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It’s Neither A Balm Nor A Gel

Today at the Journal, we're pleased to share an interview with Hope Larson, whose latest graphic novel with First Second sees release this week. Hope's career has seen her showing up with quite a few different credits under her belt--and it sounds like that was the plan all along.

Do you think about your career in quite a calculated way?

I think I’m pretty calculating. But that said, I’m calculating so I can continue doing this. I want to be able to keep making books, and part of that is you have to achieve a certain level of success and financial stability. I do books that are passion project books, and I do books that are paycheck books, and hopefully I can learn something from them along the way. Batgirl would be a good example. I really needed a job when I got that one. Like, I needed it to survive. But I also thought: I’ll be able to play in a different sandbox for a change, and play with different characters, and it is totally unlike anything I’ve done before. I’d been wanting to move into more of an action-y direction anyway in some of my work. And it really was awesome. It’s what I hoped it would be.

We've also got the newest installment in Fiona Smyth's Cartoonist Diary. Today's entry features a walk-on appearance by Annie Koyama, who Fiona depicts Michael Zulli style.

And that's not all. Today's Review sees Matt Seneca taking a look at the latest installment in Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca's long running series of Street Angel stories, Street Angel Goes To Juvie

Rare indeed is the still-relevant creator that can lay claim to having been a darling of Wizard magazine; rarer yet is to see a title that was one of the five or six non-mainstream comics those dudes felt comfortable recommending still flourishing. But flourish Street Angel has, for coming up on fifteen years - long enough for the book to elbow its way into a place in the new kind of mainstream that's emerged in response to Act II of Marvel and DC's ongoing commercial and creative collapse.

Elsewhere, Alex Dueben has an excellent interview up at Smash Pages with Eleanor Davis that I happened to miss when it first dropped, so maybe you did too. Remedy that, or read it again.

That's not the only interview I liked reading--I was also pretty into this overview conversation with Jim Rugg about Street Angel. I'm also jealous of whoever does their photography, or at least, whoever covers their photography budget.

And finally, one of the most tired claims that a certain kind of comics writer (but rarely an artist) spent a good portion of the mid 00's making was that "movies couldn't pull off what comics could do", and the reason it got so tired was because the follow up examples were always things like "a Bryan Hitch spaceship", which movies actually do a very fine job of, and have since at least the 1970's. So while my eyes involuntarily rolled in nostalgia when Matt Zoller Seitz dusted that old chestnut off, he then went to deliver a pretty astute observation about how comics actually can do movies better in his review of the latest super-hero picture. 


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