The Way They Were (Comic Chronicles)

Al Williamson

The auction last month of some of Al Williamson’s pre-Manning Star Wars comic strip proposal (we featured them on our Facebook page) prompted Diamond’s Scoop to re-present a Williamson profile from 22 years ago.

Rip Kirby, of course, was not the end of Williamson’s newspaper work. In addition to a run on Secret Agent X-9 he teamed up with his old friend Archie Goodwin for a long, respected run on the Star Wars strip. He remembers the collaboration fondly and identifies him as his favorite writer to work with.

“When King Features called me to do this strip, I immediately thought of Archie to write it,” he says. “We had lunch. Archie said to me, ‘I’ll write if you draw it,’ and I said, ‘I’ll draw it if you write it,’ and that’s how we got together for that.”

Below: Stats of Al Williamson’s first Star Wars proposal


© LucasFilm


C. Friedrich

‘While autobiographical graphic novels have become a very popular literary genre during the 21st century, their history is generally assumed to begin with underground comix – small press or self-published comic books – in the 1970s. This discovery, from nearly half a century earlier, calls that history into question.

‘We believe this collection of autobiographical cartoons could be the first of its kind: perhaps the earliest known example of what we would today call an autobiographical graphic novel,’ he said.


[T]he previously unknown Voyage and Adventures of a Good Little German in Kangarooland, a five-part autobiographical graphic novel dating from 1916-1919 and recently donated to the University of Adelaide Library’s Special Collections, might just rewrite the history books.

Drawn by C. Friedrich, a previously unknown German cartoonist while he was detained between 1916 and 1919 in an Australian internment camp, the rare publications are held in the University Library’s Special Collections.

Richard Watts and ArtsHub detail “a significant discovery.”


Paul Coker, Jr.

Before Phil Hahn and Paul Coker, Jr. created MAD Beastlies and Horrifying Clichés for MAD Magazine they tested the concept in 1962/1963 Playboy.

© Playboy


Steve Ditko

Another auction piece.

Steve Ditko A. Ditko #25 #25 (#20) Back Cover “Action-Reaction” Original Art (Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko, 2016). This one-pager was created in ink over graphite in bright white 9.25″ x 12″ Bristol board and was used as the back cover. In Excellent condition.

© The Estate of Steve Ditko


Crumb, Wilson, Spain, Spiegelman, Shelton, Griffith, London, Driggs, Green, +

Loosely an A to Z of the greats—from R. Crumb (godfather of the form, with Harvey Kurtzman being its grandfather) to S. Clay Wilson—the book features many of my comix heroes, quite a few unknowns (to me), and, a special treat, a cadre of artists I worked with a lot back in the day. What amazes as it saddens me is how many of this number have departed for comix heaven—many who were born a decade or more before me, and a handful of those born in my birth year.

© Drew Friedman

Steven Heller interviews Drew Friedman about his book of underground cartoonists portraits.

Who better than Drew (an apt name for an artist) Friedman to draw all the Maverix and Lunatix: Icons of Underground Comix and collect them in a book of the same name?


Spring-Heeled Jack

Out of the night he came, a leaping, bounding superman who terrified the English nation for more than 60 years.

At first, tales of this devil-like figure who leaped from roof-top to roof-top was accepted as hysterical nonsense. But in January 1838 this strange creature received official recognition when a barmaid, Polly Adams, was attacked while walking across Blackheath in south London. Mary Stevens, a servant girl was terrified by what she saw on Barnes Common, and in Clapham churchyard a woman was assaulted!

The puzzle remains…who was Spring-heeled Jack?


Everything old is new again.


Jimmy Swinnerton

100 years ago
1922: After altogether too long an absence, Jimmy Swinnerton, the famous artist cartoonist, and his charming wife, herself a special writer of note, dropped into Flagstaff yesterday from San Francisco. With them are several friends, including two other world-famous cartoonists. R. Dirks, of New York, originator of the famous and mischievous Katzenjammer kids; George Herriman of New York, who makes Ignaz Mouse heave so many bricks at Krazy Kat, and Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Benton and Edward Fay Browne, the latter three from Los Altas, California.

The Arizona Daily Sun celebrates Flagstaff history.

James Swinnerton and the American Southwest.