An Intellectual Carrot – This Week’s Links

Friday has rolled around once more, and whether you have spent the week walking without rhythm, being shaken not stirred, or trying to grow the beard that Ben Affleck has in The Last Duel, one thing shall remain constant - This Week’s Links, a selection of which you can find below.

Reported live from the scene… This week’s news.

• Starting the week with more awards news, as last weekend saw the 2021 Ringo Awards Ceremony taking place, with Stan Sakai winning the categories of Best Cartoonist, and Best Series for Usagi Yojimbo - you can see a full round up of the winners here, and watch the full ceremony here.

• In other awards news, The Daily Cartoonist covers Pedro X. Molina’s becoming the first cartoonist to receive the Gabo Award for Excellence, with the Gabo Foundation stating that Molina’s work represents an “extraordinary example of combined mordacity and beauty that demonstrates a very truthful and profound sense of [Nicaragua’s] major problems.”

• As supply and logistics problems impact industries across the globe, Image Comics have announced that second printings of any titles are off the table for the foreseeable future, and stated that “the chance of a reprint for damages is next to nothing at this point”, with record-setting title Gunslinger Spawn delayed due to paper shortages, although one can’t help but feel that the retailer incentive program for said title’s various variant covers will have exacerbated that situation somewhat.

• The Beat rounds up Source Point Press’ business relationship with Frank Gogol, now apparently on hiatus, after Gogol announced that a lawsuit had been filed against Malissa White over allegations that Gogol used a racial slur towards her in 2018. The report also covers Dirk Manning’s attending Source Point Press’ booth at last weekend’s Baltimore Comic Con, with Manning having been subject to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct last year.

• Claire Napier continued reporting on Action Lab Entertainment’s business practices, examining the publisher’s contracts, amid various allegations of failure to pay for works completed under these, and spoke with creators who had found themselves at the thin end of that particular legal wedge.

• Australian newspaper The Age has fired cartoonist Michael Leunig from a regular editorial position, following publication on social media of a cartoon equating vaccine mandate resistance to the 1989 protest in Tiananmen Square, with Leunig saying he was told that he was “out of touch with the readership”.

• In memoriam, remembering those from the comics world who have passed recently, as publisher Shogakukan announced that mangaka Tetsuji Okamoto and Sanpei Shirato (aka Noboru Okamoto) passed away earlier this month due to pneumonia, four days apart from one another - the brothers worked together on the manga Kamui Den Dai Ni-bu and Kamui Gaiden: Saikai.

Practically perfect in every way… This week’s reviews.


• Bryan Zubalsky reviews the comparative slightness of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters’ The Shadow of a Man, translated by Stephen D. Smith - “Peeters and Schuiten were themselves aware of these shortcomings. This translation of Shadow utilizes a 2009 reissue, heavily revised from its original 1999 publication. In an afterword, Peeters cites Hergé as an example of the dangers of revision, but concludes the changes here were necessary to redeem an unsatisfactory story, with the caveat ‘It is not certain that these transformations have enabled us to resolve all the difficulties of The Shadow of a Man.’”

• Leonard Pierce reviews the superb depictions of Harold Schechter and Eric Powell’s Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? - “Powell perfectly captures the terrain of postwar Wisconsin: its rattletrap buildings, its thin trees and snowbound plains, its stocky midwestern residents with their almost defensive sense of privacy, and its curious condition as a place torn between two eras, becoming a center of massive media hype while half its residents still didn’t have electricity.”

• Ian Thomas reviews the sluggish offensiveness of Ed Piskor’s Red Room: The Antisocial Network - “There are at least two barometers by which Red Room can be considered an unequivocal success. As the first issue goes to its second printing, it is clearly a commercial hit. It is also obvious that Piskor has been uncompromising in delivering something raw and unvarnished on his own terms.”



• Justin Harrison reviews the thrilling shades of Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, et al’s Destroy All Monsters.

• Dan Spinelli reviews the masterful accessibility of Douglas Wolk’s All of the Marvels.

• David Brooke reviews the haunting perspective of Sloane Leong and Anna Bowles’ Graveneye.

• Alex Curtis reviews the flat cliche of Si Spurrier, Nathan Gooden, et al's The Rush #1.

• Alex Cline reviews the unpolished charms of Takahiro Wakamatsu and Hiroshi Noda’s Love After World Domination, Volume 1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver reviews: 

- The slapstick grotesqueries of Ken Reid’s Football Funnies: The First Half

- The spooky misadventures of Saerra Miller’s Mason Mooney: Doppelgänger Detective.

- The tactile fascinations of Miranda Smart’s Are You satisfied?.

- The thoughtful reflections of Davidt Dunlop’s Poor Little Ghosts.

- The skilled succinctness of KitsuneArt’s Midnight Heart.


Four Color Apocalypse

Ryan C reviews: 

- The visceral magnification of Cooper Whittlesey’s Scat Hog Volume One

- The gleeful freedom of Lily O’Donnell’s Sum Musings On Skipping Town, Tackling Ancient Patterns Of Codependency, Trying To Harness Wholeness, & Generally Just Trying To Fucking Cope!.

- The inventive silence of Pia-Melissa Laroche’s Musical Pretext For Gestural Adventure.

- The unpretentious gift of Alex Nall’s Are Comic Books Real?.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien reviews the underdeveloped philosophies of Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, et al’s Way of X #1-6.



Nick Smith reviews the mis-marketed humour of Christine Larsen’s Orcs!: The Legend.


Multiversity Comics

• Mark Tweedale reviews the familiar spark of Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Christopher Mitten, Ben Stenbeck, et al’s Hellboy: The Silver Lantern Club #1.

• Christopher Egan reviews the muddled perspectives of Marko Stojanovic, Sinisa Banovi, et al's Cross To Bear #1.

• Alexander Jones reviews the overstuffed humour of Daniel Kibblesmith, Federico Sabbatini, et al's The Darkhold: Blade #1.


The New York Times

Hillary Chute reviews the historical teachings of Timothy Snyder and Nora Krug’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century, Dash Shaw’s Discipline, and Mirion Malle’s This Is How I Disappear.



Etelka Lehoczky reviews the subtle anachronisms of Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The loving whimsy of Catherine Sauvat and Anne Simon’s Man in Furs: From Divine Punishment to Punishment Divine, translated by Mercedes Claire Gilliom.

- The resonant poignancy of Rosena Fung’s Living with Viola.

- The tremendous vibrancy of Olivia Stephens’ Artie and the Wolf Moon.

- The comforting earnestness of Lee Durfey-Lavoie and Veronica Agarwal’s Just Roll with It.

- The carefree richness of Kelly Fernández’ ¡¡Manu!!.

- The distinct echoes of Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock’s Salt Magic.



Tom Shapira reviews the biting hilarity of Alberto Breccia’s Dracula.


Women Write About Comics

• Wendy Browne reviews the indulgent exposition of Stjepan Šejić’s Fine Print.

• Magen Cubed reviews the compelling expansions of Mark Sable, Salgood Sam, et al’s Dracula: Son of the Dragon.

Sung into the deep… This week’s interviews.


Tasha Lowe-Newsome interviews Steve Lafler about 1956, the guiding principle of having fun, the best music to draw comics to, and the narcissism of artists -  “I kind of didn’t want my son to see all my comics until he was of a certain age. There’s no point in that. Because he was telling me a couple weeks ago how like when he was nine or ten and my wife and I would go out he knew where my box of Dog Boy and Buzzards was and he’d take them out and read them real fast. It’s ok. Kids can know about sex. It’s the same as drugs; you want them to have information. You want them to know about consent. You want them to have respect for themselves and everyone else. So I think information is the answer, not like trying to hide anything with regard to kids.”



• David Brooke talks to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale about Batman: The Long Halloween Special, classical inspirations, Nantucket memories, and reviving work friendships; and to Tate Brombal and Chris Shehan about House of Slaughter, collaborations and story planning, artistic emulation, and Halloween rewatches.

• Chris Coplan speaks with Jeff Parker and Sandy Jarrell about Meteor Men, sweet romance scenes, and updating a story but keeping the collaborative process the same.


The Beat

• Avery Kaplan chats with Bowen McCurdy and Kaitlyn Musto about Specter Inspectors, project origins, America’s most haunted towns, and winning genre combinations.

• Joe Grunenwald talks to Cat Mihos about Lore of the Hávamál and time zone challenges; and to Jason Loo about The All-Nighter and making the move to working digitally.


The Hollywood Reporter

Aaron Couch speaks with Ed Brubaker about Destroy All Monsters, working fast, sketchy crowds in adolescence, and the phenomenon of Substack. 



Milton Griepp interviews Axel Alonso about AWA Studios, pandemic prosperity, pleasantly surprising sales figures, and the difficulties of the book trade.


Multiversity Comics

• Mark Tweedale talks to Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook, and Emily Schnall about Tales From Harrow County, weird connections and creature design, historical research, and character representation.

• Kyle Welch speaks with Si Spurrier about The Rush, plundering history for stories, controlling the flow of story information, and subverting genre tropes.



Chloe Maveal talks to Steve Orlando, The Boulet Brothers, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, and Axelle Carolyn about Heavy Metal #311, merging provocative brands, blurring genre and media lines, and spooky inspirations.



• Matthew Jackson interviews Scott Snyder about digital comics deals, anxieties about the world, and uncertainty in the comics industry.

• Mike Avila talks to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale about Batman: The Long Halloween Special, getting the band back together, writing for specific collaborators, and consistent character design.


The VanCAF Reader

Kim Jooha speaks with Alexis Beauclair about Freefall and the joys of bas-relief; and with Melek Zertal about Together and the obnoxiousness of North America.


Women Write About Comics

Wendy Browne interviews:

- Lawrence Goodman about Gray Cells, pop culture influences, and enduring frights.

- Danielle Paige about #ZoeMG, social media tie-ins, and the great power/responsibility relationship.

- Clio Isadora about Sour Pickles, Legend of Zelda influences, colour experiments, and processing feelings.

Best read aloud to an admiring audience… This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Tom Shapira looks back at the work of Ted McKeever, focusing in on McKeever’s final work Pencil Head, and its place in the pantheon of score-settling mic-drop comics - “It’s not that Pencil Head is unaware of the old boys’ club attitude; McKeever depicts a scene in which a bunch of established creators sit around a table and discuss which fictional character they’d like to fuck with just the appropriate mix of sadness and hate. These are pathetic people - and, as a result, what they produce is pathetic. Yet McKeever can never quite leap from his personal mistreatment into any larger issues.”

• Also for TCJ, Eszter Szép reports from 2021’s Beirut Comics Festival, a series of events curated around international dialogue, and charting the spread of the ninth art within Lebanon from the 1980s to today - “The gardens of the legendary Sursock Palace in Beirut are lit with colorful lights, cats are chasing the moving patterns, and in front of the beautiful building a huge canvas is staring at the gathering crowds blankly. Within 30 minutes, the garden fills up with guests – artists invited to the Beirut Comic Art Festival, students, and anyone interested – and the drawn concert beings. The French call it “concerts dessinés”, but I prefer calling it an “amazingly creative improvised co-performance of comics artists and musicians”. I admit, though, that drawn concert is shorter.”

• The Beat’s Indirect Market series continues, as Brandon Schatz and Danica LeBlanc look at the phenomenon of mobile digital comic platforms, and their place in the comics market ecosystem, as the Direct Market contends with speculator-focused spending against the backdrop of ongoing supply shortages.

• Over at Women Write About Comics, Elvie Mae Parian writes on the meta-narrative of Tatsukoi Fujimoto's Look Back, first published on the second anniversary of an arson attack on Kyoto Animation, and the way it reflects both its author's rise in the manga world, and the stresses that puts on a person.

Shelfdust’s Field Theory series continues, as Ritesh Babu considers the perils of birthdays and Garfield’s embracing of the ideals of consumerism, and Chad Nevett examines the spiralling moments of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets #5.

• Mike Peterson covered the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as politics keeps on keeping on, book burning stalling when there’s no books to burn, trickle down economics is a dry riverbed, and Hallowe’en metaphors are en vogue.

• On the open-access academia front, for the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens, Professor David Tscharke, and Professor Jochen Brocks write on the science behind the various machinations of the Clown Prince of Crime, and the historical origins of the Joker in French psychiatrist Jean-Martin Charcot.

Bass booster… This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Comic Books return to Burning in Hell this week, as Tucker Stone, Joe McCulloch, Chris Mautner, and Matt Seneca litigate whomst is the greatest DC hero, and whomst is the greatest Schrauwen.

• Katie Skelly and Sally Madden discussed the Thick Lines of Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore’s BTTM FDRS this week, as well as the correct usage for stickers, and what makes a good comics show.

• 2000 AD’s Thrill-Cast beams into human brains once more, as MOLCH-R spoke with Dave Taylor about Megatropolis, art-deco Mega-City reimaginings, and the joys of alternate universes.

• It’s your classic Cartoonist Kayfabe week, as Tom Scioli, Ed Piskor, and Jim Rugg took a look at Len Wein and Dave Cockrum’s Giant Size X-Men #1, Eric Larsen’s Graphic Fantasy #1/Savage Dragon #63, Jim Lee on WildC.A.T.s #1, and Masamune Shirow’s Appleseed, plus a career-spanning interview with Dave Cooper.

• A live audience returned to Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Club this week, as Brian Hibbs spoke with Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefengki about The Good Asian, early career credits and the joys of editing, comic book story process, and comics’ engagement with noir.

• Mangasplaining returned to the world of Kaori Tsurutani’s BL Metamorphosis, as Chip Zdarsky hosted a look at volumes 3-5 of the series, and the nuances of the coming-of-age aspects of the story.

• David Harper welcomed Sloane Leong to Off Panel this week, as they discussed Graveneye, genre exploration, colouring comics, and sports stories.

• Heidi MacDonald spoke with Douglas Wolk for this week’s edition of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they chatted about All Of The Marvels, and the surprising number of Marvel comics from the 60s with female protagonists.

• Gil Roth was joined by Dash Shaw on The Virtual Memories show, as they spoke about Discipline, Cryptozoo, multimedia convergences and divergences, and the joys of arguing with your peers.

That’s all for this week, back again soon with more, at first light on the fifth day.