When All Else Fails

New to the site: Hayley Campbell joins the Journal team with a review of Kiki de Montparnasse.

Also, five new issues are up for viewing in the archives. Check them out now before they go up behind the subscriber paywall.

Issue 42 features an interview with Stan Lee.

In issue 43, Gary Groth meets Neal Adams.

Issue 44 finds Kim Thompson talking to Marv Wolfman (and an enjoyable pan from Gary on Sabre--funny how having standards can pay off in unexpected ways thirty years later).

Issue 45 features Marilyn Bethke interviewing Joe Staton.

And in issue 46, Will Eisner talks to Cat Yronwoode.

Dig in while you can.

Elsewhere on the webonet:

“Lichtenstein did no more or less for comics than Andy Warhol did for soup.” I don't remember coming across that Art Spiegelman quote before, but it's nice in that it does a lot of work in not so many words. Ernesto Priego dug it up for a traditional (but not philistine) comics vs. pop art post.

The cartoonist, editor, and, um, enthusiast (?) Sammy Harkham is good at pretending to be excitable and aggressive during interviews, and his recent Comix Claptrap appearance is no exception. It's all an act, folks. Honestly, what I really appreciate in Harkham's public appearances is his willingness to be candid—a surprisingly rare trait among cartoonists, as you'd think it would go hand in hand with a talent for the form. (The Claptrap is also one of a very small handful of comics interview podcasts worth following, so get on it already.)

Jeremy Sheldon wrote an online essay for the "Aliens" issue of Granta — as far as I can tell, it's the only content in the journal about, like, real aliens (meaning the outer-space kind). Otherwise, it's all immigration issues and such. In the essay, Sheldon discusses the deep meaning of science-fiction book covers, and draws much inspiration from the fact that the big alien monster at the end of Watchmen looks like human genitalia.

Our own Kristy Valenti writes about the artist Mike Kelley's take on the bottled city of Kandor here. If you don't know Kandor, that was a shrunken city from the planet Krypton that Superman kept around in his house. Whenever he got really lonely, he'd occasionally shrink himself down and hang out with the little people inside. Most comics theorists will tell you this is a metaphor for something or other. Schizophrenia?

For CCCBC members only: The occultist Kenneth Grant, whose work played a key role in Alan Moore's recent Neonomicon series, has died.

As has been mentioned a few times here on the blog (and in the site's comments), former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter has recently published a series of rather dubious claims regarding the infamous Marvel/Jack Kirby artwork debacle. For those of you unfamiliar with this history, Rodrigo Baeza has gathered together much of the relevant information into one place. Is it depressing that this recent Shooter activity is sparking so little discussion?

The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction recently held an industry day, and there are three big reports online about it: here, here, and here. (I particularly recommend Tom Spurgeon's.) It still amazes me that the CCS exists, even now that it's nearly reached the status of a institution.

9 Responses to When All Else Fails

  1. patford says:

    Kind of amusing that Shooter who is intent on depicting Kirby as having a poor memory says the 1986 Kirby panel hosted by Gary Groth took place in 1979 or 1980.
    Unsurprisingly Shooters fans fall for his regrettable act which amounts to Shooter depicting himself as Kirby most ardent supporter, and Kirby as almost a pal. while the real import of his comments is to depict Kirby as the cause of his own misfortune, and Roz Kirby as a bitch.
    His transparent tactic seeds just the kind of comments he's trying to elicit from fans of Marvel. Kirby is a befuddled old fool, Roz Kirby is a bitch, and Gary Groth a liar.

  2. patford says:

    Any chance of posting that Panel discussion from TCJ #114 in the archives ASAP?
    Did Groth really urge the crowd to attack Shooter with 2X4's? Did Shooter really say nothing fearing for his life?
    Did the panel really happen in 1979 or 1980 as Shooter remembers as opposed to 1986?

  3. Dan Nadel says:

    There's no ASAP around here, but we'll work on it, and Gary knows about this and will hopefully work on a response.

  4. alanstrend says:

    "Hopefully" indeed. Thirty years later: Groth vs. Shooter – this time it's PERSONAL. I can't wait!

    From the enjoyable Sabre pan: "McGregor’s writing . . . is dithyrambic, prolix, and tendentious" . POETRY!

  5. SeanMRob says:

    This one is a real winner… if I remember correctly this review leads to a whole long back-and-forth letters exchange, re-enacted at a later date with Max Collins, Terry Beatty, and his girlfriend (?). These early issues are exciting to read in a voyeuristic way- I enjoy the incongruity of watching great critical facility and language skills brought to bear on material (like Sabre, Ms. Tree) that really can't bear the weight.

  6. Joe McCulloch says:

    I am unreasonably excited about reading Marilyn Bethke's upcoming review of the Comics Journal in the Comics Journal #48…

  7. Mike_Hunter59 says:

    Tim Hodler:
    As has been mentioned a few times here on the blog (and in the site’s comments), former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter has recently published a series of rather dubious claims regarding the infamous Marvel/Jack Kirby artwork debacle….Is it depressing that this recent Shooter activity is sparking so little discussion?

    Depressing but understandable, actually. If the TCJ message board was still around, there would be a thread called, say, "Shooter's Latest B.S." up; distinctly separate, clearly titled. Instead of being mixed and risking being unnoticed amid a great deal of other interesting information. And staying in the "first page" of the Comics News section for months, so that others could discover and comment upon the story.

    (No, I'm not asking for that message board to be brought back to life; merely pointing out it had its uses and advantages…)

  8. zack soto says:


  9. ChanceFiveash says:

    New (old) issues of TCJ posted that I don't own. Well, there goes my productive Thursday.

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