The Castle of Indolence

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.

The Guardian runs an obituary for Francisco Solan López.

And oh yeah: this. I don't think there's been a project quite this promising since the publication of Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett.



On the site:

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.

Today we bring you Matt Seneca's interview with Gary Panter. A taste:

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.



Today, R.C. Harvey returns to the site with a new installment of his column, this time a profile of editor/reporter/cartoonist Jud Hurd, who published Cartoonist PROfiles for decades:

Jud’s voice was probably the most well-known sound in the world of cartooning after the sound of a pen scratching a line on paper.

And Sean T. Collins weighs in on Kevin Huizenga's recently released Ganges 4.

Elsewhere, there have been several cartoonist interviews making the rounds: Ron Regé in Vice, Dan Clowes at the A.V. Club, Art Spiegelman at the L.A. Times, and Tom Gauld at the Rumpus.

Poet, novelist, and Madame Bovary translator Adam Thorpe was asked by the Guardian to list his ten favorite literary translations into English, and chose a comics series as one of his answers.

Eddie Campbell talks Alex Toth and romance comics.

Tucker Stone went to the New York Comic Con.

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.


Dragging Sassing

Today on the site:

-Hayley Campbell reviews Richard Sala's The Hidden.

-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.


-I'm pleased to see a new comic from Ed Piskor, this one looking like some kinda cultural overview. Intriguing.

-Tonight in NYC: Our man Jesse Pearson interviews Gahan Wilson on his amazing new book, Nuts.

-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.

-Sometimes the imitation is more fun than the original.


Back in the WordPress Groove

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.



On the site today:

-Stefano Priarone contributes a fine obituary of the Italian comics figure Sergio Bonelli.

-Joe McCulloch brings us his week in comics, as usual, like the animal he is.

-And Matt Seneca turns in a review of Prince Valiant vol. 4.

And elsewhere:

-Paper Monument has a rare bit of drawn reportage on Occupy Wall Street.

-Tom Spurgeon rounds up the 10 big stories from NYCC. Amazingly, I don't think I care about 85 of this news. It's a fractured medium these days.

Finally, lots of talk about critics:

-Eddie Campbell has some very funny words about one critic in particular.

-Idiom Magazine brings the latest "we'll revitalize film criticism" game.

-And meanwhile, The New Yorker posted five of Pauline Kael's best moments, while her legacy is discussed in the NY Times.




A One-Syllable Brain

First, we have some appreciations of Jaime Hernandez's "The Love Bunglers", written by Dan Nadel, with help from Frank Santoro and Adrian Tomine.

Drew Friedman picks his top ten favorite horror movies. I can personally vouch for all of his picks, save Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.

The A.V. Club interviews Kate Beaton.

The New York Times reviews Craig Thompson's Habibi. Maybe I'm nuts, but it feels like the Times is getting a bit more sophisticated in its comics reviews these days.

Finally, Martin Wisse finds a recent (and very rare) four-part video interview with Shary Flenniken!


Con Country

Today on the site:

Chris Mautner interviews the prolific writer George O'Connor. Says Chris:

To my mind one of the most interesting people working in the all-ages field right now is George O’Connor. For one thing, while he’s always been a fan of the medium, he came into the industry sideways, via a series of children’s books, starting off with the best-selling Kapow!

From there, he hooked up with Mark Siegel at First Second and produced Journey Into Mohawk Country, an adaptation of a centuries-old look at Iroquois life that’s perhaps most notable for the way O’Connor attempts to bring a modern sensibility to the story without corrupting the source text.


Apparently there is an enormous comic book convention taking place nearby, but reports are unconfirmed.

-In conjunction with said potential convention, the Jack Kirby Museum is doing some fun stuff, including a big rock show at Maxwell's on Saturday night. Also, the museum is mounting "Kirby Enthusiasm", which'll open at 5 pm at Maxwell's and features over 50 artists. Full run down on its site.

-Let's see... I enjoyed these "lost" John Buscema drawings... and we roll into the weekend.