconic book cover designs.

The Virtual Memories Show is on iTunes! If you’d like to subscribe, visit our iTunes page!

If you’d like to check out past episodes, you can find us on iTunes or visit the Podcast page for all our back episodes, as well as e-mail signup and tip jar! And why don’t you friend the Virtual Memories Show at our Facebook page? It’d make my mom happy.

Credits: This episode’s music is Ambicion Eterna by Thievery Corporation. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation with was recorded in Mr. Sikoryak’s home in Stuy Town in NYC, on a pair of Blue Encore 100 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing was done in Garage Band, with some post-processing in Audaity.

Pharaoh With A Gun

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Pharaohwithagun

By Jack Kirby, posted by Kirby Dynamics.

In Search Of . . . Gargantua

So back in April, I added the two hardcover collections of Madman comics to my Amazon wish-list. I used to read the Tundra issues of Madman back in my college days, and thought it would be nice to catch up on almost 20 years of work from Mike Allred.

Problem was, the newer volume, Madman Atomica, is still in print, but 2007’s Madman Gargantua isn’t. Its list price for the 850-page book was $125 but used sellers were asking around $150 and higher. I could afford it, but it wasn’t that big a priority. Maybe it’ll get reissued sometime, I thought. And maybe it’d be more fun to stop in or call comic stores and see if they had it in stock.

Now, I have no idea if normal people experience anything like this, but for a comic reader, there’s a great joy in finding This One Book I’m Looking For.

I don’t even know if the thrill is gone, since we live in a world of near-infinite, and infinitely available, entertainment. Everything can be ordered online, or downloaded for immediate gratification. Do back issues matter anymore, if everything’s been collected in a reprint?

And it wasn’t just comics for me; I also used to hunt down books with the same in-person fervor. Of course, there’s a greater disappointment in finding the book you’ve been searching for, because of the realization that it’ll take a lot longer to read than a long-sought comic will. There’s also the disappointment of finding the object of your quest in a boring location. In my sophomore year of college, I finally stumbled across a copy of William Gaddis’ first novel, The Recognitions, on the shelves of a Brentano’s Books in a suburban NJ mall. No dark, dingy used bookshop or literary salon: just fluorescent lighting and blue-gray carpeting in a mall of Rt. 206.

One of my best finds was in my college years, when I stopped into The Paperback Exchange, a since-closed comic store in Nanuet, NY, on the way home from college. I asked the owner, “You got a comic by Kyle Baker, called, ‘Why I Hate Saturn‘?” That one was impossible to find, but every cartoonist I liked was praising it to the heavens that year.

He said, “We’ve got one in the back room, but it’s a little dinged up. You still wanna buy it?”

“. . . Sure,” I said, trying not to betray the fact that I was ready to knife the guy and run into the stockroom to find that book.

I bought it, and was the envy of my geek pals back at Hampshire, until the second printing finally came out a few years later.

I have no idea if people still prowl for out-of-print comics and books. I mean, I’m allegedly a grown-up and don’t spend a lot of time hunting for comics, so none of this is meant to reflect the attitudes of the comic-reading world at large. But seeing “Available from these sellers” on Gargantua’s Amazon page reminded me of how I enjoyed scoping out shops for That One Book. I decided to make it my not-too-imperative mission to find that book.

Over the last few weeks, I called a number of NJ and NY comic stores about the book, but no one had it in stock. I didn’t expect much luck from suburban comic shops, since they tend to be mainstream-oriented. But they tend to have just one or two little unappreciated gems on the shelves. Perhaps the owner took a flyer on a certain paperback, figuring that one kid might buy it when he’s back from college. But it was to no avail. Shop after shop in the area hadn’t seen the book since it was first in print. Understandable, since a $125 book in a non-returnable market is quite a commitment for a store-owner, and it’s not like Madman was a household name or had a movie coming out.

On Tuesday evening, Amy & I went out for dinner. While she was in the restroom, I flicked through the Twitter feed on my iPhone. A tweet from Madman creator Mike Allred scrolled by: “Any comic shops out there still have MADMAN GARGANTUA at cover price or below? I know isotopecomics.com has a picture of it on a shelf…”

Then one of his followers tweeted “funny books in lake hiawatha new jersey does! I just saw it there”

I didn’t recognize the town, and immediately typed it into my Maps app. It was about 20 minutes away from the restaurant, and 30 minutes from my home. As Amy returned to the table, I searched the store online. Without looking up, I said, “We may be making a detour to Lake Hiawatha. It’s not too far out of the way.”

“What’s there?”

“A comic store that has This One Book I’ve been looking for.”

I can never tell if her knowing glances are as filled with pity as I think they are.

I called up the store’s site and discovered that it’s closed on Tuesdays. (That’s a standard practice for comic shops; since new comics arrive on Wednesday, Tuesdays tend to do the least business.) I decided to hit the store immediately after work on Wednesday.

Before calling the store in the morning to make sure they had the book, I started thinking about how high I’d go over cover price. After all, $125’s already pretty steep for a comic collection, and he did have me over a barrel, since it’s not like I could just go to another store down the street to buy it. I concluded, if the price got anywhere near the used sellers on Amazon ($165 today), I would bail.

Around 10:30 a.m., I rang the store up. I asked the owner if he had the book in stock. “Sure do! Now this is the first one, the out-of-print one,” he said.

“That’s the one I’m looking for. What time are you open till tonight?” You must understand: I actually thought that either Mike Allred or some fan was going to swoop into this little town in suburban NJ and buy this rare treasure if I didn’t make the trip that very day.

“Nine p.m.”

“Great! And how much is the book?”

“Well, the list price is $125 . . . but I can let you have it for $100.”

God bless comic shop owners and their failure to grasp supply-and-demand.

After going home and walking and feeding the doggies first, I drove down to the shop. It was one town over from where I occasionally bought comics in high school. The owner took the copy of Gargantua out from the counter — yes, I’d asked him to put it aside when I called — and gave me the brief tour of his shop. It was small, but well frequented on New Comics Day, with several customers coming through during my 10-15 minutes there. He tried to gauge my interest in LOST, the Captain America movie, and DC Comics’ impending relaunch of 52 (!) of its titles, but soon figured out that my interests were on the indie side of the scene, not the superhero end of things.

He showed me a shelf or two of books that were part of his 50% off FAIL SALE, and I scoured that for overlooked treasure. I wound up with a recent Trondheim children’s book (I hear it’s not great, but it is Trondheim), a Beto Hernandez collection I didn’t own (hard to believe), and KIRBY FIVE-OH!, an oversized book collecting pieces from the 50 years of Jack Kirby’s career. Nothing I needed, but lots of things that I’d enjoy, esp. at half price.

As he rang me up, the owner tossed a freebie comic in my bag: it was a preview of the aforementioned relaunch of DC’s titles. I looked in horror at the cover of the preview — a new, “modern” Superman, who apparently wears patched jeans, leather boots, and grey knee-high socks (?) — tumbling into the mix with my purchases. I figured that six months of Kirby’s career showed more creativity and vitality than all of the 52 “creative” teams and titles previewed in that comic. At home that evening, I flipped through the preview and revised my opinion: two months.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get to the ginchy adventures of Frank Einstein . . .

Unrequired Reading: Junebug

Just in time for July 4th, it’s a collection of my tweeted links and retweets, for those of you too lazy to get on Twitter and follow me @groth18!

First up, the retweets!

RT @MoCCAnyc (MoCCA): Kirby vs Marvel in the NY Times

* * *

RT @KenTremendous (Ken Tremendous): Wow. RT (@parksandrecnbc) The Ron Swanson Mosaic. Be sure to grab our free hi-res poster! #ParksandRec

* * *

RT @tnyCloseRead (Amy Davidson): David Remnick on the Big Man: Bloodbrother: Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011

* * *

RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle Van Blerk): Need. This. Bookcase.

* * *

RT @simonpegg (Simon Pegg): Memorable ink from the US book tour: 1 and 2

* * *

RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle van Blerk): animalsbeingdicks.com That is all. Have a good weekend.

* * *

RT @MarylandMudflap (Scotty L.): Etch-a-Sketch was really onto something. I wish I could shake the shit out of everything in my life when I need a fresh start.

* * *

RT @scottmccloud (Scott McCloud): OMG OMG OMG http://llamafont.com

* * *

RT @normmacdonald (Norm Macdonald): I’d have to be pretty hammered to see “Thor”.

* * *

RT @DwightGarner (Dwight Garner): Daniel Okrent (I think) said it in Esquire (I think) in the 80s: “John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman” = best LP ever recorded. I’m a believer.

* * *

Anyone know where #ProfessorZoom got his doctorate? #justwondering

* * *

Cover story: #magouflage

* * *

Nazis tend not to design great synagogues? I prefer #BattlestarJudaica! #FrankLloydWrong 26 Jun

* * *

Is #Cars a vehicle (ha-ha) for Intelligent Design?

* * *

Blind drunk: #notreally

* * *

Neat #PhilipRoth interview: #idontreadcontempofictioneither

* * *

If I ever have to move again, I have no idea what I’ll do with all the books. #unpackingtheshelves

* * *

Long-ass @BobMould conversation on wrestling, Catholicism, breakups and more: #seealittlelight

* * *

@SimonDoonan: wildly pro-Jew. #yay!

* * *

I am SO glad I didn’t watch the last six episodes of @TheKilling_AMC: http://bit.ly/mEhcSL #stillsevenhoursiwillnevergetback

* * *

I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to think of #WeAllKilledRosieLarsen. Still, glad I didn’t watch the last 7 episodes of @TheKilling_AMC

* * *

First, only time #AnnaNicoleSmith will be compared to #BleakHouse.

* * *

#SalmanRushdie offers up seven wonders (those Goya paintings the Prado are creepy as all get-out)

* * *

The Girl with the Caffeine Addiction? #TMCM

* * *

NYT sez: Life could be better if we blow off property rights, the environment, consumer safety, etc.: #highspeedrail

* * *

Introvert Myth #11: they don’t get Twitter.

* * *

Time-Traveling Male Sea Monkeys Make Bad Mates

* * *

Great moments in terrible casting, via @fuggirls (No #JessicaAlba as geneticist and/or blonde in #FantasticFour?)

* * *

Accidental Chinese hipsters: #umm

* * *

Bust 2.0? “If you squint just right, our business is actually booming!”

* * *

Do we expect too much of books? #iknowido #ralphwaldoemerson

* * *

(Un)happy Bloomsday.

* * *

Krypto’s got quite a pedigree: #superdog #legionofsuperpets

* * *

Rockin’ the GTH turban: #sikhandyoushallfind

* * *

Mandelbrot, P.I.?

* * *

No Mexican in Paris? WTF? I can’t even call this #firstworldproblems

* * *

Why I never took up smoking: #cheapjew

* * *

The Enhancer: “Yeah, but have you ever Disneyed . . . HIGH?” #weed

* * *

#Masa loses one star for F-U (by @samsifton)

* * *

Haberdashed!

* * *

“Not only is it okay to hate #LeBron, but it’s a fucking character flaw on your part if you do not.” #nbafinals

* * *

Anybody know what this is? #snakeonahike #herpetology

* * *

My hometown: a toxic mess that CAN’T be cleaned up, after multiple Superfund attempts: #ringwoodnj #eatlead

* * *

#JoeJackson & #TheRoots do #SteppinOut on @latenightjimmy

* * *

Apparently, I need to alternate my annual Toronto trip with some Montreal action.

* * *

i found my thrill on N***** Hill? #plaqueremoval

* * *

Never trust your parents, especially when you’re home for the holidays: #drugdeal

* * *

#Seth’s lovely eulogy for his father: #nosethdoesnothaveatwitteraccount

* * *

Every mall should have a bomb shelter: #shoptillthebombdrops

* * *

Puyehue makes an ash of itself: #underthevolcano #alsooverthevolcano

* * *

I’ll get to these right after I finish #ADancetotheMusicofTime. #johnswartzelder #simpsons

* * *

Sunfart: #justsunfart

* * *

Greatest pwnage ever? #nadal #federer #toughcall

* * *

To prize integrity is to fear disintegration” (via @asymmetricinfo)

* * *

Escapistism.

* * *

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Greatest. Cast. Ever.

* * *

@comicsreporter on his hoped-for DC relaunches. #bwahhaha

* * *

Kirby. Gods. Watercolor. #nuffsaid

* * *

@michaelbierut on comedic design (sorta): #talkingfunny

* * *

We will be like birds.

* * *

#GeneHackman: “He tried”

* * *

#UmbertoEco on reading and not reading: http://bit.ly/jFXAQZ

* * *

#Francesa = #Jeter?

* * *

“You cook?” “I’m French.” #MelanieLaurent #aurevoirshoshana!

* * *

No one said, “I wish I kept up on Twitter more”? #regretsofthedying

Unrequired Reading: Dec. 17, 2010

I’m in true batshit-crazy work mode, thanks to a couple of salespeople who don’t know the meaning of the word “deadline,” but that won’t stop me from posting a nice batch on Unrequired Reading for you!

Unrequired Reading; October 29, 2010

Special occasionally extra-spooky Halloween links for you, dear readers! Boo!

Unrequired Reading: July 2, 2010

I not only managed to wrap the Top Companies ish by the deadline, I also managed to get you a full dose of Unrequired Reading this week! Now get to reading!

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