Comic Book Fan Proposes in Spider-Man Letter Column

There's a marriage proposal in the lettercol of this week's Amazing Spider-Man 28: As a lifelong Spidey fan, I never tire of reading about the adventures of our ever-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Even after over 900 issues, I say 900 more! Spider-Man means so much to me and my partner of over 13 years. We've been together for so long, and she recently gifted me (believe it or not) a genuine copy of Amazing Fantasy 15! I was flabbergasted! SPEECHLESS! So I was hoping that the ... (read more)

Dark Descendant: Urban Fantasy Jack Kirby Could Have Drawn

I picked up Jenna Black's urban fantasy novel Dark Descendant at a Louisiana gas station that still sells paperbacks on a spin rack, reminding me of childhood trips on my 10-speed down the hill in Burleson, Texas, to look for books at the Stop-n-Go. Dark Descendant is about Nikki Glass, a detective whose case takes her to the compound of a creepy cult outside D.C. on a night where snow and sleet make driving dangerous. This point is demonstrated when she strikes and kills her client, a ... (read more)

The Walking Dead Ends Unexpectedly

The Walking Dead issue 193 is worthy of a Hugo Awards nomination next year. It is a conclusion to the comic sprung entirely by surprise on the readership. To keep it under wraps, they solicited fake issues 194, 195 and 196 and made issue 193 a giant-sized finale at the regular price. Orders for those fake issues have been refunded. Without spoiling the content, it's a time jump that is intriguingly ambiguous about the proper lesson to take from the zombie apocalypse. I often find Robert ... (read more)

The Adam West Series That Wasn't: Lookwell

Adam West died Friday at age 88. As a child of the '70s, I thought West was a giant of Hollywood. I watched the Batman TV movie and show as often as they came on. When cable TV arrived and my parents let us watch movie channels with precious little oversight, it was quite a shock to see him in The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Holy titillation, Batman! West was underrated as a comic actor. His deadpan Batman performance was legendary, but he could do a lot more than that. Around 15 years ago a ... (read more)

Interview with Zoe Zolbrod

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 ... (read more)

Boy Meets Girl, Girl Renounces Lesbianism

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 ... (read more)

Comics Publisher Has Lousy Rep with Freelancers

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 ... (read more)

Screenwriter: Watch the Watchmen Twice

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 ... (read more)

You're a Sad Man, Charles Schulz

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, ... (read more)

Comic Book Editor Has Trouble with Rejection

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 ... (read more)