Book news! Typhon, Bond, Garfield

ITEM! It turns out I am a contributing artist to the first issue of Danny Hellman‘s new anthology series TYPHON. Master cartoonist R. Sikoryak turned a monologue from my 1989 play One Neck into a comic strip featuring a not-at-all-Droopy-Dog-like-character named Loopy. Mr. Sikoryak, who is also occasional commenter

, also did the splendid cover for the issue.

Typhon, for those not in the know, was a creature from Greek mythology, a terrible beast with a hundred heads who tried to take over the world by attacking Zeus. Obviously, Mr. Hellman is trying to make a point here about the nature of independent comics, a hundred-headed beast taking on “the man.” Yeah! Go Typhon! Lay some boulders on that Zeus!

In the myth, of course, Zeus doesn’t put up with that shit and drops Mt. Etna on Typhon’s head. Which, in the real world, I’m guessing has something to do with Diamond Distributors. (Or maybe Ted Rall — I don’t know any more.)hitcounter

Anyway, for those interested in buying a copy of this astonishing new volume, why not go to Jim Hanley’s Universe, certainly the premier comics store in New York, and buy a copy from the creators themselves!

From an email forwarded to me from Mr. Sikoryak:

NYC area comics aficionados are invited to join us for a TYPHON book signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe on Wednesday, August 6th from 6-8PM!

Pick up a copy of the brand new, 192 page, full-color comics anthology TYPHON Volume One, and get it signed by these TYPHON contributors:

Gregory Benton
Victor “Bald Eagles” Cayro
Mike Edison
Glenn Head
Danny Hellman
Cliff Mott
Bruno “Hugo” Nadalin
Chris “Steak Mtn” Norris
R. Sikoryak
Doug Skinner
Matthew Thurber
Motohiko Tokuta

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Jim Hanley’s Universe (Manhattan)
4 West 33rd Street
New York, NY

NOTE: I won’t be there. I live in Santa Monica. But I can vouch for the brilliance of at least half the people on this list.


Bond aficionados — but I mean real Bond aficionados — will have their minds blown by The Battle for Bond by Robert Sellers, which has just come out in paperback. This is a very rare kind of book, a book that outlines, in excruciating detail, the machinations that go into making a movie in Hollywood. The movie in question is Thunderball, and The Battle for Bond does not overlook one single step in the project’s development, which extends back to before the shooting of Dr. No and then forward, 18 years after Thunderball was actually made, to the shooting of Never Say Never Again. The author, who cares much more deeply about Thunderball than probably any sane person should, has tracked down every single screenwriter, producer, director, editor, actor and production assistant who worked on these projects, and a few more who almost did and then didn’t. We learn a lot about Ian Fleming’s development as a writer, the development of Bond as a character and as a property (Hitchcock was interested at one point, with Jimmy Stewart as Bond), and the hubris and failings of any number of British producers and movie people. The thing I like about the book is that it shows just how much work, fretting, guesswork and frustration goes into the making of any movie, whether it’s a sure-fire hit or a risky, challenging auteurist puzzle, whether it’s Lawrence of Arabia or, well, Never Say Never Again, that no one ever hears about.


I’m super excited about the announcement of Garfield Minus Garfield, a book of comics based on, yes, Garfield Minus Garfield, comics that remove Garfield from Garfield and thus magically change it from a drab, irritating eyesore to a comic of great emotion, clarity and aesthetic beauty. I marvel at Garfield Minus Garfield on a daily basis and you should too. The fact that Jim Davis approved the project and, apparently, sees both the humor and beauty in it, gives me a level of respect for him I’ve never before had and, honestly, probably never will again.


8 Responses to “Book news! Typhon, Bond, Garfield”
  1. Very excited about the Bond book! It wouldn’t surprise me if they announced they were making a third Thunderball movie anytime now….

  2. planettom says:

    So, since QUANTUM OF SOLACE is a scant three months away, any chance of you being a completist and doing an analysis of NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN the way you have the other Bond films?

    You could of course also take a stab at the original 1967 CASINO ROYALE, but I fear that if you determined What The Protagonists Want in that film, it’d be like that Arthur C. Clarke story “The Nine Billion Names Of God”, where after the monks have written down all possible names of God, the universe’s purpose has been fulfilled, and it unceremoniously shuts down.

    • Todd says:

      The last line of that story, “…one by one, the stars were going out,” freaked the ever-loving shit out of me when I was a young man.

      I cannot rule out a future analysis of Never Say Never Again, but my Bond analysis, for reasons that must remain secret for now, involved, by necessity, only the EON productions.

      And the trailer for Quantum kicks motherfuckin’ ass.

      • adam_0oo says:

        The last line of that story, “…one by one, the stars were going out,” freaked the ever-loving shit out of me when I was a young man.

        Hell yes! Just you repeating it now gave me goosebumps. It is such a perfect short story, with that sort of casual throw off apocolyptic line. Good stuff, good stuff.

        And the trailer, just Craig walking through the over exposed desert with his gun with the banana clip…so badass.

      • Anonymous says:


        Speaking of completism, as a regular reader I must emerge from lurking and politely request the final installment of your Schindler’s List analysis. Are there imminent plans for its appearance?

        Many thanks – now returning to my den to lurk.


        • Todd says:

          Re: sidebar

          The notes for Act V of Schindler’s List are written, on my desk and ready to be typed. Other work has intruded on my consciousness and, unfortunately, sidetracked me. Thank you for your patience.

  3. pseydtonne says:

    Oh dude, you got published in a Dirty Danny production? Sweeeeeeet!

    I went to a fundraiser show for him at the Bowery Ballroom in December of ’99 and got to meet him. It was horrifying to see Ted Rall project his childhood loops on other artists: his mother had to sue the pants off his dad to get alimony, so he believes lawyers are knights with briefcases. His book “Revenger of the Latch-Key Children” explains a lot.

    It was a great show that night: Soul Coughing was the headline act. There was also an opening band doing alt-country mixed with rockabilly called the Hangdogs and they had me at howdy — the rest of the audience hated them.

    Wednesday evening, eh? I’m on my weekend and it’s only 200 miles…

    Congrats on getting published in a real medium, instead of these kooky magic lantern shows. Tee-hee…

  4. dougo says:

    I love how the URL says “Garfield-Minus-Jim-Davis”. Now there’s a Zen concept.