A short American holiday week begins with Rob Clough and his review of Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo, the story of a relatively undersung portion of Abraham Lincoln's young life, and a book that I think rightly made a lot of people reevaluate Van Sciver. Good stuff. Here's a bit of Rob's review:
Van Sciver's greatest achievement in this book is his storytelling restraint. He lets his cross-hatching gets across the grime of a Springfield that wasn't as civilized as its inhabitants might have thought. He wants to show the reader a different side of the Lincoln we grew up reading about in the history books, but also wants the reader to connect this younger man to the future president. More than anything, he wants to show Lincoln as in some ways a very typical young man: he makes stupid decisions, is fickle in his attentions (Lincoln falls for Todd's younger sister), and has no idea what to do with his life (while knowing he wants to do something great), and even engages in cruel humor at someone else's expense.
Elsewhere, there are lots of things to read.
—Tom Spurgeon interviews the great Howard Cruse.
—Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb (and scholar Roger Sabin) are interviewed for a comics-related podcast at The Guardian.
—Chris Ware is interviewed in a shortish, written-through piece by Mike Doherty at the National Post.
—Publishers Weekly has a starred review of the newly released new edition of Jon Lewis's True Swamp. I don't normally flag PW reviews like that, but this is an interesting book to get this treatment in the sense that it's a reprint from a time in comics that's gone relatively underappreciated, and is maybe due for a revival.
—I've been seeing this photo passed along as depicting Picasso dressed up as Popeye. (The page itself says as much.) But that can't be right—Popeye doesn't have a beard! Isn't he really supposed to be dressed as Captain Haddock? Of course, neither Popeye nor Haddock wore glasses that I can recall...
—I always enjoy the guided tours Chris Mautner leads through publishers' catalogs. Here's his spring 2013 D&Q.
—Somehow I missed this: Marvel and DC are no longer delaying the release of their digital comics until after the print versions have been released in stores. This is not an unexpected development, but it is possibly a consequential one.
—I guess reviews-in-the-form-of-comics are a genuine Thing now. Vera Brosgol reviews David Nytra in the New York Times. (via)
—Sam Gaskin and Simon Hanselmann had a discussion on Facebook, which later moved to Tumblr.
—Pádraig Ó Méalóid finishes up an in-depth three-part exploration of the alleged influence of Robert Mayer's mostly forgotten 1970s novel Superfolks on the writing of Alan Moore, with an epilogue devoted to Moore's relationship with Grant Morrison. One, two, three.
—Only sorta comics: Robert Boyd writes about the comics-influenced work of artist Trenton Doyle Hancock.