Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SHATNERDAY

Happy 86th birthday to the great William Shatner. In celebration, here's a classic Denny Crane scene from Boston Legal (a show I still miss).
And if you're in the mood, you can jump back a year and read my list of all-time favorite Shatner performances.
Live longer and continue to prosper, Captain.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

VIVA MEXICO

Got back very late last night from La Mole Comic Con, exhausted but grateful for a wonderful experience. 

Thanks to everyone at the convention for taking such good care of us, for treating us with tremendous warmth, affection and respect. What a wonderful group of people working at the show and what an amazing group of fans.

Viva Mexico!

I think I signed more comics in a single day
than I have at other cons in an entire weekend.

"Going Sane" was a story that came across my table again and again.
That's Jorge, one of the convention organizers, along with
a sweet little fan who'd just finished chemo.
(The good news:  he's doing fine.) 
Irais was a superb translator who was with us all through the con,
seeing to our every need with grace and humor.

In the age of the cell phone, I posed for pictures almost as often a
s I signed comics.

Kraven's Last Hunt was everywhere...

...in a variety of editions.

I repeat:  Viva Mexico!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

REMEMBERING WRIGHTSON

So very sorry to hear that Bernie Wrightson has passed away. Not just a towering talent (one of the greatest our industry has every seen) but a very nice man. I think back to the 1980s and the legendary Halloween parties Bernie had every year and it fills me with both a warm nostalgia and a deep sorrow. 
The art below is the cover to the Gargoyle mini-series I did for Marvel in 1985. We asked Bernie to do a cover for us and this is the amazing piece he contributed. No reproduction could do justice to the original painting which was massive.

My heartfelt condolences to Bernie's family.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

IN ANCIENT MEXICO

We arrived in Mexico City yesterday and this morning, at 7 am, our warm, wonderful hosts at the La Mole Comic Con loaded us in a bus and took us out to visit the pre-Aztec world of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.  An amazing day.  Here are some photos.

The Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Moon
With my beautiful wife, Diane
Surveying the amazing landscape

With fellow convention guest, the great Steve Englehart

A street snack:  crickets!
With some of our amazing hosts



Monday, March 6, 2017

EISNER'S 100TH


Some thoughts, first posted here some years back, in celebration of what would have been Will Eisner's 100th birthday:

I had the honor of sitting on a panel beside Eisner—one of few comic book creators who crossed, then utterly erased, the line between pop culture entertainment and genuine literature—many years ago, but we never had the opportunity to really talk, really connect.  And yet we did connect, through his work, and he spoke to me, via words and pictures, in eloquent, unforgettable—and deeply personal—ways.     

There have been times, in a career that’s lasted over thirty-five years, when I’ve grown tired of comics, when I’ve felt that there’s nothing left for me to say; when I’ve looked at the form with a cynical, dismissive eye.  Better, I thought, to just focus on my television and film work, on novels, on anything but those damn comic books. 

And then, I’d pick up some Eisner graphic novel—Dropsie Avenue, To the Heart of the Storm, or my absolute favorite, one of the single most brilliant works this medium has ever seen, A Contract With God—and the scales would fall from my eyes, the cynical words would dissolve on my lips, the innocence and enthusiasm of a kid reading his first comic book would burn bright in my heart. 

Will Eisner didn’t traffic in costumes and super-powers:  He looked at the (apparently) mundane, everyday world and revealed the infinite universes within each person’s heart.  His work, unfailingly, inspired me and taught me, again and again, that the true potential of comics has only begun to be tapped; that we, as writers and artists in this medium, can, and must, tell stories of intelligence, emotion—and heartbreaking, uplifting humanity.  

Eisner inspired me in another way, as well:  He never stopped.  The man kept  working, producing graphic novels of unparalleled quality—producing art—till the day he died.  May we all follow his example and keep creating new worlds of imagination into our eighties and beyond.  Aspiring, as Will Eisner clearly did, to always be better at our craft.

©copyright 2017 J.M. DeMatteis

Thursday, March 2, 2017

DR. SEUSS DAY!

Yes, there really is a Dr. Seuss Day and it's today.  
I remember being very young, going to the library with my parents, and discovering Seuss's magical mix of whimsical, poetic text and brilliantly fanciful art.  (I wonder if my love of Seuss is what led me to seek out the equally-magical word/picture blend of comic books?) 
The man was a true genius of the imagination and his work enchants me as much now as it did when I was four years old, sitting in the children's section of the Avenue J library in Brooklyn, my eyes wide with wonder.  

So thank you Theodor Geisel for igniting my imagination and filling my heart.

Monday, February 27, 2017

MISSION TO MARS


I had a very enjoyable talk with Kevin Volo of the Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks podcast, discussing the life and times of J'onn J'onzz—with a focus on the 1988 Martian Manhunter mini-series I did with Mark Badger.  You can listen to it below.  Enjoy!