A few weeks ago, Matt Wilson and I watched Dick Tracy, the 1990 adaptation of the classic comic strip, directed, produced by and starring Warren Beatty. It's a pretty interesting movie, something that Beatty had wanted to do since the '70s that was clearly styled as a reaction to the success of Batman '89, a strange and ambitious project with a whole lot of fascinating flaws. But what's even stranger is the half-hour special that aired 18 years later, where Beatty reprized his role so that he could be interviewed, in character, by Leonard Maltin.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate has some excellent advice for freelancers and aspiring freelancers to help keep you sane in the weird amorphous world of 'working from home'. If you ever hope to make comics full-time, these are excellent tips to keep in mind!
On this day in 1958, the world’s most famous MI6 Agent took to the world of comics for the first time, as Ian Fleming’s James Bond brought his hard-drinking, womanizing, spy-killing adventures to the pages of UK newspaper The Daily Express just five years after the launch of the novels with Casino Royale.
In the golden age of newspapers, the comics pages were often a draw for readers — with the colorful palette of Robert Outcault's Yellow Kid being the source of the term “yellow journalism” — and so editors, acknowledging what they owed to the funny pages, made concessions to that. Works by such masters as Herriman and McCay were allowed room to breathe, and to display their ingenuity in full-page panoramas.
By the time Calvin and Hobbes debuted in 1985, this was no longer the case. The comics pages were increasingly cramped, with cartoonists being forced by their syndicates to adhere to a strict format for their Sunday pages that would allow papers to cut panels to reduce space even more. But Bill Watterson dreamed of the beautiful vistas of Slumberland and Coconino County, and he fought for them.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate grabs the rainbow paint to celebrate an amazing landmark moment in the advancement of LGBTQ rights, with the Supreme Court ruling that ended restrictions on letting people in the US marry the person they love. From everyone here at ComicsAlliance; we hope you had a happy Pride!
June 19 marks the anniversary of the 1978 debut of literally the most read comic strip in the world: Jim Davis's Garfield. Syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers around the world, the daily non-adventures of a lazy orange cat and the dumb person he lives with have delighted readers and audiences for decades.
June 11 marks the anniversary of the first appearance of comics' first superhero. Nah, not that lantern-jawed fellow in the red cape. The guy in the black cape and top hat who debuted a full four years earlier. Yeah, that guy. Mandrake the Magician.
Newspaper comic strips tend to run pretty long, so when they finally do end, it's usually a big deal. You get things like the end of Little Orphan Annie, which capped off its 84-year run by having Annie kidnapped and in dire peril, and when Tom Batiuk's John Darling ended, he had the lead character literally murdered on-panel, sparking a mystery that would be solved years later in Funky Winkerbean.
Unlike superhero comics, though, where cancellations and relaunches are a pretty common occurrence, you can really only do the final installment of a newspaper strip once. Unless, that is, you're John Scully, who launched The Comic Strip That Has A Finale Every Day on May 1, and has been running a strip where a cast of characters bids farewell to their readers every day. The same strip. The exact same strip.
Superman would have entered the public domain last year if Congress hadn't extended copyright protection more than fifteen years ago. For now, and possibly forever, DC has the exclusive rights to profit from the character --- but that happily hasn't yet stopped artists from paying tribute with their own fan-made, not-for-profit works. Among those works is artist and animator Stephen Byrne's awesome nine-page silent story starring his modern makeover versions of DC's 'Trinity', Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
The redesigns started out as a pin-up that proved especially popular on social media earlier this year. Byrne decided to turn the pin-up into a story, and has been posting the pages online as he completes them, with the final page going up just this past week. The story has a surprising twist in the tale that you're unlikely to see in an official Superman comic. And we don't just mean Batman using a gun.
ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, with the news that The Wicked And The Divine is going to be adapted for TV, Kate reflects on what might be next in TV's gold rush for awesome comic book properties.