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Posts Tagged ‘jim steranko

The Graphic Novel’s Pre-History Revealed!

I recently stumbled upon an article in the old Jim Steranko mag Mediascene about two books both the mag and the article refer to as “graphic novels.” It’s in the November/December 1975 issue,  three years before Will Eisner’s 1978 A Contract With God. Although the books, one by Richard Corben, King of the Northern Abyss, one by Gil Kane, The Flame Horse, were never published, they apparently were widely advertised as graphic novels and it’s likely Eisner learned about these books on the convention circuit as well as picking up the term that he later used to publicize his own book. The article makes clear both the concept of the graphic novel and the phrase “graphic novel” were very much in the air at the time Eisner was conceiving and working on his book. Even though the books were never published, the y helped put the idea out there. So let’s give credit where credit’s due.

Mediascene_graphic_novel_0001_stitch (Large) Mediascene_graphic_novel_0002_stitch (Large) Mediascene_graphic_novel_0003_stitch (Large) Mediascene_graphic_novel_0004_stitch (Large)

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Written by David Kilmer

July 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

Bob Clampbett’s John Carter of Mars Cartoon

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A lot of people are just discovering that animation great Bob Clampbett worked on an aborted John Carter of Mars project way back in 1935,  thanks to the Youtube test footage for the cartoon, which originally appeared on the 2000 Beany & Cecil DVD (which, by the way, happens to be one of the all time great DVD’s).

However, many of us learned about this project way back in 1976, courtesy of Jim Steranko’s Mediascene. Issue #21 of the mag was a “special animation issue” which included articles on Chuck Jones, Winsor McCay, Max Flieischer, and other titans of Hollywood cartoons. But the real eye opener for most of us was a giant two page article by Carl Macek which fueled our imaginations with one of the great “what ifs” of animation and film history. As a pull out quote in the article put it:  “Had the John Carter series been filmed, the entire focus of animation might have been altered significantly.”  It made us realize that just because someone has a great idea, it does not mean that Hollywood will help it become a reality. The story of John Carter made us wonder what other great films remained just dreams in the Hollywood Dream Factory.

Here’s the article. Feel free to click on the images to make them legible.

And here’s the test footage, which, as I already said, originally appeared on the great Beany & Cecil DVD.

Written by David Kilmer

January 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This is Why I Love San Diego Comic-Con

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Why do I love San Diego Comic-Con? Here are more than five good reasons from SDCC 2011.

A sketch by Alex Niño. Keep an eye out for his graphic novel due next Summer

Alex Niño and his son brought a lot of his original artwork to Con. Much of it was not for sale. I wish I could have afforded some of the art that was for sale.

As he says himself, Jim Steranko’s signature is a work of art. He did this in my copy of Steranko: Graphic Narrative.

Jim Steranko

Walt Simonson’s signature is also impressive

Walt Simonson signing my copy of IDW’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition

Chester Brown did a sketch of Louis Riel

I bought this Summer, 1991 at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles. Twenty years later, I met Chester Brown himself. Wow.

Chester Brown. We apparently left him mistakenly thinking we are friends of Joe Matt.

Brian Ralph’s drawing for my copy of Cave-In

Brian Ralph, who enjoyed seeing my copy of Cave-In because it reminded him of the days when Tom Devlin was publishing books such as this through Highwater Books.

Big Questions by a seemingly shy Anders Nilsen. I’ve been waiting many years for this collection and was a bit disappointed to learn that due to some sort of mishap at the printer’s there were no hardcover copies available.

Anders Nilsen at the Drawn & Quarterly booth

Janet Lee was kind enough to do this sketch

Janet Lee won an Eisner Award this year for Return of the Dapper Men. I did not know she was going to be at the show, otherwise I’d have brought my copy.

Nice sketch by Matt Kindt, isn’t it? We were also impressed when he used a paper embosser.

The sign does not lie. It’s Matt Kindt.

Mark Kalesniko did this great drawing for his latest work, Freeway.

Mark Kalesniko told us some interesting behind the scenes stories about the making of Freeway. For example, he was surprised to find that he needed a clearance from the owner of Angel’s Flight, a landmark in downtown Los Angeles, to use its image in the book.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already a week ago when Ted McKeever did this great sketch of Eddy Current.

Ted McKeever holding the book with the drawing shown above.