Chris Mautner is here with a review of the inaugural volume of TwoMorrows’s history of U.S. comics, John Wells’s American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1960s. Here’s an excerpt:
This is the first entry in TwoMorrows’s extremely ambitious attempt to provide a comprehensive history of the American comic book industry in America. Running from the 1940s to today, the series proposes to detail all the “pivotal moments” that occurred both behind the scenes and within the comics themselves, with different authors tackling different eras.
Just glancing at that timeline, though, gave me pause. Why start at the 1940s? Why not begin earlier? I understand that TwoMorrows wants to focus solely on comic books, but even so, to ignore the first forty years of the newspaper comic strip, which, to put it mildly, laid most of the groundwork and influenced many if not all of the cartoonists that worked in the first few decades of the industry (to say nothing of the high aesthetics of the work being done during that period) seems problematic at best. Turning the book over in my hands I wondered: Is this going to be a thoughtful, engaging look at how the industry has changed over time, or just a fannish reminiscence of bygone years?
—Talk talk. Tom Gauld talks to NHPR, Gilbert Hernandez talks to The Portland Mercury, Liza Donnelly talks to Cartoon Movement, Blutch talks to Craig Thompson.
—Award fever. Voting is now open for the Eisner Awards, with the ballot available here. Eisner judge Charles Hatfield addresses the recent controversy over Frank Santoro’s Before Watchmen comments. SAW has announced their latest round of micro-grant awardees. And the Doug Wright Awards has begun an auction of supervillain-related original art to help fund itself. Details are here, and the first item up for bid is the following piece from Seth.
—Critical commentary. J. Ryan Strandal reviews the new Ben Katchor book for LARB, and Kailyn Kent writes about cinema, music, and comics for HU.
—Miskellaneous. The terrible self-promoters over at Drawn & Quarterly get profiled by Huck magazine. A U.S. District judge has ruled that Superboy rights belong to DC. Ruben Bolling talks about organizing the following film, featuring an impressive group of cartoonists: