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Meatballs and Beer

Today on the site, Alex Dueben catches up with Sophie Campbell.

Do you have an ending in mind for Wet Moon?

It keeps changing! I was going to do one certain ending, but then I wanted these two particular characters to stay together instead of breaking up and so I’m overhauling Volume 7 and scrapping all this stuff that I drew before. Because of all that, now the original ending I had doesn’t work anymore. Maybe eight or nine will be the last book? I thought I might periodically come back and do a short Wet Moon story here and there, that would be really fun. Just short little fun stories about whatever characters I felt like working on at that particular time. One thing I’ve been joking about for years is Wet Moon 2099. I could end the current series at Book 8 or 9 and come back a few years from now and do Wet Moon 2099. [laughs]

And today also marks the long-awaited return to TCJ of Ng Suat Tong, whose review of the new ABC News/Marvel collaboration, “Madaya Mom”, is as provocative as his writing always is.

The joke goes that the difference between consumers in authoritarian states like China and those in the U.S. is that readers in America sometimes like to believe that they are getting impartial truth from the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, or The Guardian. The Chinese have no choice but to believe that it’s all excrement. But that’s only because the Chinese government is so abysmal at this game. It took years for their state-owned conglomerates to figure out that they even needed to talk to the press, much less shape its message.

When Marvel-Disney contributes a free war comic to an American audience you can be sure that the propaganda is safe, conservative, and in line with the inclinations of the powers that be.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. Forbes talks to manga editor and publisher Kazuhiko Torishima.

After all this study and analysis, Torishima had a very important revelation about manga itself, as he explains, “Once I’d read a lot of manga I came to realize that there are two main types, the first is easy to read and the other is hard to read. To explain, when it’s easy to read the pages just flow through your fingers. When it’s harder, you have to go back a few pages to check what was happening. As such, I discarded all the manga I thought that fell into the second, harder to read, category. This only left the easy to read manga and the best one was Ore wa Teppei by Tetsuya Chiba.”

Comics Alliance talks to Kyle Baker.

I started my career designing books for Milton Glaser’s studio. We did educational books for Barron’s. I had also done some newspaper advertising for the Columbia Record club. In the advertising and book publishing business, we always employed the latest technologies, whether it was photostat machines, typesetting machines, Pantone film, art projectors, Airbrush machines or computers.

Now I use the same technology that is standard in the world of commercial graphics. I use 3D, motion capture, desktop publishing, inkjet printing — and anything else that helps me do better work. Most entertainment is distributed electronically, whether via TV, web, or phone, so it just makes sense to create the work that is most compatible with the delivery system.

An excellent Vulture interview with Jonathan Lethem about his new novel includes some interesting exchanges on comics.

Since you’re interested, Professor Lethem will now continue the lecture: I have a very strong belief that superhero movies have nothing to do with comic books. And that this is the case at a deep formal and structural level. What makes a page of a comic book a deep and mysterious artifact is the stillness and the blank space between the panels, the gutters as they’re called. Comics have an extremely baroque relationship to the idea of time, because a page is a series of static moments that have to be activated by the reader in the blank space between the panels. And it’s really in the blank space, in those gutters, where the action is. That’s where the mind is going.

On Radio Times, Marty Moss-Coane talks to Edward Sorel and Jules Feiffer.

—Commentary. For Comics Workbook, Sacha Mardou reports from this year’s CXC.

I get in on Thursday night and head to the President’s Reception feeling very wallflowerish as I know literally no one except through Facebook and Instagram. First off I meet Tom Spurgeon (finally!), Jeff Bone and his lovely wife Vijaya, Caitlyn McGurk, and Robin the Inkstud. I nervously nurse my wine and then I am rescued by Sergio Aragonés, who sits next to me with a plate of meatballs and a beer. I’m a vegan but I don’t even care about the meatballs! It’s Sergio Aragonés and I proceed to fannishly monopolize him for the next hour. Sergio! I’ve loved his comics in Mad Magazine since I was eight years old.


—Misc.
Filmmaker Frank Henenlotter has launched a Kickstarter to fund a new documentary about Mike Diana.


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