Had A Summer Job Breaking and Entering – This Week’s Links

On the one hand, it is too hot and humid to function as a normal human being without ending up looking like Senator Robert Kelly, post-induced-mutation in X-Men [2000]; on the other hand there is wall-to-wall cricket and lawn tennis coverage to distract from this; on the other other hand there are this week’s links, below.

This week’s news.

• Starting this week’s news with a look ahead to next month’s San Diego Comic Convention, and the fallow years of COVID-19 lockdowns have been followed by another setback for this summer’s edition, with various media companies not expected to attend this year’s event, amidst industrial action and delays to release schedules in the wake of this, with the extra space available instead being snatched up in part by landfill-merchants Funko, who were last seen acquiring and gutting Mondo, in a goodwill-vaporising move.

• In other, potentially positive, SDCC news, Congressman Robert Garcia announced that 2023’s edition will see the launch of the Congressional Popular Arts Caucus, a bi-partisan group ‘focused on the comics industry, gaming, and popular entertainment media,’ which will look at the role of Congress in the areas of ‘creative rights, fair labor, intellectual property, global piracy, and the future of AI.’

• The Beat shared a pair of comics industry news stories, as a recent funding round for GlobalComix raised $5 million for the digital comics portal, as it seeks to take the next step in the digital marketplace; and Valiant Comics’ recent shift to publishing one title a month now has some added complexity, as a publishing partnership was announced with Alien Books, a company which didn’t exist until this year, accompanied by various ‘this is exciting, no, really, trust us on this,’ platitudes.

• The launch announcement for Inklore, an imprint of Random House Worlds, was shared through social channels, with the official launch set for spring 2024, focused on the publication of licensed and original graphic novels, manga, manhwa, webtoons, and more, for adult audiences, joining other new players in the market.

• The Daily Cartoonist flagged up the publication and editorial retraction of a cartoon by Leo Kelly in The Quad City Times, attacking presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, leading to further work from Kelly being banned from publication, after depicting Republican voters as bigots.

• Toronto’s The Beguiling shared the announcement that Toronto Public Library will be hosting a graphic novel writer in residence this October, with applications for the position open now, with a closing date of July 23rd for submissions to the post, which comes with remuneration of $8,000.

• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, as news was shared of the passing of direct market innovator Melchior ‘Mel’ Thompson, who died earlier this week, with donations welcomed in Thompson’s memory to the Yosemite Conservancy.

This week’s reviews.


• Ian Thomas reviews the simmering assemblage of Tommi Musturi’s Future #1-10 - “Stacks of cash stick out of pockets and out of asses. Banana peels, puddles of slime, bones and skulls; Musturi locates our humanity in folds of loose flesh and heaps of refuse. “Culture” is the word that is most often invoked in Future’s pages to encompass Musturi’s concerns about how we live our lives and spend our time. It’s an effective descriptor, but it’s the strength of his vision that renders it more of a gravitational force than part of a log line.”

• Hagai Palevsky reviews the stretched repetitions of Masaaki Nakayama’s PTSD Radio Omnibus, Volumes 1-3, translated by Adam Hirsch and Kevin Steinbach - “At 97 installments, most of them obedient to the vignette formula with its page-turn reliant structure, the series eventually starts to buckle under its own pressure, belaboring its own point. The author indexes each chapter with the numbering style of radio frequencies, allowing him to denote occasions where plotlines carry over from previous installments, but this narrative succession struggles to add depth to the actual scenarios.”

• Tegan O’Neil reviews the concrete stakes of Shungiku Uchida’s Minami’s Lover, translated by H. Paige - “Uchida's aesthetic is sparse, with a focus on caricature - Chiyomi’s face is just a handful of lines under a shock of hair. It’s a bare, blasted style, sketchy and tentative, emotionally raw. The story doesn’t have a happy ending, though perhaps an inevitable ending. I won't spoil it.”



• Crooker reviews the throwback twist of Joshua Williamson, Sean Izaakse, et al’s Green Arrow #3.

• Nathan Simmons reviews the bombastic action of Cody Ziglar, Julius Ohta, et al’s Carnage Reigns: Omega #1.

• Ryan Sonneville reviews the strong relationships of Charles Soule, Marco Castiello, Jethro Morales, et al’s Star Wars: The High Republic - The Blade.

• Collier Jennings reviews the abstruse backstory of Adam Cesare, Moises Hidalgo, et al’s Power Rangers Unlimited: The Coinless #1.

• Chris Coplan reviews the cohesive selection of DSTLRY’s The Devil’s Cut.

• Alex Schlesinger reviews the brilliant blending of James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal, Isaac Goodhart, et al’s The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos #1.

• Rory Wilding reviews the empathetic discussions of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Goodbye, Eri.

• John Schaidler reviews the philosophical explorations of Núria Tamarit’s Daughters of Snow and Cinders, translated by Jenna Allen.


The Beat

• Beau Q reviews the consistent strengths of Sammy Harkham’s Blood of the Virgin.

• Zack Quaintance reviews the interesting choices of HS Tak, Isabella Mazzanti, et al’s Hitomi.

• Cy Beltran reviews the essential contrasts of Al Ewing, Luca Pizzari, Stefano Landini, Raphael Pimento, et al’s X-Men: Before the Fall – Heralds of Apocalypse #1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver has reviews of: 

- The gripping twists of James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal, Isaac Goodhart, et al’s The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos #1

- The heartfelt charms of Lucie Byron’s Thieves. 

- The thoughtful connections of Will Betke-Brunswick’s A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings.

- The rewarding honesty of Gabriel Ebensperger’s Gay Giant.


From Cover to Cover

Scott Cederlund reviews the tonal navigation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Night Fever.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #92, X-Force #41, New Mutants: Lethal Legion #4, and Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #5.


International Journal of Humor Research

Eric Weitz reviews the informative perspectives of Seeing Mad: Essays on Mad Magazine’s Humor and Legacy, edited by Judith Yaross Lee and John Bird.


Multiversity Comics

• Gregory Ellner reviews the fantastic sendoff of DC’s Wonder Woman #800.

• Alexander Jones reviews the careful plotting of Joshua Williamson, Sean Izaakse, et al's Green Arrow #3.

• Joe Skonce reviews the clever setup of Frank Tieri, Inaki Miranda, et al’s Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons #1.

• Mark Tweedale reviews the appealing elements of Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Alison Sampson, et al’s Hellboy and the BPRD: 1957 - Fearful Symmetry.

• Kobi Bordoley reviews the satisfying return of Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard’s Wild’s End #1.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The nuanced characterisations of Matthias Lehmann’s Parallel, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger.

- The appealing art of Nicole Goux’s Pet Peeves.

- The satisfying inventiveness of Bill Griffith’s Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy.


Women Write About Comics

Louis Skye reviews the enjoyable heart of Nikesh Shukla, Abhishek Malsuni, et al’s Spider-Man: India #1.

This week’s interviews.


RJ Casey interviews Leah Hayes about I Touched the Sun, early drawing endeavours, art school life, and the 00s music scene in New York - “I always could draw realistically and love crosshatching, but I felt I had these two sides of my art and always had to choose one or the other. When I finally broke into this more cartoony, simplistic style, I was really excited. But then I thought, “What do I do with this child who was able to draw so well realistically that I just abandoned?””



• Gary Catig speaks with Tze Chun about publishing work at TKO Presents, and helping to boost the voices of up and coming Asian American creatives.

• Chris Hassan talks to Jason Loo about‘X-Men Unlimited: Madrox Family, getting Marvel’s first family in the mix, and other projects at the House of Ideas.


Anime News Network

• Rebecca Silverman chats with Ryo Sumiyoshi about Centaurs, creating in different mediums, digital processes, and the joys of bringing monsters to life.

• Christopher Farris interviews Jun Mayuzuki about Kowloon Generic Romance, parental manga guidance, and research on Kowloon Walled City.


The Beat

• Joe Grunenwald speaks with Joshua Williamson about Knight Terrors, the origins of the event, developing a new villain, and getting to the heart of characters.

• Deanna Destito interviews Christopher Priest about Vampirella/Dracula: Rage, and getting past audience assumptions regarding a title.

• Zack Quaintance chats with Christopher Condon and Jacob Phillips about The Enfield Gang Massacre, and world-building guidelines.

• Jim McDermott talks to Lewis Hancox about Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure, and the lockdown origins of the project; and to Kelly Thompson about Birds of Prey, getting your favourite characters in the mix, and the complexities of actualising Sisterhood.

• Avery Kaplan speaks with Ron Cacace and Vincent Lovallo about Bite Sized Archie: Going Viral, and friendship and collaborative origins; and with Lindsey Leigh about The Deep!: Wild Life at the Ocean’s Darkest Depths, and aquatic avenues of research.


The Bookseller

Caroline Carpenter talks to Jeet Zdung about Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, virtual collaboration on the book, and winning the Carnegie Medal for illustration.



Brigid Alverson chats with Manta’s COO Moonseok Jeong about utilising a subscription model for the webtoon platform, and how the company’s webtoon studio operates.


Publisher’s Weekly

Chris Barsanti interviews David Simon about Homicide: The Graphic Novel, the origins of the source material, and the realities of embedding with detectives on the job.


Smash Pages

JK Parkin speaks with Cullenn Bunn and Brian Hurtt about The Sixth Gun, returning to the world of the supernatural western, and their creative overlaps.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Bob Levin profiles Ivana Filipovich, and looks to Where have you been? for an overview of Filipovich’s journey to and from and back to combining words with pictures - “Filipovich’s emphasis throughout is on her characters. Their garments and coiffures, especially in the earlier stories, receive her keen attention. (In the later stories–again, perhaps a statement of philosophy–they become sketchier as though to blend people into a commonality.) Throughout, her emphasis is on the emotions that cross faces and register in eyes as time and events impact them. Her visuals play like a pianist accompanying a jazz vocalist. They do not command the stage but emphasize and augment what is more central.”

• Also at TCJ, excerpted from The Comics Journal #309, Helen Chazan writes on the empty calories of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and the waning attraction of crap in the comics market - “Comics like Saga laid the groundwork for today’s industrial waste, too embarrassed by the scent of shit to see its value. Comics like Saga have themselves become antiquated; Image hasn’t had a new series hit at that scale since the halcyon days of 2011–2014, with titles’ sales consistently dwindling after their first issue - Image’s biggest seller in recent years was Saga’s return from hiatus.”

• The Asahi Shimbun has a three-part series of features on the fiftieth anniversary of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen, looking back at the manga’s origins, its publication history, and the real-life traumas experienced by survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

• For The Hollywood Reporter, Roy Thomas presents the case for the defence of Disney+’s recent Stan Lee documentary, taking, as you might expect, the side of Lee in proceedings, while exercising a right to reply to those who, as you might expect, had not taken Lee’s side.

• Gustavo Arellano writes for The Los Angeles Times on the life and work of Manuel M. Moreno, who worked as a cartoonist for the publication’s children’s supplement as a teenager in the 1920s.

• Over at The Gutter Review, Robert Smith writes on the enduring villainy of 2000 AD’s Mean Machine Angel, and the various iterations of the character that have appeared over the decades.

• A pair of pieces from Solrad, as Rob Clough looks at recent work from R. Fay, Juliette Collet, and Caroline Cash, and sees what the new generation of cartoonists has to offer; and Joan Dark marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade’s overturning by revisiting Comics For Choice, newly republished by Silver Sprocket earlier this year.

• For The Daily Beast, Chris Kindred covers the stories shared under #ComicsBrokeMe, speaking with creators about the burnout, exploitation, and poor working conditions prevalent across the industry.

• Broken Frontier features a new Inside Look behind the scenes at a recent comic project, as Emma Oosterhous and Ollie Hicks talk about the making of Grand Slam Romance.

• Shelfdust’s Dust to Dust series continues, as Steve Morris considers Mike Mignola’s Hellboy in Hell #10, and whether the end should have been The End; and looks back at how Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals handled the topic of asexuality in a distinctly sex-focused series.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, for The Daily Cartoonist, as transphobic media-blitzes were scuppered by imploding submarines and short-lived military coups.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Katie Skelly and Sally Madden were joined by Sam Szabo for the latest edition of Thick Lines, as the trio discussed Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons!, the art of crafting and patterns, and making comics about one’s mother.

• Paul O’Brien and Al Kennedy convened for a fresh episode of House to Astonish, as tributes were paid to the passing of John Romita, Sr. and Ian McGinty, and recent Big Stories scripted from the typewriters of messrs Kirkman and Hickman were reviewed.

• David Harper welcomed Scott Kurtz to Off Panel for a free-wheeling discussion on the status quo of webcomics, comics-making and community-building, and subjective thoughts on generational differences between cartoonists.

• Brian Hibbs convened this month’s meetings of the Comix Experience book clubs, speaking with Chris W. Kim about Adherent for June’s Graphic Novel of the Month selection, and with Scott Chantler about Squire & Knight for the Kids’ Club pick.

• Noah Van Sciver's cartoonist chats returned, as Van Jensen joined proceedings to discuss the Stardust crowdfunding campaign, the out-there work of Fletcher Hanks, published comics origins, and the difficulties of pacing serialised stories.

• Heidi MacDonald and Calvin Reid welcomed Anelle Miller to this week’s episode of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they spoke about Miller’s tenure as executive director of the Society of Illustrators, the acquisition of the the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art over a decade ago, and subsequent MoCCA Fests of years gone by.

• Closing out another summer week with Cartoonist Kayfabe’s daily #content, as pages were turned on Caniff: A Visual Biography, the Basil Wolverton Weird Worlds: Artist’s Edition, Post Cereal Super-Heroes: Mini Comic Collections, Robert Nunn’s Earthman & Torch, and various comics works by Frank Frazetta.

That’s all for this week, maybe next week will be more tolerable, as though such a thing were even possible.