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Ah, the day has come: Jeet Heer returns! New fatherhood couldn’t keep him away forever — read the latest of his inimitable “Notebooks” for Heer’s thoughts following the Iowa Comics Conference, on topics including but not limited to Joe Sacco’s stage presence, crying while reading Love and Rockets, dead cartoonists, Jack Kirby’s versatility, the future of comics publishing, academia’s recent narrow focus, the dunderheaded Clint Eastwood, and going drinking with Peggy Burns. It’s good to have him back.

Also new on the site: Host Mike Dawson’s recent promotional tour has ended and so he has turned in a new episode of TCJ Talkies, this time featuring Nothing Eve creator Kurt Wolfgang.

Elsewhere:

The Guardian takes the opportunity given by the new Stephen Spielberg movie to run a mini-Tintin package, with a Nicholas Lezard appreciation for the series (he calls the film “Tintin for morons,” fyi), and a rundown of authors asked to do a Sophie’s choice between Tintin and Asterix. (In the latter, only Tom McCarthy really has the guts to take a firm stand and defend it vigorously.)

Tom Spurgeon reacts to our recent Jaime Hernandez coverage, and the comments threads it spawned.

Ben Katchor is interviewed by The Browser regarding “picture stories,” and he picks five of his favorites. As you might guess beforehand, it’s a stellar list.

Charles Hatfield attempts to pick out a list of ten works representing the last decade of independent comics.

Finally, Dan and I went to the Housing Works Bookstore last night to see the Dan Clowes/Seth appearance. I’ve seen Seth speak before, and he’s always very good (not to mention funny and self-aware enough to probably surprise most of his detractors), but this was the first time I’ve been to a Clowes event. He was as sharp and incisive as you’d expect, but had a warmer personality than you might guess, too. Maybe that had something to do with Seth’s presence. Anyway, if you are interested in either of these artists, I strongly recommend going to one of these joint events if and when they come to a town near you.

 

Dramarama

On the site today:

-Stefano Priarone contributes a fine obituary of the Italian comics figure Sergio Bonelli.

-Joe McCulloch brings us his week in comics, as usual, like the animal he is.

-And Matt Seneca turns in a review of Prince Valiant vol. 4.

And elsewhere:

-Paper Monument has a rare bit of drawn reportage on Occupy Wall Street.

-Tom Spurgeon rounds up the 10 big stories from NYCC. Amazingly, I don’t think I care about 85 of this news. It’s a fractured medium these days.

Finally, lots of talk about critics:

-Eddie Campbell has some very funny words about one critic in particular.

-Idiom Magazine brings the latest “we’ll revitalize film criticism” game.

-And meanwhile, The New Yorker posted five of Pauline Kael’s best moments, while her legacy is discussed in the NY Times.

 

 

 

A One-Syllable Brain

First, we have some appreciations of Jaime Hernandez’s “The Love Bunglers”, written by Dan Nadel, with help from Frank Santoro and Adrian Tomine.

Drew Friedman picks his top ten favorite horror movies. I can personally vouch for all of his picks, save Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.

The A.V. Club interviews Kate Beaton.

The New York Times reviews Craig Thompson’s Habibi. Maybe I’m nuts, but it feels like the Times is getting a bit more sophisticated in its comics reviews these days.

Finally, Martin Wisse finds a recent (and very rare) four-part video interview with Shary Flenniken!

 

Con Country

Today on the site:

Chris Mautner interviews the prolific writer George O’Connor. Says Chris:

To my mind one of the most interesting people working in the all-ages field right now is George O’Connor. For one thing, while he’s always been a fan of the medium, he came into the industry sideways, via a series of children’s books, starting off with the best-selling Kapow!

From there, he hooked up with Mark Siegel at First Second and produced Journey Into Mohawk Country, an adaptation of a centuries-old look at Iroquois life that’s perhaps most notable for the way O’Connor attempts to bring a modern sensibility to the story without corrupting the source text.

Elsewhere:

Apparently there is an enormous comic book convention taking place nearby, but reports are unconfirmed.

-In conjunction with said potential convention, the Jack Kirby Museum is doing some fun stuff, including a big rock show at Maxwell’s on Saturday night. Also, the museum is mounting “Kirby Enthusiasm”, which’ll open at 5 pm at Maxwell’s and features over 50 artists. Full run down on its site.

-Let’s see… I enjoyed these “lost” John Buscema drawings… and we roll into the weekend.

 

Ketchup

Okay, still catching up a bit on links, so there’s plenty of reading here…

Sean T. Collins pops in today with a review of Brian Ralph’s post-apocalyptic Daybreak.

Emily Nilsson, Virginia Paine, and Tom Neely plan to continue Sparkplug Books.

Eddie Campbell on how to draw women’s feet the Frank Frazetta and Craig Thompson way.

Gary Groth talks to the L.A. Times‘s Geoff Boucher about the upcoming Carl Barks reprints.

Nicole Rudick interviews Kate Beaton for the online Paris Review.

Art Spiegelman is interviewed about future publishing technologies in regard his new MetaMaus by Brian Heater at Publishers Weekly.

And Jeet Heer and Dwight Garner have both written reviews of the project.

Milo George points out a fun old Lynda Barry interview on YouTube.

I don’t think Dan posted this last week, but if he did, no harm done repeating it, I guess: Inkstuds has gone video, and Brandon Graham is the first guest.

James Jarvis (of De Profundis) is doing a guest blog at PictureBox this week.

If I told you that a fan had recently been arrested for attempting to reenact scenes from a comic book, would you immediately think I must mean Chester Brown’s Paying for It?

I think I got this from Abhay Khosla: A good discussion of Hergé’s drawing techniques is on Quora.

 

Old and New Stars

First up:

On the site today is Kim Deitch’s remembrance of the cartoonist and historian Roger Brand. I’ve been nagging Kim for months to do this and I’m thrilled with the results. The social history of underground comics — or hell, most all of comics — is not so well attended to, and Kim’s going a ways towards remedying that as best he can.

Elsewhere:

Uhhh, this is sort of amazing. Someone at MTV decided to start a web site dedicated to its old Liquid Television animation anthology and garnish it with other oddball projects from the channel. Why does this matter, because now you can watch Richard Sala’s Invisible Hands; Mark Beyer’s The Adventures of Thomas and Nardo; and Charles Burns’ Dogboy. Plus we get Aeon Flux (at last) and The Maxx. And Wonder Showzen. Jeez. It’s rather amazing. I would guess it’s a sort of “hey we did this, too” response to Adult Swim? But who knows…

What else, let’s see:

-Here’s a report on the talk I did with Dan Clowes and Adrian Tomine. Not reported on in this piece: My incredible good looks and quick wits.

-Joe Simon turned 98 and the Washington Post interviewed him.

-I’m glad Tom’s thinking about this so we don’t have to.

-Here’s a series of posts on the fiction career of the late historian Bill Blackbeard (via BK).

-And finally, TCJ contributor Mike Dawson is interviewed on his own show about his new book Troop 142.

 

Oh Boy

Back from vacation at last. Thanks to Dan for filling in for me. There are about a million online links I need to post while I’m catching up, so please bear with me while I get back to speed (and forgive me if I should have credited you for finding the link–in my attempts to catch up, I know I’ve accidentally lost track of a few sources.)

Joe McCulloch is here this morning, too, of course, with his regular roundup of the most interesting looking comics products being offered for sale this week.

Elsewhere:

1. Eddie Campbell writes about Craig Thompson’s long-awaited Habibi, and briefly responds to Nadim Damluji’s take on Thompson’s usage of Orientalist tropes. (We are preparing our own coverage of Habibi now, and should have something on the book up soon.)

2. The recent Boswell to Alan Moore’s Johnson, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, gets a revealing and lengthy interview out of Kevin O’Neill, mostly focused on his and Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

3. The art auctions to benefit Dylan Williams’s family continue at Profanity Hill and The Divine Invasion, with new material being added all the time.

4. Ruth Franklin at The New Republic reviews Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus, his new book/DVD-ROM.

5. Vanessa Davis drew a Yom Kippur strip for Tablet.

6. Presented without comment: Rob Liefeld gives advice on how to deal with “haters.”

7. Am I the only who didn’t know they were making a film version of Tatsumi’s Drifting Life?

8. HiloBrow’s Joshua Glenn hands off the entire new 52-title DC lineup to an 11-year-old named Max to review. At Grantland, an adult named Alex Pappademas attempts the same feat.

9. Bob Temuka appreciates the latest issue of Love and Rockets.

10. If you only read one of the many Maurice Sendak interviews I have linked to over the last few weeks, this is a good one to pick.

 

Getting Biblical

On the site:

-We are thrilled to have a conversation between Jay Ruttenberg and Drew Friedman. Drew you’ve heard of, but Jay is one of our most favorite writer/editors in the biz. His Lowbrow Reader is the killer zine about comedy to end all killer zines about comedy.

-Yesterday ol man Frank Santoro got “Biblical” on the subject of superhero comics, and continuing his “scene report” series, has Ian Harker chiming in on the Philly scene.

And elsewhere, slim pickins in the run-up to NYCC this weekend:

-C.F. is interviewed at Heavy Mental.

-Tom Spurgeon interviews Mark Sable.

-Via Flog, a compilation of Jack Davis TV commercials.

See you soon.