And Now I’m Fourteen Stories High – This Week’s Links

And so I head into a 4 day weekend, once more having forgotten to make plans, always forgetting to make plans, as my Easters are no longer mainly confectionary-egg-focused, which means my plans by default become the avoiding of making eye contact with the unread comics by my bedside in favour of scrolling eternally on my phone, in search, evermore, of links to be had - the selection of which for this week can be found below.

This week’s news.

• A refreshing change of pace from recent news stories regarding the shuttering or corporate absorption of comics publishers and imprints, as this week ICv2 shares the announcement that Abrams ComicArts will, after a mere 14 years of operation as a publishing imprint, be expanding out to form a full division of the company, and now include the publication of manga and international titles.

• Awards news, and prize selections from a pair of recent festivals were announced, with the winners of the 2023 MoCCA Arts Festival Awards of Excellence shared, comprising 15 titles making up best in show from last weekend’s event; and the 2023 Comic Barcelona Awards were also announced last weekend, voted for by Spanish comics professionals, with this year’s Grand Prize awarded to Trini Tinturé, while the Popular Vote Prize was won by Manuel Álvarez for Persona Normal.

• Rumiko Takahashi this week received the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, which was awarded at the official residence of the French ambassador to Japan, with Takahashi quoted as being "thrilled that people in France enjoy my work that depict everyday life in Japan. I'm now inspired to work even harder."

• Athenaeum Comic Art announced the opening of Athenaeum Gives for 2023, a micro grant program for early career cartoonists, providing $1500 for use however the artist sees fit - applications for this round close on the 17th of April.

• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared of the passing of prolific writer Steve Skeates, co-creator of Hawk and Dove, who has died at the age of 80.

This week’s reviews.


• Hagai Palevsky reviews the forgotten history of Rebellion’s A Very British Affair: The Best of Classic Romance Comics, curated by David Roach and edited by Olivia Hicks - “Of course, the density of the scripts also results in visual clutter; dialogue and expository narration take up as much weight as the characters and environments depicted. It's an extreme constraint, leaving the artists very little space, physically, to draw on; some of these pages are broken into a dozen panels at a time. The result is a unified visual/aesthetic front that prioritizes character art, with background environments and set pieces reduced to their bare essentials, bringing an almost theatrical sparsity to the drama.”

• Tegan O’Neil reviews the audacious quality of Deniz Camp, Stipan Morian, et al’s 20th Century Men - “As I said, it’s a good book. Any quibbles I might offer are really no more than poking around the edges. But it does fall apart a little in the home stretch. Perhaps that’s to be expected, considering it was in many respects a very deliberately paced narrative, not without moments of action but unfolding at a set momentum.”



• Collier Jennings reviews the compelling beats of David F. Walker, Dave Wachter, et al’s Planet of the Apes #1.

• Rory Wilding reviews the bombastic beginnings of Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jiménez, et al’s Batman Volume 1: Failsafe.

• Alex Schlesinger reviews the gorgeous thrills of Camilo Moncada Lozano et al’s Codex Black: A Fire Among Clouds.

• Alex McDonald reviews the smart satire of Mark Russell, Richard Pace, et al’s Second Coming: Trinity #1.

• Piper Whitaker reviews the exciting horror of  Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, et al’s Hairball #1.


The Beat

• Joe Grunenwald reviews the high-gear end to  Jeremy Adams, Roger Cruz, George Kambadais, Fernando Pasarin, et al’s The Flash #796.

• Cy Beltran reviews the fascinating start of David F. Walker, Dave Wachter, et al’s Planet of the Apes #1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver has reviews of:

- The sublime storytelling of Ria Grix’s Seven Point Two Nine.

- The heartfelt honesty of Sabrina Symington’s First Year Out: A Transition Story.

- The expressive cartooning of Lesley Imgart’s My Usual Nonsense.

- The careful authenticity of Sophie Rickard and Scarlett Rickard's adaptation of Constance Maud's No Surrender.

- The affecting relevance of Didier Fasson, Frédéric Debomy, and Jake Raynal’s Policing the City: An Ethno-Graphic, translated by Rachel Gomme.


International Journal of Communication

Florence Zivaishe Madenga reviews the compelling arguments of Rebecca Wanzo’s The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging.


Multiversity Comics

• Joe Skonce reviews the uninspired beginnings of Derek Landy, Greg Land, et al’s Avengers: Beyond #1.

• Alexander Jones reviews the climactic battle of Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Carmen Carnero, et al’s Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #11.


New York Review of Books

Beth Kanell reviews the impactful intensity of Hannes Binder’s adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Final Problem.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The frenzied adventure of Fred Tornager’s Gunhild: The New God?.

- The nuanced dynamics of Jerry Craft’s School Trip.

- The effortless appeal of Shungiku Uchida’s Minami’s Lover, translated by H. Paige.

- The thoughtful persuasiveness of Adam Geczy and Jonathan McBurnie's Litcomix: Literary Theory and the Graphic Novel.

- The entertaining insights of Eliot Borenstein's Marvel Comics in the 1970s: The World Inside Your Head.



• Martin Dolan reviews the adaptation experimentation of Jake Novak’s In His Time: The Early Stories of Ernest Hemingway.

• Tynan Stewart reviews the frenetic self-representation of Zoe Thorogood’s It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth.


Women Write About Comics

• Lisa Fernandes reviews the odd distractions of Chris Claremont, Sid Kotian, et al’s Gambit #2-5; and the rushed scares of Archie Comics' Betty: The Final Girl.

This week’s interviews.


• RJ Casey interviews Gina Wynbrandt about How Jarred Kelenic Got His Groove Back, the comic’s pre-meme origins, and the feelings associated with going viral - “There’s a lot of sexy guys on the Mariners that I was interested in. [Laughter] I was like, who could I reverse engineer a reason that I could be involved with them? But I felt like Jarred had the most tragic story. There was another player I was thinking about—Adam Frazier—who’s also underperforming, but everyone had such high expectations for Jarred to be like the next greatest prodigy. It was a lot more of a tragic story, and endearing.”

• Zach Rabiroff interviews Mile High Comics’ Chuck Rozanski about comic book trading as a youth, going all-in on comics at 19, and playing to one’s strengths - “And that's the death trap with comics. When I helped to pioneer the direct market in 1980, doing things non-returnable totally made sense if you could monetize things as back issues. But as the cover prices went up, that ratio went to neutral, and then it turned powerfully negative. It's the Bob Dylan thing: you don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. You’ve got to get out when you see that it's gone to hell in a handbasket.”



• Chris Hassan speaks with Steve Orlando about X-Men Before the Fall: Mutant First Strike, spectral clones, historical shelters, and the thrill of real-world settings.

• Chris Coplan talks to Che Grayson and Kelsey Ramsey about Dark Spaces: Good Deeds and the oldest city in the United States; and to Matt Kindt about Hairball and spectral felines..


The Beat

• Deanna Destito chats with Dan Abnett about Vampirella vs. The Superpowers, the flexibility of Vampi, and keeping a crossover mystery accessible.

• Zack Quaintance talks to Mark Russell about Bunkbed Mishaps, being reluctant to describe the project, and finding a place for every caption.

• Joe Grunenwald speaks with Mark Russell about Second Coming: Trinity and smoothing out the collaborative process, and with Mark Waid and Dan Mora about Shazam! and Billy Batson history lessons.



Peter Chianca interviews Jimmy Craig about They Can Talk, the dry humour of New England, comic strip inspirations, and gag writing for movies.



Goldie Chan has a very pro-Webtoon conversation with creators currently publishing work on that particular platform.


Library Journal

Tom Batten chats with K. Wroten about Eden II, heavyweight original pages, discovering the finished product, and a rent-based world.



Scott Simon speaks with Christine Suggs about Ay, Mija!: My Bilingual Summer In Mexico, eschewing translation, and the difficulties of drawing your past self.


Publisher’s Weekly

• Shaenon Garrity talks to Benji Nate about Girl Juice, female roommate aspirations, flirting by accident, and the hatefulness of certain men on the internet.

• Brian Heater interviews Chip Zdarsky about Batman, wanting creative fires to put out, the realities of writing the Caped Crusader, and the limits of plausability.


Smash Pages

JK Parkin chats with Matt Kindt about Hairball, getting ahead on collaborative projects, letting artists pick their projects, and working with Keanu Reeves.



McKinley Franklin interviews Amy Jo Johnson about returning to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in its comic book form, pandemic projects, and the importance of unions.


The Washington Post

Michael Cavna speaks with David Barsalou, Hy Eisman, Dave Gibbons, Bill Griffith, and Jim Keefe about the issues covered in new documentary WHAAM! BLAM! Roy Lichtenstein and the Art of Appropriation.


Women Write About Comics

Paige Lyman talks to Anni K. about Transfusions, comic book origins, switching between digital and traditional media, and relating to your own characters.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Andrew Farago writes in remembrance of Joe Giella, prolific comic book inker and commercial artist, who passed away last month aged 94 - “Giella almost failed his Timely audition, however, when the excited young artist accidentally left his tryout pages, drawn by Sekowsky, on a subway train. Editor Stan Lee chewed out the young artist, but Sekowsky intervened and offered to redraw the pages, which Giella inked in record time.”

• Also for TCJ, Jon Holt and Teppei Fukuda present a new translation of Natsume Fusanosuke’s 1997 mini-essay from Manga to “sensō”, and the ruins of history to be found in the work of Matsumoto Leiji, who passed away in February - “It seems to me that Matsumoto, who did experience the war and the defeat as a youth, was able to protect the Yamato from its vulnerability of original subject matter by adapting the ship for a speculative story about space voyage, or for a tale of space war in the far future. This sense of distance surely whitewashed the image of actual war memory from the battleship Yamato.”

• For Vice, Claire Woodcock reports on the processes by which an individual parent can push for graphic novel bans within a school district’s libraries.

• Over at The Gutter Review, Tom Shapira looks back on Richard Corben’s adaptations of works by Edgar Allan Poe, and the path that Corben’s career walked with the poet.

• Elizabeth Sandifer’s Last War in Albion returns, and Alan Moore begins life sans DC with some Real War Stories, and the spotlight is moved in turn to shine on one Harvey Pekar.

• Brian Hibbs is once more Tilting at Windmills over at The Beat, providing the most granular of granular analysis of 2022’s NPD Bookscan figures, as last year proved another big sales window for one Dav Pilkey.

• For Shelfdust, Steve Morris peers into the whole and the hole of Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated #13, while Michael Eckett considers the hopes embodied by Tommy Willowtree in Simon Spurrier andMatias Bergara’s John Constantine: Hellblazer #5.

• Andrew Farago provides a fresh scene report for Solrad, sharing the experience of tabling at this year’s Norfolk Original Indie Comics Expo, and the event’s balanced organisation.

• From the world of open-access academia, in Arts, Grace D. Gipson pens an essay on the Black girl narratives to be found in contemporary superhero comics.

• In the Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Daniella Trimbolli explores the themes and forces to be found in comic zines by racialised migrants and refugees.

• In the British Educational Research Journal, Lars Wallner and Robert Aman explore the gender discussions that comic books can promote in the classroom.

• 2011. Wolverine is afforded that most singular of honours - an issue #1000 - everybody applaud for Wolverine.

• Somewhat unsurprisingly, given a now-historic record of indictment, the focus of this week’s editorial beat was focused squarely on former-President Donald Trump, with round-ups from Michael Cavna for The Washington Post and Mike Peterson at The Daily Cartoonist.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Austin English hosted the latest meeting of the New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium, welcoming Diana Schutz for a freeform, wide-ranging talk on independent comics, their following on from the underground comix scene, and a career spent working on indie books.

• Katie Skelly and Sally Madden hosted a fresh (from the vault) episode of Thick Lines, welcoming Corinne Halbert to proceedings to speak about Charles Burns’ Last Look, as well as the origins and making of Acid Nun, bad boyfriends, Silent Hill 2, and romance comics within Burns’ comic.

• Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die convened for a special episode of SILENCE!, as they spoke in remembrance of Stephen Bamford, manager of Dave Comics of Brighton, following Bamford’s passing, and the importance of good comics shops in the community

• David Harper welcomed Erica Henderson and Ryan North to this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they discussed Danger and Other Unknown Risks, the graphic novel space compared to that of periodicals, and their collaborative processes.

• Yet more Cartoonist Kayfabe from Messrs Piskor and Rugg, as this week they welcomed one Robert Liefeld to the channel to discuss New Mutants #87 and #98, the 90s comics staples to be found within, and just how much comic pages can sell for.

• Calvin Reid, Heidi MacDonald, and Kate Fitzsimons spoke on an extremely fractious couple of weeks in the world of comicked books, for this week’s episode of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as the fallout from recent moves at Marvel will likely be landing for a little while yet.

No more links for this week, but next week I’m sure there’ll be more, you mark my words.