Issue #50


I've just returned from Florida, in the midst of worrying about my dad's heart operation and trying to enjoy the first holiday I've had in about eighteen months, where I was able to finally see the International Cartoon Art Museum. When I was last in Boca Raton, six years ago, they were just putting the finishing touches on the building and hadn't opened the installations yet. This past week, Mimi and I were visiting her grandmother, and I was able to see the whole thing, just before it closed up shop in its present location in the last week of 2001. From birth to death, as it were.

I really hope that they are able to quickly find a new space for some of these pieces, because it was really very inspiring to see comics pages so tastefully displayed. Apparently, the collection is over 100,000 pages; and only a few, of course, can be shown at a single time. Here were some of my favorites:

[Cerebus #88]Dave Sim's cover to Cerebus #88

Gene Colan's Captain America #122, p. 3

Neal Adams' Green Lantern #76, p. 5

Jack Kirby's FF #31, p. 11

Howard Chaykin's cover to the Time Squared graphic novel

Joe Kubert's two page spread from Tor #1

Steve Bissette's Swamp Thing #35, p. 21-22

John Romita's Spider-man #65, p. 7

[Heartburst]Of course there were many other really very nice pieces: A Gil Kane GL page, the cover to Heartburst by Rick Veitch, and so on. But my favorite has to be pages 22-24 of Heroes for Hope #1, written by Harlan Ellison, and drawn by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, because I think the planets don't align like that very often. Three big heavy-hitters at the top of their games, in a museum devoted to comic book art, for all the world to see.

It's just fine stuff, and I hope they find new digs soon, because this collection really should never be moth-balled.

Go here to see an online display of some of the collection.

[Pedestrian Killer]My favorite time-waster so far this week has to be Pedestrian Killer, a Flash animation game which allows you to use your mouse to drive a car over fleeing pedestians. I don't know if it's the ease of use I dig so much, the technological infrastructure behind it, the fact that the pedestrians scream "Hier kommen Sie!" right before they sprint across the highway, or the funky Bullitt-era jazz soundtrack to which you can run over these guys, but I love the hell out of this game. And so will you.

I get a business report once a week from InfoWorld, just to see what sort of things going on in the real world may affect my publishing business. Here's the latest:

AMERICA ONLINE (AOL) confirmed that there is a security hole in the latest versions of its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) chat program, corroborating the findings released by an independent security group Wednesday. AOL will fix the problem by the end of the week. AOL has "identified the issue and developed a resolution that should be deployed in the next day or two," said Andrew Weinstein, an AOL spokesman. The fix to the hole will take place on AOL's servers and will not require users to download patches, he said. AOL is unaware of any users being affected by the security problem, he added.

I love the way those guys over at AOL fix things. "Here's a problem, just so you know. We've fixed it, with a solution that'll be transparent to you. Sorry for the inconvenience." That's the way to run a business.

My favorite search engine, by far, is Google. My pal Alex Amado turned me on to it back when it first started up (his roommate Matt worked on the developers' team), and I've never really used anything since. It's just that versatile. Now, they've partnered with catalog companies to showcase searchable catalogs on the Internet. I'm betting someone's just figured out how to make money using the web:

Somewhen, one of my British pals turned me onto vnunet.com, a British technology website. Today, they had an interesting article about implanting microchips into humans as an anti-terrorist move.

Coming so close upon the announcement from NASA that they are planningon using miniaturized spy-satellite technology to replace rods and conesin blind folks' retinas, it seems as though, even absent the flyingcars, the jetpacks, and the silver hair and diagonal zippers, thatperhaps we really are living in the future.

As a public service, and offered without comment in these dark times for humor, what with it being practiced, post nine-one-one, mostly by unfunny soulless automatons, I offer to you a link to what was really voted the world's funniest joke.

Let's hope 2002 is better than 2001. Can't get much worse, can it?

Email about this column should be sent to larry@comicbookresources.com.

This just in, from the mighty, mighty Joe Casey: "Hey man, I need a shout-out on your Friday column. Give a plug to the website... because I just threw up a new CRASH COMMENTS REDUX , but also because I'm doing a nutty thing. My band, The Sellouts, is playing a club in Tarzana on Sat. Jan 19th, and if anyone in the L.A. area wants to go, they can e-mail me (joec@manofaction.tv) their mailing address by Jan 11, I'll snail mail them as many free tickets as they want."

Of course, most answers to simple questions you may have about me or my company can be gleaned from http://www.ait-planetlar.com.

While you can get your news about the funny books all over the Internet, I usually make it a point to let slip at least one bit of information at the Loose Cannon Message Board that I post nowhere else.

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