And we’re back: A fashionably late cornucopia of links fresh from the Thanksgiving break awaits, ready to prepare you for the psychic ordeal of the upcoming holidays - failing to plan is planning to fail, after all - as there’s only so much protection that can be gained from putting a seasonally appropriate playlist on at a skull-shakingly high volume, and knowledge is the best weapon.
Orchards of oranges, long days will one day return🍊 pic.twitter.com/xY9ksyPdRS
— Samantha Mash🍂 (@samanthamashart) November 30, 2022
This week’s news.
• Starting the week with a tried and true example of out with the old, in with the old, as The Walt Disney Company, current parent corporation of Marvel Comics, will see Robert A. Iger return to the post of CEO for two years, as Bob Chapek departs from the role - Iger is apparently thrilled to be returning to “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises.”
• Penguin Random House owner Bertelsmann announced that they would not be appealing the injunction against PRH’s proposed merger with Simon & Schuster, following the success of the DoJ’s case against the $2.2 billion deal, leaving PRH to pay a $200 million breakup fee to S&S owner Paramount Global, after the merger’s deadline expired, with various “well, we don’t need it anyway,” statements issued in the aftermath.
• Anime News Network reports on Japan’s looming new invoicing system, coming into force in October of 2023, which could lead to financial hardship for a number of mangaka and manga assistants, as freelancers and sole proprietors would lose their previously held tax-exempt status - the new system had previously come under fire for requiring the disclosure of individuals’ real names to a public database, in order to file invoices - various lobbying groups are filing requests with the Japanese government to postpone and reevaluate the system’s suitability.
• The Book Industry Charitable Foundation announced a new mental health wellness program, which will provide two months of free, confidential support, via BetterHelp, for booksellers, store owners, and retailers - applications to the program are open now.
• Koyama Provides announced the latest recipient of their grant program, awarding $1,500 to Cleopatria Peterson, which will be used to adapt “...The Sweetness of Red, about a summer romance between two transgender teens, into a graphic novel.”
• Leslie Hung and Sloane Leong announced the launch of the 2023 Minicomic Awards, with self-published comics of 32 pages or less that were published sometime in 2022 valid for submission, and the window for submitting open from the 1st of January to the 1st of February 2023.
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared this week of the passing of cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, due to pancreatic cancer, aged 74 - Kominsky-Crumb spoke to ArtForum in February about a life making comics.
• Tributes were paid last week, following the passing of artist Vic Carrabotta, aged 93 - Carrabotta illustrated stories for the nascent Marvel Comics in the 1950s, amongst other publishers, before moving into the advertising industry.
• News was also shared last week of the death of cartoonist José Ruy, aged 92 - Amadora’s câmara municipal, the city where Ruy was born, wrote in remembrance of the author and artist’s “emotional involvement, his friendship and his love for the Ninth Art.”
We’re in touch with Peter David’s family & will check in regularly. Things are going as well as can be expected; all are hopeful everything will trend upward. We’ll insure that needs are taken care of. Meantime, you can check out a Peter GoFundMe as well: https://t.co/Z1AISV7ZPq
— The Hero Initiative (@heroinitiative) November 30, 2022
This week’s reviews.
• Hillary Brown reviews the loose feelings of Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1982 - 2016, edited by Phil Elverum, and translated by Phil Elverum and Aleshia Jensen - “It’s probably not meant to be read straight through but instead to be consulted when one needs inspiration or to remember something. Does Castrée’s work deserve this coffee table tome? I'm inclined to say yes because many less-deserving male artists have gotten the same kind of treatment for years.”
• Brian Nicholson reviews the towering storytelling of Cliff Chiang’s Catwoman: Lonely City - “The settings are as familiar as the characters and their homaged panel compositions. The world of Batman is a well-furnished museum, laden with objects and properties recognizable at a glance, inscribed with value. This makes it an ideal location to set a heist. The reader, enlisted as an accomplice, is moved through it all brilliantly by Chiang.”
• Ryan Carey reviews the frenetic fun of Dustin Holland and Nick Holland’s Machine Detective - “This being a collaborative effort and all, at the very least some slight degree of mediation between id, hand, pen/brush, and page factored into the creative process somewhere, but for all practical purposes this looks very much like a “whatever’s in you, just let it all out” sort of work. I’m even tempted to say that it has something of a “punk” ethos to it, but all too often such a designation is simply another way of saying DIY, so I think in the interest of absolute accuracy, it’s probably better to just stick with that.”
• Ian Thomas reviews the accessible reinvention of Matt Wagner, Brennan Wagner, et al’s Grendel: Devil’s Odyssey - “With all this said, Devil’s Odyssey is a product of its time, and less charitable readers may find Wagner’s indulgence in contemporary references off-putting, especially if a liberal perspective of the baby boomer variety does not align with their own views. Taken in the context of a sci-fi adventure serial, satire does not feel entirely out of place, even if his jabs are about as potent (and as subtle) as a Colbert monologue.”
• Madeleine Chan reviews the timeless flow of Tommi Parrish’s Men I Trust.
• Alex Schlesinger reviews the brutal shocks of Jason Aaron, Alexandre Tefenkgi, et al’s Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1.
• Holly Woodbury reviews the muddled nostalgia of Edgar Camacho’s Super Trash Clash, translated by Eva Ibarzabal.
• Rory Wilding reviews the hindered explorations of John Harris Dunning, Ricardo Cabral, et al’s Wiper.
• Alex McDonald reviews the welcome return of Mark Russell, Bryce Ingman, Peter Krause, et al’s My Bad: Volume 2 #1.
• Christopher Franey reviews the bold start to Geoff Johns, Mikel Janín, et al’s Justice Society of America #1.
• Andrew Isidoro reviews the interesting designs of Ram V, Christopher Mitten, et al’s Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1.
• David Brooke reviews the trippy delights of Tradd Moore et al’s Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #1.
• Collier Jennings reviews the intriguing elements of Marc Guggenheim, Salvador Larroca, Emma Kubert, et al’s Star Wars: Revelations #1.
• Joe Grunenwald reviews the fun showcases of DC’s Superman: Kal-El Returns Special #1; and the kid-friendly tone of Mariko Tamaki, Vita Ayala, GuriHiru, et al’s Peter Parker & Miles Morales, Spider-Men: Double Trouble #1.
• Zack Quaintance reviews the exciting romp of DC’s Dark Crisis – The Dark Army #1.
• Billy Henehan reviews the open ending of Larry Hama, SL Gallant, et al’s G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #300.
• Ricardo Serrano Denis reviews the balanced darkness of Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, Germán Erramouspe, et al’s Killadelphia #25.
• Arpad Okay reviews the engrossing message of Grayson Bear’s Al Dente.
• Lindsay Pereira reviews the powerful spirit of Drawn & Quarterly’s Movements and Moments.
• Andy Oliver reviews:
- The thoughtful insights of IDW’s Voices That Count: A Comics Anthology By Women.
- The raw commentary of Carrie Pope and Blanche Pope’s Welcome Home.
- The accessible metaphor of Jack Smith’s Forest Spirit.
- The comedic timing of King Louie’s Lab’s Ant Story: Coffee Days.
- The atmospheric creepiness of Becca Kubrick’s Dead Girls: Beach Day.
- The expressive characters of Dan White’s Cindy and Biscuit: End of Level.
Four Color Apocalypse
Ryan Carey reviews the deadpan humour of Brandon Lehmann’s Womp Womp #3 and Zombie’s First Time.
From Cover to Cover
Scott Cederlund reviews the exhilarating strangeness of Tradd Moore and Heather Moore’s Dr Strange: Fall Sunrise #1; and the hollow ciphers of Frank Miller, Phillip Tan, et al’s Ronin Book II #1.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien catches up with Marvel Comics’ forays in the vertical scroll space, with reviews of:
- The tonal shift of Steve Orlando, Emilio Laiso, et al’s X-Men Unlimited #44-49.
- The random characters of Steve Foxe, Alan Robinson, et al’s X-Men Unlimited #50-55.
- The lightweight plot of Jason Loo, et al’s X-Men Unlimited #56-58.
- The charming concept of Alex Paknadel, Nick Roche, et al’s X-Men Unlimited #59.
Tom Batten has starred capsule reviews of:
- The stunning complexity of Sammy Harkham’s Blood of the Virgin.
- The deadpan skewering of Yeong-shin Ma’s Artist, translated by Janet Hong.
- The immersive propulsion of Adrian Matejka and Youssef Daoudi’s Last on His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century.
• Christopher Egan reviews the neat fantasy of Lorenzo De Felici’s Krona #1.
• Joe Skonce reviews the generic construction of Jason Aaron, Alexandre Tefenkgi, et al’s Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1.
• Kobi Bordoley reviews the engaging start of Mark Sable, Andrea Olimpieri, et al’s Fear of a Red Planet #1.
• Mark Tweedale reviews the beautiful loneliness of Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck, et al’s Koshchei in Hell #1.
• Gregory Ellner reviews the uneven tone of DC’s Dark Crisis – The Dark Army #1.
• Alexander Jones reviews the monotonous brawl of Jason Aaron, Bryan Hitch, et al’s Avengers Assemble Alpha #1.
• Brian Salvatore reviews the unexpected direction of Geoff Johns, Mikel Janín, et al’s Justice Society of America #1.
• Matthew Blair reviews the imaginative beauty of Zack Davidsson and Peach Momoko’s Demon Wars: Shield of Justice #1.
• Greg Matiasevich reviews the cracking emotion of Alex Ross’ Fantastic Four: Full Circle.
• Jaina Hill reviews the generic solidity of Jim Zub, Ray Fawkes, Jethro Morales, et al’s Murderworld: Avengers #1.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The maximalist density of Adam Griffiths’ Washington White.
- The provocative details of Philippe Collin and Sébastien Goethals’ The Journey of Marcel Grob, translated by Joe Johnson.
- The hpynotic ruminations of Lauren Haldeman’s Team Photograph.
- The captivating innovation of MariNaomi’s I Thought You Loved Me.
- The humanizing tenderness of Catherine Pioli’s Down to the Bone: A Leukemia Story, translated by J.T. Mahany.
- The painful beauty of Rick Louis and Lara Antal’s Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars: A Graphic Memoir.
Women Write About Comics
• Lisa Fernandes reviews the riveting romp of Alan Martin and Brett Parson’s King Tank Girl.
• Kathryn Hemmann reviews the gentle positivity of Iron Circus Comics’ You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife, edited by Andrea Purcell and Kel McDonald.
• Nola Pfau reviews the memorable urgency of Dave Baker, Alexis Ziritt, et al’s Night Hunters.
SÉLECTION OFFICIELLE 2/2
Découvrez les albums sélectionnés ⬇️🤩 pic.twitter.com/ZKJ0vCC1aB
— Festival d'Angoulême (@bdangouleme) November 28, 2022
This week’s interviews.
• John Kelly interviews Drew Friedman about Maverix and Lunatix: Icons of Underground Comix, as well as a selected number of said maverix and lunatix about their inclusion in the book - “[Friedman:] I didn't have an A, B or C list, I created one master list with all the obvious choices and everyone else that I felt needed to be included. From there I'd add on names of folks that I had neglected to include at first, some of whom were suggested to me by friends, and artists who I was previously unaware of but ultimately felt needed to be included. The original list was 100 which grew to 101 when I realized I needed to add The Dying Dolphin artist Jim Evans. The first portrait I painted for the book was S. Clay Wilson. The last was Jim Evans.”
• Jean Marc Ah-Sen interviews Ram V about creator-owned works and writing on Marvel Comics and DC properties, the allure of the comics form, and advice for the new generations of writers - “I grew up with a very orthodox family in India, but I always had an interest in storytelling. I used to get in trouble as a kid in school for telling lies, but they wouldn't be lies about my dog eating my homework; it would always be about how “On the way to school, I met an alien in the park who took me on this wonderful journey!” My teachers would just ask themselves “What is wrong with this kid?” No one was around me at the time to say “You should pursue that.””
• From the archives, originally published online in 2010, Douglas Wolk interviews Kevin O’Neill about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Marshal Law, the early days of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, and collaborating with Alan Moore - “My vision of the Comics Code was always a bunch of old ladies rubber-stamping the back of artwork — I gather it’s probably a skeleton crew, financed pretty much entirely by the Archie Comics people. There’s no British equivalent of that: Taste and sensibilities just shift with society.”
• Jason Novak begins a new series of illustrated interviews, this week starting by talking with members of Brazil’s cartoonist community, including Pablito Agular, Benett, Laerte Coutinho, Andre Dahmer, Helô D'Angelo, Adão Iturrusgarai, and Felipe Portugal.
Chris Coplan talks to Geoff Johns and Mikel Janín about Justice Society of America, the joys of DC’s history, creating a new Golden Age, and depicting a superhero team through the ages.
Anime News Network
Lynzee Loveridge presents spotlight panel highlights and a conversation with Hajime Isayama about Attack on Titan, from last month’s Anime NYC.
• Steve Baxi speaks with Zack Kaplan and John J. Pearson about Mindset, the insidious creep of the smartphone, data surveillance, and grounding the story in reality.
• Rachel Cooke talks to Rebecca Jones about winning this year’s Observer/Faber award for emerging cartoonists, and speaks with the competition’s judges about their roles.
• Lucy Knight chats with Alice Oseman about Heartstopper, storytelling for the webtoon format, avoiding labels, and setting social media boundaries.
The Gutter Review
Chloe Maveal interviews Denis Kitchen about being jaded with mainstream comics, getting back to drawing and writing, and the complicated history of underground comix.
Milton Griepp talks to Skybound’s Garima Sharma about publishing realities from the pandemic, bringing digital comics to print, and diversification with tabletop gaming.
Kyle Welch speaks with Paul Cornell about Saucer Country, the American mythology of the UFO, and bringing the story together as one complete volume.
Tai Gooden chats with Red Planet Books & Comics’ Dr. IndigiNerd about the store’s origin, as well as Native Realities Press and Indigenous Comic Con.
• Mandalit del Barco interviews Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez about Love and Rockets’ 40th birthday, origins in the punk scene, and the comics’ characters maturing into middle age.
• Rachel Triesman talks to Jeannie Schulz, and Gina Huntsinger about the legacy of Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts, and the enduring themes of the seminal comic strip.
— Nicole Rifkin (@nicole_rifkin) November 27, 2022
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, David Roach writes in remembrance of the life and work of Kevin O’Neill, who passed away last month, aged 69 - “Other notable work in his second year at 2000 AD included some wildly imaginative Ant Wars covers and fully-painted covers for the second Summer Special and the 1979 Annual. But when Starlord was amalgamated in the pages of 2000 AD and plans were developed for a new series of Ro-Busters strips, Kevin decided to try freelancing once again and devoted himself full-time to life as a comic artist.”
• Also for TCJ, Valerio Stivé reports from this year’s Lucca Comics & Games, which took place at the end of October, as the event returned to full force in the new pandemic age - “Honestly, I have no idea what happens in the “Games” section of Lucca Comics & Games. I stepped inside that area—located right outside the city walls—only once, years ago, maybe by mistake (sorry, I’m not a fan). A couple of miles outside the city there is also a Japan-themed section of the festival; I haven’t seen that either, as I'm not attracted enough by its toys, collectables and food.”
• More from TCJ, as Edward Dorey writes on the life and work of Dori Seda, and contextualises the criticism of life in America that Dorey’s comics represent - “Seda’s death coincides with Reagan’s disinterest in establishing universal healthcare. Due to her lack of access to Medicaid, Dori Seda tragically died in 1988. That year, she suffered from flu and lung problems that a car accident exacerbated (Sternbergh 182). Leslie Sternbergh, writing in the posthumous Seda collection Dori Stories (Last Gasp, 1999), even believes that Seda might have had a punctured lung from the accident. Being an example of a starving artist, Seda did not seek out more medical assistance after her accident because she was ineligible for Medi-Cal. She had "a fear of incurring more medical expenses," Sternbergh writes.”
• TCJ also hosts an excerpt from Glacier Bay’s upcoming publication of Hagiwara Rei’s PANDORA: The Receding Sound of Footsteps, presenting one of the five stories to be contained therein, which portray “...the elliptical nature of life and loss in the present time, depicting five scenes of the grief and hope to be found in the modern age.”
• Covering one of two major comics birthdays being celebrated this year, The New York Times profiles Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez, as Love and Rockets turns 40, including commentary from creators on whom the series has had a lasting impact.
• Elsewhere, on the centennial of the birth of Charles M. Schulz, The Washington Post covers the cultural impact that Peanuts had, while the Schulz Museum collates artistic tributes to the late cartoonist’s centenary year, and Space writes on a certain beagle’s ongoing voyage from the Earth the Moon.
• Agatha French writes in The New York Times on the importance of Diane Noomin’s unsentimental Baby Talk: A Tale of 4 Miscarriages, in the context of the isolating experience of miscarriage, during the further isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• For Solrad, Helen Chazan celebrates a belated All Hallow’s Eve with a Comics Gridlock offering up thoughts on the current horror manga landscape, and recent translated works by Junji Ito, Kazuo Umezz, Kanako Inuki, and Hideshi Hino; and John McNamee writes on the silence inherent in the work of Jason, and its context in the author’s body of work.
• Over at Shelfdust, Austin Gorton looks back at the elements that make David Michelinie and Carmine Infantino’s Avengers #197 a perfect example of the best and the worst of Bronze Age comics; and Steve Morris continues Spawn de Replay, as Spawn #6 sees a villain appear created by Messrs McFarlane and Liefeld in a mere 20 minutes, under the watchful eye of Stan Lee, with predictable results.
• From the world of open-access academia, books released under creative commons licensing season continues, as UCL’s Comics Beyond the Page in Latin America, edited by James Scorer, is made freely available, with writing on comics from from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
• For Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue, Pfunzo Sidogi writes on Luke W Molver’s Shaka Rising: A Legend of the Warrior Prince and King Shaka: Zulu Legend, and Zinhle (Zhi) Zulu’s The Spiritual Adventures of Nandipha: Protector of the Zulu Kingdom, and the positionalities of the artists in the context of the stories told.
• Writing in Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, Małgorzata Olsza examines the response of comic creators to the various ongoing catastrophes brought about by the Anthropocene age.
• For Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal, our second piece this week from Edward Dorey, who presents a critique on Andrea Natalie’s Caretaker Blues, and then Natalie’s critique of that critique in turn, following a recent graphic medicine conference.
• Mike Peterson rounds up the editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as elections, the World Cup, a looming holiday season, Thanksgiving, endemic mass shootings, and social media buyouts all vied for page space.
— jake (@roastbeefo) November 30, 2022
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• A Holy Trinity, in the world of Comic Books Are Burning in Hell, as Matt Seneca, Chris Mautner, and Tucker Stone discussed everybody’s favourite trio of books: Régis Loisel’s Mickey Mouse: Zombie Coffee, Paolo Baciliero’s The Talking Head, and Sammy Harkham’s Crickets #8 bringing Blood of the Virgin to a close.
• Tegan O'Neil announced a new endeavour for The Hurting, taking daily comic book highlight posts from the sinking ship of Elon Musk's Twitter to the brave new world of TikTok, with bitesize, one minute looks at recent comic issues off the stands - week one's reading includes Gold Goblin #1, The New Golden Age #1, Detective Comics #1066, Creepshow #3, The Amazing Spider-Man #14, and Gospel #1.
• Austin English hosted a fresh convening of the New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium, as Cristian Castelo of the Bay Area Freak Comix collective spoke about the importance of self-publishing and anthologies, with a presentation that includes some excellent GIFs.
• Noah Van Sciver presented a new cartoonist chat, this time out speaking with Daniel Clowes about The Complete Eightball, the sleeping patterns of small children, deadline crunches, and direct feedback on the convention circuit.
• A pair of bookstore launch talks, as Greenlight hosted a discussion with Rick Louis and Lara Antal on new collaboration Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars, and Politics and Prose presented a conversation between Andrew S. Weiss and former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Accidental Czar: The Life and Lies of Vladimir Putin.
• A pair of visits to Comix Experience (well, one is a visit to Fan Expo SF), as Brian Hibbs hosted meetings of the adults’ and kids’ graphic novel of the month clubs, speaking with Dave Baker and Nicole Goux about Forest Hills Bootleg Society, and Isaac Lenkiewicz about Alcatoe and the Turnip Child.
• Catching up with Cartoonist Kayfabe’s bitesize Thanksgiving #content, as Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor took a look at Grendel #1, Spawn: Blood Feud #1, Jack Kirby Artist Editions, DC’s Secret Origins #39, Optic Nerve #1, Uncanny X-Men #173, Wolverine #10, Washedup Midlife Crisis Turtles, Black Lightning #1, duelling Ray Bradbury Comics, The Incredible Hulk #2, Prime #1, and John Carter, Warlord of Mars #18.
• Mangasplaining returns, as Christopher Butcher hosted a discussion on the Japan-exclusive Division Chief Kosaku Shima by Kenshi Hirokane, and the convoluted story history of the titular Kosaku Shima.
• David Harper welcomed Ed Brubaker to Off Panel, as they discussed the ins and outs of publishing with Panel Syndicate and digital comics versus physical, and the wider status quo of the comic book industry in general, as it stands in the year two thousand and twenty two.
• A pair of comics-focused visits to the Virtual Memories Show to close out the week, as Gil Roth spoke with Jim Ottaviani about Einstein and how much research is too much research, and with Drew Friedman about Maverix and Lunatix: Icons of Underground Comix and the task of choosing which cartoonists to portray.
At any rate I already drew an entire new story, so here you go. OCTOPUS PIE ETERNAL! https://t.co/L2IhbTFC1P
— Meredith Gran (@granulac) November 23, 2022
That’s all for this week, back again soon with more, as the unending deluge of End of Year lists begins.
— Broken Frontier (@brokenfrontier) November 30, 2022