We don’t seem to be getting away from the ‘batches of six’ announcements made by Comic-Con International for this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con (Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd July 2017; Preview Night, Wednesday 18th July), which means that we are certainly on the path for a record-breaking collective of Special Guests, making the trip out to the West Coast. And this latest batch is arguably one of the most illustrious and influential we seen so far, as lifetime members of the creative team behind the leading underground comic, ZAP COMIX.
You’ve got artists, cartoonists, writers and even the books publisher join an already stunning line-up of creative luminaries, including Rafael Albuquerque, Marc Bernardin, Thi Bui, Aminder Dhaliwal, Cory Doctorow, Mark Evanier, Emil Ferris, Brian Fies, Manuele Fior, Andy Fish, Veronica Fish, Richard Friend, Alex Grecian, Elizabeth Hand, Deborah Harkness, R. C. Harvey, Nalo Hopkinson, Larry F. Houston, E. K. Johnson, Lynn Johnston, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire, Paul Levitz, Richard Liniers Siri, Jason Lutes, David Mack, Larry Marder, Scott McCloud, Mike Mignola, Lonnie Millsap, Terry Moore, Ann Nocenti, Daniel José Older, Randy Reynaldo, Jeff Smith, Matt Taylor, Maggie Thompson, Peter J. Tomasi, Tillie Walden and Jen Wang – forty-six amazing guests, I’m sure you’ll agree.
ZAP COMIX celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2018 – this bunch is such an amazing group to honour that publication, and we’re certain that we’ll be seeing a dedicated panel announced, closer to July.
Today’s announced Special Guests are:
- VICTOR MOSCOSO: Artist: ZAP COMIX; concert posters
- TRINA ROBBINS: Cartoonist / Comics Herstorian (sic): WIMMIN’S COMIX / WOMEN AND THE COMICS
- WILLIAM STOUT: Artist, Illustrator: THE DINOSAURS / LEGENDS OF THE BLUES
- RON TURNER: Publisher / Distributor: LAST GASP
- CAROL TYLER: Writer / Artist: FAB4MANIA / SOLDIER’S HEART
- ROBERT WILLIAMS: Artist, ZAP COMIX / Creator, JUXTAPOZ Art Magazine
(You can actually see Trina in full flow as part of our San Diego Comic Fest coverage, in which she was a panel host, a couple of times throughout the weekend – links to come, watch this space.)
Hell of a crew, right? We’ve added this collective to our SDCC Utility Belt pages, links to which you can find below. Bookmark them today to have easy access to who you can find at SDCC this year.
See you next Monday, as we become overwhelmed by more incredible talents…
(Artist: ZAP COMIX; concert posters)
Victor Moscoso shot to white-hot fame during the ’60s, defining the decade with his vibrant colors, liquid letterforms, and one-of-a-kind drawing style. His posters and underground comix seem to defy the 2D pages they inhabit, thoroughly exploring staging, space, movement, and time in ways that paved the way for a new visual era.
Moscoso’s work in comics, like his posters, was rooted in the act of drawing. When he began a new creative alliance with Rick Griffin, the cartoonist and poster artist, the duo intentionally devised an unorthodox process to create a modern interpretation of the traditional comic book. Instead of simply executing a preconceived idea, he and Griffin took turns improvising a single row of panels. Later, they assembled the completed rows into single pages.
In 1968, he and Griffin had just completed a few pages of their collaboration comic when Robert Crumb invited them both to partner with him for the second issue of ZAP, one of the earliest and most historically important underground comics. Moscoso was enticed by ZAP’s use of the black-and-white comic book format as well as the idea of self-publishing, so he and Griffin unscrambled their collaborative piece into single-author pages and gave them to Crumb for inclusion.
Moscoso cleared paths and perceptions; he is an inimitable master of drawing and poster design. We can trace his roots, but the full flowering of his talent seems like a magic act that defies explication or replication.
Photo Credit: Rachelle Steele
(Cartoonist / Comics Herstorian (sic): WIMMIN’S COMIX / WOMEN AND THE COMICS)
Trina Robbins has been drawing and writing comics since 1966, when she drew comics for the East Village Other, New York’s iconic underground newspaper, while at the same time designing and selling clothes from her Lower East Side boutique, Broccoli. In 1970, she produced the very first all-woman comic book, IT AIN’T ME, BABE. In 1972 she was one of the founding mothers of WIMMIN’S COMIX, the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book (1972–1992).
In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, she co-wrote (with catherine yronwood) WOMEN AND THE COMICS, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists. She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists such as Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, Barbara Hall, and Lily Renee.
In 1986, she became the first woman to draw a WONDER WOMAN comic book.
In 2013 Trina was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. In 2017 she was inducted into the Wizard World Hall of Legends, and at the San Diego Comic-Con she received the Eisner Award for editing the two-volume reprint collection of THE COMPLETE WIMMIN’S COMIX.
(Artist, Illustrator: THE DINOSAURS / LEGENDS OF THE BLUES)
William Stout illustrated COVEN 13 while attending CalArts, then assisted Russ Manning on the TARZAN OF THE APES newspaper strips and Eisner Award-winning graphic novels. Stout worked for CYCLE-TOONS and CAR-TOONS, joined Kurtzman and Elder on Playboy’s LITTLE FANNY ANNIE and collaborated with Will Eisner and Moebius.
An early American contributor to Heavy Metal, Bill created the advertising for WIZARDS and 120 other films, then worked as a designer on over 40 films including BUCK ROGERS, the CONAN films, PREDATOR, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Disney’s DINOSAUR, MEN IN BLACK, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, and PAN’S LABYRINTH. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD made him the youngest production designer in film history.
RAY BRADBURY’S DINOSAUR TALES and THE LITTLE BLUE BRONTOSAURUS (1984 Children’s Choice Award and the basis for THE LAND BEFORE TIME) followed Stout’s groundbreaking THE DINOSAURS—A FANTASTIC NEW VIEW OF A LOST ERA. (Michael Crichton acknowledged Stout’s work as an inspiration for JURASSIC PARK.) Stout has twelve prehistoric murals in the San Diego Natural History Museum and two more at the San Diego Zoo.
Stout co-founded the Comic Art Professional Society, designed their logo and was their tenth president. Over 24 million William Stout trading cards have been sold. Bill recently wrote and illustrated a story for SPOOK HOUSE and is the author-illustrator of LEGENDS OF THE BLUES.
Stout has attended every single San Diego Comic-Con.
(Publisher / Distributor: LAST GASP)
Ron Turner is the long-time proprietor of Last Gasp, the San Francisco based publisher of comix and books. He began publishing in 1970 with SLOW DEATH FUNNIES, an ecological underground comic anthology, and immediately followed it with the first all-women underground comic, IT AIN’T ME, BABE. He subsequently published ZAP, WEIRDO, YOUNG LUST, and hundreds more titles over nearly 50 years in business.
He’s studied engineering and experimental psychology, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka, worked as a railroad brakeman, tutored blind students in statistics, and managed a drive-in theater. He is married, has two children and three grandchildren.
(Writer / Artist: FAB4MANIA / SOLDIER’S HEART)
Carol Tyler is one of the most important autobiographical artist/writers in comics. Her latest, FAB4MANIA (2018) is about her Beatlemania.
Tyler started with WEIRDO in the ‘80s. Since then, Fantagraphics has published THE JOB THING (1993), LATE BLOOMER (2005), the YOU’LL NEVER KNOW trilogy (2009–2012) which became Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand my WWII Veteran Father, A Daughter’s Memoir (2015). SOLDIER’S HEART received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and the Cartoonist Studio Prize from slate.com. It earned 11 Eisner Award nominations, two LA Book Prize nominations, and an Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Tyler’s brilliant THE HANNAH STORY is on The Comics Journal’s Top 100 Comics of the 20th Century.
(Artist, ZAP COMIX / Creator, JUXTAPOZ Art Magazine)
Born March 2, 1943 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Robert Williams moved to Los Angeles in 1963 for a formal art education. As a student at Los Angeles City College, he became the editorial cartoonist for the college paper and received a national award. After briefly attending Chouinard Art Institute, Williams was employed in a number of art endeavours: magazine art director, container designer, etc. 1965 ushered in success as art director for the creative think tank of famous custom car builder, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (1965–1970).
In 1968, Williams’ involvement in underground cartooning led to his participation in the ZAP COMIX collective. During this entire time, Williams concurrently produced cartoon oriented oil paintings as he was determined to stem the tide against academic resistance to realistic painting. Standing almost alone, Williams eventually united with artists in the Punk Rock movement who shared his cartoon/fine art sympathies. As a result, Williams was deemed the father of low brow art.
Recognising a need led Williams to create JUXTAPOZ Art Magazine in 1994. This important innovative magazine, along with a 27-year stint at the prestigious Tony Shafrazi Gallery, gained Williams serious national recognition. Currently he is enjoying a traveling museum tour of his work both here and abroad.
All images: (c) Comic-Con International, except where stated.