Today on the site, we bring you a John Kelly report on the new Society of Illustrators “Alt-Weekly Comics” show. Here’s a bit from the piece:
By appearing in the alt-weeklies, several generations of talented cartoonists gained access to audiences well beyond the world of fans of college papers, mini comics and zines. Their work was brought to the attention of alternative music and other fringe culture fans, especially in Seattle, where it’s two weeklies, The Rocket and The Stranger, thrived during the rise and fall of that city’s grunge era. And like the underground cartoonists of the 1960s and ’70s (but to a lesser degree) some of the alt-weekly cartoonists literally became as big as the rock stars whose albums and concert posters their work appeared on.
“There’s a way in which the animation culture of the 90s and 2000s and what goes on now with Adult Swim and all that [has its roots in] the strips in the alternative-weeklies the same way National Lampoon was to early Saturday Night Live,” said Michael Grossman, former art director for The National Lampoon, The Village Voice and Entertainment Weekly. “It was sort of this thing that was going on and the exploded into something else that left the original behind.”
More than 100 examples of work of that initial burst of energy are on display at the SOI show, ranging from little seen examples of the original artwork for the strips to pages literally torn from the old newspapers. It is also significant to note that the show takes place at the venerable Society of Illustrators, not somewhere like the CBGB Gallery or Max Fish, places where such exhibits took place during the alt-weekly heyday. Additionally, the show received an enthusiastic endorsement from no less that The New Yorker.
—News. Longtime Mad writer Lou Silverstone has died.
—Interviews & Profiles. Shawn Starr interviews Raighne Hogan of 2D Cloud.
Matt Emery talks to Emory Liu about designing books for Fantagraphics.
Reaxxion listens to Erik Larsen explaining his side of the controversy that exploded after his recent comments on superhero costume design on Twitter.
Panel Patter checks in with Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.
CCS talks to Scott McCloud about process.
Paul Gravett introduces Scottish cartoonist Malcy Duff.
Anodolu Agency speaks briefly to the French cartoonist Zeon, who was arrested this month for cartoons deemed anti-Semitic.
—Reviews & Commentary. Caroline Wazer shares and writes about the caricatures of Punch cartoonist John Leech used to illustrate The Comic History of Rome, sort of a “for Dummies” book from the 19th century.
Panel Patter looks at Corinne Mucha’s Get Over It.
John Adcock writes about the history of “chalk talks.”
—Funnies. Responding to Ronald Wimberly from last week, Connor Willumsen has his own comic at The Nib about editorial tinkering at Marvel.
—Video. Maclean’s visits the home of Seth (via):