Darlie Brewster

Darlie Brewster

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Meet Darlie Brewster.

A gifted animator who’s supervised and produced a hefty amount of memorable Hollywood cartoons over the last 30 years. She’s considered one of the more talented and accomplished artists working the field today.

I’ve ran across Darlie back when Jeffrey Catherine Jones’ Facebook page was in its heyday, before her passing.  I don’t remember any exchanges between us but she seemed to leave a pleasant impression, though I hadn’t yet known the extent of her life and career.

Darlie recently added an insightful comment to Catherine’s tribute at this site. In responding to it, I looked around to perhaps better know to who I was responding. The search led from one thing to another and revealed a rather unique humanity and personality who’s overcome some of the more obtuse social obstacles in search for herself, and has managed to come out of it with full cheer and a level of forgiveness and tolerance that are rarely seen in such cases.

Darlie’s insight into the soul of Jeffrey Catherine Jones began to make sense upon discovering that she had a similar gender issue.

I could write volumes about that peaceful spot inside that she’s reached through her life journey. But I don’t think anything written by anyone else could have the impact she herself makes when hearing her speak. So here below, are a couple clips from her video blog, Darlie Goddess. Click the images that’ll open a new window and then run the clips, sit back and enjoy.

 

The somewhat mesmerizing quality and demeanor can perhaps be credited to Darlie’s sense of peace with herself and the changes she’s been through.

It seems not a small thing for a woman with her history to maintain such a cheer, free of anger and rebellion. Instead, we come to know a delightful, intelligent and soothing personality, brandishing what’s considered as somewhat radical views in more conservative circles that don’t seem to have a fraction of the tolerance and compassion she shows in these clips. Indeed, it’s this sense of self-security, that’s perhaps acquired by overcoming whatever guilt that would’ve been imposed on her as a religious child, that makes her life and career unique and uplifting.

Darlie’s extensive professional record as an animator can be glimpsed through her LinkedIn profile. Her animation reel and portfolio are at her main web site, TinyBun.com. Her main blog displaying new work is at TotalD.

Below is a small sampling of her work (click thrumbnails for larger images), followed by a clip discussing some of what she does, where you can also access her YouTube Channel.

        

 

Dylan Williams RIP

Have Peace Dylan Williams

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Dylan Williams was an Indie creator, publisher and the force behind Sparkplug Comic Books, a collective of alternative press talent that contributed volumes to the genre under the umbrella he provided. At 39, he lost the battle with cancer this weekend.  His own work sometimes offered thought provoking reflections of mainstream comics, but his broad palette extended far beyond.

Remembrances of Dylan are appearing across the comics web, echoing a big loss to the alternative comics scene. Tom Spurgeon has fielded most of them in a collective memory post and has written an in depth bio at The Comics Reporter. He also suggests some support for Sparkplug is appropriate, in light of financial uncertainty around Dylan’s medical expenses. Generally, it couldn’t hurt anyway, Sparkplug Comic Books carries an extensive line of books that reveal Dylan’s uncompromising support of the genre and its creators.

 

9-11-2001

Dark Clouds that Choke the Heart

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It might be easier if we could say the tragedy of the events of 9-11, and the divisiveness they brought to the surface of the global community, are behind us.  And though the mastermind behind it has received his due, it seems the threat endures. Signs of moderation, or a willingness for coexistence in such fundamentalist camps continue to elude. A promising Mid-East Spring is giving way to an ominous stormy Autumn.

On this 10-year remembrance, the soul reaches for the families and loved ones who carry the heaviest burden of the barbarous attacks. May the memory of the victims live and may the world come to have peace.

The Outhousers

The Outhousers

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Back when the Jack Kirby debate was raging at Bleeding Cool Forums, one of the members started a thread about it at another forum called The Outhouse. I kept an eye on it because I was the subject of some criticism and a little fun, for things I’d said at BCF. In spite of all that, it seemed some Outhousers wanted me to make an appearance there anyway. Specifically, it was an adversary at BCF, who seemed to change identities even faster than I do (he’s since become President of The Outhouse).

WelI, I finally obliged by showing up there and braced for the worst because this crass collective seemed as aggressive as their name suggests. Once I registered, however, and made the first post, I found myself in the company of a pretty friendly and warm community, whose bark seems much worse than their bite. I quickly came to appreciate the special way they have of showing affection to each other, and to their guests.

Peculiarly, my motherboard and hard disk crashed soon after registering there (still wondering how they did that), which put me out of internet commission for a couple of weeks. As things turned out, I wasn’t able to return there after getting my machine fixed, partly because I started some prep work on the REBELUTION webcomic, and it’s pretty much taken over most of my free time. But over the weekend, I saw a couple of new links coming into the webcomic from The Outshouse. When I popped in to see what they were about, I found a new thread there started by The President, “I Miss Michael Netzer”. It’s a warm remembrance and outreach that compliments this lovable forum community – and elicits a reciprocal shout-out and well wishes from our home site.

So, if you’re up for some sharp discussion laced with a due measure of fun entertainment and bickering, follow the links (also in the banner logo), read through some threads and maybe even join the community if it seems suitable. Good times are had by all at the Outhouse.

Thanks for the good vibes Mr. President and all the Outhousers!

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300 Million Of Us

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REBELUTION: Progenitor – Page 6

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REBELUTION – A New Webcomic

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With so much activity around the web of late, it seemed like launching a webcomic is a natural extension of jumping around forums and advocating causes.

REBELUTION is a new webcomic trying to put together a faint image of what being in comics can entail. 5 pages and a cover at launch, with a few more to be added each week. It lives in its own site, which makes it the 10th web site in our portal. Click the images to go to the beginning of the story.

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Famous ROM #1 Cover That Wasn’t

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In one of the early Portraits of the Creators stories, titled One More Story for the Creators and featuring Jim Shooter, I recounted an incident from 1979 where he asked me to draw a cover for Rom the Robot #1. As it turned out, my first version of it wasn’t exactly considerate of Marvel’s look at the time, nor of what Jim had asked for. After a night of struggling with trying to redraw it, I ripped it up and returned it to him the next morning with a note on the back explaining why I did it. It was a volatile time indeed. The story (which included another incident of walking onto an empty airplane at La Guardia Airport in an attempt to get a free flight to Detroit) took on a rather mythological air over the years, especially since creator Bryan Talbot included it in his book, The Naked Artist, sporting a collection of sundry but hilarious stories about comics makers, mostly heard at convention after-parties.

A few months ago, Jim posted his recollection of the incident on his blog, as part of his experience with producing the Rom #1 comic book. He’s also been chronicling his extensive career as writer, chief editor and publisher. It’s an interesting collection of tales and opinions, notwithstanding some criticism of it on the web suggesting he might have re-written some of that history. All considered, however, there cannot likely ever be a story told since the dawn of storytelling, that doesn’t also have two or more conflicting versions as told by others. Jim’s blog gives the impression of a candid and unpretentious look at himself and his contributions to the medium. His history is rich and filled with industry intrigue. As I said the first time I recounted the event, his sense of grace has become an inseparable characteristic of his long and fruitful career. Jim’s talents, as a writer, editor and progressive mover of the medium are rarely disputed, even by his staunchest detractors.

Marc Miyake, a good friend to both Jim and myself, familiar to some readers as Amritas (from the days of Flaming Sword Productions), who has also connected between Jim and I on Facebook, gave me a heads up on Jim’s post about the cover of Rom #1. Because Jim and I had never spoken about it since, I left a comment on his blog acknowledging the conciliatory remarks he made. In a followup post, Jim responded with the following:

Dear Michael,

You, my friend, have always been a genuinely good person, even in “strange days.” I never sensed a drop of malice in you. I am proud to know you.

I know that you meant nothing against me or Marvel. I never harbored any ill will toward you, and I’m glad we had the chance to do something together again at DEFIANT. I do understand “…extreme states….” I’ve had a few imposed upon me, too. Not sure I always handled them well, or could have.

I think you are one of the most outstanding talents ever to work in comics. I hope you’re well. I wish all the best for you.

Thanks for writing.

Sincerely,
Jim

This would naturally be a good point to consider a closure to the story. But life can sometimes take us into depths that we might not always expect. A couple of days ago, Marc gives me yet another heads up about a new Jim Shooter post, Items of Interest. He’d apparently found, among other things, the original pencil art for Rom #1 from 1979 that he wanted me to redraw, but I instead tore up and returned to him. Curious about the timing was that for no apparent reason, I’d thought about the original torn cover earlier that morning, and had intended to ask Jim later in the day, whether he’d held onto the pieces or had saved a scan.

So here it is below, the famous unpublished cover that’s become somewhat of a myth and now has a face. Jim offered to return it but I’m really not that good at holding onto original art, and it seems to feel more at home in his good hands, having been there all these years. Also interesting in the comments thread was that Marc Miyake noted how much Frank Miller’s published version (above) echoed the layout for this unused original. Jim responded that he doesn’t believe Frank saw my version before doing his. So it seems there’s been a lot of psychic powers on display all around this story, though we couldn’t have made up a more fitting closure for it, even if we’d tried.

 

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Jenette Kahn’s Comics Revolution

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Jenette Kahn took DC Comics by storm back in 1976. Or rather, she was appointed publisher of DC amid loud controversy over a woman being able to helm a predominantly male entertainment medium, and especially a woman who had little intimate experience with the comics industry.

She quickly proved all skeptics wrong.

Jenette was a thorough captain of the ship who left no stone unturned in efforts to bring the medium up to step with the late 20th Century entertainment world. To her credit, she began her tenure by introducing a Dollar Comics standard that would make the periodicals more attractive to newsstand and drug-store distribution, though it was a short-lived affair in wake of the industry shifting over to a fledgling Direct Market and comics retailer shops system.

As a progressively minded publisher, she led a metamorphosis of comics content and brought it to terms with its maturing audience, a change that’s had a profound impact on the proliferation of comics and graphic novels into mainstream culture. It was under her stewardship that the medium’s more noteworthy productions such as Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, Preacher and Swamp Thing emerged. Along side the content driven thrust of the 80′s era, Jenette overcame insurmountable odds by successfully convincing Warner Bros. to instill a royalty payment policy for comics creators, and reach for a new line of creator-shared properties. Her time as publisher and president of DC Comics was no less than a revolution in the making.

In 2002, she stepped down from her historic contribution to comics, in pursuit of other entertainment and cultural arena challenges. She’s the recipient of numerous awards from some of the highest American institutes.

Latest addition to Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook.

 

Kurt Busiek

New & Old Portraits of the Creators

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Kurt Busiek (above) is a new drawing rounding out his Wikipedia biograpahy. Dave Cockrum, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (below) are older drawings for various uses that have been adapted for Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook.

Joe Kubert's Tarzan

Joe Kubert Visits Israel

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Joe Kubert, towering legend of Silver Age comics art, is scheduled to land in Israel next week, along with his son Adam Kubert, also a comics art icon, to launch an exhibit of their work at The Israeli Museum of Caricature and Comics in Holon.

The exhibit has been arranged, prepared and curated by Dorit Maya-Gur, Israeli writer/artist and creator of Falafel-Man. Dorit also studied at The Kubert School, established by Joe Kubert in the early 1970′s, where Joe and his sons Adam and Andy also serve as instructors. Partnering with Dorit in curating the exhibit is Yuval Sharon, founding partner of Comics N’ Vegetables, the Israeli comic book shop that won the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award this year.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17th, and the exhibit will open to the public the following day.

The Kuberts will spend the next few days seeing a little more of the Israeli homeland. It’s no small privilege for the Netzers to host this dear and special family for a Sabbath Eve dinner at our Ofra home.

A thrilling and historic event for Israel and its comics community cometh our way.

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