Check Out The Wonder That Is Todd Klein’s Logo of the Day

In 1977 Todd Klein was hired by DC Comics, and hit the ground running designing logos immediately. To this day he is designing logos like a madman.

As Klein recently noted: “Logos continue to evolve, but the challenge remains the same: capture a potential buyer’s attention with a logo that is readable, bold, attractive and exciting. I hope to continue to find ways to make that work.”

Klein more recently found another way to entertain through Logos of the Day. Klein gave me permission to feature a few.

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Logo of the Day #1265: ARMOR WARS designed by John Workman for the first issue dated Aug. 2015. Image from John’s files, © Marvel

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Logo of the Day #1259: THE VIKING PRINCE designed by Ira Schnapp for THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #23 dated April-May 1959. Image from printed cover found online, © DC Comics.

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Logo of the Day #1262: X-CALIBRE designed by Todd Klein for the first issue dated March 1995. Photocopy of original logo from my files, image © Marvel

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Logo of the Day #1264: GREEN ARROW designed by Steven Cook for the first issue dated Nov. 2011. Image from printed cover found online © DC Comics.

Stephen Downer: Draws Every Member of the ‘90s JLA

According to Stephen Downer: “So over the last year, I started drawing every member of the ‘90s JLA. I’m a huge fan of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s version of the League, and I wanted a project. I’m gonna start posting one of these each day until I run out.”

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Here we go with Day 1: Electric Superman!

 

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90s JLA, Day 2! Wonder Woman. I really like the way Howard Porter drew Diana during his run. I tried to capture a bit of the feel of his version of the character. I think this is the first proper Wonder Woman I’ve drawn, actually.

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Batman! ‘90s JLA Day 3. This version of the Batman costume is one I love a lot. Dark blue-gray color scheme, with extra-pointy ears, shoulders and fingertips. Scary, but still more “superhero” than “gritty urban vigilante”.

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1990′s JLA, Day 4. Superman! Behold the glory of ‘90s Mullet Superman. So beautiful. *sheds tears

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’90s JLA, Day 5! The ‘90s versions of these iconic DC superheroes were my first exposure to them in many cases. Kyle Rayner was the first Green Lantern I knew, and I thought he was awesome.

December 19 Update

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Day 6: Wally West, The Flash. This guy is in my top three favorite superheroes list, right after Batman and Superman

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1990s JLA, Day 7: Green Arrow! Connor Hawke Green Arrow, specifically. One of those legacy superheroes that was genuinely cooler than the original. (This was when Oliver Queen had, what, one good story to his name?) Oliver Queen got much cooler, but I’ll always like this guy. And dig that Reid Loessbergian jawline!

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Day 8: Martian Manhunter. Not too much to say about this, except that Martian Manhunter is really awesome.

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Bearded, harpoon-hand pirate king Aquaman is my absolute favorite version of the character. He seems like an example of the ‘90s “extreme badass” cliche that actually turned out to be great.1990s JLA.

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Day 10!: It’s Zauriel! You know, that time a full-on angel started hanging out with the Justice League? I drew the pre-superhero-costume version to start with. I’ll have his full superhero version coming up down the line a bit.

Smash Pages Q&A: Hardman & Bechko on ‘Invisible Republic’

irThis interview, as always with Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Sara Bechko (this time about Invisible Republic) has several gems of insight. In this Hardman notes “I want to point out how lucky we are at this point in time that the comic book industry is a place where we can tell a long form story like Invisible Republic that’s aimed at adults. That’s no small thing.”

Tim O’Shea: First off, how early in the development of the story did you realize that was easiest to mark the passage of time by making Maia’s hair red?

Gabriel Hardman: I’m always looking for simple visual signifiers like that because the content of the story we’re trying to tell is fairly complex. At least it’s heavily serialized and there’s a lot for readers to keep up with. A character having red hair in the past, then gray hair 40 years later, is money in the bank for clarity.

What were the other biggest challenges when denoting the passage of time in this time-sensitive story?

Corinna Sara Bechko: The most apparent challenge is making certain that both time lines look distinct enough for the reader to immediately tell them apart. But there’s another side to this that visuals can’t help with at all. I’m referring to the internal logic of the story, and making certain that both timelines match up when they refer to the same event, or when one event informs another. That’s an aspect that we’ve been meticulous about crafting, even though it gets more complex the further we get into the narrative. I’ve read about authors who devote whole rooms of their house to drawing out timelines on the walls for complicated stories, but I never quite believed it. Well, I’m starting to think we should do the same!

Hardman: Agreed. The relatively simple part is distinguishing the time periods visually. Keeping the content straight is the massive undertaking.

How critical was Jordan Boyd’s coloring in terms of the success of the story?

Bechko: Jordan shoulders a tremendous burden in terms of the storytelling in this book since his colors are the most immediate way that readers can tell the two timelines apart. It was immensely important to us that we work with a colorist who understood this, and who really “got” the mood we were going for.

I cannot praise Dylan Todd’s overall design sense on this book enough. What kind of instructions did Gabriel and Corinna give Dylan?

Hardman: It was actually a very painless process. Dylan had designed the print collection for my solo book KINSKI so when he came onboard for IR, there was already a relationship there. I gave him some references for the kind of thing we were looking for in the design of the supplementary pages and logo and he nailed it with few revisions. I like it what creative work goes easily.

Which supporting characters have exceeded your initial expectations?

Bechko: Definitely Woronov, the female reporter in the present. She wasn’t going to have a large role at first, but she just insisted on it. And Henry’s role has become a lot more important as we’ve scripted the second arc. It’s always interesting when characters go places you don’t expect.

Hardman: Woronov is definitely a favorite character to write. And it will be fun to show that Henry isn’t just Maia’s henchman as we move forward.

With an iconic character like McBride how hard was it write him in a manner that gave him depth versus the caricature of merely a charismatic leader?

Bechko: It’s almost a cliché to say that everyone is the hero of their own story, but Arthur McBride definitely things of himself in that way. As long as we remember that, it’s not hard to make sure that he’s got some dimension to him.

Hardman: Also, we are strictly operating under the idea that characters are defined by their actions. If there are conflicts and contradictions in Arthur’s behavior, that’s how he keeps from becoming a cliché. But at that, Arthur isn’t the main character, Maia is. She’s the one we have to worry about the most.

What was the key to getting the right voice for Croger Babb?

Bechko: I think we’ve all met people like Croger. He means well, most of the time, but he’s a bit myopic about certain subjects. He’s kind of an amalgam of several people, and we try to keep in mind what an actual person in his position would care about and do. He’s not a super hero, he’s just a really stubborn guy with a bit of an overblown sense of his own importance.

Hardman: There is one specific person that Babb is based on but I’m not saying who.

Gabriel, I love your use of white space to let some of the panel layouts breath. Can you share your thoughts on that front.

Hardman: In part, the lack of panel boarders are one of the simple ways we define the pages set in the present. It gives the impression of more white on the page. But more broadly, I tend to use a lot of texture and detail so you need some negative space so the art doesn’t become busy and overwhelming.

Anything we should discuss that I neglected?

Bechko: I want to take a moment to point out the fauna and flora of Avalon. A lot of this will become important later, but so far it’s been a bit in the background. Even so, Gabriel is designing some really cool creatures. We’ll learn a lot more soon about Jo the “dog,” for instance.

Hardman: I want to point out how lucky we are at this point in time that the comic book industry is a place where we can tell a long form story like Invisible Republic that’s aimed at adults. That’s no small thing.

Thanks for giving us this chance to chat about our book, Tim!

Smash Pages Q&A: Tim O’Shea on Dealing with Depression

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Every life has its challenges, but few people are as aware of them as our SmashPages contributor Tim O’Shea. Tim was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, and he has been chronicling his treatment and recovery for friends and family on Facebook. Overlaid on that, however, is his struggle with depression–depression that often manifests itself as anger.

After Tim’s cancer diagnosis, he asked me to interview him. I was honored. We had several lengthy phone conversations, out of which came the interview we posted earlier. But there was one question I asked that unleashed a flood of reminiscence and reflection about Tim’s depression and the effect it has had on his life. Because Tim has been so brutally honest about this experience, I felt this was important to post on its own. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of that answer.

What would you say were the big turning points in your life so far?

The first one happened before I was born, when my 14-year-old brother died 10 days before I was born. The next was when I started realizing in my teen years that my mom and my dad loved each other but it was not a happy love and I never got love from them. There were 7-10 surrogate families at my church who would support me and support me to this day, and my sister who is 10 years older than me

Realizing, in 2004, that anger management was a major problem for me and trying to get help for it to save my marriage, only to realize my marriage could not be saved for other reasons. I actually went to anger management counseling sessions that were court ordered by everyone who was in attendance except one person—me. I went voluntarily, and every other person in that class said “What the fuck are you doing here?” One guy was in anger management because he had thrown a bowl of Spaghetti-Os on his sister while she was driving. Another guy at Blockbuster been fired—someone said “How is it going buddy?” and he cold cocked them. They were probation violators who could not get a job. I had no reason to be there other than I loved my son and wanted to get better.

The first lesson I learned is you should catalog the moments when you realize you are about to get angry. Every time it was because I had unrealistic expectations. Say you are in traffic and you let the person in front of you go as a courtesy. Do you have an expectation that they might wave “Thank you” to you, or do you not care? I always expected them to wave, and when they did not wave I would get angry. So I set myself up for disappointment and I got angry.

Years ago I was working at my first job with a magazine called National Real Estate Investor. I was supposed to have a day off from work, as was another co-worker of mine. There wasn’t a problem. All of a sudden my boss said “M can get off but you can’t.” Rather than say “Can we work this out?” or somehow make it clear that I really needed to get off, I walked out of the cube and–I was in a cube farm with 3 other co-workers and there was a spare chair–I literally smashed the chair against the cube wall. Didn’t break it, just smashed it, walked out, came back 10 minutes later and my boss said “You can have the day off now.” And at that moment I was proud as hell that I was able to do that, never realizing the chilling effect I had on the entire floor and that woman, not realizing that woman from then on probably felt physically threatened by me, even though I had never physically threatened her. I had threatened the chair, but it was clear to everybody that the chair was intended to be her. It took me decades to realize that.

My son and my wife gave me a gift that I fully accepted two weeks ago when they finally got me to hear that yes, you are in incredibly angry person and without medication you cannot manage the depression that manifests itself as anger, but no matter what, every day and in every action that you overreact, there is never a doubt that you will come back to the center and you will be the father or the husband that you needed to be. And the fact that my son and my wife combined to let me hear that for the first time means that for the rest of my life I have a confidence that I had not had before two weeks ago.

Everybody in the world intellectually intimidated me. I felt inferior to every single person I meet. I no longer feel that, but I did then. I now feel I am an equal or at least somebody that you can have a conversation that will be of substance, and I have never had that before two weeks ago. That is a gift I will have for the rest of my life, and I hope it is a long life.

Chris Schweizer’s Paper Nativity Informational Notes: Part 2

Over the next month, Chris Schweizer will be offering thoughts on the Nativity set model (a large papercraft crèche) mentioned last week that you can find and download here:

https://gumroad.com/l/ThkR

Rather than run it everyday Chris has given us permission to run it every few days.

Advent Calendar Day 5: Shepherds

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Shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, tell us something important:

Christ’s birth, according to the story told in the Bible, WASN’T in December.

Or, at least, that was the reasoning used by the early Church when they attempted to peg down the likeliest date for Christ’s birth, with most of the notables pushing for a March, April, or May birthday: the lambing season.

So why the later move to December 25? The popular theory is that it was a deliberate attempt by the church to co-opt the many pagan festivals that occurred during this time, as many cultures had solstice celebrations when the day was at its shortest. But while the church DID appropriate those festivals, and while the church would certainly do this on later occasions – Valentine’s Day, for instance – that wasn’t the motive with Christmas, just a happy byproduct. Many of Christmas’s trappings (Trees and greenery, ec) stem from pagan celebratory practices, but the Dec 25 date precedes the Gregorian method of conversion by cultural appropriation, and is rooted in the idea that Jesus’s conception was the same date as his crucifixion, the latter erroneously calculated by the second/third century Christian author Quintus Tertullianus as March 25th.

I’d usually be wary of this theory of the Christmas date motive because when it is proffered it’s mostly by Christians intent on trying to dissociate Christmas from any pagan roots, or, worse, December 25th literalists, and almost any time Christian apologists latch on to a school of thought that supports a theologically rigid but fragile position it’s an immediate red flag on its academic validity (just ‘cause of a terrible, terrible track record). But the annunciation (conception) argument has one REALLY big thing going for it:

The split in dating between the Eastern and Western churches.

Eastern churches, at least as far back as the mid-300s, have their annunciation and crucifixion dates set not at March 25 but on April 6th/7th, thereby putting their Christmas at January 6th.

I’d lay money that the Eastern crucifixion date precedes the annunciation one, since the crucifixion date has a deductive starting point in the Gospel of John, whereas the annunciation/birth dates are 100% guesswork. If the Easterners ran the same place-the-annunciation-at-the-crucifixion-date play that the Westerners did, and that seems to be the case, then that offers the simple motive of dating Christmas nine months later, rather than assigning it to coincide with pagan festivals.

That said, Christmas as a religious holiday certainly benefitted from its alignment with existing festivals, using them as a back door for doctrine and worship in the public sphere.

Anyway, back to the shepherds. Watching their flocks in springtime, probably.

When Penny was two, we got her a Fisher-Price “Little People” Nativity set and I was astounded that it came with no shepherd. Multiple animals, three kings, an angel, and the Holy Family, but no shepherd. And that really rubbed me the wrong way. I can’t imagine that the folks at FP are pushing a theological agenda, but I didn’t care for the message created by the absence. The only folks on hand in the set to pay liege to the Christ child are kings and an angel of God, the cream of the social crop. Four “haves”, no “have nots.”

The shepherds, the first to be alerted to lil’ Yesu’s presence, are, to me, an extremely important symbolic element of the Christmas story. They showcase that Christ’s kingdom is first and foremost for the downtrodden, the meek, the poor, all those folks mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount. Though there are plenty who jump through theological hurdles to try and disenfranchise the disenfranchised (even with shepherds, I’ve seen suggestions that the shepherds in the story were extra special fancy super-shepherds, in charge of temple sheep intended for sacrifice and therefore of high station in their field and community, not common rabble), populism is central to the Christ narrative and, in my view, the Christian faith. That shepherds and kings (we’ll get into the kings later) are both humbled and awed by the presence of Jesus puts them on the same footing. They are made equals (right here in the corporeal world, no less!) by the God-child’s arrival.

As someone who’s placed a lot of emotional stock in fairness since I was a wee one, I love the equalization that the shepherds represent in the narrative.

Advent Calendar Day 6: Stable Boy

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Though I’ve never seen it played this way, I would expect that Mary and Joseph wouldn’t be the only out-of-towners in for the census, and surely not the only ones for whom the inn had no room. Were I to tackle a Nativity story, I’d make the stable a crowded, dirty, and possibly dangerous place, with lots of folks from all over huddled in against the elements and the dangers presented by sleeping outdoors in an urban environment. Part of this would be thematic, but it would also be a logical bend to swing.

A small town might be a trusting town when it comes to known neighbors, but with a big influx of strangers even the most welcoming sorts would likely take precautions against the troubles that might accompany anonymity – a stranger who knows not to whom an ox belongs might feel no guilt were he to contemplate stealing that ox from its nameless owner, or so might the owner assume. To that end, it seems likely that whomever owned or managed the stable might’ve employed a rough-and-tumble teenager to sit watch at night as deterrent to anyone who might make use of Bethlehem’s sudden and temporary population surplus.

I’ve never encountered a stable boy in a Nativity narrative, but that doesn’t mean there oughtn’t be one. Mine isn’t much moved by the events going on; he just wants his shift to be up so he can blow his wages on some rad sandals.

Advent Calendar Day 7: The Heavenly Host

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I wrote up my reasoning behind the design of the archangels back on day 4, but I ought to elaborate on why I picked four (three of whom are shown together here):

It’s because I’m lazy.

I’ve heard the four-archangel number thrown around since I first became interested in this stuff back in college. Four is an absolutely fantastic number when it comes to an ensemble, especially if the personalities vary drastically, which I expect they would here. Three is great if you have a protagonist and side characters, but if you want narrative equality amongst your group with the lean efficiency of a minimal group dynamic, four is the ideal; it’s why I use a gang of four in the Creeps books.

The Catholic Church only recognizes three (the ones pictured in the middle here): Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the only ones mentioned by name in the canonical scriptures. But Raphael’s mention, in the Book of Tobit (recognized in orthodox Christian traditions but not officially in Judaic ones), says “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord.” So where does four come from?

Angel stuff is all over the place in the Bible, and extra-Biblical sources. These four come from our earliest (and richest source) of angelography, the Book of Enoch. Enoch wasn’t canonized as part of the old testament/Tanakh (the primary conflict in its inclusion probably the then-radical notion that angels might rebel against God), though it WAS widely read and oft-cited (it’s quoted in Jude and mentioned in the non-canonical Epistle of Barnabus), and has informed much of the theology and myth that surround angels.

So you could go with four, or seven, or ten, or one (the generally accepted possibilities), but like I said, four has the best and most convenient narrative possibility, and that’s where I like to set my tent. Uriel, of course, isn’t on hand; he’s spiriting John away.

Seraphim

Seraphim are a class of angel mentioned in Enoch (surprise!), Isaiah, and Revelation, and their name means “burning ones,” so I drew ‘em as angels by way of the Human Torch. They’re described as having six wings (one pair to cover their face in the presence of God, the other their feet, ‘cause feet are dirty).

Art note – I drew the angels in pen, but did color holds on the seraphim in the computer to turn the line art red for the first row and orange for those in the back. I then watercolored the color-printed line art. I’m happy with the results and will likely employ them in the future.

Cherubim

The blue cherubim (the plural form of cherub, culturally recognized as chubby nude babies with feathery wings) are described in Ezekiel. Six-winged again, though since “feet” is sometimes a biblical euphemism for private parts I hedged my bet and threw their middle pair at crotch-level. The four animal faces (ox, eagle, lion, and man) come from a popular assumption that the four cherubs seen by Ezekiel are the four “living creatures” described by John R in Revelations are the same quartet.

Now, these may seem like unusual angel drawings, but I’m actually playing it pretty conservatively; I’m leaving out the whole covered-in-eyes thing and I’m not making hands grow out of anyone’s armpits. There’s only so much one can do design-wise before you completely sever the connection between subject and audience, and I feel like I pushed these as far as I could go without doing so.

Advent Calendar Day 8: The Ox and Ass

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onnThe Ox and the Ass are staples of art and song, but if we stick to the Biblical birth stories, we find them noticeably absent.

We could argue the chicken/egg thing with a lot of the Nativity characters so far as whether their narrative presence was interpreted symbolically, or if they were a part of the narrative BECAUSE they served a symbolic purpose, but with these two barnstormers it’s clear: their presence is entirely symbolic.

The ox and the ass (I know the cutout says “donkey”; that’s a concession for any beleaguered Sunday School teachers who would otherwise have to contend with the continual readings of rapscallious eight year-olds eager for a language loophole) represent Jews and Gentiles, respectively. The Ox, a cloven-hoofed creature that chews cud, is clean by the legal standards, a Jewish animal, good for eatin’ and sacrificin’. The ass, with its equid hoof, is not, and thus represents the Gentiles.

The push on the part of early Christians Peter and Paul to unexpectedly promulgate Christianity outside the confines of Judaism was a HUGE deal for the religion and for history (by permitting cultures to maintain their existing cultural practices, the belief system became hyperdisseminatable). So backdating that move symbolically to the time of Christ’s birth allows for a later staple of the Christ narrative to find presence at its beginning (there will be a couple of other examples of that exact same thing with other characters)*.

In any case, this symbolic representation of these two groups, worshipping baby Jesus in miniature, also gives us a very creative interpretation of Isaiah 1:3. The Book of Isaiah (part of the Old Testament/Tanakh) is viewed through a Christian lens primarily as it relates to Messianic Christ via prophecy, but 1:3 (“The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib, but Israel doesn’t know me; my people don’t comprehend”) isn’t prophetic in the least, it’s just a flowery gripe, UNLESS you assign prophecy to it after the fact once the symbols (probably purloined from the verse in the first place for art dating back as far as the 300s) are part of the story. There’s a long tradition of people of faith reinterpreting existing scripture to meet the spiritual needs of their time and the changes that their world has necessitated, and the ox and ass serve as a reminder not only of the embrace of cultural pluralism by the early church but of how sacred texts are ever-evolving things, not in their content but in how that content is perceived.

*In that tying-later-stuff-to-the-beginning vein, I’m actually really bugged that there’s not a non-canonical infant gospel in which baby Jesus spits a seed from whence grows the tree that will be used to make the cross. Come on, Gnostics, you really dropped the ball with that one. Or maybe they didn’t. Does that one exist? I hope so.

Advent Calendar Day 9: The Retinue of the Magi

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We Three Kings, right? The Gospel of Matthew neither gives them number or royal status. This is one of the most widespread examples of cultural tradition taking hard root in the religious consciousness. Most folks who have studied the Bible know this, but still have no problem with the kings being a standard part of the Christmas narrative. Which (if you haven’t caught on to my leanings over the past few days) is a great thing, in my book. It’s important, I think, that religious folk recognize that much of the narrative we associate with the Bible stems from a long tradition of interpretation and addition (not even a post-Biblical thing; folks in the Bible itself do this throughout when addressing earlier scripture) rather than cold reading. The acceptance of the three kings shows that even those who subscribe to strict literalism (itself, despite protestations, built on codified interpretation) are willing to concede to scriptural divergence when properly acclimated (I’ve never known a literalist who protested the inclusion of three kings in a Nativity scene unless he or she was a hardnosed iconoclast across the board, objecting to crèches in their entirety).

So why three? Well, three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) are mentioned by name, so associating each with a specific giver is as good as theory as any other, and the only one whose genesis is scripture-specific, leading to widespread acceptance in Christian circles. But there are plenty of traditions dating back to the early days of the Church that give different numbers, the most popular being twelve, accompanied by a small army of attendants, students, and guards, their movement being notable enough to require royal permission to travel through Judea, hence the court with its king, Herod the Great.

Had I not been lazy, AND unwilling to outnumber the lowly with the high-born out of concerns mentioned in the shepherds write-up, I’d have opted to make nine additional magi to accompany the kings; as it is now, I offer four, totaling the number of Magi at seven, an unpopular but existing grouping probably rooted in a misreading by 12th century college professor/theologian Peter Comestor of the histories of Josephus in which seven nobles are said to rule in a sort of loose parliamentary system in conjunction with Darius of Persia, interpreted by Comestor as wise advisors, ostensibly setting precedent for a standing council of seven magi. Since the general consensus of early theologians was that the magi were Persian, this is better reasoning than some theories, and it lets me get away with drawing five fewer magi.

Over the centuries, the assumed regional origin of the magi has slowly spread from Persia to Yemen and Babylon to ever-reaching expanses southward and eastward, encompassing Arabia, Central Africa, India, and, most recently, the Far East. Depictions of Caspar as a Southeast Asian have skyrocketed over the last decade or two, part of a longstanding tradition of using the magi to insert more ethnic diversity into the Christ narrative. Those who think that shoehorned diversity in existing narrative franchises is a recent movement are clearly ill-informed, as nativity art has been doing it for centuries upon centuries as the “world” has expanded outward.

The four here are from India, Ethiopia, China, and Persia, attempts on my part to round out the more specific regional origins sometimes assigned the magi but less in keeping with traditional representation of the three popular named kings of western tradition. Also a gifts-and-studies-laden camel, and a camel driver with a mount.

Smash Pages Q&A: John Arcudi on Country Blues

The other night I discovered that John Arcudi had a great love of country blues, dating back several years. As a result I decided to interview him about the topic. Please enjoy.

Tim O’Shea: What made you initially attracted to country blues as opposed to other musical genres?

J0hn Arcudi: Well, obviously I listen to all kinds of music, but my intro to the country blues was R. Crumb’s card set from the 80’s. I was working at a comic shop and it was difficult to ignore the amazing portraits. That led me to seek out the Yazoo CD’s and I fell in love with the music. It wasn’t until a few later that I really went nuts and sought out some of the more obscure artists (Sylvester Weaver, Blind Blake, Washington Phillips, etc) and really put together a collection.

Can you name some of your favorite musicians?

fff3Charley Patton, Barbecue Bob Hicks, Gus Cannon, Blind Willie McTell (anybody who reads Lobster Johnson may have already figured that out), Frank Stokes, and — while he’s not exactly a blues musician — Blind Willie Johnson is pretty incredible! Oh, and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t like Leadbelly. But that’s a just a few.

Do you listen to music as you write?

Nah. Can’t do it. When I listen to music, I listen to it, y’know?

What about Sylvester Weaver, Blind Blake, Washington Phillips, appeal to your musical sensibilities?

Well, Blind Blake and especially Sylvester Weaver were virtuoso musicians, so I’d like to think anybody would be helpless before them, but Washington Phillips is another story. Not to say he couldn’t play, because he could, but it’s his voice! That odd and almost sweetly haunting singing. And the songs he sang are equally magnetic. Phillips performed Sacred Music, which is frequently inspiring and uplifting, but Phillips wasn’t that exactly. It sounds almost like an injured angel singing.

Please enlighten us about the Lobster Johnson connection

I gave the “Harry” character (who previously had no last name) the surname “McTell.”

Do you ever go to venues to see music.

Not as much as I used to, which was all the time, but I get out when I can because there is NOTHING in the world like live music!

Lovern Kindzierski Looks Back at P. Craig Russell 2002 Spectre Colored Covers

You cannot be more understated than what colorist Lovern Kindzierski said the other day.

And then there were the Craig Russell Spectre covers I coloured.

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One of my favourite Craig Russell covers! I love playing my colours off of a stark white.

 

 

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Craig Russell, orange and me!

 

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Craig Russell and me-self muddling about with that Spectre fellow.

 

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I hope this Craig Russell / Lovern Kindzierski piece doesn’t bug you.

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Colorist Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser Reflects on Her Work

I recently had the good fortune to catch colorist Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser as she was reflecting upon recent work while on Facebook.

Continue reading “Colorist Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser Reflects on Her Work”

Health Status Update for Roger McKenzie

Comics industry veteran Roger McKenzie gave a health update this morning.

So here’s the thing, Peepsters: I’m off to the hospital in a few minutes for Procedure 2 (of 3!) Vascular surgeon will be working on my left leg today. The triple by-pass (as yet unscheduled) will be Procedure 3!

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Update December 8

So here’s the thing, Peepsters: I’M FREE! I gave the nurses my “evil scowl” and they cut me loose about 5 pm! Got home had supper, petted the dawgies, and laid around feeling very tired. Now it’s almost 8 here and I’m ready for bed!

The doc said my leg artery lading to my left foot was 90% blocked! Yeesh! No wonder my foot wouldn’t heal! But the procedure went fine, and I expect to be back here pestering everybody tomorrow! But I did want to pop on here and, very sincerely, thank you, one and all, for the thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and humorous remarks. They make a big difference, believe me. Besides, like I ALWAYS say, Peepsters are the BEST!

Latest update

So here’s the thing, Peepsters: Sometimes things happen. And you hit an unexpected bump in the road. It has become obvious my right foot wound is getting worse. And now we know why. Some of the hardware put in–screws and pins and plates–which held together my broken ankle bone are now rubbing the sore spot from the inside out. In fact, part of the metal plate is visible now.

Soooooo…it’s back to the hospital for me…maybe as early as this Friday…for another operation. This time to remove the hardware in my ankle.

And so it goes.

December 11 update

I’m back home…cyborg hardware removal went very well! Back in a cast for the immediate future with limited mobility as foot/ankle heal up.

But doing A-OK! No pain. But plenty of gain. I can’t thank you all enough for your kindness, prayers, and best wishes! They mean a lot to me! Now I’m gonna go lie down…