Goodbye Reason, Goodbye Rhyme – This Week’s Links

And so we arrive at the Godhead once more, as another San Diego Comic Con, already in progress at the time of writing, arrives to bring comics to the masses, with that bepanneled focus undiluted to an extent that hasn’t been seen in quite a while, thanks to industrial action of various flavours, putting to one side the ever-looming threat of Funko Pops™, but none of that stops the links, a selection of which can be found below.

This week’s news.

• Starting things off with a check-in on Heavy Metal, and news broke this week that Massive Publishing will no longer be relaunching the beleaguered magazine, apparently cancelling planned solicitations for the publication and associated titles - Whatnot Publishing, an imprint formed by Massive Publishing and digital marketplace Whatnot, entered into a publishing partnership with Heavy Metal in October of last year, in a move which then-CEO Matthew Medney touted as “the start of a brave new age” for the company, before departing from the post three months later, amid ongoing financial troubles at the company.

• Elsewhere, a GoFundMe was launched to support Robot 6 and Spinoff Online co-creator Kevin Melrose, who suffered a stroke in June, and is undergoing therapy for partial paralysis - donations to support Melrose’s living costs and medical expenses can be made here.

• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, as it was announced that cartoonist Francisco Ibáñez Talavera, creator of Mortadelo and Filemón, passed away last Saturday, aged 87.

• News was also shared of the passing of Phyllis Wright Thomas, the widow of Doug Wright, who passed away earlier this month, at the age of 93 - the Doug Wright Awards team shared remembrances of Wright Thomas from Brad Mackay and Seth.

This week’s reviews.


• Irene Velentzas reviews the compelling poignancy of Thien Pham’s Family Style: Memories Of An American From Vietnam - “The challenge of storytelling is crafting moments across a narrative that prove more impactful than they first appear. In Pham’s hands, what seem to be innocuous but charming anecdotes create deeper resonances as the story unfolds.”

• Tegan O'Neil reviews the startling spectacle of Sloane Leong’s Prism Stalker: The Weeping Star - “Where Prism Stalker excels is in translating the sensory detail of truly alien experiences into the flat medium of printed color. Notably, there isn’t any narration here to explain what’s going on. Most of the details can be picked up from context and dialogue, but there are no captions to translate events.”



• David Brooke reviews the safe setup of Torunn Grønbekk and Walter Geovani’s Red Sonja #1.

• Michael Guerrero reviews the visual spectacle of Scott Snyder, Liam Sharp, et al’s Nocterra: Nemesis Special.

• Connor Boyd reviews the new voices of Jadzia Axelrod, Amancay Nahuelphan, et al’s Hawkgirl #1.

• Collier Jennings reviews the refreshing direction of Bryan Hill, Elena Casagrande, et al’s Blade #1.

• Keigen Rea reviews the artistic merits of Donny Cates, Gabriel Walta, Niko Henrichon, Frazer Irving, et al’s Doctor Strange.

• Nathan Simmons reviews the inventive fun of Ryan North,  Iban Coello, Ivan Fiorelli, et al’s Fantastic Four: Whatever Happened to the Fantastic Four?.


The Beat

Cy Beltran reviews the cool action of Bryan Hill, Elena Casagrande, et al’s Blade #1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver has reviews of:

- The evocative exuberance of Jim Medway’s Crab Lane Crew.

- The tactile atmospherics of Zhenyi Zheng’s Banana Trap.

- The slow build of Claudia Matosa’s The Last Day of Rain #1 and #2.

- The glorious escapism of Trini Tinturé’s A Spell of Trouble.


Common Knowledge

Rachel Hadas reviews the awkward draughtsmanship of Anne Carson and Rosanna Bruno’s adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women.


The Guardian

Rachel Cooke reviews the exquisite details of Camille Jourdy’s Juliette, translated by Aleshia Jensen.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #95,  Immortal X-Men #13, X-Force #42, Rogue & Gambit #5, and X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Doomsday #1.


Library Journal

• Emilia Packard has a starred capsule review of the poetic flow of Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s adaptation of Park Wan-suh’s The Naked Tree, translated by Janet Hong.

• Tom Batten has starred capsule reviews of:

- The grim captivations of Chantal Montellier’s Social Fiction, translated by Geoffrey Brock.

- The masterful genre-bending of Daniel Clowes’ Monica.

- The audacious concepts of Stephen Graham Jones, Davide Gianfelice, et al’s Earthdivers, Volume 1: Kill Columbus.

- The glorious mayhem of Kyle Starks, Piotr Kowalski, et al’s Where Monsters Lie.


Multiversity Comics

• Matthew Blair reviews the fantastic style of Joanne Starer and Khary Randolph’s Sirens of the City #1.

• Brian Salvatore reviews the unnecessary questions of Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Christopher Mitten, et al’s Panya: The Mummy’s Curse #1.

• Gregory Ellner reviews the well-constructed start of Jadzia Axelrod, Amancay Nahuelpan, et al’s Hawkgirl #1.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The clever charms of Luca Debus and Francesco Matteuzzi’s Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography of Charles M. Schulz.

- The arch deconstruction of Brian Michael Bendis, Jacob Edgar, et al’s The Ones.

- The delightful lines of Roz Chast’s I Must Be Dreaming.

- The profound questions of Remy Lai’s Ghost Book.

- The chilling flair of Graham Annable’s Eerie Tales from the School of Screams.



Tynan Stewart reviews the lavish sprawl of Sammy Harkham’s Blood of the Virgin.


Women Write About Comics

Joan Zahra Dark reviews the refreshing accomplishments of Benji Nate’s Girl Juice.

This week’s interviews.


• Bill Kartalopoulos presents transcription of a panel conversation between Paul Auster, Art Spiegelman, David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik, moderated by Kartalopoulos, that took place at the inaugural Comic Arts Brooklyn in 2013, discussing the graphic novel adaptation of Auster’s City of Glass - “My regular engagement with the book in a teaching context certainly prepared me to moderate this panel, but even more, the event offered me the unique opportunity to raise points I make in my teaching within the context of a conversation with the creative collaborators involved who produced the work.”

• Jason Novak shares a fresh selection of Dialogue Balloons, illustrating conversations with Oliver East about page layouts, and Helen De Cruz about the languages of ideas.



Chris Coplan talks to Neil Kleid about Kings and Canvas, the comics’ transition from digital to print, and making magic from pugilism.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver speaks with Ed Firth about Horny & High, reader feedback on the comic, and self-publishing over contract deals.


The Hollywood Reporter

Borys Kit chats with Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo about Giant Robot Hellboy, and the inspiration for the series.



• Dan Gearino talks to MyComicShop.com’s Buddy Saunders about a life in comics commerce, and fanzine publishing and comics and prose writing.

• Milton Griepp interviews Greg Goldstein about comics career origins, selling back issues in the 70s, and making deals with Sea Gate Distributors.


Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

• Chinmay Murali and Parvathy MS chat with A.K. Summers about Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag, and physically drawing one’s experiences.

• Barbara Spadaro interviews Elettra Stamboulis about graphic reportage in Italy, and the growth and evolution of this genre.


Smash Pages

JK Parkin speaks with Adam Cesare and David Stoll about Dead Mall, 3D set design and pentagrams, and the fundamental question of comics-making.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Tom Shapira looks to the comics that are not drawn on any map, cataloguing the many adaptations of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and examining the unifying theme that ties these all together in the shallows - “Abridgements, of course, are not something unique to the world of literature. From the time of its publication, Moby-Dick was subject to tampering by people who did not understand, or outright rejected, Melville’s work. The original publication in England, an important spot for an American novelists in those times, saw the alteration of passages considered blasphemous, as well as the removal of language deemed overtly sexual, including that relating to mating habits of whales (whatever floats—or sinks—your boat).”

• Also for TCJ, Bud Plant writes in remembrance of comics historian, collector, and publisher, Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr., who passed away earlier this month, aged 76 - “Jim’s first publishing project was a fanzine with an indecipherable name. I don’t know which of us came up with that idea, but it sure sounds typical of Jim. He was never one to go along with the crowd if he saw a better or more interesting way.”

• For the Los Angeles Times, Sonaiya Kelley, Tracy Brown, and Jevon Phillips canvas attendees and organisers at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, and preview what to expect in a year of strike action.

• Steve Morris continues Shelfdust’s Dust to Dust series, this week looking back at the metanarrative omnipotence at the heart of Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru’s The Unbelievable Gwenpool; and Jean Brigid-Prehn surveys the ethereal architecture of Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard’s Home Sick Pilots #1.

• d. emerson eddy considers Alan Moore and JH Williams III’s Promethea #10 for The Beat’s Classic Comic Compendium, as the stage is set for the series’ dive into magicks.

• From the world of open-access academia, for the Art Libraries Journal, Allison Bailund, Steven W. Holloway, Kayla Kuni, and Deborah Tomaras present a guide on contemporary standards in comics cataloguing.

• For the ACL Anthology, Lauren Edlin and Joshua Reiss present a study on the visual identification of animate entities in comic books, necessary for analysing narrative affordances unique to the medium.

• For Language Resources and Evaluation, completing something of a triptych with the previous two papers, Neil Cohn, Bruno Cardoso, Bien Klomberg, and Irmak Hacımusaoğlu write on the Visual Language Research Corpus, and the annotations to be found therein.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as NATO Membership, flood insurance, and federal litigation vied for focus.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Katie Skelly and Sally Madden are reunited for this week’s edition of Thick Lines, as the focus returns to Kyoko Okazaki, looking this time at the new translation of River’s Edge, and the nihilism to be found therein.

• A couple of NHK’s sporadic, official releases of Naoki Urasawa’s Manben with English subtitles, as Urasawa visits Ai Minase to see work in progress on Seishun Heavy Rotation; and a special episode looking back at the life and work of Osamu Tezuka, featuring interviews with Tezuka’s assistants.

• Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die reconvened for a fresh episode of SILENCE!, as they spoke about the recent South London Comics & Zine Fair, what the best kind of review is, new and old comics which have been read, and the passing of Chris Reynolds.

• John Siuntres welcomed Alex Segura aboard the Word Balloon, as they spoke about Spider-Man 2099 and Knight Terrors: Green Lantern, the pleasures of working on big licensed franchises, and upcoming projects.

• Brian Hibbs was joined by Sara Goetter and Natalie Riess for the latest Comix Experience Graphic Novel Club interview, as they spoke about The Bawk-Ness Monster, and drawing on graph paper.

• Kelly Sue DeConnick was David Harper’s guest for this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they spoke about Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, creative freedoms and storytelling growth, and the status quo of comics.

• Calvin Reid, Heidi MacDonald, and Kate Fitzsimons preview this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con on the latest episode of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they discussed the effect of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes on the event.

• Ending one more week with a visit to Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor’s Cartoonist Kayfabe, as they, along with Tom Scioli, took a look at Jim Salicrup’s interview with Frank Miller from Comics Interview #2, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman, and the linework of Kelley Jones.

And there we have it for another week - next time - SDCC: Fallout.