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Holiday Anxiety

Today on the site:

Sean T. Collins talks to cartoonist, editor and publisher Leah Wishnia.

SEAN T. COLLINS: You’ve been quite forthcoming about the process that animates Happiness in the editors’ letters that appear in the most recent issues. In #4, you say that the mission behind the book is an explicitly evangelical one, with the goal of spreading the word about comics in general and up-and-coming practitioners in particular. How does that manifest itself in the specific production and curation choices you make as the editor? 

LEAH WISHNIA: I’m interested in publishing work that I find intelligent and challenging rather than uninformed or lazy, but that’s kind of a given. I’ll try to include a fair mix of new talent with more established artists, but most decisions are somewhat subjective. I choose work that I like and want to share with others, and I try to make decisions that will better benefit contributors and readers. It’s not something I do so much for financial or personal gain as it is a way for me to help contribute and interact with the DIY-spirited community and other like-minded artists and individuals. Since the most widely-available news and entertainment surrounding us these days is complete shit, I feel like any quality alternative outlet or platform for creative thought and expression can’t really hurt. Maybe there is something fundamentally evangelical in wanting to put out a publication that values creative integrity and community over trendiness and personal gain, but I don’t think that’s a goal unique to Happiness in particular; it basically just describes the spirit of most DIY publications.

The early issues, besides being shorter and more exclusively comics-focused, are also angrier, it seems to me. There’s more “adult” material, more taboo-breaking, and a sense of… I dunno, fury to it. “Underground comix in the time of crushing student-loan debt” is how I’ve described it.

The earlier issues might seem crazier and kinda lawless because I had no idea what I was doing. They’re not angrier, just clunky. In learning from my mistakes, becoming more mature and better-informed, some of that “unbridled, youthful rage” of the first two issues basically just transformed itself into a productive, useful rage, a rage led by compassion and critical thought, not hatred or ignorance. And for me, that’s way more radical.

Elsewhere:

A report from a Pete Maresca presentation here in NYC.

Cartoonist Guy Delisle reacts to the cancellation of his film due to the recent North Korean hacks and threats (in French).

TCJ-contributor R.C. Harvey has a good looking new book out!

There will apparently be a Jack Kirby exhibition at the 2015 Angouleme.

And Mimi Pond reflects on her writing role  for the first Simpsons Christmas Special.


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