Online Comic Fandom in 1995

At the Spring 1995 American Culture Assocation / Popular Culture Association national meeting, I presented on the state of online comic fandom using the following paper as a basis. The big three areas at the time were Usenet, CompuServe, and AOL (mainly DC’s then-exclusive content). Times have changed, ten years later, as the centers of online comic fandom (such as they are) have moved today to blogs, web boards, and invite-only mailing lists. This, by the way, was my last […]

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Teenagers From Mars

Mars is your typical Southern town. One group of kids are digging up a coffin. When they find a sword, they wind up reenacting fight scenes from Star Wars. Another guy’s ripping off the copy shop with the aid of an underutilized employee. They get away with it because the boss is convinced the kid’s on drugs; aren’t all teens? At the local Mallmart, an employee’s getting chewed out for selling a kid a comic with too much violence; who […]

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Alichino Volume 1

I picked up Alichino because I saw a preview, and I was astounded by the beauty of the art by Kouyu Shurei. Stunning, graceful figures stare piercingly at the reader, accompanied by a menacing owl. Alichino are gorgeous beings who can grant wishes at the cost of the requester’s soul. They’re lovely demons, drawn to misery and deep desires. A girl, seeking one to save her brother’s life, mistakes Tsugiri for one because of his beauty. He’s not, but he […]

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Sgt. Rock’s Combat Tales

Sgt. Rock’s Combat Tales provides a compact look at a once-popular, now-mostly-forgotten genre: the war comic. These classics from the late 50s were written by Robert Kanigher with art by Joe Kubert, Jerry Grandenetti, Irv Novick, and Russ Heath. The digest-sized book opens with Rock’s “origin story”, a tale of who he was (a boxer) and his determination, the quality that defined him as a person and a soldier. Other stories deal with what it’s like to be a grunt […]

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Fell and Cheaper Comics

Ian Brill interviews Warren Ellis on Fell‘s format for Publishers Weekly. The book is unusual, 16 pages of single-issue comic story + 8 pages of supporting material for $2 US. It’s something of a breakthrough in giving fans what they’ve said for years they wanted — a cheaper, satisfying read — and more Image comics will be following its model in the coming year. Retailers should also be pleased that this format is real competition for those “waiting for the […]

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Rustle the Leaf

Rustle the Leaf is a cute environmentally themed strip about a talking leaf and his friends the acorn and the raindrop. I know, it sounds drippy, but the presentation is well-done and I appreciate its sense of humor. I like the way the characters are drawn floating fairy-like through the settings even as they take slaps at stupid human behavior. It has the potential to please both the already self-satisfied environmentally aware and the iconoclast who takes pride in not […]

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Travel Comic by Jonathan Baylis

I’m not familiar with the work of Jonathan Baylis, a new comic creator, but he’s sent along the following announcement, which sounds pretty cool: I’m happy to announce that my 3rd comix story, “So… Only Nixon Could’ve Gone to China“, has been published in the literary anthology The Florida Review. It’s the first comix story they’ve published in their 30-year history. It’s probably a rare thing to find in a magazine shop, unless you really scour the specialty magazine stores. […]

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Marvel Digital Comics Relaunch

Marvel’s trying again with digital comics. I’m pleased to see that She-Hulk is one of the titles getting the promotional push, since it’s one of the two titles from them I follow. (The other is Young Avengers.) Others featured in the launch are Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (what could have been a good book damaged by a poorly thought-out crossover), Captain America, and their kid book Franklin Richards. The user experience could be improved: the control panel is too confusing and […]

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