Sheet Music

Today, Rob Steibel uses his column to explore some of Jack Kirby's '70s pencil work.

And George Elkind reviews Jon Vermilyea's Fata Morgana.


—Reviews & Commentary.
Illogical Volume reviews Harvey Pekar & Joseph Remnant, Ulli Lust, and others. Chris Mautner reflects on the scatological in comics from Johnny Ryan and Michael DeForge. Tom Spurgeon reviews the new collection of Henry comic books. In the you'll-know-if-you-want-to-read-it category, Dave Sim responds in his own inimitable way to the misogyny allegations recently laid against Alan Moore.

—Profiles & Interviews.
Daily Life talks to Alison Bechdel. HiLobrow briefly celebrates Ronald Searle.

—News. Jen Sorenson won the Herblock Prize. Former DC publisher Paul Levitz has joined the board at Boom! The playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the new chief creative officer at Archie. Image publisher Eric Stephenson won the 2014 appreciation award from retailers' organization ComicsPRO. (If you read a lot of online comics discussion besides this site, you're probably already heard of Stephenson's controversial speech at the annual ComicsPRO meeting. Aaron Kashtan explores the speech in two posts.) Major Japanese publisher Kadokawa plans to introduce a new digital manga reader, including titles in English.

—Misc. Stanley Kubrick's photos of New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno. Last Gasp is hosting a logo design contest. (Greg Irons drew the original.) A longtime 48-year-old comic-book collector is selling off most of his collection, and started a blog documenting the process.

—Ways to Spend Money. The Yeah Dude subscription drive Kickstarter is almost over, and as of this writing this-close to reaching its main fundraising goal. Space Face has announced a subscription drive. Inkstuds superfans might be interested in their Kickstarter to fund an American interview tour. A new Pigeon Press Gallery site is selling original art from Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and others.

—Historical Link of the Day.
In a 1987 Bullpen Bulletin for the ages, then Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter stands up for what he really believes in.


Family Tradition

Today on the site, Joe McCulloch brings it all back home.

Elsewhere in this world:

After reading Joe the most important thing for you to do is watch this (NSFW) Throbbing Gristle video made a long ago by the great and under-appreciated French artists Bruno Richard and Pascal Doury (seen in the US mostly in RAW).

Still have time? Fine. Here:

This guy's view of contemporary comics is profoundly limited, but I like his analysis of mid-century realist comics technique.

Robert Boyd reminds us that great Canadian picture story The Cage has been reissued.

There's lots of movement at Archie Comics.

This is a slightly random look at Charlton Comics.

There's going to be a Frank Quitely documentary episode.

These images of Otomo posters installed for show are fantastic.

Our own Jacq Cohen enjoys a puff.

When I was a kid I used to be thrilled that Stan Lee was seemingly always meeting with a groovy French movie director named Alain Renais. Yeah baby. Alain Renais is dead now, but paper lives on.

If I was a cartoonist I'd be very very reluctant to publish in the same book as Ronald Searle. Anyway, here are images from a recent Searle exhibition and accompanying catalog.



Today Rob Clough reviews the hard-to-describe comics project, Dog City #2:

Dog City is part anthology, part art object, part stunt, part value-added merchandise, and all comics. What makes it more than a stunt is the overall quality of the comics within, which range from good to excellent. The concept behind Dog City is to put a lot of different comics and art objects into the hands of readers without simply jamming them all into a single anthology. So it begins with a screenprinted box that has a couple of comics on it and inside of it, and tissue paper used for packing that also has images on it. There are beautiful, dog-related "art cards" (small prints) by Caitlin Rose Boyle, as well as a poster by Christina Lee and patches by Ian Richardson. While these are not relevant to the project's status relating to comics, they are part of the overall aesthetic of hand-printed, tactile objects.

Editors Juan Fernandez, Luke Healy, and Simon Reinhardt are all students at the Center for Cartoon Studies who extended their reach a bit for this project. In addition to the above items, there are also eight minicomics, a minicomics anthology, and a magazine about comics. CCS is certainly represented, but not just by current students. Faculty member Steve Bissette, for example, reprinted and reformatted "Sand Papel", a story he did for another CCS anthology called Tales of San Papel. Bissette hasn't done many comics in recent years, but this one is very much in line with the sort of scratchy, gritty horror comics he did so well in the past. Reformatting the comic to landscape and keeping it to just two panels per page allowed the story to breathe a bit more and creep into the reader's consciousness.


—Reviews & Commentary.
Rob Clough has also begun one of his occasional one-review-a-day months on his blog. Matt Leines reviews some vintage Paper Rad. Sarah Horrocks begins a multi-part essay on Inio Asano's Nijigahara Holograph. Abhay Khosla writes about several newish releases. Then he looks into my brain.

—Interviews & Profiles. James Sturm celebrates Ed Koren. Xavier Guilbert has posted his TCAF interview with Tagame Gengoroh. I always enjoy the mini-biographies on HiLobrow. Here they tackle Milton Caniff. Dennis Kitchen talks Will Eisner.

—News. The National Cartoonists Society has announced its Cartoonist of the Year Reuben Award nominees.

—Misc. Gary Tyrrell writes about former web cartoonist John Campbell's controversial Kickstarter essay (for lack of a better way to describe it). Jim McLaughlin writes about the financial side of the comics convention business.



Today on the site, Matthias Wivel reports on the Angouleme Grand Prix award process. and talks to Louis Trondheim about it.


Cincinatti has a fine stash of early Dr. Seuss cartoons, but they're not on display.

Chris Mautner on Prison Pit and Ant Colony.

An interview with colorist Matthew Wilson.

The D&Q Blog on Beautiful Darkness, which Joe McCulloch wrote about here.



Frank Santoro's back from France, and sharing the comics he got over there.


—Sean Howe has posted three snapshots (1, 2, 3) from what was reportedly the first museum exhibition of underground comic art, curated by Bhob Stewart. Michael Dooley at Print has a short appreciation of Stewart.

—Chris Butcher of TCAF and The Beguiling has a two-part interview at Guys With Pencils.

—Kristy Valenti found a great old Kim Thompson quote on what's-wrong-with-comics, published in a 1983 issue of Heavy Metal.

—Rich Tommaso is selling original art.

—Bill Watterson drew a movie poster.

Alfred Le Petit caricatures.



Today on the site Bill Pearson remembers Bhob Stewart. And we've posted Bhob's classic obituary of Wally Wood.


Michael Dooley on Bhob Stewart at Print Magazine.

This new book on anime history sounds great.

Gerry Giovinco on Dark Horse Comics history.

Not comics: TCJ-contributor Naomi Fry has an excellent review of The Wolf of Wall Street over at the LARB.

Ron Rege is opening an exhibition in LA this weekend. Looks great.

I didn't know about the Bosko comic strip.

Mimi Pond is going on tour for her forthcoming book.

Hey, excellent Lane Milburn comic strip over here.



Joe McCulloch is here to help, with his weekly guide to the most interesting sounding new comics releases, and an essay on pre-Tezuka manga by Henry (Yoshitaka) Kiyama.


R.I.P. historian/writer/cartoonist/editor/filmmaker/etc. Bhob Stewart. Expect more coverage at this site soon. In the meantime, Potrzrebie, his long-running blog, is a treasure trove of the kind of cultural information most readers of this site would be interested in, and gives a hint at his wide-ranging interests.

Kevin Melrose writes about some of the reaction to South Carolina lawmakers' efforts to withdraw funding from two colleges for including gay-themed books in their curricula (one of the books is Alison Bechdel's Fun Home.) Heidi MacDonald writes about fundraising efforts for Bill Mantlo, spurred on partially by the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The Hollywood Reporter writes about the legal conflict between Disney and Stan Lee Media. Robyn Chapman has launched The Tiny Report, a site/blog devoted to "micropress" comics.

—Interviews & Profiles.
BuzzFeed talks to Hayao Miyazaki. Brigid Alverson talks to Charles Forsman about the new Oily Comics Spring Bundle offer. Heidi MacDonald interviews scholar Paul Gravett. Tell Me Something I Don't Know interviews Copacetic Comics owner Bill Boichel.

—Digital. Diamond Digital is shutting down, and Brigid Alverson provides analysis. Ryan Estrada sold his comics through comiXology Submit, and shares the economics of it. Bruce Lidl talks to Chris Ross of Top Shelf about their decision to offer DRM-free graphic novels.

—Reviews & Commentary. Noah Berlatsky and Shaenon Garrity write about Bloom County. At Flavorwire, Kevin Nguyen tries to pick what comics he'd add to the literary canon.

—Giving Opportunities. Worthy comics bloggers Rob Clough and Mike Lynch are both asking for financial help.

—Funnies. John Porcellino shares some old sketchbooks.


Roof Damage

Well, it's Monday and so I'm back. Hi. Today we have the indefatigable Paul Tumey on one slice of the giant cake that is all things Rube Goldberg.

The current dusty, dim current understanding of Rube Goldberg and his work is evident in the comics history books and websites that mention him. Sadly, many of these are riddled with errors. Peter Marzio’s 1973 biography, Rube Goldberg: His Life and Work contains a error-filled list of his cartoon series that has led subsequent scholars into fields of confusion.1 Marzio’s book also asserts that the first full-fledged Goldberg invention cartoon was published November 10, 1914, an incorrect statement that has been repeated in numerous articles, books, and websites for the last 40 years. In actuality, it appears that Goldberg published his first invention cartoon July 17, 1912 — more than two years earlier.

The first known Rube Goldberg invention cartoon, originally published July 7, 1912

The first known Rube Goldberg invention cartoon, originally published July 7, 1912

The errors about Goldberg’s work have, on occasion, been off not just by a couple of years, but entire decades. For instance, Brian Walker’s comprehensive and authoritative survey of the history of the American newspaper comic strip The Comics: The Complete Collection (Abrams ComicArts 2011), reprints a Goldberg invention cartoon from 1930 with the dating “c.1910s.” It’s also identified as a “daily panel,” when it actually was from a biweekly series that appeared in a nationally distributed magazine, Collier’s Weekly.

In all fairness to hard-working cultural historians, getting one’s arms around the scope and particulars of Rube Goldberg’s career is no easy task. Rube, that cartoonist with the mind of an engineer, was more interested in the next idea than he was in drawing a concept out, exploring every nook and cranny. Thus, for most of of his career as a newspaper humor comic strip creator from 1909 to about 1938, Rube made a new and different comic strip every day. He had several series, like Foolish QuestionsSilly Sonnets, and I’m The Guy which he randomly returned to as he pleased.


The great Anya Davidson has a new ongoing comic over at Vice.

Tom Spurgeon on the recently deceased writer-about-comics Bill Baker.

Paul Pope talks about his forthcoming Escapo reprint.

Nice Lynch art, Tom K.

I used to like to collect issues of Ballyhoo. Here's a particularly racy edition.