War Crime Comics: The Hood

Golden Age superhero The Hood

I am now a monthly columnist at 1-900-HOT-DOG, building upon my previous guest posts. Featuring a snazzy new painting of moi by old friend and polymath comic wizard Michael Bramley!

First article: War Crime Comics: The Hood, a Nerding Day adventure in which I look into the Golden Age of superhero comics to examine not all that glitters there. It turns out there was a superhero who was racist even by the standards of the 1940s, an era when our most successful left-wing President was creating concentration camps for Japanese people, and segregating Black soldiers was military policy.

It’s free to read, so you can have your bitter laugh on Patreon or the website, your pick.

Brendan McGinley is a centaur riding a unicorn, while being ridden by an ifrit. Tell your friends.

I don’t think history will look with exceptional favor on our current state of affairs, either, and the sheer number of people cool with racism’s tenacious grip on our society: the pushback on securing basic human rights for–cripes, everybody right now–is depressing. Latin American families are getting separated and caged at the border, Black people have to plea not to be murdered while many white folks are more concerned that they’re protesting their killings in the “wrong way,” Asians are getting randomly attacked by idiots, Middle-Eastern and Muslim folks are entering their third decade of institutional mistreatment like they’re not “real” Americans.

White folks…well, a lot of us are trying to do the right thing and support everyone else’s bid for fair treatment, but then again, a lot of Nazi dickheads are enjoying a moment. The whole damn world’s more insane than ever. So click above for jokes at the expense of racists and below for sober musings on comics’ long (and modern) history of racism.

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‘Grimjack’ & Me

Grimjack Jim Twilley

or, How a Lunatic Murderer Coached My Teen Years

It’s the smile that makes Grimjack who he is. You might argue his trademark characteristic is the scar on his eye — and it’s true that was the first thing I noticed when I discovered him a lifetime ago — but it’s not, nor the streak in his hair, nor how he dresses like the most militant member of the E Street Band. And though “grim” is right there in his name, it’s not his brooding, a legitimate character trait of his long before it became pointlessly de rigeur in comics’ leather-clad ’90s. It’s not even his moral complexity, brought to comics ahead of Vertigo or Watchmen. All of those are defining traits of the character, but not the definitive one that answers the question: “Who is Grimjack?”

Nah, it’s the molon labe grin that only comes out when someone offers violence. Why, sure, says that mad smile, we can dance. Who is Grimjack? The cheshire cat of bloodshed. As for what is Grimjack? A comic book which, more than any other, made me want to create comics…while also giving me an outlet for my standard-issue teenage aggression, and all the other high emotions now available to me.

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So you want to write a comic script

So you want to write a comic book? If you’re looking for formatting tips, I’ve got good news: there’s no industry standard, so all you need is a text editor, not any fancy software. However, that means there are redundant and repetitive means of describing the same effect, because everyone has their own way of writing comics. Mine is a little involved, and I wouldn’t foist it on anybody except the artists who know what they’re getting into. But I can show you the broad view of a typical script at Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, etc.

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