Burn Rate

Joe McCulloch returns today with his usual indispensable guide to the Week in Comics!, pointing out the most interesting-looking new releases in stores. His spotlight picks this week include two science fiction anthologies, one from Retrofit and the other from Humanoids.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. AI-AP profiles Eleanor Davis.

I started drawing comics when I was very young.

My parents were shamefully indulgent. I also went to a hippie school growing up. They let you get school credit for making zines about fucking the establishment.

Valerian co-creator Pierre Christin talks to Die Welt about how his comics influenced Star Wars.

In the 80s, particularly in France, people were convinced that George Lucas had stolen from Valerian. This particular drawing [of Valerian and Laureline sitting at a table with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia] was our way of addressing the question in a satirical manner. In general, all you hear from the US in reply to such allegations is that French comics are barely known and not successful at all on that side of the Atlantic – which, on the whole, is true. Nevertheless, the few people in the US who do know French comics fairly well are Hollywood’s art directors and storyboard artists. They might not be able to read the magazines, but they still flick through them now and then in search of ideas. That’s what French film-makers who’ve been to Hollywood have told me: They happened to have seen piles of French comics in the creative departments of various film studios.

Alec Hudson talks to the comics editor (and occasional TCJ contributor) Paul Buhle about Kate Evans' new comics biography of Rosa Luxemburg, Red Rosa.

—Reviews & Commentary. Paul Karasik reports from Angoulême.

The only notable difference between this year and past years when I attended is the presence of Security Forces everywhere. Two gendarmes stand at the entrance to each tent to check backpacks and wand bodies.

The psychological effect of this is hard to assess, but the physical effect is painfully apparent. Checking backpacks and wanding bodies takes time hence the lines to get into any tent have become sluggish, especially on the final day of the Festival. Throw some ink-wash gray drizzle on top of this and the mood is far from festive.

Matt Madden writes on Facebook about the most recent Angoulême awards debacle.

So let me make this clear: the #FauxFauves joke was a bad idea, badly executed. It is NOT a matter of artists being thin-skinned, the prank was mean and ill-conceived and its own creator acknowledges as much. And neither was it just “a few authors and publishers” ("une partie de la profession” according to FIBD) who took offense: as far as I can tell, EVERYBODY who was there or heard of it thinks this was an indefensible gag and it’s all ANYONE talked about anywhere I went for the rest of the festival (and it continues to reverberate).

Furthermore, no: this controversy is not simply a product of the Twitter age (another of Bondoux’s deflections). Even 20 years ago this prank would have caused a scandal. So WHY does the festival, in its “Précision” (“clarification,” not “apology"), downplay the screw-up so defensively and so unrepentingly? Why do they condescendingly explain snarky humor as if we’d never seen Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes (where, by the way, he makes fun of rich and powerful narcissists, not struggling cartoonists and their publishers)?