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This occurred on the evening of October 17, , in the Nob Hill apartment of Shiela Williams, then Ginsberg's girlfriend, with whom he was living. As was his wont, Ginsberg took notes on his vision, and these became the basis for Part II of the poem. In late and , in an apartment he had rented at Montgomery Street in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, Ginsberg worked on the poem, originally referring to it by the working title "Strophes.

A short time before the composition of "Howl", Ginsberg's therapist, Dr. Philip Hicks, encouraged him to realize his desire to quit his market-research job and pursue poetry full-time and to accept his own homosexuality. Ginsberg showed this poem to Kenneth Rexroth , who criticized it as too stilted and academic; Rexroth encouraged Ginsberg to free his voice and write from his heart.

He was under the immense influence of William Carlos Williams and Jack Kerouac and attempted to speak with his own voice spontaneously. Ginsberg would experiment with this breath-length form in many later poems. It is noted for relating stories and experiences of Ginsberg's friends and contemporaries, its tumbling, hallucinatory style, and the frank address of sexuality, specifically homosexuality , which subsequently provoked an obscenity trial.

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Burroughs , Peter Orlovsky , Lucien Carr , and Herbert Huncke , the primary emotional drive was his sympathy for Carl Solomon , to whom it was dedicated; he met Solomon in a mental institution and became friends with him. Ginsberg later stated this sympathy for Solomon was connected to bottled-up guilt and sympathy for his mother's schizophrenia she had been lobotomized , an issue he was not yet ready to address directly. Poets do it all the time.

But once he'd written a rough draft of Howl, he changed his 'fucking mind', as he put it. Many considered it the beginning of a new movement, and the reputation of Ginsberg and those associated with the Six Gallery reading spread throughout San Francisco.

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Thus the final collection contained several other poems written at that time; with these poems, Ginsberg continued the experimentation with long lines and a fixed base he'd discovered with the composition of "Howl" and these poems have likewise become some of Ginsberg's most famous: " America ", "Sunflower Sutra", " A Supermarket in California ", etc. The earliest extant recording of "Howl" was thought to date from March 18, The Blackburn Collection recordings show otherwise.

This recording, discovered in mid on a reel-to-reel tape in the Reed College archives, contains only Part I of "Howl". After beginning to read Part II, Ginsberg said to the audience, "I don't really feel like reading anymore. I just sorta haven't got any kind of steam. Called by Ginsberg "a lament for the Lamb in America with instances of remarkable lamb-like youths", Part I is perhaps the best known, and communicates scenes, characters, and situations drawn from Ginsberg's personal experience as well as from the community of poets, artists, political radicals , jazz musicians, drug addicts , and psychiatric patients whom he encountered in the late s and early s.

Ginsberg refers to these people, who were underrepresented outcasts in what the poet believed to be an oppressively conformist and materialistic era, as "the best minds of my generation". He describes their experiences in graphic detail, openly discussing drug use and homosexual activity at multiple points.

Most lines in this section contain the fixed base "who". In "Notes Written on Finally Recording Howl ," Ginsberg writes, "I depended on the word 'who' to keep the beat, a base to keep measure, return to and take off from again onto another streak of invention". Ginsberg says that Part II, in relation to Part I, "names the monster of mental consciousness that preys on the Lamb". Part II is about the state of industrial civilization, characterized in the poem as " Moloch ".

Ginsberg intends that the characters he portrays in Part I be understood to have been sacrificed to this idol. Most lines in this section contain the fixed base "Moloch". Ginsberg says of Part II, "Here the long line is used as a stanza form broken into exclamatory units punctuated by a base repetition, Moloch. It is directly addressed to Carl Solomon, whom Ginsberg met during a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital in ; called "Rockland" in the poem, it was actually Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute.

This section is notable for its refrain, "I'm with you in Rockland", and represents something of a turning point away from the grim tone of the "Moloch"-section. Of the structure, Ginsberg says Part III is, "pyramidal, with a graduated longer response to the fixed base". The closing section of the poem is the "Footnote", characterized by its repetitive "Holy!

Ginsberg says, "I remembered the archetypal rhythm of Holy Holy Holy weeping in a bus on Kearny Street, and wrote most of it down in notebook there The frequently quoted and often parodied [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] opening lines set the theme and rhythm for the poem:. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,.

Ginsberg's own commentary discusses the work as an experiment with the "long line". For example, Part I is structured as a single run-on sentence with a repetitive refrain dividing it up into breaths. Ginsberg said, "Ideally each line of 'Howl' is a single breath unit. My breath is long—that's the measure, one physical-mental inspiration of thought contained in the elastic of a breath. On another occasion, he explained: "the line length On the basis of one particular line in, The Pocket Poet Series 4, Page 12, " Who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy" , Customs Officials seized copies of the poem on 25 March , being imported from the printer in London.

City Lights Publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti was subsequently arrested for publishing the book. At the obscenity trial, nine literary experts testified on the poem's behalf. The case was widely publicized. Articles appeared in both Time and Life magazines. An account of the trial was published by Ferlinghetti's lead defense attorney Jake Ehrlich in a book called Howl of the Censor. The film Howl depicts the events of the trial. The poem was read by three actors with jazz music specially composed for this radio broadcast by Henrik Otto Donner. The poem was preceded by an eight-minute introduction.

The Finnish translation was made by Anselm Hollo. It was signed by him and 82 other members of the members of parliament. The interpellation text only contained a short extract of six lines considered to be offensive, and representative of the poem of over seventy from the poem, and the debate was mainly based upon them. Also, a report of an offence was filed to the criminal investigation department of Helsinki police district because the obscenity of the poem allegedly offended modesty and delicacy. The report was filed by Suomen kotien radio- ja televisioliitto The radio and television association of Finnish homes , a Christian and patriotic organization, and it was only based on the six-line fragment.

In connection with that, Yleisradio was—without grounds—accused of copyright violation as well. Yleisradio is formally the parliament's radio station, and at that time, it was considered a bastion of left-minded editors and "radicalists", especially because of Eino S. Repo , the president of Yleisradio.

So the "Howl" broadcast provided the right-wing politicians a good reason to question the operations of Yleisradio in general, especially in the light of the parliamentary election next year. There was a heated debate in the parliament and in the press in late concerning the educational role of the public service radio station that Yleisradio is, and the artistic value of Ginsberg's poem, whether it is art or mere pornography.

The debate seemed to boil down to the question of which words could be allowed in public-service radio. Finally, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works considered in December that the broadcast of "Howl" contravened the licence of operation of Yleisradio: it was neither educational nor useful. Yleisradio received a reprimand , and was instructed to be more careful when monitoring that no more such programs should be broadcast.

Eberhart's piece helped call national attention to "Howl" as "the most remarkable poem of the young group" of poets who were becoming known as the spokespersons of the Beat generation. The station chose instead to play the poem on a special webcast program, replete with commentary by Bob Holman, Regina Weinreich and Ron Collins, narrated by Janet Coleman , on October 3, Part II of the poem was used as libretto for Song 7 in Hydrogen Jukebox , a chamber opera using a selection of Ginsberg's poems set to music by Philip Glass.

An excerpt from the poem was used in "Mad Generation Loss", a sound recording exploring generation loss , partly inspired by Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It mirrors the style of old adventure books that were popular in the early s and is written in an almost archaic style. It consists for traditional blocks of writing, but the story is also supplemented by comic book strips.

The art in this book is as wonderful and intricate as the I saw this for fifty percent off at Barnes and Noble and had to have it. The art in this book is as wonderful and intricate as the writing. If you can get past the archaic writing style, this book is a wonderful read. Oct 13, Ryan Hillis rated it it was amazing. A great top notch adventure novel. Imagine an epic tale that takes place mostly in amid the backdrop of World War I, about an imaginary group of clandestine adventurers from all walks of life but with the common goal of finding the legendary mystical Buddhist city of Shambhala.

Imagine further that their various journeys, often undertaken separately from one another, take them from the arctic regions of the North Pole to the desert expanse of Mongolia and just about every shadowy place in between. And finally, imagine the Imagine an epic tale that takes place mostly in amid the backdrop of World War I, about an imaginary group of clandestine adventurers from all walks of life but with the common goal of finding the legendary mystical Buddhist city of Shambhala.

But even more interesting was that throughout the book, we are treated to high quality graphic novel content and artwork mixed in along with the prose. This really speaks to what can be done with real paper books vs. As for the story itself, the novel is a real throwback to the style of those authors I mentioned previously.

We visit places that are, as Conrad would put it in Heart of Darkness , "the blank spaces of the earth" such as found in Africa, India, South America and Manhattan. I found it best to not rush through this epic story, preferring to read on it a bit and then set it aside in favor of other, more traditional novels. But each time I left it I felt drawn back to it in short order, I was that compelled. The characters are vibrant and interesting and the settings are just plain cool.

The reader must certainly keep up their level of concentration for fear of losing the threads on the many story arcs that are happening. This is certainly not a book to read in a busy airport amidst multiple distractions. All of the amazing artwork was done by Rick Ross and it is truly inspirational and provides a huge impact.

It is evident that all of those behind the development of this book have a considerable passion for what they were doing, harking back to a very specific tradition of adventure stories, one that belonged to the nineteenth century. Wonderful stuff indeed! Nov 16, Lesley rated it it was ok Shelves: graphic-novels , fiction.

This was a book of incalculable ambition but it falls short of it's goal. Who are we rooting for, what is the adventure about? I feel as though I've missed something vital that would pull this book together for me. If this had been chopped up seemingly random things just happen f This was a book of incalculable ambition but it falls short of it's goal. As it is though it is a book to be commended on it's beauty and the care given to it's appearance. Jun 07, Nostalgia Reader marked it as dnf Shelves: library-mcl-ebook.

So very, very long winded, and not any action in the first part. The combination of regular novel for the narrating and backstory bits and graphic novel for the bits with the dialogue was unique and I did enjoy the concept, but how the story was split up into these parts just didn't do it for me. Dec 25, Hayley rated it liked it. The long: This book wasn't at all what I expected, and that's both a good and bad thing. First, the physical aspects. It really is a gorgeous book.

You open up the cover, and the gently aged appearance of the thin pages do look like a novel from the s. The most unique and modern aspect, however, is the graphic novel-esque comics within.


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It all is mostly contained in these panels with the characters talking in speech bubbles, with a few action sequences tossed in. This is a good thing because the rest of the text is very. By that, I mean near-perfect s speech, of the proper excessive tone you might find in a Jules Verne novel. Whoever did the lion's share of the writing I suspect Jon Baird definitely did their homework.

References to countries and inventions and schools of thought are accurate as far as I can tell , and the prose is on-point. I genuinely think that if I didn't know better, I'd've thought this was actually from the World War I era. Well, besides the sexy stuff. Any English or History major will know this feel. And there's a mark against its being accurate: racism. It's one thing to say that white people, especially back then, were distrustful of foreigners.

It's quite another to use actual derogatory language to describe the physical and cultural characteristics of people of color. I don't care if this was "written" by an ignorant rich fool traveling through an unknown territory; in reality, it was written in , and this is inexcusable - and hurtful. I almost abandoned the book then and there but decided to keep going in hopes it wasn't repeated. Luckily, this turned out to be correct, though the bitter taste in my mouth lingered. Anyway, this is all mostly aesthetics; what about the story itself?

It takes awhile for the plot to get going, at least so we, the audience, understand what's going on. There is an omniscient narrator, but we also see the perspectives of Arthur Ogden, one of the "lucky" few to have come across the mysterious city, and Mr. Sloane, an equally mysterious man with many agendas.

I don't remember hardly any of their names, but the most prominent are Mr. In any case, there's a lot of characters, and it's hard to keep track of who is who. All in all, it's a fascinating book, if perhaps too ambitious. I also don't quite understand Kevin Costner's role in this, as it seems to be almost entirely Jon Baird's writing, and Costner isn't even mentioned in the acknowledgments.

Anyway, I'm not sure that I'd recommend it beyond general interest in a modern take on an old writing style, and appreciation for the beautiful artwork. Mar 23, Ron rated it liked it Shelves: general-fiction , maps , science-fiction , young. Larger-than-life heroes and villains set upon a stage much like actual world history and geography to play out a great adventure. Even told, narrator and all, with a nineteenth century tone.

No, you should consider, rather, that you are freed from the wheel of things. I mean graphic novel format. I think they were reaching for the type of book which they liked as children. The pages were artificially browned to appear aged. My experience with maps and illustrations in Nooks and iPads has not been encouraging. I assume it worked. Perhaps that is also a practice drawn from a century ago. Only marginally effective.

Jan 21, Therese Thompson rated it liked it. This booked practically tossed me a rope to tow me in from its place on the library shelf. Cracking the booking, I found striking graphic illustrations interspersed This booked practically tossed me a rope to tow me in from its place on the library shelf. A cracking good tale of a secret society created to explore the still yet undisclosed corners of the planet, circa WWI. Our hero, young Corporal Buchan of the Third Light Cavalry, is charged to deliver a mysterious message to the legendary Major Ogden, enlisting his aide and that of his regiment of 40 crazy fighters to find the mythical Shambhala, crisscrossing the globe and crossing all manner of enemies on this dangerous quest.

The illustrations rapidly move forward the fast-paced tale and also bring out its not inconsiderable humor. Feb 11, Amy rated it it was amazing. I loved this book! Though it is long and takes some commitment of time, it is worth it. Baird and Costner have written a fully developed adventure story that keeps you guessing and at times nail-biting and yet they never vary the pace of the story from one of an elderly gentleman, sitting in the guild, sharing his tale with no regard to time.

This goes against today's society of movie-goers and thrill-mongerers and yet it works beautifully. The story and its band of misfits made me laugh, cry, g I loved this book! The story and its band of misfits made me laugh, cry, gasp, and--most importantly--read and wonder. At it's core is Major John Ogden and his troop of dragoons who have deserted the British army in favor of an adventure that Ogden hopes will save his brother's life.

While all these men are rough around the edges, we get to know them well throughout the story and it was hard to say good-bye at the end. But how do their paths connect? And is Mr Sloane a good guy or a bad guy? Those lines often get blurry for most of the people we meet in this story. Perhaps the most unique feature of the book is how it is told. Baird and Costner easily slip between traditional prose and graphic novel panels to relate their tale.

The art is beautifully done and truly adds to the story in a way that just throwing in an occasional illustration couldn't do. I hope to see a volume two from The Explorer's Guild so that the adventures might continue! Jan 06, Miranda rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Indiana Jones fans, Victorian mystery lovers, treasure hunters, people who love the book S. This is the first graphic novel that I have ever finished though I have started several others. I would give it some credit for being engaging enough to see me through a genre I wasn't certain of.

I got this novel for Christmas from my husband after falling in love with the cover of the novel in Chapters. This novel is a victorian style adventure story in the vein of Indiana Jones and other treasure hunting adventurers. I recently bought the board gamae Fortune and Glory and this reminded me of i This is the first graphic novel that I have ever finished though I have started several others. I recently bought the board gamae Fortune and Glory and this reminded me of it a lot.

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Apparently, I have a thing for treasure hunting adventures! The novel follows a rogue set of men during WWI as they follow their leader on an adventure to save his brother. His brother has been stricken ill be apparently discovering Shambhala in the Arctic. The adventure traipses around the world as they get into various shenanigans, collecting even more unusual characters and eventually discover what they are looking for.

I was surprised to discover by reviews that people either love or hate this novel. I suppose it is a bit slow to start and full of a fairly intense story. It is certainly not a novel you would want to give to children despite modelling itself off of old children's stories. If you can get through the slower bits it is definitely worth the read. I was sad when the novel ended and can't wait for the next adventure.

Jan 09, Chris rated it it was ok. I wish that I liked this book as much as I wanted to. It wins some points for presentation, as the book itself is a nice thing to look at. However, I do not feel that the story was very good. First of all, I will admit that I am not a fan of sci-fi or fantasy and "The Explorer's Guild" has elements of both. Secondly, and I don't want to be too pedantic, but this book's complete disregard for history drove me batt I wish that I liked this book as much as I wanted to. Secondly, and I don't want to be too pedantic, but this book's complete disregard for history drove me batty.

It's fine to blend different eras if that's what you want to do, but "The Explorer's Guild" quite explicitly takes place during the First World War and is full of references to things that were out of period These range from little things that few will notice like a reference to auto racing at Le Mans, which wasn't done until , to the very large presence of the fictitious 'Ceylon Company', which I must assume is a reference to the East India Company that hadn't governed India or fielded a private army for 65 years when this story takes place. Apart from that, the story was mostly enjoyable except that it wasn't much of an adventure; a journey definitely, but not an adventure.

Jan 18, Michael rated it really liked it. This book was gorgeous. It's reminiscent of old Tin Tin stories and I loved it. It's a great mix of traditional novel and graphic novel and perfectly well made.

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It dragged quite a bit, and should have been way less than its pages, but I forgave it because of how much I liked looking at the book itself. Aug 19, Kelly Sedinger rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , graphic-novels , fantasy , historical-other-fiction , adventure. But I can see why a lot of people would hate it. I'm not sure if this book is an homage or a pastiche But it looks back to stories like those Jules Verne spun, and it is written in much the same way, with prose that is dense and verbose if not actually prolix. This device will be a welcome sight for those who remember the way books like this used to be made.

The prose style here does make it hard, at times, to really home in on the characters; everything feels like it is being described from a certain respectable distance. My own reading experience was that this book does not lend itself to quick sips of a page here, two pages there; this is a book best savored in long drafts. Not all of it is in prose, though! At times the book switches to a graphic novel format, with art that is excellent but spare and every bit as reserved as the prose. The book is also stunning in its physical design.

Illustrations throughout. Antiquated type-faces. Ornate title pages and endpapers. The pages themselves are yellowed to look old. This book probably shouldn't be read, if it can be avoided, on an electronic platform. If you like stories about secret societies that meet in privilege behind unmarked doors, about adventurers to far-flung locales where the maps are vague, where water ships and airships are used to cross huge distances, where old stiff-upper-lip soldiers have to venture into the unknown, then I do recommend this book. Beware of the stylistic pitfalls, because I can see them tripping up many a reader.

Feb 08, Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy. This will probably be a long and rambling review. I'm sorry. This book is a lot of things. Soon, The Spirit would be most known for the way that the title was brilliantly worked into the opening splash page. In , All-American launched a comic-book series called All Star Comics , which would feature short stories starring heroes from both All-American and National Allied.

With the third issue, however, they tried something novel. Writer Gardner Fox wrote a framing sequence that connected the disparate stories in the issue. Said framing sequence revealed that all of the various heroes in the book were actually part of a single superhero team known as the Justice Society of America. For years, the Justice Society parts of the book only worked as a framing sequence to set up the solo stories, but eventually the book began telling full-length Justice Society stories. Since All-American was technically its own company Gaines would sell his interest in the company to National Allied in and then form EC Comics , this was not only the first superhero team but also the first intercompany crossover, two ideas that have subsequently been used to death and beyond.

But they became best known for their spectacular double-page spreads, which, if they did not invent, they certainly perfected, beginning with this tale in Captain America Comics No. Two-page spreads are now not only commonplace, but de rigueur. Writer, penciler, and inker: Walt Kelly. Kelly and Pogo would enjoy even greater success in newspaper funnies pages, the rare instance of a comic- book character that became more popular in comic- strip form. William Moulton Marston, co-creator of Wonder Woman. A psychologist and contributor to the invention of the lie detector, Marston was, to put it mildly, an interesting individual.

This was the result: Wonder Woman, written by Marston under a pseudonym and drawn by veteran illustrator Harry Peter. Here we have no less than three forms of bondage on one page: wrist and ankle shackles, chained to the wall by the neck, and, most imaginatively, getting sewn up inside a punching bag. Lest you think we picked this page for pure sensationalism, rest assured that this was a pretty typical early Wonder Woman adventure. One later Marston tale had no less than 75 bondage panels in it. After Marston died of cancer in , the creators who inherited Wonder Woman would scrub out all the kink.

It all started because fashion illustrator and cartoonist June Mills broke her foot. While laid up, Mills doodled out ideas for an adventure comic strip with a heroine modeled on herself, who had a cat sidekick very much like her own pet Peri Purr. Our hero, Marla Drake, is a socialite turned nocturnal ass-kicker when she apprehends a gangster while en route to a costume party.

Writer, penciler, and inker: John Terrell. This was the sort of thing that was on Orrin C. Evans had been working at the Philadelphia Record since the early s, where he had made history by becoming the first African-American reporter to be on staff as a general reporter at a mainstream white-run newspaper. The outlet went out of business in , following a strike, so Evans teamed up with a few of his Record co-workers to address what he felt was missing in the comic-book world: strong, positive depictions of African-Americans.

While each of the artists likely wrote their own strips, Evans oversaw the whole endeavor and made sure that all of the heroes be depicted non-stereotypically. Sadly, when Evans went to produce a second issue, the company that sold him the paper for the first issue was no longer willing to sell to him — nor would any other paper company.

He spent the rest of his life working in journalism. Today, Jack Kirby is known best as a superhero artist. It gave Kirby and his business partner Joe Simon a life raft at a moment when superheroes were languishing and everything was up for grabs — a moment when comic-book sales were soaring but books about costumed derring-do were old hat. Romance comics, introduced by Simon and Kirby with this story in , became more than a genre — they were a sensation. Romance enabled Simon and Kirby to buy houses in the suburbs, and for a decade kept Kirby busier than all the other genres he worked in combined.

The story is punchy and exhilarating. Simon and Kirby so liked the protagonist that they brought her back for a sequel in issue No. Though endlessly mocked see the arch Pop Art paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and other spoofs , the best of the romance comics, like Young Romance No. Writer, penciler, and inker: Jack Cole. It was a best seller written by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who argued that the admittedly lurid crime comics clogging the newsstands of America were the direct cause of a spike in juvenile crime.

The book reprinted countless panels of mayhem and extremely male-gaze-y women. It has no counterpart in any other literature of the world, for children or adults. Or Oedipus Rex? Dozens of publishers went out of business and the onerous Comics Code was established. Cole, after becoming one of the original Playboy cartoonists, committed suicide in , and he left a legacy of dynamic pencils and layouts that could delight as well as terrify.

Arnold Drake is best known for co-creating the original Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel and Doom Patrol and Deadman for DC, but in he was going to college thanks to the GI Bill and picking up extra cash writing comics scripts. Basically, he had come up with the graphic novel as we know it today. Rust masterminds Dallas- style shenanigans in fictitious Copper City, playing her myriad rivals and pawns off of each other and slapping around her goody-two-shoes stepdaughter. A sharp dresser — here he is with Lust publisher Archer St. It helped that the story was also utterly hilarious.

The subtext showed that by rejecting girls and women, the boys were cutting off an essential part of their own humanity. Crumb to Daniel Clowes and beyond. He used that gift dramatically in his war comics for EC, and humorously, with sudden, absurd gags to break up the rhythms, in his greatest gift to EC, the satirical Mad. It reduces the genre of the war story to an elemental hand-to-hand fight between two unnamed soldiers, one American, one North Korean. The tale starts with the American musing about how remote and clinical warfare has become, but he is proven wrong when the North Korean, hungry and desperate, attacks.

Remarkably, this harsh fable was published during the Korean War itself; this issue would have been released in about September or October of , during a protracted and bloody stalemate in the War. Yet his thematic content also made waves: the underground comix generation, notably R. Writer and penciler: Carl Barks. McDuck was the creation of Carl Barks, an immensely imaginative cartoonist whose young adulthood spent working in various 19th-century professions — including cowboy and mule driver — left him with an appreciation for adventure and a firsthand knowledge of greed and stupidity.

After becoming an animator at Disney, Barks discovered his greatest talent was as a cartoonist, and for 24 years he chronicled the Duck family and the world of Duckburg with shrewd characterizations that played up the foibles of human nature. Scrooge evolved from a penny-pinching miser befitting his Dickensian name to a more comedic and occasionally even good-hearted uncle to that shiftless slacker, Donald.

Crumb names him as a major influence. By , Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood had been working for EC Comics for a few years, turning out serious war epics, thought-provoking science-fiction stories, and satirical and gory horror morality plays. Then came issue No. After a wild battle with Captain Marbles who has become a villain , the triumphant Superduperman figures he can use his newfound glory to woo Lois.

It also parodies the copyright-infringement lawsuit that the publishers of Superman, National, filed and won against the publishers of Captain Marvel a few years earlier. National threatened to file a lawsuit against EC Comics for the parody, but they never went through with it. Mad continues to this day, outlasting its many imitators and still making fun of everything. When Maxwell C. Gaines, founder of Educational Comics, died in a boating accident in , his college-student son William M.

Gaines inherited the company. Max was reportedly abusive toward Bill, and in a bit of posthumous revenge, Bill took EC in a new direction with violent, irreverent titles like Tales from the Crypt, in which abusers get their comeuppance in spectacularly gory fashion. Stephen King featured the story in his terrific survey of the horror genre, Danse Macabre , and infamous anti-comics crusader of the s Dr.

Fredric Wertham gave the page you see here a no less prominent, albeit less flattering, position in his best-selling Seduction of the Innocent. Note how Severin chooses to paint the goriest scenes in only two colors, to lessen the visceral shock while simultaneously allowing for all the gruesome details fans craved. The page, powerful but perhaps unremarkable to the modern comics reader, may be the single most analyzed page in comics history. It had a strong influence on Art Spiegelman — who wrote about it for the New Yorker — and Frank Miller, who frequently mentions it in interviews.

The story involves Reissman, a former concentration-camp guard, who sees one of his victims on a New York subway and falls to his death trying to escape him. Although today these devices are established comics vocabulary, they were utterly revolutionary in their time and inspired countless artists who came after to experiment with their own storytelling. When the comic-book industry banded together to form the Comics Code Authority in September , EC Comics publisher William Gaines believed that the new rules were effectually designed to hurt his company.

So it was replaced with a reprint of a classic Weird Fantasy story. He has to turn them down because blue robots were treated worse than orange robots for no reason. As he flies away in his ship, he takes his helmet off and we see that he is black. The Comics Code would not allow the story unless the astronaut was recolored to be white. Writer Al Feldstein was outraged and so was Gaines. They threatened a lawsuit. Eventually, the Code relented and the story was published as originally drawn.

However, this was the clear sign that EC Comics could not work within the parameters set by the Code, so Gaines ceased his comic-book production, concentrating instead on his popular humor magazine, Mad , which skirted regulations because it was technically a magazine. EC are sometimes accused of being shock merchants, but this page reminds us that they were also idealists.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation was formed in England in early in a failed attempt to prevent the outbreak of World War I. The following year, they opened up their American branch of the organization and have been serving the public good ever since. In the s, they were directly involved with Martin Luther King Jr. It was while working with Dr. He pitched the idea of producing a comic book that could serve to spread the message of the boycott. Essentially, he wanted to create a guidebook for nonviolent protesting. Hassler worked with Toby Press to produce the comic book. Legendary cartoonist Al Capp lent a few artists, including one named Sy Barry , from his studio to draw it.

King gave his own feedback on the comic book as well. The success of the comic led to countless other political groups using comic books to express their message to the masses. Recently, in honor of The Montgomery Story , Representative John Lewis used comics to tell his autobiography in the award-winning and best-selling graphic memoir series, March.

In , MLJ Magazines launched a teen humor feature based on a popular series of films starring Mickey Rooney as an everyteen. When comic sales took a drop in the late s, DeCarlo began taking more freelance assignments for Archie. Around , they successfully got him to commit to them full time by letting him draw in his own style. This pinup from Betty and Veronica No.

Soon, every other artist at Archie had to draw like DeCarlo. It was almost certainly through a collaboration between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but both men claimed it was their sole creation that they then brought to the other. Either way, there is no doubt about why this story changed comics for good. These were superheroes who acted like actual people. They had genuine reactions to each other and their situation. Within a year or so, Lee and Kirby as well as others, perhaps most notably Steve Ditko were applying this formula to all their new heroes and the Marvel Age of Comics was born.

One can only read her blank-faced silence as benumbed shock at the arcane exposition of superhero continuity being performed by two men in her living room. So, in a way, Barry Allen is the first fan-turned-pro. This was the very first of many, many long-winded continuity explanations in comics history. We selected this page for its final panel, which Roy Lichtenstein appropriated for one of his most famous Pop Art paintings, Whaam! Lichtenstein made millions from these and similar paintings, but the artists who did the original comics?

Not so much. The Pop Art movement occupies a strange place in comics history. On the other hand, it reinforced the almost entirely American stereotype that comics were dumb crap made by hacks for morons. Since the launch of Fantastic Four No. Working with Ditko on Spider-Man, however, Lee advanced the idea to a gut-wrenching new level. He instead decides to use his powers to make money and become famous. In the early s, a superhero revival brought back their three major Golden Age superheroes: Captain America, the Human Torch, and Namor. The effort flopped, but that revival was on the mind of publisher Martin Goodman when he directed Stan Lee to start writing superheros again.

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However, perhaps due to Captain America being so associated with the Golden Age, they held back on reviving him too. The Avengers discovered Captain America had been in suspended animation for two decades. In a stunning artistic sequence from penciler Jack Kirby and inker George Roussos, Captain America wakes up, realizes his partner Bucky is dead, sees he is surrounded by strangers, but then quickly gathers himself. By late , Ditko had kicked Lee off co-plotting duties for the series they co-created, The Amazing Spider-Man , meaning Lee only added his distinctive dialogue flourishes after the comics pages themselves had already been completed.

While Ditko seemed to lose interest in Spidey at the end of his run, his love of Doctor Strange just got stronger, climaxing in an epic serialized battle between the Master of the Mystic Arts and his two main adversaries, Baron Mordo and the Dread Dormammu. The fight took place in a string of cliff-hanger tales for over a year, from No. On this page, a highlight of the tale, Strange makes his way to the embodiment of the cosmos, Eternity, across one of the gonzo trans-dimensional vistas Ditko was known for concocting.

Superheroes perform amazing feats of strength, speed, and skill seven times before breakfast. Super-scientist Reed Richards discovers what will come to be known as the Negative Zone, an other-dimensional realm rendered in photo-collage and delirious abstraction. Fantastic Four No. At the same time, he was pushing his art into areas where even his drawing could not go.

This seminal page not only proved a watershed for Marvel continuity by introducing the oft-used Negative Zone, but also by suggesting a kinship between Kirby and fine-art collage in Surrealism and Pop Art. Further, it anticipates the mixed-media work of such later comics artists on this list, such as Jim Steranko, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Dave McKean.

The moniker was unrelated to the political party of the same name, which had yet to officially form the name had already been in use in African-American political circles, so Kirby and Lee did not coin it. They did not simply want to introduce a new black superhero; it was important to make him stand out from the crowd. The success of the Black Panther paved the way for all other black superheroes who followed, as well as for the astounding success of his feature-film adaptation. After working on his co-creation for almost four years, Steve Ditko ultimately had enough with Marvel Comics and decided to leave the company.

Romita must have passed muster, as he moved over to take over Amazing Spider-Man from the departing Ditko with issue No. You could barely tell that Ditko was gone. One of the ways that Romita put his stamp on the title early on was visible in Amazing Spider-Man No. In subsequent years, the notion of Spidey hanging up the tights has become just about as commonplace as lectures about great power and great responsibility, but Lee and Romita did it best. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Robert Crumb. His older brother made him draw their own Dell-style comics, forcing him to develop cartooning skills that served him well after high school, when he got a job as a staff artist at the American Greetings card company in Cleveland.

Nevertheless, when the opportunity arose for him to go to New York and work for Kurtzman at one of his post- Mad comedy magazines, Crumb leapt at the chance, only to arrive and find that that magazine, Help! Broke and stuck in New York, Crumb began dropping LSD, still legal then and prescribed to his then-wife by her psychiatrist.

Psychedelic drugs twisted the cartoon images instilled in his brain since childhood into new and exotic forms. That was never something Marvel had to worry about, though, with Jim Steranko. However, Steranko soon took off in his own direction: He merged comic-book art with Pop Art, the psychedelic with the surreal.

As often happens, a major innovation arrived in something that was on its last legs and thus had nothing to lose. He teams up with newly woke archer Green Arrow, who introduces his fellow Justice Leaguer to an old man on a ghetto rooftop who delivers this famous speech. The emerald duo then embarked on a series of social-issue-of-the-month adventures, tackling various ills like overpopulation, drug addiction , and pollution the only way superheroes have known how since Action Comics No.

Their efforts seem a little cringeworthy today, like your dad trying to be cool while wielding an extraterrestrial ring of power; indeed, the ultraestablishment New York Times featured this rooftop scene in a typically condescending survey of superhero wokeness. The Arrow-co-starring run on Green Lantern wound up not selling very well, but was hugely influential among creators young enough to be hippies themselves and ushered in a new generation of socially aware heroics. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Meredith Kurtzman. A perfect confluence of events made the underground comix movement financially viable.

It was a great time to be in the underground … if you were a man, that is. The underground comix business model was built on group efforts. A fellow decides to put out a new comic and he asks Friends A, B, and C to work on it. The issue was that it was only guys asking other guys. Robbins and Mendes decided that their only way of breaking into underground comix was by forming their own female-only group effort.

The book was a major success, selling 40, copies over three printings, proving that there was a market for female-created and female-driven underground comix. His so-called Fourth World saga , a cluster of four interwoven titles, and in particular New Gods , brought a Biblical sense of scale to the genre.


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Orion, warlike, tormented, is the linchpin of New Gods ; raised in New Genesis, he will fight the evil of Apokolips. Superheroes ever since, on page and screen, have sought to inhabit this same outsize sense of grandeur and threat. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Justin Green. At once sacrilegious, comic, and scary, this introductory page by cartoonist Justin Green imagines the work of making his autobiographical comic, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, as an act of penance and a form of torture.

The threat of castration — so apt for a book about sexual guilt — hovers over Green as he seeks to explain, or excuse, this story about adolescence, religious mania, and what Green has since recognized as his OCD. From there, Binky Brown depicts a full-on plunge into hyperscrupulous overcompensation and self-torment, as filtered through an unsettled visual imagination.

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Based on its topic, you might think that this pioneering confessional comic would be a drag. Binky is at once shameful and shameless, appalling and thrilling, embarrassing, excruciating, and hilarious. The confessional vein of underground and alternative autobiographical comics begins here. Crumb, have declared their debt as well.

Binky, wellspring of one of the key genres in 21st-century comics, is a scabrous and irreverent masterpiece. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Trina Robbins as Trina. That said, most of the stories tended to tell stories concerning feminist issues of the day. That the first non-pornographic comic-book story about an out lesbian character was written by a heterosexual woman caused some controversy at the time, but as Robbins later noted, it inspired one critic, artist Mary Wings, to create her own comic, Come Out Comix.

Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Bobby London. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Aline Kominsky. Kominsky quickly seized the power of first-person cartooning, and her scratchily drawn horror vacui style demonstrated the potential of comics rendered in defiance of narrow standards of illustrative slickness. Underground comix had their share of slickness, sure, but they also helped broaden the range of acceptable styles into the comix brut.

With his promotion, Lee, who had already scaled back his comic-book writing, officially dropped his last two series, the two that meant the most to him: Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-Man. Since Lee had already been cutting back, Marvel had gone through an influx of new, mostly very young writing talent. One of these writers, Gerry Conway, was named the successor to Lee on Amazing Spider-Man when he was just 19 years old.

In the fateful issue, the Green Goblin throws Gwen off of a bridge and Spider-Man catches her with his webbing — but in the process, her neck snaps. Gwen Stacy was by far the most famous character killed off in a superhero comic at this point and fans were outraged: Stan Lee was so irritated at the fan outcry that he insist that Conway bring her back. So Conway introduced a clone of Gwen, leading to the first of many Spider-Man clone sagas. Thus, the first issue of Howard the Duck opens with a talking duck contemplating suicide by jumping into the Cuyahoga River.

Gerber was one of a new breed of comics writers who excelled at emotionally charged stories dealing with abuse, identity, and low self-esteem disguised as superhero or horror comics. This ought to be as dull as dirt, but thanks to the comic timing of writer Harvey Pekar and subtle graphic variations of cartoonist R. Crumb, the story exerts an undeniable pull. Comics have the ability to transform tedium — humdrum repetition, subtle changes, the ticking of a clock — into fascinating, even hypnotic sequences, and there are few better examples than this page.

Laying out strips in stick figures, Pekar, a self-taught, working-class literary intellectual, urged his artists toward minute observation, insisting on a standard of unexaggerated realism even as he bared his hard-knock life and curmudgeonly persona. Though Pekar would sometimes welcome the comics stylizations of Crumb and others, in general his comics avoided the grotesque heightening of a Justin Green or Aline Kominsky-Crumb other great comics memoirists in favor of a studied naturalism.

Pekar also wrote several book-length comics, but his longer tales cannot match the knack for structure and payoff that he shows in the American Splendor shorts. Daily life in Cleveland was never so vividly captured, nor Crumb ever so well partnered with a writer. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Will Eisner. He spent the following decades in commercial and advertising work, primarily for the United States military.

But Eisner never gave up his dream of legitimizing comics as a serious literary form. Eisner bundled this tale, along with three others about working-class Jews in the Bronx of the s, into a single volume, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories. So, as these things go, the phrase finally stuck, and Eisner was heralded as the father of the form. Since the s, countless legions of superheroes have been created.

But only a select few have become iconic, household names. Wolverine — a. Logan — is one of those names. The book hit legendary status when the new team — writer Chris Claremont and artists John Byrne and Terry Austin — took over the book. And under the magical pencils and inks of Byrne and Austin, the character was a short, solid, scruffy, cigar-smoking powerhouse. Early in the story, Wolverine is taken down by members of the Hellfire Club, seemingly left for dead in a sewer.

As we find out, though, Wolverine can take a beating like no one else: The last panel, with a grimy and gritty, utterly determined Wolverine swearing revenge in the rushing waters of the sewer, established the template for his future visual and narrative depictions.