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Laugh Finder

Today we bring you part two of Robert Elder's examination of Ernest Hemingway as portrayed in the comics.

Part 2 takes us through Hemingway’s cameos, parodies and homages in comics such as Superman, Weird War Tales, Lobo, Jenny Sparks, Simpsons Comics and a slew of foreign titles. At the end of the article: an interview with Dave Sim about his sexually-charged take on Hemingway in the “Form & Void” arc of Cerebus.

We also have Katie Skelly's review of the first English-language publication of Leiji Matsumoto's space opera Queen Emeraldas.

Starting in the mid-1970s, Leiji Matsumoto created a slew of space operatic manga that would establish the visual vocabulary and storytelling tropes that make his work instantly recognizable. Queen Emeraldas falls between Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 in Matsumoto’s manga chronology, and looks at one of the legendary figures of his self-dubbed Leijiverse, the willowy (but deadly) Emeraldas. The first of two volumes, this installment introduces us to the ghost-like titular spaceship and its captain, Emeraldas, who prior to her individual stories began as a sort of female counterpart to Matsumoto's Captain Harlock character. Equal parts space pirate and existential wanderer, Emeraldas travels the galaxy seeking kindred spirits and purpose. She also functions as both judge and executioner along the way, killing those who cross her and taking special, almost maternal, interest in fellow travelers whom she deems worthy.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. The Pittsburgh City Paper profiles Ed Piskor.

Piskor is huge even for Seattle-based Fantagraphics, a leading independent-comics publisher that’s home to such stars as Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes. “Ed is our biggest breakout star of this decade,” writes Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds via email.

The series has changed its creator’s life: While he’s been cartooning full time for years, Piskor says, “The hip-hop comic is popular enough that I’m able to design my career.” (Other bennies: getting to design, for his Japanese publisher, Presspop, new action figures of his all-time favorite group, Public Enemy.)

At CBR, Alex Dueben talks to Leslie Stein about her new book. (Incidentally, it's heartening to see that the rebooted CBR is keeping talented people like Dueben and Brigid Alverson working.)

I think the main goal in this book was to strip away all the detailed work I did to hide my poor cartooning faculties. So, okay, how do I do that and make it part of the narrative that is useful?

Halfway through the book, Larry encounters a depression that strips her of all details. Then, I had to see if I was good enough to make what I think of as Hernandez-style black and white work.

A Case for Pencils catches up with Paul Karasik.

I once owned a Laugh Finder device and could use a new one (hint hint), only highly-personalized. The original Laugh-Finder (created by cartoonist, Dan Runyon, and sold by an outfit called the Cartoonists Exchange of Pleasant Hill, Ohio) was a rotating paper disc that cartoonists (more likely: “would-be Cartoonists”) could spin to spontaneously link up Characters, Places, and Accessories (Grim Reaper : Desert Island : Whoopee Cushion) thus providing cartoonists with several million possible comedic scenarios. I could save a lot of time with a Laugh-Finder grown from my own, personal DNA. Without it, I spend a lot of time staring, staring, staring at blank sheets of white paper.

Heidi MacDonald interviews Alan Moore about his long-awaited novel, Jerusalem.

His empathy for his characters took a dangerous turn when he wrote the chapter based on Lucia Joyce (daughter of James Joyce), who died in a mental institution in Northampton, which is written in a complex invented language. Moore had to take over a year off from working on the book when he finished this section. “At the end of it, I couldn’t think in English for a few days. I was kind of mentally and linguistically nuked.” Yet “the torturous mind-bending part of it was actually the part that I enjoyed the most. It took me almost two years to recuperate from it. But it was ecstatic and probably the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever written.”

—Reviews & Commentary. At Maclean's, John Semley writes about the metaphysical aspects of Jerusalem.

The centrality of an artist to Jerusalem’s plot, as not only a key character but the one [...] charged with presenting the action of the story to the reader, further speaks to Moore’s interest in the philosophy, physics and aesthetics of fourth-dimensional thinking. Indeed, as Linda Dalrymple Henderson—author of The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art—writes, the concept of an extra dimension (or dimensions) existing outside of perceivable material reality was “primarily a symbol of liberation” for visual artists of the late-19th and early 20th centuries.

And Adam Roberts psychically inhabits Uncle Scrooge.

You wanted Pixar to include you in an intensely moving pre-credits sequence tracing how you fell in love as a young duck and married but never had kids and then she got sick and slowly died and everyone in the cinema is weeping, actually weeping heartfelt tears, as you turn into this cantakerous old geezer from the sheer bereaved psychic pain. But Pixar is a separate commercial arm, you're told, and ducks like you don't belong there, its strictly the ludicrous and humiliating for you.


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