Friday, March 31, 2006

Saturday: BTPBHITP Activism

As reported Thursday by Editor & Publisher, Saturday, April 1 sees a very special event: "We Come to Praise Bush, Not to Ridicule Him", a service of The Center for American Blogress.

A group of patriots calling themselves the "BTPBHITP Committee" - the acronym stands for "Back the President Because He Is the President" - are posting editorial cartoons in support of President George W. Bush, as a counter-measure to the bad press he usually receives from "old media." View the tributes here.

The event was mindermasted - er, masterminded - by cartoonist and hostess-with-the-mostest Elena Steier. America needs more patriots like you, Elena!

The GWB Icon above appears by the courtesy of Elena Steier, as well as, presumably, via its own divine will.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Stars, Crosses & Stripes"

The "Gene" described at left is not me. I don't have that kind of fortitude; I've begged and sworn plenty, for far less cause.

That image is only the tiniest portion of a "gallery comic" entitled "Stars, Crosses, and Stripes" by cartoonist and teacher (not to mention friend) Christian Hill, prime mover behind Kameleo Comics. You can view the entirety of the piece here, and read a review of it, by Derik A Badman, at Comic Book Galaxy.

"Stars, Crosses, and Stripes" is a verbal and visual meditation on war, sacrifice, family, pride, and more, providing much food for thought - especially in these times. I would describe its design as "extremely and appropriately clever," but clever seems too trivializing a word in this context. "Stars..." proves a powerful reminder that "Comics" and "The Funnies" are not synonyms.

Way to put that theory into practice, Christian - thanks.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Updates to 22 March 2006

Here's the list of's latest book-entries, either added or updated. I'm always adding links to other websites of interest, as well - too many to list here. On with the show:
Couch, N.C. Christopher and Stephen Weiner. The Will Eisner Companion. New York: DC Comics, 2005. 176pp. ISBN 1401204228 (hc), 1401204236 (paper). Buy It!

Eisner/Miller. Interview conducted by Charles Brownstein. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2005. 352pp. ISBN 1569717559 (paper). Buy It!

Inness, Sherrie A., ed. Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 293pp. ISBN 1403964033 (cloth), 1403963967 (paper). Buy It!

Lehmann, Timothy R. Manga: Masters of the Art.
New York: Collins Design - Harper Collins, 2005. 255pp. ISBN 10: 0060833319, 13: 9780060833312 (pb). Buy It!

Lendt, David L. Ding: The Life of Jay Norwood Darling. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1979. 202pp. ISBN 0813800102 (hc). Rpt.: 4th ed. Maecenas, 2000. ISBN 0944266290. Buy

Levin, Bob. Outlaws, Rebels, Freethinkers & Pirates: Essays on Cartoons and Cartoonists. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics, 2005. 224pp. ISBN 1560976314 (paper). Buy It!

Sabin, Roger, ed. Punk Rock: So What? The Cultural Legacy of Punk. London and New York: Routledge, 1999. 247pp. ISBN 041517029X (hc); 0415170303 (paper).

Westin, Alan F., ed. and intro. Getting Angry Six Times a Week: A Portfolio of Political Cartoons: 14 Major Cartoonists. Profiles by Albert Roberts and Randall Rothenberg. Boston: Beacon Press, 1979. 160pp. ISBN 0807043788 (hc), 0807043796 (paper). Buy It!


Monday, March 20, 2006

Marvel & DC's Super-Hero "Claim"

As BoingBoing notes (also here, with earlier info here), Marvel Comics is again flexing its muscles and asserting that it co-owns (with DC Comics) a trademark on the term "super heroes" - this time in the publicity for its "Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition."

Marvel and DC have been claiming and attempting to enforce this "trademark" for many years. According to this link (one of several) from the US Patent and Trademark Office's "Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval system," Marvel & DC claim a "First Use in Commerce Date" of October 1966. Most knowledgeable folks aggree that this claim is bogus on many levels, but that hasn't stopped the USPTO from allowing the publishers to register the claim successfully and repeatedly over the past few decades. Digging around the archives via TESS reveals that all TM claims aren't automatically registered - some are denied. But from what I can tell, they've never denied Marvel & DC's claim.

Apparently, just because the USPTO allows you to register a trademark doesn't actually mean that they're endorsing your claim's validity - they're just aggreeing that, well, you've made the claim (tax dollars at "work," folks!). I suppose if someone with deep enough pockets and stamina to spare were to take Marvel & DC to court over this, the claim's bogus nature would be revealed and overcome. But until then, these two "super-gorillas" continue to throw their imagined weight around.

Thanks to several folks at the Comics Scholars Discussion List for helping me figure out what I think is going on in this situation. Caveat lector: I ain't no lawyer!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Now, More Than Ever, A Need for Science

A recent scientific study only re-emphasizes this country's need for increased scientific education, as well as the need for less stringent restrictions on scientists themselves and their exploration of the benefits of nuclear energy. Be sure to read We Must Expand Our Nuclear Power Program If We're To Realize Our Dream Of Superhero Mutants by T.J. Prima, scientific adviser for The Onion.

Image: Benefits of scientific experimentation begin to sprout forth.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Congratulations, John Canemaker!

John Canemaker (author of the magisterial Winsor McCay: His Life and Art), along with co-producer Peggy Stern, just accepted an Academy Award for his animated short film, "The Moon and the Sun: An Imagined Conversation". Congratulations!

Be sure to check out, where you can learn much more about this most important voice in animation scholarship, including the publication information on his staggering output of books and articles.

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