Tucker's taking the week off, but his presence on the site will still be much felt, as today's TCJ attests. First, Michel Fiffe is here with the second installment of his column. This time, it's Fiffe on Vince Giarrano.
Vince Giarrano was a cartoonist who made a stylistic shift so dramatically that you would swear it was two different people. I always find myself thinking about Giarrano's sudden left turn, and I very much like both extremes of his spectrum.
You might know him as the artist on Haywire, from 1988, written by Michael Fleisher.
And we also have the first day in a new artist's Cartoonist's Diary. This week's Cartoonist is Greek cartoonist Vassilis Gogtzilas.
And finally, we have Sara McHenry's review of That Night a Monster.
Tommy wakes up early one Saturday morning. He goes into his parents’ room to see if they’re up, and is shocked and terrified to see a giant black fern in his mother’s place in bed. His father, still asleep, isn’t having any of Tommy’s fear and questions. Go back to sleep, he says. Prrrrr, the fern says.
Tommy spirals into anxiety. What does this fern want? Will it eat me next? Who will take care of me if my mother is gone forever? His little white dog, Moomin, follows him around the house and is equally troubled: we see in Moomin’s wordless thought bubbles that he is concerned with who will feed him and pet him now.
—Interviews & Profiles. Alex Dueben interviews L. Nichols on Flocks.
I would draw these doll figures doing whatever we were doing. They weren’t comics they were just drawings, but at some point I realized that I was giving them my hairdo and my piercings and I went, oh. I was drawing myself. At that point I thought, I can use this as a way to sort through feelings in a more distanced way where it’s easier for me to figure out what’s going on. I think with the gender thing – this was before I transitioned – there’s a certain amount of that in there unconsciously. I didn’t really identify portraying myself in a physical body, so this was a way for me to do it. I don’t know. It’s cute. I like drawing the little button eyes.
—Reviews & Commentary. Paul Morton reviews the latest volume of Jules Feiffer's noir trilogy.
It may be obnoxious this late in its history to use any review of a graphic novel as an opportunity to meditate on the form, its purpose and its function. Does anyone need to talk about the purpose of the novel when they review the latest Zadie Smith? But it’s hard to avoid such a mediation in the case of Feiffer’s work. Feiffer spent a 70-year-long career reinventing the supposedly low forms of the comics medium in an effort to make the comic strip literary. His decision to approach the graphic novel so late in his career is momentous.
—News. Two comics-related controversies struck late last week, both of which require more sustained attention than a short blog post can bear. We may revisit one or both of them at greater length soon. First, the writer Chuck Wendig announced on Twitter that he has been fired from his work writing Star Wars comics for Marvel, claiming he was told his termination was due to his social-media presence.
Second, the comics gossip site Bleeding Cool published a poorly written, edited, and conceived interview with a known far-right extremist activist, which led to outrage from readers, an apology from the site, and the announcement of a new editor-in-chief.