October 3, 2001
KOMIX is a Disney comic magazine published in Greece. In theory, it's supposed to focus on "classic" Disney comics
and their creators, featuring the works of Carl Barks and his most faithful successors, as well as articles about such folks. That all makes
wonderful sense. What doesn't is why they have recently purchased the rights to reprint Space
Circus, a four-issue mini-series that Sergio Aragonés and I did last year for Dark Horse. The editors of Komix are
attempting to make some sort of "inspired by Barks" connection, I suppose, and the first issue that did this (that's the second, pictured above) had
a long article about me which I can't read but which I gather focused on my days writing Disney comics. It still doesn't seem right to me and
seems very, very wrong to some Disney/Barks fans who are understandably irate. Sergio and I would like them to know we're as puzzled as any of
HERE WE GO with more articles I recently found interesting. As always, I do not concur with every word of them but feel
that — well, you know...
I started to write one of my little political insight pieces for this page but I realized that the pieces above by Mssrs. Conason and
Somerby said what I wanted to say but, of course, said it far better. Somerby's piece is especially interesting. A lot of newspapers
reported the remarks of White House press secretary Ari Fleischer commenting on what Bill Maher had said. Unless I missed it, none of the
reports included the simple, relevant points that (a) Fleischer admitted to not having seen or heard the remarks he was criticizing and
(b) that he was basing his remarks on a completely inaccurate paraphrase by the person who asked him about the alleged statement. I expect
to be rolling this one out repeatedly in the future to explain my problem with the press these days.
THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD is fighting the good fight to prevent laws from being changed that would allow agents to own or have
fiduciary interests in the production companies to which they sell talent. Here's a link to some recent testimony in Washington by the likes of William Daniels, Richard
Dreyfuss, Richard Crenna and others who make a compelling case.
SEVERAL FOLKS e-mailed to ask if, in light of the screening of a restored, stereo print of All That Jazz recently
(discussed here), they could expect a DVD release soon. I'm sure one will be along soon enough but, no, I haven't
heard it announced.
I'VE REALLY BEEN enjoying the reruns of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In that have been running on the Trio satellite
channel — though, as is too often the case on cable, they're rerunning episodes they've already rerun, long before they've cycled through all
they could run. The shows hold up pretty well, perhaps because, in trimming to allow more commercials, someone has excised some of the topical
references that are now lost to obscurity. (On the other hand, one of the charms of these reruns is the occasional quote of a then-current
commercial or catch-phrase, or jokes about the now-forgotten Everett Dirksen or William Proxmire. Recently, we hit a week of shows wherein
every third joke was about Twiggy's lack of a bustline.)
One of the things that makes the shows work (and this was sadly absent on a Laugh-In knock-off I once worked on — taping
in the same studio, no less) was that the cast had a tremendous sense of family and fun. As a kid, I sometimes went over to NBC to watch them
tape Laugh-In and to see this spirit in person...but it clearly bled onto the screens, as well. With the occasional exception, the
performers enjoyed doing the show, especially when performing as themselves or while doing one of Billy Barnes's clever special material
numbers. There have been shows since that fired a lot of jokes at the audience but without much impact. There have also been shows that
looked like the cast was having fun — often, too much to care about entertaining us at home. But this one was a hit, I suspect, because
it found the middle ground. And also because Goldie Hawn and Judy Carne were so cute.
If you don't get Trio, which is more than likely, there's a big VHS/DVD home video release about to come our way. (And, by the
way, one can also order DVDs of old Johnny Carson highlights over at
www.johnnycarson.com. Johnny probably needs the money because he hasn't worked lately.)
I'M POSTING THIS and then I have to go work on the third issue of the forthcoming Groo mini-series, which is subtitled
Death and Taxes. The first part comes out in December, and we hope people will understand that the first two chapters were written and
drawn, and the plotline of the whole story was formulated before September 11. Part Three, which picks up where the second part left
off, opens with the citizens of one village demanding that their government go to war and kill the enemy...even though they have no real idea as to
who that enemy may be. Are we timely or what?
Click here to read the previous NEWS FROM ME