Hasslein Blog: December 2013


Hasslein Blog

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays From Pat Carbajal and Hasslein Books!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Apes Week!

By Rich Handley

Last week was a special one for Planet of the Apes fans. Why, you ask? Because it was Apes Week at the 13th Dimension comics culture blog, that's why. And it was also a special one for me, in particular, as I was honored to be invited by editor Dan Greenfield to be a big part of it. Dan asked me to write a five-part series of articles about unpublished Apes comics, a subject near and dear to my heart.

While conducting research for Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology and Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia, I reached out to the writers and editors of the various comic series from Marvel Comics, Malibu Graphics, Dark Horse Comics, Mr. Comics and Argentina's Editorial Mo.Pa.Sa, seeking tidbits about their unpublished lore. And this year, I supplemented that information by speaking with the creators of BOOM! Studios' current run.

What I received was staggering: not just brief descriptions, in some case, but entire outlines or even scripts. Thanks to the generosity of these creative minds, I was privileged to offer 13th Dimension's readers a look back at several time-lost comic books from Planet of the Apes. You can read the five installments here:

• Part 1: Marvel Comics
• Part 2: Malibu Graphics
• Part 3: Editorial Mo.Pa.Sa and Dark Horse Comics
• Part 4: Mr. Comics
• Part 5: BOOM! Studios

Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Matthew Sunrich Presents... Batman #234

By Matthew Sunrich

Batman's famous rogues' gallery was noticeably absent from the pages of his comics for the first year or so of the Bronze Age. The reasons for this are outlined in Batman #217 (1969); essentially, Bruce felt that he needed to focus his attention on the criminals behind the scenes, viz. the corrupt businessmen and politicians whose indiscretions and greed had profound effects on the lives of innocent people, more so than the crimes of supervillains.

In a real-world sense, though, I think it was an editorial decision. The campy Batman of the Silver Age, the offspring of avarice and the embarrassing zeitgeist of the 1960s (you heard me), needed to be put to rest forever, and by temporarily ignoring the "bad guys" associated with him, the creators gave the readers (and hopefully the public at large) an opportunity to see the character in a new light.

It also provided an opportunity for the members of the rogues' gallery to be reinterpreted, which was a beneficial thing, indeed.

Read more »

Labels: , , , , ,


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Back to the Comics: Dan Clowes

By Rocko Jerome

Daniel Clowes is a cartoonist who created a comic made up of short works in various styles called Eightball, probably best known for the coming of age story Ghost World. I’m a great fan, but Ghost World was certainly my least favorite work of his. I didn’t feel much sympathy for the characters, which might say more about me than the author. I found myself wanting them to lose and be unhappy. This feeling only grew in the feature film adaptation of that work.

I suppose I could be forgiven, as most of Clowes’ work ends up being about people who can’t get it right to the degree that you expect them to implode. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes dramatically, a Clowes character is almost always one that is emotionally adrift. Clowes takes the entire concept of stories told with sequential drawings to a new level. These are elusively moving exposes of the foibles of mere mortals, drunk on pop culture and self-obsession. He understands our funny way of being both stupid and brilliant, and his work can confound, amaze and electrify you all at once. He can draw very realistically as well as abstractly, usually in one kind of story or another.

My favorite of his is Ice Haven. After many years of experimenting with different styles, Clowes finally developed a story which allows him to use his wide variety of stylistic flourishes all to tell one story. Clowes can do cartoonist work as well as he can do starkly realistic illustrations, and here we have a cohesive Little Epic told in a series of seemingly unconnected comic strips that would make the most amazing Sunday comics page ever if they were laid out as such. The perception of each character to the world they inhabit sets the tone for the art, so that the young boy is in a world not unlike Peanuts, while the detective is in a literal reality, like Rex Morgan M.D. The result is a brilliant whole, and one that beautifully illustrates that only a comic could convey.

Rocko Jerome has lived many lives. Right now, he's a writer. You can read Rocko's work at his blog and at Atomic Wanderers.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tom Baker as Doctor Who

By Rocko Jerome

Doctor Who came to me when I was 13, over the summer between 7th and 8th grades. The Sci-Fi Channel had launched, and they were airing the Tom Baker episodes daily at or around noon. Despite the wonky special effects and very complex—some might say impenetrablemythology, I quickly became enamored with the series. I doubt I could’ve told you why then, but I know now. It was because Tom Baker as the Doctor introduced me to the concept of an eccentric, and pointed the way for me in the treacherous world ahead.

My childhood Doctor Who figure. Somehow, he was produced
without a scarf, so my mom made one from yarn.

The Doctor was always thoroughly out of step, in his own world—sometimes to his detriment, but he almost always found a way to persevere. He represented hope, brilliance, flamboyance. Happiness. Maintaining a sense of the inner child, listening to the truth that you know is inside of you. Being stubborn when it’s worth it. The Doctor didn’t just feel like family to me, he felt like the family member I should’ve had, but didn’t. To paraphrase John Waters talking about Vincent Price, I always felt like Tom Baker was my friend. I still do.

Read more »

Labels: , ,


Monday, December 16, 2013

Back To The Comics: Ninja Turtle Devolution

By Rocko Jerome

Generation X is very upset about the changes made to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise, and all the supposed and alleged odd details in upcoming adaptations. Believe it or not, there’s people really upset that they might turn out to be aliens in that next movie that probably will never get made. 

So I’d just like to point out that this is what those turtles started out like:

And this is what they were like by the time any of you heard of them:

Just saying.

Rocko Jerome has lived many lives. Right now, he's a writer. You can read Rocko's work at his blog and at Atomic Wanderers.

Labels: , ,


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Plugapalooza: What Are YOU Working On?

Those who read the Hasslein Blog often hear about what we're up to. Naturally... it's our blog. But many of you are also creative types—and here's a chance to plug your own work.

Do you have a book, a story, a poem, an anthology, an article, a comic book, artwork or some other creative venture in the works? Is there anything you've written, edited or illustrated that is out now, that you'd like to promote? If so, feel free to plug away in the comments section below. Tell us what you're up to—and where potential readers can find it!

(Giving credit where it's due: Artwork found here.)


Friday, December 13, 2013

Return of the Jedi: An Unabashed Appreciation

By Rocko Jerome

As the holiday season approaches, I like to draw a lot of familiar old comforts near. Star Wars was a major part of all my early Christmases, and quite a few of my recent ones, as well.  The memories all intertwine. Of course, there’s nothing innately holiday themed about Star Wars, if you don’t count the very deliberately obscure "Life Day" special, but as has been observed a time or two, the merchandising bonanza of the movies is a capitalistic triumph of the ages- and if we’re honest Americans, we know that capitalism is the true reason for the season.

Yes, an ever growing pile of Star Wars stuff, that I still own today and display proudly in my home next to my little tree, on Christmas seasons that I feel up to celebrating. At the time I got these little pieces of plastic they represented only fun. Now, they represent memories of love, happiness, security, and belonging.

Read more »

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Matthew Sunrich Presents...Creatures on the Loose #10

By Matthew Sunrich

Berni Wrightson is considered by many to be the greatest horror artist of the modern era. Inspired by the gruesome (and eventually banned) splendor of the EC Comics of the 1950s (Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, et al.), he rose to prominence during the Bronze Age on the strength of his work on Swamp Thing and various "mystery" titles for DC. He later attained further fame by providing illustrations for Mary Shelley's seminal science fiction/horror novel Frankenstein and for various projects in collaboration with author Stephen King, including The Stand and, most notably, Cycle of the Werewolf.

While he is most frequently associated with the macabre, Wrightson is, perhaps not surprisingly, also a sword & sorcery enthusiast. It's easy to see the influence of Frank Frazetta in Wrightson's work, and one can make a reasonable case of attributing the enduring popularity of Robert E. Howard's Conan to the former's remarkable paintings. When Marvel acquired the license to produce comics based on the barbarian adventurer in 1970, Wrightson expressed enthusiastic interest in drawing the title, but it wound up going to Barry Windsor-Smith instead. Marvel decided to throw him a bone, however, offering him the inaugural King Kull (another Howard character) story in Creatures on the Loose #10 (formerly Tower of Shadows). Even though he was not particularly a fan of the character, he accepted.

Read more »

Labels: , , , ,


Monday, December 9, 2013

Win Lunch With LeVar Burton!

We-Care.com is a promotion with LeVar Burton (of Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow fame) and the AIDS Research Alliance to help find a cure for human immunodeficiency virus / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV / AIDS). To date, the group has already raised nearly $60,000 in contributions from 5 million users. Won't you sign up and show your support? Everyone who creates a We-Care.com account here will automatically be entered to win lunch with LeVar.

Labels: , ,


Friday, December 6, 2013

Matthew Sunrich Presents... The Best Comics of 2013

By Matthew Sunrich

2013 was a good year for comics.

After several years of missteps, I feel like the industry has finally found solid footing again.

I must admit that I don't read a lot of new superhero books anymore. In general, I prefer the way they were handled during the Bronze Age (1970-1983). I certainly do appreciate many of the techniques used by modern writers, but for most of the "aughts" it seemed as though there was too much effort put toward "undoing" the myriad indiscretions of the '90s, and writers wound up overcompensating, making their attempts at relevancy (do comics really need to be relevant?) seem forced and ham-fisted.

Read more »

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Alien/Predator Comic Strips, Part Two

By Jean-François Boivin

(For part one of this article series, click here.)

ALIENS (Magazine)
While Dark Horse Comics' Aliens and Predator series were big hits in North America, they were hard to obtain in Europe and had to be imported from specialty comic shops. But in 1991, a small, two-years old comics company and mail-order comic shop based in Leicester, UK named Trident Comics (an offshoot of Neptune Publishing) obtained the license for "the rights to publish these comics in Britain*." These were magazine-sized straight reprints of the American material, and no original content was ever planned. Like most European publications, each issue contained several comic strips (in this specific case, three to four per issue); unlike most European publications, the mags didn't contain much else in the way of news, articles or editorials aside from "story so far" blurbs at the start of each strip, a letters page starting with issue #4, and a few extras listed below.

Whether the reprints were fully authorized or not, this was a solution for the avid European fan who needed a monthly dose of his favorite space monsters. The first issue was dated February 1991 (on sale date: late January), numbered 48 pages and was priced at £1.50. The first 11 issues were edited by Martin Skidmore (1959-2011), long-time editor of the Fantasy Advertiser comic book fanzine. The credits also list Jane Huband handling the design and Nigel MacKay for the promotion. Issue #12 (January 1992) did not list an "editor" in the credits, instead Dan Abnett and Nigel MacKay were credited as "production team." That issue also sported a new design by John Mould (replacing Huband) and now contained 64 pages at the new price of £1.95 so a fourth monthly comic strip could be added. Issue #14 stopped listing any credits aside from the cover artist, and issues #15-16 only contained two strips each. Issue #16 (May 1992) was the last Trident Comics issue, and while the Aliens: Genocide reprint reached its conclusion, the Aliens Book One strip was stopped abruptly at the equivalent of page 11 of issue #4 of the original American comic.

Read more »

Labels: , , , , ,


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Looking for a Dictionary of Collectibles? Then Visit The Collectionary!

Josh Lohrenz from The Collectionary has asked us to share the following information, and we are happy to do so!

Information, technology, and innovation are moving at an incredible rate. People are constantly bombarded with the most recent data, newest items, and latest fad. What if there was a place where you could take a break from the constant noise of what’s NEW?  The Collectionary is focused on the history and stories of items and collectibles in a way that has never been done before.

What inspired The Collectionary into existence?

The Collectionary was created because we wanted to create a dictionary of everything in the world that people collect. There are hundreds of e-commerce sites, but there is no dedicated place where you can learn about different items. Whether it's the history, facts, or unique attributes regarding a particular collectible or item, we want to give people a place to learn about the collectibles they love.

What made you coin it The Collectionary?

"Collectionary" comes from combining the words collection and dictionary. A fun play on words that explains our goals as a website and brand.

Why is your site devoted solely to Star Wars?

No, the Star Wars Collectionary is one out of hundreds of different Collectionaries to join. We have expert collectors we call moderators that help us with each Collectionary to add new and cool items to the site from anywhere on the internet. In fact, we would love to have more Star Wars moderators willing to help out :).

What's the takeaway for potential customers? What can they hope to gain from perusing your site?

We hope anyone checking out our site will enjoy looking at all the amazing collectibles ever created. Looking at the older, nostalgic items, our goal is to bring back a few fond memories as a child or another time in your life. We want people to learn about collectibles as we point to where those items are for sale anywhere on the internet.

Anything unusual worth noting about your site? Star Wars?

Our site would love to have more moderators helping us out with their expertise and knowledge of different categories. I'm sure you will find many unusual and never-before-seen Star Wars items here.

To see all the amazing Collectionaries, please visit our homepage.

Labels: ,