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Dry

Today brings us the second installment of Ron Goulart’s column of correspondence with great cartoonists of the past. This week, his subject is Sheldon Mayer, of Sugar and Spike and Scribbly fame. Here’s an excerpt:

Always an editor at heart, Mayer would give me advice for Gil [Kane], mostly about his interpretation of my copy. Then we’d get to talking about his days with M.C. Gaines and DC. He’d talk about staff members, about the ones who gave him a pain in the ass, about some long-ago secrets. A few times, about ten minutes after hanging up, he’d call back and say, “About that business I was talking about, don’t use it in any of your books. I don’t want to jeopardize my pension.”

We also have Sean T. Collins’s review of Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem, about which his feelings are mixed:

Delisle is not Joe Sacco, as a joke near the end of the book drives home, and he’s not out to tell a “story” in either the sense of a storyteller or a reporter. His M.O. is to record his life when that life is placed in an unfamiliar and (to put it midly) politically problematic environment, under the assumption that the result of that recording will provide a useful window on the interaction between the personal and the political. That’s all well and good when you’re in such underreported environments as North Korea, China’s designated Special Economic Zones, or Burma. But unlike those sealed-off locales, Jerusalem (even the out-of-sight out-of-mind Palestinian areas) is arguably the most reported-on location on the planet, as befits its centrality to the current Ocenania/Eurasia/Eastasia arrangement of fanatical Islam, Judaism, and Christianity as they attempt to draft the rest of us into their divinely ordained assaults on one another. As such, unless you’re as much of a tyro to the entire topic as Delisle portrays himself to be — not realizing Yom Kippur is anything other than a war, or that Gaza residents can’t leave, and so on and so on — you need a reason to revisit this material that you can’t get anywhere else.

And then of course there’s Frank Santoro’s Sunday column. This week he went into “blind item”-mode.

Elsewhere …

—The Swedish Supreme Court has ruled that certain Japanese manga depicting children in sexual situations are not child pornography, reversing the earlier conviction of a translator in that country.

—Coincidentally (but not unrelatedly), Neal Gaiman writes a defense of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, after a reader wrote in expressing qualms about supporting figures like Christopher Handley, an American manga collector convicted of possessing “obscene” manga depicting children in sexual situations.

—To keep this pornographic comics ball rolling, Stephen Bissette continues his illustrated exploration of early gay-themed sex comics and other Tijuana Bibles.

—Ed Champion has a long audio interview with Alison Bechdel, and I believe we neglected to link to MariNaomi’s earlier illustrated interview with Bechdel for The Rumpus.

—You of course have already heard of Ray Bradbury‘s death. Michael Dooley has collected images from the EC Comics work based on his writing.

—Trevor Von Eeden has disowned the art to at least two issues of the 1990s series Black Canary, due to what he regarded as editorial interference. Daniel Best has posted scans of his original artwork next to the finished pages here so you can judge for yourself.

—Finally, Grant Morrison was given an award.


15 Responses to Dry

  1. Wow, Frank really hates Andy Kubert.

    • Joe McCulloch says:

      And yet, Adam Strange: The Man of Two Worlds remains a very interesting comic book…

    • bvs says:

      I’m not really sure who he’s calling out. it sounds like someome working on before watchmen, but I’m not aware or anyone from that crew that was a popular 90s self publisher. unless he’s talking about someone doing a variant cover, which seems to about be half the comics industry.

      • Sean T. Collins says:

        It’s Paul Pope, who is indeed doing a variant cover. (He’s donating the proceeds to the Hero Initiative.)

  2. Nate A. says:

    I’m guessing it’s a guy who’s working on “The Avengers” franchise and not “Watchmen.” When you narrow it down to folks with a background in making their own comics there’s only one creator between the two publishing efforts it can be. And if you get the geographical reference (Living Dead), it gets even clearer that he’s not talking DC. Or I could be way off, I’m guessing too.

    • Sean T. Collins says:

      Frank lived and worked at a comic shop in Pittsburgh, hence the story about being involved with a con there, and the mystery artist coming for a visit.

  3. Kim Thompson says:

    An intriguing theory, but since when is THE AVENGERS “one of the great works in comics” and why would current AVENGERS be any kind of “crass exploitation… that is rolling out as we speak” as opposed to a near half century of mostly ghastly comics?

    • Franklin says:

      Dude–it’s Paul Pope!

    • Nate says:

      Hadn’t thought about the “great works”part. And the “rock star” appellation makes more sense if you go w/Pope. I hadn’t realized he was working on Before Watchmen. He’s doing a cover, I guess?

  4. skuds says:

    I FUCKING KNEW IT Was paul the fuck pope.

    • Sean T. Collins says:

      It’s not like I know for sure, like Frank told me or anything — it just can’t be anyone else.

  5. Tony says:

    Isn’t it totally absurd the prohibition to comment on the original entry in the light of everybody and his mother freely replying in the immediate next post?

    What’s the point?

    One would think that a less childish policy would be either to allow comments on the original column (specially on one like this week’s) or police closely the surrounding “Blood and Thunder” not allowing any comments to spill over the adjacent posts.

    • BVS says:

      well we’re commenting about it here so whats the difference? whoever the “rockstar” really is he certainly was an asshole to that shop back in the day. regarding Paul Pope of 2012. I’m not sure where I stand. how far does the nerd fatwa against before watchmen collaborators go? I can’t help but wonder if Paul Pope couldn’t have done something that didn’t involve participation in the most bullshit element of an already tasteless comic series to generate a charitable donation equal to whatever DC is paying him for a cover. I also don’t know how active Alan Moore, Frank Santoro, or the many voices of dissent against mainstream comics have been in supporting heroinitiative.org. and aren’t Steranko and Michael Golden both doing covers? perhaps those guys need a pay check now more than they’d need charity later?

    • Tim Hodler says:

      Frank prefers not to allow comments on his columns. It’s completely his decision, and not mandated by anyone else. And since Frank’s never really written anything like this before, we never thought to come up with a policy about policing comments on other posts that refer to his writing. Most likely, this particular situation won’t be repeated, so enjoy (or ignore) the childishness while you can.

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