Carryin’ Fire In A Horn – This Week’s Links

A lot of Marvel focus on the comics internet this week, while the rest of the world had its attention fixed squarely on one of the biggest developing news stories in a while - England’s failure to restrict Australia’s run rate, after some extremely aggressive batting, in the first Test of the Ashes - this week’s links, below, will mostly be concerning the former, as I’m sure you’re pleased to read.

This week’s news.

Coming a week after Marvel settled various lawsuits over the copyright of a number of its pantheon of superheroes, the argument as to who was responsible for their creation was stirred up once again, with the release of the Disney+ documentary Stan Lee, as Neal Kirby, son of Jack Kirby, denounced the uncontested narrative put forth in Lee’s own words in the film, stating that “it’s way past time to at least get this one chapter of literary/art history right,” - Disney, to their credit, followed this up with the digital release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Secret Invasion, which it turns out uses AI art generation for the show’s opening titles, putting forth a fairly clear position statement on creator rights, even if it wasn’t intended as such.

This week’s reviews.


• Tim Hayes reviews the cultural construct of Disney+’s Stan Lee, directed by David Gelb - “Instead, the documentary goes straight to Lee's Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos for a coda, which is to say it taps the sign reading Kings of the World on its way out. There's probably no point in getting too bad-tempered now about these scenes, whose sweetness always coexisted with their origin point deep in some dire marketing summit, a feeling that they cheapened Lee's considerable genuine achievements by shoving him bodily into his own limiting mythology.”

• Tegan O’Neil reviews the aesthetic communication of Nick Cagnetti et al’s Pink Lemonade - “Comics is a nostalgic medium by nature - perhaps a consequence of the form. All you need to do to open up a portal in time is to read a comic book that looks like it did when you were little, and you are there. That can be dangerous, especially when you start making things look not the way they were, but how you might wish they would have been. But an honest relationship with the past can also be revealing.”



• Piper Whitaker reviews the digestible answers of A New Gnosis: Comic Books, Comparative Mythology, and Depth Psychology, edited by David M. Odorisio.

• Connor Boyd reviews the perfect celebration of DC’s Wonder Woman #800.

• Kate O'Donoghue reviews the heartfelt farewell of Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Robbi Rodriguez, et al’s Batgirls #19.

• David Brooke reviews the new directions of Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Nic Klein, et al’s The Incredible Hulk #1.

• Keigen Rea reviews the real-world implications of Ryan North, Francesco Mobili, et al’s Secret Invasion: Mission Earth.

• Jonathan Jones reviews the grand returns of Jonathan Hickman, Bryan Hitch, et al’s Ultimate Invasion #1.

• Colin Moon reviews the skillful refinements of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, et al’s Bone Orchard: Tenement #1.


The Beat

• Zack Quaintance reviews the shelf-friendly revisiting of Kurt Busiek, Brent Eric Anderson, et al’s Astro City Metrobook, Volume 1.

• Kerry Vineberg reviews the thought-provoking interactions of Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot’s Armed with Madness: The Surreal Leonora Carrington.

• Joe Grunenwald reviews the fantastic farewell of DC’s Wonder Woman #800.

• Rebecca Oliver Kaplan reviews the magickal delights of Steve Orlando, Carlos Nieto, et al’s Scarlet Witch Annual #1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver reviews: 

- The rewarding narrative of Keito Gaku’s Boys Run the Riot, Volumes 1-4, translated by Leo McDonagh. 

- The moving friendship of Gengoroh Tagame’s Our Colors, translated by Anne Ishii.

- The promising opening of Koikawa’s Ogi’s Summer Break Volume 1, translated by Christine Dashiell.



Helen O'Hara reviews the incomplete cheerleading of Disney+’s Stan Lee, directed by David Gelb.


The Guardian

Rachel Cooke reviews the engrossing narratives of Oscar Zarate’s Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ Wolverine #34, X-Men Red #12, Rogue & Gambit #4, X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #91, X-23: Deadly Regenesis #4, The X-Cellent #4, and Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1.


Image TexT

• Steven Wandler reviews the thoughtful complexity of Jackson Ayres’ Alan Moore: A Critical Guide.

• Gareth Brookes reviews the ambitious arguments of Eszter Szép’s Comics and the Body.


Kirkus Reviews

Have starred capsule reviews of:

- The stellar presentation of Marc Bernardin and Ron Salas’ Messenger: The Legend of Muhammad Ali.

- The important emotions of Saadia Faruqi and Shazleen Khan’s Saving Sunshine.

- The exuberant sweetness of Lawrence Lindell’s Blackward.


The Los Angeles Times

Noel Murray reviews the superficial polish of Disney+’s Stan Lee, directed by David Gelb.


Multiversity Comics

Christopher Chiu-Tabet reviews the imperfect reflections of Disney+’s Stan Lee, directed by David Gelb.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The arresting insights of Thien Pham’s Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam.

- The melancholy atmosphere of Ellice Weaver’s Big Ugly.

- The piercing visuals of Tyler Landry’s Old Caves.

- The captivating details of Chris W. Kim’s Adherent.

- The quiet wit of Camille Jourdy Juliette, or The Ghosts Return in the Spring, translated by Aleshia Jensen.


Rolling Stone

David Fear reviews the conspicuous absences of Disney+’s Stan Lee, directed by David Gelb.



• Tom Shapira reviews the smart self-assuredness of Jack Cole’s Betsy and Me.

• Helen Chazan has capsule reviews of Molly Colleen O’Connell’s Pebbles and The Shriekers, and Sam Szabo’s Enlightened Transsexual Comix, and Roberta Gregory’s Naughty Bits #16.

This week’s interviews.


• Hagai Palevsky interviews Lonnie Nadler and Jenna Cha about The Sickness, comics-making origins, shared philosophies, and writing unmarketable pitches - “Nadler: I think it’s important to state that we are not conceited enough to think we have all the answers regarding publishing and the comics industry. But for my own sake, and the sake of my friends and other creators who I speak with, I have to believe, I have to believe, that there is a market for this kind of long-format genre work in comics.”

• Excerpted from the upcoming Comics Journal #309, Kristy Valenti presents a conversation with Hyena Hell on life as a jock, what makes a good comic, and chronic pain - “I’m really detail-oriented. I almost have obsessive compulsive tendencies. If you believe it or not, I actually have to show restraint in my backgrounds. They’re not as detailed as I would have them if I had all the time in the world to draw this or that panel.”



Maegan Dolan chats with Sammy Harkham about Blood of the Virgin, constructing a good plot, and first paid gigs with Bonnie Prince Billy.



Chris Coplan talks to Scott Bryan Wilson and Max Fuchs about Kill More, creating a police procedural with fantastical elements, and what’s at the heart of the book.


The Beat

• Deanna Destito speaks with Elliott Kalan about Hades, putting the Disney villain into the spotlight, and appealing to fans of Hercules without including the demi-god.

• Liz Frances talks to Tracy White about Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum, and the importance of changing the immigrant narrative in the United States.

• Taimur Dar chats with Christopher Priest about Black Adam, bringing the mini-series to a close, and not realising that was the plan until the first issue was published.


The Guardian

Rich Tenorio interviews Andrea Chalupa about Dictatorship: It's Easier Than You Think!, the vulnerability of democracy, and predicting the moves of authoritarian regimes.


The Mary Sue

Alyssa Shotwell speaks with Natalie Norris about Dear Mini, and the conversational form across time that graphic memoir allows.


Multiversity Comics

Elias Rosner talks to Michelle Fus about Ava’s Demon: Reborn, seeing your work in book stores, and incorporating the hosting website into the webcomic itself.


The New Americanist

Matthew Levay speaks with Tony Davis, owner of Massachusetts’ Million Year Picnic, about barbershop comics origins, the arithmetic of comic collecting, and lessons from retail.



Ayesha Rascoe chats with Marvel Comics editor Nick Lowe about the passing of John Romita Sr., and the lasting impact that Romita has had on superhero comics.


Women Write About Comics

Emily Lauer interviews Tracy White about Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum, and the research process behind the book.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Steven Ringgenberg writes in remembrance of the life and work of storied artist John Romita, who passed away last week at the age of 93 - “The work of John Romita spanned several eras, and defined one. He was among the first generation of comic book readers to become comic book professionals, and the bright, romantic realism of his style spoke of youth and idealism.”

• Also for TCJ, Jason Overby examines Morgan Vogel’s The Necrophilic Landscape, and the creation of the world contained therein - “It is not a book interested in appeasing the arbiters of taste in comics. It functions as a kind of self-aware outsider art: raw, unmediated, sophisticated despite itself. The personality and crank sensibility of its creator ooze from every panel, and you are compelled to pay attention to it.”

• Elsewhere at TCJ, Robert Aman profiles publisher Horst Schröder, and charts the impact that Schröder’s unconventional entrepreneurial career had on wider Swedish comics culture - “What unified all Schröder’s publications was the strong presence of the publisher himself. Schröder would devote a great deal of editorial space in his magazines to reflect upon the content of the comics, developments in the industry at large, and the hardships of being a publisher, in addition to commentary on current events in Sweden, the world, and his private life.”

• Finally for TCJ this week, William Schwartz uses Jung and Shim Kun’s webtoon Joseon Attorney as a case-study for how the business model works for those titles that find a relatively small, but dedicated, audience - “Joseon Attorney is also a fusion comic, in that the legal drama and historical drama are mixed so that the exact nuances of the cases aren’t as formal as would be expected in a contemporary legal drama. Indeed, the first case, which deals with a small merchant being bullied out of his marketplace for not paying protection money, explicitly hinges on the protagonist's assertion that the laws at issue are obscure and arcane to the point that they no longer matter as legal precedent.”

• For Nerdist, Norbert Daniels Jr. looks back on the LGBTQ* representation present in the 90s runs of Milestone Comics titles, and the lessons still to be learned from those stories today.

• Over at Forbes, Rob Salkowitz considers the issues of telling the true story of Stan Lee, and the disservice that shallow hagiographies do to the subject, as well as those in Lee’s orbit.

• Broken Frontier presents another inside-look at a comic creator’s process, as Cat Laird discusses the making of My Monster Ex-Girlfriends, and changing digital drawing software during a project.

• Taking a slightly different tack, Mark Tweedale welcomes Matt Smith to Multiversity Comics’ Mignolaversity series, as they discuss the work of Peter Bergting on Frankenstein: New World.

• For Shelfdust, Steve Morris’ Dust to Dust series continues, as this week the relatively mundane curtain call of Mariko Tamaki and Diego Olortegui’s She-Hulk run is considered; and Morris then continues a retrospective of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ The Unwritten, as issue 11 contains potent ideas and imagery that have only strengthened with time.

• The Women Write About Comics team convene for a pride month manga roundtable, highlighting recent manga hits and misses, and thoughts on LGBTQ* manga in general.

• From the world of open-access academia, ImageTexT presents a special edition, edited by Alexander Slotkin and Laura Gonzales, which looks at the intersection of community activism, comics studies, and technical storytelling.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as artificial intelligence, former presidents, current presidents, and those in peril in the sea were considered.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Tegan O’Neil and Claire Napier present the third episode of Udder Madness, as Witchblade #1 joins the Top Cow roster, and the lessons to be learned from the second appearance of one Sara Pezzini.

• Comix Experience presented a roundtable discussion on the history of comics in San Francisco this week, as Brian Hibbs, Last Gasp’s Ron Turn, and Mission: Comics & Art’s Leef Smith spoke about the city’s storied comics and comix scenes.

• Gary Lactus returned with another special SILENCE! episode focused entirely on The Mighty Crusaders #4, as page three of the title poses more questions than it answers, including those pertaining to superhero voices, and, of course, Cloverine Salve.

• David Harper welcomed Ed Brubaker to this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they spoke about Night Fever, the WGA strikes, collaborations with Sean Phillips, and the passing of John Romita, Sr.

• Calvin Reid, Heidi MacDonald, and Kate Fitzsimons came together for a fresh episode of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they spoke about the passing of Ian McGinty and John Romita Sr., and rounded up recent comics news stories of note.

• John Siuntres took more trips up in the Word Balloon, speaking with Andrew Pepoy about Simone & Ajax and comic strip history tidbits, and with Tim Sheridan about Alan Scott: The Green Lantern and the balancing act of writing superhero comics.

• Ending the week with more Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg sat down to pore over the comics squared of Detective Comics #622-624, Ennis and Case’s Preacher Special: The Story of You-Know-Who, Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Big Fat Kill, R. Crumb’s Sketchbook: Volume 2, and Art Adams’ Monkeyman and O’Brien backup stories from Hellboy.

That’s all for this week, now we just need to wait until the next time rain stops play.