As a holiday weekend arrives, during a period where time has lost all meaning, there is but one unchanging arrival by which you can set your watch... This week’s links, which you can find below.
More at ten... This week’s news.
• Following the resignation of former Executive Director Charles Brownstein last week, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund this week announced that Paul Levitz is retiring from the Board of Directors, and that resignations have been accepted from Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham - the CBLDF released a statement regarding the above, which attempts to plot out the first stages of a road map to “earning back the trust of our members, supporters, and the industry”, while also admitting fault in their failure to act regarding long-standing allegations towards Brownstein’s conduct.
• Conundrum Press have announced a new $1,000 bursary open to Black and Indigenous persons living in Canada, to fund creation and production of a mini-comic, with help also offered with the resulting distribution - applications are limited to developing and emerging creators, with a deadline of 31st December.
• Koyama Press have announced the latest recipient of their Presents… $1,000 project grants, and this time around it’s the UK’s own Joe Decie, who’ll be using the funds to take his work in a different direction and experiment with new forms of narrative flow and dialogue.
• A couple of new comics mentoring programs that have opened for applications - Sloane Leong and Leslie Hung have announced their new initiative, Salt & Mentorship, for BIPOC cartoonists (ie writer/artists), with a submission deadline of August 1st, and two spots available in this round; and Roman Muradov has announced he'll be providing free monthly mentoring opportunities for the rest of the year, with 5 spots available in 2020, and a submission deadline of July 15th.
• On a similar note, a couple of new illustration-focused mentoring programs that are also now open for applications - Cathryn Virginia is offering two free 3-month mentorship spots to Queer, Trans, and/or People of Color who are looking to build a career in editorial illustration, with applications open until 9th July; and Deanna Donegan is offering free 6-month illustration mentorships with an application deadline of July 20th.
• Some awards news that doesn’t involve voting irregularities this week, as the shortlist for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition 2020 has been announced, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comedic fiction has its first ever graphic novelist winner, and the Billy Ireland Museum has highlighted some awards for political/editorial cartooning that have deadlines approaching.
• Christopher Butcher has announced that he has stepped down as Artistic Director for the Toronto Comics Art Festival, citing a need to address persistent health and wellness issues that have been neglected during his tenure, and also in the hopes that existing staff and volunteers will be able to move up within the organization - his announcement also addresses recent criticism that the Festival received on social media regarding their support and inclusion (or apparent persistent lack thereof) of LGBTQ* and BIPOC people.
• In other restructuring news, Diamond Distribution’s Steve Geppi has taken over the role of Geppi Family Enterprises, filling the spot vacated by former Chief Operating Officer Stan Heidman. If you’d like to go full inside baseball then ICv2 has a somewhat optimistic take on the whole shebang.
• The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald reported last week on Barnes and Noble having laid off long-time graphic novel buyer James Killen, after a tenure of 40 years, as the retailer moves into what they term an “evolutionary” period of centralization, while businesses around the world respond to marked drops in footfall in their tentatively re-opening brick and mortar stores.
• The West Australian’s EIC, Anthony De Ceglie, has apologized after a syndicated Modesty Blaise strip containing multiple uses of a racial slur appeared in one of its editions this week - the strip had appeared in the paper since 1972, but will no longer be published in future editions. Reviews of the syndication process have been instigated.
• The Daily Cartoonist flags up an announcement from MAD Magazine contributor Tom Richmond that August’s MAD #15 will be the last to contain any significant new material, with the publication shifting to a mostly reprint footing from #16 onwards, with “a smattering of new stuff”.
• Following his passing last week, aged 93, Steve Ringgenberg has a profile of the legendary inker Joe Sinnott, looking back at his life and work in comics, including his frequent collaborations with Jack Kirby.
But then, who am I to judge... This week’s reviews.
Anya Davidson reviews the ecstatic examination of anti-authoritarian life in Nicolas Debon’s The Colony.
• David Brooke heralds the return of bloody biblical brutality in Jason Aaron, RM Guéra, et al’s The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #1, and the bloody brooding atmosphere of Benjamin Percy and Brent Schoonover’s Devil’s Highway #1.
• James Sainte-Claire reviews the politicized social acceptance of Kata Konayama’s Love Me For Who I Am, volume 1, translated by Amber Tamosaitis, and adapted by Cae Hawksmoor.
• Shamus Clancy reviews the painful social satire of Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s Billionaire Island #2.
• Morgana Santilli reviews the positive representation of Kata Konayama’s Love Me For Who I Am, volume 1, translated by Amber Tamosaitis, and adapted by Cae Hawksmoor.
• John Seven reviews the sublime lyricism of Gipi’s One Story, translated by Jamie Richards.
• Rebecca Burke reviews the exquisite lines on show in Emei Burrell’s We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories.
• Tom Murphy reviews the clean confidence of Ioan Morris’ Biggol #1.
Four Color Apocalypse
Ryan C reviews a quartet of ‘Mainstream Comics You Should Be Paying Attention To’, looking at the handsome rewards of Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s Billionaire Island; the conspiratorial undercurrent of W. Maxwell Prince, Tyler Jenkins, et al’s King of Nowhere; the humor and heart of Gerry Duggan, John McCrea, et al's Dead Eyes; and the Lynchian riffing of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, et al's Gideon Falls.
Aida Edemariam reviews the narrative haunting of Joe Sacco’s Paying the Land.
• Paul Lai reviews the captivating prescience of Matt Fraction, Elsa Charretier, et al’s November, volume 2: The Gun in the Puddle.
• Kate Kosturski reviews the floating ambivalence of Remy Boydell’s 920London.
• Elias Rosner looks back at the harsh bluntness of Denny O’Neil, Denys Cowan, et al’s The Question #13-16.
• Kobi Bordoley reviews the twisted mysteries of Jason Aaron, RM Guéra, et al’s The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #1.
• Brian Salvatore reviews the inspiring narrative history of Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, Ameziane, et al's Big Black: Stand at Attica.
The New Yorker
Naomi Fry reviews the satire and feelings of Walter Scott’s Wendy: Master of Art.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The intimate culture clash of François Vigneault's Titan;
- The youthful vulnerability of Jim Terry's Come Home, Indio;
- The rebellious cynicism of Ancco's Nineteen, translated by Janet Hong;
- The satisfying imagery of Elisa Macellari's Kusama: A Graphic Biography, translated by Edward Fortes.
Pete Redrup presents July’s bumper edition of The Quietus’ comics column, and takes a look at Yoshiharu Tsuge’s The Swamp, Abdul Qadim Haqq’s The Book of Drexciya volume 1, Noah Van Sciver’s The Complete Works Of Fante Bukowski, Yeon-sik Hong’s Umma’s Table, Antoine Cossé’s Palace No. 1, Lynda Barry’s Making Comics, Blutch’s Mitchum, Disa Wallander’s Becoming Horses, and the eleventh installment of Dutch-German underground comix anthology Kutlul.
Ryan Carey reviews the hallmark inventiveness of Henry McCausland’s Eight-Lane Runaways.
Women Write About Comics
• Amy Garvey reviews the ethereal beauty of Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, et al’s Sabrina: Something Wicked #1.
• Melissa Brinks reviews the compassionate complications of Simon Spurrier, Aaron Campbell, et al’s John Constantine: Hellblazer #6.
• Masha Zhdanova reviews the valuable perspective of Lindsay Ishihiro's ongoing webcomic, Motherlover.
Let's swap seats and you ask me a question... This week’s interviews.
• Michał Chudoliński interviews multi-talented Polish creator Tadeusz Baranowski about his life in comics, his friendship with Grzegorz Rosiński, artistic independence, and listening to the fans.
• Keith Silva has another session of Retail Therapy, as he talks to Ogre’s Grove’s Justin ‘Ogre’ Sinnott about the relative youth of the store, moving from comic collecting to retail, COVID-19 shut downs, the value of classic comics, and direct market shake-ups.
• Gary Groth has a long chat with Al Jaffee, as the MAD Magazine stalwart prepares for retirement, asking whether that retirement is coming a little too soon, how comics have been a part of his life since childhood, the other artists in his family, and more besides.
Dan Greenfield presents part one of Inside the Batman: The Steve Engelhart Interviews, opening with a look at Detective Comics #469, and the origins of the fiery Dr Phosphorous.
Deanna Destito talks to Lucio Parrillo about a decade of painting covers for Dynamite Comics, and following in the footsteps of Frank Frazetta, using traditional techniques for his artwork.
Matt Badham interviews a number of contributors to The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, as Rebellion Publishing hits a big milestone of being the longest serving publisher of 2000 AD, reaching the big 2-0.
• Aaron Long talks to Jose Pimienta about a typical day in his life working on the comics grind, and what comics he’s reading right now.
• Frederick Luis Aldama conducts another comics dissection, as Alex Sanchez breaks down the Anatomy of a Panel from You Brought Me the Ocean.
Elias Rosner interviews Der-shing Helmer about her history with webcomics, juggling work on simultaneous projects, moving into the role of an editor, and returning from hiatus.
• Calvin Reid talks to Iron Circus’ Spike Trotman about the impact COVID-19 has had on publishing and retail, and lessons to be learned in the children’s book market.
• Heidi MacDonald interviews Adrian Tomine, ahead of the publication of his latest book, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, about committing memoirs to paper, generational differences, and finding a looser style.
Daniel Elkin and Sarah Wray have the next edition of their series of interviews on creator tips regarding the publishing industry, this week talking to Alabaster Pizzo and B Mure to get their takes on the reality of comics as business.
Tl;dr... This week’s features and comics.
• For TCJ, Karin Snelson profiles the work of Dianne Baasch, a librarian and comics educator whose storytelling work with children around the world speaks to the universality of sharing narratives using words and pictures.
• Also here at TCJ, Tegan O’Neil has the second part of her voyage into Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol, the long shadow his involvement with the property has cast, and the jostling for position of the transgression and nostalgia of the whole thing, along with a healthy slice of prescience when it’s re-read today - I keep meaning to do a full Morrison ‘hyper-crisis’ re-read, and this article may well tip me over into finally spending my weekends doing so.
• Over at Shelfdust, Charlotte Finn reaches the halfway point of Astro City and the comics’ twentieth anniversary issue, Steve Morris looks back at a monochromatic post-Secret Wars Spider-Man, and David Brothers looks for the identity at the heart of Seven Soldiers of Victory: Frankenstein #3.
• For Observer, Osman Can Yerebakan looks at the work of Kambui Olujimi and Jordan Eagles, two artists taking part in Creative Time’s latest invitational project, using comics in starkly different ways to tell the story of 2020.
• As the dust from recent shake-ups settles, Milton Griepp looks to the familiar in direct market restructures, as the more things change, the more they stay the same all over again, albeit on a larger scale than ever before.
• Vishal Gullapalli looks at Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, et al’s Undiscovered Country, and the series’ cover version takes on diversity and inclusivity in a comic that claims to be aiming for the bleachers with its narrative focus on both.
• Solrad has a pair of essays this week, the first from F. Stewart Taylor, looking at the work of Warren Craighead in depicting historical events through retrospective (or, more lately, real-time) live-drawing; and Anna Sellheim takes a look at the scourge of Instagram - single-page relatable mental health comics *shudder*.
• Osvaldo Oyola’s Waugh And On and On continues, as Howard the Duck settles onto the choppy waters of the post-Gerber era - enter, Marv Wolfman.
• Joel Christian Gill has a comic for The New Yorker that made me spit my drink - “Not today, satan.”
• Laura Park provides the next installment of The New York Times’ Diary Project, looking back at personal privilege histories, and systemic complicity - you can also see how the (giant) comic looked in print here.
• The Nib has a new edition of In/Vulnerable, as Thi Bui, Esther Kaplan, Sarah Mirk, and Amanda Pike share the story of Steven Spriggs, as he experiences the reality of joblessness during the pandemic; and Gerardo Alba has a longform comic reporting on Latinx community engagement with the Black Lives Matter protests.
• For The Lily, Bianca Xunise looks at the pressures projected by white and nonblack individuals onto Black friends in the wake of recent protests, and the individual work needed to dismantle white supremacy.
Square eyes, full hearts, can't lose... This week’s recommended watching.
• Nevada’s Black Mountain Institute have been sharing their series of comics workshops with The Believer, over on their YouTube channel - you can watch sessions with Bianca Xunise, Ebony Flowers, Nicole Georges, Teresa Wong, Leslie Stein, and Amy Kurzweil right now.
• Another busy week for Word Balloon, as John Siuntres spoke to Art Baltazar and Franco, Ahoy Comics’ Tom Peyer, Comicraft’s Richard Starkings, Alex de Campi, Nicola Scott, and Kelly Sue DeConnick (content warning for discussions of sexual abuse on that last link).
• The Charles M. Schulz museum has an upcoming livestream on queer comics and intersectionality, taking place on Monday 27th July - speakers include Maia Kobabe, Ajuan Mance, and Bishakh Som - registration is free, and you can sign up for the session now.
• Noah Van Sciver has a new cartoonist check-in, this week talking to Vermont’s Rachel Lindsay, discussing her work on RX and Rachel Lives Here Now, as well as some rural farm chat.
• Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou returns with a new Strip Panel Naked, and part 2 of his Creators Edition series with André Araújo looking at his work in Generation Gone, and the intricacies of dialogue sequences.
• Cartoonist Kayfabe had a couple of big interviews this week, welcoming Fantagraphics’ Creative Director Jacob Covey to the show this week, talking all things design and Fanta; as well as the man, the myth, the legend, Jim Valentino, looking back on a storied career.
• Drawn to the Shop is back, and this week Tyler Crook drew a killer Miles Morales while talking to Destiny City Comics’ Ethan HD about the realities of re-opening a shop as quarantines slowly loosen around the country.
• It’s a Marvel villains mash-up this week on The Original Drink and Draw Social Club, as Dave Johnson, Dan Panosian, Jeff Johnson, Ben DeFeo, and Joe Quesada drink and draw (villains) socially.
• A solo Inkpulp this week, as birthday boy Shawn Crystal inks the galactic herald Silver Surfer, and dispenses advice on art, life, and everything in between.
• Joe Quesada welcomes Christopher Priest to a virtual Mornin’ Warm-Up, and there are a ton of anecdotes from across his career, as well as advice regarding all levels of working in the comics industry.
• For any budding comics artists in the room, Ray-Anthony Height has a step-by-step process video detailing how-to draw Marvel’s smartest and biggest heroes (respectively) Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
• There are a couple of new editions of the Comix Experience Kids GN of the Month Book Club this week, as Brian Hibbs talks to Laura Knetzger about Bug Boys, and Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru about Superman Smashes the Klan.
You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel... This week’s easy-listening.
• On this week’s edition of the only comics podcast in the world, prepare to be educated with regards to biographies of historical French caricaturists, American underground comics mavericks, and why Garth Ennis’ line of comics credit should probably be closed at some point.
• Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come this week sees Calvin Reid and Meg Lemke discuss The Loneliness of the Long Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine, and On Ajayi Crowther Street by Elnation John and Àlàbá Ònájìn, on a Stargazing/Summer Reads mash-up episode.
• Sheldust Presents has no fear this week, as Matt Lune and Steve Lacey sit down to take a look at Daredevil #1 (the Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin, et al version of the comic to bear that name).
• 2000 AD’s Lockdown Tapes welcomed INJ Culbard to the show this week, as he discusses his career, the influences on his European style of comic art, and the creativity to be gleaned from fever dreams.
• Off Panel’s latest episode saw host David Harper talk to Caitlin Yarsky about her career in comics (and working in not-comics too), her upcoming Image series Bliss, and the learning curve of finding one’s style.
• War Rocket Ajax blasted off into tabletop game country this week, as Matt and Chris spoke to Steenz and Samuel Sattin about everything roleplaying, ahead of the publication of the pair’s new book, Side Quest: A Visual History of Role Playing Games.
• Multiversity Comics’ Robots from Tomorrow podcast dips into the archives this week, and presents a conversation from 2015 between Michel Fiffe and Klaus Janson, recorded live at HeroesCon, and is a deep-dive into the appreciation each has for the other’s work - strong stuff.
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To encourage the purchase of “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist” from independent booksellers, Drawn & Quarterly is giving away a treasure trove of rare ephemera, promo-only items, and one-of-a-kind raffle prizes in exchange for your pre-order receipt. Please go to @drawnandquarterly for further details, and thank you for supporting real bookstores. #tlotldc
That brings us to the end of this week’s links, more next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel - if you’re venturing outside, this Independence Day, stay safe and protect those around you.