Grimly Fiendish – This Week’s Links

Broadband outages in sunny London conspired to keep the links from coming this week, but through use of the arcane technology of mobile phone hotspot tethering they appear before you today - gaze in wonder at their arrival, below.




Same old, same old... This week’s news.

More sexual misconduct allegations within comics came to light this week, as multiple women came forward with their experiences regarding the conduct of Jason Latour; the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund accepted the resignation of former Executive Director Charles Brownstein, after long-standing allegations regarding his conduct resurfaced; and Dark Horse finally cut ties with Scott Allie for good, after his past of sexual misconduct also resurfaced via social media networks; but the big question in these cases remains - why has it taken this long for action to finally be taken by organizations employing serial abusers?

Following voting irregularities that were flagged by users last week, the Eisner Awards have called a do-over for this year’s ballots, with previous voters invited to cast their choices again - the internal investigation didn’t flag any malicious intent, however, as Fleen's Gary Tyrrel points out, in the time of GDPR (and other strict data breach regulations) that's not really the point.

ShortBox have announced their next round of mini grants, with £100 awards going to Aysha Tengiz, Haeun Yoo, Paula Puiupo, Natasha Natarajan, and Simina Popescu, whose work you should definitely check out - congrats to all this round's award winners.

Congratulations are also due to Kate Lacour, the latest recipient of a Koyama Press Provides project grant of $1,000, which will go towards a development of a custom font by John Martz for use in her recent comics reportage work.

Jillian Tamaki has opened a call for applications to her second annual mentoring program, with two slots available this year - one for Toronto locals, and one worldwide - with a deadline of 1st September, so plenty of time to put an application together.

London’s Cartoon Museum has found itself falling upon hard times due to COVID-19-related drops in revenue, and have launched a crowdfunding campaign calling for support - Broken Frontier has the story.

We haven’t had an auction story here at This Week’s Links for a while, and they return with a bang, as classic Martha Washington artwork (plus two new pieces by Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller) goes up on the block this week, fundraising for Black support organizations in the US and UK - if you’d like to get in on the action then you’ve got until tomorrow to do so.

• News arrived this week that legendary comics inker Joe Sinnott has passed away, aged 93 - best known for his work on Marvel titles, Sinnott had been inking The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip until last year, having retired from wider comics work in the 90s - from the announcement post on Facebook,
"[Joe] enjoyed life and was drawing up until the end."

For TCJ, there are profiles of two creators who sadly passed away in recent months, as Bruce Chrislip looks back at the work of Wayne Gibson, and Steven Ringgenberg has a profile of Denny O’Neil.




In too deep... This week’s reviews.


Eszter Szép reviews the genre-spanning layers of Lucas Harari’s Swimming in Darkness.



Christopher Franey reviews the 80th birthday of everyone’s favorite will-powered space-cop, in Green Lantern 80th Anniversary #1.

David Brooke reviews the supernatural horror of Rio Youers, Alison Sampson, et al’s adaptation of Stephen and Owen King’s Sleeping Beauties #1.

Rory Wilding reviews DC’s latest entry into the original graphic novel market, with Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro’s Primer.

Vishal Gullapalli reviews the dissipating freshness of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Ascender Volume 2: The Dead Sea.

Jordan Richards reviews the unconventional sports narrative of Taiyō Matsumoto’s Ping Pong volume 1.


The Beat

John Seven reviews the effective oddness of Veronica Post’s Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days, and the enthralling energy of Alex Degen’s The Marchenoir Library.

Morgana Santilli reviews the surprising levity of Dr Pepperco’s Goodbye, My Rose Garden, adapted by Cae Hawksmoor and translated by Amber Tamostaitis.

Nancy Powell reviews the intense foreboding of Lun Zhang, Adrien Gombeaud, Ameziane, et al’s Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes, translated by Edward Gauvin.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver reviews the hopeful inspiration of Joel Christian Gill’s Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride.


Four Color Apocalypse

Ryan C continues his kuš! comics catch up, taking a look at the hermetic cleverness of Mārtiņš Zutis’ Crime At Babel, the challenging experimentalism of Hetamoé’s Violent Delights, the agreeable simplicity of Joana Estrela's Eglė and the Snake, and the reliable inventiveness of Marc Bell's Banal Complications.


The Guardian

Rachel Cooke reviews her graphic novel of the month, looking at the vivid emotions of Thomas von Steinaecker and Barbara Yelin’s The Summer of Her Life, translated by John Reddick.


Multiversity Comics

Rowan Grover reviews the enjoyable momentum of Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Jeff Stokely, et al’s Ludocrats #2.

• Jodi Odgers reviews the thought-provoking explosions of Ryan K Lindsay and Chris Panda's SHE, volume 1.

Elias Rosner reviews the meaty moodiness of Declan Shalvey, Gavin Fullerton, et al’s Bog Bodies; and looks back at the redemption arc of Denny O’Neil, Denys Cowan, et al’s The Question #9-12.



Chris Gavaler reviews the juxtaposed expressionism and impressionism of Weng Pixin’s Sweet Time.


Publisher's Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The supernatural action of Jeff Lemire, Phil Hester, et al's Family Tree, volume 1: Sapling;

- The visual dynamism of Marwan Kahil and Ariel Vittori's Leonardo da Vinci: The Renaissance of the Worldtranslated by Montana Kane;

- The stylish allegory of Giorgio Carpinteri's Aqualantictranslated by Jamie Richards;

- The accessible bittersweetness of Charlot Kristensen's What We Don't Talk About;

- The open-minded aplomb of You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlifeedited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell.



Ryan Carey reviews the uncompromising idiosyncrasy of Alex Degen's The Marchenoir Library.


Women Write About Comics

Lisa Fernandes reviews the narrative onanism of Brian Wecht, Lindsay Lee, et al’s Ninja Sex Party; The Graphic Novel.

Paulina Przystupa reviews the subtle importance of Emei Burrell’s We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories.

Wendy Browne reviews the pacy mystery of Hiroshi Koizumi, Eliot Rahal, Dike Ruan, et al’s Bleed Them Dry #1.

• Stephanie Halmhofer reviews the adventurous originality of Christian Moran, Walt Barna, et al's The Osiris Path.

The team have capsule reviews of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier, Kenji Ichima and Tsunehiro Date’s Time Paradox Ghost Writer, Katherena Vermette’sA Girl Called Echo, and Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family.




Shout, shout, let it all out... This week’s interviews.


Alex Dueben talks to Liz Prince, covering the difficulties of working during the current pandemic, returning to daily comics in the face of that, her thoughts on Diamond Distribution, and the realities of where conventions go post-quarantine.

From the archives, there’s an interview between Gary Groth and Denny O'Neil, that took place between 1978 and 1980, which has some much-needed optimism amongst the inside-baseball talk, for example - “if you walk around being open to things in general, you’ll have a much richer life. You’ll see the way light is shining through the ice on the tree branches, and you will be given a moment of rare beauty that doesn’t cost anything.”


13th Dimension

Dan Greenfield kicks of his interview series with Steve Englehart by looking back to Englehart’s early career in comics, changing times at DC Comics, and how he prepared for taking on the Dark Knight.


The Beat

Philippe Leblanc catches up with another creator who would have attended TCAF this year, talking to Scarlet Wings Kaili about her crowdfunded series Halfsoul, mindfulness as a creator, and manga influences on her work.

Taimur Dar interviews Charlotte Fullerton McDuffie and ChrisChross about their story in the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary edition, and how it serves as a tribute to the work of the late Dwayne McDuffie.

Avery Kaplan takes another trip to a comic creators’ Animal Crossing island, this time visiting Alison Wilgus for a guided tour of Cranberry, and to chat about new graphic novel The Mars Challenge.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver interviews Alex de Campi about new 2000 AD serial Full Tilt Boogie, and setting up the pilot story for an ongoing series as a 10-page stand-alone story.



Michel Martin talks to Liz Montague about being published in The New Yorker, lack of diversity at the magazine, amongst its other problems, and humor as a salve when tackling tough issues.



Daniel Elkin and Sarah Wray present the next in their series of chats with creators about the realities of working with publishers, speaking to Kristyna Baczynski about red flags and professionalism.


Women Write About Comics

Wendy Browne interviews Svetlana Chmakova about her new book, The Weirn Books: Be Wary of The Silent Woods, her evolving style, and the collaborative lettering process for her work with JuYoun Lee.




This week’s features and comics.

Here at TCJ, Thanos Kyratzis takes a look at the state of European comic markets in the face of COVID-19, talking to creators in Italy, Greece, and England, as the continent adapts to the changing retail and social landscape in the wake of longterm quarantine, as Brexit looms.

Solrad have an anonymous essay on the Comics Against Fascism cause, and how the movement can go from slogan to actual sustained force for change in the community, ie the actual hard work bit of enacting systemic change - see also, the 'Comics Pledge' doing the rounds.

As part of ongoing Pride Month coverage, SYFY Wire have a reading list of comics by non-binary writers to check out, curated by SE Fleenor, while Sara Century continues a series of queer comix profiles, with ‘Pride-ographies’ of Howard Cruse, Lee Marrs, Roberta Gregory, Burton Clarke, and Jennifer Camper.

Shelfdust’s Year in the Big City’ continues as Charlotte Finn hits the quarter century mark of Astro City and takes a trip under the sea, Graeme McMillan bumps up against the limits of Grant Morrison’s character writing in Bulleteer #3, and Ritesh Babu looks back at the strengths and failings of Greg Rucka’s farewell to Themiscyra in Wonder Woman #225.

As smaller papers increasingly throw out cartoon sections to cover for editorial blunders, DD Degg whisks some of the key points from a recent Washington Post article on the issue at hand from behind the paywall over at The Daily Cartoonist.

Convention cancelling season seems to be ushering in a soft-launch for publisher-focused eventing, with Skybound entertainment the latest to give it the old college try, and Rob Salkowitz looks ahead to the possible future for comics events as publicity delivery services.

As Adrian Tomine prepares to launch his new book he Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, The New Yorker has an extract from the graphic novel, as Tomine faces that most arduous of tasks - not embarrassing oneself when being interviewed.

The Virginia Quarterly Review has a new comic by Jillian Tamaki, as the summer’s heartbreaking unofficial theme of losing pets continues, and is definitely not making me spiral even further into the void.

The Nib has an anonymous longform contribution this week, looking at the stresses that the pandemic has brought to librarians, a profession that is chronically underfunded and over-stretched, even without the operational ravaging brought about by COVID-19; and a comic by Tess Scilipoti on trans motherhood and disenfranchised grief.

If you’d like a look back at the massive body of work that Frank Bolle left behind, after his passing in May of this year, then The Daily Cartoonist has you covered.

• Rest in peace, Joel Schumacher, and never forget - "if knowledge is power, then a GOD am I."




Sound and vision... This week’s recommended watching.

The first trailer has arrived for Tove, a biopic focusing on the period of Tove Jansson’s life when her work on Moomins brought her global acclaim - probably arriving to an on-demand service near you soon, in lieu of being able to attend cinemas in safety.

Joe Q’s morning livestreams have slowed down a little, an ongoing theme as businesses around the world re-open and workdays stabilize a little bit, but he recently sat down with Margaret Stohl (and Steve Wacker) to talk about her career and the peculiarities of writing for a younger audience.

The Inkpulp Podcast returns with episode 8 of its new video incarnation and (despite internet issues) this week it’s a global edition as Shawn Crystal is joined by Peach Momoko, Jim Mahfood, and Tommy Lee Edwards (kind of) for chill chats and inking.

The Original Drink and Draw Social Club are back and they’re joined this time around by Neal Adams, who is surrounded by stacks on stacks of paper (as you’d hope), and brings his Batman knowledge to bear.

Cartoonist Kayfabe welcomed comics’ enfant terrible Rob Liefeld (and his Todd McFarlane and Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions) to the show this week, as he challenges them for top of the pops of the comics podcasting space, and later in the week they caught up with Chris ‘Coop’ Cooper (and his Anton LaVey impression), and dived into a treasure trove of David Lapham original artwork (and ephemera).

John Siuntres had a bumper week on Word Balloon, as he interviewed Marc Bernadin, Chynna Clugston Flores & Shelly Bond, Bryan Edward Hill, Tom King, and then King again along with the rest of the Strange Adventures team

Cathy G. Johnson is bringing a summer of educational comic making videos to you, so if you’ve got any budding comic creators in the house then this should get them on the right path.

First Second’s Sketch School returned this week, as The Adventure Zone graphic novel’s artist Carey Pietsch takes viewers through drawing everyone’s favorite Dryad couple - Hurley and Sloane.




Louden up now... This week’s easy-listening.

The COVID-19 Sessions have finished (for now), but that doesn’t mean the Virtual Memories Show is over, far from it, as this week Gil Roth spoke to Jonathan W. Gray about Swamp Thing, among other things, and Ruben Bolling about 30 years (!!!) of his comic Tom the Dancing Bug.

Dan Berry welcomed another creator who’s Making It (it being comics) and would like to Then Tell Everybody to his podcast, this week talking to Christina ‘Steenz’ Stewart about taking over a long-running syndicated strip, and tabletop roleplaying games.

2000 AD’s Lockdown Tapes continue to record, and this week MOLCH-R spoke to Jock about original art collecting, Kek-W about new series The Order, and discusses the lunacy of The Cursed Earth saga with journalist Dave Schilling

There’s a new Salt & Honey episode this week, as Sloane Leong and Leslie Hung discuss the abuses of power that have been brought to light in comics in the last couple of weeks, and take a look at the ‘Comics Pledge’ that’s been doing the rounds on social media in response to the outing of serial abusers.

• Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (except this week it's Jordan Morris) welcomes Gene Luen Yang to the show this week, to discuss his new books Dragon Hoops, and Superman Smashes the Klan (with artist Gurihiru), as well as talking about the world of comic conventions, which seems like it's from a different universe, in the age of COVID-19.




Those are the links that this week brought, and neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor broadband outages stay this courier from the swift completion of their appointed linkblog.

See you next week (technology permitting).