SUZY SPREADWELL #1 by John Linton Roberson, available at Google Play Books!
I Didn't Write That!
30 March 2013
  LULU Book 1 at #132,504 in Books at Amazon (Updated)
Buy LULU Book 1 here (not in stores)
It seems that LULU Book 1 has moved up in ranking at Amazon--it's now at #132,504 in Books. (that's among ALL books Amazon sells) Please push it higher! Buy your copy now! (also available at Amazon UK & Europe--links here) If you're looking for a serious, intelligent comic for grown-ups that is not sci-fi, superheroes, or zombies, you will love this. And even if you are, why not try something a cut above for a change that you will NOT find in stores? (and if you're a fan of opera, theatre or silent film, you will definitely love this)

You can also buy at Createspace--it still counts toward ranking, but at a higher royalty. Thank you to all buyers so far! Be sure to review it and rate it on Amazon and support independent publishing! Show them that corporate characters are not the last word in what this medium has to offer.



Side note: Some of the original art (and other stuff from my collection) is now up at Ebay and I've slashed the prices; for one thing, Buy It Now prices are as close to Bid Price as Ebay will allow. Buy yourself something great now! (I also have a bunch more LULU original art available directly via Paypal, including pieces Ebay won't let me list, in the Bottomless Studio photo album at Facebook here)
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29 March 2013
  Other Versions-Frank Wedekind's "Erdgeist"--LULU, the Play (Updated)




Update: LULU Book 1 now available at Amazon & Createspace. Links to buy it (and testimonials) here!

The actual translation that I'm doing LULU(the first half, anyway) from. This continues in Pandora's Box. I am doing a lot of modernizing and adaptation with the dialogue, but trying to stick as close as I can to the plot, and any changes are trying to at least stay in the spirit that was meant. As you'll see, a lot of this is in very archaic and coy terms. You'll also notice I cut the prologue and substituted a different(wordless) one. The reason here? Well, I just didn't think it works off the stage. Some may differ on that. I'm pretty much going by the same rules here I would if I were adapting it for the stage or for film.

Sadly, though, I don't know German so I have to stick with this as my basis. If I could, I'd love to use Stephen Spender's translation(or Eric Bentley's, of the first version of the play, back when it was just one and not two works), but that's still under copyright so I don't.



Here as well is a Librivox recording of the same translation of ERDGEIST.

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28 March 2013
  Other Versions - Alban Berg: LULU (the opera)
Buy LULU Book 1 here (not in stores)
Alban Berg's LULU, the opera, starring Christiane Boesiger. Sorry, no subtitles, but quite interesting visually. And to show you my treatment of the content of the work (especially the nudity) is entirely in its tradition.




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27 March 2013
  Martin Pasko & Steve Pugh on LULU Book 1 (Now Available)


A couple of testimonials on my new graphic novel:

"LULU translates into graphic storytelling terms Wedekind’s meditation on sexual repression and its role in facilitating exploitative seduction with all its disturbing ferocity intact."
Martin Pasko (Action Comics, Batman: the Animated Series, E-Man, Saga of the Swamp Thing) 

"Own this beautiful thing."
Steve Pugh (Hotwire, Animal Man, Hellblazer, Crisis) 

You should follow the good taste of these talented men. Lulu waits inside her paper covers for you to discover her. Buy it here! 
Not in stores though, only at Amazon (US, UK and Europe) & Createspace!
 LULU Book 1 by John Linton Roberson, based on the plays of Frank Wedekind, with an introduction by Martin Pasko

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  Made You Look: Totally Gratuitous Christina Hendricks Picture

I agree, absolutely no excuse. Still, though.



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  Other Versions- Asta Nielsen: the First Film Lulu


As I've mentioned previously, my version of Lulu (now available in print, you might have heard by now) is based on the lovely Italian 1970s actress Stefania Casini. While I love Louise Brooks, I saw no need to turn my version into a tribute to her.

But recently I came across some pictures of the original film Lulu, Asta Nielsen (also known for another film by PANDORA'S BOX director G.W. Pabst, THE JOYLESS STREET) in 1923's ERDGEIST by Leopold Jessner. Which I cannot find a copy of; if anyone knows where I can, tell me so in the comments below. At the time I was designing my Lulu, I had not seen these photos. In the third one down, a publicity shot for ERDGEIST, you can see she looks a lot like the later Louise Brooks version (so I suppose Brooks did not invent that hairstyle as many think) but in the first two, by complete coincidence, she resembles my version rather closely--especially in the first. Which is weird.






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26 March 2013
  New! LULU Book 1 Is Now Available on Amazon & Createspace


Buy LULU Book 1 here (not in stores)
That's right, LULU Book 1, collecting the entirety of the first part of LULU, and featuring an introduction by the great Martin Pasko, is now live, and you can buy it right now through Amazon! (and for our overseas friends, Amazon UK as well as Germany and France) Or via my own store at Createspace.

You won't find it in stores(yet anyway, I'm working on that, but if you'd like your favorite store to carry it tell them to contact me here); I'm going completely around the distribution monopoly of Diamond, so this is your chance to support totally independent, non-corporate publishing and serious comics that aren't sci-fi or superheroes. Order your copy now! (you can also first read a free PDF of chapter 1 here)
John Linton Roberson's LULU Book 1, based on ERDGEIST by Frank Wedekind, with an introduction by Martin Pasko
The front and back cover of LULU Vol. 1

Some of you might not know Frank Wedekind, who is also known for the play SPRING AWAKENING. Well, LULU has in fact quite the pedigree. To refresh your memory, here's the famous film version with Louise Brooks, G. W. Pabst's PANDORA'S BOX, which adapts the second of the two plays.(also, if you know French, you can watch the rare 1980 version by Walerian Borowczyk here)



Louise Brooks, the most famous LULU.
Louise Brooks, the most famous Lulu.

There's also the famous opera by Alban Berg.

I also talked to Tim Young at Deconstructing Comics about this project, and the relation of theatre to comics, here in 2011.  Have a listen.
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23 March 2013
  Other Versions-League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-Century 1910: Mack the Ripper, or Lulu Never Gets A Break



Update: LULU Book 1 now available at Amazon & Createspace. Links to buy it (and testimonials) here!

When League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1910 came out, I happened to have just started working on my comics adaptation of Frank Wedekind's "Lulu," which had already been brewing in my mind for ten years, and poring over every version of it I can find. I even found the rare 1980 Borowczyk version that had Udo Kier in it, as he always seems to be in everything.

As Alan Moore has over the years instilled in me a serious awareness of weird coincidences, I was pleasantly surprised and a little weirded out to see that, in the midst of his restaging of The Threepenny Opera(which he and O'Neill do as though born to it, but Moore has always had a serious Weill influence), he brought in--nearly precisely--the ending of the play "Pandora's Box," and made what is in the play, literally, Jack the Ripper, Macheath in the midst of Moore's new version of that song we all know well. And this Lulu is of course based on Louise Brooks. Anyway, I liked the sequence so here it is(though the new twist to "Pirate Jenny" is pretty awesome, but that would be too many pages):

Basic setup: It's London, and Macheath has returned, and Lulu is walking the streets, having gone through(fatally) a number of husbands, and ended up from wealth and status to this. (Not really through any fault of her own exactly. Men just destroy themselves around her)


And here we have an altercation with the first lesbian in Western fiction, Countess Geschwitz, obsessed with Lulu and rejected by her, and getting a bit tired with only having an old painting of her to cuddle. But Mackie's not having that.


And we say farewell to Lulu. Though there is this back cover, and there are any number of paintings just like this from the turn of the century. Depictions like this of women were very popular with middle-class salongoers.


(all three images (c)2009 Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill)

I would add that an even stranger additional coincidence was the recent release of the "Tales of the Black Freighter"(which I liked) which has the "Pirate Jenny" song, quite central to LOEG, playing over the credits. But the imagery in that song is something that goes deep in Moore.

By the way, for fans of "the Ruling Class"--which I am--the 14th Earl of Gurney also plays a central part in this. Also Iain Sinclair's Billy Pilgrimish Norton from "Slow Chocolate Autopsy," who can travel in time but not in space and is trapped in London, flashing between eras, and Moore does a great pastiche of Sinclair. It also has Crowley, sort of, as usual with Moore these days. And in retrospect Orlando turns out, in our first good look at him/her since the bits in BD, to be a real douchebag, and the only thing I really dislike about the series, except his origin story in Black Dossier, which should have been the last of him. He's stayed awful, really--he's just an annoying namedropping twat who they've literally spent a century with.


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22 March 2013
  March 22: Happy Birthday Angel

Wherever you are, today's still your birthday and you're still one of the fondest friends in my memory. Have a happy one.

March 1989, and the only Catholic Church near Pisgah National Forest, where we were camping. She needed the palms for some kind of Brazilian spiritual ceremony that I still don't understand.

Our idea of Spring Break from Chicago was the wet Smoky Mountains in the deepest part of the forest. But right next to a roaring waterfall. And a lot of Neil Young and Sandy Denny on the box. And Siouxsie & the Banshees, which she liked and at the time I did not.


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18 March 2013
  LULU Book 1: Coming Sooner Than You'd expect

That's right, the collected LULU Book 1 will soon be available in print (through Amazon & Createspace exclusively) and possibly digital as well. I also have the very great honor of an introduction written by the legendary Martin Pasko, and it's quite a rush having an intro written by a comics (and TV) writer I grew up reading; E-Man and Saga of the Swamp Thing in particular.
In the meantime, go here to read the first chapter for free! Keep visiting here for updates. In fact, just keep reading period.


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13 March 2013
  Some Designs for West Coast Prints

I've started doing some freelance work for West Coast Prints.(and please visit them at that link, and ask them to have me do your design!) Here are a few variations done on the first job.




By the way, I'll be happy to make images for you as well. See my portfolio here, and a full list of past projects with examples here. That's posted to the Bay Area Craigslist but actually I'll do designs, commissions and other stuff for y'all anywhere. That's what the web is for! Also find my ELance profile (via which you can hire me or commission me) here.
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01 March 2013
  Me and My Cats

Apropos of nothing, here are recent pictures of my cat Artemis(who some of you might recall from this post, and she's much better now, thanks) and Sunny. I'm in one of them.


By the way, they need to be fed, and as it happens, I'm available for hire and commission. Read all about it here!
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"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson

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

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April 2013: LULU Book 1 Interview at Comics Forge

DECONSTRUCTING COMICS
My appearances on the greatest comics podcast there is.

July 2017: The New Mature Flintstones
Discussion with Tim Young and series artist Steve Pugh.

December 2016: Politics in Comics
Discussion with Emmet O'Cuana.

November 2016: Wonder Woman - Earth-One and Before
Discussion with Emmet O'Cuana.


April 2016: Batman v. Superman -  An Assassination

Discussion with Kumar Sivasubramanian and Emmet O'Cuana.


October 2015: Censorship of...Me! (Among Others)
Interview by Tim Young.
Also starring Dale Lazarov & Tim PIlcher.


August 2014:
Crumb’s Confounding “Genesis”

Discussion with Tim Young

April 2014: Corporate Comics: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em
Discussion in Sack's Coffee, Berkeley with Tim Young, Deb Aoki, and 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




JOEY MANLEY
August 2006 at Talkaboutcomics.com

AUSTIN ENGLISH 
Sept. 2001 at Spark-Online



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