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Strange World

Today we’re giving the site over to Dylan Williams. We are posting the first handful of a series of tributes we hope to continue, as well as an unpublished 2008 interview with Dylan about his relationship to punk rock. We want to thank everyone who contributed, and especially Chris Cilla, an author whose masterpiece-to-date, The Heavy Hand, was recently published by Sparkplug, for turning around a wonderful portrait of his friend and publisher in record time. And I speak for Tim when I extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Elsewhere:

Zak Sally has written a lengthy and very moving piece about Dylan at The Comics Reporter, where Tom continues to collect links to other tributes and remembrances.

Most other links would seem rather silly, so instead I’ll offer two by artists that Dylan  completely schooled me on:

Here’s a wonderful page of original art by H.G. Peter (it was Dylan who was responsible for Peter being in my book Art in Time) translated into Spanish.

And here’s a link to a trove of great Mort Meskin stories — ditto the above.

Thank you, Dylan.

 

Exit, Pursued By a Bear

This morning sees the debut of another episode of TCJ Talkies, this time featuring Mike Dawson’s interview with the cartoonist and podcaster Alex Robinson. It was recorded at last weekend’s SPX.

We also have another review of Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill’s latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume, this time by Sean T. Collins. It was written before Charles Hatfield had turned in his review, and so shouldn’t be viewed as a direct response.

As far as other links go, I believe we neglected to mention that the winners of this year’s Ignatz Awards have been announced.

Gabrielle Bell gives an interview with Comic Books Resources regarding her recent month of webcomics and her work on Mome, among other things.

Frank Young takes a look at John Stanley’s use of violence.

Patrick Marfort reviews The Comics Journal #301.

I hadn’t realized that novelist Ishmael Reed actually took classes in cartooning to help with his most recent book, much less that he’d since become a regularly published cartoonist himself.

Finally, Tom Spurgeon continues to collect links to online stories and remembrances of Dylan Williams, well worth reading. Stay tuned for our own coverage as the week continues.

 

It’s Tuesday!

On the site today:

Shaenon Garrity relates her own experiences with Kickstarter.

A couple of months ago, I needed $10,000 to self-publish a big omnibus collection of my webcomic Narbonic. By way of explanation, I am not one of your big-name webcartoonists. At this point people are vaguely familiar with my work, but I’m not one of those folks with half a million page views and people queuing up to buy t-shirts with my characters’ hip and witty comments printed on them. I have a moderate but very devoted (and very entertaining) audience, and I am in no danger whatsoever of making a living from my comics.

Joe McCulloch, who, this weekend, via SPX, finally stayed long enough in one place to really get talking, brings us the week in comics.

And Rob Clough brings us a review of Lewis Trondheim’s book Little Nothings Vol. 4.

More later, people. Forgive the short entry.

 

Return

We just returned from SPX, which was the first convention of its kind I ever attended, and which still seems to me to be the one I always have the most fun at. (I still have never gone to TCAF, though. And the Brooklyn festival probably has a higher percentage of comics & art that I am interested in and wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. But I live near NYC, so that doesn’t have the same out-of-town event feeling.) Anyway, though I missed seeing Frank Santoro and various other people who didn’t make it, this was one of the most fun and successful-seeming SPX shows that I can remember. We will have further and fuller coverage of the event in the near future.

News of the death of longtime show fixture Dylan Williams could not help but cast a pall on things. He was an inspirational figure to many, and a champion of deserving work that was often almost impossibly uncommercial. Chris Mautner at Robot 6 has gathered some of the online tributes from people in the comics world who knew him (here is another), and I expect there will be many more coming. [Tom Spurgeon is collecting links about Williams here.]

Today on the website, we bring Steven Brower’s examination of the dream comics of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, and Mort Meskin.

Elsewhere:

Amazon’s Omnivoracious reviews the latest issue of The Comics Journal.

Stephen Bissette shares how he responds when people ask him to draw their graphic novels.

Maurice Sendak talked to the Paris Review in advance of his upcoming book.

Mike Rhode at Washington’s City Paper interviewed many of this weekend’s exhibitors, including Craig Thompson, Keith Knight, etc.

Last week, Kevin Huizenga did a brief but good online q&a with the Fantagraphics website.

 

Dylan Williams, R.I.P.

Dylan Williams, cartoonist, writer, and publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books, reportedly passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was one of the defining figures of the contemporary independent comics world, and beloved within it. He will be greatly missed.

A benefit art auction to help pay for his medical costs is ongoing.

 

SPX Bound

We’re packing up the two-door sedan and heading down to SPX. You’ll see me at the PictureBox booth with Matthew Thurber. Our official SPX correspondent, Nicholas Gazin, will be wandering the halls for two solid days in search of good stories. That’s right, while I loll around behind the table and Tim bobs in and out, Gazin will be assembling the “real” story. I’ll also be presenting an Ignatz Award with Brian Ralph, who tells me I’m to play his “straight man.”

Anyhooooo, Rob Clough has a handy list of 10 Cartoonists to Seek Out at SPX. Me, if I wasn’t grumpily selling books all day I’d be attending some killer sounding panels and talks. I mean, there’s solo panels with Roz Chast, Diane Noomin, Jim Woodring, and Johnny Ryan, not to mention a lecture by Kim Thompson on Jacques Tardi. Damn.

That said, if you cannot fulfill all your comic book dreams this weekend in suburban Maryland, be sure to read Kim Deitch’s latest installment of his memoir, in which he discusses research, booze, SF, and Portland.

And, as we’re prone to say, elsewhere online:

-I missed this: Abhay Khosla and Mark Sable discuss Mat Brinkman’s Multiforce. It’s a surprising read.

-You can never have enough Jack Cole.

-And the NY Times on the late, great George Kuchar.

 

 

Maintain

Good morning, all. Today, we bring you Rob Clough’s lengthy interview with the Troop 142 cartoonist and popular podcaster Mike Dawson. A brief sample:

It is true that Chris and I went there with two other friends, and also sadly true that we were the only four mopes at the resort not hooking up with anyone. We took that vacation at a time when we were all single. We all lived in the city, had decent jobs, and some money to spend. We thought it would be a great time. Honestly, Hedonism was a skeevy place to spend a week. Yes, a lot of the details from the story are based on things we saw or experienced. [...] The steroid guy in the story who yells at Christopher Vigliotti and his friends for not scoring, and then brags about having unprotected sex in the hot-tub, that guy was real too. He was the one who had figured out that the thing to do was book a ten-day trip, because that way you’d get two batches of guests at the resort to hook up with, since most people were there for one week. Really, almost every character in the story is based on the people we encountered down there. While the trip was a bust for me and Chris, it gave us a lot of story material.

In sadder news, the underground filmmaker George Kuchar has died. Although his primary reputation derives from his films, Kuchar also had a lot of ties with the comics world, both as a friend of such figures as Bill Griffith and Art Spiegelman (both of whom appeared in his movies) and as a cartoonist and contributor to Arcade himself. If you aren’t familiar with his work, I strongly suggest tracking down a recent documentary made about Kuchar and his twin brother Mike, It Came From Kuchar. If you subscribe to Netflix, it is available for streaming right now. This is required viewing for anyone interested in underground art (as are Kuchar’s own movies).

 

Delivery

Today on the site:

Jared Gardner returns to TCJ with his new monthly column, The Attic, in which he’ll explore historical finds buried deep in the figurative Attic of comics history. We’re excited for this one, as Jared is really bringing “the stuff”. Welcome, Jared.

And Kristian Williams turns in a review of Liar’s Kiss.

Elsewhere:

I’m looking forward to this book, and I hope you are, too. Plus: David Lasky! Anyhow, The Carter Family… coming soon.

Gordo was a good strip, and these are excellent examples.

Tucker Stone is writing about Cable comic books (not TV; the character) from the early oughts. This should be interesting. Wait, it already is.