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The Issue of Value

Today at the Comics Journal, we've got a triplet, a power trio, a triumvirate. Things: there's three of them. The first is an interview--let's call it "The Interview"--with cartoonist Joe Infurnari. Full disclosure: I fucking love this guy.

There was a friend of mine when I was at Deep Six studios, this guy Nathan Schreiber. We were listening to Notorious B.I.G. and there's a line where he talks about eating canned sardines in one of his songs. Nathan made the joke to me, "I didn't know that Biggie was a cartoonist!" because I was living on canned sardines for a while. So this is our way of coping with the reality of eating sardines, and that's how we bridged the hope that one day we would be a Biggie of sorts. So in that environment of deprivation, it certainly is nice to not feel like you're penny-pinched and nickel-and-dimed up above you. And that's not a slight to any other publisher, because it's definitely the reality of a lot of publishers who aren't multi-million-dollar corporations. But in this case, thankfully, Skybound has the resources that it can afford to pay a healthy page rate. And they can have you work six issues in advance. So it kind of protects you a little bit from the knocks of the market. And everybody I've dealt with there has been really cool. It's kind of relaxed, not to say that other places are not. It's just been a good experience, personally.

 Then, we've got your review of a Neil Gaiman property--no, not that one. The other one. No, the Dark Horse one! It's called Only The End Of The World Again, and the review (which has chapters?) is by Keith Silva. Here's a taste.

The fact that such a benign piece of ephemera exists—and is on its third go round no less—says more about the power of Gaiman’s brand than perhaps anything else. To go further and devolve like an upstanding Innsmouth-ian into downright nihilism, readers are being asked to, once again, buy something they already love that’s been cobbled together from other stuff they also love too. Reprints gonna reprint!

So where does that leave the consumer reader? New work from Hollingsworth that’s easier got for far less filthy lucre in a recently published pamphlet? Yes and no. Only the End of the World Again represents a study in what it means to be a comics pro. Like some Ghost of Christmas Present, Gaiman et al. swish aside their Dickensian robe to reveal the sins of competency and consistency. Everyone wants to pose as punk and ragged—especially in the august ones and zeroes of ‘TCJ.’ Gaiman wanted the same thing when he was poolside in his black motorcycle jacket in the Florida heat. True Story. Whiter the professional, the ace, the old hand? When did professionalism turn uncool?

Finally, in the world of free comics, the Kilgore squad has set y'all up with a preview of Monkey Chef, by Mike Freiheit. It's an autobio comic set in another country, sure, but it's also about monkeys. So it'll win awards and sell based off the strength of the cover? I think that was how Marvel Apes was explained to me back in the day.

ELSEWHERE?

CHANGES: The guys who run Meltdown Comics are shutting down the physical edition of Meltdown Comics to run a "new business" that they've been working on for "four to five years". Here's a video that explains nothing. 

HISTORY: Matt Seneca mentioned this on Twitter, and it took me back--has there ever been a better panel than the one where Marko Djurdjevic pulled back the curtain so hard on what it's like to work at Marvel Comics? I would argue that there has not been one. I hope Hannah's professionalism crusade mentioned here doesn't mean more people will act like Johnathan Hickman did that day, because Jesus Christ, the man sounds like Human Nyquil. Let's leave the jokes to the professionals, spreadsheet guy.


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