Just over a month until the new NFL season begins, but we all know, in our heart of hearts, we’ve always known, there could never have been any doubt, as the chains move down the field, that the true MVPs are this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below.
— ONOCO (@onoconokoko0625) July 28, 2023
This week’s news.
• Awards news, and the Society of Illustrators announced the inductees into 2023’s hall of fame, including cartoonist Helen Hokinson and graphic novelist Barron Storey - this year’s induction ceremony takes place on the 9th of September.
• Legislative news, and a law in Arkansas that left booksellers and librarians open to criminal prosecution for making ‘harmful’ reading materials available to minors has been blocked by a federal judge, until a verdict is reached in a lawsuit arguing that Act 372 violates First Amendment rights.
• Elsewhere, a GoFundMe campaign was started to support writer and artist Bill Messner-Loebs, to cover medical and legal costs, as Messner-Loebs is facing eviction after being released from hospital following a fall and subsequent health issues.
• Koyama Provides returned with fresh comics grant funding, as a new round of awards were announced, this time not necessarily project-linked, but “meant as encouragement to persevere”, with $1500 grants given to Remy Boydell, Emily Flake, and Katie Skelly.
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared this week of the passing of artist and writer Saverio Tenuta, creator of Legends of the Pierced Veil, who has died at the age of 54.
We are so excited to announce that SPX is sponsoring the world premiere of Married to Comics at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center on 9/8 at 7:00 pm! More details here: https://t.co/efJDy9xfT7 pic.twitter.com/LZI7r5zlR3
— Fantagraphics (@fantagraphics) July 31, 2023
This week’s reviews.
• Tom Shapira reviews the uncompromising choices of Richard Corben’s Murky World - “Artists like Corben made the world of comics we inhabit today, but no one looks quite like him. Extraterrestrial peak indeed. His figure work swings wildly between realism, depicting movement and body language with meticulous exactness, to exaggerated cartooning - balloon boobs, mouths wide agape like actors delivering hammy lines. His scenery likewise seems closer to mixed media, as if Murky World is composed of a dozen different comics that have been crushed into one another.”
• Helen Chazan reviews the dystopian insights of Chantal Montellier’s Social Fiction, translated by Geoffrey Brock - “Punks and rebels still exist in Wonder City, and unlike many dystopias escape is possible. But Montellier’s psychological bite troubles any message of hope; an incisive dip into the thoughts of her escapees reveals how their hopes remain shaped by societal norms of the totalitarian society they have fled, as drab in their logic as a social media algorithm. Montellier asks the reader to question their own rebel visions - how strange might our notion of a better world look divorced from the paradigms of today? Are our own ideas of liberation enough?”
• Tegan O’Neil reviews the refreshing solidity of Stan Sakai’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen - “If any criticism can be held against Sakai at this late date, it's the observation that Usagi at its best is a purposefully dry affair. The sturdiness can certainly read as stiff and fusty for those with less investment in the project. Consistency isn’t merely a tertiary virtue for Usagi, it’s practically the defining trait - but that consistency, stacked high enough, can all too easily become an intimidating barrier to new readers.”
• David Brooke reviews the compelling explorations of James Tynion IV, Maria Llovet, et al’s The Sandman Universe Special: Thessaly #1.
• Lukas Shayo reviews the captivating continuity of J. M. DeMatteis, Todd Nauck, et al’s Magneto #1.
• Christopher Franey reviews the eventful plotting of Erica Schultz, Julian Shaw, et al’s Amazing Spider-Man Annual 2023.
• Collier Jennings reviews the macabre machinations of Charles Soule, Luke Ross, et al’s Star Wars: Dark Droids #1.
• Nathan Simmons reviews the hectic action of Cullen Bunn, Gerardo Sandoval, et al’s Death of the Venomverse #1.
• Timothy O’Neil reviews the modern approach of Steve Orlando, Vincenzo Carratú, et al’s Astonishing Iceman #1.
• Alex Schlesinger reviews the superhero magic of Carlos Hernandez, Juann Cabal, et al’s Strange Academy: Miles Morales #1.
• Nathan Simmons reviews the bloody execution of Jim Zub, Roberto De La Torre, et al’s Conan the Barbarian #1.
• Zack Quantaince reviews the prospective impact of DSTLRY’s The Devil’s Cut.
• Bryan Reheil reviews the meta scares of Tim Seeley, Jelena Đorđević, et al's Sacred Lamb.
• Joe Grunenwald reviews the narrative problems of Geoff Johns, Mikel Janín, Jerry Ordway, et al’s Justice Society of America #5.
• Avery Kaplan reviews the engaging entertainment of Stephanie Phillips, Jethro Morales, et al’s What If…? Dark Venom #1.
• Ricardo Serrano Denis reviews the winning homage of Jim Zub, Rob de la Torre, et al’s Conan the Barbarian #1.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #97, Wolverine #35, X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023, Deadpool #9, and X-Cellent #5.
Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Olga Michael reviews the valuable examinations of Dragoș Manea’s Reframing the Perpetrator in Contemporary Comics: On the Importance of the Strange.
Have starred capsule reviews of:
- The extraordinary inventiveness of Koren Shadmi’s All Tomorrow’s Parties: The Velvet Undergroud Story.
- The moving stories of Neal Shusterman and Andrés Vera Martínez’s Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust.
• Brian Salvatore reviews the promising beginning of Mark Waid, Bryan Hitch, et al’s Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1.
• Matthew Blair reviews the violent changes of Marvel Comics’ X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 #1.
• Joe Skonce reviews the rewarding elements of J.M. DeMatteis, Todd Nauck, et al’s Magneto #1.
• Kate Kosturski reviews the important lessons of Adam Bessie and Peter Glanting’s Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey.
• Mark Tweedale reviews the thwarted expectations of Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Mike Norton, et al’s Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—From Below.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The sweet optimism of Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in their Eyes.
- The warmhearted messaging of Meghan Boehman and Racheal Briner’s Dear Rosie.
- The suspenseful action of Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, Giovanni Rigano, et al’s Global.
- The thought-provoking issues of Wendy Mass and Gabi Mendez’s Lo and Behold.
- The warm sincerity of Stephanie Rodriguez’s Doodles from the Boogie Down.
- The lively emotiveness of Pedro Martín’s Mexikid.
Kevin Brown reviews the clear communication of Adam Bessie and Peter Glanting’s Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey.
Liberty Belle gets the drop! pic.twitter.com/0DuG562gAB
— Russell Mark Olson (@russell_m_olson) July 27, 2023
This week’s interviews.
Hagai Palevsky interviews Arthur Ranson about seminal work for 2000 AD, career origins and apprenticeships, and the fun of making things up - “I was buying Continental comics while on trips there. That meant seeing a wide variety of styles and approaches and being struck by the variety of comics and the respect they were given compared to the UK. The two creators who emerged for me were Moebius and Philippe Druillet. Each were to influence me in different ways.”
• AJ Frost speaks with Rob Kutner about Snot Goblins and Other Tasteless Tales, commonalities of the human race, and reader takeaways.
• Nancy Powell talks to Ram V about The Vigil, making the move from science to comics, and the binary ideology of American superhero stories.
• Taimur Dar chats with Tom Waltz and Ben Bishop about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin II – Re–Evolution, and designing new heroes in a half-shell.
• Ricardo Serrano Denis speaks with Rodney Barnes about Zombie Love Studios, the company's upcoming projects, and keeping an eye out for Blacula appearances.
Andy Oliver has interviews with:
- Dan White about Cindy and Biscuit and the key to successful all-ages stories.
- Rachel Tubb about Metal Saga and the joys of anthology work.
- Kry Garcia about A Great Hero and experiences in the Spanish comics scene.
- Beck Kubrick about Meat4Burgers and evolving storytelling styles.
The Hollywood Reporter
Borys Kit talks to comic creators on the picket line at NBCUniversal, discussing the issues facing people across the creative industries that the current strikes seek to address.
Milton Griepp chats with Viz Media’s Kevin Hamric about the status quo of the manga market, sales expansions and contractions, and trends across titles.
Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Amritha R. Krishnan and Smita Jha interview Teresa Wong about Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression, and the growing range of perspectives in works about motherhood.
The New Yorker
Françoise Mouly chats with Adrian Tomine about the film adaptation of Shortcomings, returning to your earlier work, and connections with your characters.
Steven Heller talks to Richard Marschall about a life spent impulsively collecting and chronicling media, and deconstructing without denying construction.
• DW McKinney speaks with Navied Mahdavian about This Country, authorial responsibilities, and portrayals of small town life.
• Shaenon Garrity interviews Jamie Lee Curtis, Russell Goldman, and Karl Stevens about Mother Nature, and community research for the book’s setting.
Women Write About Comics
Lisa Fernandes talks to Ron Cacace and Vincent Lovallo about Bite-Sized Archie: Going Viral, canon events in the Riverdale timeline, and avoiding the question of OTPs.
Who IS this guy??? pic.twitter.com/b6E5c0i7jc
— Walter Simonson (@WalterSimonson) July 29, 2023
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, Vincent Cherniak heralds the long-awaited arrival of the twenty fourth edition of Seth’s Palookaville, and the lesson/s to be learned therein - “I can see that, as with Clyde Fans and now these pieces in Palookaville 24, Seth might be getting more rarefied, distilled. As with the “Rubber Stamp” diary in Palookavile 23, there’s not much in the way of narrative. Seth is in the most minimalist of a storytelling persona: he goes out for a walk to get some fresh air, and drops his pen. It’s almost absurd, like only a Samuel Beckett character can pull off. And yet, so compelling.”
• Also for TCJ, William Schwartz writes on Jang E’s The Uncanny Counter, its adaptation, and the ways in which the story eschews the conventions of most contemporary culture - “The unavoidably pro law enforcement angle of the costumed crimefighter genre is something these kinds of comics and comic adaptations have struggled with in the political context of recent times. Yet The Uncanny Counter does an excellent job threading that needle by emphasizing the degree to which various social injustices are connected.”
• For The Nation, Jeet Heer writes on the recent #ComicsBrokeMe movement, and the release of the documentary Stan Lee, examining the historical and contemporary realities of an industry built on exploitation.
• Solène Mallet Gauthier and Stephanie Halmhofer present part two of their dive into Hiroshi Takashige and Ryōji Minagawa’s Spriggan, for Women Write About Comics, examining the pseudoarchaeology inherent to the series.
• Shelfdust’s Dust to Dust series continues, as this week Steve Morris looks back on the evolution and eventual enduring ending of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Halo Jones stories; and Leo Healy the site’s look back at John Constantine: Hellblazer, as issue 9 of the run sees Simon Spurrier and Matias Bergara playing to their strengths to weave together a story that taps into the contemporary British psyche.
• San Diego Comic Con’s 2023 souvenir booklet is available now in digital form, with features on Last Gasp and Weird Tales, and pieces on 50 years of the direct market, Shang-Chi, and Howard the Duck, amongst others.
• From the world of open-access academia, in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Ryan Twomey writes on the way Chris Ware uses sound and silence to heighten the prevalent themes of key works.
— バコツカイジュウ (@TOKUnoHONE) July 15, 2023
This week’s audio/visual delights
• Comic Books Are Burning In Hell returned to the airwaves, as Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, Matt Seneca and Tucker Stone discussed Chantal Montellier’s Social Fiction, and some Gallic history in the form of Métal Hurlant.
• A fresh pail of Udder Madness was served up, as Claire Napier and Tegan O’Neil discussed Jackie Estacado and The Darkness, matters of lore, and confused superhero ideas regarding abstinence.
• Brian Hibbs welcomed Thien Pham to Comix Experience for the latest Graphic Novel Club, as they spoke about Family Style, spinner rack finds, a career in teaching, and the joys of seeing a book out in the world.
• David Harper was joined by Eitan Manhoff for this week’s Off Panel, straight off the back of Cape & Cowl’s Eisner win for 2023’s Spirit of Comics award, to discuss the current retail landscape.
• Another week draws to a close, and so Cartoonist Kayfabe, as this week Jim Rugg, Ed Piskor, and Bryan Moss focused the lens on Aron Wiesenfeld and Richard E. Bennett’s Deathblow and Wolverine, Sam Kieth’s Batman: Secrets, Bongo Comics’ Radioactive Man series, Marie Severin on Not Brand Echh, and some Paul Pope deep cuts.
— king JJ Thee Mayor (@stinkytownmayor) August 1, 2023
That’s all for this week, no overtime, so let’s convene again on any given Sunday.
RIP Paul Reubens. Thank you, Pee-wee. pic.twitter.com/jx9a08px6x
— Jonathan Edwards (@Jontofski) July 31, 2023