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Sean T. Collins checks in with another installment of his Say Hello! column, in which he interviews up-and-coming artists. Today, he talks to Heather Benjamin, and as the initiated might guess from the review we ran a few weeks back, the interview is NSFW. Here’s a brief exchange:

There are times when I look at your work and it feels like a really explicit and direct response to depictions of women by your peers. Sexuality has returned in a big way in alt/art comics over the past three years or so—are you seeing stuff you particularly like or dislike as you look around?

Yeah, I started noticing more and more explicit material in art stuff recently. I love a lot of older art involving sexuality, but as far as work being made currently, I honestly don’t particularly even gravitate towards art that includes sexuality; that’s just what I personally draw. I don’t have a huge interest in seeing drawings of naked people and dicks and tits and cum over the place, and I’m really not necessarily psyched on seeing it becoming more of a trend, either. If it’s done well, of course I enjoy it—you know, if it seems like there’s another element to it that I can get down with, that it goes deeper than just being a weird empty porn drawing because that’s “shocking”—but that particular subject matter isn’t something I feel really strongly about seeing and reading and whatever else. I feel pretty indifferent about it, unless it’s saying something extra or if I think the drawing is gorgeous, but I’ll love a drawing if I think it’s done beautifully no matter what the subject matter is.

Elsewhere:

—Nicole Rudick reviews Gary Panter for the LARB.

—Jim Rugg is not just a quality cartoonist and excellent podcaster, he’s also a very good comics blogger when he puts his mind to it. In his latest, he compares Hellboy on paper to Hellboy digital.

—Interviews Dept. Brandon Graham times two. Annie Koyama. And Weekly Shonen Jump editor Andy Nakatani talks to Deb Aoki.

—Kyle Baker put a metric ton of his comics online and available for download, totally free. (!)

—Matt Madden delivers his first quarterly report from Angoulême.

—Finally, a short video presentation on racism in early comic books from historian Darren R. Reid (via):


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