Ben

Author's details

Name: Ben Towle
Date registered: 11/30/-0001
URL: http://www.benzilla.com

Latest posts

  1. The True Origin of M.O.D.O.K. — 11/11/2020
  2. Is the Cover of Detective Comics #1029 Derived from a Series of Fan Commissions? — 8/16/2020
  3. Anatomy of this Year’s CXC Poster — 8/1/2020
  4. Back From the Old School: Showing Motion via Repeated figures in a Single Panel — 4/29/2020
  5. The Vasquez Rocks of Comics — 3/22/2020

Most commented posts

  1. Craft: A Review of the New Koh-i-nor Rapidosketch Pen — 37 comments
  2. The Comics Journal Message Board: A Requiem — 36 comments
  3. Care and Feeding of the Leroy Lettering Set — 35 comments
  4. Service Review: Ka-Blam Print on Demand — 33 comments
  5. Ugliest Dog in the World? — 22 comments

Author's posts listings

Nov
11
2020

The True Origin of M.O.D.O.K.

As you may have heard, there’s going to be a stop-motion animated Hulu series starring Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. Reading this news, I was struck by how it’s just de rigueur accepted that M.O.D.O.K.–once a “serious” Marvel villain (first full appearance: Tales of Suspense #94 – ed.)–is now a jokey semi-ironic gag character, a character that might, …

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Aug
16
2020

Is the Cover of Detective Comics #1029 Derived from a Series of Fan Commissions?

I may be wrong–and please correct me in the comments if I am–but I believe this recent cover, the cover for Detective Comics #1029, is the first time a fan commission has (kind of) made it to the cover of an actual, published Marvel or DC book. So, re. “kind of,” some caveats: first, the …

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Aug
01
2020

Anatomy of this Year’s CXC Poster

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) is one of my favorite comics festivals–and that was the case well before I was a Columbus resident–so it was a real honor to be asked to do this year’s poster. The event just officially released the poster along with a preliminary guest list, all of which you can find on …

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Apr
29
2020

Back From the Old School: Showing Motion via Repeated figures in a Single Panel

Lately, I’ve been noting a lot of panels like this in the comics I read and it’s made me wonder about what exactly this technique is, how how it works, and where it came from: What it is: This is from Cyril Pedrosa’s recent (and amazing) book L’age d’or, which is now out in English …

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Mar
22
2020

The Vasquez Rocks of Comics

Even if you don’t recognize the name “Vasquez Rocks,” you’ve likely seen the rocks themselves. The Vasquez Rocks are a group of distinctively-shaped rock formations outside of Los Angles that have appeared in many, many T.V. shows and movies–from Westerns like Bonanza (and Blazing Saddles!) through to relatively modern films like Little Miss Sunshine and …

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Mar
09
2020

From the Sketchbook: Dogfighting Dogs!

I’m certainly the five billionth person to do drawings of dog pilots (when they “dogfight” they’re literally dogs!! Get it?!) but for whatever reason, I recently wound up doing a batch of quick watercolors of dogs in WWII-era pilot gear. Well, “for whatever reason” isn’t entirely accurate; the reason is at least partially that I …

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Jan
05
2020

What I Read in 2019

In past years I’ve done a list of all the comics (and comics-related stuff) I’ve read, with a short write-up for each item. This year, that’s just not feasible given the amount of material I read and the time I have available… but here’s my list for 2019 with a few comments on things here …

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Oct
26
2019

Selected Sketchbook Drawings – October 2019

I haven’t posted any sketchbook pages in forever, so here goes…  Truth be told, I’d weirdly fallen out of my years-long habit of drawing nightly in my sketchbook and have only recently gotten back into it. Why had I fallen off? I’m not exactly sure–other than that I’ve had a lot of “life getting in …

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Sep
10
2019

SPX 2019! (And Other Comics Stuff During the Weekend…)

I’ve missed the last two SPX’s, so I’m very excited to be attending this year’s event… but that’s not the point of this (very quick) blog post. In planning my trip, I’ve noted a few other comics-related events that are going on at the same period in the Washington area which don’t seem to be …

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Aug
13
2019

Forest vs. Trees in Marc Singer’s Breaking the Frames

At this point it’s not news that Marc Singer’s recent book, Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, has stirred up a fair amount of controversy. It’s a testament to the provocative nature of the book’s assertions that this controversy has spilled out beyond the usually insular world of the book’s chosen subject …

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