Today Joe Ollman continues his diary with Day 4.

The longtime cartoonist Dan Adkins has passed away. Adkins was known for his sleek drawing for comic books including T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Dr. Strange and genre mags like Argosy and Amazing Stories. He was also perhaps Wally Wood's finest assistant, working for the older artist in the 1960s. We'll have a full obituary soon.


I'm not sure what this is, but it's delightful.

Inkstuds host Robin McConnell has a lengthy report on his visits to recent comic book conventions.

PW looks at our publisher Fantagraphics' digital moves.

A Neal Adams oddity throughout the years.


By Correspondence

Today we bring you Nicole Rudick's interview with the artists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, two of the creators (with the late David Wojnarowicz) of one of this year's most impressive books, even if it is a reprint, 7 Miles a Second. Here's an excerpt:

The third part wasn’t completed until after his death. How did you manage it?

Romberger: When it came to the third part, I had a lot less to work with. David had given me the gist of what he wanted, which was “I want to show myself at the current time, mourning the deaths of my friends, but then in the end it’s a beautiful day and I’m happy to be alive.” But by the time I actually got to sit and draw this thing and edit it—after David’s death—there wasn’t anything like that in his texts. There was no beautiful day, so the book ends with him dying.

He had done this really magnificent bit of writing that was in part of the Artist’s Space book that had gotten him in so much trouble with the NEA, and he had told me, Draw me huge on Fifth Avenue. By that time, what I remembered being on Fifth Avenue was St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and David had once gone with Act Up to protest the church’s stand against public health and homosexuality, while mass was going on, so it made it sense to make Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s and to draw him smashing it. These were decisions I had to make, but they are true to what his intent would have been, as close as I could approximate.

Did he think there would really be a happy ending to the third part? Or that there would be something good to end it with?

Romberger: In a way it’s a vulnerability we all feel—no one really sees themselves dying and if David had been able to hold on another year or two, perhaps the combination therapy that was developed within a couple years after he died might have saved him. A lot of people were brought back from the brink of death, and it is incredibly tragic that due to actions of people like David and others in Act Up—actions that got the medical establishment to loosen up on the approval of drugs trials—a lot of the work on AIDS and cancer was accelerated. And yet so many people died because things were being held off.

Van Cook: People were starting to be diagnosed and become ill, but that was something David wrote to us about in a letter—I’m rejecting that particular view of life and I’m going on to this brighter path. He didn’t want to be celebrating death and darkness anymore, as an artistic trope. He didn’t want to go down that artistic road, he wanted to go somewhere else. So even when things happened to him later on, he had embraced that more hopeful aspect.

Joe Ollmann is still in the middle of his excellent Cartoonist's Diary this week. In today's entry, he talks about his father's recent death.


—It's not strictly speaking comics-related, but it would be strange not to take note of film and special-effects pioneer Ray Harryahausen's passing. Journal columnist Charles Hatfield has posted a tribute.

—Chris Ware drew the Mother's Day cover for The New Yorker, and wrote a mini-essay for the site about the holiday.

—The New Yorker's site also has a short video interview with Dash Shaw.

—Sean Howe tags a Deadline story about the "absurdity" of some of the actors who appeared in The Avengers getting only $500,000 bonuses after the movie's success. I wonder if there is anyone else being overlooked in these arrangements?

—Boing Boing has begun publishing stories from Dennis Eichhorn's old Real Stuff comics, which is great news for me.

—The Dylan Williams Reporter site has reposted Williams' 1995 interview with Seth. It's a lot of fun to read the early interviews with major artists over there.

—The Beat talks to L Nichols.

—Finally, Curt Swan's letter to a young Jim Shooter.



It's Tuesday so it's Jog'sDay. And Joe Ollman's diary rolls into day 2.


Here's a lengthy exquisite corpse comic.

The comics symposium MIX is coming up, and there's a call for papers.

Abhay Khosla writes the Iron Man 3 review for you.

A trip through Seymour Chwast's rejection pile.

Writer about comics Gene Kannenberg, Jr on typography.

Here's the beginning of multi-author a celebration of Matt Wagner's 1980s alt-superhero, Grendel.

Matt Wagner: “The Hunter Rose version of Grendel was the first comic book character and narrative I ever developed. I wanted to feature the villain/anti-hero as my title character, a motif that just wasn’t done in the commercial comics of those days.

“After I moved my attentions to developing my first color series, Mage, I began to hear back from readers, asking me whatever happened to the story I’d abandoned in Grendel. So, I adapted that narrative to fit into 4-page segments as a backup feature in Mage.

“The result was that I had to really stretch my storytelling sensibilities and find a new and innovative way to tell that tale, little realizing that motif would become a hallmark of Grendel throughout its long history.”

And a bit of news on my end, the cartoonist Blutch has canceled his appearances in North America.



Mental Communication

Another installment of Ryan Holmberg's perpetually rewarding column, What Was Alternative Manga?, is here, and this time around Ryan is writing about manga in India, by way of Bharath Murthy's Comix India:

What hooked the manga scholar in me was Bharath’s “A form of writing: an essay on the comic,” a McCloudian intro to the medium and his own interests, published in Comix India no. 1. There’s a hefty segment on manga, and it wasn’t the usual. He had apparently been to Tokyo and met a few artists. I was curious. I arranged to meet him. He was giving a talk about manga in Delhi and asked me to piggyback with a lecture of my own. I interviewed him too, stupidly without a sound recorder. Now I am back in India, living in Mumbai – for “personal reasons” that do not include gurus or NGOs. I had to redo the interview.

Bharath presently lives in Pune, where he teaches at the venerable Film and Television Institute of India. On a recent weekend, I yanked myself away from writing and translation work, put myself on a train southbound, and holed up in Bharath’s pad until 2 AM with a litre of one of India’s finer scotches.

Oh, and I'm really excited about this week's Cartoon Diarist, Joe Ollmann. Today he introduces himself and makes a few promises.


—The Harvey Award nominations are open.

—Criticism Department. Derik Badman comments on every comic he's read in April, and includes information on what the mysterious Blaise Larmee has been up to for those who've been wondering. Domingos Isabelinho writes about Geneviève Castrée's Pamplemoussi. Bill Morris writes about the new Herblock documentary. Glen Weldon writes about Superman's dog Krypto.

—Interviews Department. Haaretz talks to Art Spiegelman. Tom Spurgeon talks to the writer and translator Anne Ishii. Forbidden Planet visits Karrie Fransman:

—Not Comics: A recent flap sparked by a Publishers Weekly interview with Claire Messud (see two perspectives here and here) has provoked a lot of discussion about the necessity (or not) of likeable characters in fiction. This can't help but remind me of the critical response to Daniel Clowes's Wilson a few years ago, and Clowes's claim: "Likeable characters are for weak-minded narcissists."



It's been a long week. Gary Groth's classic 1992 interview with Todd McFarlane will carry us into the weekend.


Tom Spurgeon carries on his convention travels at Stumptown.

Bill Kartalopolous on Eric Lambé’s Le Fils du Roi (Frémok, 2012),

Here's an unusual recent Popeye story that never saw print.

Domingos Isabelinho on Pamplemoussi by Geneviève Castrée.

Finally, one of those lotsa covers, lotsa editions posts, this time for William S. Burroughs.


Ancient Sorceries

Today, Rob Clough reviews an anthology of comics from female Polish cartoonists, imaginatively titled Polish Female Comics: Double Portrait.


—Howard Chaykin wrote a candid remembrance of Carmine Infantino ("There was no greater animosity in that generation than the one that existed between Gil [Kane] and Carmine") for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

—The Doug Wright Awards has started a series of posts introducing readers to their nine nominated artists. First up is Ethan Rilly.

—Brigid Alverson at Robot 6 talks to Darryl Cunningham.

—Paul Pope draws a short comic about his favorite books.

—Michel Fiffe picks out some of his favorite comic-book fight scenes.

—The satirical website and Twitter account That Comics Blogger has apparently decided to close up shop after the end of Comics Alliance, and offers up reasons why here.


Sort of Tickles

Tuesday morning means it's Joe McCulloch morning, and he's got your Week in Comics right here. Joe also delivers something of a eulogy to Comics Alliance, the popular website that was apparently shut down by its parent company AOL over the weekend. Robot 6 ran the first report, and The Verge has a little more information over here. The reasons for the shutdown aren't clear yet, though CA-affiliated editors and writers have claimed via social media that the closure was not due to traffic or "performance." Comics Alliance was never my go-to site, and it seemed to have lost some momentum over recent years, but it undoubtedly featured some talented writers (some of whom are also occasional contributors to this site) and was very important to a certain kind of comics fan, still emotionally attached to the popular superhero properties of their adolescence, but beginning to question some of DC and Marvel's corporate decisions — the type of people who would invoke (and celebrate) the idea of "geek culture" in earnest. That's not my bag but it is a lot of other people's, so it's a shame to see the site end so abruptly and unceremoniously.

—Andy Webster at the New York Times Book Review becomes the latest writer to review the new Al Capp biography.

—Michael Cavna at the Washington Post talks to Ruben Bolling about the multi-cartoonist political ad he put together last week.

—I'm pretty sure we haven't yet linked to Frank Young and James Gill's comic-book image site, Panels to Ponder. The Facebook incarnation of it is more active.

—A Moment of Cerebus digs up an old speech Dave Sim gave in 1995 to SCAD consisting of advice to young cartoonists. I think he's wrong on the music thing.

—Not Comics: A 1938 rejection letter from Walt Disney to a young woman interested in becoming an animator. It's easy to discount this as ancient history, but it is actually in living memory for some.



Today we have Charles Hatfield on Gilbert Hernandez's two new books, Marble Season and Julio's Day.

This morning, over breakfast, I read Gilbert Hernandez’s new book Julio’s Day, which I had just gotten the day before.

This evening, before dinner, I read Gilbert Hernandez’s new book Marble Season, which I had found waiting for me on the dining room table when I got home.

Crossing the synapse between these two lit my head up, like fireworks. In the stretch between the two of them, in the distance but also consistency between 2001 and 2013, is fresh proof of Beto Hernandez’s fidgety talent, his rare mix of raw provocation and affirming humanism, toughness and tenderness of heart. When it comes to Beto, the lightning keeps striking, and if it doesn’t strike exactly the same place twice, it does testify to the same divided genius. To read two new books by Hernandez in a day—and both of them self-contained and freestanding, unlinked to the elaborate continuities that shape his signature projects, Love and Rockets and the “Fritz B-Movie” series—this, to me, is a gift.


Michael Dooley on Stan Mack.

This is one beautiful Alex Raymond image.

Here's a process piece on the recent Lovecraft graphic novel reviewed here.

Padraig O Mealoid continues on the Alan Moore trail, this time with the end of Eclipse Comics and what happened to Miracleman.

Tom Spurgeon makes a case for the new Matt Bors book.

And here's a new Comics Books Are Burning in Hell from McCulloch, Mautner and (almost) Stone.