Please consider reblogging this one.
The historically priceless files of the Comics Magazine Association of America—the decades-spanning industry organization that, among other things, instituted the Comics Code, are (still) missing.
Back in early 2011, I wrote a letter to Heidi MacDonald of The Beat, asking for her help in getting the word out.
Unfortunately, as the Comic Magazine Association of America quietly dissolves, it also carries its own history down the drain. Last year, in the course of researching a book, I tried without success to locate the files of the CMAA, which had been maintained since 1948 and were accessible as of the 1990s. Representatives at DC, Archie, and Marvel were unable to answer my questions about where the files might have ended up, although I did receive a response from a former CMAA representative. In regard to my question of who might now be safeguarding the documents, she wrote,
“There really is no one. Legally, none of the old documents of the organization had to be kept. Much of it was kept in Michael Silberkleit’s office up in Archie, but as you now know, sadly, he passed on. Not sure what they would have done with the old files.”
The records of Josette Frank and the Child Study Association of America—which had challenged the comic-book scare of the late 1940—had been donated to the CMAA years ago. Now they have vanished, along with detailed notes on industry-wide meetings throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s among Jack Liebowitz, Stan Lee, Carmine Infantino, John Goldwater, and others.
It seems very possible that these traces of history will soon (if they haven’t already) wind up in the dumpsters of Time Warner or Disney. The industry’s lack of interest in its own heritage is distressing. Do you suppose anything can be done?
Heidi immediately posted to her site about the mystery of the missing files, but no one in the industry ever came forward with any information. As I’ve been sifting through the documents I accumulated during research for the book, I was reminded again of how important the preservation of these kinds of files are. So, if you’re reading this, and you work at Archie, DC, or Marvel, would you mind maybe asking around the office? Hopefully the files haven’t been trashed yet.
submitted by Diana
Me and Hal Hartley in 1997 on the set of “Henry Fool.” In 2006 I reprised my role as Simon Grim in the sequel “Fay Grim.” Now Hal is Kickstartering “Ned Rifle,” the third movie in what he always conceived as a trilogy.
Hal’s a true artist, a personal filmmaker with a real vision. He’s always had to work to raise money. He’s working hard at it now. If you’ve enjoyed “Henry Fool” or any of his films, I urge you to help make this one happen. You can also help just by reposting this. I’m looking forward to putting that jacket back on.
And now THIS is happening? Thanks a lot, Obamacare.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
30 YEARS - REAL vs MAKE-UP
Our nearest star is about to pull a once-in-11-years move by swapping its north and south magnetic poles.
The sun’s polarity switch is a natural part of “solar max” — the period of peak activity during what averages out to be roughly an 11-year cycle. According to NASA, this year will mark the fourth time since 1976 that scientists have observed the 180-degree pole flip.
"It looks like we’re no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University says on NASA’s website. “This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.”
Really, the New Yorker magazine? Marvel Entertainment drew that image? Not Jack Kirby and Don Heck? Really?
Sure, your art department was happy, having ironically depicted the goofy, clunky, first comic book appearance of Iron Man to illustrate the review for the new-fangled, shiny, 3D movie version of the hero-robot. Sure, the legal department cleared it because, yes, a court of law has upheld the fact that a corporation created this art. But your massive fact check department let an attribution like this slide?
When every other week your back pages feature an “illustration” or two that’s nothing more than some Photoshop fun with stock photos, the person doing the shopping gets credited as well as the people who snapped the pictures and the syndicate who bought them. Why couldn’t the same respect be extended to one of pop culture’s most tragically under respected creators?
A couple years ago a Harry Bliss cartoon appeared in your caption contest which was an homage to Kirby’s cover to Tales to Astonish #39. It features a typically lumpy and dumpy Kirby monster scaling the wall of an apartment building, and a typically upper-middle class New Yorker cartoon character talking on the phone and sipping red wine, completely unaware of his impending doom. There was a bit of a tizzy when the denizens of the internet pointed out that the cartoon was based mostly on a Kirby drawing, and Kirby wasn’t credited. Although I think an “after Kirby” note probably should have accompanied the new drawing, I’ll never begrudge a cartoonist for appropriating existing work. Especially when the very meat of his joke is taking a hokey comic book monster and putting him into the context of snooty, high-brow Manhattan everyday life. But this is different. This straight-up is a Jack Kirby drawing. Of Iron Man. Illustrating a review of Iron Man 3. With no credit.
The New Yorker has done so much for comics. You give cartoonists who think in terms of one-liners a chance to actually make a career of it. With the influence of Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman, you’ve helped to legitimize alternative comics among the literary elite. Please stop treating Jack Kirby, who those few of us who are more interested in comics than in superheroes call “King,” like nothing more than a finger in the hand of the corporate master he once served.
DISCLOSURE: I know some people who work at the New Yorker, and happen to be madly in love with one of them. I’ve also been madly in love with the magazine ever since I was a little boy flipping through each issue once it arrived in order to find all the cartoons, swears and boobs within.