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78 Segments




Biography Details the 'King of Comics'

In his new biography, Kirby: King of Comics, TV and comics writer Mark Evanier details the life and career of noted comic artist Jack Kirby, the co-creator of the Marvel Comics characters the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and X-Men.


Adrian Tomine, Drawing Delicately from Life

Movie-theater owner Ben Tanaka is having relationship issues; his girlfriend, Miko, suspects he's secretly attracted to white women. (She's right, but he won't admit it.) In Shortcomings, Asian-American graphic novelist Adrian Tomine (Scrapbook, Summer Blonde) has finally done what many fans and critics have suggested he should: addressed race in his work.


Cartoonist Matthew Diffee, Making Rejection Pay

Over the course of eight years, Matthew Diffee has had more than 100 of his illustrations published in the cartoonists' bible, The New Yorker.

But that magazine gets more than 500 submissions a week — and for each issue, the editors select only 20 cartoons, in a process that Diffee says may or may not involve the use of darts.

So even Diffee has had to deal with rejection. Happily, he's found a channel: His new book, featuring his own work and that of 37 other New Yorker regulars, is The Rejection Collection, Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap.


A Disenchanted Look at 'The American Way'

John Ridley's comic-book series The American Way has just been collected into a graphic novel. The series takes place in 1961, when the government has created a team of super-heroes to battle foreign super-villains. But it's all just a sham — a diversion created to pacify the public.

Ridley, who co-created The American Way with Georges Jeanty and Karl Story, previously wrote the screenplay for Three Kings and the novel A Conversation with the Mann.


The Crumbs' Underground Comics

Underground comic book artist Robert Crumb created ZAP COMIX and is the artist behind such 1960s and 1970s icons as Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat, and Keep-on-Truckin. His wife, Aline Kominsky Crumb, was one of the earliest underground female cartoonists. Her new book, Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, chronicles her life and career. Robert's new book is The Sweeter Side of R. Crumb.


Graphic Novelist Daniel Clowes

Clowes' new book is called Ice Haven. It's the story of a small Midwestern town populated by characters including poet laureate Random Wilder, Julie Patheticstein and Blue Bunny. Ultimately, it's based on the story of Leopold and Loeb.


Spider-Man, Swinging Through India

Sharad Devarajan is the CEO of Gotham Entertainment Group, which has licensed the Marvel Comics characters to be distributed in South Asia. Their first publication is Spider-Man India, featuring Pavitr Prabhakar as Peter Parker.


Art Spiegelman and 'The Shadow of No Towers'

Spiegelman won a Pulitzer prize for his two-part graphic novels about his father in Nazi Germany and the holocaust Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds and Maus: A Survivor's Tale: Here My Troubles Began. His new graphic nonfiction novel is about his family's experience on Sept. 11, In the Shadow of No Towers.


Six Feet Under' Producer Bruce Eric Kaplan

If you know him by his full name, you probably watch Six Feet Under on HBO, of which he's co-executive producer. If you know him by his initials, B.E.K., you probably read The New Yorker, where his single-panel cartoons are regularly featured. A new collection of his cartoons, This is a Bad Time, has just been published by Simon and Schuster.


Comic Book Writer Steven Seagle

Seagle has written for Superman and Uncanny X-Men as well as House of Secrets: Foundation, a supernatural court drama comic. He's teamed up with artist Teddy Kristiansen for the new graphic novel, It's a Bird... In this semi-autographical book Seagle deconstructs the classic Superman myth and reflects on power and powerlessness.


Writer Harvey Pekar and his Wife Joyce Brabner

Underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar and his wife Joyce Brabner. In 1976 Pekar published the first in a series of comic books about his mundane life as a veterans hospital clerk and record collector in Cleveland. It was called American Splendor, and he has continued to publish them since. In 1987 one of them earned him an American Book Award. Now he is the subject of the new film American Splendor which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.


Writer Max Allan Collins

Writer Max Allan Collins. His graphic novel Road to Perdition is the basis for the film. Mickey Spillane said of the novel, "I know mysteries, and I know comics and Road to Perdition is one great ride!" Collins twice won the Private Eye Writers of Americas Shamus award for his Nathaniel Heller historical thrillers, True Detective and Stolen Away. His comics credits include Dick Tracy, Batman, Ms Tree and Mike Danger.


Comic Book Writer Stan Lee

Comic book writer Stan Lee. He was the leading creative force behind the rise of Marvel Comics and is responsible for many of the best-known comic book heroes. Forty years ago, he co-created the character Spider-Man. He also helped create The X-Men, The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk. He is now Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Enterprises, and is executive producer of the new movie, Spider-Man. It stars Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe and Kirsten Dunst. His new book is called Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.

Comic book icon Stan Lee in a 2004 photo

Writer Gerard Jones

Writer Gerard Jones is the author of the new book, Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy Games, Superheroes, and Make Believe Violence (Basic Books). A former creator of comic books, he's written text for Batman, Superman, X-Men, and Pokemon. This is his fourth media studies book. He lives in San Francisco.


Cartoonist Daniel Clowes

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Drawn in 1950s pop culture style, his comics are darkly humorous satires of middle class America. His graphic novel Ghost World (first published in 1993) is the basis of the film of the same name. Ghost World has just been nominated for an academy award in the Adapted Screenplay division. Clowes' first comic book series was Lloyd Llewellyn, followed by Eightball


Daniel Clowes

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Drawn in 1950s pop culture style, his comics are darkly humorous satires of middle class America. His graphic novel Ghost World (first published in 1993) is the basis of the new film of the same name. His first comic book series was Lloyd Llewellyn, followed by Eightball (both published by Fantagraphics Books). Clowes was the first cartoonist to contribute a comic story to Esquire annual fiction issue.


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