Break Time

Well, it's almost that time and so we're taking a break. That's right, you won't have us to kick around or complain about for 4 whole days! Posting will resume, with a long sigh, on Monday November 28th.

Until then, "friends", we leave you with a fine interview with Anders Nilsen, as conducted by Hayley Campbell. Starting with his London tour stop, Hayley takes us through Anders' working process and then has him reflect on Big Questions as it happened via each cover of the series. And Sean T. Collins turns in a review of the latest installment of the always hilarious Tales Designed to Thrizzle.

Otherwise, well, I liked this analysis of Jack Cole's Playboy comics. No analysis needed of this awesome new Drew Friedman print.  I went to LA last week, but Chris Oliveros was there the week before me, and lived to tell the tale. And if he doesn't find LA, LA is gonna fine him. Ben Marra's Night Business is back for another issue. Finally, sending you off, Lisa Hanawalt's excellent Thanksgiving NY Times cartoon. Old medication. Perfect.

See you next week. Have a great holiday!



It's Tuesday, which means it's time for another edition of Joe McCulloch's This Week in Comics. In this installment, he starts things off with a mini-essay on a recent 2000 AD serial (in Judge Dredd Magazine, to be precise), Pat Mills and Clint Langley's American Reaper.

We also have a new webcomics column from Shaenon Garrity, an introduction to the works of longtime webcartoonist (and creator of Bruno, Little Dee, and Spacetrawler) Christopher Baldwin.

And Rob Clough reviews the comic book that's taken a lot of people by surprise this year, Ethan Rilly's Pope Hats #2.

Elsewhere on the internet:

1. Tom Spurgeon interviews Rich Tomasso, primarily about his (excellent) coloring for the new Carl Barks Library, but also covering his own recent cartooning.

2. In a terrific post, Paul Tumey and Frank Young gather a handful of examples of classic comic-book artists putting versions of themselves into their work, including Sheldon Mayer, Jack Cole, and Simon & Kirby.

3. Bob Layton announced on Facebook that the corporate atmosphere at Marvel has gotten so pervasive that he can no longer work for the company.

4. Evan Dorkin talks to the SF Weekly to promote his new Milk & Cheese collection.

5. Somehow I missed that Rick Altergott had started a new webcomic for Vice! As far as I am concerned, this is the big news of 2011 so far, folks.

6. Brad Mackay has an extensive obituary of Alvin Schwartz, the complicated man and comic-book writer who created Bizarro.

7. Book designer Peter Mendelsund has posted part two of his illustrated essay on the covers of Lolita that I linked to a while back.

8. Finally, I don't really know what this means, but since this recent bit of Occupy Wall Street-affiliated protest art features three cartoon characters, I figured I'd link to it and let you decide for yourselves.


Week’s Beginning

As you may have read elsewhere, cartoonists Tom Hart and Leela Corman's young daughter, Rosalie Lightning, passed away last week. Tom and Leela's friends have created a fund for " to help with everything Tom and Leela are facing in this terrible situation.  Just to be clear, this is not an ongoing charitable foundation; it is a bunch of Tom and Leela’s friends passing the cup around to help them surmount the short-term challenges arising from this tragedy." Jon Lewis provides more context here. The link to the paypal link is here. Tim and I ask that you please consider donating to the fund.

Anyhow, on the site now:

Frank Santoro recruited Tom K. to write a scene report on Minneapolis

Jason Leivian reviews the roll playing game Cave Evil

Craig Fischer returns with a new installment of his column, this time focusing on... focus.

And elsewhere:

-A nifty profile of Spain Rodriguez.

-A memoir of Joel Beck by our frequent Roger Brand commenter, Tom Conroy.

-Oft-told but now with a new wrinkle: When Roy Lichtenstein "met" William Overgard.

-Ed Wood sleaze paperbacks!




Hugging the Shore

Today we bring you Prajna Desai's fascinating review of Kashmir Pending, a graphic novel about the political unrest in that region by Naseer Ahmed and Saurabh Singh, published in New Delhi in 2007 by a now defunct company called Phantomville. Desai covers an enormous amount of ground in this one—from the history of the Kashmir independence movement to the effects of imprecise dating to Joe Sacco's narrative strategy.

Elsewhere on the internet, Journal stalwart Chris Mautner turns in an excellent interview with Annie Koyama, founder of Koyama Press, over at Comic Book Resources. If you aren't already familiar with the story behind the creation of her company, you really ought to read it.

Another Journal contributor, Matt Seneca, also takes to the pixels of Comic Book Resources to write about one of Frank King's most famous Sunday Gasoline Alley pages.

And over at Comixology, still another Journal contributor, Tucker Stone, interviews Mark Waid at length about his writing stint on Daredevil, a superhero book that (not for the first time in its history) has something of a cult following going on right now.

Finally, I don't think we've yet mentioned Joyce Brabner's Kickstarter project designed to raise money for a statue of Harvey Pekar at the Cleveland Heights Public Library. There are lots of things to read and videos to watch about it here, if you're interested.


Table Breaking

Today on the site:

Chris Mautner talks to Art Spiegelman about MetaMaus.

Ryan Holmberg digs ever deeper and bring us a look at one strain of manga circa 1948-1957.


Not comics, but worth reading: Tucker Stone on Richard Stark (and The Bad News Bears).

An interview with Craig Thompson about orientalism and the critical reception of Habibi.

A fine comic by Louis Ferstadt, who was an early mentor to Harvey Kurtzman and a wonderfully elastic cartoonist himself.



Against the Grain

This morning, we present R. C. Harvey's formal obituary of Bil Keane, the Family Circus creator who passed away last Tuesday. An excerpt:

Asked whether comics are “art,” Keane said: “The comic strip is a brilliant form of art developed in America and now imitated in every country. More people see and appreciate this art form daily than ever see the expensive paintings tucked away in museums. I’m proud to be exhibited regularly in over 1,500 newspapers, and to have my work hung on what I consider the world’s most prestigious art gallery: the refrigerator doors in homes across America.” But he’s never entirely serious for long: “Some cartoonists jot their ideas down on the back of an old envelope,” he once said. “Some talk into a tape recorder. I talk into the back of an old envelope.”

In a new episode of TCJ Talkies recorded live at the Minneapolis Indie Xpo, Mike Dawson interviews MariNaomi and Noah Van Sciver.

And Rob Clough reviewsMichael Kupperman's illustrated novel, Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010.

Elsewhere, people are continuing to react to "the Frank Miller incident." David Barnett at the Guardian gathers some of the responses and takes a look at the politics of Miller's comics. One reaction not included there comes from Neal Adams. It's unfocused but relatively sane. Finally, Jim Rugg and Frank Santoro have their own take:

More pleasant things to contemplate: author and minor television personality John Hodgman's interview with Newsarama about the comics he's been reading, Paul Di Filippo's review of Daniel Clowes's The Death-Ray, and the release of Bruce Wayne's medical records.



I'm in LA again. This time for a schizophrenic week of first launching the Odd Future book, Golf Wang, and then opening the Destroy All Monsters exhibition, Return of the Repressed. The former is "just" a book, the latter a 150-piece show I've been working on with Mike Kelley for a while now. It's gonna be a busy week. The only comics I think I'll will be whatever Ben Jones has lying around his guest room, though DAM member Jim Shaw has made some fine ass comics in his time.

Anyhow, let's see... on the site today:

Joe McCulloch gives us a nice week in comics complete with a look at the Kirby strip in Someday Funnies.

And elsewhere:

Tom Spurgeon files the one and only in depth obituary of historian Les Daniels.

Short one today, folks!



Display Copy

Good morning, everyone. Today we are very proud to publish Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith's tribute to the late Bil Keane:

... I also remember Bil Keane’s talk to the assembled crowd. It was flavored by what his generation would call “pretty salty language.” For the creator of such a family-friendly strip, his comments were a surprise–and a pleasant one. I began to realize these “old-timers” were not at all like the characters in their G-rated comics; they were people like me. Well, sort of.

Also, Sean T. Collins turns in a review of Megan Kelso's re-released Queen of the Black Black.

And Frank Santoro recruits John Porcellino to contribute a scene report from South Beloit, Illinois.

Speaking of Keane, Jeet Heer passes along this short profile of the man from a 2006 issue of the Tucson Citizen, which is sad but well worth reading.

At Robot 6, Kevin Melrose highlights another heartbreaking story, an insurance magazine profile describing the late-life plight of longtime comic-book writer Bill Mantlo, now in a nursing home, and never really fully recovered from the hit-and-run that injured him two decades ago.

Kate Beaton was featured on a CTV news story last week. There's always something pleasantly surreal about seeing cartoonists on television.

Paul Gravett profiles and interviews David B.

Matt Seneca interviewed Yuichi Yokoyama.

A cartoon Miller posted on his site last year: "Krypto-Fascist"

And of course, the big comics-related news going around the internet this weekend was the reaction to Frank Miller's pathetic commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement. (A choice bit of Miller's wordplay: "HAH! Some 'movement', except if the word 'bowel' is attached.") In one of those rare moments where I strongly disagree with him, Tom Spurgeon wrote a brief post calling the whole thing "deeply silly" and basically seeming to imply that Miller's words were better left undiscussed. (Though it's possible I'm misreading him, and Spurgeon just finds the whole situation distasteful, a position it's hard to argue against.) In any case, all of this sort of thing is fair game in my book. And while individual cases of embarrassing statements from major creators might disappoint me (not this time—while a lot of his early work still holds up well, I gave up on Miller years ago), overall, it's good to know more about where they're coming from. Kim Thompson wrote Spurgeon a letter taking strident issue with him about a different matter, Tom's characterization of Miller's politics. And if you haven't yet had your fill of the matter, the writer David Brin has used this occasion to publish a long explanation of everything he thinks is wrong (historically and politically) with Miller's 300.