Joe McCulloch is here with his latest This Week in Comics! column, a buyer's guide to the most interesting-sounding new comics available in stores as of tomorrow. He also writes about a little-noticed recent comic from Akira Toriyama:
Okay, show of hands – how many of you even *knew* Akira Toriyama not only released a totally new 217-page comic last year, but that it was published near-simultaneously in English? I ask because the Festival de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême is nearly upon us again, and last year’s festivities were marked by hints of conflict in the Grand Prix voting, which purportedly resulted in popular candidate Toriyama receiving an ad hoc commendation for the occasion of the show’s 40th anniversary while another cartoonist was selected for the top honor. Truthfully, this situation summarizes Toriyama’s present status in North America as well – unavoidable in terms of legacy, but rarely all that immediately accessed.
—Reviews & Criticism. The academic journal PS: Political Science & Politics has a symposium on superheroes and politics in its latest issue, available free online through the end of the month, if I understand correctly. Ace designer Jacob Covey reviews Michael DeForge's Very Casual. Craig Fischer writes about the gender politics of B.P.R.D. Rob Clough on Kent Olsen & Sabine ten Lohuis's Life Through the Lens. Lots of angry commentary out there on Alan Moore's interview from last week; I found this the most thoughtful by far.
—Lists. Comics Bulletin released their top 10 of 2013. Robert Boyd has some comics content on his top ten art list.
—The Funnies. Michael Kupperman and David Rees just started a recurring political strip at the Sunday New York Times. Maria Popova has reposted Ralph Steadman's illustrations from a 1973 edition of Alice in Wonderland.
—Interviews. Tom Spurgeon talks to Jesse Reklaw. Bleeding Cool talks to Brandon Graham.
—History. Sean Howe has begun posting outtakes from his Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. First up is a story about Barry Smith and Tom DeFalco from Terry Kavanagh. Tom De Haven has posted a short essay he wrote about Yellow Kid creator Richard Outcault (who figures largely in his Derby Dugan novels). Ron Goulart on Jefferson Machamer's Gags & Gals. John DiBello (aka Bully the Stuffed Bull's friend) is now writing regularly about comics for 13th Dimension. His first piece is about the history of Miracleman.