A version of this post originally appeared in the May 2013 mailing of the Capa-Alpha APA. During the early '90s when I took a stab at becoming a comic book writer, I requested submission guidelines from several dozen publishers. One of the people I heard from was First Comics submissions editor Zoe Zolbrod. Her letter of Feb. 5, 1991, shared a new plan the company was undertaking. "First is going to begin to publish black-and-white, limited-series, creator-owned comic books," she wrote. "These would be sent to us ... read more

As a comic book fan I've been meaning to see Kevin Smith's films for years. I finally got started over the weekend with Chasing Amy, his 1997 romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee. The movie's entertaining, but I couldn't buy the premise at all. Affleck plays Holden, a whitebread comic book artist who falls in love with another artist named Alyssa (Adams), despite the fact that she's a lesbian. Though Holden's best friend Banky (Lee) explains to him the utter futility of hoping ... read more

The small comic book publisher Bluewater Productions keeps getting an enormous amount of mainstream media attention for publishing cheezy comics about celebrities and other public figures, like its upcoming biographical book about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg: Bluewater Productions Inc. is doing a "giant-sized" 48-page bio-comic that will explore the question, "Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?" The company said it had good success with comics like its "Female Force" series featuring women like Hillary Rodham ... read more

As a fan of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel, I thought Watchmen was a terrific movie in spite of the excessive gore and the 17-hour run time. The comic's amusingly dystopian 1985 was captured perfectly -- President Nixon did not age well over the four terms he held office -- and I'm planning to see the movie again in IMAX, primarily for Jackie Earle Haley's Rorschach and the incredible opening credit sequence. See if you can spot the tasteless metaphor in Watchmen screenwriter David Hayter's open letter ... read more

There's been considerable debate in blogs I read over Schulz and Peanuts, a biography of Charles Schulz written by David Michealis. Roleplaying game developer Robin Laws reviews the book: Schulz and Peanuts, by David Michaelis, is a completely absorbing, stunningly researched, pain-scorched biography of the last century’s most influential cartoonist. Charles Schulz's genius was built on traits common to great artists: unstinting discipline, narrowness of focus, solipsism, arrogance, self-doubt, independence, ... read more

I tried selling comic book stories in the early '90s, requesting the submission guidelines for several dozen publishers. My pitches received form letter rejections from Marvel, Malibu Comics, Innovation and Now Comics. I've kept all of this stuff, which I ought to put online. Most of the companies are long gone. An unnamed submission editor at Marvel Comics told me that my "line work is stiff or heavy; loosen it up." This was difficult advice to follow because I'm not an artist and had sent them a written ... read more

After seven years publishing on the Web, I received my first cease-and-desist letter. It was sent by United Feature Syndicate this week because of a Dilbert parody that was linked by a user on the message board for Cruel Site of the Day. The message contained HTML IMG tags that linked to externally hosted graphics containing parody versions of the Dilbert comic strip. I didn't see the parodies -- the cartoonist apparently got one of these letters before I did and removed the graphics -- but they were described as ... read more