Posts by Mark Seifert

About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.

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The Virality of David Cronenberg

The Virality of David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg gives good quote.  For example, he recently told The Guardian, "Movies were made for sex, there's no doubt about it."  He said lots of other things, but he knew that one would be the headline. Reading that closely and seeing that he gave The Playlist something similar, it becomes apparent that — presumably […]


The Issue: Frank Reade and The Ghost of Churchill's Mom

THE ISSUE: Frank Reade and The Ghost of Churchill's Mom

This installment of The Issue features my favorite science fiction character in American history: Frank Reade. The character debuted in the 1876 story paper (think newspaper format, but containing fiction instead of news) Boys of New York #28, and went onto feature stories in that title, Wide Awake Library, then getting his own series with […]

The Issue: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

THE ISSUE: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

Welcome to another installment of The Issue.  This time around  we're going to take a quick look at  New York Weekly Vol. 30 No. 10 from longtime publisher of American periodical fiction, Street & Smith. When I saw this promo image from Marvel's Avengers of the Wastelands, The Two Avengers was one of the first […]

THE ISSUE: A Vintage Daily Graphic in 1879, "The Smoldering Fire"

Welcome to a regular column about vintage comics and other vintage periodicals from throughout world history that I'm calling The Issue.  The idea behind The Issue is simple:  for each post, I'll choose something from my collection and talk about what's going on in it, and/or discuss the publishers and creators behind it.  And essentially […]


The True Horror of Crime SuspenStories #22

The True Horror of Crime SuspenStories #22

The horrific image on the front of Crime SuspenStories #22 by Johnny Craig has long been considered one of the most iconic covers in American comic book history.  It's a potent symbol of that moment in time:  EC Comics Publisher William Gaines tensely squaring off against Senator Estes Kefauver to debate the artistic merits of […]

Nicolas Cage and the True Tragedy of Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage and the True Tragedy of Ghost Rider

Even though it was neither a critical or financial success when it was released in 2007, the first Ghost Rider film starring Nicolas Cage has always been a guilty pleasure for me.  The story nails the true spirit of the Spirit of Vengeance — and the history behind it — much better than is generally […]

Where's Our Flying Cars? Stan and Jack Tried to Make it Happen in 1962

Where's Our Flying Cars? Stan and Jack Tried to Make it Happen in 1962

When it comes to early issues of Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, it's nearly impossible to play favorites.  Fantastic Four #1 is obviously important for kicking off the Marvel Universe as we know it.  Fantastic Four #5 introduced Doctor Doom.  Fantastic Four #12 has that great Hulk crossover.  We could go on […]

The Lovecraftian Origins of the Justice League of America

The Lovecraftian Origins of the Justice League of America

Justice League of America co-creator Gardner Fox was a well-known fan of HP Lovecraft, as well as a fan of other fiction from the pulp era during which he grew up. It's pretty well-known that the villain of The Brave and the Bold #28 (the first appearance of the Justice League of America), Starro the […]

Superman, Tesla and the Emperor of America

Superman, Tesla and the Emperor of America

Action Comics #52 by Jerry Siegel and longtime Shuster Shop artist John Sikela has always been one of my favorite issues of Action Comics.  It's got that spectacular cover of course, but this issue is much more than just a a boldly-rendered cover by artist Fred Ray.  The caption on the title page lays out […]

Tom Spurgeon, Comics Journalist and Historian, Passes Away at Age 51

Tom Spurgeon, Comics Journalist and Historian, Passes Away at Age 50

Longtime comics industry journalist, historian, editor and author Tom Spurgeon passed away at the age of 50 today, according to a Facebook post by his brother Whit Spurgeon earlier this evening. Spurgeon was perhaps best known for his five-year stint as Managing Editor and then Executive Editor of The Comics Journal from 1994 to 1999, […]

J. Scott Campbell Black Cat #1 Cover Sells for $24,000 at Metropolis

Back in 2012, Bleeding Cool told you that the original cover art for Spider-Man #1 (1990) by Todd McFarlane sold for $358,500 — an impressive price for a 22-year-old piece of comic art that had already become an iconic touchstone of the modern era of comics.  In a way, this recent sale of a homage […]

J. Scott Campbell Original Artwork Exhibit at Metropolis Gallery

J. Scott Campbell Original Artwork Exhibit at Metropolis Gallery

One of the best artists to emerge from the first wave of Image Comics creators in the mid-1990s, J. Scott Campbell comics and original art have always been in demand.  And I can tell you from first-hand experience that if you haven't seen his original artwork up-close yourself, you're in for a treat. Campbell has […]

The Surprising Trans-Themed Story in Space Adventures #7 from 1953

The Surprising Trans-Themed Story in Space Adventures #7 from 1953

Even in an industry that has produced a seemingly endless number of eccentric characters among the ranks of its publishers, Charlton Comics stands out.  The Connecticut company was started by two men who had met in jail, after all.  Despite that unlikely origin story, the publisher managed to attract an impressive roster of talented staffers […]

Flash Comics #86 and #92: The Rare and Elusive Black Canary

Flash Comics #86 and #92: The Rare and Elusive Black Canary

Let's call this one the Canary Effect: Sometimes when researching the possible inspirations for comic book characters, the historical connections can be complicated and hard to decipher. Like chasing down the butterfly whose flapping wings eventually lead to something greater, and trying to make sense of it.  Other times, even the smallest inspiration can be […]

DogStars:  The Strange, Secret Origin of the Dogs Who Replaced Green Lantern

DogStars: The Strange, Secret Origin of the Dogs Who Replaced Green Lantern

Never take a fictional dog's origin story at face value.  Dogs really do have secret lives, it seems, and every time I'm tempted to forget about the scattered notes I've taken over the years regarding fictional and sometimes forgotten dog stars of long ago, I think about how many billions of dollars that the concept […]

Did Captain America's Weirdest Tale Help Inspire Avengers: Infinity War?

Did Captain America's Weirdest Tale Help Inspire Avengers: Infinity War?

One of the best things about watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe movies is figuring out where it all came from.  These cinematic continuities have always been a thing somewhat apart from their comic book origins out of necessity, but even when they seem to radically depart from comic book continuity, you'll […]

Black Cat Comics #50 and the High Cost of Uranium

Black Cat Comics #50 and the High Cost of Uranium

"Why did they write this story at this moment in time?" has become my favorite question to ask when it comes to comics history.  The answer is often just as entertaining as the comics themselves, and is always way more specific than you might guess.  I think I've learned more about American history than I […]

The Kid Who Became A Comic Book Hero in 1946 -- and Hated It

The Kid Who Became A Comic Book Hero in 1946 — and Hated It

On June 28, 1945 a B-25D Mitchell medium bomber collided with the Empire State Building.  Lt. Col. William Smith was piloting a routine transport mission from Bedford, Massachusetts to Newark, New Jersey.  It was an extremely foggy morning, and Smith received a warning from Laguardia Airport (then called NY Municipal Airport), "We're unable to see […]