Dance to the Go-Go’s and Bow Wow Wow

Today, Whit Taylor files a report of her experiences at the 2014 Comics & Medicine Conference in Baltimore, a gathering of academics, health professionals, and cartoonists (Ellen Forney, James Sturm, David Lasky) discussing the special issues involved with creating medical comics. Here's an excerpt:

That night at dinner, a small group of us discussed our backgrounds and initial thoughts on the conference. One medical professional was interested in developing health education comics for her clients. She planned on doing formative research before embarking on a project and wanted to know what “us cartoonists had to say.”

We debated the usefulness of creating a health comic that was targeted towards a specific population versus creating one with “universal” appeal. Would a comic book protagonist need to be ethnically and culturally ambiguous enough to translate to various groups “successfully?" I had never discussed comics in such a calculated way before.

“I have a question,” she asked. “How do you read comics? From left to right?”

I was taken aback. “Yeah… generally. Um, do you not read comics?”

“Not really, I just find them to be stressful.”

And Greg Hunter reviews the Holden brothers' Detrimental Information:

Detrimental Information collects entries in the Holden brothers’ zine of the same name, spanning 2001 to the present. The book is perhaps best read in installments—readers will encounter enough anuses and severed limbs to derail a sustained read. Even so, Detrimental Information’s segments have an undeniable cumulative power. Taken together, they form an unsettling portrait of Catholic boyhood and a life beyond it.

The Detrimental Info collection is coy about the division of labor between John Holden and Luke Holden. According to 2D Cloud, John writes all of the zines’ stories, while Luke hand-letters John’s prose and contributes illustrations. The Holdens have a narrow shared range, tonally and visually—again, reading Detrimental Information as a single discreet work is only for the brave—but they also work nimbly within their limitations. John and Luke’s approach throughout the collection (and across the years) brings to mind John Peel’s old quote about The Fall: “They are always different; they are always the same.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein has joined the representation of Jack Kirby's family in the Kirby vs Marvel case which may or may not soon go before the Supreme Court.

—Profiles & Interviews.KQED profiles Janelle ("The Real Janelle") Hessig. Susie Allen interviews Hillary Chute. So does Kim O'Connor.

—Reviews & Commentary. Steven Heller praises Drew Friedman's Heroes of the Comics. Tim O'Neil makes the case for Jim Starlin's cosmic Warlock comics. Rob Clough wonders about the propaganda aspects of Li Kunwu's A Chinese Life.

National Review's most recent cover story says liberals are nerds, and nerds are liberals, and—it's a problem, guys.

—Giving & Spending Opportunities.
Nick Bertozzi is crowdfunding a new issue of Rubber Necker.