Seems like as good a time as any! We were all caught off guard when DSF leapt into Previews — so much so the cover didn’t come until after. So, to gear all you kats and kittens up, behold the cover to…
"2014’s Most Outstanding Graphic Novel — unlike anything you’ll ever read. One of those…
As an intern for Marvel in the late 70’s, racist jokes were routinely, as in every day, thrown my way. By white intellectuals, By people who did not regard themselves as racist and did not regard their remarks as racist simply by virtue of the fact they were the ones making them. Marv Wolfman routinely had me making multiple xeroxes of Gene Colan’s gorgeous pencils for TOMB OF DRACULA, and, after a few passes, the pencil graphite would be all over my hands. Several staffers, some who are still in the Marvel offices today, would pick my hand up and show the graphite-covered hand to the bullpen while exclaiming, “Hey— your hands are black!” (Marv never did this, by the way. In fact, Marv rarely came out of his office. I started to think he WAS, in fact, Dracula).
I was the office mascot. The little black kid. The co-key operator for the Xerox machine (with John Romita, Jr., who enthusiastically relinquished the top slot to me). My how liberal we are. Jim, go grab this, “In a jig.” Staffers, some still in the biz, used to come by and rub my head “for good luck.” One staffer kept little jigaboo figurines on his desk: warped, offensive little gnomes in white face eating watermelon. Denys Cowan stole one off of this guy’s desk and gave it to me as a Christmas present. I keep it on my desk here to remind me some of these people still work there…
I didn’t know Larry Hama when he suddenly became my boss on CRAZY Magazine in 1980, but I had been warned that he was, indeed, the best man for the job because he was thoroughly nuts. “Two-Gun” Hama, as he was called behind his back, arrived at Marvel and, like Denzel Washington in Training Day, immediately went about turning my life upside down. Hama has had the most profound and lasting influence on my life, my sense of self, and my sense of honor and morality. He is the most important father figure in my life, and I am most grateful to God for the years we struggled together in that tiny office at Marvel.
The first thing Hama did was build himself a bunker. Steel flat files cases and a drawing easel were arranged in such a way that people passing by the office could see me but not him, and had to stop and deal with me before they dealt with him. He installed red gels in the overhead light grilles, which gave our office a hellish tint and made the mood even more off-putting and less inviting to the rubes. EPIC ILLUSTRATED’s Peter Ledger painted Larry’s office phone bright red and molded little icons all over it, and Larry played Jefferson Starship and The Ramones as he held court with the likes of Bobby London, Mary Wilshire, Heidi MacDonald, Shari Flannigan and other top artists from NATIONAL LAMPOON and other humor magazines.
First day on the job, Larry took me to lunch to explain the New Deal to me. Before his arrival, I had been paid twenty-five dollars a month (yes, a month) to be Paul Laiken’s assistant on CRAZY. Larry was incensed that Marvel had allowed this, and immediately gave me a raise to a whopping $400 per month, which, for a nineteen year-old, was a good deal. Larry later worked to get me on staff (I was, officially, a freelancer), and soon I was making an actual salary, with benefits and so forth.
At the restaurant, as we waited for an open table, a lovely blonde and her lunch companion stepped past us, and the host appeared and began to seat them. Hama objected, politely— we were here first, and the host quickly sat us instead. Hama sat at the table, removed his mirrored aviators, and said, “Jim— never let the white man take advantage of you.”
And, I guess, that’s when it hit me: Larry was Japanese American. A guy many people sidled up to and spoke loudly and slowly, hoping he could understand them. Larry was a Hollywood actor, having appeared in many films. His diction was perfect, and he spoke English better than I did, and in as many dialects as he wanted to.
Larry suddenly made my world make sense. Suddenly, somebody at Marvel had my back. Staffers were much less likely to rub my head or make the black-hands jokes once Larry arrived.
I’ve been telling people for YEARS to read the essays Christopher Priest posted on his website. YEARS. It could be pushing a decade for all I know. I came late to Priest’s works with QUANTUM & WOODY, yes, but did my homework and kept track of him online during and after. He has since retired from comics and we are all the poorer for it.
What's the best cat you've ever had? Unless it's a really sad story, then don't think about that and just answer a different question.
I’m not supposed to pick, you know, but since it’s been about a year since we lost our cat Clover, I’m going to say Clover. The most lovable, huggable, prettiest tortoiseshell ragdoll kitty.
She came to us having literally run away from home and we nursed her back to health from a severe flea allergy and malnutrition. She was also starved for attention, and immediately trusted us enough to sit on our laps and curl up with us in bed. When she was briefly an outside cat at our first apartment she followed me to the mailbox every day. When she wanted attention she’d lay on her back and roll around, as far away as possible while still in the same room, announcing her intent with a raspy meow.
I’ve been having dreams about her the last month and they’re so real when I wake up I’ve forgotten she’s gone.
Here are some filters I use (and a couple I don’t) in AdBlock Plus to declutter tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter! What do they do, exactly? Add ‘em and find out! You won’t break anything. Just refresh the page you’re on after adding the filter(s). Works in Chrome and Firefox.
Not too bad! My wife and I just took a walk and now I’m eating strawberries. This Saturday I get to meet up with Rusty Shackles again and make my first encounter with Kyle “Sparks” Starks at the Derby City Comic Con here in Louisville.
I enjoyed hearing you mentioned on last week’s WRA.
Here’s a link to a post I made a tiny bit ago flogging some comics so I can get some new glasses and maybe get some old bills out of the way. If you’d take a(nother) look that’d be great! (I’m also willing to negotiate a bit on the pricier items, if something in particular really catches your fancy.)
Hi, I’m Mark. As you may know, I’m kinda broke these days. It’s not the WORST thing in the world; my wife and I have a place to live, food to eat, clothes on our backs, health insurance, and have found new homes for our cats. Outside of that stuff, however, there are still a few scrapes and skins-of-our-teeth things going on, like paying off small debts like overdue bills and getting myself new glasses and sunglasses. I’m visually impaired/near legally blind and in a tough spot as far as finding work goes, so new glasses are fairly vital to me. It’s in that spirit that i’d like to cut the sob stuff and sell you some of my wonderful comics!
What I’m selling are comics I bought off the rack as the came out. For YEARS, some fating back to 1998 or so. They’re all in great shape, most read once then filed away like a good little packrat does.
What I’m selling them for is about a buck a book, SHIPPING INCLUDED. That means if I’ve got, say, Kurt Busiek’s run on THE AVENGERS which totals 62 books, that’s $60 flat, shipped to you via Priority Mail. Smaller bunches, like 12 issues or so, will most likely be shipped plain ol’ mail. Like I say, I’m not trying to make a mint here, I just want to free up some room and get my new glasses.
SO HERE IS THE LIST:
AVENGERS v3 by Kurt Busiek, Geroge Perez, et al - 62 comics total Issues 1-56; issue 0 (an interlude issue published by Wizard, drawn by Stuart Immonen); Annual ‘98, Annual ‘99, Annual 2000, and Annual 2001; THE ULTRON IMPERATIVE one-shot - $60
AVENGERS FOREVER by Kurt BUsiek and Carlos Pacheco - issues 1-12, complete - $12
THUNDERBOLTS v1 by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Al Vey, etc - 39 comics total Issues 1-33 and “Flashback” issue -1; Annual ‘97, Annual 2000; CAPTAIN AMERICA AND CITIZEN V ANNUAL ‘98; Tales of the Marvel Universe 1-shot (Post-Onslaught anthology and early apperaance); SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #7 (another early apperance) - $35
BLACK PANTHER by Christopher Priest, Mark Texeira, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond, et al - 62 comics total - $60
CAPTAIN AMERICA by Mark Waid, Ron Garney, Andy Kubert and friends - 34 comics total Captain America v1, issues 444-453 (includes a variant cover copy of issue 450 for a total of 12 comics; Captain American v3, issues 1-22
SPIDER-MAN by Paul Jenkins, Zeb Wells, Mark Buckingham, Humberto Ramos, Sam Kieth, and a cast of thousands - 51 comics total WEBSPINNERS issues 1-12 (Jenkins, Sean Phillips and JG Jones on issues 10-12, with JM DeMatteis, Eric Stephenson and Keith Giffen on earlier issues, among others); PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN issues 20-57 (Jenkins 20-41, 44-50; Zeb Wells 42,43 [with Jim Mahfood], 51-57); THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN 27 (a single issue by Jenkins and Buckingham) (PLEASE NOTE that these came out during a time when the Spider-Man series were being cancelled, relaunched, renumbered, and all sorts of business like that. I don’t know where they fit into anything, I just know they’re good comics.)
TOP TEN by Alan Moore, Gene Ha, and Zander Cannon - issues 1-12, complete - $12
LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill - v1, 1-6 and v2, 16 - 12 issues total - $12SOLD!
TOM STRONG’S TERRIFIC TALES by Alan Moore and Friends - issues 1-12, complete - $10
ALAN MOORE’S TOMORROW STORIES by Alan Moore and Friends - issues 1-12 PLUS The ABC Preview issue published by Wizard; AMERICA’S BEST COMICS 64-PAGE GIANT; and THE MANY WORLDS OF TESLA STRONG 1-shot - 15 comics total - $12
That’s it for now! If you’re interested hit me up on my Ask page or at my gmail dot com address using the name chickenmonkey and try to include something about HEY COMICS in the subject. Thanks!