And so we bid farewell for another year to both the Super Bowl and St. Valentine’s Day, flitting past the calendar in quick succession - events guaranteed to foster feelings of jubilation, sadness, or marked indifference, depending on the observer, much like this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below.
Cashier Counter of the Record Store pic.twitter.com/PtAhQtR1hw
— 毛塚了一郎@COMITIA L31a (@kezka108) February 14, 2023
This week’s news.
• Starting the week’s selection with auction news, and the original black and white illustration for the 1942 album of Hergé’s Tintin in America sold last week for over $2.3 million, hitting the lower end of estimates for the sale, but still setting a new record for a piece of black and white art by the Belgian creator - this sale comes two years after the painting originally intended to serve as the cover for Tintin and the Blue Lotus sold at auction for $3.9 million.
• Scottish publisher DC Thomson, owner of The Beano, announced last week that they will be cutting 300 of their 1,600 staff, as the company seeks to make £10 million in savings - the National Union of Journalists shared figures that the savings gained by the redundancies are less than half the amount paid out in dividends to DC Thomson’s shareholders in 2022.
• The HarperCollins Union shared news that their sitting down at the negotiation table with representatives for the publisher had led to a tentative agreement being reached regarding changes to starting salaries, union protections, and workplace diversity - union members have been on strike since November 2022.
• The American Library Association announced their full 2022 reading lists for the best graphic novels for adults and children, drawn from titles published in late 2021 through 2022 - the lists seek “to increase awareness of the graphic novel medium, raise voices of diverse comics creators, and aid library staff in the development of graphic novel collections.”
Happy valentine’s day pic.twitter.com/Wxl3OGwVZj
— Luis Yang (@SuscrofaD) February 14, 2023
This week’s reviews.
• Leonard Pierce reviews the lively efficiency of Erik Kriek’s The Exile - “The overall experience of reading The Exile, though, especially after finishing, is that of a rip-roaring old adventure story, a true throwback to a previous era of comics narrative. It’s enjoyably unpretentious, with archetypal characters possessing just enough depth to fulfill their functions in the story, and dialogue that rarely strays into modern argot; there are no nods to irony or self-awareness.”
• Tegan O'Neil reviews the metatextual ambitions of Liam Sharp’s Starhenge, Book 1 #1-6 - “Between Tennyson and the Pre-Raphaelites, the Victorians went a long way to solidify our conception of the medieval. The Romans didn’t have stirrups; no one in Europe did until long after the era in which Arthur was supposed to have lived and died. Anachronism has always been a part of the tapestry.”
• Lane Yates reviews the refreshing delights of Juliette Collet’s Blah Blah Blah #3 - “Collet uses colored pencils, clipped-out photos, and typewriter text. There is an illusion at play that none of these drawings have ever even touched a computer - that the document was compiled physically. It is absolutely, structurally, and compositionally retrograde. It is a single-cartoonist anthology, and who can afford to make that work these days anyway?”
• Andrew Isidoro reviews the diverse vignettes of DC’s Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1.
• Colin Moon reviews the winning return of Jeff Lemire, Doug Mahnke, et al’s Swamp Thing: Green Hell #2.
• Collier Jennings reviews the winning dynamic of Reginald Hudlin, Leon Chills, Denys Cowan, et al’s Icon vs. Hardware #1.
• Christopher Franey reviews the fantastic action of Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Rafael de Latorre, et al’s Daredevil & Elektra, Volume 1: The Red Fist Saga.
• Alex Schlesinger reviews the packed drama of Marvel Comics’ X-Men: Hellfire Gala - Immortal.
• Robert Reed reviews the shallow mish-mash of Marvel Comics’ Marvel's Voices: Wakanda Forever #1.
• Alex Schlesinger reviews the heartfelt humour of Sina Grace’s Rockstar & Softboy Go To Space.
• David Brooke reviews the packed history of Dave Gibbon’s Confabulation: An Anecdotal Autobiography.
• Avery Kaplan reviews the powerful ruminations of Marika McCoola, Aatmaja Pandya, et al’s Slip.
• Cori McCreery reviews the dull choices of Sean Murphy et al’s Batman: Beyond the White Knight #8.
• Jon Aye reviews the brooding corporeality of Vojtěch Mašek’s The Sisters Dietl.
• Andy Oliver reviews the engaging design of Sam Wallman’s Our Members Be Unlimited: A Comic About Workers & Their Unions, and the grounded rawness of Lewis Hancox’s Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure.
Rob Salkowitz reviews the complex revelations of Helene Stapinski and Bonnie Siegler’s The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe.
Four Color Apocalypse
Ryan Carey reviews the dense aesthetic of Dan Hill’s The 50 Flip Experiment, and the exciting progress of Andrew Neal’s Meeting Comics.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien reviews the hazy details of Charlie Jane Anders, Alberto Alburquerque, et al’s New Mutants #31-33.
• Matthew Blair reviews the shifting tone of Rodney Barnes, Alex Lins, et al’s Monarch #1.
• Joe Skonce reviews the strong pacing of Brian Haberlin, Hannah Wall, et al’s The Last Barbarians #1.
The New York Times
Julie Klam reviews the diverse characters of Helene Stapinski and Bonnie Siegler’s The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe.
Steven Heller reviews the well-curated analysis of Maus Now: Selected Writing, edited by Hillary Chute.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The wry wit of Julia Wertz’ Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story.
- The gleeful irreverence of Tits and Clits 1972–1987, edited by Samantha Meier.
- The caustic surreality of Aisha Franz’ Work-Life Balance, translated by Nicholas Houde.
- The satirical grotesquerie of Erik Svetoff’s Spa, translated by Melissa Bowers.
- The dreamlike juxtapositions of Katrin de Vries and Anke Feuchtenberger’s W the Whore, translated by Mark Nevins.
• Tynan Stewart reviews the critical insights of Maus Now: Selected Writing, edited by Hillary Chute.
• Kevin Brown reviews the reflective explorations of Sabba Khan’s What is Home, Mum?.
Women Write About Comics
Kathryn Hemmann reviews the colourful energy of Jenn Woodall’s Space Trash, Volume 1.
Beta Ray Bill & Thor. Pen and India ink. A drawing from 2012.
Came up as a FB memory. I can't find my original scan although I'm sure it's around somewhere, so I have no idea what this drawing was done for. Probably a charity piece. pic.twitter.com/2ce6ZMGvQy
— Walter Simonson (@WalterSimonson) February 3, 2023
This week’s interviews.
• Alex Dueben interviews Justin Hall and Vivian Kleiman about No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, preserving comics history, and other works the documentary is in dialogue with - “[Justin Hall:] I’m now the Chair of the MFA in Comics program at CCA, and I was the first Fulbright Scholar of Comics, teaching in the Czech Republic. I’ve also been regularly teaching at a comics school in Denmark, organizing events like the Queers & Comics Conference with Jen Camper, writing academic work for publications like The Cambridge Companion to the Graphic Novel, and generally traveling around spreading the comics gospel.”
• Zach Rabiroff interviews Kyle Puttkammer, owner of Georgia’s Galactic Quest Comics, about comics retail origins, market bubbles, and COVID-19 pandemic business shifts - “I don’t really set up at comic cons very often as a retailer, unless I go as a writer and creator. And also the card gaming. So I guess the main thing is that this is such a huge industry with so many different directions you can go in, that when I found that one direction was no longer as productive, I just switched gears to something else. And if there's one thing that hasn't changed, it's that I've been very fortunate to redefine certain aspects of my business.”
• Heidi MacDonald talks to Jonathan Rheingold, Joseph Illidge, and Reggie Butler about Rise of the Allies, and toxic workplace realities.
• Zack Quaintance speaks with Brian K. Vaughan about Saga, publishing work via Substack, and dealing with fictional character bodycounts.
François Vigneault interviews Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez about Love and Rockets’ 40th anniversary, and getting the reader hooked.
Peter Chianca talks to Christopher Weyant about viral cartoons, being a Nieman Fellow, and turning a life of cartooning into a career of cartooning.
Goldie chan speaks with Victoria Ying about Hungry Ghost, animation and comics making career paths, and making sure your audience can see you’re having fun.
Ben Yakas interviews Adrian Tomine about Shortcomings and its screen adaptation, 20 years of New Yorker illustrations, and getting your foot in the door.
Mark Tweedale chats with Jesse Lonergan about Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea, joining the Mignolaverse, and visual reference points.
Eugene Holley Jr. talks to Youssef Daoudi and Adrian Matejka about Last on His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century, collaborative origins.
Dominic Walsh speaks with J.M. DeMatteis about Kraven’s Last Hunt, writing for comics and TV, and following your bliss.
The Washington Post
Michael Cavna interviews Sarah Andersen, Carson Grubaugh, Dave McKean, Tomm Moore, Arvind Narayanan, and Tjeerd Royaards, about the possibilities and problems posed by AI art generators.
— giannis milonogiannis (@musashinoelegy) February 16, 2023
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, John Kelly documents the life and work of Michael Dougan, who passed away last month, and curates remembrances of the cartoonist from friends, peers, and colleagues - “Though he later moved to focus on longer, more personal stories, Dougan's early comics were short and humor-oriented. He also did countless spot illustrations for the local Seattle free papers. At The Rocket, the city's legendary pop culture/music magazine that started as an entertainment supplement to the Seattle Sun, he did regular comic strips, illustrated articles, and sometimes even wrote articles.”
• Brandon Schatz and Danica LeBlanc present a fresh retail-eye-view of the comics market, for The Beat, and business lessons learned and then taught in the classroom, in a variety of forms.
• For The Gutter Review, Kyubin Kim writes on Eunsoo Jeong’s Koreangry, and the importance of such emotion and animatedness being given a transformative voice.
• Over at Broken Frontier, Lawrence Lindell provides creator’s commentary for upcoming book Blackward, and learning to trust your editorial team.
• For Shelfdust, Rob Cave looks back on the mixed military messaging of Larry Hama and Ron Wagner’s Nth Man, The Ultimate Ninja #1, while Steve Morris examines the embracing of rage that lies at the heart of Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan’s Incredible Hulk #105.
• From the world of open-access academia, in a chapter from The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives, Nina Mickwitz explores the stories to be found in Ville Tietäväinen’s Näkymättömät Kädet, Tresór Londja’s Así es la Vida, and Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano’s Illegal: One Boy’s Epic Journey of Hope and Survival.
• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as readers were treated to a number of drawings featuring balloons.
Our next mini exhibition 'An Edward Gorey Menagerie' features limited edition serigraphs and rarely seen pieces focus on the celebrated creator's various animal subjects. Catch it starting Feb. 20. pic.twitter.com/NYOicm43ic
— Cartoon Art Museum (@cartoonart) February 14, 2023
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• Katie Skelly and Sally Madden welcomed Gina Wynbrandt to this week’s edition of Thick Lines, as they spoke about Chester Brown’s Paying for It, as well as unanswered questions regarding 9/11, and author photos.
• Catching up with January’s Comix Experience book club meetings, as Brian Hibbs spoke with Zoe Thorogood about It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth and the continuing normalisation surrounding mental health conversations, and with Edgar Camacho about Super Trash Clash and formal artistic experimentation.
• 2000 AD’s Thrill Cast returns to its regular programming, as MOLCH-R spoke with Jonathan Stroud about the influence of comics on the Lockwood & Co. novels, as well as the visual references to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic to be found in the screen adaptation of the books.
• Gary Lactus launched a fresh podcast series from the SILENCE! fold, taking a(n extremely) deep-dive into Jerry Siegel, Victor Gorelick, Paul Reinman, Sam Rosen, et al’s The Mighty Crusaders #4, and the varied realities that can be viewed through its lens.
• Checking in with Cartoonist Kayfabe for a look at the war comics of Harvey Kurtzman, John Willie’s The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, Preacher #2, and Elfquest #1, before being joined by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird for creator commentary on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue 2 and issue 3.
• David Harper welcomed Jamie McKelvie to Off Panel for this week’s episode, as they spoke about Batman: One Bad Day - Catwoman, the collaborative process with G. Willow Wilson, and changing approaches to comics work in general.
• Calvin Reid was joined by Henry Barajas for Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they spoke about taking over writing duties on Gil Thorp, comics industry lessons learned, and work on indie projects and writing for the Big Two.
Art Spiegelman (creator of Maus) in our galleries on Friday checking out our new exhibit MAN SAVES COMICS! Bill Blackbeard's Treasure of 20th Century Newspapers. On display now through May 7, 2023. Visit https://t.co/dLbMvHmrO3 for more info and hours. pic.twitter.com/NCeFKVdMQh
— OSU Cartoon Library (@CartoonLibrary) December 20, 2022
Those are all the links for this week, a fresh selection will arrive by electronic carrier next week, I would imagine.
The wait is over: Jimmy Choo x Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is now live.#JimmyChoo #PrettyGuardianSailorMoonhttps://t.co/AiyrJFlsVc pic.twitter.com/zGKlPJSZKK
— Jimmy Choo (@jimmychoo) February 14, 2023