Leftover Hot Takes

Today is the final day of Abhay Khosla's four-part year-end wrapup of 2015 in comics, covering September through December, and ending up with a personal summing-up of the issues threaded throughout the year:

In 2015, if nothing else, at least one argument, the most common argument, no longer makes sense: “It’s just comics.

Look at DC’s statement on the Batgirl situation: “threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.” But after what happened last January, can anyone saying “comics or society” really be said to be paying attention? What boundaries between those two spheres do people think exist?

Terrorists blew those boundaries up. They kept blowing up for the rest of the year.

That was ultimately the persistent lesson of 2015, the one story that recurred over and over. Outraged, outraged-at-outrage, either way, we’re stuck with each other, the train conductor jumped off miles ago, best hope it’s a sweet ride when this all derails. Nothing's slowing down! Louder! LOUDER! Escapism was just what they put on the brochure to sucker us in-- but this is all society now, more and more everyday (and society, god help us all, is becoming comics more, too).

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

Matt Bors has brought The Nib to First Look Media, which you may know as the company behind The Intercept.

The cartoonist, SAW co-founder, and highly regarded educator Tom Hart has posted an online class on creating graphic novels.

For Publishers Weekly, Grace Bello interviews Daniel Clowes.

The cartoonist, Domino Books publisher, and occasional TCJ contributor Austin English has started a personal comics review site.

9 Responses to Leftover Hot Takes

  1. Kyle says:

    The year in review is phenomenal; it highlights how toxic comicbook culture is and makes a great case for staying as far away as possible from it

  2. What Kyle said.

    That he said it on TCJ counts as ironic, I think. Not sure since the forums were taken down

  3. Kyle says:


    You’re right, no one who’d read this site would be incline to disagree with me. Part of my motivation to compose the above post was to praise TCJ for publishing content that unabashedly and unequivocally declares the problems with the culture of comics. I enjoy comics and of course view the medium as a legitimately artistic one, but believe far to much emotion and self, on the part of fans, is invested in a toxic, juvenile comics culture.

  4. Elgin Carver says:

    The year in review is a perfect example of why TCJ magazine no longer exists, despite the fact that it was a necessity for making comics into something of real value, and why this site seems to be sinking into the depths of irevelence (sp?) A person spewing everything they can think of, jumbled with vulgarity, inanity, stupidity, tastelessness, and every sense of society and communication lost to an attempt to force upon an unsuspecting reader the political (in its broadest meaning) thinking of the writer, in a vain and useless attempt to demonstrate how super cool and with it they are. I never missed a copy of TCJ for decades and still have hundreds of copies in my library and read this site daily for years but these sort of articles are driving me away. I find that what was a daily read is nor, at best, a weekly read and often less. I suggest you seek the less cool and the better informed and read, or surely you will go the way of all things, and after skimming the article again, perhaps that is for the best.

  5. Tim from Eurozone says:

    What Elgin said. I couldnt manage to finish any of the four articles (the series’ title already is pretty irritating to me). Just not a fan of this kind of rambling comedy-journalism … I guess in most cases i might even be on the authors side politically, but i dont see how this trolling is going to be helpful at all.

    Still a fan of TCJ and checking every day. I know its unfair people only can be bothered to comment when they strongly dislike …

  6. Everything he wrote about comics culture is problematic and we can certainly have a conversation about that some day.

  7. Tim from Eurozone says:

    I also very much appreciated Kim O’Connors lenghty comment on the first post (defending Jacob Canfields article on HU). Im not 100% sure whose side Im on here, we all know its quite a delicate subject, but it was just nice to read a calm and rational response.

  8. Niclas says:

    The year-in-review was great. Please give Abhay a regular column. (And/or bring back Comics of the Weak.)

  9. Briany Najar says:

    It made me laugh. It’s easy to laugh at grotesque characterisations of people who seem unpleasant and/or have done bad deeds. I mean, it’s not that hard to laugh at grotesque characterisations of anyone whatsoever. (Hence cartoonists etc.) I enjoy Abhay’s satire, and the way he shapes it. Yet I must shed a salty tear at the lack of something correlative that would connect with a few of the excellent comics that appeared in 2015 and the conversations they sparked; new (and interesting/promising) publishers, ventures; development in ongoing projects; maybe catch up on any news I missed regarding comics/creators that deserve more exposure. Not a list of favourites, the same kind of format as the spectacufuck, but a round-up of the year in (good, worthy of attention) comics. Rather than the dire, noisy crap that I instinctively tune out because it’s rubbish and perpetuated by people who should really shrivel up from lack of attention.
    Unsurprisingly, corporate hq, with its enabling satellite herd, is a sleazy pit of craven abjection. I half-knew that as a tiny child the first time I looked inside a Superman comic. Just cold, alienated, mechanical, patronising and commodified – that’s (in terms that I didn’t then use) how the aesthetic struck me (after already having been exposed to the eclectic specificities of some really good, eclectic and variously distinctive stuff). That buttoned down, reserved, almost anonymous, obedient, compliant, conformist, sneaky, creepily slick, company-man aesthetic, while being a sad disappointment to a young being who expected to be entertained, is so eloquent in its evocation of the structures that condition and regulate it, I’m sure future cultural archaeologists will find it quite useful to have a few examples in their cabinets, somewhere near the many thousands of dvds perhaps.
    Arsene Schrauwen, Here, Safari Honeymoon, Aama, Juvinative and various other wonders characterised the comics year for me, just in terms of publications. There’s been some amazing stuff coming out, and also gestating. Another good year for comics.
    I don’t pity Abhay too much though. It’s just something he has to work through. Or sit with.
    I pity the future social historians, who won’t get to dwell on the distinct anomalies, the outlying vertices that mark the real contours of where the action is really at in actual true reality.

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