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Subtlety

Today on the site:

Rob Clough reviews Ellen Forney’s Marbles.

A lot of “graphic novels” coming out from major publishers these days really seem to be variations on the graphic memoir. A cynic might say that many of them derive their hook from being about death, illness, abuse, tragedy, etc. An alarming number of them have come from first-time long-form cartoonists and are aimed squarely at the sort of mainstream reader who enjoys this sort of confessional, miserabilist but ultimately triumphant story about tragedy and unfortunate circumstances. I’ll rattle off a few titles in this vein: Cancer Vixen,StitchesThe Impostor’s Daughter (perhaps the most egregiously manipulative example of this sub-genre). As someone who has long found autobiographical comics to be rewarding on any number of levels, some of these books feel like a distressingly cynical way to make money on the part of the publishers. Life and death is big business, after all.

That’s why it was so refreshing to read Ellen Forney’s Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me. It’s less a story than it is a therapy journal comic, but Forney’s instincts as an entertainer kick in even on the dreariest of pages.

Elsewhere: Good news and bad news.

This piece by freelance writer Nate Thayer about payment is fairly typical, unfortunately. The Atlantic responds.

Related: More from artist Jerry Ordway on his relationship with DC Comic.

Only slightly related by dint of money/ethics. Artist Chris Sprouse has withdrawn from drawing that Orson Scott Card Superman comic.

Speaking of Superman: More developments in the Siegel/Shuster case. I won’t even pretend to follow the recent round of developments.

And on an up note, the first round of guests for SPX 2013 has been announced, and our own Frank Santoro is among them.


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