Sunday, November 14, 2010

Coober Skeber

The story behind Coober Skeber 2: Marvel Benefit Issue has been recently covered at the Comics Comics blog. I probably became aware of this anthology of short stories featuring Marvel characters as done by alt comix creators over at the late comix@ mailing list. I was able to buy a copy around 1998 at Montreal's Librairie Astro for 5 Canadian dollars, I believe. (I was in Montreal for a business trip, but I managed to make time for visiting the local comic stores, including the now-defunct La Mouette, one of the classiest comics stores I've visited.)

Coober Skeber paved the way for DC's two Bizarro Comics anthologies and, of course, the more recent Strange Tales series that have been published by Marvel. But despite these recent attempts at doing something similar, there is still something unique about this small artifact, printed in black-and-white, and featuring artwork done by young creators riffing on characters such as Deathlok, Spider-Woman, and Devil Dinosaur. I remember bringing back home several comics thanks to that Montreal trip (Chaland books, issues of L'Association's Lapin, Steve Canyon reprints, and other stuff), but Coober Skeber was certainly one of the most memorable.

The original comic may be difficult to find these days, but it has (recently?) been scanned and made available among all the scans of new comics that appear each week. The download link is here, so if you haven't seen the book before now there's a chance to enjoy it in its entirety.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Steve Rude update

About a month ago, Steve Rude's friends and fans helped publicize a series of auctions to help Rude prevent the loss of his home. Rude's latest newsletter brings the following good news:

Well, it's nice to know we still have a nice house to live in.

In fact, thanks to this amazing "save the house" fundraiser you contributed to, we were even able to order a few extra art supplies for the Dude. Perhaps the most shocking of all--we may have enough left over to supplement the Sillies Emergency Diaper Fund. Yes, they still have their accidents.

When I saw the bread coming in after Gino made her announcement (this was unbeknownst to the oblivious Dude), I was, and still am, in a mild state of stupefication. The outpouring of generosity was clearly far beyond what Gino and I could've asked for. Your contributions poured in from all corners of our planet; the sizeable backstock of comics and Dude related "higher reading paraphernalia" were ordered by the spit-load; and Erik Larson [sic] bought his complete Next Nexus 3 issue!

All said, we saved the house.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mattotti illustrates Lou Reed's "The Raven"

The Raven by Lou Reed and Lorenzo Mattotti

An edition of Lou Reed's The Raven (based on his 2003 record) illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti has been recently released in Europe. And it seems an English-language edition will be available from Fantagraphics next year.

The story behind the book: in an article published in, Mattotti tells how Lou Reed phoned him a couple of years ago, telling him he loved his Jekyll and Hyde book and that he wanted him to illustrate Reed's book. It seems Reed and Art Spiegelman share the same literary agent, and that Spiegelman pointed Reed in Mattotti's direction.

All of the above came to my attention when I stumbled upon a news account about Reed having fallen asleep during a presentation of the book (while Mattotti was speaking). Here's hoping the book comes out at the scheduled date, despite the .. er ... skepticism of some regarding the publisher's publication dates.

A PDF preview of the Spanish-language edition can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dot & Dash

From the Spanish blog La Cárcel de Papel comes news that Cliff Sterrett's Dot & Dash strip (a "topper" strip that ran on the same page as Sterrett's Polly and Her Pals between 1926 and 1928) has been reprinted by Portuguese publisher Manuel Caldas.

(Shown above: an example of how both strips looked together on the same newspaper page. The upcoming IDW book should reprint the pages in this format.)

This is a 64-page book with an introduction by Domingos Isabelinho. Caldas is a publisher known for the quality of his archival projects, and this new book shouldn't disappoint. Samples from the book can be seen at La Cárcel de Papel.

Caldas is also reprinting Warren Tufts's Lance in Portuguese and Spanish editions. Samples of the strips can be seen at

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's missing from this book?

I just received a copy of the new Adventures of Superboy hardcover, reprinting stories published between 1945 and 1947. I look forward to reading this soon, but in the meantime I made a quick checklist of what is and isn't included in this volume.

  • New cover by Michael Cho? Check
  • The Superboy stories from More Fun Comics #101 to #107, and Adventure Comics #103 to #121? Check
  • Covers to the original issues? Most of them. (I assume all covers featuring Superboy were included, which sounds reasonable.)
  • Credits for writers and artists of each story or cover? Check
  • Credit for the editor of the original stories? Check (Jack Schiff, in case you were wondering)
  • Some sort of introduction or article describing the origin of the character or the contents of the book? No
  • Text at the beginning of the book, or the indicia, or the contents page or anywhere else saying "Superboy created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster? NOWHERE TO BE FOUND