VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
30 November 2013
  LULU Book 2: Chapter 4, p. 64 Pencils (Updated with Inks)

LULU by John Linton Roberson ©2013. Based on the plays of Frank Wedekind

More of the next part of LULU, with pencils here for p. 64. Inks posted when they're done; keep checking back. As you saw before, Schwarz indeed has taken on a hipster look. To fit with his new station as a Great Artist.
Click image to enlarge.


Update: The plain pre-lettered and pre-greyed inks.

And of course, you can get your copy--print and digital--of LULU Book 1 now, at Amazon, Comixology and Createspace. Just click here!


Labels: , , , , ,

29 November 2013
  LULU Book 2: Chapter 4, p. 63 Pencils (Updated with Inks)

More of the next part of LULU, with pencils here for p. 63. Inks posted when they're done; keep checking back.

Click image to enlarge.

LULU pencils p. 63 ©2013 John Linton Roberson

UPDATE: Here's the inks, pre-lettering & greys. 


And of course, you can get your copy--print and digital--of LULU Book 1 now, at Amazon, Comixology and Createspace. Just click here!


Labels: , , , , ,

27 November 2013
  Jed Perl is Attacking Art Spiegelman for the Wrong Reasons

Jed Perl has a piece at the New Republic about Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX retrospective, charmingly entitled "Art Spiegelman Is Comics' Most Pretentious Faux-Artist." Whoa, no trolling for pageviews there! Nevertheless, here is a link.

He does include this cringey quote by Spiegelman...
“Spiegel means mirror in German,” Spiegelman once explained, “so my name co-mixes languages to form a sentence: Art mirrors man.” Neither Picasso nor Matisse ever said anything quite that pretentious.
Ummm...okay, I'll give you that. That is pretty bad. But compare to the intensely egotistical statements of, say, someone like Gustave Courbet, and it pales a bit.
There is also the fact Perl doesn't really go into, in my view a far truer criticism, that he hasn't done anything especially ambitious since MAUS--not anything nearly on that scale anyway. After that he has been more akin to an editor or art director (and keep in mind, I do like IN THE SHADOW OF NO TOWERS, LITTLE LIT, and indeed all his stuff, precisely why I wish for something meatier)--at times including title). And his best books since then, like the excellent BREAKDOWNS, were retrospectives of pre-MAUS work. Compare this to his contemporaries, like Alan Moore, who just kept getting grander and grander ideas to this day. 

Leading one to a possible conclusion that MAUS was in fact the CULMINATION of his career.
So that I think would be a valid criticism of Spiegelman: that he has been resting on his laurels for, Jesus, has it really been 22 years since the final volume of MAUS? (and 27 since the major media coverage the first one got)

It would be excusable in an older man, but Art was still relatively young back then. He's made an industry out of MAUS.  The book itself, lecturing on it, commentary on it, etc. MAUS is a great work and you could say anyone would be happy to do only one work in their life as good. True. But this is the mercurial Art Spiegelman we're talking about. To stall at that point--as far as important work--is not particularly excusable.

That said, Jed Perl's premise is: to think comics can be high art or be ambitious is itself pretentious. Perl also doesn't understand Spiegelman, nor Art's idea of comics as a form of writing. (which I agree with wholeheartedly) Great draftsmanship is NOT a criterion of good comics--in fact sometimes it gets in the way, the need to make a pretty picture rather than understanding storytelling. And I say this as someone who tries quite hard (how successfully is up to others to decide) to be a good draftsman and effective storyteller. Perl doesn't really get what comics are. Then again, most of its practitioners and publishers don't, either.

So you know, he can go fuck himself. How's that for unpretentious, Perl?


Labels: , , , ,

24 November 2013
  Another Goddamn Cat Post? Yes.

Some new pictures of Artemis, who's been ill but getting better, and Charlie, who's getting bigger. He'll be 8 months old in December, despite appearances.

(Photos taken by Christine Hannigan)


Labels: , , ,

23 November 2013
  LULU Book 2: Chapter 4, p. 62 Pencils (Updated with Inks)

More of the next part of LULU, with pencils here for p. 62. More as it develops. Click image to enlarge.
LULU p. 62 pencils ©2013 John Linton Roberson.

Update: Here are the pre-greyed, pre-lettered inks. (the blank middle is where the titles will go) Click to enlarge.

And of course, you can get your copy--print and digital--of LULU Book 1 now, at Amazon, Comixology and Createspace. Just click here!


Labels: , , , , ,

22 November 2013
  "Poor Little Rich Girl" starring Edie Sedgwick (Warhol, 1965)

Following up on VINYL, here's the first film the doomed Edie Sedgwick actually starred in. Did you know she was a cousin to Kyra Sedgwick, by the way?

And I think this is an appropriate epilogue, given her fate and how little Warhol seemed to care about his part in it. This song breaks me in two every time I hear it.

"I know she's dead. It wasn't me."


Labels: , , , , , , ,

18 November 2013
  LULU Book 2: Chapter 4, p. 61 Pencils (Updated with Inks)

And now a sneak peek at the next part of LULU, with pencils here for the first page of the next part. More as it develops. Click image to enlargenate.

LULU Book 2 p 61 pencils by John Linton Roberson(c)21013

And of course, you can get your copy--print and digital--of LULU Book 1 now, at Amazon, Comixology and Createspace. Just click here!

Update: here's the inks, pre-lettering (though there won't be much on this page) and pre-greys.



Labels: , , , , ,

17 November 2013
  Science Marches On, Nigeria Edition
"I have solved it through science. There is no gay, because magnets. QED." Then he smiled, confident of his genius. He alone, Chibuihem Amalaha, had this revelation. Why had no one thought of something so simple before? He wondered where he would display his Nobel. He invited reporters to spread the shining word of his discovery.

"See. I have the magnets in this beaker, to make them even more scientific."
"Why is it sealed?"
"For the reason their repulsion is so great and furious they might fly like bullets into your eyes."

"Say, are those magnets stuck togeth--"
"This interview is over."


Labels: , ,

  The Bear Planned Its Trap Very Carefully

The family just wanted some family fun for the whole family. With food. And they achieved their goal, and were happily showing everyone.

"I have pizza!"
"I have Coke!"
"I have whatever this is!"
"I have salad so I can watch my figure. Tee hee."

And only one tooth you wouldn't think would hurt worse


Labels: , ,

16 November 2013
  Suzy Spreadwell Episode 1: Read It Complete Online

Episode 1 of Suzy Spreadwell is now done, and you can read the whole thing start to finish here. Do tell your friends! Episode 2 coming in the near future. (I'm not certain whether to work on that next, or the next part of LULU. Feel free to offer your opinion in the comments)



Labels: , , , , , ,

  Pranked To Death: What Is One To Make of the Ragged Obama Presidency?
Andrew O'Hehir, normally a film writer, has a piece over at Salon I'm sure will cause a lot of fury. Money quote:
"Barely a month after the misbegotten shutdown, Obama has handed the Republican congressional majority all the political momentum they had thrown away and then some, a gift-wrapped invitation to win big in 2014 and continue the polemical paralysis of Washington into the indefinite future."

Might be a bit overstated, but it does point to a real problem--exactly the problem I've had with Obama since the start: he does not know how to defeat the GOP as far as the actual processes of government, and when you consider the state of the GOP, that's pretty sad. This is a party he could easily have crushed by now. He compromised with them far too long, and once he was ready to stop it was too late; he'd already given them all they wanted. He's allowed them to screw up every initiative he's had since the start. Pranked to death.

The GOP is to blame for being obstructionist. And he's to blame for not finding a way around them. Ultimately, it's the one I expected something from that's to blame. If wolves eat your children because whoever's in charge has taken no measures to keep wolves out, is it the wolves' fault, or is that to be expected of wolves, and keeping them out was what your leaders were supposed to do? What I wanted was for the government to be saved from these people and start actually doing things again. Obama has not accomplished this.

The GOP humiliated themselves with the shutdown, but Obama's incompetence with the rollout of the ACA--a perfect moment occurring nearly at the same time for showing action versus inaction--made that count not at all. You can say "five-dimensional chess" to me till you're blue in the face, but lack of results is lack of results. Intent is nothing without execution. And it would be unforgivable if he handed the government, via how badly he's done, to the GOP, which is something far worse. And you could argue in 2010 he already did.

The one and only thing saving Obama and the Democrats now is just that the GOP is an evil, repulsive wreck of a party that no one, in its current state, wants in actual charge, and that wouldn't know what to do with being in charge anyway, as they've spent 6 years straight doing nothing but prevent governance. And that's it.

But one party wins out of two.

Labels: , ,

13 November 2013
  Bezhin Meadow/Бежин луг (Sergei Eisenstein, 1937)

Reading about this unfinished (and mostly lost) propaganda film by Eisenstein, it occurs to me this sounds an awful lot like the later Nazi propaganda film HITLER YOUTH QUEX. And both descend from an old Catholic legend about a boy who, despite being beaten to death by a bunch of non-Christians, refuses to say "There is no God." (I don't know if that tale has a name, but Jay Lynch once adapted it, I believe) And it recurs with slight differences throughout history, including this example from the 20th century. It's usually built on a scaffolding of truth but with huge, purple, sentimental flourishes, as melodramatic appeals to emotion will be.

In this case, it's the story of Pavlik Morozov, the boy who had a statue built to him as a Soviet hero, for informing on his father for anti-Soviet words and deeds. So the story went, Pavlik was stabbed to death for it. In HITLER YOUTH QUEX, Quex (yes, that's his name) is killed by a group of communist agitators for distributing pro-Nazi literature.  

In both cases the young child hero character has an abusive father. Here it's a peasant who, at the start of the film has beaten the protagonist's mother to death and plans to set fire to the wheat crop to deny it to the state. In QUEX it's a lumpenproletariat who resents and beats his son and wife, and refuses to join the Nazis (after an attempt at recruitment by a young and dashing SA man who speaks enthusiastically of Nazism as patriotism and adventure) while his son becomes a dedicated Hitler Youth member, against his wishes. In this case the child is a Young Pioneer, which you can tell by his neck scarf. Both refuse to accept the state, which is literalized here as an actual mother suckling a baby of the peasants, replacing the mother lost. The beatific dead mother being the only attractive adult in his family, all the rest grizzled or old and haggardly; the past is ugly and primitive, while the future is largely pretty and clean-shaven, as represented in the characters' appearances. And of course, this film is part of the campaign against the "Kulaks," part of the same campaign as EARTH.  (which was also criticized for "formalism")

The intended audience here would have been the rural youth in areas of collectivization, who indeed were often abused by their drunken parents. A usual aspect of this in other Soviet propaganda aimed at this audience was the promise that they could better themselves and escape their grip. Again, a scaffolding of truth.

This is a fairly common propaganda narrative, and has even been showing up lately in Uganda to be used against gays, as it has been against Jews, pagans, communists, and others. Propaganda tropes never really change; they're just repurposed and customized. The purpose of this one is to combine a shaming example (look how dedicated even this small boy was to the cause! Are you more  a coward than a small boy?) with a motivation for revenge a la the blood libel stories of medieval times

In case you're wondering, the story of Morozov is false. Your first clue might be this official portrait of him.

An interesting thread of propaganda history, because Goebbels in fact stole propaganda techniques from the Soviets every chance he got, much as the red in the Nazi banner was originally incorporated to fool workers into thinking they were in some way socialist. (A number of German workers thought Nazism was socialism, but one that would be exclusively German rather than in any way connected to Moscow, as the Spartacists had been before Stalin abandoned them)  

Considering its roots in a tale of a child that refuses to say there was no God, it's worth pointing out that it's a refusal to say there's a God that does him in here. Religion here is used as a means of abuse, the Bible literally pushed in his face.

The film got Eisenstein in considerable trouble with Stalin, for "formalism." Eisenstein recanted it before completion. The film was not finished, but here is a reconstruction based upon existing stills.

Here is a short piece on the history of the film and its reconstruction.

I'm surprised the late Dr. Richard DeCordova didn't bring this film up in my Soviet film class at DePaul, but that was 1988, and long before the days not only of the fall of the USSR, but before Youtube, so there was nothing to really show the class. 

Labels: , , , , , , ,

09 November 2013
  Suzy Spreadwell: America's Sweetheart Episode 1, p. 14

This week's Suzy. and that's the last page for this episode. So you'll have to wait a bit to find out just who's following her in that car. 

Read last week's here, and click on image to read full-size version!

Labels: , , , , , ,

08 November 2013
  Blockbuster Can Burn In Whatever Hell Chains Go To

Apart from feeling badly for the people out of a job, I am positively gleeful at the demise of Blockbuster. I don't understand why anyone would mourn it, just like I didn't understand why anyone mourned Borders. Both of those chains did everything they could to destroy the very little stores those same people pretend to love.

I recall the coming of Blockbuster as what destroyed all the neat little video stores near DePaul when I first got there. Still, I adjusted to it. Then I remember wanted to rent LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. Which their owner banned because, I know it's hard to see now, it was thought "blasphemous." 

And that ban remained for many years. I don't know when they dropped it because I didn't go in anymore.* 

From that point onward I did everything I could to avoid them. When I lived in Berkeley before, that was easy because there were two really good video stores right near me, including Five Star Video. What could I get at these stores that I couldn't at Blockbuster? I'm not sure, but I can tell you I never would have discovered Pasolini in Blockbuster. Five Star, weirdly, is still there at University & California. Facets, too, is still around in Chicago.

And Blockbuster is dead.

And that makes me fucking laugh so hard.

*Except: one time in 2003 I went in to get KILL BILL 1, and they wouldn't give me a card because I had a debit and not a credit card. Weren't very nice about it, either. Right the first time,. thought I, and never tried again, and registered for Netflix that day.  Everyone take a moment to remember a time when Blockbuster treated customers with the arrogance that comes with knowing you're the only game in town. And look where that gets you when you become obsolete.

Labels: , ,

07 November 2013
  Suzy Spreadwell: First Try at a Cover Image...

...developed from this sketch most of you have already seen. Click image for larger version (which is also available as a print, hint hint). 

And be sure to see this week's page. Just one more left in this episode, coming this Saturday!
Visual timbre of flag inspired by Jasper Johns.


Labels: , ,

03 November 2013
  Lou Reed - "Billy" (1974)

From SALLY CAN'T DANCE (1974), one of Reed's lesser-known gems. This is Lou's story of himself and a childhood friend, and paths not taken, and how the conventional path might not be the safest. Overwhelmingly sad song.

I highly recommend the whole album , which in my opinion is almost flawless except for the horrible "Animal Language." But Lou has to have at least one clunker per record. The cost of Lou trying everything is that sometimes that fell flat. But a real genius always has a flawed catalogue.

Bonus from the same album: "Kill Your Sons," about Lou's parents when they tried to ECT the gay out of him.

(Live version from 1983, with Robert Quine on guitar)

Labels: , ,

02 November 2013
  Suzy Spreadwell: America's Sweetheart Episode 1, p. 13

This week's Suzy. next to last page for this episode.

Read last week's here, and click on image to read full-size version!


Labels: , , , , , ,

  Another Illustration for Leitz - "Memoir of a King"

The latest for that commission I've been working on. Previous here and here. Click image to see larger version.


Labels: , ,

"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.

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

October 2002 / November 2002 / February 2003 / March 2003 / April 2003 / May 2003 / June 2003 / July 2003 / August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / October 2014 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / January 2018 / March 2018 / April 2018 / May 2018 / June 2018 / July 2018 / August 2018 / September 2018 / October 2018 / November 2018 / December 2018 / January 2019 / February 2019 / March 2019 / June 2019 / October 2019 / March 2020 / April 2020 / August 2020 / October 2020 / November 2020 / April 2022 / May 2022 / June 2022 / July 2022 / November 2022 /

Powered by Blogger