Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “comic books”

Art Spiegelman speaks tonight in D.C.

Hallowed comic book writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman (Raw magazine, Maus, ) will be George Washington University here in D.C. tonight discussing “Comix 101.1,” whatever that is.


Spiegelman’s speech begins at 7 p.m. in the Jack Morton Auditorium, Media and Public Affairs Building at GW, 805 21st St. NW. (Phone (202) 994-5206).

I want desperately to go, but as you regular readers (yes, all five of you) have probably surmised, I am wickedly busy. I’ve got actual work-related writing to do, I’m walking something like 700 neighborhood dogs, I’m tending to a post-surgery sweetie, and I’m preparing to move both of us into a much smaller apartment in two weeks. This is why, Facebook friends, I’ve been complaining about falling asleep every night at 10:30. My shit is tired. Or vitamin-deficient.

R. Crumb said it best

“People now don’t have any concept that there was ever a culture outside of this thing that was created to make money. Whatever is the biggest, latest thing, they’re into it. You get disgusted after a while at humanity.”


And he said that before boy bands, reality TV, and iPhones.

Obama meets Spider-Man

Our new president is not just a tasty cookie, he’s the star of a new Amazing Spider-Man comic:


Barack Obama has let it be known he was a collector of the Spider-Man comic as a kid –his senate web site featured a pic of Obama posing in front of a Spidey statue — so the folks at Marvel Comics paid him the ultimate tribute and made him the star of a story in which Peter Parker spots not one but two Obamas at the inauguration.

“The future president’s gonna need Spider-Man,” Parker reasons before donning the Spidey spandex to get to apprehend the Obama impostor.

The story is a bonus in Marvel Comic’s Amazing Spider-Man #583, available in comic book shops nationwide on Jan. 14 for $3.99. Like everything else that features Obama, it’s expected to sell out.

Have you seen the Flickr ‘Far Side’ reenactments?

A bunch of silly creative types are posting pictures on Flickr of humans reenacting classic comics from Gary Larson‘s Far Side strip.

Here are two:



and here are the rest.


Let’s vote: Wacky Packages or Garbage Pail Kids?

I thought the Wacky Packages sticker series was so droll when I was a child growing up in the 1970s. Remember these?


But then, even at a young age I was a fan of satire. In the third grade I wrote a very clever play about my classmates that my teacher had me read aloud. I switched my fellow pupils’ names to be jokey. Eric St. Alman became Eric St. Pecan and so on. (The wit! Surely I would be a future “Shouts and Murmurs” contributor!)

Later, in the mid- 1980s, came the Garbage Pail Kids, which I did not find as amusing. They seemed to lack the comedic sophistication, if you will, of Wacky Packages.


But let’s not be snobbish. We’ll leave it to a vote: Wacky Packages or Garbage Pail Kids?

Interestingly, both card lines were created by some very big names in comic books including Bill Griffith (Zippy The Pinhead) and Art Spiegelman (Maus).

UPDATE: Freaking Bill Griffith left a comment! See for yourself!

Harvey Pekar and Alison Bechdel join comic forces

Someone had the insane — insane and brilliant! — idea of getting comic book giants Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) and Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home) to tour together under the tongue-in-cheek banner “Titans of the Graphic Novel.” They’ve been hitting reading festivals and book stores now for several months.

To jump start the tour, the two collaborated on a strip called “Twilight of the Titans” that looked something like this:


To see more of the strip, go to The Daily Crosshatch.

To see some photos of the two at an in-store appearance, go to this Flickr page.

If you’ve seen a “Titans of the Graphic Novel” appearance, tell us about it in the comments.

Last book read: Lynda Barry’s ‘Cruddy’

Have any of you ever read Cruddy, the illustrated novel by cartoonist-author Lynda Barry? Wow, that is a dark book.


How long is it going to haunt me?

Zippy the Pinhead uses the Google

When will we see the Astro Boy movie?

The last I heard the movie based on Osamu Tezuka’s 1950s Japanese comic book character Astro Boy was going to be released in 2009, but does anyone know more about the specifics?

Let me say this: it’s going to be one of those three dimensional CGI numbers, not regular old fashioned-animation. I don’t know how I feel about that. Well, that’s not true, I do know: I hate it. But, I don’t want to be curmudgeony about technology. The movie, directed by David Bowers, features Nicholas Cage, which concerns me, and Donald Sutherland, who really messed up the Buffy The Vampire Slayer film in the early 1990s. Just ask Joss Whedon..

In better news, Eugene Levy and Nathan Lane are also involved.

Astro Boy starred in his own television cartoon in the 1960s, the 1980s and 2000, but Bowers’ film marks the first time the character hits the big screen. Bowers told one interviewer he’s remaining faithful to the story’s poignancy:

“I just wanted to take it and make a fairly straight film, emotionally. It’s really a very emotional story. The basic story is very, very sad about a boy robot who’s built to replace a scientist’s dead son and then the scientist finds he can’t love him and throws him out.”

Eh, I’ll go see it. Maybe. I don’t go to the movies all that much these days. What about you? Rate your interest level from one to ten.

Good news for people who hate ‘Marmaduke’

I always thought the comic Marmaduke was really stupid.

I think the main thing I never liked about Marmaduke was the dog himself. He didn’t have a personality. He was just big and dumb. Garfield sucked, too, but at least the cat was sarcastic and amused by the human folly around him. The Marmaduke strip is about the humans, how they feel about the dog. Who cares?

I am not alone. If you want a fresh, new, cynical interpretation of all the Marmaduke classics, consult Marmaduke Explained. (Hint: the older entries are much funnier than the latest). Here is an example:

The cartoon:

The interpretation:

“Marmaduke hasn’t terrorized his fat elderly neighbor in a fortnight. This warrants a friendly visit from the curious egg-shaped gentleman, smartly dressed in a dapper pork pie hat/vest/slacks/old man sneakers combo.”

Some explanations are obvious, like this one, and some are wickedly funny in a pseudo philosophical way. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find this comic strip, which puzzled me so in my youth, is actually rife with subtle meaning.

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