Joe McCulloch is here as usual with his regular guide to the Week in Comics, and this time he takes an extended look at
the newest work from Julie Doucet, one of the absolute titans of the Canadian alternative cartooning generation to rise to prominence in the 1990s – her new book, Carpet Sweeper Tales, arrives in comic book stores this week. It’s an unusual work, which some readers will probably slot in with the ‘post comics’ collage or mixed media output Doucet has shown in books like Lady Pep (2004), which is to say it won’t be read as ‘comics’ in the way a new (let’s say) Chester Brown book will, even if the new Chester Brown is 1/3 prose-format annotations.
Rob Clough is here, too, with a review of Jennifer Hayden’s The Story of My Tits.
As a rule, I tend to detest cancer memoirs because they tend to be reductive in how they treat the narrative of the protagonist, usually showing them as victim or hero (or some combination thereof). The reality is that cancer, devastating as it is, is simply a disease. It doesn’t alter character, and nor does it make a person’s narrative instantly compelling. The reason why The Story Of My Tits works is that it’s about much more than cancer; the hook of using her breasts as the book’s focus may be gimmicky, but is enormously effective. It’s a gateway that allows her to tell her own story without seeming too pretentious or precious. Hayden has the rare ability to depict emotion without indulging in sentiment, which I think is due in part to her willingness to laugh at herself on nearly every page.
—Interviews & Profiles. KQED talks to Daniel Clowes (this is a good one).
I heard that Oakland Museum exhibition was great, but it also sounds a little bit like being eulogized before your time?
It absolutely felt like that. It was like attending your own funeral and hearing what people say about you — which was all very nice. There’s a movie called Scarlet Street that opens with Edward G. Robinson going to his retirement dinner, and he’s presented with this gold watch and everybody pats him on his back and then that’s it. He leaves and he has no friends or life after that. It really did feel like that. It was weird. I disassociated myself from it and started to just think of myself as a collector of Daniel Clowes artwork after a while, because you’d see name tags on things like they were on loan from a collector — but it was ‘on loan from Daniel and Erica Clowes.’ I would be so proud. Like, wow, I have artwork loaned to a museum!
Little Village talks to Gary Groth about 40 years of Fantagraphics and The Comics Journal.
Looking over the interviews I’ve done, there are different slants to them. Some were contentious, closer to debates than interviews, such as Todd McFarlane or my illuminating (to me) one with Scott McCloud and Steve Bissette about creators’ rights. [There were] those that were more journalistic or historical in nature—I think my interview with Kevin Eastman is a high point, but there are a number of interviews I did with Silver Age artists like Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert. I love the interviews where we get into the nitty gritty of the art and the art-making and explore the philosophical disposition of the artist: Robert Crumb, Ralph Steadman, David Levine, Burne Hogarth, Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, off the top of my head — Jesus, six artists who are so utterly different from each other!
Syracuse.com talks to Roz Chast.
She decided to try submitting to The New Yorker just because her parents subscribed to them. She collected every cartoon she had and dropped them off in April of 1978.
“I never thought I’d be doing cartoons for The New Yorker,” said Chast. “I didn’t think what I did was commercially viable. I thought, ‘What’s there to lose?’ I didn’t have my hopes up.”
Sex magazine talks to Aidan Koch.