Deconstructing Comics #563: Jenny Robb and Mike Curtis: Classic comics preserved

Classic comics preserved

At the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, curator Jenny Robb has what most of us would consider a dream job. But she and other staff members recently had an unenviable task: choosing which 40 items to include in the museum’s fortieth anniversary exhibit. In this episode, she talks about that decision process, and answers some burning questions: Why was the comics field so male-dominated in the 20th century? How were Windsor McCay’s colors for strips like Tale of the Jungle Imps transmitted to newspapers? And much more.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Mike Curtis is helping to keep alive another classic comic, Dick Tracy. He’s the current writer of the strip, which won the Harvey award for best syndicated strip for three straight years through 2015, and in this episode he describes his work process on the strip. He’ll also tell us about being one of Harvey Comics’ last writers, his long-running “furry” comic Shanda the Panda, and his Superman memorabilia collection. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a cheese box!

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Comics Alternative, Episode 229: Will Eisner Week 2017 – Uses of The Spirit since 2005

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Capturing the Spirit of The Spirit

Every year for Will Eisner Week, always the first seven days in March, the Two Guys with PhDs like to do something special and Eisner-related for the podcast. This year is no different, and for the current episode Andy and Derek have decided to discuss the many uses of The Spirit since Will Eisner’s passing on January 3, 2005. And there are a lot more manifestations of The Spirit than you might think. The guys compare and contrast the various uses of this seminal crimefighter, highlighting those examples that attempt to capture the original tone of The Spirit, that deviate from the original in curious ways, and that cross over into other narrative worlds. The many titles and creators they discuss include:

  • the one-shot Batman/The Spirit, by Joef Loeb and Darwyn Cooke in 2007 (DC Comics)
  • the 32-issue run of The Spirit between 2007 and 2009, by Darwyn Cooke, Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, and many others (DC Comics)
  • Brian Azzarello and Rags Morales’s 6-issue miniseries First Wave, published between 2010 and 2011 (DC Comics)
  • the concurrent-running The Spirit: First Wave series by Mark Schultz, David Hine, and others, going for 17 issues from 2010-2011 (DC Comics)
  • Mark Waid’s 4-issue miniseries Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction, illustrated by various artists and released in 2013 (IDW Publishing)
  • Will Eisner’s The Spirit by Matt Wagner and Dan Schkade, running for 12 issues between 2015 and 2016 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • the recent first issue of Francesco Francavilla’s Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • and Joe Staton and Mike Curtis’s current Dick Tracy strip and its team-up with The Spirit (Tribune Company).

There is a lot packed into this episode — you’ll hear plenty about Ebony White, Commissioner and Ellen Dolan, Silk Satin, Mister Carrion, Sand Serif, The Octopus, and, of course, P’Gell — but, thankfully, almost no mention of the disastrous 2008 film. It’s all about the comics.

Check out the various The Spirit titles discussed in this special episode: