Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spidey in King Arthur's Court Redux

Last summer and fall, I begin an exhaustive search for Arthurian comics featuring Spider-Man, and I had thought I had found everything. However, a recent post on reveals that an episode from 1970 of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon also included an Arthurian-themed episode. The episode can be viewed below.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CFP: 23rd International Arthurian Congress (10/1/10; Bristol, UK 7/25-30/11)

Arthurian Congress 2011
XXIIIrd Triennial Congress of the International Arthurian Society - Bristol, 25-30 July 2011
(complete details at

Conference Location

We are pleased to announce that the 23rd International Congress of the International Arthurian Society will be hosted by the University of Bristol, 25 - 30 July 2011.

Bristol is a thriving city in the South-West of England with a rich medieval history. It has many attractions, medieval and modern, and is ideally located for excursions to places associated with the Arthurian legend, and also to major tourist attractions such as the cities of Bath, Wells and Hereford.

All congress lectures and papers will take place in the University’s imposing Wills Memorial Building, right in the middle of Bristol’s bustling city centre. In addition to a wide range of nearby hotels and a YHA Youth Hostel, cheap single-room accommodation (not en-suite) is available in Clifton Hill House, an attractive student hall of residence in the picturesque area of Clifton, within easy walking distance of the university’s Wills Memorial Building.

Conference Themes and Call for Papers

The conference themes are as follows:

Arthurian ideals and identities.
Late Arthurian romance.
Narrative techniques and styles.
Arthurian manuscripts and early printed editions.
Arthurian images and iconography.
The supernatural and spirituality in the Arthurian world.

If you would like to present a paper on one of the conference themes, please send a brief title and a summary not exceeding 250 words to reach the organisers by 1 October 2010 at the latest; indicate which of the conference themes you wish to address by assigning it the number of the corresponding theme (nos. 1-6). Papers should if possible fit one (or more) of the themes, but if your proposal does not, please assign it the number 7. We also ask you to provide the following personal information: name; affiliation; postal address; e-mail address; number of people accompanying you; where you are thinking of staying (hotel/ youth hostel or University student accommodation).

We also invite proposals for organised sessions and Round Tables linked to the conference themes, both restricted to 90 minutes in length. To propose a Round Table, please send us a brief description of the topic you wish to explore, along with the names and personal details (as above) of at least two members of the society who have already agreed to offer short introductory contributions, and the number of the relevant conference theme.

To propose a session, please send us a brief rationale for the session, the number of the relevant conference theme, and the names and personal details (as above) of those members of the society who have agreed to contribute a paper to the session, and summaries of each of the papers. Sessions should consist of either two or three papers. Proposals for both Round Tables and organised sessions should be submitted to the organisers by 1 September 2010 at the latest.

Please send all proposals for papers, Round Tables, and organised sessions by e-mail to

If you do not use e-mail, please send your proposal by post either to Professor Elizabeth Archibald or to Professor Ad Putter, English Department, University of Bristol, 5 Woodland Road, Bristol, England, BS8 1TB, marking your envelope with the phrase ‘Arthur2011’.

Sessions and Excursions

The conference will feature five plenary lectures, given by a truly international range of leading Arthurian scholars:

Bart Besamusca (University of Utrecht)
Siân Echard (University of British Columbia)
Christine Ferlampin-Acher (University of Rennes)
Helen Fulton (University of York)
Andrew Lynch (University of Western Australia)

There will be excursions to sites of Arthurian and medieval interest including Caerleon, Glastonbury, and Hereford.

In addition, we will be holding several masterclasses for postgraduate students, including one on publishing, and one on Arthurian texts in need of further study.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Help with Hellboy

I am seeking the assistance of someone who would be willing to read and provide a summary of 2 essays in Spanish devoted to the Hellboy comic. The summaries will be included the bibliographic guide to medieval comics scholarship designed to accompany The Medieval Comics Project/The Arthur of the Comics Project

The two articles can be accessed at the following links:

Hernández, Santiago Cortés. "de Roberto el Diablo narrativa de un héroe de la Edad Media al cómic"

López, Jose Luis Cardero. "Hellboy y las Presencias de Otros Mundos.(El Chico del Infierno frente a los Dioses Primordiales)"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lucid Solicitations Nos. 3 and 4

Here are the solicitations for Lucid Nos. 3 and 4 from Things from Another World:

Lucid #3 (of 4)
By:   Michael McMillian, Anna Wieszcyk
Type:   Comics
Genres:   Fantasy
Publisher:   Archaia Entertainment LLC
Pub. Date:   October 27, 2010
Availability:   Pre-Order
UPC:   81151401072600311
Page Count:   24
Details:   Full color

Lucid barrels toward an explosive climax as Agent Dee is pulled deeper into a dark conspiracy fraught with bold, unbridled evil!

After a dangerous Magical Artifact created by Matthew's infamous ancestor disappears from the archives of The School of Black, Matthew travels to London to team up with England's Combat Mage, the beautiful and enchanting Wren, to hunt it down before all Hell breaks loose.

Lucid #4 (of 4)
By:   Michael McMillian, Anna Wieszcyk
Type:   Comics
Genres:   Fantasy
Publisher:   Archaia Entertainment LLC
Pub. Date:   November 24, 2010
Availability:   Pre-Order
UPC:   81151401072600411

(W) Michael McMillian (A) Anna Wieszcyk The first Lucid miniseries comes to a shocking climax as Agent Matthew Dee and Wren confront the New Pendragon! Can they stop his terrible kingdom from rising before it is too late? What insane new weapon threatens mage-kind? What does fate hold in store for President Monday? What horrible secret lurks in the bowels of Tintagel Castle? And just what is up with Matthew's girlfriend? Don't miss the spectacular conclusion!

Caliber: First Canon of Justice Comic Trailer

I came across the following via a link from Alan Stewart's excellent Camelet in Four Colors website. He also links to a lengthy interview on Comic Book Resources. From Radical Publishing, Caliber: First Canon of Justice (2008), written by Sam Sarkar and illustrated by Garrie Gastonny, is a recasting of the Arthurian legend in the American Old West. It was originally published in five issues and later collected into both a hardcover and paperback edition. There are links to further interviews (under "News/Reviews") at Radical's site for the series.

Here's Radical's introduction to the series:

The Arthurian Legend of Excalibur is reborn in the Old Pacific Northwest. A world in which Shamans replace Wizards, gunfighters walk where knights once stood, and in which a mystical gun will change the world in place of the sword of legend. It is here that Caliber is revealed as a tattooed six gun imbued with supernatural power. A land where lawlessness runs rampant, and Arthur will have his chance to set balance to the scales of justice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

CFP: Comics Get Medieval 2011 (12/1/10; PCA 4/20-23/11 San Antonio)


Celebrating our sixth year in 2011, proposals are now being considered for inclusion at “The Comics Get Medieval 2011,” a series of panels and roundtables sponsored by the Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and to be hosted by the Comics & Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) for the 2011 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations to be held from 20-23 April 2011 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter & Riverwalk Hotels, 101 Bowie Street , San Antonio,TX 78205.

The goal of these sessions is to foster communication between medievalists, comics scholars, and specialists in popular culture studies in general.  The organizers define “medieval comics” as any aspect of the comics medium (panel cartoons, comic strips, comics books, comics albums, band dessinée, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, comics to film/film to comics, etc.) that feature medieval themes either in stories set during the Middle Ages or in stories presenting some element of the medieval in the post-medieval era.  We are also interested in papers looking at medieval comics from a pedagogical perspective.

Completed papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes (depending on the number of presenters). All proposals will also be considered for inclusion in an essay collection to be edited by the panel organizers beginning in late 2011.  (Individuals only interested in submitting for the collection should also send proposals by 1 December 2010 deadline and indicate their preference in the email.)

In addition, a select list of potential topics and a bibliographic guide to medieval comics will appear as part of THE MEDIEVAL COMICS PROJECT web site available at <> and THE ARTHUR OF THE COMICS website available at <>, both organized by the Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages.

No later that 1 December 2010, interested individuals (who must be members of PCA or ACA or join for 2011) should submit full contact information (name, address, phone/cell, and email), titles, and abstracts of 300-500 words to the sessions’ organizers, who will then forward them to area chair. Address all inquiries and proposals to the organizers at the following address: <> and include “Comics Get Medieval 2011” in the subject line.

Friday, August 6, 2010

CFP: Dave Sim Cerebus Book (11/30/10)

Dave Sim Cerebus Book
Call for Papers Date: 2010-11-30
Date Submitted: 2010-03-02
Announcement ID: 174541
EADLINE: November 30, 2010

Call for papers for a collection of critical essays on various aspects of or approaches to Dave Sim's comic book Cerebus, both a scholarly and popular, though coherent, companion (and introduction) to the series.

Any subject matter is welcome, so long as it pertains to Dave Sim and/or Cerebus.

Some recommendations:

Discussion of 1970's comics scene in which Dave first started to contribute together with a discussion of the various influences on Cerebus (Howard the Duck, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja)

Cerebus as satire of the comics medium (The Roach, "reads," etc)

Cerebus as social satire (political and religious satire)

The shift in tone from earlier and later Cerebus as a result of Dave's conversion

The influence of Cerebus on the comics industry

Cerebus and the graphic "Novel"

Dave Sim as self-publisher and his feud with Gary Groth and the Comics Journal

Dave Sim and the CBLDF

Comics fandom and Aardvark Comment (& the Yahoo Group)

Narrative structure in Cerebus

"Mind Games"

"Something Fell"

Dave Sim as magpie (Barry Windsor-Smith, Mort Drucker, etcetera)

Gerhard's impact on Cerebus

Sim's use of literary characters (Wilde, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, etc)

Sim's use of public personas (Elrod, Mick and Keef, Lord Julius, Konigsberg, The 3 Stooges, etc)

Meta-narrative in Cerebus (Viktor Davis/Reid in Reads, Sim in Minds and Guys)

Cerebus and Religion (both pre-and post-conversion)

Cerebus as a critique of feminism

Gender issues in Cerebus (male/female light/void, he/she/it, YHWH, God,
"Tangent," "10 Impossible Things," etc)

Eric Hoffman

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Graphic Engagement: The Politics of Comics and Animation (conference: 9/2-4/10)

Unfortunately, this is now past the date for submissions. A draft of the schedule was posted 24 July.

UPDATE- Extended deadline: Graphic Engagement: The Politics of Comics and Animation (conference: 2-4 Sept. 2010, EXTENDED deadline: 09 July 2010)
Location: Indiana, United States
Call for Papers Deadline: 2010-07-09
Date Submitted: 2010-06-23
Announcement ID: 177086

The Purdue Comparative Literature Program presents the 2010 Conference
Graphic Engagement: The Politics of Comics and Animation

Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN

September 2-4, 2010

The Purdue University Comparative Literature Program welcomes papers that explore the ways in which comics and film animation engage us politically and profoundly influence the way we define gender, race, religion, class, and nationhood. “Political” can be defined broadly, relating not only to affairs of state, but also the praxis of visual narrative and ways it affects individual identity and community dynamics. Possible paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

The appropriation of national myths and folktales in animated film

Dynamics of humor and subversion in syndicated comic strips

Imaging the ethnic/racial other in comics and other forms of visual narrative

Representations of gender and sexuality in anime and manga

The Franco-Belgian comics tradition and its political import

The language of comics as a form of rhetoric

Superheroes as defining, or complicating, communal and national identity

The use of graphic novels and animation in the classroom

Socio-political issues surrounding graphic novels and library cataloging

The links between comic/animated images and the gaming industry

Visual representations of conflict in such places as Israel, Korea, and Germany

Political cartooning and its social impact

Representations of trauma in comics and animation

Journalism, biography, and memoir in comics
Keynote Speaker

Kim Deitch got his start in the late 1960s, working at The East Village Other and Gothic Blimp Works. An Eisner Award-winning writer with experience in both comics and animation, he is the author of such works as All Waldo Comics, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Alias the Cat, Shadowland, and The Search for Smilin’ Ed

For up-to-date information on the event, including details on the keynote speaker and registration, visit the conference website:

Email abstracts of 250 words, with a brief author biography, to:

Please include “Graphic Engagement Conference 2010” in the subject heading.

Hotel rooms have been set aside at the Union Club Hotel, Purdue Memorial Union
 101 N Grant Street | West Lafayette, IN 47907 | (800) 320-6291

Graphic Engagement Conference Organizers

Visit the website at

August Updates

July was a rough month, and I've fallen very far behind on things. But, I'm going to try and upload a series of posts today on this blog and our related blogs in the interests of catching up a little bit.

Also, the hotel details for the PCA/ACA conference in San Antonio next April have finally been settled, and I will be posting a call for the "Comics Get Medieval 2011" later in the month.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More on Lucid

Here an another interview on Lucid from last October with more information on the series:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lucid by Michael McMillian and Anna Wieszczyk

Here's another Arthurian-themed book from Archaia Comics. My information comes from a variety of sources as noted below. The hero of the series is Matthew Dee, a descendant of occultist John Dee, and the series has a number of Arthurian connections.

Welcome to the world of LUCID, the highly anticipated, action-packed, pop-fantasy, four-issue miniseries that draws inspiration from the spy genre, Arthurian legend and 21st-century folklore! Dark forces are conspiring to prevent humankind from reaching its true potential. Thankfully, as newly appointed “Protector of the Realm,” Agent Matthew Dee uses his skills as a covert spy and Combat Mage to ensure America’s freedom from the grip of evil.

From the Before the Door website at


Los Angeles, CA (July 2, 2010) – With fans eagerly anticipating the debut of Archaia Entertainment and Before the Door’s first joint comic project, the two companies proudly unveiled the final cover to the first issue of LUCID, which will debut in August in comic book shops, with advance copies available at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., July 22-25, 2010.

Lucid is a four-issue miniseries written and illustrated by newcomers Michael McMillian and Anna Wieszczyk, who also drew the cover. McMillian is a longtime comics fan and no stranger to the entertainment industry, having recently appeared on the hit HBO series “True Blood” and as a recurring regular on the Amanda Bynes CW television series, “What I Like About You.” McMillian is the creator of Lucid and this is his first written comic work. Wieszczyk is based in Poland and her short story, “Acid Sunset,” was recently published in Popgun Anthology Vol. 4. She is also currently working on Halo8’s Godkiller motion comic.

“We’ve been lucky at Archaia to help usher new creative entities into the comics industry, and one of our most rewarding partnerships has been working with Before the Door to develop Lucid,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “In Lucid, Michael McMillian and Anna Wieszczyk dove not only into the world of modern magic, but this history of magic throughout western culture as well, all wrapped up in a day-glo, über-pop comic book that looks unlike anything else on the stands today. I’m very proud we’re finally able to share this fantastic comic with readers!”

Lucid follows the adventures of Matthew Dee, a Combat Mage and covert spy whose skills earn him the appointment of “Protector of the Realm” by the President of the United States. Dee’s mission is to protect America from the grip of dark forces that are conspiring to prevent humankind from reaching its true Magic potential.

Lucid is my attempt to exorcise a lifelong love affair with comics, swashbuckler action adventures and an unhealthy fixation with fantasy,” shared McMillian, who developed the idea over the course of two years. “Matthew Dee is a pulp hero for the 21st century and I’m very excited Archaia and Before the Door have given me the opportunity to create a new world for him to explore.”

“Michael’s intense passion for comics dovetails perfectly with our mission to tell moving and engaging stories,” said Zachary Quinto (“Heroes,” “Star Trek”). With Before the Door producing partners Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson, Quinto recruited Michael to work with them on their first comic book project. “Lucid was born from Michael’s imagination and developed organically though his collaboration with Before the Door. Along with the enthusiasm and commitment of Archaia, we are proud to present Lucid to comic book fans worldwide.”

Lucid #1 (full color, 24 pages, $3.95, Diamond Order Code JUN10 0745) debuts in comic shops in August 2010.

Solicitations from
By: Michael McMillian, Anna Wieszcyk
Type: Comics
Genres: Fantasy
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment LLC
Pub. Date: August 25, 2010
Availability: Pre-Order
UPC: 81151401072600101
Page Count: 24
Details: Full color

Dark forces are conspiring to prevent humankind from reaching its true potential.

As the newly-appointed 'Protector of the Realm,' Agent Matthew Dee uses his skills as a covert spy and Combat Mage to ensure America's freedom from the grip of evil. Who is Waylan Gheely, and what forbidden power has he stolen? What ancient evil, banished two millennia ago by Merlin himself, threatens to consume our dimension? What presence lurks in the shadows behind it all? And just who is The Secretary of Secrets?

Produced in association with
Star Trek's Zachary Quinto and written by True Blood actor Michael McMillian!

A preview of this issue on the publisher's website includes the following reference to the legend from page 1 (the other two pages appear to be part of a flashback):

By: Michael McMillian, Anna Wieszcyk
Type: Comics
Genres: Fantasy
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment LLC
Pub. Date: September 29, 2010
Availability: Pre-Order
UPC: 81151401072600211

(W) Michael McMillian (A) Anna Wieszczyk. Things are heating up at the House at Dupont Circle! What is the Prophecy of the Pendragon? What Occult weapon threatens the fate the United States... for the second time? And what exactly is an Astral Amplifier?! Lucid #2 takes you one more giant leap into the strange world of Matthew Dee as the novice Combat Mage races against the clock to prevent President's Day from becoming a National Day of Mourning! Written by True Blood actor Michael McMillian and illustrated by newcomer Anna Wieszczyk, Lucid is Archaia's first title published in association with Zachary Quinto (
Heroes, Star Trek) and his production company, Before the Door Pictures.

More to Read:

Jean-Pierre Pécau's The Secret History

Originally published in French, Jean-Pierre Pécau's The Secret History features the Grail as one of four talismans that have impacted human history from the dawn of man to the twentieth century. The English editions are published by Archaia Comics in fourteen prestige-format books and two hardcover collected editions (volume one is out now and volume two follows in November).

Here are the details from Amazon on the collected editions:

The Secret History Volume 1 (The Secret History Omnibus) [Hardcover]
Jean-Pierre Pecau (Author), Igor Kordey (Illustrator), Leo Pilipovic (Illustrator), Goran Sudzuka (Illustrator), Geto (Illustrator), Carole Beau (Illustrator), Manchu (Illustrator), Olivier Vatine (Illustrator)
$34.95 (978-1932386783).

Four immortal brothers and sisters are entrusted with ivory cards in the dawn of prehistory by a dying shaman, and told never to use the cards together. Four immortal brothers and sisters, four archons, leaping through time, consumed in an epic struggle to influence and shape the history of Western civilization. From Moses' challenge to the Pharaoh to the origin of the Grail myth; from the Pope's extermination of the Cathars to Nostradamus' travels in Italy; from the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London to Napoleon's conquest of Egypt; and finally to the Angel of Mons appearing over the trenches of World War I. A secret occult history of the world told in seven chapters. Collects the first SECRET HISTORY series in preparation for the second, coming in 2010.

The Secret History Omnibus Volume 2 [Hardcover]
Jean-Pierre Pecau (Author), Igor Kordey (Author)
$34.95 (978-1932386912).

Four immortal brothers and sisters are entrusted with ivory cards in the dawn of prehistory by a dying shaman, and told never to use the cards together. Four immortal brothers and sisters, four archons, leaping through time, consumed in an epic struggle to influence and shape the history of Western civilization. But now, a fifth Archon is attempting to bring about Armageddon! This volume collects Books Seven through Fourteen and covers the period from World War I to the end of World War II.

The Grail features predominantly in books two and three of the series, where the writer Chrétien de Troyes plays an important role. Archaia does not have any information on the individual books, but I found the following at the website of Lone Star Comics:

BOOK TWO: The Castle of the Djinns, 1176 AD. Two millennia have passed since the four Archons abandoned Egypt and each other and scattered into the world. But now events in the Holy Land draw them together once again. From Antioch to sacred Petra, a knight and a mysterious young woman joined by a writer named Chrétien de Troyes embark on a dangerous quest for the runestone used by Moses, and the origins of the Holy Grail.

BOOK THREE: 'The Grail of Montségur': At the end of the 12th Century,
the Archon Reka uses her influence over the Pope to extend her power over the whole of Christianity. She subverts the Holy Inquisition with a secret aim of seizing the Grail and using the lost runestone of Dyo to gain dominion over her brother. But Erlin and Aker join forces with the Holy Roman Empire of Frederic II, determined to counter her plans!

Robin Hood and King Arthur from Tony Lee and Sam Hart

Last year, Walker Books and their US distributor Candlewick Press initiated the "Heroes and Heroines" imprint and published a graphic novel inspired by the story of Robin Hood, Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood (look inside at Amazon), written by Tony Lee and illustrated by Sam Hart and Artur Fujita and marketed for middle-school-aged readers. An Arthurian book, Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur, from two of the same creators will be released in March 2011 and it also sounds to be a completely original story. Both books can be found at, though only the Robin Hood book can be found at Walker's and Candlewick's sites. Details on both books from Amazon follow.

Tony Lee (Author), Sam Hart (Illustrator), Artur Fujita (Illustrator)
Hardcover $21.99 (978-0763643997).
Paperback $11.99 (978-0763644000).

How did Robin of Loxley become Robin Hood? Why did he choose to fight injustice instead of robbing for his own gain? Expressive and gritty, this graphic novel whisks readers back to Crusades-era England, where the Sheriff of Nottingham rules with an iron fist, and in the haunted heart of Sherwood Forest, a defiant rogue--with the help of his men and the lovely Maid Marian--disguises himself to become an outlaw. Lively language and illustrations follow the legendary hero as he champions the poor and provokes a high-stakes vendetta in a gripping adventure sure to draw a new generation of readers.

Tony Lee (Author), Sam Hart (Illustrator)
Hardcover $21.99 (978-0763646448).
Paperback $11.99 (978-0763646431).

In a dramatic and moving tale of trickery and betrayal, forgiveness and hope, the legend of King Arthur, his loves and losses, the fall of Camelot, his Knights of the Round Table, the secrets of his past and mysteries of his future, all come to bear in this visually stunning portrait of a man. Before Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, was murdered by Ulric, as a final act, Uther thrust his sword, Caliburn, into a rock. Only a man true of heart would be able to draw and wield the weapon once more. Until that time, Ulric would become King of the Britons, raining terror over all the land. And the people of Albion would wait for a beacon of hope. The wizard Merlin knows just who that person is destined to be. If Ulric is to be overthrown, then it is Arthur, son of Uther, who must pull out the sword and become the rightful leader of the Britons. So, until Arthur comes of age, Merlin hides the future King - in so doing he strikes a dangerous bargain with the dark Unseelie Fae. As the day approaches when Arthur will come of age, there are strong powers at play. Not everyone wishes for Arthur to succeed - for it was Morgana, Arthur's half-sister, who Merlin traded to the Unseelie, in place of her brother, all those years ago. And now the witch has a vengeful score to settle.

Tony Lee has been a writer for over twenty years. He has worked for a variety of publishers including Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Markosia, Rebellion, Panini and Titan. He has contributed to many popular and high-profile properties such as X-Men, Doctor Who, Spider Man, Starship Troopers, Wallace & Gromit and Shrek. In 2008 Tony was nominated in the category for "Best Newcomer Writer" at the prestigious Eagle Awards. He lives in London. Sam Hart is a comic book artist and magazine illustrator, having worked on Starship Troopers and Judge Dredd and for publishers Markosia and DC Comics, amongst others. Born in England, he now lives and teaches comic art in Brazil. Artur Fujita is an illustrator and colorist who has colored sequential art for Markosia and Marvel Comics. He lives in Brazil.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Smurfs Movie Teaser (MCP)

Columbia has just released a teaser for the upcoming Smurfs feature film set to be released in the summer of 2011. The Smurfs appears to have been transplanted--rather like in Enchanted--from their original medieval setting to present-day New York City.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cuddles, A Flapper in King Arthur's Court?

A 2004 post by John Adcock on the Platinum Age Comics discussion list introduced me to an (apparently) obscure strip called Cuddles, A Flapper at King Arthur's Court or Cuddles, An American Flapper in King Arthur's Court (1929-?) distributed by Kay Features, Inc. There are almost no references online, just at the Stripper's Guide blog (as far as I can determine), to the strip, and very few references to the cartoonist, Charles H. Forbell. I append an image of three strips (the first two and a third from later [?] in the narrative) that was linked to Adcock's post in the hopes that someone might have further information on the series.

I assume the use of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as a source of inspiration was inspired by either Emmet J. Flynn's silent film from 1921 or Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's 1927 Broadway musical.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Return of the Smurfs

According to an extensive article on the Papercutz website, Belgian cartoonist Peyo's The Smurfs (originally Les Schtroumpfs), a comics series set in a medieval-like world, will return to American comics this year in a one-shot comic book, reprinting the story that introduced the Smurf's nemeses Gargamel and Azrael, and line of graphic novels based on the original European comics. The second of the two graphic novels, The Smurf and the Magic Flute, will present the first Smurf adventure from 1958. Computer-animated versions of the Smurfs are also set to feature in a live action film currently set to be released in August 2011.

For Arthurian enthusiasts, the Smurfs have had at least one adventure in Camelot, when, in the aptly named "The Smurf of the Round Table" (1989), they help Merlin and Lancelot save Camelot from the evil of Morgan le Fay. The episode can be viewed online at

Avalon High the Movie

The Disney Channel is now filming a live-action adaptation of Meg Cabot's young-adult novel Avalon High. No word on whether or not this production will incorporate material from the three-part manga sequel Avalon High: Coronation. Details from a press release about the film can be found on various web sites including the following from The Futon Critic:
[05.03.10 - 10:50 AM]
Released by Discovery
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


Production has begun in New Zealand on "Avalon High," a fantasy-filled Disney Channel Original Movie starring Britt Robertson ("Life Unexpected") and Gregg Sulkin ("Wizards of Waverly Place," Disney Channel UK's "As the Bell Rings"). Based on the award-winning novel by best-selling author Meg Cabot ("The Princess Diaries"), the movie follows Allie Pennington, a new student to Avalon High who is shocked to discover that her new classmates are reincarnations of King Arthur and his Court. "Avalon High" is slated to premiere in fall 2010.

In "Avalon High," Allie is ecstatic when her parents, traveling professors who specialize in King Arthur's legend, tell her she will be staying at Avalon High until she graduates. She can finally join the track team, make new friends and be a normal high school student. But shortly after arriving, Allie discovers that something strange may be afoot. While researching a term paper on King Arthur's legacy, she begins to notice some interesting parallels between the past and the present - from handsome quarterback Will, his cheerleader girlfriend, Jen, and their best friend, Lance, to Will's brooding step-brother, Marco, a quirky kid named Miles and football players who act like knights of the roundtable. The deeper Allie searches, the more convinced she is that her school is a contemporary Camelot, and it's up to her to solve of the mystery of Avalon High before notorious traitor Mordred wins again.

Starring are: Britt Robertson as Allie Pennington, Gregg Sulkin as Will Wagner, Joey Pollari (Disney XD's "Skyrunners") as Miles, Devon Graye ("Dexter") as Marco, Molly Quinn ("Castle") as Jen, Christopher Tavarez ("Big Momma's House 2") as Lance, and Steve Valentine ("I'm in the Band," "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie," "Crossing Jordan") as Mr. Moore.

The teleplay, based on the book by Meg Cabot, was written by Julie Sherman Wolfe ("Jonas," "Phil of the Future") and is directed by Stuart Gillard (Disney Channel's "Hatching Pete," "90210"). "Avalon High" is a production of Sudden Motion Productions, Inc. and Ranger Productions Ltd.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 99 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Frank Cammuso's Obama Hood!

Frank Cammuso, political cartoonist and creator of the Arthurian-inspired Knights of the Lunch Table series for young readers, has recently posted a Robin-Hood-themed cartoon at

I've attached a copy below.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kalamazoo Papers of Interest

The following papers of relevance to the topic of medieval comics are included in the program for this week's International Congress on Medieval Studies held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1:30-3:00 PM

Global Progeny
Sponsor: Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the Middle Ages (SCGMA)
Organizer: Gabriel Gryffyn, Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Presider: Maria Cecire, Univ. of Chicago/Univ. of Oxford
PAPER 2OF 2: The Percival Complex: Understanding the Role of the Imperfect Hero in the Global Popularity of Juvenile Manga Series
Lorna Wolcott Cooper, Lubbock Christian Univ.

3:30-5:00 PM

Medievalism in Music and the Fine Arts
Sponsor: Studies in Medievalism
Organizer: Richard Utz, Western Michigan Univ.
Presider: Kirsten Yri, Wilfrid Laurier Univ.
PAPER 4 OF 4: Jeff Smith’s “Bone”: Revising Tolkien and Lewis’s Antimodernist Fantasies
Andrew Taylor, Western Michigan Univ.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arthurian/Medieval Papers at PCA/ACA 2010

The following three papers represent the medieval-themed comics-related papers at the upcoming Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Annual Meeting to be held next week in St. Louis. The complete program (and addendum) can be accessed at:

The Society will be sponsoring a session on medieval-themed comics at next year's conference in San Antonio, and a call for papers will be posted soon.

WEDNESDAY, 2:00-4:30 PM

Room 105 Am Ctr (1st Floor)
1062 Gothic in Literature, Film, & Culture: Contemporary Film
Session Chair: Matthew English, Idaho State University
PAPER 1 OF 4: “Darkly Dreaming Dexter and the Incredible Hulk: Modern Gothic Mutations of Stevenson’s Iconic Doppelganger”
Matthew English

FRIDAY, 8:00-9:30 AM

Lucas (21st Floor)
3036 Arthurian Legends: Arthur's “Afterlife” and the Dialectics of Adaptation
Session Chair: Amy S. Kaufman, Wesleyan College
PAPER 3 OF 3: “'The Past and Future King!': Camelot 3000, Context, and the Limits of Adaptation”
Dion Cautrell, University of Nebraska at Kearney

SATURDAY, 2:30-4:00 PM

Room 240 Am Ctr (2nd Floor)
4104 Comic Art & Comics: Ideologies and Philosophies
Session Chair: Paul Malone, University of Waterloo
PAPER 2 OF 4: “Her Guardiner: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing as the Green Man”
Colin Beineke, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Monday, March 22, 2010

Return of the Sword

During World War Two, American publisher Ace Magazine produced a series of stories, beginning with Captain Courageous Comics No. 6 (March 1942), devoted to the ongoing adventures of the Sword, the alter ego of young Arthur Lake, an American boy/teen empowered by Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. Having discovered Excalibur while visiting England, Lake brought the blade home to the States and used its power to transform (like Fawcett Comics' Billy Batson) into his superheroic identity. As the Sword, Lake shared adventures with two other heroes--Lancelot (the alter ego of young Lance Larter) and Merlin (old Moe Lyn)--and fought a number of home front threats, including the Arthurian-inspired Faye Morgan. (see Public Domain Super Heroes for more details)

Following his final appearance, the Sword has languished in relative obscurity until a recent revival by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross in Project Superpowers from Dynamite Entertainment (back issues can be ordered direct from the publisher). The Sword, along with other heroes from Ace, is reintroduced to twenty-first century readers in Project Superpowers: Chapter Two No. 6 (2010), though there is, as yet, no mention of his origins or former companions.

Return of King Arthur Curry

Arthur Curry, the king of Atlantis best know by his superhero name Aquaman, appears poised to take center stage in the upcoming Brightest Day series--26 biweekly issues--from DC. Curry has been through a number of changes in recent years, but, if the promotional art to Brightest Night No. 2 is any indication, he will soon return to his roots, though it is too early to know if writer Geoff Jones will make any use of Curry's association with the Matter of Britain.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CFP: Comics Art Conference 2010 (3/1/10; San Diego 7/22-25/10)

Call for Papers, Presentations, and Participation


100 to 200 word abstracts for papers, presentations, panels, and poster sessions taking a critical or historical perspective on comics (juxtaposed images in sequence), and to serve as respondents are being accepted for two meetings of scholars and professionals for

Comic-Con International

San Diego, CA July22 – 25, 2010


Wonder Con

San Francisco, CA April 2 - 4 2010

We seek proposals from a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and welcome the participation of academic, independent, and fan scholars. We welcome professionals from all areas of the comics industry, including creators, editors, publishers, retailers, distributors, and journalists.

The Conference is designed to bring together comics scholars, professionals, and critics,
who wish to engage in serious study of the comics medium in a forum that includes the public.

Proposals due:
Dec. 1, 2009, for CAC-WC March 1, 2010, for CAC-SD

CAC submission form:

Dr. Peter Coogan

Institute for Comics Studies

719 Fairview Ave.
St. Louis MO 63119



Saturday, January 16, 2010

CFP Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10)

This was posted last November on the regular blog for The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages. A second call for papers will follow in the spring.

CFP Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10)

In commemoration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of Prince Valiant, we are seeking brief proposals (apx. 200-500 words) for a collection of essays on comics (comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, web comics, and adaptations into other media) based on or inspired by the Arthurian tradition. The collection will be edited by Michael A Torregrossa and Jason Tondro. Please submit proposals to the editors by 30 January 2010.

Michael A Torregrossa
The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prince Valiant Reprints

Both old and recent adventures of Prince Valiant are now be reprinted by Fantagraphics and Andrews McMeel, respectively. These are also available from online booksellers at a reduced rate.

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 (Vol. 2: 1939-1940 is due out in May 2010)
Click here for a preview.

Details for this: Book
Author: Hal Foster
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 120
Dimensions: 10.5" x 14.25"
Colors: full color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-141-1
Additional Details: n/a

Price: $29.99


Universally acclaimed as the most stunningly gorgeous adventure comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant ran for 35 years under the virtuoso pen of its creator, Hal Foster. (Such was its popularity that today, decades after Foster’s death, it continues to run under different hands.)

The giant Sunday-funnies pages (Valiant ran only on Sundays) gave Foster a huge canvas upon which he was able to limn epic swordfights, stunning scenes of pomp and pageantry, and some of the most beautiful human beings — male and female — ever to appear in comics. And he matched his nonpareil visual sense with the narrative instincts of a born storyteller, propelling his daring young hero from one crisis to another with barely a panel to catch one’s breath.

Prince Valiant has previously been widely available only in re-colored, somewhat degraded editions (now out of print and fetching collectors’ prices). Thanks to advances in production technology and newly available original proof sheets, this new series from the industry leader in quality strip classics is the first to feature superb restored artwork that captures every delicate line and chromatic nuance of Foster’s original masterpiece. Comic strip aficionados will be ecstatic, and younger readers who enjoy a classic adventure yarn will be bowled over.

Volume One is rounded out with a rare, in-depth classic Foster interview previously available only in a long out-of-print issue of The Comics Journal, as well as an informative Afterword detailing the production and restoration of this edition, which you can read in its entirety right here on our website.

Prince Valiant: Far From Camelot
by Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz
Click here to access a preview.

U.S.: $19.99 Canada: $21.99
Format: Paperback
On sale: October 2008
Category: Comics and Humor

Prince Valiant is a high-art comic novel that follows the exploits of the iconic knight errant. Originally created by Hal Foster and now sketched by award-winning creators Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz, Prince Valiant is an epic comic adventure that has maintained a continuous story line since its debut in 1937. Noted for its realistic panoramas and its intelligent, humorous narrative, Prince Valiant depicts events taken from various time periods spanning from the late Roman Empire to the High Middle Ages.

This collection follows Prince Valiant and his son Nathan as they prepare for battle following King Arthur's abdication. The knightly father and son encounter danger and adventure as they right wrongs throughout each step of their journey. Meanwhile, Aleta, Valiant's true love, holds court back at Camelot while facing challenges of her own.

Prince Valiant appears weekly in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. Strips dating from November 21, 2004, to May 11, 2008 are included within this collection.

Detailed Specifications

Prince Valiant

Far From Camelot

by Gary Gianni , Mark Schultz
U.S.: $19.99
Canada: $21.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-7407-7737-0
ISBN-10: 0-7407-7737-8
Trim Size: 8 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.
Page Count: 192 pp
On sale: October 2008
Existing Title
Format: Paperback
Category: Comics and Humor

Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

Coming soon from Fantagraphics:

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion (HC; SC) [click to order and to view a preview; a more in-depth preview can be found on]

Details for this: Book
Author: Compiled & Revised by Brian M. Kane
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"
Colors: black & white/color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-306-4
Additional Details: Introduction by Ray Bradbury; Foreword by Brian Walker

Ships in: December 2009 (subject to change)
Price: $39.99

Details for this: Book
Author: Compiled & Revised by Brian M. Kane
Format: Softcover
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"
Colors: black & white/color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-305-7
Additional Details: Introduction by Ray Bradbury; Foreword by Brian Walker

Price: $24.99

Out of print for over a decade, The Prince Valiant Companion has become a Holy Grail for collectors of the series. Now, in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of comics’ longest-running adventure strip, and to celebrate our own just-launched reprinting of the strip’s classic earliest years, Fantagraphics is proud to present an expanded version of this hard-to-find collector’s item. Compiled by award-winning Foster biographer Brian M. Kane, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion beautifully showcases the careers of artists Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy, and Gary Gianni.

In addition to updating the original version’s story synopsis section with over thirty years of material, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion also contains rare and new articles. Included in this volume is a never before reprinted newspaper feature from 1949, Foster’s final interview conducted by Arn Saba, an extensive interview with John Cullen Murphy, and a new interview with the current Prince Valiant creative team of Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz. The Companion also contains a new, in-depth article by Kane on Foster’s artistic influences, as well as a Foreword by comics historian Brian Walker, and an Introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ray Bradbury.

A special feature of the Companion is a sixteen-page color section of carefully selected strips from the entire run of the comic. Showcasing this section are eight pages by Foster, scanned and digitally restored from original color engraver’s proofs that had been carefully stored and preserved for over forty years. For the first time ever, collectors will be able to see Prince Valiant as Foster intended it to be seen, with all of his fine inked line work intact. Rounding out this section are four John Cullen Murphy pages from the Murphy family’s collection of proofs, and four Gary Gianni pages that were selected by the artist and digitally recolored under his supervision.

Proceeds from the sale of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion will go to The Friends of Hal Foster Society to aid in the creation of the Prince Valiant statue in Foster’s birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Muppet King Arthur Updates

The following details were culled from the Mile High Comics' New Issue Comics Express online catalog, however, as there were some delays in the creation of the comic, the information on numbers 1 and 2 may be inaccurate.

(W) Johanna Stokes (A) TBD Many have sought the Holy Grail, and many have failed. Now the Muppets present some very good reasons why, as they recount the fantastic quest of King Arthur and his Muppets of the Round Table! This classic tale of adventure, romance, and magic is told once again, but this time with more frogs, chickens, bears, and Whatnots than you can shake Excalibur at! In the words of Fozzie, it will be a 'knight' to remember! Covers by Amy Mebberson and Mouse Guard's David Petersen.

(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) David Alvarez The epic tale of King Arthur continues, as only the Muppets can tell it! Featuring covers by David Petersen (of Mouse Guard fame) and Amy Mebberson!

MUPPET KING ARTHUR #3 (OF 4) (C: 1-0-0)
(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) Dave Alvarez The characters you love retell the legend you thought you knew, as King Arthur and his Muppets Of The Round Table set off on a quest to find the Holy Grail. A tale of swords, sorcery, frogs and bad one-liners as only the Muppets can tell it! Covers by Amy Mebberson and David Petersen of Mouse Guard fame.

MUPPET KING ARTHUR #4 (OF 4) (C: 1-0-0)
(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) David Alvarez Every great quest must come to an end, and for now the Knights of Arthur must be tabled. But not before the epic battle against Mordred (Robin), as he attempts to claim the throne! Can Arthur (Kermit) defeat his son in the most deadly form of combat known to man - a pun-off?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ex Occultus: A Matter of Britain (New/Recent & FREE!) is currently offering the following comic for a free download as a watermarked PDF. I am unfamiliar with the Ex Occultus series and, at this point, do not know if there have been any additional references to the legend.

Ex Occultus: A Matter of Britain

1875. Wakefield and Hollander are sent to investigate the ghostly goings-on in a cave near a small village, where they discover the exiled Lancelot du Lac, fabled knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. The intrepid occultists first find themselves in awe of the famed warrior, but soon discover the madness the knight has endured after centuries of isolation.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Muppet King Arthur (New and Recent)

Boom Studios has announced the release of Nos. 1 and 2 of Muppet King Arthur, a re-imaging of the legend featuring the Muppet characters. The series, which will should be available on Boom Studio's website for purchase soon, follows on the heels of the publisher's Muppet Robin Hood and Muppet Peter Pan. is now taking pre-orders for the collected edition of Muppet King Arthur due out this July in both hardcover and paperback editions.

New and Recent: Fate/Stay Night

Happy New Year and welcome to the Arthur of the Comics Project Blog. Soon, I will be posting a preliminary bibliography of studies related to the study of Arthurian comics, but, in the meantime, readers can expect some notices on new and recent comics like this one.

Out this month is No. 6 of Tokyopop's manga series Fate/Stay Night. The manga is based on a twenty-four episode anime series, adapted from a 2004 computer game by TYPE-MOON, that aired in Japan in 2005. The anime series, now available in the West on DVD, features a character named Arturia Pendragon, a female incarnation of King Arthur, who, as "Saber," is summoned from the past to participate in an epic struggle featuring master mages and their servants (Saber included) for possession of the Holy Grail, a talisman of incredibly powerful magic capable of reshaping reailty. Nos. 1 through 5 of the manga set up the struggle for the Grail and introduce the main characters, while No. 6 (Jan 2010) sets the stage for the revelation of Saber's true identity (to occur in No. 7 due out in March), when her weapon is revealed to be Excalibur.

More details on the Fate/Stay Night franchise can be found on its Wikipedia page. Previews of the manga can be found on Tokyopop's web site.