#636 Dan Mishkin on “Warren Report,” “Amazon Academy,” and Ernie Colon

Warren Commission Report

In part two of Tim’s interview with longtime comics writer Dan Mishkin, Dan talks about writing Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation into the Kennedy Assassination with artists Ernie Colon and Jerzy Drozd; explores the reasons for Marvel’s breakout success in the 1960s, and compares working for DC vs working for Marvel; explains the concept of his web comic with Jerzy Drozd, Amazon Academy; and remembers working with the late Ernie Colon.

#450 “My Friend Dahmer”

My Friend DahmerHow would you feel if someone you went to high school with showed up on the news as a murderer? That’s what happened to the cartoonist Derf Backderf, who was acquainted with future serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer when they were teenagers in the ’70s.

Backderf looks back on this experience, and the warning signs missed by all, in his 2011 graphic novel My Friend Dahmer. It’s more than just a memoir — Backderf did a lot of research and includes a lot of things he had no way of knowing about when they happened back in the ‘70s. Matching up his own Dahmer experiences with information that came to light after Dahmer’s arrest makes for a book that’s both chilling and thoughtful, and one that Kumar and Tim couldn’t put down! This week, our review.

#221 Johnny Cash: We See a Brightness

FLASHBACK! Though Asterios Polyp made the point that comics and (written) music are similar, doing a comic about music is not such an easy task. But Reinhard Kleist beautifully presents the music, and life, of a country music legend in Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness, recently released in English. How does it compare with the Cash biopic Walk the Line? Tim and Paul review.

Originally published March 1, 2010

REVIEW: Johnny Cash – I See A Darkness

Written and drawn by Reinhard Kleist.

Abrams ComicArts, 2009.

This book is part graphic biography and part lyrical interpretation.

There were two major pieces of media that I enjoyed that had a strong impact on how I experienced this book. One was the 2006 film Walk The Line. The other was The Man In Black: His Own Story In His Own Words, his autobiography published in 1983. Cash would later revisit the autobiography, but Man In Black ends with the acceptance of sobriety, quitting smoking and returning to his Christian background with renewed faith.

I See A Darkness overlaps material from those two pieces. It deals mainly with the early years of Cash’s career, climaxing with his performance at Folsom Prison. There is some material set after the death of June, his wife, in the last year of his life while he is recording an album produced by Rick Rubin.

What this book offers is some interesting visual interpretations of Cash’s songs. Of particular note is Cocaine Blues from the Folsom Prison performance. The story of the song is played out over several pages, the lyrics recounted as text that weaves through the panels. The song A Boy Named Sue is also developed with this method, and to great effect. In a way it was able to do things which a song could not by providing images to accompany the text of the lyrics. In a way it Continue reading REVIEW: Johnny Cash – I See A Darkness

REVIEW: Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?

Written and drawn by Brian Fies.

Abrams Comic Arts, 2009.

Growing up in Kansas we took several school field trips to the Kansas Cosmosphere, a science museum devoted to space exploration. The exhibits devoted to liquid rockets, Robert Goddard, the Space Race and the lunar landing were extremely fascinating. Brian Fies shares some of that fascination with space exploration (and the attendant futurism) and applying his talents of science writing toward those subjects created the graphic novel Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?

This book begins with a young boy and his father as they are spectators to the scientific advancements that progressed from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, where the first glimpses of the future are laid out by the awe striking exhibits to a very young main character. The book is divided into decades after this and the events of progress in space exploration (as well as its effects on terrestrial technology) are described through the end of World War II in 1945, Cold War fears of mutually assured destruction in 1955, changing social norms in 1965 and disillusionment with the orbital based space program in 1975 (after the high water mark of the manned lunar landings). Continue reading REVIEW: Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow?