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Wrestling Fans

Today we have Steve Ringgenberg’s obituary of Jerry Robinson. And, as ever, Joe McCulloch brings us the week in comics.

And so let’s go for a stroll: Evan Dorkin posted some awfully nice looking “sketch cards” he did for the CBLDF. Over at D&Q there’s another preview of Guy Delisle’s upcoming book, Jerusalem.

Somehow I missed this incredible post about a 1944 nurse story by Jack Cole… or is it? I couldn’t begin to tell you why I like this photo so much — three guys, one photo, an anonymous office. It’s a good set up. And on the same nerdy tip, here’s an article over at the venerable Mindless Ones about The Daleks. Just the right dose for me.

I’ve enjoyed Brian K. Vaughn’s comics quite a bit in the past, so the news of a new series is intriguing. All the more so since he’s taking it to Image, which seems a good choice for someone who wants to own something.  Not comics, but same business model: David Berman, of Silver Jews, has begun posting the internal files of Gulas/Welch Wrestling Enterprises. Amazing.

 

Surviving the Season

Patrick Rosenkranz takes stock of the lot of today’s comics business, by looking and talking to people at four prominent retailers: Meltdown in Hollywood, Desert Island in Brooklyn, Quimby’s in Chicago, and CounterMedia in Portland, Oregon.

Frank Santoro recruits Gabby Gamboa for this week’s “scene report,” this time covering the San Francisco bay area.

And Comics Journal co-founder Mike Catron passes along word that he’s just uploaded a four-part video featuring Jerry Robinson from San Diego in 2009:

Elsewhere:

Jordan Shrively has started a new Tumblr featuring cartoonist’s studio spaces. So far profilees include Jim Woodring and Tom Neely.

Speaking of Woodring, last week he posted a video tutorial explaining how he draws Frank:

Series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden have released the full list of “notable comics” from The Best American Comics 2011. (Woodring is on it.)

Dean Haspiel has donated a huge number of minicomics to the Library of Congress.

Brandon Graham is interviewed over at Bookslut.

Tucker Stone begins a series of tournaments between comics old and new. His first entry puts a Michael DeForge story up against Tim Vigil’s Faust. And based on his final judgment, I think Tucker’s refereeing skills need work. This should be fun to follow.

Just so you know, a big internet-style king of the mountain-sized molehill fight is brewing in the part of the comics world that we tend to ignore here when we can: J. Michael Straczynski vs. Marvel editor Steve Wacker (with help on the sidelines from Mark Waid and Dan Slott). They are arguing about Spider-Man sales figures, in case you don’t care to look into it further.

And finally, Jeff Newelt at Heeb magazine gets Al Jaffee to perform Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions live on stage.

 

Won’t See the Likes…

On the site:

Shannon Wheeler wraps up his diary in Portugal.

And in the comics world the big, sad news is that Jerry Robinson, longtime cartoonist, Batman artist, and tremendous advocate for creator’s rights and free speech has passed away at the age of 89. We will have a full obituary shortly. In the meantime, we’re pleased to re-present Gary Groth’s definitive interview with artist from 2004. Chris Mautner conducted a more recent interview in 2010 for TCJ. And here is Tom De Haven’s recent review of the reissue of Robinson’s The Comics.

For more on Robinson I recommend Christopher Irving’s profile at Graphic NYC, Alex Dueben’s 2010 interview at CBR, which covers the recent Jet Scott and The Comics reissues, and the NY Daily News obituary, which covers the highlights of the artist’s life.

In old-time-comic-book-companies-that-were-once-very-bad-still-are-and-we-shouldn’t-be-surprised news:

-Laura Hudson scores an interview with Marvel editors on the lack of female titles/creators at the company.

-And there’s a battle on at Archie over who gets to run that wholesome company. Somewhere Dan DeCarlo is smiling.

 

A Day on the Linking Streets

Today we have the fourth day of Shannon Wheeler’s entry into the Cartoonist’s Diary game, in which he tries to escape from New York, as well as Sean T. Collins’s review of Levon Jihanian’s Danger Country.

At other web sites:

Over at Comixology, the Journal‘s own Kristy Valenti writes about Richard Marschall’s Sunday Funnies book.

I don’t know how I missed this before, but legendary animator and cartoonist Gene Deitch has been posting a long series of memoirs, organized by different people he has known throughout his life. Like his son Kim, Gene Deitch has had a pretty amazing life, and knows how to tell a story. (The semi-recent “Deitch family” Journal issue is one of the best magazines you will ever read.)

Peter Blegvad, creator of the amazing comic strip Leviathan (another must read), created and appeared on a BBC radio play about memory loss last weekend, and there are only two more days in which you can listen to it for free online.

Mike Lynch profiles the semi-forgotten Punch cartoonist J.W. Taylor, posting lots of samples of his work.

In that same post, Lynch mentions that Percy Crosby’s Skippy is one of the archival reprinting projects he’d most like to see published, and coincidentally, yesterday IDW announced they were going to do just that.

Secret Acres, Kevin Czap, and AdHouse Books have BCGF reports. The AdHouse one in particular is worth looking at, if only because of the off unfortunate news that Chris Pitzer had art stolen from him, and the chance that you might be able to help him recover it.

Two lists at the far ends of the critical spectrum from each other: Time‘s top ten books of the year (featuring Daniel Clowes and Kate Beaton), and the Poopsheet Foundation’s list of the best minicomics of 2011.

I haven’t listened to this yet, but Tucker Stone recruited two other Journal writers, Joe McCulloch and Matt Seneca, for a podcast in which, I guess, they talk about comics?

And finally, something else I haven’t been able to fully absorb yet — the Mindless Ones’ Doubtful Guest turns in a ginormous take on the current state of the direct market, and it looks to be the kind of lengthy link-heavy MO essay I like best from them.

 

Leave Them Wanting

Here’s where we are:

Shannon Wheeler rolls up with Day 3 of his diary while Mike Dawson talks to Sarah Glidden over at TCJ Talkies.

Meanwhile, Josh Neufeld has a good and topical new comic up at Cartoon Movement about “two young Bahraini editorial cartoonists who found themselves on opposite sides of Bahrain’s short-lived Pearl Revolution”.

Writer Brian Wood posted some thoughts on the current market vis a vis digital distribution as experienced by a working professional in a few different areas of the market. He begins with:

Everyone I know loves comic shops.  Everyone I know who makes comics, especially creator-owned comics, is hurting, financially. EVERYONE is bleeding, its a bad time. So to what extent does digital as a publishing format represent an additional revenue stream, one on top of print sales through shops, one that can ease some of the suffering?

Over in what seems like a world of abundance, Noel Murray at A/V Club has a lengthy review round-up of titles including Someday Funnies, The Definitive Flash Gordon And Jungle Jim, Vol. 1 and Lost in the Andes.

And here are a couple BCGF reports from Drawn & Quarterly and Publishers Weekly.

 

Furshlugginer…

Office holiday party last night, and the train home was brutal.

Not brutal? Joe McCulloch’s always great column on the week in comics, this time with a mini-report of last weekend’s BCGF attached.

Shannon Wheeler gives us day two of his diary, this time taking us with him to The New Yorker on cartoonist submission day.

Tom Spurgeon wrote a lengthy report on the Brooklyn festival, too, and Chris Mautner has a photo diary of the event of his own. If you see him, ask for a copy of his daughter’s minicomic.

The digitalpocalypse for the direct market continues its approach.

The New York Times had three comics-related reviews in last Sunday’s book section: one on MetaMaus, one on caricature (linked to an exhibit at the Met in New York), and one on R. Crumb’s album covers.

A nine-year-old’s correspondence with Hergé.

After a short break, Eddie Campbell is back with two new installments in his series on romance comics.

Another week, another enormous Alan Moore interview. Fatigue is setting in now. It’s in three parts.

There is also a new interview with comics academic Roger Sabin and a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Shaun Tan.

And finally, Al Jaffee is profiled by CNN. (via)

 

Put Your Head on the Table

Top of the site today: Shannon Wheeler joins us for a week-long stint on Cartoonist’s Diary. Shannon most recently published Oil and Water (written by Steve Duin) with Fantagraphics. He is the author of  I Thought You Would be Funnier and is well known for his character Too Much Coffee Man.

Well, The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is all done. I was, as luck would have it, knocked out with the remainder of a bad cold, so it was all a bit of daze for me. But for everyone else all that’s left are back aches, hangovers and a lot of comics. It was packed and cheery, and I was happy to get to spend some time with Tom Spurgeon, Phoebe Gloeckner and a few other long distance travelers. Sightings and stories of Jack Davis were legion. He was like a visiting dignitary who turned normal people into quivering fans; myself included. We’ll have his conversation with Gary Groth and Drew Friedman on the site just as soon as we can. And of course I had the pleasure of launching Kramers Ergot 8.

Frank Santoro has filed a brief report already for which he mercilessly swiped my best pictures of the signing, so here’s a few others from the fest.

The rock show Friday night was jammed and a ton of fun. Here’s Gary, Devin and Ross tuning up. The next day Gary managed to draw excellent dinosaurs in copies of Kramers with his head down on the table.

Sammy Harkham and CF attempt “blue steel”.

Here’s a life TCJ (knights of the) round table: Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, Tim Hodler (with TCJ NJ-branch intern Ramona). 

And here’s Tim with Matthew Thurber.

Sorry, that’s all I have. It was busy!

Via Snarky McSnarkenhood comes a link to a piece of music written from Marc Bell‘s The Stacks.

And here’s news of an exhibition featuring work by occasional comic book scripter and possible Kona writer, Lionel Ziprin.

Finally, in comics-is-often-gross news, looks like there’s gonna be a Watchmen 2.

 

A Glass House & a Pile of Rocks

Today, we’ve got Sean T. Collins reviewing Matthew Thurber’s 1-800-Mice, a book he told me he had expected to dislike. But, like a certain special Somebody whose birthday is coming up, Thurber rarely plays to expectations, and certainly didn’t in this case.

Elsewhere:

The L.A. Weekly talks to Ben Jones, of Paper Rad and Problem Solverz fame, regarding his new gallery show. He’s into old video games, it seems.

Tintinologist Michael Farr picks five titles he’d suggest to people interested in the character. And only two of them were written by Hergé.

I didn’t know until Alan Gardner pointed it out yesterday, but Lynn (For Better or Worse) Johnson has been posting a long series of video podcasts, often involving advice on making comic strips and the creative process.

Robin McConnell of Inkstuds has published the full-length transcript of his great interview with Geof Darrow from last winter. If you never listened to that (or even if you did) this is worth checking out. Darrow’s a unique figure. And it’s always rewarding to read written-out versions of old radio programs. It’s the way they were meant to be experienced. (I love you, Robin.)

Tucker Stone reviews a very early issue of The Comics Journal (#38, to be exact), and it’s really smart, and good good fun for longtime Journal fans (or foes). My favorite part is where Tucker claims not to enjoy it when “critics criticize other critics,” right in the middle of a lengthy post reviewing almost every page of criticism in a 33-year-old issue of TCJ. Maybe he just doesn’t like it when the other critics might argue back… Seriously, this is great, and I hope he writes a hundred more like it. (I love you, Tucker.)

Matt Seneca has posted the last two days of his multi-part interview with cartoonist and would-be provocateur Blaise Larmee. These are smart guys (Seneca’s easily the best under-30 comics critic I can think of), and it’s worth reading, but by this point in the series, I’m beginning to get tired of the constant back-and-forth about whether or not comics are “cool”—especially since they seem to mean the word in the Fonzie sense, not the Marshall McLuhan one. I mean, imagine that Hitchcock and Truffaut (whose famous interview book I’m guessing is being referenced with “Larmee/Seneca”) had spent half their time together talking about whether or not movies were cool. But when Matt and Larmee’s talk veers in less conventionally teenaged directions, it gets much more interesting. (I love you, Matt.)

When I first came across Tom Spurgeon’s annual Holiday shopping guide a week back, it was completely blank, and apparently had been posted without having been written. And so I forgot to go back and check to see if “Mr. Focus” ever decided to write it. Turns out he eventually did, and it’s as mind-bogglingly wide-ranging as ever. I don’t really give comics-related gifts to anyone (my family and friends are too cool to be into comics), but this is still a great read every year, listing plenty of obscure and/or overlooked material, whether or not you use the guide for its ostensible purpose. (I love you, Tom.)