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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?

 

The Castle of Indolence

Today on the site, something I didn’t even realize how much I wanted to read before this morning: Joe McCulloch writes about Yuichi Yokoyama in his column this week, as well as his normal roundup of upcoming comics.

Elsewhere:

Eddie Campbell continues his excellent series of casual posts about romance comics, this time focusing on the men who introduced the category: Simon and Kirby.

Justin Green’s blog is something else (as you’d expect from his comics, of course). Here’s a post in which he reproduces a drawing done for a friend, ponders shifting public morality using Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle as a landmark, and wonders about the future of intimate communication.

Speaking of Green, somehow I missed that last month he started a new site, and is posting comics on a weekly basis.

Tom Spurgeon interviews T. Edward Bak about his recent stay in Russia.

The Guardian runs an obituary for Francisco Solan López.

And oh yeah: this. I don’t think there’s been a project quite this promising since the publication of Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett.

 

Sticklers

On the site:

Yesterday Frank presented another scene report, this time written by Adhouse Books‘ Chris Pitzer, and guest starring two mentors of mine from my teenage years: Greg Bennett and Joel Pollack. Frank’s just picking up steam on these reports, compositing an informal and analog portrait of lives and cities in and around comics.

Today we bring you Matt Seneca’s interview with Gary Panter. A taste:

Well, Kirby is actually, he’s like Mayan glyphs and cubism and Fauve, he’s really kind of transcendent. And Ditko too is kind of transcendent, just in his portrayal of karmic waves, wave shapes. Indefinable stuff, he would make it completely concrete and work out a shape system for it. But most people, it’s about the guys yelling at each other. [Laughs.] Which is what’s great about Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit comic. Just reduce it to the essentials!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention (again) that the comments under Kim Deitch’s Roger Brand piece just keep expanding, as more old friends are found. Now it’s starting to take on a broader portrait of the fan/collector comic book culture of the early 1960s in New York. Just scroll down and dive in.

Elsewhere:

Speaking of which, I’ve been pretty into Paul Kirchner’s Dope Rider, mentioned in the Brand comments by occasional collaborator Tom Conroy. The site Kirchner’s created has the full run of the character with commentary and photos. I gotta say, the comic is good fun with Steranko-meets-Wood visuals and the sharp end of the marijuana stick.

And, gee, I don’t often think of cartoonist Chad Grothkopf, but Bhob Stewart just did.

Brian Ralph gives his current comic book reading list to Robot 6.

 

Palimpsest

Today, R.C. Harvey returns to the site with a new installment of his column, this time a profile of editor/reporter/cartoonist Jud Hurd, who published Cartoonist PROfiles for decades:

Jud’s voice was probably the most well-known sound in the world of cartooning after the sound of a pen scratching a line on paper.

And Sean T. Collins weighs in on Kevin Huizenga’s recently released Ganges 4.

Elsewhere, there have been several cartoonist interviews making the rounds: Ron Regé in Vice, Dan Clowes at the A.V. Club, Art Spiegelman at the L.A. Times, and Tom Gauld at the Rumpus.

Poet, novelist, and Madame Bovary translator Adam Thorpe was asked by the Guardian to list his ten favorite literary translations into English, and chose a comics series as one of his answers.

Eddie Campbell talks Alex Toth and romance comics.

Tucker Stone went to the New York Comic Con.

Finally, and this isn’t really comics at all, except in the wider what’s-going-to-happen-to-print sense, but I just have to say I’ve really been dismayed at how many ostensibly intelligent people have been taken in by this stupid video, which supposedly shows a young baby unable to understand why magazines “don’t work” after using an iPad. What it actually shows, of course, is a young baby unable to understand either magazines or iPads—which is nothing to get excited about, because young babies aren’t supposed to understand much of anything. (I bet the kid has trouble with the concept of doorknobs, too. Ooh, wooden doors must be doomed!) Whatever your feelings about the prospects for publishing, it’s funny how desperate some people are for a dose of future shock, even when it ain’t really there.

 

Dragging Sassing

Today on the site:

-Hayley Campbell reviews Richard Sala’s The Hidden.

-And I want to direct you, dear readers, to the comments on Kim Deitch’s Roger Brand article. They form a remarkable partial composite image of Brand, and expand on Kim’s memoir. We hope to gather these up in some digital form, with additional images, when time permits.  Scroll down.

Elsewhere:

-I’m pleased to see a new comic from Ed Piskor, this one looking like some kinda cultural overview. Intriguing.

-Tonight in NYC: Our man Jesse Pearson interviews Gahan Wilson on his amazing new book, Nuts.

-The venerable comic book letterer has a new print/game called “Go Freelance“, beautifully illustrated by Shawn McManus. It’s tragi-comic!

-The cartoonist Lilli Carre wrote in to tell us about the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, which she co-runs. It’s in Chicago, Nov. 5-6, and sounds pretty awesome. There’ll be work by lots of cartoonists and comics-related people, including Florent Ruppert & Jerome Mulot, Julie Doucet, Bendik Kaltenborn, Lori Damiano, Jesse McManus, Peter Larsson, and Nicolas Mahler. Sounds good to me.

-Old people dept:

-I always enjoy looking at work by the illustrator Bernie Fuchs. Here are some fine sketches and commentary.

-There’s some controversy over late-period Jack Kirby work, summarized over at Bleeding Cool, with various sides represented, and put forth initially, based on Greg Theakston’s new book, over at 20th Century Danny Boy.

-Sometimes the imitation is more fun than the original.