Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Washing the Wash, First Swamp Thing Movie News, Fave Comics Links Pt. 1, and Criswell Returns!

While prepping today's CCS drawing session, I spent a few hours reacquainting myself with my old ink-and-wash tools: mangy brushes of all sizes, various gray-scale watercolor and/or ink mediums, my fave papers, etc. It had literally been years since I'd played with these materials -- it took me two days to find what used to be in easy arm's reach every day! -- and it all was instantly familiar, like meeting with an old friend after ages apart.

Back in 1980-1983, I fully explored painting comics via black-and-white & graytone media, completing a number of stories for venues like Scholastic Magazines (specifically Weird Worlds and Bananas), Cliff Neal's underground Dr. Wirtham's Comix & Stories (the title featured Wertham 'misspelled' with intent), and Marvel's short-lived newsstand zines Epic and Bizarre Adventures. While the superior printing provided by Scholastic and Epic nicely showcased my efforts, it was the crap printing on Bizarre Adventures and the turn of fortunes that landed me in the lap of pencilling Saga of the Swamp Thing that brought this phase of my career to a close. I'm excavating some of the original art from that period to bring in to class next week, and damn, it still looks pretty good. Reprinting this work would be a chore, as the discoloration of the paper and some of the collage elements would require attentive reworking via computer art tools I've no working knowledge of, but you never know. Maybe, someday...

Anyhoot, we'll be slinging the wash at CCS this week and the next two, and some new art will emerge from those exercises. Cool.

Al Nickerson sends me the following this morning (thank you, Al!), first news I've heard on this:

Rich Johnston's LYING IN THE GUTTERS reports...

"GREEN LIGHT- One of the writers of the Constantine screenplay has mentioned that he is working on a film version of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing stories, under the working title of "The Green." No Constantine though, dude."

Click over to
  • Swamp Thing movie news.
  • and scroll down a bit, but really, that's all Rich wrote on the subject. Any further info would be appreciated!

    Though pleasant surprises can happen, traditionally we -- all of us associated with Swamp Thing -- receive nothing from any Swamp Thing media or merchandizing, even when it is based on our work. So, no Constantine-like payday is expected.

    Hint to Hollywood folks involved:

    You want our well wishes, drop us a line. We love movies, we love monster movies most of all; we love Swamp Thing, and we drew him for years -- reinvented him, in fact. We know Swamp Thing, particularly that version of the character, better than anyone, literally inside and out. (If we don't hear from you, good luck, bunky. If we don't hear from you, please don't come sniffing around when you're looking for sweet quotes to curry the comic fans -- and please, whatever does or doesn't happen, make it better than Man Thing. Or, uh, Return of the Swamp Thing.)

    A Valentine's Day Gift to you comics lovers out there. Time to start sharing some of my favorite comics sites I've not posted here or anywhere before. Some may be familiar to you, some may not -- check 'em out.

    Favorite Comics & Comix Sites Part One

    Personal fave for me, dino lover that I am, is Pete Von Sholly's delightful goldmine of curios like his
  • Von Sholly Turok, Son of Stone covers
  • -- which will have old-timers who grew up with the original Turok comics falling off their office chairs. While you're there, explore Von Sholly's entire site -- it's amazing!

  • The "Nuff Said!" comic creator radio interview archives
  • Ken Gale's famed comics radio interview show WBAI (99.5 FM, reaching New Haven, CT, East Hampton, L.I., the Pocono's of PA, Trenton and Princeton, NJ and Putnam County, NY) is also online. Ken notes in a recent email that their fund-raiser is now underway, saying, "our guests' comics, and more, will be available to WBAI members as a premium. WBAI's Membership Drive will be on and I urge every 'Nuff Said!' listener to become a member of the station. This is one of the few times getting comics is tax deductible! 'Nuff Said! needs to make a financial impression on station management! Any comic book store that becomes a member of the station will get their business mentioned on the one and only comic book-oriented radio show in New York City."

  • Christian Comics International
  • -- what a resource! An incredibly comprehensive online overview of the key cartoonists behind various Christian comics, from Jack Chick and Al Hartley to Rick Griffin and many more.

  • Stupid Comics
  • is always a lot of fun, and worth a peek. Shain and Dave's main index is
  • here,
  • along with links to their own work -- check it out!

    Among the highlights in the National Lampoon archives is
  • Superman is a Dick
  • -- and he is, too. Beware of popups from this site, though, damn it.

    It's time again for -- Criswell to predict! Circa 1968:

    I Predict... Headlines of the Future:


    Hey, Criswell was off by a decade or two, but he got one right!

    I Predict... I'll see you here tomorrow!