Thursday, May 08, 2008

Go Meet Arlen! (if you're in New York)

Artist friend Arlen Schumer will be speaking on comics at the New York Public Library this Saturday!

Here's what his email told me:

Saturday, May 10th @ 2PM

The Silver Age of Comic Book Art

A Lecture by Comic Art Historian Arlen Schumer

Many of the industry’s most important artists--Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko, and Neal Adams among them--created their greatest works during The Silver Age of Comics (circa 1956-1972). They not only drew definitive versions of the medium's iconic characters--Spider-Man, Batman, The X-Men, The Hulk, Iron Man--but also set trends in the art of comic book storytelling.

The New York Public Library invites you to join comics historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer, whose Silver Age of Comic Book Art won the Independent Book Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture book of 2003, as he explores the superhero tradition and its changing portrayal of American ideals and values from the Eisenhower years through the turbulent decade of the 1960s. You'll see where Hollywood's current love affair with superhero movies comes from--and you'll see comics like you've never seen them before!
Enthusiasts of all ages welcome!!

Seward Park Branch
192 East Broadway
New York, New York 10002-5597
(212) 477-6770

Arlen Schumer is one of the foremost historians of comic book art, named by Comic Book Artist magazine in 1998 as "one of the more articulate and enthusiastic advocates of comic book art in America." He’s written articles appearing in Print magazine, including "The New Graphics of Comic Book Art" in 1988; presented multimedia shows for the New York Art Directors Club, 1992's Superhero to Antihero: Comic Book Art in the 1960's, and ComiCulture in '95; and created exhibit designs for the Words and Pictures Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts, The Graphic History of Batman in 1997 and The Art History of Superman in '98.
In the Fall of 2002 he presented a 4-session lecture series, Superheroes in the ‘60s: Comics & Counterculture, at The CUNY Graduate Center in New York City; he reprised the lecture series in the Fall of 2003 for CUNY, this time titled, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, to tie-in with his coffeetable art book of the same name, released in December 2003 from Collectors Press ( Art/dp/1888054867/ref=dp_return_2/102-3932749-3481757?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books), and winner of the Independent Book Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book of 2003. He continues to lecture on The Silver Age ( at colleges.

Schumer’s first book, Visions From The Twilight Zone, published by Chronicle Books in 1991 (, was based on the classic TV series, treating its images like art photography and its words like poetry. He based a multimedia presentation on the book, which he still tours around the country (
As founder of The Dynamic Duo Studio (, Schumer is one of comic book art’s most idiosyncratic practitioners, creating award-winning illustrations for the advertising and editorial markets the past two decades. He currently writes a comics and pop culture blog, ComiColumn, at Other books and projects include:

The Flintstones: Anatomy of a Pop Culture Classic (Hanna-Barbera, 1994)
Neal Adams: The Sketch Book (Vanguard Productions, 1999)
Streetwise (TwoMorrows Publications, 2000)
The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino (Vanguard, 2000)
Curt Swan: A Life in Comics (Vanguard, 2002)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More Covers of Mystery

In 1953, Frank Scully's Behind the Flying Saucers was published. It told the tale of a flying saucer crash in the American desert, a tale that many debunker types assume was the origin of the Roswell crash "myth."

At another end of the saucerian rainbow, we have the breathless tales reported by Timothy Green Beckley, such as this pasteurization of saucer rumors, MJ-12 and the Riddle of Hangar 18.

After a certain point, the saucer books begin to reinforce each other with a strange resonance. Well, Joe Blow said this and that, so Moe Schmoe quotes it. Then Joe Blow quotes Mo Schmoe in HIS next book!

To quote Mr Vonnegut, and so it goes ...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Mystery of the Lizard Men!

In conjunction with the premiere episode of Jonny Quest on TV in 1964, Gold Key Comics published a comic-book adaptation.

The comic is NOT labeled as monthly in the indicia. It's simply Jonny Quest No. 1.

Here's the front and the back of the comic.

See that little box in the lower right hand of the comic cover? That's a cool little JQ logo, labeled "File-037." It could almost be a model sheet from the show.

Notice that Hadji and Jezebel Jade, both absent from the "Lizard Men" episode, are shown in the "File-037" logo.

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© by Mark Alfred