Entries in Comics (4)


Matt Groening Ends His Long-Running Comic Strip "Life in Hell"

Valerie Macon/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Although Matt Groening is famous for creating The Simpsons, which recently finished its 23rd season, and Futurama, which will soon begin its seventh season, he first started as a young cartoonist drawing Life in Hell.

He ended the comic strip, about rabbits and gay lovers, last Friday.  Groening tell, "I’ve had great fun, in a Sisyphean kind of way, but the time has come to let Binky and Sheba and Bongo and Akbar and Jeff take some time off."

The comic strip was once carried in 380 papers during the heyday of The Simpsons in the '90s, but the strip had recently been carried in less than 40 publications.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gay Marvel Superhero Plans to Tie the Knot

Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News(NEW YORK) -- Marvel Comics made a splash in 1992 when one of its beloved charters declared “I am gay.”

Twenty years later -- in Astonishing X-Men, issue 50 set to hit stores on Wednesday -- Northstar will propose to longtime boyfriend Kyle. The two are set to marry in June.

Marvel and rival DC Entertainment have focused on bringing a more realistic flavor to its characters. DC recently announced that it would relaunch one of its major characters as gay in June. Marvel introduced Miles Morales, the first half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man last year.

Marvel made the announcement Tuesday morning on The View on ABC, but it has been the subject of fan speculation for some time.

Axel Alonso, the editor-in-chief of Marvel Entertainment, said the story line was developed around the time New York state legalized gay marriage in June 2011.

“The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in reality,” Alonso said.

In the issue, Northstar makes his intentions known to Kyle in New York’s Bryant Park, a very public place for these very private people.

“Well, private enough for a mutant celebrity -- having such a public, life-changing discussion,” said Marjorie Liu, who wrote the issue.

The scene shows Northstar out of costume and down on one knee with a ring in hand discussing some of what they’ve gone through as a superhero couple.

The cover of next month’s Astonishing X-Men issue 51 includes an all-star cast for Northstar’s and Kyle’s ceremony.

“Yes, there will be some fun guests at the wedding, but not everyone will accept the invitation,” Liu said.

“DC and Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD.

DC’s most prominent gay characters include Batwoman, who has her own series; Apollo and Midnighter, who appear in Stormwatch; and Bunker, a member of Teen Titans.

Aside from its being socially relevant -- the addition of gay characters makes good business sense.

Archie Comics introduced a gay character in 2010, which turned out to be a hit for the company. There was even a gay wedding in Riverdale in 2011.

“They are recognizing how the world is evolving,” said Kane.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sunday Comic Strips Turn Serious for 9/11 Anniversary

ALEX FUCHS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The funny pages are getting serious for 9/11.  Nearly every major comic strip in America's newspapers this Sunday will be devoted to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In Blondie, the Bumpsteds and their neighbors will salute a flag, under the words "Never Forget."  In the strip Archie, the new class president at Riverdale High will unveil the school's own 9/11 memorial.

And Sunday's Dick Tracy will include a tribute to fire marshal Ronald Bucca, one of the 343 firefighters and 72 police officers who died at the World Trade Center.

"These public safety professionals saved 25,000 civilian lives that day," the strip says.

America's cartoonists have banded together before, to deal with issues such as breast cancer and the environment.  Many of them took part in a 9/11 tribute on the first Thanksgiving after the attacks.

But the scope of this 9/11 commemoration is unprecedented: Ninety-three comic strips are taking part, from Archie to Zits.

"The comics come into people's lives every day, usually around the breakfast table.  We are part of the American family.  It is good for us to be part of the discussion about 9/11," said Patrick McDonnell, who draws the strip Mutts.

The cartoonists were given free rein in how to treat the anniversary.  Most of the strips are poignant, a few use humor.  Some of the cartoons might even trigger a reaction unusual for someone reading the funnies: tears.

Planning for the cartoonists' tribute began back in January and included the five major syndicates that provide comic strips to newspapers: King Features, Creators, Tribune Media Services, Universal Press and the Washington Post Writers Group.

All the strips will be posted online, beginning on 9/11, at  They also will be displayed in special exhibits at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C.; the Cartoon Art Museum, in San Francisco; the Toonseum, in Pittsburgh; and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art and the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

And, of course, in newspapers across the country on 9/11.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Comic Book Legend Stan Lee Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Photo Courtesy - John Shearer/ WireImage/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Stan Lee was treated like a real hero on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.  The 88-year-old, who created many of Marvel Comics' signature superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four, received the 2,428th star on the famed sidewalk.

At the ceremony, Lee said he wanted to share the honor with his superhero creations.  He joked, "I hope the X-Men and The Hulk and Spider-Man are appreciative."

Speaking of Spider-Man, Lee is confident that Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Broadway musical based on the web-slinger, will be a success, despite injuries suffered by cast members and other setbacks.  Lee said he's seen a rehearsal and called it "fantastic," and thinks the show will be a "monster hit."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio