As always, Joe McCulloch is here to improve your Tuesday with his indispensable guide to the Week in Comics!, highlighting all the best-sounding comics new to stores this week, with special spotlights on books by Ta-Nehisi Coates/Brian Stelfreeze and Guy Adams/Jimmy Broxton. He also writes a memorial to the recently departed mangaka Mikiya Mochizuki:
This past Sunday saw the death of Mikiya Mochizuki, a manga pro for over half a century, best known for the energetic and bullet-riddled motorcycle action series Wild 7. Debuting in 1969, and continuing in various media forms well into the 21st century — there was a live-action film in ’11, though older Japanese audiences would better remember a ’72-73 television drama — the series concerned the activities of a group of criminals recruited to battle yet-worse crime in a semi-official capacity, thus evading the needless restrictions of legality. It is not especially well-known in English, with only a 1994-95 anime video series and seven volumes of the earliest manga (via the now-defunct ComicsOne) officially released.
—Interviews & Profiles. Sharon Eberson profiles Bill Griffith.
“All life is a blur of Republicans and meat” has proved to be one of his most popular catchphrases — and one of the best-sellers on T-shirts and other merchandise sold on the artist’s website.
“It seems nonsensical, but not when you think about it,” Mr. Griffith said. “There’s a joke about French humor, that it exists on 17 levels, and Jerry Lewis was the 18th level, he was so deep. I think Zippy is on multilevels. Some people get the first level, some the third and some all 17, and I’m happy when they do.”
And here Griffith is again, shopping for “beatnik” comics:
Actually all the constraints I put on myself, and I was very happy and comfortable drawing Watchmen like that. It simplifies things from the point of view of storytelling to have the shape and number of panels of a page preset, and also you become very expert as a result of composing a picture in a very familiar space. You know where the hotspots are, and how much detail it can take, and the exact effect it’s going to have in context. I think most artists would tell you that restrictions enhance creativity. You can be told that the art can be any size, any format, and then be told that “it’s got to be this size, now do it” – that’s what really gets the juices flowing.
Gil Roth interviews Phoebe Gloeckner.
And The New Republic talks to the aforementioned Ta-Nehisi Coates about his new Black Panther.
Earlier versions of T’Challa gave you the romance of monarchy without any account of the horrible things that monarchs actually do. So I wanted to think this through. Don’t get me wrong, I like T’Challa but that’s the point. So often it’s not evil people, it’s the system.
I know there are limits in art, but I reject them as long as I can.
—Commentary. Copacetic Comics owner Bill Boichel explains Harry Lucey:
The recent controversial editorial from Riss in Charlie Hebdo is not strictly speaking a comics story, but Adam Shatz has written a very good piece on what’s so disturbing about the essay.
Aside from ageing veterans of the French-Algerian war, no one in France talks about ‘the Arabs’ any longer. Instead they speak of ‘the Muslims’. But France’s Muslims are the descendants of that Arab peanut vendor – and, all too often, targets of the same racist intolerance. Like the racism [James] Baldwin encountered among his Parisian friends, it often wears an ennobling mask: anti-terrorist, secular, feminist.
—Spending Opportunities. Only a few days left on the Retrofit Kickstarter.
—News. Valnet has purchased the prominent comics news site, Comic Book Resources.