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Today, Zainab Akhtar returns to the site with an interview with 16-year-old wunderkind Anatole Howard. Here’s a snippet:

I don’t know when I actually got into comics, since as a kid they were just like any other book to me. I really liked Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2, but they never excited me as much as they do now. Back then I was way more interested in anime instead of manga/comics. Like a lot of people the idea of a western comic that wasn’t Superman was an idea that never crossed my mind. My dad was really into old underground comics and he introduced me to Robert Crumb (he had a Crumb biography which I read without his permission), and discovering the alternative scene was great. When I started to explore comics on my own it was still mostly manga that I found appealing, with only a few western titles mixed in. Comics that had deep narratives, little dialogue, and lots of art were my favorite for a long time.

Yeah. It’s interesting how kids don’t really view comics as separate from other literature. That’s learned. It’s only when you get older that you become aware that they’re viewed separately. It’s cool you had your dad to guide and encourage you. Is he into comics? Did you have them around the house, or were they something you actively sought out?

No comic books were in our house besides the ones that I had checked out from the library, and so all the comics I read were ones I picked up on my own with some inspiration from my dad. He told me about how he used to buy underground comics like “Pudge Girl Blimp” but that he had lost them all, so later on he and I visited a con where he was able to buy a new copy. Later, I went to a bookstore and stood alongside him and bought a copy of Fantagraphics’ reprint volumes of Robert Crumb and kept looking at him saying, “Should I get this? Would you want this?” Whenever I discovered somebody or something new, I would always tell him about it. But Crumb is what bonded us as two people who knew about comics; Crumb always shows up in every small talk we have about them.

Daniel Kalder weighs in on last year’s “lost” David B. book, Incidents in the Night:

… David B. awakens to realize he has acquired the power to assume four different forms; he can be a shadow, a skeleton, a paper man, or human, four versions of his self which he depicts sitting on an eight-pointed wheel, a symbol suggestive of various mythologies. From a very simple starting point—the dream of a book—we have rapidly entered exceedingly imaginative, fantastical, esoteric territory, shifting from dream to “reality” to humorous fantasy, back to dream and then back to “reality.” Borders are blurred, the lines between realities are crossed freely, and yet the book has hardly started. And from this point, it only gets more baroque.

And for those of you who missed it, Joe McCulloch has updated the buyers’ guide portion of his column from yesterday (spotlight picks: Gregory Benton and Bob Fingerman), which had been delayed due to technical difficulties.

Elsewhere on the internet:

—News. Matt Bors has launched an impressive new lineup of cartoonists and comics content at The Nib, featuring too many names to mention here quickly. The American woman known as “Jihad Jane” has been sentenced to ten years in prison for her part in a plot to murder one of the cartoonists who drew Muhammad.

—Interviews. ICv2 has posted the first two parts of a three-part interview with Marvel exec Dan Buckley. Dan Berry talks to Emily Carroll for Make It Then Tell Everybody. Chris Ware discusses his latest cover for The New Yorker.

—Funnies. First-time-in-a-long-time comics from Julia Wertz for the holidays (1, 2, 3). Mike Dawson on Sofia the First.


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