Shot in the Head

The arrest and 30-hour detainment of Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot and the seizure of his property by police at the end of last week is disturbing news. The arrest was part of an investigation into alleged spreading of hate-speech in his cartoons and political commentary, based on a complaint made by a Dutch imam in 2005. I’m not familiar with Nekschot’s work, but what I’ve seen — coarse and repulsive as it is — is not substantially different from the hateful agitprop of a Geert Wilders for example, and not even his garbage merits this kind of action. Ignoring this kind of idiocy is the best way of combatting it.

What the hell is wrong with the Dutch government?

Reporters without Borders’ report. Nekschot’s website. Detailed commentary by blogger sympathetic to Nekschot.


As you may have read, an anonymous donor recently gifted a complete set of the original art to Amazing Fantasy #15, in which the first Spider-Man story, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, appeared, to the Library of Congress.

This is the story Morten Søndergård in an article published on this site, suggested was based on layouts by Kirby. This hypothesis was subsequently rejected by a number of specialists. I hereby post an image of one of the original pages as Exhibit A: what do YOU think? Is there any Kirby in it? (more images at the link).

Bonus: Charles Yoakum speculates about the identity of the donor.

UPDATE: Blake Bell has a slew of info on the original AF #15 pages, including images of all of them, up on his Ditko website.

Marvel Steps Up

Looks like I may have spoken too soon when I wrote that Marvel could not be counted on to support ailing artist Gene Colan in his hour of need. Apparently, they have agreed to contribute towards paying for his treatment, though the exact amount will remain confidential. Great, but it’s still a disgrace that there would even be doubt about them doing this in the first place. But good on Marvel for this one.

Remember: YOU can also help the Colans. More information here.

UPDATE: Tom Spurgeon has great commentary up concerning the broader issue of the lack of a safety net in the American comics industry.

A Word on Our Hype

It has gotten to the point where we’re receiving so many press releases, announcements and other advertisements here at the Metabunker that we have decided to impose certain restrictions on what gets posted. A lot of what you, the readers, have been sending looks great and we certainly appreciate and pay attention to it, but lest this site drown in hype-type, we shall from here on restrict ourselves to publishing announcements we have some kind of foreknowledge of. Stuff for which we feel we can vouch. So keep it coming, but please don’t take offense if it doesn’t get published.

Thanks for reading!

Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Douglas Feith on the Daily Show (above). Watch the former Under Secretary of Defence getting grilled on the selling of the Iraq War to the American People by John Stewart. Not to be missed!
  • Tom Spurgeon, Dirk Deppey and a host of others on the future of comics as a serial medium, as well as a primarily digitally-distributed one. Dirk’s piece especially is fascinating reading on for anyone interested in how comics might interface with the internet in the future.
  • Robert Rauschenberg Rest in Peace

    On Monday, one of the greatest artists of the latter half of the 20th Century, the uncontainable creativo Robert Rauschenberg, died. He was 82 and active to the end, leaving us a massive and singular body of work. Art as beauty, keenly reminding us that it is no different from Our World as such.

    One Love.

    Help Gene Colan!

    Gene “The Dean” Colan, the master of painterly penciling whose art graced many a classic Silver Age story in such titles as Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Daredevil and Tomb of Dracula, is ailing. And his family is having a hard time paying his medical bills. They are therefore asking Colan’s fans for contributions, so if you count yourself amongst those, please consider giving whatever you might be able to spare. Remember: Colan is unfortunate enough to live in a rich country whose government is of very little help when it comes to this kind of problem and has mostly worked for employers who are of even less use.

    There are two ways of helping:

  • Bid in one of the Colans’ eBay auctions, which has the added advantage of possibly netting you a nice piece of original art.
  • Or do as I did: donate via PayPal. The Colans are registered as — just log into your account, choose “send money”, insert said email address and the amount you wish to donate, and to make things easier, you might want to mention the word “donation” in the comments box, to make it easier to parse on the other end.
  • Art by Colan and Tom Palmer, from Tomb of Dracula #52 (1976).