Need a New Drug

Today, RJ Casey joins us with an interview about comics and sports with Sloane Leong, the From Under Mountains and Maps to the Suns artist.

This leads to a question that constantly bothers me — why are there no good sports comics? You mentioned a few manga series, but North American comics seems completely devoid of the genre.

I have no idea why. I tweeted last month asking for any Western sports comics people knew of and ended up with Roy of the Rovers, Look Out for Lefty, and Toth’s Hot Wheels comics, all of which are pretty old. The only new sports comic I’m aware of is by Ngozi Ukazu called Check, Please! — it’s very cute and follows a university hockey team. Beside myself, though, there are a few other women comic artists that are planning on storming the new year with sports comics, so I’m stoked about that. The sports genre seems like such a rich place to work in, so it’s strange to me that it’s still so desolate.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. The CBC talks to Canadian cartoonists including Julie Doucet, Lynn Johnston, and Julie Delporte about sexism in comics.

"Everything in history has been shaped by men," [Julie Delporte] says. "If everything is chosen by men, and read by men, of course men's works will be more appreciated."

Delporte sees inequality in Canada's comic scene, too. She points to a recent study that shows female visual artists in Canada earn 35 per cent less income than their male counterparts (the overall income gap between men and women, according to the study, is 31 per cent). She also senses resistance within the upper echelons of the comic world.

Speaking of Angoulême, the Belgian cartoonist Hermann was the eventual winner of the Grand Prix.

—Interviews & Profiles. Julia Wertz tells Studio 360 about her discovery of comics.

Wertz grabbed a copy of Julie Doucet’s My New York Diary on a whim during a library visit. And when she opened the graphic novel, the black-and-white drawings seemed immediately familiar. “She’s kind of surrounded by her own squalor,” Wertz says. When she first read it, Wertz realized she was sitting in a room that was almost as messy as the illustrations.

Dominic Umile writes about Hilary Chute's new book on historical and journalistic comics, Disaster Drawn.

"In its succession of replete frames," Chute writes, "comics calls attention to itself, specifically, as evidence." She explicitly connects Spanish painter Francisco Goya (identified as a "foundational artist-reporter") and his spellbinding series of prints "The Disasters of War" to comics, and places both within the "traditions of drawn witnessing." Goya's 19th-century depictions of rape, mutilation, and civilian death are widely understood as a method of war reporting that emphasizes the impact of conflict on individuals.

—Misc. Mike Lynch posts a selection of comic strips from Madeline creator Ludwig Bemelmans.

Didn't expect this: CARtoons is back.