Today at the Comics Journal, we're starting off the week with the National Cartoonists Society--by speaking with Steve McGarry, the current president of the NCS Foundation, one of the key players in the recent attempts to rebrand the NCS to keep up with the next generation of creators.
You have a wide range of people at the festival – Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Ed Brubaker and Joyce Farmer, Lewis Trondheim and Dan Clowes. A lot of people that most would not associate with the NCS.
We’re trying to show this is a broad church. I think the perception of the NCS is that it’s old white guys who make comic strips – and it’s not. Part of this outreach is to change that perception. Look at who we have as members. Look at whose art we’re celebrating. Look at the exhibitions. I did a history of soccer at the National Football Museum in the UK last year so it was easy for us to basically replicate that here, though it has more LA Galaxy and US soccer, but it’s basically the history of soccer. We’re celebrating 90 years of Popeye which is ubiquitous. We have a French exhibition where they re-imagine classic comics figures as females. That exhibition addresses the under-representation of women in comics. Look at our guest list. We’re trying to be as inclusive and broad as possible. To try and dispel some of these myths that have grown up around the NCS. There is a disconnect between the online comics community where there are cartoonists who rail against these old dinosaurs. I think all cartoonists – probably without exception – are comics fans. Anybody that does good work appeals across the spectrum. The medium might have changed but good work is still good work whether it’s done by a 95 year old or a 15 year old. One of the selfish aspects of this is to present the NCS and put a spotlight on it and what we’re doing and who we are. At the same time we’re entertaining the public.
Our review of the day is a delightful one, from Darryl Ayo--it seems to be his debut for us, if the system we use to track your name can be relied upon. That seems hard to fathom, but maybe it is. He's here with a look at Wasted Space #8, from Vault Comics.
So if you’re me and you’re reading this comic book which could not be more random if you tried—the eighth installment of a serial that you are unfamiliar with—and you’re hoping to just dive in feet first? It pretty much works. The two parallel storylines of this issue both deal with repercussions of events that occurred in previous issues. One guy had his arm ripped off and another guy is coping with having murdered his own father. I get the impression that, for the long-term fans of Wasted Space, this issue might be a let-down in terms of action. Both stories in issue 8 are just people talking about how sad they are. Nobody gets dismembered or murdered.
Over at Atomic Junk Shop, Edo Bosnar does a rundown of 2005's attempt to update Archie comics. Back in 2005, that consisted of hiring 80's super-hero artists and adapting licensed YA novels form the 90's. Not sure why that genius plan failed to take off.
Over at Bleeding Cool, they've got a great rundown of Sean Murphy's recent complaint that people should stop complaining. Why is it that every time a real man tells it like it is (with no filter), the result is always whining about what other people are saying on social media? My check engine light has been given me a hard time ever since the catalytic converter was stolen, and I would love it if a real man would come along and help me figure out whether it's the oxygen sensors or not. But all the tough guys in comics seem to spend the majority of their time rewatching super-hero movies or complaining incessantly about what other people do on fucking twitter.