On Christmas Day, Vermonter’s “Spirit” comes to life

December 24th, 2008 by Daniel Barlow · No Comments

By Daniel Barlow Vermont Press Bureau Published: December 24, 2008

MONTPELIER – During a recent interview to promote his film adaptation of Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” comic strip, Frank Miller remembered first discovering reprints of the cartoonist’s work in a small drugstore in Barre.

“I was 14 years old, driving my bicycle in Vermont, and I would go to two drug stores to buy all my comic books,” Miller told the Film Journal International earlier this month. “And at the second drug store in Barre, Vt., I came across this oversized magazine that was in black-and-white and I was entranced.”

That comic was a 1970s reprint of Eisner’s work decades earlier on “The Spirit,” which ran for 12 years as a supplement to newspapers’ Sunday comics section. Miller quickly devoured Eisner’s work – forever influencing his own artistic direction.

More than 30 years later, Miller, who grew up in the Barre area and attended high school in Montpelier, brings his own version of “The Spirit” to the big screen on Christmas Day. The film stars Gabriel Macht as Denny Colt, a police officer who fights crime as the masked, noirish Spirit.

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Categories: articles · comics journalism · interviews · news · vermont

Tim Newcomb and his “Gaggle of Governors”

December 1st, 2008 by Daniel Barlow · No Comments

Photo: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur/Times Argus

By Daniel Barlow
Vermont Press Bureau
Published: November 29, 2008

MONTPELIER – Tim Newcomb has satirized four sitting Vermont governors over hundreds of political cartoons during his 25-year career – and he usually always feels bad about it afterward.

One cartoon this year showed Republican Gov. James Douglas in a rubber boat literally riding a wave of national party contributions soon after vetoing a bill that would place new limits on campaign fundraising.

Newcomb’s Douglas takes key traits from the real-life politician and transforms them into exaggerated quirks as the cartoon version sports just a wisp of hair, a thin frame and oversized glasses across a childlike face.

“Jim Douglas is such a gracious gentleman,” Newcomb said Friday from his downtown Montpelier studio. “He is such a naturally likeable guy that I find myself apologetic to him whenever I see him.”

Read the rest at the Times Argus Web site.

Categories: articles · comics · interviews · vermont

Big Shop And Article Updates

June 5th, 2007 by Colin Tedford · No Comments

I’m pleased to announce that Colin’s Comix Distro has finally grown into the Trees & Hills Comix Distro, an “official” organ of the group, with T&H cofounder Daniel Barlow of VT and cartoonist & columnist Anne Thalheimer of western MA coming on board - you can check it out via the ‘Shop’ link on the site menu. In honor of the changeover, I’m bringing the online stock up to date, starting with these comics by Marek Bennett:

The Making Of…24 Hour Comic, Mimi’s Doughnuts #9 (Fall 2006), and Mimi’s Doughnuts #10 (Winter 2006-7). Read an interview with Marek and a review of Mimi’s Doughnuts #10 in our ‘Articles’ section. Marek will be at the Trees & Hills table (S32, upstairs) at MoCCA June 23-24 in NYC.

Also in the Shop, you can now acquire some comics by Matt Levin:

Matt takes the unique approach of mostly using and manipulating rubber stamp images to make his comics. We have Walking Man Comics Presents Special #34: Myths And Magic, WMCPS #7: New England Patriot, Musicomics #1: Sink Or Swim, Musicomics #7: You Know Who, and Musicomics #13: Saturday Dreams.

There are also more Articles: Stephen Bissette’s interviews with Center For Cartoon Studies Fellow Gabby Schulz (aka “Ken Dahl”) and CCS graduate Colleen Frakes, plus 2 more Fleen columns by Anne Thalheimer.

Categories: Anne Thalheimer · Colleen Frakes · articles · distro · gabby schulz · ken dahl · marek bennett · matt levin · minicomics · shop · stephen bissette

Monthly Drawing Party & More

February 14th, 2007 by Colin Tedford · 1 Comment

The monthly Trees & Hills drawing party (always the 3rd Sat. of each month except under extenuating circumstances) will be happening this Saturday 2/17 at Tim Hulsizer’s house in Keene, NH; email Tim (escapevelocity at gmail dot com) for directions and other info.

Anne Thalheimer has a guest column up at Fleen - check it out! She uses fellow Pioneer Valley cartoonist Bryant Paul Johnson’s work to discuss reading comics in different formats.

The Granite State Comicon will happen in Concord, NH on March 18; tables are $25, and some T&H folk have applied.

The Boston Zine Fair will happen March 24-25 in (of course) Boston, MA - which is outside our “territory”, but T&H folk are applying for tables (a mere $15!).

I have all the Hourly Comics by T&H folk that I’m aware of (by me, Tim Hulsizer, and Anne Thalheimer), so once I’ve scanned Anne’s I’ll add those to our comics section. If you’ve done one I don’t know about, let me know! I also still have a batch of artists to add to the links page.

Categories: articles · events