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Where Demented Wented: The Art & Comics of Rory Hayes

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I’ve posted briefly about Rory Hayes and the Mark Beyer connection before. I recently got ‘Where Demented Wented: The Art & Comics of Rory Hayes‘ from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham.

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This is a real insight into Hayes’ work. It isn’t a simple collection of Hayes’ art & comics, but includes articles and interviews that open up your understanding of an artist whose work is largely disturbing and unappealing. It seems that while many of his contemporaries were producing work that rebelled against the comics code or explored taboos, Hayes’ early work embraced the comics that sparked the code and produced comics that emulated the storytelling conventions of the pre-code EC Horror comics such as Bogeyman Comics, sadly not reprinted in their entirety in this book.

The book also features a strip about Hayes by Bill Griffith (of Zippy fame). Griffith had this to say about Hayes;

Rory Hayes was the real thing; a genuine ‘outsider’ artist working alongside his more self-aware compatriots in the heady days of the San Francisco Underground Comix scene of the 1960s and ’70s. His work retains its raw, primitive power to this day, teetering precariously between chaos and control, madness and oddly endearing teddy bears.

Hayes has what you might generously call ‘limited appeal’ to the general public. You have been warned – these stories aren’t for everyone.

An introduction and 19-page excerpt are available from the Fantagraphics site.

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Written by The Department of Illustration

September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Alan Moore on Marvelman

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Alan Moore shares his thoughts on the possible Marvelman book.

I decided that while I’m very happy for this book to get published—because that means money will finally go to Marvelman’s creator, Mick Anglo, and to his wife. Mick is very, very old, and his wife, I believe, is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The actual Marvelman story is such a grim and ugly one that I would probably rather that the work was published without my name on it, and that all of the money went to Mick. The decision about my name was largely based upon my history with Marvel—my desire to really have nothing to do with them, and my increasing desire to have nothing to do with the American comics industry.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 7, 2009 at 6:25 am

Posted in Comics, Interview, News

Alexa Kitchen

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20090830_ftr_kitchenAlexa Kitchen is a cartoonist who has been nominated for both a Harvey Award for Best New Talent and an Eisner Award for Best Publication for a Younger Audience.

Oh. And she is only 12 years old.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Buy This, Comics, Interview

Ben Katchor interview

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Comics Comics digs up a one two part interview with Ben Katchor from 1996 that originally appeared in Destroy All Comics #5.

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Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Comics, Interview

Dash Shaw asks Hope Larson about editors

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Dash Shaw, writing for Comics Comics talks to Hope Larson, author of Salamander Dream, Gray Horses and Chiggers about her experiences of working with editors.

I send in the troubled first draft of my script, and my editor (and her editorial assistant, if she has one) sends me reams of notes that address the themes of the book and problems with structure and character, plus a few niggly little notes. This batch of notes always starts with a paragraph or two telling me how great I am, how much they like the script, and how I don’t have to make any changes I don’t want to make. (Usually the notes are spot-on, but there have been times when I’ve refused to change a line, or omit a swear, or disagreed about the direction a scene should go.)

Notes do sting, but they leave me invigorated, ready to dive back into the story with greater awareness of both its weaknesses and its strengths. Many–or most–of my writing epiphanies are the result of an editor saying, “This doesn’t work. You need to rethink this.”

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Jordan Crane Interview

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Jordan Crane, author of Uptight, talks to Brian Heater at Comic-Con about his work, life and priorities.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Comics, Interview

Interview with DC’s CEO, Paul Levitz

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In one, two, three parts over at ICV2.

Some of the opportunities that existed because there wasn’t enough interesting graphic novel material are going to fade really fast, in the same way that it did for the manga guys. You’re going to have a harder time selling generic stuff. You’ll have to have either a character that people care about, or creators that people care about, or be doing uniquely interesting creative work, or some combination of all three of those things in a perfect world.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 8:02 am

Posted in Comics, Interview, Recession