Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Here’s a gift I recently received.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Publisher Bill Gaines had editorial autonomy, and he waded into the hot-button topic of the year here, unruly student radicals. Older Middle America wanted them all rounded up and shot. Literally. That was a common refrain after Kent State, one that Nixon gleefully exploited. This issue must've make the corner-office squares at WB awfully queasy, I’m sure. Good for Gaines and his editors.
Not to mention the cop bludgeoned to the ground and out cold. I'll call "bullshit" on this one, because it's the opposite of reality. Police had been pummeling student protestors for years, without restraint or accountability.
Edgy stuff for a kids mag! But the way Davis renders the scene, it all blends together and obviously slipped right by conservative news dealers. Brilliant!
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
For the first time since my book was released, I paid a visit to Kent State.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Friday, July 9, 2021
Here's a recent Twitter thread that I'm archiving here.
The big problem here is that Cap has ALWAYS been political. This is a character who PUNCHED HITLER IN THE FACE on the cover of his debut issue in 1941... 80 FRIGGIN' YEARS AGO!!
So the stunning cover of Cap #1 was, in fact, a powerful political cartoon by a pair of Jewish kids from New York, maybe THE most influential political cartoon of WW2... and it was aimed at America's youth!
It's obvious neither of these FoxNews nitwits know shit about Cap's history. But I do.
Here's the first issue I read (above), when I was 10 in 1970. In it Cap goes on TV to preach tolerance, and is attacked by Nazi Baron Zemo's supergoons in an attempt to silence him. Note also the use of "Up Against the Wall!" as the title, the favorite battlecry of leftist protestors in 1970. Yeah, nothing political there, 51 years ago.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
I was informed today that KENT STATE is the top-selling book in the entire 39-year history of Macs Backs, my indie bookstore HQ here in Cleveland that has been handling all my mailorder signed copies.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
It's not terribly well drawn, but is brutally hilarious. It was conceived by writers Marc Rubin and Chris Miller (who later co-wrote Animal House) and drawn by Francis Hollidge, a pseudonym of veteran comics artist Frank Springer. Frank took over for Jim Steranko on Marvel's Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Guess Frank felt he needed to use a fake name, to avoid trouble.
The Kent State piece is a comic book ad that spoofs the cheap Army Playsets that were always advertised in comic books. There were sets for World War 2, the Revolutionary War, the Roman legion, etc.
The Kent State ad ran on the inside cover of a larger spoof comic book, G. Gordon Liddy, Agent of CREEP, a highlight of this issue of NatLamp. CREEP was Nixon's infamous Committee to Re-elect the President... and creeps they were, being responsible for a long list of illegal "dirty tricks," as well as the bungled Watergate break-in, which was blowing up in 1973 and would bring down Nixon less than a year later. That operation was led by Liddy, who was uncooperative and unrepentant. He was sentenced to 20 years (commuted by Jimmy Carter, for some reason). he was released after 4 1/2 years in the pen, the last of the seven convicted Watergate conspirators to be freed.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
As a result, all the on-the-ground reporting, all the incredible photos, had no place to be published! The Ohio governor effectively muzzled The Kent Stater. Some of the photos found their way to mainstream publications, be it the wire services or magazines like Life and Time, but much of it would have never seen the light of day, if not for the yearbook.
This special report was produced by a Knight-Ridder Newspapers team working out of the Beacon newsroom. Knight-Ridder was the parent company of the ABJ, Akron press baron John Knight being the owner of both the ABJ and of Knight-Ridder. The team was mostly reporters and editors from the Detroit Free Press, another Knight-Ridder paper, although they relied heavily on the Beacon reporting. They were not exactly welcomed with open arms in the Akron newsroom, where staff felt they were elbowing in on the Beacon's story, but it's an excellent report. It ran in all Knight-Ridder papers, a dozen or so, on May 23, 1970. It was a Pulitzer finalist.
The special report was met with fury by Akron readers, because it blows holes in most of the National Guard's excuses for opening fire on a parking lot full of students, most of whom were not protestors. Jack Knight later joked that this report cost him $1 million in lost subscriptions and advertising.