I love those dark moments in Peanuts. I love that they’re in there, that Charles Schulz put the sad lonely bits of himself into the comic. I love the silliness too, the dancing Snoopy strips. The little boy Rerun drawing “basement” comics about Tarzan fighting Daffy Duck in a helicopter. Those are the bits that keep me reading. The funny parts! The fun parts. The silly bits that don’t make any sense. And when I get to the sad lonely Peppermint Patty standing in a field wondering why nobody shook hands and said “good game,” well, it works because that’s not all she was. I try to think that way about everything. That’s the kind of person I want to be.
In Portugal the domain of comic publications has almost exclusively been taken over by fine art scholars and so-called “intellectual artists”. Rather than producing pulp for youth, Portuguese comic authors have tended to produce a peculiar sort of fanzine comic poetry, who addressees have at all times been academics or well-read comic aficionados. […] Comics produced in Portugal have never been products of pop culture but rather of the “fine arts”.
There was a clause that essentially said that, if in the future, there were any documents or contracts that I refused to sign, DC was entitled to appoint an attorney to sign them instead. The lawyers said it was the most creator-hostile contract they’d ever seen. I thought about it for a while — I could perhaps sue, although I suspect DC would be very comfortable with that. They have a whole battery of lawyers who could continue to fight this case for decades. And it’s not like I’m after money. It’s always been about the dignity and integrity of the work. I just want them not to do something.
Superman is bigger than the comics that birthed him, bigger even than the films and the television series that have infused him throughout our culture. He will endure in some form for another seventy-five years and another, because, unlike Spider-Man and Batman, he is not the hero with whom we identify; he is the hero in whom we believe. He is the first, the purest, the ideal. As long as character traits such as selflessness and perseverance manage to retain any cultural currency whatsoever, we will need a Superman to show us what they look like.
Cartooning, in general, is a very solitary occupation, and it breeds all sorts of self-punishing thinking, it’s hard to resist, but I try.
One of the key characteristics of the comic book medium is that it is not brought to life by just one voice. These universes are developed and evolved by multiple creative voices, over multiple generations. The influx of new stories is essential to keeping the universes relevant, current, and alive.
Many people are aware of the influential roles that comic strips have played in society and popular culture. Yet it’s also interesting to consider how many catchphrases that are part of our lexicon originally came from the funny pages.
Here are some examples. Frederick Opper’s Alphonse and Gaston gave us “After you, my dear Alphonse!” Bud Fisher’s Mutt and Jeff included lines such as “For the love of Mike!” and the still-popular “Oowah!” Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith introduced this phrase, “Time’s a’wastin!” Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie made people say “Leapin’ lizards!” for decades. The title of Milt Gross’ comic strip, Banana Oil, became a popular non sequitur, and Count Screwloose introduced the catchphrase, “Izzy, keep an eye on me!” Meanwhile, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts always will be identified with “Good grief!” and “You blockhead!”
Then there is “Cushlamochree!” that comes from the old Irish phrase cuisle mo chroi, or the “beat of my heart.”