Monday, July 2, 2012

Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey at Midtown Comics Book Club!

Zoe, Thor, Ryan and Fred
chatting about Comic Book Comics!
This month, the Midtown Comics Book Club featured the ever-awesome Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, who were talking about the collected edition of Comic Book Comics!

In case you haven't been reading Comic Book Comics, this series chronicles the history of comics through creative storytelling and design.  Many of the stories are ones that we hear as comic readers but never get the full story.  Van Lente and Dunlavey do their best to provide an unbiased look at how the comics industry came to be.  We have all been big fan since this release party for the fifth issue, the All-Lawsuits Issue!

Here are some tidbits from their Q & A, masterfully moderated by Midtown's Thor Parker and Zoe Gulliksen:

Thor asked them if this was a hard project to complete.  According to Dunlavey "I thought this was going to be the easiest thing but it was the hardest thing I have ever done."  He did say that Van Lente did most of the research but he had to research a lot of the design elements he used.

Next they were asked if there was any backlash to using so many protected images.  Van Lente said that there is a loophole for licensing is that it is for editorial purposes. They tell the reader about the facts of the protected item.  They could also claim that is was used in a parody, which is protected.  Fun side note is that Marvel yelled at Van Lente to stop writing about Kirby due to the impending legal issues but the issue was already complete when they approached him.  Van Lente didn't change a thing.

When asked which was their favorite story, Dunlavey immediately said that he loved the Air Pirates story.  Van Lente loves the connections within each of the stories. Steve Ditko did a Dr. Strange poster for a Jefferson Airplane concert and that was part of the beginning of underground comics.

My favorite part of this was learning that Comic Book Comics is being used as a textbook!  Some schools are using in their classes as a teaching tool like their previous book Action Philosophers.  They aren't stopping there with the learning; they are working on Action Presidents for the non-profit Reading with Pictures.  Van Lente also mentioned that they are in talks with a publisher to complete a history of money book but it isn't a certainty yet.

Comic Book Comics is a must read, so if you don't have a copy go get one now!  It is the funnest learning you will ever do!  Next month at Midtown Comics the book is Pigeons From Hell from Dark Horse Comics.  Artist Nathan Fox will be there to answer questions and demo his creative process!  Oooh!  See you there!

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