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Weekend Warriors

This morning, Rob Clough weighs in with a review of Craig Thompson’s Habibi, which demonstrates that the range of possible opinions on the book is by no means restricted only to those found in last week’s roundtable discussion of the book.

Thompson was also just interviewed over at the A.V. Club, and Abhay Khosla had a funny reaction to one of Thompson’s more dubious claims featured in it.

One of the most frequent topics of discussion regarding Habibi is the question of its use of Orientalist tropes, and whether or not the book furthers racial and cultural stereotypes. Comics has been in the stereotype business for a long time of course, as the never-ending arguments over Hergé’s early Tintin albums demonstrate. This week, a Belgian judge ruled that Tintin in the Congo (easily the most controversial of these books) is not racist. David Brothers had a funny reaction to some of the judge’s more dubious claims.

The book designer Peter Mendelsund has an excellent post up regarding cover design choices, using various attempts at Lolita as examples, and in passing covers a lot of ground that will likely be interesting to any cartoonist.

Finally, three quick links: 1) Chris Mautner interviews Kevin Huizenga, 2) Chris Butcher talks about non-superhero comics, and 3) Chris Duffy and comics-editing colleagues from the late, lamented Nickelodeon magazine have launched a comics iPad app aimed at kids and featuring several of their cartoonists they used to work with in print.

 

Waking Up

Today, because our aim is to distract you from your troubles by gazing at those of others we bring you part one of Matthias Wivel’s epic telling of the recent doings at L’Association.

L’Association, which has helped rewrite the rules of comics over the last twenty years, has been in an existential crisis over the last eight months or so, a crisis that went from a widely publicized strike by the employees and the election of a new editorial board consisting of six of the seven original co-founders—most of whom had been estranged from the publisher for years—to the departure of Jean-Christophe Menu, the controversial sole and de facto director of L’Association since 2006.

Elsewhere:

I guess because he’s just awesome, Jim Rugg has compiled the Top Ten Greatest Vein Artists in Comics History (for, uh, November).

 

Anders Nilsen is interviewed at The Onion and inadvertently reviews the new Tintin movie. Score.

This latest Kickstarter project is news to me, but th
e irony of raising money to pay tribute to an aesthetic that made tons of money is not lost on me, or, I bet, the creators.

I like getting updates on past employees of Drawn & Quarterly because after so many years they’re like long lost cousins or something. (I know, I know, add emoticons here).

 

Clean Up Time

We’re halfway through the week now, and it’s time to put the Halloween decorations away.

First, for your listening while undecorating pleasure, Mike Dawson interviews Julia Wertz for the TCJ Talkies podcast.

Also, for her regular webcomics column, Shaenon Garrity has invited T Campbell to write a guest entry on the perils of researching internet comics.

MetaFilter brings renewed attention to the double career of New Yorker cartoonist Syd Hoff, who moonlighted as a radical artist for The Daily Worker and New Masses. (via)

Matthias Wivel has an interesting theory about the villain from the new Tintin movie. (It’s more plausible than the one in Anonymous, anyway.)

As many have been noting, Ng Suat Tong has done yeoman’s work putting together scans and moments from throughout Jaime Hernandez’s Locas stories that are referenced or otherwise alluded to in Jaime’s most recent story, “The Love Bunglers”. A good reference once you’ve read the book (but don’t spoil it for yourself if you haven’t).

A publication called School Libraries in Canada got a very good interview out of Dave Collier, regarding everything from his military enlistment to reading on airplanes. (Regular readers of this site get one guess who sent this link my way.)

Frederik Pohl remembers the longtime DC editor Julius Schwartz. I think some longtime Journal readers might be somewhat surprised at the piece’s conclusion, but I guess Pohl’s old enough now to be entitled to his own opinion.

I can’t keep linking to every post on Eddie Campbell’s blog (just bookmark it already), but this latest entry, with video of Gerald Early (who is really an extraordinary essayist), can’t go without notice. Read and watch.

UPDATE: I forgot to link to this sad news: Steve Rude has been arrested after an apparent altercation with his neighbors.

 

Boooooo

Good halloween? Good.

So, today Matt Seneca brings us an essay about Yuichi Yokoyama’s most recent books.

and Joe McCulloch did not let the candy go to his head. His week in comics is here.

Elsewhere:

A fine review of Gary Panter’s current exhibition by TCJ-contributor Nicole Rudick.

Because no one (or dozen) web sites can contain him, Joe McCulloch has a killer piece up at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

And finally, Mimi Pond has a nice new comic in the LA Times.

LA and TCJ: Together working as one.

 

Smell My Feet

Okay, we’ve got a big-time treat for all of you today: a 13,000-word interview of Robert Crumb conducted by Gary Groth. Topics include Crumb’s aborted trip to Australia, the Meese Commission, the Republican primaries, and corporate fraud. That’s just in the beginning section, before Groth and Crumb more or less reenact the canceled Australian live appearance, with Groth passing along questions from a select group of inquisitors including Tony Millionaire, Kim Deitch, Megan Kelso, the Hernandez Bros., Trina Robbins(!), among others. A must-read, folks. All your friends will be tweetering about it.

Elsewhere:

Ray Davis has some notes after reading Eddie Campbell’s Alec: “The Years Have Pants”. He also reproduces (with EC’s apparent permission) three pages from How To Be an Artist that were cut from the larger anthology.

Mike Lynch found an old YouTube clip of a 1988 Lynda Barry appearance on David Letterman.

Jessica Abel and Matt Madden are interviewed at length about the Best American Comics series. They talk a lot about the selection process, too. Worth reading before going off on your big rant about the book doesn’t include this or that.

Robert Boyd reviews some recent graphic novels.

Dan Wagstaff has a short but sweet Q&A with Jason over at the Casual Optimist.

Finally, novelist Tom McCarthy (author of Tintin and the Secret of Literature) really hates the new Tintin movie. Here’s a sample:

Perhaps this movie will be studied, in years to come, as a Žižekian example of a dominant ideology’s capacity to recuperate its own negation, or something along those lines. For now, we just have to wonder how Spielberg went so wrong, or if he was in fact involved at all: so badly put together is this film that it’s easier, and perhaps more comforting, to imagine a semi-simian marketing committee writing and producing it under the banner of his name. If your children love the Tintin books – or, more to the point, if they have an ounce of intelligence or imagination in their bodies – don’t take them to see this truly execrable offering.

 

Moving It

Well well, on the site today we have Casey Burchby’s review of Gene Colan’s Batman stories.

And elsewhere:

Our own Kristy Valenti offers some fine professional tips.

Lynda Barry is profiled in the NY Times Magazine.

As if glancing off our Habibi roundtable, here’s an interview with Frank Miller about Holy Terror.

The Beat has a kinda amazing list of Stan Lee’s various adventures in… ventures.

Evan Dorkin blogs about horror movies just in time. His Milk and Cheese book is also on its way out from Dark Horse and sounds like it’s a doozy.

David Apatoff looks at a Lynd Ward image.

Finally, and this is only germaine to California, but here’s an interesting piece about artists’ “royalties” on resold artwork.

 

Table That

Today we have a big one for you. (And in the coming weeks, we have several more big ones in store.) Charles Hatfield has graciously agreed to moderate a critical discussion of Craig Thompson’s Habibi (which you may have noticed has already generated a fair share of online debate). Now, for your reading pleasure, we present the results. The discussion’s participants include Hatfield himself, Hayley Campbell, Chris Mautner, Tom Hart, Katie Haegele, and Joe McCulloch. As you can imagine, their viewpoints diverge. Read and weigh in. (This was all Hart’s idea, by the way. Thanks, Tom!) A more formal review of the book by Rob Clough is forthcoming.

Elsewhere:

Bhob Stewart takes inspiration from Kim Deitch’s recent essay on Roger Brand (& don’t miss the growing comments thread beneath it if you haven’t looked in a while) to repost one of his own collaborations with Brand.

Peggy Burns offers a lengthy & characteristically funny photo tour of her experiences at the recent Iowa Comics Conference. (That’s the same conference Jeet wrote about here.)

The Warner Bros. lawsuit against Siegel & Shuster attorney Marc Toberoff continues.

Bill Kartalopolous writes about King-Cat creator John Porcellino for Print.

I am sure every single one of you is already familiar with this photo of a famous athlete reading a famous comic book, but it was new to me.

Somewhat similarly, I believe that I did once know that Seth was involved in the world of women’s roller derby (a secret point of connection with Frank Santoro!), but somehow I repressed that knowledge.

The Financial Times has another profile of Hergé linked to the new Tintin movie. I am somewhat interested to see how the inevitable wave of similar profiles here in the United States will compare to what has been written in Europe.

Finally, Michel Fiffe interviews Paul Duncan and Phil Elliott, the writer/artist combo behind the 1980s independent sci-fi mystery series, Second City.

 

Plumbing

On the site:

Chris Mautner goes there. I thought about going there, but wasn’t brave enough. Chris was brave. Oh, what? No, I’m just talking about the first month of 52. That’s where Chris went. What did you think I was talking about?

Sean T. Collins, another hardy soul, went somewhere else, somewhere only Ben Marra could take him, with this review of Gangsta Rap Posse #2.

Elsewhere:

-Frank Santoro’s cartoon correspondence course begins next week. Deadline to enroll is this Friday. You need this in your life.

-While my head is in Pittsburgh (even if FS is not), I gotta link to the second installment of Ed Piskor’s web comic. It’s gooood.

-Here’s a NSFW Playboy cover by Michael Deforge. Er, sorta.

-Kim Thompson sends us links dept:

-Looks like Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese is making a long awaited comeback to these shores. Now we can only hope it’s not colorized and it’s well translated and lettered. Please. Rizzoli, which occasionally dips into comics, is the house, so we shall see. No word on if this is a series or not.

-Marjane Satrapi and Persepolis co-director Vincent Paronnaud have a new movie coming out based on Chicken with Plums. This time it includes live action. Why, there’s already a review! (via KT)

-TCJ contributor dept:

-Congrats to the aforementioned Sean T. Collins on his work for the annotated Game of Thrones. Sounds like his dream project come true.

-Matt Seneca has a whole host of links over on his blog, including one about an abandoned blog of Frank’s (I think Tim and I were supposed to post, too, but we never did). The name was chosen for reasons related to other subjects in Matt’s very post. It’s easy math.

Weird dept:

So everyone’s already read about that check used to buy Superman. It’s being auctioned off next year. In my fantasies Alan Moore buys it, turns his camera on, performs a magical rite on it, sets it aflame, and then posts the clip to youtube, resulting in some kind of metaphysical tidal wave that… I dunno. Use your imagination. But! Other precious items are being auctioned off this year, worth mentioning just for the pix. Like Jerry Siegel’s typewriter, his favorite tie (the grimmest “favorite tie” I’ve ever seen), and, of course, some locks of his hair. The entire description is worth your time. The auction house notes, in what I hope is a jokey aside:

Many collectors have speculated that Kirby’s hair might be worth more, but we disagree. With genetic technology heading in the direction it is, one day you could make your very own Jerry Siegel clone.

And, yes, here’s the hair, grabbed from Comic Connect:

Oh, comics. Comics comics comics. When will you ever learn?