Today we are bringing you the first installment of a multi-author feature. To mark the release of Chris Ware’s decade-in-the-making Building Stories, we are featuring a series of essays from the contributors to the 2010 volume The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking. Each contributor is revisiting the argument they made in that edited collection two years ago in light of the newly released work, speaking to the ways in which Ware’s comics have either transformed in that time or are returning to the themes of his earlier publications. First up is Martha Kuhlman, with "The God of Small Things". We will continue with other installments over the next few weeks.

The Journal's own Jeet Heer has already weighed in on Building Stories for the Globe and Mail.

—I don't think it's talking out of school to say that Jeet has been really excited about some of the recent Judge Dredd discussions that have been going on on the site. One thing I meant to link to but neglected to was that longtime 2000AD writer/editor Pat Mills has recently started a blog, and is recounting the story behind the character's origins.

—Another Jeet favorite, Seth, recently spoke to the Moscow Times about his work on a new edition of Chekhov. (The paper also spoke to Maurice Vellekoop about what Seth was like in the early years.)

—Slate has announced a new annual Cartoonist Studio Prize, presented in conjunction with the Center for Cartoon Studies.

—Xavier Guilbert at du9 interviewed Anton Kannemeyer of Bittercomix, and very pleasantly for American monolinguists, the conversation has been translated into English.

—Two more interviews: Dane Martin at Murdering the Magic, and Tom Spurgeon at Virtual Memories.

—Another SPX panel has been posted on YouTube. This time, it's Gilbert Hernandez, interviewed by our own Sean T. Collins:

One Response to Bitterblogz

  1. Briany Najar says:

    Pat Mills! Excellent link, he’s an interesting fellow, a galvanising factor in British mainstream comics.
    I found this bit in his entry about the success of the French edition of Charley’s War.

    “I like to think the real reason for Charley’s current success is that it appeals to the ordinary reader in the street who may hardly have read a comic before, but finds the story accessible, informative and about real people whom he cares about. All too often this audience has been neglected in the UK – where no one is interested in reprinting girls comics of similar ilk, despite documentary evidence that there is a gap in the market – and I rather suspect the same is true in France. I think our industry has paid a high price for catering almost exclusively to older male, adult fantasy fans and neglecting the original core readership on which comics used to be based.

    Congratulations to Laurent Lerner (360 Media Perspective) in partnership with Editions Ca et La for making this happen. Let’s hope we can build on this success in France and in the UK and that publishers in the UK will recognise there is an audience they are missing out on.”

    This reminded me of something Kim Thompson was saying a while back about sort of mid-range stuff for the casual reader.
    There certainly does seem to be a lack of unselfconscious, straightforward, non-specialist storytelling. Most comics seem so imbedded in one of a few subcultural eddies and so obsessed with the “special” nature and history of the medium, it’s easy to forget that reasonably eloquent assemblages of pictures are not actually beyond the pale as a form of general purpose entertainment.
    Ah, what am I talking about? Everyone in the English-speaking parts of the world knows that comics are comics.

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