The Big Dumb Family and The Cowboy Book. What a range. Get it? Range, cowboy.

In Graphic Literature the political strip always seem to be a lead-in to other things in a countries history in Graphic Literature. And that’s where today’s country somewhat began with the art form.

I’ll share a bit of that, plus some heroes as well. The art will of course pop up, well appear on the page. Let’s begin near the beginning. We’re headed to Mexico.

So we’ll start near the beginning.

First up is Gabriel Vargas and La Familia Burron (The Big, the-familyDumb Family). Why am I starting with this one? I think a book running from 1948-2009 should be mentioned. The book was about a lower to middle class couple in Mexico, their teenaged kids and an adopted child.1 One site mentions a comparison to The Simpsons.2 Such a success from a man who had 11 siblings and was a draftsman for a newspaper around the age of 13.



Yolanda Vargas Dulché, an author who along with Alberto memin5Cabreras, created her own legend and legacy with Memín Pinguín in 1943.3 Memín Pinguín was noted for its use of clean language4 with family values and handling of societal issues. Part of the societal issues handled and that were able to be addressed is that Memín and is his mother were Afro-Mexican characters. The characters in the book were based on children Yolanda had seen when she was young and had traveled.5 To be truthful, the manner in which the main character is drawn cvargas2onfuses me. A description has him with curly hair. But all images are of him with no hair, that I can see, and I at first thought the boy in the picture might have been Memín, but no, the boy in the read shirt is.

Another of Yolanda’s creations, along with her husband Guillermo de la Parra, Lágrimas, Risas y Amor (Tears, Laughter and Love), 1962 was said to have helped to raise the literacy rate in Mexico. Think melodramas aimed at women.6

The above examples are rarities. The majority of the material that was put out during the 1970s and into the 1980s was little more than illustrated porn.

Popular Books Today.

vaqueroTwo books mentioned as being the most widely circulated amongst Mexico’s historietas as they are called, are El Libro Vaquero (The Cowboy semanalBook) aimed at men, dating back to 1952. and El Libro Semanal (The Weekly Book) aimed at women and set in the 19th century on the American frontier.7I’ll admit I like the idea of westerns as being a popular form of Graphic Literature as opposed to the normal superhero I am accustomed to.

The Dark Ages

It has been repeatedly mentioned in the main source I’ve used about how the industry did not go through the slump the United States did during the 1990s. I’ll take a moment for a personal comment here. If American comics had resorted to selling porn on cheap paper and and everywhere it could, most likely they could have floated through a a little better. Although American comics are not what they once were as far as being as family friendly, they aren’t porn. They are more like hard boiled detective novels.

A Family Affair.

Now let’s talk about a family with a superhero flare. Yes, I am tired of dealing with the somewhat overtly serious and direct.

I love when generations get involved in creating Graphic Literature. There are several in the United States among Marvel Comics. But we’re in Mexico.

zorOscar González Guerrero is not what would be called a young man these days, born in 1926 he is now 89 years young. Perhaps the medium he works in is part of what keeps him that way.  He started back in the 1950s but is still active today as part of a company with his son. Some books from his early days were Zor y los Invencibles. And then one classic, I just can’t help but laugh to look at. Hermelinda Linda.8







But let’s check out some of his son, Oscar González Loyo‘s work who 250px-Karmatronformed ¡Ka-Boom! Estudio9 with his father. Two of his noted books are Karmatron and the Transformers and Las Aventuras de Parchís. He’s also worked on titles such as the New Speed Racer, The Simpsons, and even story boarded the the Latin American version of Sesame Street. Story boarding is where someone draws the images of how the sholoyow or movie is to go. That way people can see it visually before performing. He’s also a Will Eisner award winner.10



Well, that’s it for today. I have more but sometimes enough is enough for one day. You don’t want to know about the guy born in Mexico that ended up drawing Spider-Man and the X-Men anyway. Maybe another time. So what if the two guys above are the ones who made it happen for him.

See you tomorrow.

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#Ireland from #Paddy to #Ennis this country has it all.

INot a whole lot of I countries in the world, and today, thanks to the folks at A to Z Challenge1, I decided to go with Ireland. Sorry, no Gaelic here today, folks. Perhaps some southern dialect. As in my use of y’all at times, but that’s about it.


I could not include Ireland in this series due to one specific writer that I’ll discuss later.

Except for the Paddy Brennan images, if you click an image you will be taken either to the publishers site or the creators site or Amazon Author Page. Although I only use images found in the public domain, I will be going to the policy if linking to the people who deserve the credit and perhaps you will find something you like from some great talent.

First let’s begin a little more back in the day.

Paddy Brennan2

He was born in Ireland in 193o. When did he die? No one knows, or even if he has. He was a very private man and didn’t give interviews. He wanted to work and that was it. I can’t blame him there. MagnoComicImagine being able to create and not deal with the headaches to go with it of publicity.

His first published work was Jeff Collins-Crime Reporter for Magno Comics3 in 1946.

Marsman Comics4 came in 1948. Marsman_cover

Then his big break. In 1949 when he joined up with  D. C. Thomson & Company, Limited5 to which he may or may not owe to his sister sending in samples of his work, depending on if the legends are true. He did Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady in the Lake for People’s Journal, Sir Solomon Snoozer, and  Rusty in The Dandy6.


Jumbo1957Brennan was also the first artist to draw General Jumbo7 for The Beano8. General Jumbo originally appeared in 1953 and has periodically shown up ever since, even after the end of its series run. The book was basically about a boy who controlled a mechanized army created by a scientist. Why do I go into detail for this one? The influence of the book has been greater than one would have expected. One name in particular should be recognizable, Alan Moore9 of Watchmen  and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen fame. Click for Comic Book Creators of England and Alan Moore

Now for new school but with an old idea, sort of.

Rob Curley10

A Dublin man with a busy life, Robert Curley not only is a creator but a comic book shop owner and comic book publisher with Atomic Diner11 as well. That’s a dream right there. I wanted to mention him for a number of reasons. One of course is is writing and creations such as Freakshow, The League of Volunteers12  and The Black Scorpion13, both set in 1940s WWII, as well as many others. All with different genres within comics.

Let me speak about The League of Volunteers for a moment. America has IrishLeague_of_Volunteers superheroes. They are called stereotypes, and sad ones at that. Rob Curley was tired of it all14. He draws inspiration for the characters from Irish mythology and history. Right up my alley. But why do I mention Curley? Through Atomic Diner he has brought the world great talents.

Part of the way he does this is he gives a plot for a book and hands it off to others to actually write the scripts for. When you have a growing company with success, you need all the talent you can get. Maura McHugh15, writer, and Malachy Coney16 writer and cartoonist are two such writers. Coney has worked on a book called The Darkness17 from Tow Cow/Image Comics18. McHugh works on Róisín Dubh19, another historical comic but with a twist.

How many of you reading this right now that know me can tell I would be subscribing to every book this company has right now if I could? I am truly getting my History teach and comic collector geek on.

I could stop here but I can’t. Why? Because of the next man.

Garth Ennis20

Garth Ennis is a writer from Northern Ireland who began his career in the British anthology Crisis21 by Fleetway22, which is now Egmont23. Crisis was a series that gave the UK audience more of a mature book to read with less of the need to appeal to the younger audience. This is not to ay mature as in sex, but as in intelligent and political.

Ennis wrote Troubled Souls, set in Northern Ireland, for Crisis which led to For a Few Troubles More, and True Faith. True Faith , a religious satire, was pulled from publishing but later found a home in America for Vertigo24.

Ennis’ success led to his being handed the flagship title of Judge Dredd25. Ennis then made the jump to American comics with preacherHellbazer26, the John Constantine27 book for DC Comics28. Some of you may know this character from the movie with Keanu Reeves called Constantine.

At DC Ennis’ creativity took off as he created Preacher29 and Hitman30. Then came another jump. This one to the competition, Marvel Comics31 and Punisher32. You will notice with Ennis’ title selections to work on, he isn’t much into the traditional superhero vein. He prefers the more realistic and gritty forms of characters. I can see the attraction in finding success through telling stories without gimmicks of powers. Although gimmicks of powers are great as well.


 This is one of those that could have gone on for much longer, not only Garth Ennis, but Ireland as well. Surprising? A little. But when you look at the literary history of this country, can we really be surprised?

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Hong Kong from Oriental Heroes to Mcdull. Comics abound. #AtoZChallenge


HToday’s article is brought to you by the letter H by way of the A to Z Challenge1 challenge. You can visit them with a list of almost 1800 bloggers from around the world participating in the challenge this month. Click the little 1 and it will take you down to the link.

Now with that out of the way, let’s get to the serious business of comic book creators. Many people don’t understand what comic books or graphic novels are. I am not speaking of Archie or Bugs Bunny. Those may come up at some point but I am looking for books in the form of images and text balloons.

Some of the first exposure to long words can be found in my early days of reading the Fantastic Four with the scientific jargon used. No, not POW! BiFF! BAM!


We’re headed to a land where the comics are called manhua or impromptu sketches. The third largest comic book market in the world, Hong Kong2. I had five countries or regions that operate as separate entities and are recognized as such. I didn’t go to the Holy See, as you can, well as you can see.

Having said that I am not into, for the purpose of these article, Bugs Bunny type comics, let’s begin by talking about a pig.

Alice Mak3 & Brian Tse4

This artist and writing, respectively, duo brings us Mcmug5, a pig’s tale. Those last three words are mine. As well as Mcdull6. Mcmug is one of the most popular characters in Hong Kong and isn’t really a child’s figure. The comic speaks about social concerns in a way that likely can only be gotten away with through this particular style. The series has mcmug-mcdullbeen running since 1991.

“Drawing is a language to me,” said Ms Mak. “If I don’t know how to say something to you, I will draw it instead.”

Alice Mak and Brian Tse are actually married.7  The McDullformal training Ms. Mak received was from the former Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute8 where she took a design course. Otherwise she watched her elder brother while he took his drawing classes and sought at foreign illustrators for critiques.

Mr. Tse’s influence in regards to his writing is Raymond Briggs9, an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist and author from England. Tse became influenced while studying at the University of Sydney. He and Mak met when he asked her to draw the images for his writings.


Let’s go a little more old school now, and really more where I belong.

Wong Jan-lung10

little-rascalsYou might know him better as Wong Yuk-long or Tony Wong, Mr. Hong Kong comics himself. He brought us what was originally titled Little Rascals but is now called Oriental Heroes11. Why, mentioned? This was apparently the first based on oriental-heroesaction and fighting. The graphic nature of the early editions lead to the Indecent Publication Law in 197512. The book involves the story of members of a Kungfu school Dragon Tiger Gate. They fight against injustice.

Perhaps the longevity of the series can be attributed to Wong’s willingness and his recognition in regards to changing art style and writing style. As times habatman-hkve changed, so has he. The two covers above are the same series decades apart, both by Wong.

I am happy to notice DC Comics took note of who they called “superstar artist” for their Batman: Hong Kong13 hardcover graphic novel.




I wanted to do something on Theresa Lee Wai-chun of  Miss 13 Dot but I couldn’t find information enough to do anything with. Great art out there though.

I would  have also included Old Master Q but the creator, Alfonso Wong was not born in Hong Kong.

Click the link below or the  letter to go to Greece.

Greece from Arkas to Papadatos.






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#Greece from #Arkas to Papadatos. #AtoZChallenge in #Comics

GGreece. Not a place I would have thought to go for comic book creators. A place becomes fixed in your mind to represent something. Greece is mythology, philosophy, play writes, and epic poets. Why would I think of Greece as a source for material to create great comics? Just a touch of sarcasm there. We can be blinded by how many boxes we have stacked in our minds.


Looking at a list of countries for comic book creators, Greece is not even included. However, I have a list of countries instead, and with Greenland not having something to offer me, perhaps due to a language barrier in searching, Greece, such an easy language for we Americans, became my choice. Do you get I am in a sarcastic mood as I begin this article? I’ve been translating articles for days now in attempts to create good articles. Love learning, hate I don’t know languages.

Normally in the series I have been saving the tip of the iceberg for last, but not today. Or maybe I am, we don’t know yet. I am starting with the one that I have found the most awe about across the internet. And there is reason for that awe. No, not aw, although the sparrows are cute.


Arkas1 is a mystery. First publishing Rooster in 1981, Arkas has stayed out of the public eye. Byt this I mean, Arkas is not the artist’s real name, as far as we know. I imagine an agent or lawyer knows, the person handling the contracts for publishing for pay. Other than that, great speculation has been the norm for decades.

“His characteristic style of speech and image was so mature and well-designed right from his first publication that the general public had the impression that this was not a new young artist but an acclaimed master who was publishing under a pseudonym!” 2

flying-startsOne reason Arkas is so popular is, the author stays away from being overtly political. There is normally a moral to the stories written. I am using “he” as that is the considered gender by the internet articles I’ve read. I would not be surprised if Arkas is a woman. In a way I believe signs would point to it. The secrecy being part of my reasoning.

Characters in Arkas’ work are people and animals, both of whom talk. I greatly enjoyed the one called Flying Starts about a father sparrow and his son. Sarcastic and self deprecating a times but very telling of society. And. It. Is. Funny. I don’t believe anything is lost in the translation to English, which I noticed someone commented that only a little was lost. I can’t see how any could be lost. Arkas is popular because the work can be in any country or society and be relevant.

Byron Aptosoglou

Little-HeroByron Aptosoglou3 a comic book artist who in 1953 created a comic book, or album as they are known in Europe, titled Little Hero4. The co-creator was Stelios Anemodouras5. The book revolved around three Greek children who fought against the occupation of their country by Bulgarians, Germans, and Italians. The book ended in 1968 with Anemodouras returing to full time artist. The book continued in reprints and theatrical productions.

Alecos Papadatos

Logicomix_coverAlecos Papadatos6 is a writer and illustrator with training in animation at the University of Sorbonne I7, in Paris. What propelled Papadatos to fame in the comic book community is a book called Logicomix8 he created along with Apostolos Doxiadis9, Christos Papadimitriou10 and Annie Di Donna11. The insanity of the success of this graphic novel is the fact Bertrand Russell12 is used as the narrator as you are told his story. I find that amazing and give a credit deal of credit to the minds who came up with the idea and the people who supported the effort and made it such a success. Truly amazing. Oddly you also have the story of how the creators of the book debate over the meaning of the story itself. A brilliant idea.
The book made it to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller Graphic Novels List.


Click the link or the letter for France.

France Creators from Zig et Puce to Mœbius.




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2 The official site.

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4 Wikipedia Google Translate Little Hero
Wikipedia Google Translate For Stelios Anemodouras

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11 I couldn’t find any real links to information about this artist. She was the colorist on the Logicomix. Actually a very important part of the process. A colorist makes or breaks the artwork.
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England Comics Creators at home and their US invasion. #AtoZChallenge

The Letter E Image for the A To Z Blogging Challenge.I attempted to do a few other countries, saving this one for another letter. I knew I couldn’t get away with a series on comic book creators without England. It was going to be under Great Britain. Due to the political nature and sensitivity of another country I attempted, but learned a great deal about, I decided the U.K. could be separated into the actual countries, if that be the right term to use.


What I will attempt here, is to keep the creators mentioned to those born in what would be called England proper, my term.

Before some of you howl for The Beano1, or The Dandy2,those may make an appearance later in the alphabet where they provide an outlet for many creators.

One thing to keep in mind about comics from England is they were not a focus nor had as much an impact as they did in the United States during the early years of development. Why? Something called WWII and a focus on staying alive, holding onto a country, and putting paper and ink to better uses.

I’ll begin in an odd place today, with:

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris Photograph, black and white.Reverend John Marcus Harston Morris OBE3 was a Publisher born in 1915 in Preston, Lancashire. His venture into comics began as a result of his belief the church was not doing enough in the way of putting out anything to combat the influences of the more violent American comics. He thought British youth needed something more wholesome and I suppose role model like.

He began a publishing career with The Anvil, including articles by C.S. Lewis4 and went on to titles such as the Eagle, Girls, Robin, and Swift. Each for a target age group.Eagle

The Eagle5 featured Dan Dare6 created by artist and writer Frank Hampson. One thing would come back to haunt specifically Hampson in later years that Morris did in order to get Eagle published. Watch the video below about Frank Hampson to find out.

Frank Hampson

Frank Hampson photograph.Frank Hampson7 was born in Audenshaw, Lancashire in 1918. He was hired by Morris as illustrator on The Anvil and went onto fame with Dan Dare which he created. Over time Hampson eventually met with legal troubles over breach of contract with his working on strip ideas while under contract with Longacre Press8. This resulted in hisFrank Hampson young.Dan Dare basically leaving the comics industry. During his days on Dan Dare, Hampson used models and research to have everything just right for his space missions. The photos here side by side show who Dan Dare was based on. Yes, that’s a younger Hampson on the right. He even had as a consultant a young science fiction writer named Arthur C. Clarke9.

 I know you’ve been waiting for him.

Alan Moore

Alan Moore writer.Alan Moore10 is a writer born in Northampton, England in 1953. Genius. I could stop there but I am certain you want more. His big start into the world of comic books came after being rejected for 2000AD11, famously known for the character of Judge Dredd12. Instead he wrote short stories for other publications at the encouragement of their editor. If you are lucky you also have copies of Moore’s work in Doctor Who Weekly13 from this time, which would be the early to mid 1980s.

He did eventually find his footing in 2000AD and he refers to his best work as The Ballad of Halo Jones14. The story of which ended sooner than expected due to intellectual property rights. But Moore had other outlets.

Marvel UK15 came calling with Doctor Who Weekly and primarily Captain Britain16. I admit Captain Britain is one of my favorite characters in the mainstream comic book atmosphere, from as far back as his appearance in Marvel Team-Up #65 with Spider-Man, which I V for Vendetta cover.have #6617, the second part.

Moore then entered into a venture that would bring him into more of the writer we know today. Warrior18 came calling. An anthology book that gave creators more freedom. With Marvelman19 and V for Vendetta20, Moore had made it, but then-America came calling.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen cover.DC21 and Swamp Thing22, John Constantine23 of the Hellblazer24 comic. Batman: The Killing Joke25, and I will leave you with two others or we will be here all day. Watchmen26, see as the mini series of all time and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen27.

I strongly urge you to go to Wikipedia and read all you can and follow the links to his various work. He is an inspiration in many ways. Not only in his writing and creativity but in his commitment to the rights of the creator of characters.

The video has some spoilers if you haven’t read Watchmen and might be interested in doings so. I suggest you do. I have them and I can tell you they are not like any other comics you’ve read. Moore puts the superhero in a whole different light and reality. He makes them more real than when Marvel made buildings have plumbing when they were lifted up, while DC had Superman picking them up and putting them down with no problem. This is bigger than that. You do get to hear Moore read from Rorschach’s journal. I found it cool to hear how the writer thought it sounded in his head.

peter-milliganPeter Milligan28, born of England, currently London, best I can tell, links to Alan Moore in that he wrote Hellblazer. But his beginning was with a familiar book called 2000AD where he had his own ongoing strip called Bad Company29. Milligan found his way into American and DC and as the ongoing writer for Batman30 in Detective Comics31.

Milligan is responsible for the character of Azrael32, who became Batman for a time after Bruce Wayne’s33back, who was in fighting as Batman, was broken by Bane34. He also did work for Marvel35 by launching Elektra36. Wrote on X-Force37, which was cancelled and replaced with X-Statix38 also cancelled.  Basically the same and with Milligan writing.


There are many more creators that could be mentioned. But if I did, as with Alan Moore, we would be here all day. Some have been mentioned previously, and some will be mentioned in future countries as partners of other creators. But for now, that’s it from England.

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Image of Ronovan Writes




Click the D for Denmark or click the following title which is a link as well.

Denmark, Superman and Valhalla? Okay.





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