VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
31 January 2012
  Previously Unpublished: UNCLE CYRUS 2- "Cyrus at the Con" (2001)

This is a story written, and with breakdowns, by John E. Williams and drawn by me, that would have been in PLASTIC 9 in 2001, had there been one. It's the continuation of the adventures of comics' favorite hack, Uncle Cyrus. Here we see him at the San Diego Con, though a version none would recognize nowadays. To be honest, I'd only been to APE in San Francisco, so this probably looks a lot more like that as far as the venue. The art's early and rough, but it is what it is. Click to read. (and both Cyrus stories can be read here) If you look closely you'll find my attempt at numerous cameos, including Trina Robbins, Dave Sim, Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Scott McCloud, Julie Strain, Rick Veitch, Dean Haspiel, Dan Clowes, Steve Leiber, Gary Groth, R. Crumb, Grant Morrison, Danny Hellman, Archie Goodwin, Harvey Pekar, Neil Gaiman, Chris Ware, Steven Weissman and Austin English, with a speaking guest appearance by Fantagraphics' Kim Thompson.


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19 January 2012
  Newt Gingrich Ex-Wife: "He Left Me When I Got MS"

Watch the interview with Marianne Gingrich here.

He left his first wife when she was dying of cancer. Know why he decided to leave wife #2? Because she had MS. And he called her and said he "loved" her while being blown by the CallistaDroid. Who, he said to his wife when he requested an open marriage(saying, "you want me all to yourself"--well, yes, Newt, that's what marriage is, correct?) "doesn't care what I do."


Some of you may know that before my mom died of cancer, she suffered MS for years. (the MS drugs in fact, because of their immunosuppressive effect, were what led TO her getting cancer) And my mom's name was Mary Ann.

So you may imagine that this feels very weirdly personal now to me.

Here's the thing: Newt Gingrich is a fucking pig who should not be president of a neighborhood association.

He said tonight at the debate his private life should be respected. That would be less hilarious coming from someone who did not crack the nation in half to impeach an effective president because of HIS private life. And who defends "traditional marriage" every time he opens his piehole and would deny marriage rights to gays.

Newt, Your private life is the fairest game there is, and if your stated fascist intentions (he plans to ignore the Supreme Court as president, for one, he stated yesterday) and your barely-veiled wish to re-enslave impoverished African-Americans are not enough to flush you, this may do. There is nothing about you that is presidential. And if this country makes you president, and it will not, it deserves what it gets.

Newt Gingrich's daughters excuse it by saying "it happened a long time ago." I wasn't aware that ever mattered to elephants. Are they forgetful? They seem to still go on about the 60s and a lot more that was a long time ago. In fact the GOP seems to go on a lot about things that have nothing to do with the present day. And frankly, to paraphrase Bill Hicks, I'll shut up about it when YOU shut up about the crucifixion. Seems that was a long time ago too.

Newt Gingrich is the sleaziest living fuckpig in US politics. That takes some doing. But this nominal "man" is soulless on a level I simply thought unimaginable. Sleazy in freaking IMAX.

South Carolina, I was born and raised in you and got away from you as soon as I could. We've never been friends. But if you never did a decent thing before, surely Mark Sanford should have taught you something. I implore you, do not give this pig a primary win tomorrow. Show me you have some sense of decency. Take out the trash.

If you support this pathetic thing that calls itself a man, shut the fuck up about "traditional marriage" forever and ever.

But they won't. Here's Maddow on how Jon King fucked up the question in such a way that Newt could appear to be the persecuted hero. It's not his sex life, it's the multidimensional hypocrisy it represents.

What happened last night was that CNN immunized Gingrich against this question. The manner they asked it made it seem it was just sleazy gossip, not proof of his intense and multidimensional hypocrisy.

And Gingrich is now relying on the very open-mindedness that ultimately saved Clinton in the public mind that he raged against when trying to impeach him for the very things--and WORSE--he was doing at exactly that time. And that he babbles about traditional marriage whenever he opens his piehole on Fox.

And...we could go on and on. It's not that his sex life is so sleazy, it's not that he has always been a bad husband, it's that he has the balls to judge others when his feet are soupy clay. And that he's running in a party that presumes to tell others how to live their lives and would deny rights to people on these very issues, that claims to be the "moral" ones.

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  Seattle's Snow: No, You ARE Wimps.

"OH NOES, SNOW! WHATEVER SHALL WE DO?" -Seattle, every goddamn winter

Only Seattle would react to a snowstorm like it was Katrina.

The LA Times called Seattleites "wimps" for the reaction to its (by Chicago standards rather laughable) snowstorm. Said reaction is basically, even after the 2009 storm, to be crippled. This is a major city, they claim, and yet right now half Seattle is without power and they're begging citizens to stay in after dark. In a "major city."

Now, granted, that's coming from LA. The news asked if a "wimp" would wear short sleeves in this weather.

No, but an idiot would. Chicago laughs at you, Seattle. Chicago(a place I haven't much else good to say about, granted, but did survive 12 winters in) is used to snow and rain, but they also wear coats and use umbrellas because they're not completely dense. This is a city where they can barely drive in this weather, but don't wear coats because they're supposedly tough. And then they get the flu and give it to everyone else, which is why this is the only city I have EVER lived in where they actually have PSAs on the buses, every bus, reminding people to cover their mouths when they sneeze. Because people here are so stupid (and rude)you actually have to tell them to do that.

They say also on the news, "If you haven't been to Seattle don't knock it." Well, that might make sense for LA.

But if that's the standard?

As I've lived here over 4 years, I GUESS I CAN THEN.


What's wimpy? Your response. A real city is NOT crippled by a snowstorm, especially one they see coming. It's the kind of place it is. It's barely a city and they KEEP it that way. Because they like to think like it's a small town. While wanting the respect of a big city. They are only a major city up here in the same way gas stations on the highway in Wyoming call themselves the best service station because the next one is 100 miles away. It's only that there are so few things you can even call a city in the Northwest, that's all.

What kind of a city is it that cannot deal with weather that's not uncommon here?

They pretend that snow is rare here. Not for the last four years, it hasn't been. And the last mayor is no longer the mayor because of just as much of a pathetic response to a snowstorm. McGinn should realize this.

Now, an ice storm is on the way, and I'll bet they won't use salt, because they don't here; they fear environmental problems. Pollution is fine in Puget Sound and there's plenty of it, but oh no, not SALT in SALT WATER. Pathetic.

The rich are thrilled about the snow because they can now ski, and they have the kind of cars to get them up there. The working class are not, because they have no power and getting to work is now three times harder. And the poor? As usual in Seattle, they will just die.

If I could afford to, not only would I leave here tonight, I would have done it within my first year here. Seattle is a terrible excuse for a city. They can stay as quaint as they like. I just want out.

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  Something the Big Corporations Have Not Considered About SOPA

I have been studying copyright law on my own since I was in HS. And it just hit me: Under post-1978 copyright law, anything you create is copyrighted by law whether you register it or not as soon as it is in final "fixed form." So if someone uploaded something to Youtube they shot themselves, that's theirs, registration or no.

Yet networks take people's footage from the web all the time. Mostly without permission.

So that means that any of THOSE people could take NBC, FOX, CBS, CNN, ABC, all of them, right offline under SOPA as well. No court fight, no nothing. Poof, just like that.

Corporations may believe that only they have copyrights.

Not so. Media giants: the same gun is to your head.


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18 January 2012
  While You Weren't Looking: SCOTUS says Public Domain Works Can Be Re-Copyrighted

...which personally affects me as you can see just above, as I'm adapting Frank Wedekind's LULU, which is over 100 years old and in public domain.(not my version, but the two original plays)

Read more here and wonder: what the living fuck. Obviously this is only of benefit to corporations. And I have to wonder--if the authors are dead and the estates are defunct, WHO GETS THE RIGHTS?

(Hat tip: Chris P. Reilly)


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  Protesting SOPA is All Well And Good, BUT...

...you gotta write your members of Congress too and let them know--politely--that there will be consequences if they let this heinous bill pass.

If you somehow don't know what SOPA is, click here.

As a quick intro, what the Daily Oatmeal has to say on it:

And here is what it could do to comics.

Also, little indie cartoonist guys like me would never have had their work seen if not for the free and open internet. I make my own content, but I would be crippled if SOPA passes because much of the infrastructure I depend on would be gone, and the corporate guys would own the playing field.

And the web would end up something you have to pay for, every time you use it, on your phone. At best. DC and Marvel support this bill precisely for this reason.

And given the shit Hollywood already tries to cram in your every orifice, just imagine what would happen if they controlled the internet and had say on what is and is not there.

Lots are protesting or blacking out their sites. That's great. But you also need to write your senators and representatives. And do so in a firm, but CIVIL way. You're looking to persuade, not give yourself catharsis.

So click here to be guided to where you can find and contact said members of congress. You can't go on Wikipedia today, so you've got the time.

CENSORTIVITY, 1988, Steve Bissette, from TABOO.(c)1988 Steve Bissette
All rights reserved.

UPDATE: There was a massive response and many, many members of Congress withdrew their support; the Senate version is basically crippled now. But that doesn't mean you should stop the pressure, not until SOPA and PIPA are stone cold dead. Here's Rachel Maddow finally reporting on it(I honestly can't recall her bringing it up till now, which to her credit she mentions):

I must admit though her rah-rah-power-to-the-people schtick gets old fast. I like her, but Maddow has a habit of falling too easily into cheerleader mode.

HOWEVER. It should also be pointed out that mostly the Congressional scum sponsoring & backing the bill she mentions by name are Republicans.

Now, you know I am no friend to the GOP, whatever my criticisms of the Democratic Party and Obama may be. But she gives the impression this is a Red-Blue issue. It is not. It is a Corporations vs. The Rest of Us issue. Lots of right-wingers are against this bill just as much as left. We all have much to lose if it passes.

And plenty of Democrats support this bill too, despite Obama's claim he would veto it, which means little if they can overturn the veto. Another reason to keep up the pressure.

And I have to wonder: she frequently has Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) on the show. She is a prime co-sponsor of the bill. Also head of the DNC. Now, why doesn't Maddow ever ask her about this bill?

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17 January 2012
  "Pandora's Box" (Adam Curtis, 1992)

An Adam Curtis documentary on the pitfalls of trusting society to technocratic planners.


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15 January 2012
  Vladrushka: "Forward! FORWARD!" (1981 film poster, sketch)

A sketch for a film poster I'll complete later for Vladrushka's 1981 follow-up to Comfort Girl NKVD.
(Click to enlarge)


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  The Nude Paintings of Lev Tchistovsky | 1902-1969

Courtesy of Maria Laterza at Tutt'Arte. Here are a few examples; go here for much more.


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14 January 2012
  LULU Chapter 3, p. 48

Yes, back on schedule...

Chapter 3, p. 48. Click and read! Also: original art for chapters 1 & 2 now for sale at Sketchmaven!


MARTHA on sale now!THIS SICKNESS #6 with LULU and GLASS HOUSE on sale now!


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  Guido Crepax: "Historie D'O" Excerpt (1973)

As an addendum to the 2008 parody of Dominique Aury's(aka Pauline Reage) classic STORY OF O that I did with Charles Alverson, and because you don't read enough Eurocomics, here is an excerpt from the opening scene of the late, great Guido Crepax's famous adaptation of the book that I was paying homage to. Whatever your feelings about the novel, his adaptation is exquisitely drawn and had a major impact on my own work when I discovered it. Basically, it hadn't occurred to me to make these kinds of comics till I looked at how beautifully he did it. My parody is very much a tribute to him, if a poor one.

Unfortunately, I do not have scans of the English version, and don't want to scan my own copy for fear of the binding, so hope some of you know French. (I don't)

Utterly filthy but beautifully so. Crepax also did adaptations of JUSTINE, VENUS IN FURS, EMMANUELLE, and DR. JEKYLL, but this is the best one. In fact, he did a sequel to this--where O has come to be in charge of Roissy--and later a film came out based directly upon it, meaning Crepax was (along with the Valentina film BABA YAGA, which you can get at Neflix and which he's in), along with Robert Crumb, one of the first major comics artists to get his work made into films in the Bronze Age.

This is a pretty exact visual equivalent of the novel and its tone, which was--at least the first half--written by Aury as a love letter initially to her married lover, the editor Jean Paulhan. Essentially, it's an extreme type of romance novel, despite appearances.

This is 17 out of 116 pages. To read the whole thing you can buy it here. Click any image to see Crepax's art in its full, creamy, inky and larger glory.

Brief setup: O here(the one based on Louise Brooks, who Crepax also based his character Valentina on--surprising he never did a version of LULU) is taken by her lover Rene(the guy in the car) to a place out in the country called Roissy. To prove her love for him(in...some odd mid-20th century way), she has freely given her consent to everything you see below.

(c)1973 Estate of Guido Crepax.


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13 January 2012
  "The Old Maid of Smallville"

From SUPERBOY #83. God help you in the 50s and 60s if you didn't look like Marilyn Monroe, according to DC.

For its weirdness and pure cruel sexist evil--which, by the way, even Lana gets in on--few DC stories top this one.

Why exactly
did DC push marriage so much back in the 50s? You don't see it nearly as much in other companies' comics of the time, to my knowledge. But DC couldn't shut up about it throughout the 50s and 60s.

Personally, I always thought Miss Finch was kinda hot. What's interesting here is that Superboy doesn't attack the kids for their stupidity(and what does it matter what her STUDENTS think of her hotness? That's...a little suspect), but assumes that Miss Finch isn't happy how she is and forces a makeover on her. Which results, by the way, in her getting married and giving up her career. As DC believed one should. Great message for the kids there, Weisinger.

And I love how Superboy takes moon rock, turns it into contact lenses, and places the no doubt dusty and certainly dry things in her eyes without even knowing her prescription. Even when I was 6 and first read this(as a reprint), I knew there had to be something iffy about that. Not to mention that his shattering her glasses could have blinded her with the fragments. Superboy is a dick.

And you just know that they didn't give that a second thought and probably wrote it after a drunken spat with a girlfriend or wife. Sigh. Gotta love that Silver Age.


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  One of the first graphic novels: Max Ernst's "Une Semaine De Bonte" (1934)

From the greatest of all the surrealists, the disturbing collage novel(the title translates as "A Week of Kindness") which is also one of the first graphic novels. They are pictures in sequence telling a story, however opaque and irrational that narrative may be. One of my favorites.

This was also Ernst's act of revenge upon the Edwardian world in which he grew up, an act of violence against the dreamlife of the pre-World War 1 culture. All pages are collages of several illustrations cut out of novels of that period, almost perfectly composed. It's not as easy to see that it's collage printed, but I've seen a few in the Art Institute of Chicago; one can see there in the way the different components are browning with age at different rates. Anyway, here it is, enjoy.


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12 January 2012
  "Cartoons of Our War With Spain" by Charles Nelan

In its entirety at Google Books.

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"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil."
--E. Blackadder, 1789

JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson


John L. Roberson at PATREON


LULU Book 2 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Donna Barr
VLADRUSHKA Issue 2 (2021) 

VLADRUSHKA (c)2010 John Linton Roberson
VLADRUSHKA Issue 1 (2010) 

LULU Book 2 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Donna Barr
LULU Book 2 (2020) 
with an introduction by Donna Barr

Amazon | Google Play

LULU Book 1 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Martin Pasko
LULU Book 1 (2013) 
with an introduction by Martin Pasko

Amazon | Google Play

SUZY SPREADWELL Issue 1(2018) 
Amazon | Google Play

Frank Wedekind's LULU
VLADRUSHKA (adults only)
STORY OF OH!(2008) Written by Charles Alverson (adults only)





April 2013: LULU Book 1 Interview at Comics Forge 


July 2017:
Steve Pugh and the Flintstones

Interview of Steve Pugh by John Roberson & Tim Young!

December 2016: Politics in Comics
With Emmet O'Cuana

November 2016: Wonder Woman-Earth One
With Emmet O'Cuana

April 2016: Batman Vs. Superman, an Assassination
With Emmet O'Cuana & Kumar Sivasubramanian

October 2015: 
Erotic Comics, Erratic Censorship

Discussion with Tim Young; also featuring Dale Lazarov & Tim Pilcher.

August 2014:  Crumb’s Confounding “Genesis”
Discussion with Tim Young.

April 2014:  Corporate Comics: Love'Em, Hate 'Em
Discussion with Tim Young, Deb Aoki, & Jason McNamara.

April 2013: Lulu”- Staging a classic on paper - interview by Tim Young.
August 2012:
Flex Mentallo - discussion with Troy Belford.
January 2012:
Comics Events - discussion with Tim Young.
May 2011:
Theatre and Comics - interview by Tim Young.

August 2006 at Talkaboutcomics.com

Sept. 2001 at Spark-Online

WHERE IT BEGAN: John L. Roberson's first graphic novel
VITRIOL(serialized in PLASTIC from 1998-2003)
...Free Online

All contents ©2022 John L. Roberson and accomplices.

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