A New Week Begins

In honor of today's U.S. holiday, we aren't presenting a full blog post this morning. However, I did want to quickly alert readers to Frank Santoro's recent review of Eddie Campbell's How to Be an Artist (which he created in the form of a comic), Jeet Heer's review of Gahan Wilson's Nuts, and the first day of Leslie Stein's week as a guest columnist for our Cartoonist's Diary series.

Chris Marshall at Collected Comics Library has found links to two online Martin Luther King comics. If you're up to a prose book, today's a good day to get started with Taylor Branch.

9 Responses to A New Week Begins

  1. BVS says:

    I can’t believe it’s been over 10 years since how to be an artist came out. Campbell’s list of graphic novels is kind of perplexing, he really put three Gaiman & Mckean books and four Will Eisner ones on an already very long list? sheeeeeeit!

  2. Eddie campbell says:

    Frank uses the phrase ‘best of’ which I very carefully avoided. My list wasn’t a ‘best of’ or an ‘essential’ but an exhaustive list of “around four dozen books at year 2001 whose theoretical aggregation (for in reality we cannot expect them all to like each other) will nevertheless imply a worthwhile phase in the human cultural continuum…” Those words appeared at the bottom of a page that began with ‘Graphic novel…” and said page was numbered 120, being the first page of the last chapter of a work of fiction written in the future tense. I think I was far too good natured. Far from feeling that I may have left something out, my exhaustive list, if I were to find myself again in 2001, would be shorter. The idea of ‘graphic novel’ was an English language idea then but has since become an exciting international movement. On the other hand, the idea has become so debased that it isn’t worth taking seriously. If you were to phone me out of the blue you would find me adhering sternly to one or the other of those mutually exclusive positions.

  3. Eddie campbell says:

    In other words, the argument would not be whether your list (Of books prior to 2001) is different from mine, but:

    would the addition of book A, book B or Book C improve or weaken the argument (“Imply a worthwhile phase…etc)

    (note also my list was not arranged according to merit, which i would regard as puerile, but simply by chronology)

  4. Jeet Heer says:

    Inspired by Frank’s column I started to re-read “How to Be an Artist.” Eddie Campbell is of course right that the end list isn’t a “best of” but rather something more interesting and useful, an attempt to map out the “graphic novel” as a viable, coherent, and evolving tradition. Far from all being equally successful many of the books listed are noble failures or uncompleted works (i.e. Big Numbers). At some point, I hope Campbell revisits and extends the list, capturing the internationalism of the graphic novel form.

  5. Eddie campbell says:

    ah, Jeet! thanks. I was still lurking here trying to express my argument better. You covered it for me.

  6. Frank Santoro says:

    I was less interested in the list than the book – it’s a great book.

  7. Thanks for the link to my site, Tim! I hope people will find the MLK digital comics entertaining and useful. Cheers!

  8. BVS says:

    it’s still a good list. in 2001 I had several more comics shops and independent book stores within the 5 mile radius from where I lived then. several items on that list I hadn’t heard of. I made good use of it while hunting and gathering in those the dusty shelves.

  9. Michael Grabowski says:

    It’s notable that that entire final chapter of Artist is left out of the Pants omnibus, which Eddie pointed out on his blog a little while back. Hang onto those first editions, Campbell Collectors!

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