In the past, my interaction with comics had been limited. As a child, I read Casper and Richie Rich for a brief period of time to overcome reading challenges I was experiencing, but, once my reading improved, I was off reading books, and comics became a distant memory rather than an integral part of childhood experience; however, working with comics over the past handful of years, I came to the realization that as a (film) historian, it had become my passion to better understand the intricacies of this visual medium, its history, and its impact on popular culture. Why? Because I wanted to engage with sequential art as a more informed and well-read individual.
Stan Lee worked in the comic book industry since the late 1930s and was integral to the evolution of Marvel Comics and the “Marvel Style.” For seventy years, he was a writer and editor who co-created the Mighty Marvel Universe, including fan favorites Spider-Man, The Avengers, and the Incredible Hulk. Lee worked with many rising stars and established creators over the decades, endowing him with invaluable knowledge about the industry. As a veteran and legend, Lee shared his experience in a series of books that includes Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics, Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics, and Stan Lee’s How to Draw Superheroes. And, last month, the fourth book of the series, Stan Lee’s Master Class, was released by Watson-Guptill (Penguin Random House).
“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level. Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.
My fandom for all things Witcher began in 2009 with game developer CD Projekt RED’s announcement that they were developing a new game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, based on stories written by a Polish economist, Andrzej Sapkowski. I was immediately fascinated by this new character, Geralt of Rivia, who was appealing as a protagonist due to his highly ethical stance towards others despite his detached nature. Geralt was unique; he went through a painful bodily transformation. Though still a man, his senses were mutated and heightened making him a perfect paid hunter of monsters that populated his world. As a sword-for-hire, he was often feared and hated. Hence, a complex character was introduced to American audiences through CD Projekt RED’s video games and Dark Horse Comics’ Witcher series of stories.
The long-awaited second volume of Eisner-nominated artist Gou Tanabe’s adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness will release this week from Dark Horse Comics. The two-volume series was originally published by Kadokawa Corporation in 2016-2017 and is not Tanabe’s first foray into Lovecraft or literary adaptations. In 2014, Tanabe adapted and illustrated Lovecraft’s 1921 short story, “The Outsider,” and The Hound and Other Stories in 2017. The artist has also adapted stories by Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, and Garon Tsuchiya.
“When will lawbreakers learn…in the 21st century – no one can escape justice!”
– Dredd, 2000 AD, prog. 3
According to the Power-Con program, “Our goal is to maximize fan exposure to the creative background and history of He-Man and She-Ra while helping to spread awareness for what is new and upcoming for both brands. Organized and run by fans, Power-Con strives to give those in attendance some powerful memories to cherish forever.” Since 2011, fans have been converging on Southern California each year to celebrate the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) and Princess of Power (POP) IPs. This year, the eighth annual Power-Con was held at the Hilton Anaheim and run by a group of dedicated volunteers led by Event Director Val Staples. This was my second year attending, and, once again, for a person not well versed in either IP, I had an enjoyable time for several reasons.
Presenting the final volume of Eerie Archives, a 320-page grand finale to the complete collection of one of the most acclaimed comics magazines of all time. With tales of terror and adventure by comics’ finest creators, Eerie Archives volume 27 goes out with a resounding bang! Collects Eerie #132 - #139.