What Troubles

Joe McCulloch is here today to guide you through the most interesting-sounding new comics releases available in stores as of tomorrow morning.


—News. The pioneering cartoonist Morrie Turner, credited for being the first nationally syndicated African-American strip cartoonist, passed away this weekend. We will have more soon.

—Reviews & Commentary. In the New Republic, Jeet Heer thinks the HBO Herblock documentary was a bit much. In the New York Times, Dana Jennings reviews Charles Schulz's Peanuts Every Sunday: 1952-1955. In the Chicago Tribune, Jake Austen reviews Ed Piskor, Alex Schubert, and Michael DeForge. Rob Clough on Noah Van Sciver's sketchbook comics. Zainab Akhtar on Boulet's webcomics. Alicia DeSantis on Ad Reinhardt's How to Look comics. Finally, as he does every year, Chris Mautner picks the six most unfairly overlooked comics of 2013.

—Interviews & Profiles. Tom Spurgeon interviews Rich Tommaso. The latest guest on Inkstuds is underground great Jay Lynch. The Belleville New-Democrat profiles local boy Alex Schubert.

—Alan Moore Interview Controversy Reservoir. Alan Moore's most recent interview continues to draw comment. Tucker Stone, Matt Seneca, Joe McCulloch, and Chris Mautner discuss it on their podcast. The journalist Laura Sneddon, mentioned and criticized by Moore, has put up a statement disputing some of his comments. She asserts that Century: 2009 was out in stores two days before her Independent review (and its accompanying article) revealed its ending. This puzzles me, because I distinctly remember reading about the Harry Potter reveal before buying the book; her review is dated June 17, and the book came out in the U.S. direct market on June 26. Maybe it was released earlier in the UK? This blogger argues with some of her other points, perhaps a bit too impolitely. He also posted a link to some of the tweets left by "Batman scholar" Will Brooker and others that Sneddon assembled into a Storify post. These were the comments Moore was responding to in the original interview, which may go some way in explaining his tone and approach.

—Video. An oddly revealing short Q&A with Todd McFarlane and Stan Lee (via):

And (via FS) a 1988 appearance by Lynda Barry on Late Night with David Letterman:

4 Responses to What Troubles

  1. Paul Slade says:

    On the subject of Century: 2009’s UK release date, the London comics shop Gosh’s blog entry of May 13, 2012 (, has this:

    “In the grand old tradition of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen releases past we’re having a big ol’ signing here at Gosh! That’s right, from 2pm ’til 6pm on Saturday the 23rd of June we are inviting you to come queue around the block to meet Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill and collectively annoy our thus far very lovely neighbours. By that day The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009 will have been out for a whole week, being the much anticipated final piece of the third volume, following 1910 and 1969.”

    New comics usually hit the London shops on a Wednesday, so exactly what Gosh means by “a whole week” here is not clear. Amazon’s UK site, for what that’s worth, gives the release date as June 4, 2012.

    Also, I always feel a bit sorry for the people of Hartlepool when the hanged monkey story is presented as evidence of their supposed stupidity. I’d be willing to bet they had a bit of satirical intent in their own minds at the time: “Let’s pretend we’ve mistaken this monkey for a Frenchman – that’ll show the bloody Frogs what we think of them.”

  2. Dave Hartley says:

    FWIW Turnaround, which took over Knockabout’s UK distribution, list the publication date as Monday 18th June.

    League Of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009 | 9780861661633

    Bleeding Cool managed to preview the Independent on Sundays front page reveal early evening on the 16th.

  3. Danny Ceballos says:

    final score: David Letterman – 0 , Lynda Barry – 21

  4. Kate H says:

    The most bizarre part of the Moore interview is his rage over the embargo on discussing the identity of the Antichrist in ‘2009’. While it’s not unusual for publishers/producers in various media to embargo reviews of their output that’s purely a matter of controlling the timing not the content. (See Mark Kermode’s ‘Hatchet Job’ for a discussion of how this works for film critics.)

    It seems that Moore (and, by implication, Top Shelf) actually wanted to ban discussion of the content of the book, which is a peculiar thing for any writer (or publisher) to do, even if the big revelation were the literary coup of the century – and not, say, the burned-out hack behind ‘Spawn vs WildC.A.T.S.’ having a whinge about what The Kids These Days are reading. It’s a peculiar case of ego-scaffolding, and rather cherishable for being so uniquely self-deceiving. I kind of admire him for that.

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