Political Cartoons Collection: The Story of Puck

What Fools These Morals Be: The Story of PUCK!
The Most Important U.S. Political Satire and Cartoon Magazine Gets Collected

San Diego, CA (June 26, 2014) – Published from 1877 to 1918, Puck was America’s first successful humor magazine. It was also the most influential American humor magazine ever. It was also the first American magazine to publish color lithographs on a weekly basis. And, for nearly forty years, it was a training ground and showcase for some of the country’s most talented cartoonists, led by its co-founder,Joseph Keppler.

This October, IDW and The Library of American Comics will release an important contribution to political and political cartooning anthologies. What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck is a lavish coffee table book retrospective that beautifully displays whyPuck is considered the most important political satire and cartoon magazine in American history. It’s all about the art — lavish color full-page and two-page centerspread cartoons.

With nearly 300 full-color plates in a oversized 12” x 11” format, What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck is the first opportunity for most readers to see so many cartoons fromPuck reproduced in color and at a large size.

Stephen Hess, in his seminal history of American political cartooning, The Ungentlemanly Art, said, “It is hard to overestimate the political influence of Puck…during the last two decades of the 19th Century.  It was greater than all newspapers combined.”  It is often said that the magazine was single-handedly responsible for thwarting the third-term ambitions of Ulysses Grant in 1880 and electing Grover Cleveland to the presidency in 1884.

Written by Michael Alexander Kahn and Richard Samuel West with reproductions made from their unique collections and supplemented by the Library of Congress, the book is organized by subject matter, reflecting the most important issues of the day. Each cartoon is accompanied by an explanatory caption, placing the work in historical perspective.

Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) provides the foreword to this important piece of American history. Take this special peek into the past and see how much, or in some cases, how little, things have changed.

12” x 11” hardcover with dustjacket, 328 pp., full color, $59.99, ISBN: 978-1-63140-046-9

Kickstarter for The Chair Film Announced

Release from Peter Simeti via Alterna Comics:
So the day has finally come.
The kickstarter for THE CHAIR film is underway!
We’ve raised over $1K in the first 14 hours but we still have a LONG way to go. $299,000 worth of a long way!
So if you can help in any way, please please do so.
If you can contribute – then AWESOME!
If you can share it on facebook/twitter/etc. – GREAT!

Everything helps and everything is appreciated 🙂

We’ve assembled an amazing cast and crew and now we need your help to bring this film to life.

Brian Thompson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Bill Oberst Jr. (Children of Sorrow)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story: Asylum)
Zach Galligan (Gremlins)
Noah Hathaway (Neverending Story)
Ezra Buzzington (The Hills Have Eyes)
Susan Eisenberg (Justice League animated series)
Kin Shriner (General Hospital)
Derrick Damions (One Life to Live)
Tim Muskatell (Someone’s Knocking at the Door)
Jacob Banser (Dig a Hole and Die)
Kyle Hester (The Book of Daniel)
Travis Love (The Walking Dead)
Tomas Boykin (Lazarus Rising)

Director Chad Ferrin (Someone’s Knocking at the Door)
Stunt Coordinator Paul Lacovara (Avengers, Thor, Godzilla)
Production Designer Tim Eckel (CSI, Hellraiser 3)
Production Supervisor Jill Maxcy (American Horror Story)
Gaffer David DeFino (Someone’s Knocking at the Door)
Hair Stylist Lisa Meyers (Without a Trace, Freaks & Geeks)
Key Grip Anthony Ragonese (Desperate Housewives)
Composer Charles Bernstein (Nightmare on Elm Street)
are among the notables on the production team.

thanks everyone!

Peter Simeti

Writer/Creator of THE CHAIR
www.paintedheroes.com / Facebook / Twitter
www.alternacomics.com / Facebook / Twitter

Amazon: Comixology Nobbler?

Digital_Comics_-_Comics_by_comiXologyI’m totally ashamed to admit I’d missed the news about Amazon buying out Comixology – I’d received the email advising me of the app update but hadn’t read into why it was occurring.

Then I’ve read a great piece by John Birmingham on what Amazon have done to Comixology, and I’m now angry. I understand it’s more of an iOS issue that anything, but it still seems a backward step.

To me it’s the same boring story of an IT behemoth coming in and taking over something innovative, but managing to asphyxiate the innovation within a matter of days or weeks because of a requirement for integration into the behemoth’s processes.


Or am I overreacting here? Would love your thoughts.

Sunday Snippets Issue 4


A regular roundup of interesting bits and pieces from the comic industry worldwide. If you’ve got an event or other piece of news to share, please drop us a lineYou can view previous issues right here.

There’s been an ongoing battle for who ‘owns’ Superman and the latest instalment in that battle is covered very nicely over at CBR. They also have a piece on Neil Gaiman’s return to Marvel, bringing the Angela character with him.

Interested in geners issues and how they are played out through comics? Then have a look at this.

Marvel wants to add dynamic soundtracks to your comics via its Marvel Gamma service, although it sounds like it has some work still to do.

If you like a good historical graphic novel, then this one on the Normandy Landings may interest you



Sunday Snippets Issue 3


A regular roundup of interesting bits and pieces from the comic industry worldwide. If you’ve got an event or other piece of news to share, please drop us a lineYou can view previous issues right here.

International Women’s Day has just passed and CBR has a great interview with comics veterans Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti. Also check out this impressive collector’s setup.

Yes, One Direction have a comic book out.

The acrimony over the Sullivan’s Sluggers project on Kickstarter has ended in a pretty sad way.

Here’s an interesting overview of the controversy surrounding Orson Scott Card writing  a Superman run

CNET have a good review of the iOS version of the Marvel Unlimited App which allows you to read more than 13,000 Marvel comics on your iPad or iPhone for around $5 a month (as a special current offer) – an Android version is coming soon apparently.


Sunday Snippets Issue 2


A regular roundup of interesting bits and pieces from the comic industry worldwide. If you’ve got an event or other piece of news to share, please drop us a lineYou can view previous issues right here.

Digital Spy has a great roundup on superhero movies that never made it to the screen.

Superhero comics aren’t renowned for their ability to stick to one continuity. Here’s a nice summary of the stupidest examples of characters being bought back from the dead.

Some previously unpublished Tarzan stories are set to be published in a graphic novel.

The Huffington Post has an article called ‘The 11 Most Controversial Comic Books‘ and although it has some inaccuracies based on a number of comments on the article,  it’s still worth a look.

Oz Comic-Con Year 2: Onwards and Upwards

ozcomicconIt’s only a week or so until 2013’s series of Oz Comic-Cons commence. I attended last year’s Melbourne show and personally had a good time, but there were some fairly significant organisational issues (here’s a piece I wrote last year for Bleeding Cool on it). More on that later, including a response from the organisers, but first the dates for this year’s Oz Comic-Cons:

Perth: 9-10th March at Perth Exhibition Centre

Adelaide: 16-17th March at Adelaide Showgrounds

Melbourne: 6-7th July at Royal Exhibition Building

The guest list for each city from a comics viewpoint has some good variety. And at least with Stan Lee not attending this year there shouldn’t be quite the frenzy we saw last year on the comics side of things – more time not in lines to check out the work of local creators.

Because of the issues from 2012’s event, I contacted the team behind Oz Comic-Con and asked them what arrangements were in place to ensure there isn’t a repeat. Their response:

We’re not trying to make excuses regarding this matter, as we did underestimate just how many people would want to come to the event. However, the venue controlled how attendees were admitted to the event on the day and chose not to put a priority on pre-purchased ticket holders.

However, attendees that claimed they were not able to gain entry, were not happy to wait until doors re-opened. When doors to the event did re-open, everyone was granted access. This year we’re ensuring that there will be more room for attendees at all of our events. And with regards to pre-purchased tickets specifically, we will be ensuring that attendees with pre-purchased ticket will be prioritised for entry at the event.

So there you have it – it certainly seems that this year’s event is going to be bigger and better than last year’s. Will you be going?

Big Arse 3 Comic Book Launch

big-arseAnother comics treat for Melbournites or anyone keen enough to travel. The Big Arse 3 Comic Book Launch is on this Saturday at 2.00pm. The full details via Facebook:


It’s that time of the year when the giant arse from space hovers over Melbourne and delivers us a great golden shower of comics. Raise your fresh faces to the delicate rain of intelligent writings and brilliant drawings of dozens of writers and artists from around the world.

Contains adult themes, rock’n’roll, drugs, dirty talk, scuds of nudity, weird sex, tons of violence and other fun things that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Hosted once again by the notorious kingpin of the Melbourne comic scene, Mr Bernard Caleo.

Venue website – http://sentidofunf.com.au/


By Dillon Naylor

By M. Emery

By Jason Franks

By Peter Foster

By Frank Candiloro

By Various

By Jesca Marisa

YUCK! #7
By various and nefarious

By Tim Molloy

By Marijka Gooding

By Bobby N

By Brendan Halyday

By Ben Michael Byrne

By Alisha Jade

By Jason Franks and various artists

Damn I wish I lived in Melbourne…

Ten Comic Movie Oscars I’d Like To See Awarded

oscarGiven the Academy Awards are on as I write this, I thought I’d engage in a little fantasising of comics-related movies I’d like to see popping up at future Oscars ceremonies. Would love to have your suggestions in comments below as well!

Here we go – my Top Ten Fantasy Oscar Awards:

Best Director: Ridley Scott for Rogue Trooper

Best Actor: Ricky Gervais as Deadpool in Deadpool: The Older Years

Best Actress: Sophie Lowe as Raina in Blankets

Best Supporting Actor: Andre Braugher as Tyrone Johnson in Cloak and Dagger

Best Animated Feature: Maus

Best Writing – Original Screenplay: Alan Moore for Sgt Rock

Best Documentary – Feature: John Byrne and Frank Miller: Angry Men in a Hot Tub

Best Cinematography: Munn Powell for Dan Pussey

Best Original Score: Bruno Mars for Dazzler Returns

Best Visual Effects: Spawn

Ok, your turn. Comment on how sane or stupid my suggestions are and/or suggest your own awards!

Seduction of the Innocent: Officially Bullshit

wertham seductionWho’d a thunk? The notorious work from Dr Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent, which made the case for comics being moral-destroying works, has been found to be crap:

A University of Illinois academic, Carol Tilley, has accessed Wertham’s papers, which were made public in 2010 (Wertham died in the early 1980’s). The summary:

Behavioral problems among teenagers and preteens can be blamed on the violence, sex and gore portrayed in the media marketed to them – that was the topic of televised public hearings held by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954 to address the scourge of comic books. The hearings, which resulted in the decimation of what was an enormous comic book industry, had been inspired in large part by the book “Seduction of the Innocent,” by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, based on his own case studies.

Wertham’s personal archives, however, show that the doctor revised children’s ages, distorted their quotes, omitted other causal factors and in general “played fast and loose with the data he gathered on comics,” according to an article by Carol Tilley, published in a recent issue of Information and Culture: A Journal of History.

For those who like/love comics, it always reeked of being a witch hunt and Tilley’s work has pretty much confirmed that lock, stock and barrel. Read all the details here.