Saturday 3 May 2008

one of my pals, who won't allow himself to be named on account of it might look like he's sucking up (no, it wasn't Evans), just sent me this link to a t shirt obtainable at

Here's a closer view:

Obviously it refers to some other Eddie Campbell, perhaps this one:

Or this,

or this,

or this,

wait a minute, that one IS me. Anyway, I emailed the wife and told her i'd ordered her one for the summer. I haven't heard back yet.

An Antarctic fur seal has been observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.

The South African-based scientists who witnessed the incident say it is the most unusual case of mammal mating behaviour yet known.The incident, which lasted for 45 minutes and was caught on camera, is reported in the Journal of Ethology.


Friday 2 May 2008

the home town paper of the Gordon lee case:

IN THE END, the only thing Leigh Patterson, the Floyd County district attorney, could do to Gordon Lee after more than three years of trying was turn him into a comic-book hero. Originally charged with six counts, including two felonies, after a child was inadvertently given a free handout comic containing nudity in a Halloween Broad Street giveaway, the case against Lee was down to two misdemeanors when dismissed in return for a written apology — which Lee had been willing to do all along. After one mistrial and numerous delays, the owner of Legends Comics winds up looking invincible and a national free-expression celebrity to boot (the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund raised more than $100,000 nationally on his behalf). Ms. Patterson, in turn, earned descriptions in national media as a sort of vindictive dark force and Floyd as an evil empire.
The comic in question, Alternative Comics No. 2, depicted a naked Pablo Picasso in full frontal view.
NOT TO SHOCK Ms. Patterson, or give her another cause for action, we saw the same thing in the flesh (though not Picasso) in an HBO prime time feature recently and suspect quite a few minors did, too, given this was in the context of a patriotic American history presentation. Watching it might even have been a school assignment for some...(more)

right, I'm off to Melbourne. If blogger's new 'scheduling' feature truly works, then a post will go up in my absence.


as there was quite bit of interest in Wednesday's post about the the Spirit story that Neil Gaiman and I wrote and drew (respectively) way back in '97, I've fetched out the three original art pages that are still in my possession. As is to be expected, the ones that show the Spirit himself have all gone. But these give us the best showing of the villainess, Mink Stole. Once the story starts rushing along you don't really get to see anything as clearly as you do here in the exposition. I'm tryingto recall who was the model for the femme fatale. probably Ann Sheridan when she looked like the photo at left. She was in the Cagney film, Angels with Dirty Faces, way back in '38 and had a long career in the movies. Here is a sequence made up of the protagonist ruminating in front of his laptop on the balcony of a California hotel. The mysterious woman appears on the next balcony and he can't get any sleep that night. Walking on the beach he finds himself in the middle of somebody else's story. I'm leaving out a complicated third story, which is the one happening in type on his laptop, the Tarantino spoof that Neil mentioned (see comments wednesday), not to mention a possible fourth which is the romantic liaison he imagines himself having with the lady on the balcony (beginning with the mental image ninth below). The good thing about Neil's script (alas the words can't be seen below; see yesterday's link for a rough idea of the story) is that everything was so clearly set out that you can read what is happening below without the need for the words. This left the writer free to play out a separate, ironic argument in the captions.
Another thing to notice is that I knew Will Eisner was going to be scrutinizing these pages and I wanted it to look like something that could be taking place in his established graphic universe. I worked very hard to make things precise, much more than I usually would. In places this has resulted in drawings looking overworked. Look how all my erasing has left the paper looking smudgy and smeared. But by the time the protagonist rubs his weary eyes below I was starting to loosen up. The action got underway and it included a seaplane taking off with the Spirit clinging to the mooring rope. You can see them coming out of the sea in Wednesday's final page scan.

(you can tell that the above happens in two different scenes as the protagonist has changed his Hawaiian shirt. he wore three different ones in the course of the story.)

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Thursday 1 May 2008

Lesbos islanders dispute gay name- BBC News- 1 May 2008

Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term "lesbian". The islanders say that if they are successful they may then start to fight the word lesbian internationally. The issue boils down to who has the right to call themselves Lesbians. Is it gay women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece's third biggest island - plus another 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?
The man spearheading the case, publisher Dimitris Lambrou, claims that international dominance of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders, and disgraces them around the world.
I'm not certain that his next bit is relevant to the argument, but it is certainly relevant to the theme of my blog, being the fate of the artist, and the posthumous fate of his or her name, or in this case the name of her place of origin:
The term lesbian originated from the poet Sappho, who was a native of Lesbos. (and she) expressed her love of other women in poetry written during the 7th Century BC. ... new historical research has discovered that Sappho had a family, and committed suicide for the love of a man.
Meanwhile: vagina crockery

(links via wee hayley campbell)


Wednesday 30 April 2008

since I'm meeting up with Neil Gaiman in Melbourne this week, here's a glimpse of the Spirit story we put together ten years ago. Someone has posted six and a half of the ten pages online. Steve Oliff did a sweet job on the colours.

Next, the above page as it looked when I'd done my part. Since I normally start with the lettering, working this way just felt all wrong to me, and to this day when I look at the printed version all I can think about is that the lettering (can't recall the name of the letterer) was put on after the art (although on page 1 you can see that I was planning it very carefully).

The story had a swarthy thug named Squith because Neil wanted to name one of the characters after Mark Asquith for some reason.

The 'New Adventures of the Spirit' set of stories (including three interrelated by Moore-Gibbons) remains out of print in spite of at least two different publishers intending to do it over the years. I did a second story in the last of the eight issues, by which time I had a better handle on the look of the thing except it was our first attempt at computer colouring in-house here at Campbell Industries and The Spirit camme out looking more like the Green Hornet.

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Tuesday 29 April 2008

charles Brownstein, head of the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund, interviewed about the win in the Gordon Lee case.
"After a healthy amount of venting, and much analysis, we decided that a misconduct motion should be brought, and that it should cover everything up to and including the mistrial. Cory went to work on it, and filed in December. And it is a work of savage legal beauty. Cory is one of the best legal writers I've ever known, and she really earned her pay on this one."
And in case any one reading has not been following the story, a minor saw the following picture and the resultant lawsuit cost over $100,000 to defend before the judge dismissed the case.

I just found this news item from 2004: Mexico town bans indoor nudity

A council member who opposes the idea says he's not sure how it'll be enforced. But a councilwoman who supports it says she's confident that citizens who catch a glimpse of violators while walking past their windows will report them to police — even though the law also threatens jail for peeping Toms. She describes the law as "zero tolerance" for "a lack of morality."

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Monday 28 April 2008

humphrey Lyttelton delivers swansong with giant kazoo band- Sunday Times - April 27, 2008

Humphrey Lyttelton, the jazz trumpeter who became doyen of the double entendre as chairman of the quiz show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, is to make a bid from beyond the grave to enter the record books as leader of the world’s biggest kazoo band. Lyttelton, who died on Friday aged 86 after heart surgery, equipped every member of the 3,550-strong audience with a kazoo at a live version of the radio programme earlier this month at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and encouraged them to hum into the simple instrument.

(via Heidi)
The Project has very simple parameters and it basically works like this: Men who are open to being given a swift kick in the balls need do nothing. Women will simply assume that any man not clearly indicating his position vis-a-vis being kicked in the balls with an approved OSSKBP badge or pin is open to being kicked in the balls, as any progressive, free-thinking, feminist man ought to be, by any woman who wishes to do so.
However, we also recognize and affirm that not all men will be so willing to serve. Therefore the OSSKBP provides two other options.
1. Men who would like to be asked for permission before a woman administers one or more swift kicks to their balls shall wear the offical OSSKBP "Ask First Pin" at all times...

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now here's a real life example of what we've been talking about:
Friday- Radio program, Ireland - Mother complaining about rape scene in a Batman comic she gave to her seven year old son. The dialogue is read out (I'm deducing it's the Miller-Lee serial). Somebody posits that it's aimed at adults and not kids.
The host: "But what are adults doin' raydin comics?"
Indeed, what?
Sin City is brought up by a phone-in observer who talks about Batman's different incarnations, and the art form and Frank Miller's Sin City, and in the context he sounds a bit daft and really should have known better. The mother, who is no dummy, sensibly points out that they don't market Sin City muscle suits to kids.
I believe we'll be hearing a lot more of this sort of thing and it is no accident that we've been arguing about Frederick Wertham over the last few days.
I personally would not wish to be put, as I have in the past, in a position of having to explain and justify comic books. And most particular of all, I would hate to be put in a postion of having to read any of them.
(link via my Irish correpondent)

When hanging was too good for some

Most family historians crave details about their forebears' lives that put flesh on their bones - even if the revelations can sometimes be quite shocking. Now, thanks to the online publication of details of nearly 200,000 Old Bailey trials, many of history's black sheep have been named and shamed...
Stephen Comber, accused in 1850 of "unlawfully laying his hands on a cow with intent"...
And Albert Feist, master of Newington workhouse - accused in 1858 of stealing bodies he was supposed to have had buried and selling them to a hospital for dissection.
Ann Petty of Holborn caught clipping the edges off silver coins in the 17th Century after her husband hanged himself. Found guilty, she was sentenced to be drawn on a hurdle to Smithfield and "there to be burnt to death"...
"In parts of the world, people still pray in the streets. In this country they're called pedestrians."- Gloria Pitzer.


wee Callum made a photographic still life in the 'vanitas' tradition for his school art project. Here's a sixteenth century example by Pietr Claesz:

And here's Callum's (note the cellphone):

We're still arguing about Wertham in Friday's comments. I just posted this in case you want to go and join in:

You know what is the absurd thing about all of this?

We say the issue is about the first amendment, that is: FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

And then we are outraged about something a man wrote in a book.

He didn't censor. He didn't recommend censorship., If somebody else extrapolated that from his writing, that is a completely separate issue.

The man wrote a book. He said what he had to say. He believed it. He published it.

It's not popular.

I like that.


"Praying is like a rocking chair; it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anyywhere."- Gypsy Rose Lee.

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