Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The 40th Anniversary of Alack Sinner

Comics scholarship is sorely missing positive data about lots of things... For instance, where and when do you think that "Alack Sinner," by José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo, was published for the first time? I asked the question myself and I found the answer, but I would love to see a complete bibliography of the series complex publishing history.

José Muñoz (a), Carlos Sampayo (w), "Il caso Webster" [the Webster case], Alterlinus year 2, # 1, January 1975. Yup! The very first Alack Sinner page was published in Italy exactly forty years ago. The above page was signed by Carlos Sampayo for yours truly. 1974 is the year in which Carlos wrote the script (...and José drew the story, of course). 

José Muñoz (a), Carlos Sampayo (w), Perché lo fai, Alack Sinner? [why do you do it, Alack Sinner?], Milano Libri, 1976. The first book, also signed by Carlos Sampayo (below: "1 er libro" [first book]). The authors are (left: José Muñoz; right: Carlos Sampayo) behind their character.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Another Hugo Pratt Li... Er... Mystification or Ernie Pike - Coda # 6 - A Revisionist Take

I was unfair to Hugo Pratt this time, methinks...

Let's look at those images again:

There are two ways of reading the prep drawing above: 1) the soldiers are returning to the rear from the battlefield (they are haunted by all the death that they've witnessed); 2) they are going to the battlefront, being obvious cannon fodder. Judging from the cover of Hora Cero # 1 below I would say that reading # 1 is the correct one, but, maybe the editors feared reading # 2?

On the other hand what was published has a dubious meaning as well. If we compare the two photos below it seems to me that it's safe to say that the dead soldiers are German soldiers (photo 1.), not North-American soldiers (photo 2.): notice the boots... What is the American soldier's skull ominously doing above all that destruction and death, then? Beats me, to be honest. Is it there to indicate that the Americans did it? Isn't that a bit redundant? Would it be a lot different if the Red Army did it instead? Is it there to indicate that American soldiers died too? As I put it above: who knows?... 



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Maneira Como a Agência Portuguesa de Revistas Publicou Banda Desenhada Durante Anos

No dia 24 de Outubro de 2014 coloquei algumas páginas da revista Misterix # 715 neste blogue. Escandalizei-me, na altura, com a maneira como as edições Colihue, anos depois, dividiram uma vinheta da série "Mort Cinder" em duas, mas parece-me que o editor argentino era um amador, no que ao destruir vinhetas diz respeito, se o compararmos com a Agência Portuguesa de Revistas. Abaixo podemos ver a prancha da série "Garrett" que publiquei no dia 24 bem assim como a página seguinte.

Arturo del Castillo (d), Eugenio Zapprieto (e), "Garrett: Dia negro en West Fork", Misterix # 715, 27 de Julho de 1962.

Segue-se a maneira como as duas pranchas (com a excepção de três vinhetas) foram publicadas em Portugal:

Arturo del Castillo (d), Eugenio Zapprieto (e), "Garrett: Dia Negro Em West Fork", Selecções Mundo de Aventuras # 56, 10 de Novembro de 1965.

Para além da proverbial sigla dos Combóios Portugueses (a esconder uma parte importante da última vinheta), e dos ubíquos tipos mecânicos, há ainda a considerar que nada menos do que duas (!) vinhetas foram "multiplicadas" por dois. A qualidade da impressão original não é nada de especial, claro, mas na edição portuguesa tudo se torna tão esborratado e minúsculo que é difícil distinguir pormenores no desenho. 

Por entre encolhimentos e esticanços nada melhora nas páginas seguintes, antes pelo contrário. Aliás, para quê preocupações de qualidade? Para dar pérolas a porcos? Imagino também que o cachet auferido por quem fazia tamanhas aldrabices não motivava propriamente a fazer melhor...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Adieu Monsieur Wolinski

Georges Wolinski in 2011 (photo by Jean-Frédéric).

The Crib is in mourning again. As you all know three Islamic fundamentalists killed twelve people in an attack on Charlie Hebdo's office In Paris. Among them there's Georges Wolinski who's important for this blog as the managing editor of Charlie Mensuel. It was in Charlie (the French version of the Italian Linus - both titles are the names of two "Peanuts" characters, of course) that he introduced Guido Buzzelli's oeuvre to the French comics readers. Legend has it that while spending his honeymoon in Italy he discovered Buzzelli's "La rivolta dei racchi" in Psyco magazine (# 6, September 1970). This story made such an impression in Wolinski that Buzzelli would be one of the most important creators to be published in Charlie during the 1970s. Not only that, though, Wolinski's editor's nose was impeccable. He also published Héctor Gerrmán Oesterheld's and Alberto Breccia's "El Eternauta" (as "L'Eternaute," issues 55 to 57 - August - October 1973) and Tardi's very important "La bascule à Charlot" (issue # 91, August 1976) among other things by Reiser, José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo, Feiffer, Copi, Alex Barbier, etc...

Guido Buzzelli, Charlie Mensuel # 55, August 1973.

Gébé (Georges Blondeaux) and Georges Wolinski, advertisement for Charlie Hebdo magazine, Charlie Mensuel # 106, November 1977.

PS One more thing: I don't agree with Charlie Hebdo's editorial policy, but today is not the right moment to discuss that.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Miss the 1990s

Yeah, I do! Below is a cover of a Joe Matt's Peepshow comic showing the Toronto trio: Matt, Chester Brown and Seth. Even if it was published in 2002 it reminds me of the 1990s when everything was new and exciting (I was particularly impressed with what was published in 1996). There was Fréon, Amok, L'Association, Ego Comme X, Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics. Even Raw books was still around publishing two issues of its memorable anthology in 1990 and 1991. Do those publishing houses no longer exist? Not exactly, but, to me, it's as if they did in fact disappear.

Joe Matt, Peepshow # 13, Drawn & Quarterly, February 2002.

What remains of all that, then? Well, many creators stopped doing comics altogether. Others do something once in a blue moon (to some, but not many, that happens because stories are no longer serialized; they just publish the finished graphic novel). Others, like Aristophane, are no longer with us, unfortunately.

In 2014 John Porcellino published The Hospital Suite, Richard McGuire published Here, and not much else happened, I guess...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another Hugo Pratt Li... Er... Mystification or Ernie Pike - Coda # 6

It's a dead horse at The Crib by now, I know, and I should shut up and be done with it already. But... sigh!... I can't avoid the topic because I keep stumbling across how a scumbag Hugo Pratt was. This as nothing to do with his greatness as an artist, don't get me wrong.

This time though there's an interesting look behind the scene at Pratt's great visual thinking (and that, to me, is the true greatness of a visual artist, not her or his tech mastery).

That said, let's go...

Hugo Pratt, Hugo Pratt 50, Visualprint, 1980.

The above drawing was published in a book by Gianni Berti showing Hugo Pratt's work from the 1950s. As a comment Berti wrote (undoubtedly misinformed by Pratt; my translation):
The drawing below was an idea for the cover of a war book (Ernie Pike). It was refused because it was considered to be too violent at the time.
If that's the case may I ask what's that below?

Hugo Pratt, Hora Cero Extra! # 10, June 1959.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ernie Pike: Coda # 5

The next time you say that "Ernie Pike" is a series by Hugo Pratt, please think twice! Don't follow Thierry Taittinger's example in Beaux Arts magazine hors série (Les secrets des chefs-d'oeuvre de la BD, December 2014) who wrote (3) that, and I quote: "La ballade de la mer salée est le premier roman graphique de l'Histoire." Really monsieur Taittinger? La ballade de la mer salée isn't even the first graphic novel in Italy (please scroll down the unbeliavably large header).

But now, since I know that you want it, here's the great man's original version:

Hugo Pratt (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: La patrulla" [the patrol], Hora Cero Extra! # 7, March 1959.

The same drawing as it was published in Italy (the washes turned an ugly thick black; also, Ernie Pike is a bit fatter):

Hugo Pratt (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w - uncredited), Ernie Pike, Arnaldo Mondadori, 1976.