Happy New Year. We’re back and getting into the groove here. Today on the site we bring you Frank Santoro’s epic Motorbooty retrospective. I remember finding the magazine at Tower Records, where I found many good small press things, and it blew my mind. It was like it arrived from mars to make me happy. Well, Frank’s gone back and interviewed the man behind the content and posted numerous images, too. Dig in. If that’s not enough Santoro for you, then check out his year-end post from Sunday. As ever, no matter the holiday, there is Joe McCulloch with his first “This Week in Comics” of 2012
And today we’re also re-publishing Gary Groth’s 1998 interview with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator and Tundra and Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman. It is so damn long, and so intense, that we had to break it into two parts and add a selection of letters that came in in response to the piece. In it, Eastman explains all about the Turtles, money, losing a ton on Tundra, friendships, ethics, and so much more. It’s one of the all-time great TCJ interviews in its portrait of one man’s journey into the heart of comic-dom. Part 1. Part 2. The letters.
Why, you might ask, are we only just now gifting you with this bounty of history, gossip and financial ruin? Well, Eastman’s been in the news a bit lately. He’s auctioning off his studio and its entire contents on eBay (the video must be seen) and is doing a series of events at Meltdown Comics in L.A. So, now’s the time…
Speaking of Tundra, Steve Bissette is oft-mentioned in the Eastman interview, and he posted a brief note about the status of his 1963 comic book series and his relationship with Alan Moore.
Anyhow, it being the end of the year and all, there were a ton of year-end best-of lists. Sean T. Collins, AV Club, Robot 6, Comics Alliance, Tucker Stone/Flavorwire, Matt Seneca, and probably a million more. But those stuck out.
And of course no holiday season is complete (well, at least for me and Tim) without Tom Spurgeon’s interview series. They are all worth reading, but for me the highlights were: Todd DePastino on the author’s work on Bill Mauldin. I agree with Tom that Wille & Joe: Back Home was one of the very best books of 2011 and DePastino is a game and lively conversationalist; TCJ-contributor Chris Mautner giving a big picture view on recent developments in art comics; The Secret Acres publishers Leon Avelino and Barry Matthews were very candid about the publishing life/vocation/spirit, and smart besides. Any interview with Kim Thompson is a hoot, and I confess that one of my favorite perks of working for TCJ is getting to bug Kim about stuff as frequently as he lets me. Tom, as usual, asks all the right questions. Ethan Rilly produced one of my favorite comic books this year, and I know nothing about him, so his interview was a treat. All right, that’s enough about Spurgeon! We love him too much.
Elsewhere on the internet you will find TCJ-contributor Ryan Holmberg’s latest piece, a review of A Drifting Life, quite fascinating. And wait until you see what he has later this week. Charles McGrath wrote about Tintin in the NY Times. Robot 6 has steamrolled into the new year with a ton of new content, including interviews with Tom Scioli, Sammy Harkham, and a ton more. And fresh off the internet is The Beat’s Year-End Survey part 1 and 2011 in review.
And finally, the great British illustrator Ronald Searle has passed away. He was famous for his curling and darting line, and cutting observational wit. The Guardian has a brief obituary.