Whoah, running late this morning so this’ll be more or less a place holder. I’m cheating, I know. Sorry!
But! It’s a good day at TCJ. We are debuting a new column by Charles Hatfield called KinderComics, all about comics for children. We’re really happy to have Charles aboard and his ideas for upcoming topics are very exciting.
And the great Tom De Haven is back with a review of the first volume of the new Carl Barks Donald Duck reprint series.
Today we bring you the conclusion of Matthias Wivel’s outstanding, confusion-clearing report on the crisis at L’Association. (Here’s part one.) A few behind-the-web tech snags delayed us from posting this as early as we’d wanted, but I think you’ll find that it’s worth the wait.
Also, Joe McCulloch brings you his traditional weekly roundup of new comics, with a prefatory piece on religious propagandists Jack T. Chick and Fred Carter.
Also, thanks to James, we’re proud to “publish” this fine work by CCS student and archivist Cole Closser: A comic strip essay on Charles Forbell’s Naughty Pete (the whole run of which can be found in Pete Maresca’s Forgotten Fantasy).
And finally, I was saddened to learn of the death of comics historian Les Daniels, whose 1971 book, Comix: A History of the Comic Book in America, was one of those library staples that indoctrinated many of us. He was also something of an official historian for Marvel and DC. I really know nothing more about him than what’s on Wikipedia. I hope more details are pending, and I assume perhaps his editors at Abrams or Chronicle will chime in.
Thompson was also just interviewed over at the A.V. Club, and Abhay Khosla had a funny reaction to one of Thompson’s more dubious claims featured in it.
One of the most frequent topics of discussion regarding Habibi is the question of its use of Orientalist tropes, and whether or not the book furthers racial and cultural stereotypes. Comics has been in the stereotype business for a long time of course, as the never-ending arguments over Hergé’s early Tintin albums demonstrate. This week, a Belgian judge ruled that Tintin in the Congo (easily the most controversial of these books) is not racist. David Brothers had a funny reaction to some of the judge’s more dubious claims.
The book designer Peter Mendelsund has an excellent post up regarding cover design choices, using various attempts at Lolita as examples, and in passing covers a lot of ground that will likely be interesting to any cartoonist.
Finally, three quick links: 1) Chris Mautner interviews Kevin Huizenga, 2) Chris Butcher talks about non-superhero comics, and 3) Chris Duffy and comics-editing colleagues from the late, lamented Nickelodeon magazine have launched a comics iPad app aimed at kids and featuring several of their cartoonists they used to work with in print.
Today, because our aim is to distract you from your troubles by gazing at those of others we bring you part one of Matthias Wivel’s epic telling of the recent doings at L’Association.
L’Association, which has helped rewrite the rules of comics over the last twenty years, has been in an existential crisis over the last eight months or so, a crisis that went from a widely publicized strike by the employees and the election of a new editorial board consisting of six of the seven original co-founders—most of whom had been estranged from the publisher for years—to the departure of Jean-Christophe Menu, the controversial sole and de facto director of L’Association since 2006.
Matthias Wivel has an interesting theory about the villain from the new Tintin movie. (It’s more plausible than the one in Anonymous, anyway.)
As many have been noting, Ng Suat Tong has done yeoman’s work putting together scans and moments from throughout Jaime Hernandez’s Locas stories that are referenced or otherwise alluded to in Jaime’s most recent story, “The Love Bunglers”. A good reference once you’ve read the book (but don’t spoil it for yourself if you haven’t).
A publication called School Libraries in Canada got a very good interview out of Dave Collier, regarding everything from his military enlistment to reading on airplanes. (Regular readers of this site get one guess who sent this link my way.)
Frederik Pohl remembers the longtime DC editor Julius Schwartz. I think some longtime Journal readers might be somewhat surprised at the piece’s conclusion, but I guess Pohl’s old enough now to be entitled to his own opinion.
I can’t keep linking to every post on Eddie Campbell’s blog (just bookmark it already), but this latest entry, with video of Gerald Early (who is really an extraordinary essayist), can’t go without notice. Read and watch.
UPDATE: I forgot to link to this sad news: Steve Rude has been arrested after an apparent altercation with his neighbors.
Okay, we’ve got a big-time treat for all of you today: a 13,000-word interview of Robert Crumb conducted by Gary Groth. Topics include Crumb’s aborted trip to Australia, the Meese Commission, the Republican primaries, and corporate fraud. That’s just in the beginning section, before Groth and Crumb more or less reenact the canceled Australian live appearance, with Groth passing along questions from a select group of inquisitors including Tony Millionaire, Kim Deitch, Megan Kelso, the Hernandez Bros., Trina Robbins(!), among others. A must-read, folks. All your friends will be tweetering about it.
Ray Davis has some notes after reading Eddie Campbell’s Alec: “The Years Have Pants”. He also reproduces (with EC’s apparent permission) three pages from How To Be an Artist that were cut from the larger anthology.
Jessica Abel and Matt Madden are interviewed at length about the Best American Comics series. They talk a lot about the selection process, too. Worth reading before going off on your big rant about the book doesn’t include this or that.
Dan Wagstaff has a short but sweet Q&A with Jason over at the Casual Optimist.
Finally, novelist Tom McCarthy (author of Tintin and the Secret of Literature) really hates the new Tintin movie. Here’s a sample:
Perhaps this movie will be studied, in years to come, as a Žižekian example of a dominant ideology’s capacity to recuperate its own negation, or something along those lines. For now, we just have to wonder how Spielberg went so wrong, or if he was in fact involved at all: so badly put together is this film that it’s easier, and perhaps more comforting, to imagine a semi-simian marketing committee writing and producing it under the banner of his name. If your children love the Tintin books – or, more to the point, if they have an ounce of intelligence or imagination in their bodies – don’t take them to see this truly execrable offering.
This freewheeling interview by Grass Green touches on Williamson’s early influences, his fellow underground cartoonists including Jay Lynch and Gilbert Shelton, and the trajectory of his own comics career. Continue reading →