Comic Books

A life-long comic book fan, Sam has taken his lumps for this often less-than-popular art form.  He has an extensive collection (though recently he gifted a part of his collection to Canadian performing artist Lights) and continues to collect a range of books and graphic novels.  Whether frequenting his beloved comic book store, Dixon’s Books, or debating the relative lameness of some of the lamest superheroes, Sam’s always got an opinion.  Read on for interviews, opinion, and commentary on that now-beloved art form, the comic book.

Dick Tracy’s Search For Annie: A Conversation with Mike Curtis and Joe Staton

In 2013 writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton thrilled fans when they brought classic Dick Tracy character The Moon Maid back to life, winning the pair and their team The Harvey Award for best daily comic strip.  How do you go for an encore?  Well, Curtis and Staton are doing it again with one of the most unexpected twists of all time.  Dick Tracy is going on the search for Little Orphan Annie who has been missing since her strip was discontinued in 2010.  Bringing together the casts of Dick Tracy and Annie in one of the most unpredicted cross overs of all time, Curtis and Stanton are creating comic strip history.

Filmmaker Will Pascoe Talks “Lost Heroes”

One of the most fascinating lost histories of comics golden age, the story of the War Time Canadian Whites have grown in popularity amongst Canadian comic book fans.  When American comic books were banned in Canada during WWII, a short lived comic book industry grew out of Canada, creating an entire new market of national heroes of the Great White North.  However, by the end of the decade the industry crumbled again and was soon forgotten.  Filmmaker Will Pascoe and a team of dedicated comic fans are doing their part to make sure that this unique moment of comic book history is remembered again with their documentary “Lost Heroes,” which made its debut in 2014 on Superchannel and in select theaters.  Will Pascoe talks to PCA about the film, and the history of Canadian superheroes.

The (Potential) Return of Nelvana of the Northern Lights

Premiering as part of Canada’s Golden Age Comic Boom of the 1940′s, Nelvana of the Northern Lights has become one of the most recognizable hero of a forgotten era of comic history and Canadiana.  However, two Toronto women, Rachel Richey and Hope Nicholson, are doing their part to change that.  Richey and Nicholson talk about their campaign to have Nelvana collected for the first time, and give a quick and informative history of Canada’s forgotten comic book industry.  The rebirth of the Canadian comic industry starts here.

Emma T. Capps Talks “The Chapel Chronicles”

Written and drawn by sixteen year old cartoonist Emma T. Capps, The Chapel Chronicles has become an on-line sensation.  Created when she was fourteen, Emma Capps’ character Chapel Smith has found a strong fan following, and recently appeared in Dark Horse Presents, making Emma the youngest person ever to be published by Dark Horse Comics.  Emma gives an in depth interview about The Chapel Chronicles, her characters, and future plans.

Mike Curtis Talks the Return of The Moon Maid

As the current writer of the classic comic strip Dick Tracy, Mike Curtis and partner, artist Joe Staton, have lifted the eighty plus franchise out of the ashes into a new golden age by writing stories filled with action, adventure history and nostalgia and giving both old and new fans things to be excited about.  But nothing has been more shocking then the return of the classic character The Moon Maid from the dead!  Mike Curtis talks about The Moon Maid storyline, as well as reveals hints at the next two Dick Tracy epics!

Marc Andreyko Returns to 1795 in “Dark Shadows: Year One”

One of Dynamite Entertainment’s boutique franchises, Dark Shadows fans have been clamoring for the continuous adventures of vampire Barnabas Collins and his strange family since 2012.  Now writer Marc Andreyko brings fans all the way back to the beginning for his own retelling of one of the most famous Dark Shadows stories, Barnabas’ origins from 1795.  Andreyko also talks about the aftermath of his controversial Dark Shadows/Vaamperella cross over.

Rob Williams Talks the Return of Miss Fury

As one of comic’s first ever female costumed crime fighters, Miss Fury has been a character that has wallowed in obscurity despite her own notoriety.  However, in its continuous dedication to securing the rights to the greatest pulp characters of the past, Dynamite Entertainment and writer Rob Williams are dusting off the classic femme fatale and bringing her in a bold new direction for the contemporary comic reader.

The Iron Ghost and Other Epics: A Conversation with Fernando Ruiz

Best known for his work at Archie Comics, including being one of the artists behind Archie’s most successful projects of all time, Life with Archie, Fernando Ruiz has had a long career in comics both as an artist, and as an instructor at the Joe Kubert School of Art and Design.  Now, as one part of the anthology book Epics, Ruiz is getting ready to gear up his first creator owned project, The Iron Ghost, which makes his first appearance in Epics #1, and will star in his own book in 2013.  Fernando Ruiz talks about all the aspects of his career.

DCnU – One Year Later:  What Worked, What Didn’t

One of the most controversial reboots in comic history, one year after the creation of the “DCnU” the verdict is still out amongst fans if it was a success or a failure.   However, love it or hate it, the DCnU seems to be here to stay…or is it? PCA takes a blunt and realistic look at DC’s first year of change, and discusses the highlights and the failure,  what worked and what didn’t, and why one year later we still aren’t sold on the DCnU.

Alan Scott…Gay?

One of the most extreme character revamps of the DCnU has been making the revamped Alan Scott, DC’s Golden Age Green Lantern, into a gay man in James Robinson’s and Nicola Scott’s Earth One.  Causing immediate controversy, the sexual orientation of a seventy year old character has had fans both applauding the move, while others have called foul.  In a controversial article that even divided the PCA staff, we break down just why making Alan Scott was a bad idea in a historical sense, discuss how this story could have been more realistic and better executed and reveals why “Gay Green Lantern” is just a publicity stunt gone wrong.

David Liss Talks The Spider

On the heels of their popular relaunches of The Green Hornet, Zorro, Red Sonja and The Shadow, Dynamite Comics revives another classic character from the age of pulp magazines – The Spider.  Although often thought as a rip off of the more popular Shadow, The Spider’s tales were more violent, dealt with a colorful rouges, and often had crimes ranging from mass murder to genocide.  Under the guise of best seller David Liss, Liss’ challenge has been updating The Spider for a new generation, while maintaining the spirit of the original pulp stories.

Garth Ennis Talks the End of “The Boys” and the Coming of “The Shadow”

One of comics most popular writers, Garth Ennis has created a cult following out of his hard hitting comics full of “no hold bars” sex and violence and dark humor.  As his latest comic epic The Boys winds down to its violent conclusion, Ennis reflects on the series, as well as talks about his upcoming take on one of America’s oldest crime fighting heroes, The Shadow.

Adam Glass Talks “The Hunt For Harley”

As writer of Suicide Squad, the most controversial books in the DCnU, Adam Glass’ has made faced massive opposition of his brand new take on fan favorite character Harley Quinn.  Sexier and deadlier then ever, Harley has proven to be unpopular with her devoted fan base, while Suicide Squad has risen to the top as one of DC’s best selling books.  Adam Glass finally lays it all on the line as he talks about his vision of Harley Quinn, and what lies in store for her in the future and how he plans to win over Harley Quinn’s legion of fans in The Hunt for Harley.

Down the Rabbit Hole with Raven Gregory

Zenescope Entertainment’s executive editor and writer Raven Gregory returns to PCA to talk about the latest installment of his popular Wonderland series, Alice.  Full of horror, death and erotic imagery, Raven Gregory has successfully taken an old concept, but made it entirely new.  Gregory talks about how he puts a new spin on an old classic, and reveals information on the upcoming Wonderland monthly book.

Dark Shadow Returns!

With new interest in Dark Shadows on the pop culture radar due to the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton revival of the franchise, writer Stuart Manning, along with Dynamite Entertainment, brings Barnabas Collins, Angelique, Quinton and the rest of the cast of the classic gothic television series back to comics, right where the TV series left off in 1971.  Stuart Manning talks about his history with Dark Shadows, and his thoughts on the revival ofthe franchise.

 

Come Fly With Me: A Conversation with Raven Gregory

Zenescope Entertainment’s executive editor and writer supreme Raven Gregory talks about his most personal project yet, Fly.  Using his own history with drug addiction as the backdrop for his compelling new series, Fly is a serios where the heroes are dependent on  the drugs that gives them their powers, creating a dark and realistic look at addiction as never seen before in comics.

Codename Sailor V Comes to North America

PCA celebrates the printing of the first English translation of Naoko Takeuchi’s manga series Sailor V, which spawned the epic Sailor Moon, with an examination of the series, and the origins of the Sailor Moon franchise.  Join Mina and Artemis and rediscover what makes the world of Sailor Moon so endearing!

Ham Fisher vs. Al Capp

More epic then Crisis of Infinite Earths!  More petty then Betyy vs. Veronica!  Dirtier then an afternoon with Pig Pen!  The most vicious battle in comics wasn’t waged on the printed page, but behind the scenes during the golden era of newspaper comics when Joe Palooka’s Ham Fisher and Lil’ Abner’s Al Capp waged a vicious feud in and out of the courts.  In the end one would live, one would die, and nothing would ever be the same again.  Finally the full story can be told.

Reboot Hell: 10 Truly Awful Comic Book Reboots

As the DC Universe prepared for the controversial DCnU, PCA took a look at some of the truly awful comic book reboots of all time.  The Shadow in spandex?  Dick Tracy in space?  Black Canary goes butch?  The JLA go to Detroit?  Superman goes electric?  The Blackhawks become superheroes?  Green Arrow becomes a sexually ambiguous Buddhist vegetarian?  Trust us – a few costume redesigns are nothing to fear. PCA take a look at how bad it can be.

Everything’s Kevin: A Conversation with Dan Parent

When Archie writer/artist Dan Parent introduced Kevin Keller, Archie’s gay friend, tor Riverdale High he knew he was going to make headlines.  However, he had no idea that the character would become so popular that he’d get his own comic book series! We talk to Dan about the success of Kevin, as well as some of his other Archie creations including Jellybean Jones, Ginger Lopez and more!

 

Four Coloured Fathers: Comic’s Ten Greatest Dads

PCA celebrates Fathers Day by looking at some of the greatest Dad’s in the history of comic books, from the early days of newspaper strips with Walt Wallet and Daddy Warbucks, to modern creations like Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E’s  Pat Dugan and The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes.  They may not always have powers, but these are Dads that can be considered heroes!

PCA’s Top 10 DCnU Picks

In June 2011 DC Comics announced they’d be “rebooting” their entire line of comics by cancelling all existing titles and releasing 52 brand new books.  Causing an immediate commotion of cynicisim and anger throughout the comic world from fans that didn’t want thier characters being messed with, PCA took the stance to stay cool and lets see what happens.  In the backdrop of the chaos PCA took a look at the 52 titles and presented it’s top ten picks, and explained why these books might be the gems of the new DC Universe.

Glen Scarpelli in Hollywood: Archie Comics’ Biggest “WTF” Moment

TV buffs might remember Glen Scarpelli as the “jump the shark” kid from TV sit-com One Day at a Time.  However, even the most hard core comic buffs barely remembers that this minor actor had his own comic strip in Archie Comics during the mid 1980′s.  Why did Glen Scarpelli have his own comic?  The answer is 50% nepotism, 50% ego trip and 100% weird!

Paul Dini Takes a Look Back at Streets of Gotham

Withhis long history with the Batman franchise, Paul Dini was the writer and mastermind behind the short lived Batman title Batman: The Streets of Gotham, focusing on the other colourful characters that live in Gotham City.  As the series began to discontinue, Paul Dini looks back at the characters, the concept and the stories from this short lived, but highly regarded, Batman series.

 

Paul Dini Talks Zatanna

One of the biggest Zatanna fans in the comic industry, writer Paul Dini brought the Mistress of Magic to her first ever very own solo monthly book ever in 2010, despite the fact that Zatanna has been a fan favorite since 1964.  Paul Dini talks about Zatanna’s world, his personal love for the character, never before revealed background on her new supporting cast, creating her rouges gallery and the reason it took nearly fifty years for a Zatanna monthly.

 

Sarah Palin Comics?  You Betcha!

Since 2008 the eternal struggle between President Obama and former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palinhas been waged not only in American politics, but from the pages of comic books as well.  America’s fascination with the controverisal politician has translated to comics easily as Sarah Palin has become a virtual comic book character.  From biographies and parodies, warrior princesses and Archie Comics, Sam looks at the comic book apperances of America’s most controversial maverick.

Everything’sArchie: A Conversation with Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz

In conjunction with Archie Andrews’ 70th Anniversary, Sam Tweedletalks with Archie Comics’ Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz about how Archie Comics’ has stepped up to the plate for compete in the current century, favorite storylines and characters, and what is coming up for Archie and friends in 2011.

Ronn Sutton Talks Honey West

Artist RonnSutton talks about bringing classic detective Honey West to life in Moonstone’s new “Honey West” comic book by Moonstone Comics  Due to be released just weeks after the death of Anne Francis, Ronnteams up with writer Elaine Lee combining retro pulp action and sci-fi films.  Ronn discusses the history of “Honey West” as well as his artistic process and inspirations and gives PCA a sneak peek at the art from his latest project.

The Return of the Dana Girls

A neglected literature franchise from the same people that brought the world “Nancy Drew” and “The Hardy Boys,” Louise and Jean Dana have been stuck in obscurity since the mid 1970′s, until they were revived in 2010 in Papercutz popular Nancy Drew graphic novel series.  PCA takes a look at the history of the Dana Girls, and previews their reintroduction to the world in comic book form.

PCA Catches Up with Zenescope Comics

A long time supporter of independent comic company Zenescope Entertainment, Sam Tweedle sat down with Zenescope’s founder Ralph Tedesco at the Toronto FanExpo to talk about Zenescope’s projects and releases for 2010/early 2011!  Featuring previews of Zenescope’s “Charmed” and “Shark Week” comics, and brand new “Grimm Fairy Tales” spin offs “Inferno” and “Grimm Tails.”

Barnabas Collins in Comics

In conjunction with Hermes Press’ reprints of Gold Key’s “Dark Shadows” comic books, we take a look at the publishing history of Dark Shadows comic books and it’s vampire hero Barnabas Collins.  By defying the Comic Code Authority, Barnabas Collins became the first vampire character to star in his own comic book during the silver age, and was a key player in come of the 1960′s best horror comic stories during an era when horror comics were still a taboo.

The Return of Peyo’s Smurfs

Long before they became a Saturday morning cartoon, The Smurfs were featured in a series of comics pun off from Belgium cartoonist Peyo’s “Johaneand Pewit”  strip.  In conjunction with Papercutz reprints of Peyo’s original Smurfs comics, PCA chronicals the publishing history of the little blue creatures.

Chloe Sullivan Comes to Comics

In conjuction to her first official apperance in the DC Universe in “Action Comics #893″ PCA looks at the history of popular “Smallville” character Chloe Sullivan, as well as the history of comic book characters that were introduced in movies and televsion, but due to their popularity with audience, were later adopted by the comic books and quickly becoming franchise staples, including Batgirl, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and Harley Quinn.

Whatever Happened to the Kids of Hero High?

In 1981 FilmationAnimation Studios produced “The Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam!” featuring live action actors in spandex portraying the kids of ”Hero High” in pantomime comedy/musical segements.  The show lasted only a handful of episodes and fell into obscurity, but remains a staple on YouTube.  PCA goes in search for the whereabouts of the unfortunate actors that played the kids of Hero High with suprising results.

Swing withDan: A conversation with DC Comics’ Executive Director Dan Didio

Often a controversial figure, Didio has been loved and loathed by comic book fans since he became Senior Editor and Vice President of DC Comics in 2002.

The cold truth about She-Hulk

What is the deal with She-Hulk?  With her green curves, green hair and green bathing suit, she has male comic book fans at her mercy.  What is it with comic book geeks and green chicks and what is the secret of She-Hulk’s popularity?  Sam discusses this phenomenon with his friend Yvonne, and comes away with points to ponder.  Some people may not get it, but She-Hulk fans understand.

 

The top ten lamest superheroes of all time

Spurred on by an article in Maxim that was completely stupid, Sam compiled his own list of the lamest superheroes in an article that was later reprinted in The National Post.  Join Sam as he surveys the truly lamest of the lame superheroes featuring Arm Fall Off Boy, Dogwelder, Aqualad, The Red Bee, Brother Power the Geek and more!

The top ten lamest superheroes of all time II: the next ten

Because the top ten was so popular (and caused a little controversy itself as Pop Culture Addict fans pointed out other, equally lame or even lamer superheroes), Sam’s back with another ten lame superheroes for you to enjoy featuring Infectuous Lass, Madam Fatal, Captain Caveman, Extrano, Captain Planet, Super Hip and more!

Sex, Fangs and Hi-Jinks: A Conversation with Ronn Sutton

Sam talks to comic artist Ronn Sutton, who found fame by drawing the comic book adventures of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark for Claypool comics, about a variety of topics including his decade spanning career as a freelance artist, artistic inspirations, horror comic books and movies, 1950′s pornography, his alternate career as a court room artist and much more.

My Baby Has a Crush on Frankenstein: A Conversation with “Eternal Romance’s” Janet L. Hetherington

Eternal Romance writer/artist Janet L. Hetherington talks about bringing her comic book parody of horror and romance comics to the internet, and talks about her own experience as being a woman creator in what is often percieved as being an all boy’s club.

“So Then Superman Sees Wonder Woman Lying Naked on the Beach”: The Reason Not to Tell Fanboys Superhero Jokes

A friend tries to tell Sam a superhero joke, only to get bogged down as he quibbles with the details.  Why can’t the bats feed themselves?  How is it possible for Superman to ask Spiderman out for a beer? A valuable life lesson for friends of fanboys.

PCA Graphic Novel Reviews

Nancy is Happy by Ernie Bushmiller

Crime Does Not Pay: Blackjacked and Pistol Whipped by Charles Brio, Bob Wood and Others

Jinx by J. Torres, Rick Burchett and Terry Austin

The Life and Death of Fritz the Cat by Robert Crumb

Male Call by Milton Caniff

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