Today, Charles Hatfield tells readers about Paul Pope’s long-awaited Battling Boy:
I’ve always enjoyed Pope’s cartooning (his series THB was one of my happier comic shop discoveries of the nineties), but haven’t always been on the side of Pope the writer, who has sometimes succumbed to dithering or affectation. Reading Pope has been a matter of seesawing between grateful wonder and head-scratching befuddlement. I confess I’ve often thought that his writing couldn’t keep up with his drawing: his habit of lovely, obsessive, kinetic mark-making, all swoops, flecks and spatters, whirling, febrile, alive. Often I’ve enjoyed the voluptuous style, the grotty worlds and gorgeous characters, without liking the ways the stories turned, or sputtered, or collapsed. I’ve dug his wild flights without thinking he had a solid book-length story in him. Battling Boy promises to prove me wrong.
—Interviews. Xavier Guilbert at du9 talks to Jaime Hernandez. Michael Cavna talks briefly to Bill Watterson and Richard Thompson about their upcoming show. Steven Heller talks to Seymour Chwast. And Will Self (!) interviews David Shrigley:
At art school, the stuff I was excited about was by Duchamp, Warhol and many others, but it was ideas-based art, and that’s where you find my form of ideas-based art. When I left, I didn’t have a studio, and it was just a practical thing: I thought: “Maybe I should just focus on these drawings, because I actually like doing these a lot more than trying to make the difficult sculptures and doing the large-format photography that I’d made at college.” I felt I could say what I wanted to on a sheet of paper, sitting in my shared flat. And I thought: I’ll make a book, so I just made the book on a Xerox machine and gave it out at the pub, and that’s how it all started.
—Reviews & Criticism. Rob Clough reviews groups of new minicomics here and here. Qiana Whitted has an interesting post and inspired an good comments discussion on race & cartooning at the Hooded Utilitarian.
—Miscellaneous. As many of you probably know, Marvel has finally decided to start re-releasing the Alan Moore-written Miracleman comics, and are honoring his apparent request to keep his name off the books. But a credit for “The Original Writer” isn’t all that’s strange about the reprints, and retailer Mike Sterling ponders other aspects here. Luke Pearson shares info & art from his participation in a Hari Kunzru-inspired group show at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Yesterday’s Papers has a nice selection of Frans Masereel. And finally, I know Dan already linked to this Jeet Heer profile on Friday, but he neglected to mention the writer’s wonderful headline calling him “the Derek ‘Jeet’er of comics”, and I think it is important that we recognize that happened and hold it close to our hearts.