Today we have a big one for you. (And in the coming weeks, we have several more big ones in store.) Charles Hatfield has graciously agreed to moderate a critical discussion of Craig Thompson's Habibi (which you may have noticed has already generated a fair share of online debate). Now, for your reading pleasure, we present the results. The discussion's participants include Hatfield himself, Hayley Campbell, Chris Mautner, Tom Hart, Katie Haegele, and Joe McCulloch. As you can imagine, their viewpoints diverge. Read and weigh in. (This was all Hart's idea, by the way. Thanks, Tom!) A more formal review of the book by Rob Clough is forthcoming.
I am sure every single one of you is already familiar with this photo of a famous athlete reading a famous comic book, but it was new to me.
Somewhat similarly, I believe that I did once know that Seth was involved in the world of women's roller derby (a secret point of connection with Frank Santoro!), but somehow I repressed that knowledge.
The Financial Times has another profile of Hergé linked to the new Tintin movie. I am somewhat interested to see how the inevitable wave of similar profiles here in the United States will compare to what has been written in Europe.
Finally, Michel Fiffe interviews Paul Duncan and Phil Elliott, the writer/artist combo behind the 1980s independent sci-fi mystery series, Second City.
Chris Mautner goes there. I thought about going there, but wasn't brave enough. Chris was brave. Oh, what? No, I'm just talking about the first month of 52. That's where Chris went. What did you think I was talking about?
-Looks like Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese is making a long awaited comeback to these shores. Now we can only hope it's not colorized and it's well translated and lettered. Please. Rizzoli, which occasionally dips into comics, is the house, so we shall see. No word on if this is a series or not.
-Marjane Satrapi and Persepolis co-director Vincent Paronnaud have a new movie coming out based on Chicken with Plums. This time it includes live action. Why, there's already a review! (via KT)
-TCJ contributor dept:
-Congrats to the aforementioned Sean T. Collins on his work for the annotated Game of Thrones. Sounds like his dream project come true.
-Matt Seneca has a whole host of links over on his blog, including one about an abandoned blog of Frank's (I think Tim and I were supposed to post, too, but we never did). The name was chosen for reasons related to other subjects in Matt's very post. It's easy math.
So everyone's already read about that check used to buy Superman. It's being auctioned off next year. In my fantasies Alan Moore buys it, turns his camera on, performs a magical rite on it, sets it aflame, and then posts the clip to youtube, resulting in some kind of metaphysical tidal wave that... I dunno. Use your imagination. But! Other precious items are being auctioned off this year, worth mentioning just for the pix. Like Jerry Siegel's typewriter, his favorite tie (the grimmest "favorite tie" I've ever seen), and, of course, some locks of his hair. The entire description is worth your time. The auction house notes, in what I hope is a jokey aside:
Many collectors have speculated that Kirby's hair might be worth more, but we disagree. With genetic technology heading in the direction it is, one day you could make your very own Jerry Siegel clone.
Today on the site, something I didn't even realize how much I wanted to read before this morning: Joe McCulloch writes about Yuichi Yokoyama in his column this week, as well as his normal roundup of upcoming comics.
Eddie Campbell continues his excellent series of casual posts about romance comics, this time focusing on the men who introduced the category: Simon and Kirby.
Justin Green's blog is something else (as you'd expect from his comics, of course). Here's a post in which he reproduces a drawing done for a friend, ponders shifting public morality using Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as a landmark, and wonders about the future of intimate communication.
Speaking of Green, somehow I missed that last month he started a new site, and is posting comics on a weekly basis.
Tom Spurgeon interviews T. Edward Bak about his recent stay in Russia.
Yesterday Frank presented another scene report, this time written by Adhouse Books' Chris Pitzer, and guest starring two mentors of mine from my teenage years: Greg Bennett and Joel Pollack. Frank's just picking up steam on these reports, compositing an informal and analog portrait of lives and cities in and around comics.
Well, Kirby is actually, he’s like Mayan glyphs and cubism and Fauve, he’s really kind of transcendent. And Ditko too is kind of transcendent, just in his portrayal of karmic waves, wave shapes. Indefinable stuff, he would make it completely concrete and work out a shape system for it. But most people, it’s about the guys yelling at each other. [Laughs.]Which is what’s great about Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit comic. Just reduce it to the essentials!
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention (again) that the comments under Kim Deitch's Roger Brand piece just keep expanding, as more old friends are found. Now it's starting to take on a broader portrait of the fan/collector comic book culture of the early 1960s in New York. Just scroll down and dive in.
Speaking of which, I've been pretty into Paul Kirchner's Dope Rider, mentioned in the Brand comments by occasional collaborator Tom Conroy. The site Kirchner's created has the full run of the character with commentary and photos. I gotta say, the comic is good fun with Steranko-meets-Wood visuals and the sharp end of the marijuana stick.
And, gee, I don't often think of cartoonist Chad Grothkopf, but Bhob Stewart just did.
Brian Ralph gives his current comic book reading list to Robot 6.
Finally, and this isn't really comics at all, except in the wider what's-going-to-happen-to-print sense, but I just have to say I've really been dismayed at how many ostensibly intelligent people have been taken in by this stupid video, which supposedly shows a young baby unable to understand why magazines "don't work" after using an iPad. What it actually shows, of course, is a young baby unable to understand either magazines or iPads—which is nothing to get excited about, because young babies aren't supposed to understand much of anything. (I bet the kid has trouble with the concept of doorknobs, too. Ooh, wooden doors must be doomed!) Whatever your feelings about the prospects for publishing, it's funny how desperate some people are for a dose of future shock, even when it ain't really there.
-And I want to direct you, dear readers, to the comments on Kim Deitch's Roger Brand article. They form a remarkable partial composite image of Brand, and expand on Kim's memoir. We hope to gather these up in some digital form, with additional images, when time permits. Scroll down.
-The venerable comic book letterer has a new print/game called "Go Freelance", beautifully illustrated by Shawn McManus. It's tragi-comic!
-The cartoonist Lilli Carre wrote in to tell us about the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, which she co-runs. It's in Chicago, Nov. 5-6, and sounds pretty awesome. There'll be work by lots of cartoonists and comics-related people, including Florent Ruppert & Jerome Mulot, Julie Doucet, Bendik Kaltenborn, Lori Damiano, Jesse McManus, Peter Larsson, and Nicolas Mahler. Sounds good to me.
-Old people dept:
-I always enjoy looking at work by the illustrator Bernie Fuchs. Here are some fine sketches and commentary.
-There's some controversy over late-period Jack Kirby work, summarized over at Bleeding Cool, with various sides represented, and put forth initially, based on Greg Theakston's new book, over at 20th Century Danny Boy.
Ah, the day has come: Jeet Heer returns! New fatherhood couldn't keep him away forever -- read the latest of his inimitable "Notebooks" for Heer's thoughts following the Iowa Comics Conference, on topics including but not limited to Joe Sacco's stage presence, crying while reading Love and Rockets, dead cartoonists, Jack Kirby's versatility, the future of comics publishing, academia's recent narrow focus, the dunderheaded Clint Eastwood, and going drinking with Peggy Burns. It's good to have him back.
Also new on the site: Host Mike Dawson's recent promotional tour has ended and so he has turned in a new episode of TCJ Talkies, this time featuring Nothing Eve creator Kurt Wolfgang.
The Guardian takes the opportunity given by the new Stephen Spielberg movie to run a mini-Tintin package, with a Nicholas Lezard appreciation for the series (he calls the film "Tintin for morons," fyi), and a rundown of authors asked to do a Sophie's choice between Tintin and Asterix. (In the latter, only Tom McCarthy really has the guts to take a firm stand and defend it vigorously.)
Tom Spurgeon reacts to our recent Jaime Hernandez coverage, and the comments threads it spawned.
Ben Katchor is interviewed by The Browser regarding "picture stories," and he picks five of his favorites. As you might guess beforehand, it's a stellar list.
Charles Hatfield attempts to pick out a list of ten works representing the last decade of independent comics.
Finally, Dan and I went to the Housing Works Bookstore last night to see the Dan Clowes/Seth appearance. I've seen Seth speak before, and he's always very good (not to mention funny and self-aware enough to probably surprise most of his detractors), but this was the first time I've been to a Clowes event. He was as sharp and incisive as you'd expect, but had a warmer personality than you might guess, too. Maybe that had something to do with Seth's presence. Anyway, if you are interested in either of these artists, I strongly recommend going to one of these joint events if and when they come to a town near you.
In this in-depth interview, Mort Walker talks about growing up during the Great Depression, serving in the military, developing risque versions of his characters for overseas publishers, founding a comics art museum housed in a concrete castle, raising 10 kids, and much more. Continue reading →