Having read a couple of landscape format comic collections this week that do the slipcase thing to let you store them in a profile aspect upon shelving, ie the correct aspect, I can now say that I would like more books to do this, but only when the technology is perfected to make the putting of said tomes back into their wrapping way more easy than it currently is - possibly using teflon, or somesuch, maybe flared edges that collapse origami-style, I don’t know, I’m an ideas guy - all of this is to say that I’ve still not shelved any of my recent reads, and the pile is increasingly hazardous to my home workspace and the continued production of this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below.
Some of the art on Henriette Vallium's drawing table at the time of his passing will appear in TCJ #309. I'm very proud to get this final work from one of comics most underrated artists into print...pre-order @ComicsJournal #309 from @fantagraphics here:https://t.co/zRnhaprhQC pic.twitter.com/W8d6tlyzFt
— Domino Books (@DominoComics) February 20, 2023
This week’s news.
• Continuing early forays into the legal specifics surrounding AI systems, the US Copyright Office this week stated that images generated using the Midjourney program by Kris Kashtanova for the graphic novel Zarya of the Dawn should not have been granted copyright, and it would be reissuing registration for the title to cover only the parts Kashtanova wrote and arranged, excluding the visuals that “are not the product of human authorship” - Kashtanova and Midjourney representatives issued the now ubiquitous “this is good for us, actually” statements one has come to expect, presumably not written for them by ChatGPT, but who knows?
• After last year’s wave of layoffs at the company, including a large number of the publisher’s senior staff, Oni-Lion Forge announced this week that Sienna Hahn will be stepping into the role of Editor-in-Chief, and that Michael Torma will be coming aboard as Senior Sales Manager - Oni-Lion Forge was formed via a merger of Oni Press and Lion Forge in 2019, under parent company Polarity Ltd, which also led to a number of layoffs.
• Awards news, and the finalists were announced for this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, with Alex Graham’s Dog Biscuits, Yamada Murasaki’s Talk to My Back (translated by Ryan Holmberg), Tommi Parish’s Men I Trust, Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries, and Noah Van Sciver’s Joseph Smith and the Mormons all in the running for Best Graphic Novel/Comic.
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared this week of the passing of mangaka and animator Leiji Matsumoto, creator of Galaxy Express 999, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Space Battleship Yamato amongst others, who died aged 85 this month, due to acute heart failure - obituaries for Matsumoto were published by outlets around the globe, including the BBC, The Japan Times, and Le Monde.
More columns 🌞👁️ pic.twitter.com/6eXBG2qGb0
— davilorium (@davilorium) February 20, 2023
This week’s reviews.
• Helen Chazan reviews the changing forms of Katrin de Vries and Anke Feuchtenberger’s W the Whore, translated by Mark Nevins “What begins as a bluntly cubist representational line becomes an expressionist charcoal smudge, overwhelmingly textured darkness bearing the murk of possible meanings. Every mark made hides another secret. Day becomes night, every new texture sculpts a muted scream.”
• Tegan O’Neil reviews the charming appeal of Alisa Kwitney, Mauricet, et al’s G.I.L.T. - “Just stop a moment to parse the challenge here: not only are the main characters women, but they’re women seen at different points throughout their life. We see Trista first in her early 50s, then we see her when she’s 10. She’s still the same character, with the same facial features and expressions. We meet Hildy first on her wedding day in 1973, and then again in 2017. Same character, more lines on the face. But still completely recognizable.”
• Irene Velentzas reviews the captivating brilliance of Elizabeth Colomba and Aurélie Lévy’s Queenie: Godmother of Harlem - “This book contends with the impact of visual mass media on societal values, especially as it concerns people of color, while simultaneously creating a narrative that brings into focus a woman of color erased from the cultural history of the Prohibition era. Queenie is as much about the impact of stereotypical representations of people of color as it is about the purposeful erasure of people of color from the larger cultural narrative.”
• Colin Moon reviews the striking concepts of Tini Howard, Vasco Georgiev, et al’s Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #1.
• Keigen Rea reviews the thoughtful heroics of Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti, et al’s A.X.E.: Judgment Day.
• Andrew Isidoro reviews the unanswered questions of DC’s Lazarus Planet: Omega #1.
• Michael Guerrero reviews the new beginnings of Tom Taylor, Travis Moore, et al’s Nightwing #101.
• Piper Whitaker reviews the unsettling horror of Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Xermanico, et al’s Batman – One Bad Day: Clayface #1.
• Ben Morin reviews the fresh twists of Joshua Williamson, Jamal Campbell, et al’s Superman #1.
• David Brooke reviews the retro setting of James Tynion IV, Michael Avon Oeming, et al’s Blue Book #1.
• Avery Kaplan reviews the enjoyable exposition of Tini Howard, Vasco Georgiev, et al’s Captain Britain #1.
• d. emerson eddy reviews the wonderful treat of Rebellion’s Best of 2000 AD Volume 2.
Andy Oliver reviews the intuitive vibes of Nicole Goux’s Rituals, the subtle explorations of Alxndra Cook’s Momotekku, and the smart insights of Desmond Reed’s The Cola Pop Creemees: Opening Act.
• Elias Rosner reviews the accessible insights of Noëlle Kröger’s Good Person Trouble, translated by Natalye Childress
• Jaina Hill reviews the sluggish diversion of Joe Kelly, Terry Dodson, et al’s Amazing Spider-Man #20.
• Alexander Jones reviews the effective focus of Tini Howard, Vasco Georgiev, et al’s Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #1.
November Garcia reviews the thoughtful contrasts of Jesse Reklaw’s Dear Diaries Mini #1.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The inventive mischief of Zach Weinersmith and Boulet’s Bea Wolf.
- The deadpan vignettes of Nick Maandag’s Harvey Knight’s Odyssey.
- The sumptuous delicacies of Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s Golden Record.
- The endearing perspective of Leslie Stein’s Brooklyn’s Last Secret.
- The cerebral arguments of Liv Strömquist’s The Reddest Rose: Romantic Love from the Ancient Greeks to Reality TV, translated by Melissa Bowers.
- The rousing urgency of Héctor Germán Oesterheld, Alberto Breccia, and Enrique Breccia’s Evita: The Life and Work of Eva Perón, translated by Erica Mena.
The Washington Post
Jennifer Howard reviews the fast-moving anecdotes of Helene Stapinski and Bonnie Siegler’s The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe.
Women Write About Comics
• Nola Pfau reviews the frustrating beginning of Christopher Sebela, Ben Hennessy, et al’s Godfell #1.
• Cori McCreery reviews the timeless characters of Joshua Williamson, Jamal Campbell, et al’s Superman #1; and the satisfying reveals of Mark Waid, Emanuela Lupacchino, et al’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12.
— faith (@faith_schaffer) February 22, 2023
This week’s interviews.
Zach Rabiroff interviews Dan DiDio about Frank Miller Presents, being a corporate baby, and keeping artists enthused - “There are certain things that Frank won’t repeat himself on, but will continue with. That’s what we’ll wind up seeing more when he moves over to Sin City, which is something that’s much more personal for him. Blood & Dust is a different book. It’s not Sin City, it’s another direction, so therefore it’s not a repetition. But the reality is it’s an all-original idea.”
Chris Coplan talks to Benjamin Morse about We Are Scarlet Twilight, moving from Kickstarter to Zoop, and marrying contrasting genres.
• Cy Beltran speaks with Matt Bors about Justice Warriors, satirising our current boom-and-bust kleptocracy, and the influence of Ghost in the Shell.
• Rebecca Oliver Kaplan chats with Kat Calamia about Hairology, the joy of anthologies, and curating diverse stories focused on hair.
Andy Oliver interviews John-Paul Kamath about London Horror Comic, the comic’s origins and development, and writing for collaboration.
Christian Holub speaks with Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch about Ultimate Invasion, revisiting the Ultimate Universe in 2023, and that line’s influence on Marvel’s cinematic outpu.
Matthew Cantor talks to Nevin Martell and Jenny Robb about Bill Watterson’s return to published work, and the enduring legacy of Calvin and Hobbes.
Jim McLauchlin speaks with Kelly Heying of Indiana’s Buy Me Toys & Comics about retail lessons learned, what’s in a name, and warehouse logistics.
Mark Tweedale chats to Tyler Crook about The Lonesome Hunters, the story’s evolution, the importance of splash pages, and world building through character design.
Steven Heller interviews Paul B. Rainey about Why Don’t You Love Me? and daydreaming while working boring jobs, and Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu about cartooning in the aftermath of Turkey’s recent earthquakes.
Nicole Audrey Spector talks to Rocketship Entertainment’s CEO, Tom Akel, about bringing webcomics to print, and giving fair deals to creators.
Radio France Internationale
Ollia Horton speaks with Marguerite Abouet about Aya de Yopougon, bringing a different image of Africa to younger readers, and writing a character who’s an activist.
Carianton Hale interviews Joe Rocco about Fluffer & Nutter, multimedia projects, and the joys of making work for younger readers.
In 2 Days! It’s almost here! A virtual event where you can support indie comic creators, filmmakers, artists and entrepreneurs in the Black community all in one place! And you don’t even have to leave your couch! https://t.co/UabJAkA3Ii #virtuouscon #onlineevent #convention pic.twitter.com/XS2yNQifX0
— TheVirtuousCon (@ConVirtuous) February 23, 2023
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, Chris Anthony Diaz presents photographic reportage from last November’s Short Run Comix & Arts Festival, as the event celebrated its tenth birthday - “Short Run is the premiere indie comics festival on the west coast that I attended in 2022, and I hope it continues for many years to come for current and future generations of fans and comics creators to experience, enjoy and connect with each other! I hope my photos convey that sense of community, that brought everyone together, which Short Run and the Seattle comics scene made possible!”
• Reporting from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, also for TCJ, Bill Kartalopoulos shares experiences from visiting this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and acting as a member of the comics jury for 2023’s awards at the Fair - “This year’s comics jury consisted of myself; artist, publisher and Bologna resident Igort; and Roel Daenen, editor of the Flemish comics magazine Stripgids. While our perspectives had much in common, we enjoyed productive points of difference based at least as much on our individual critical temperaments as our professional and cultural backgrounds.”
• For The Nation, Jeet Heer chronicles the position of Jay Jackson’s Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos in the 1940s war effort, and the anti-racist ideologies embodied by the strip.
• Over at Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson breaks down the most recent NPD BookScan report, as the recent boom for comics sales in the book market has appeared to slow in recent weeks.
• For The Gutter Review, Martyn Pedler writes on the history of Marvel Comics’ Foolkiller, and the binary justice meted out by that vigilante killer - Pedler can also be found writing for The Conversation with a primer on the lack of payment offered to work-for-hire creators whose characters are now appearing on screen in multi-million dollar productions.
• Elizabeth Sandifer’s Last War in Albion continues, as Alan Moore’s writing on the history of comics attempts to perform an autoexcision from the same.
• Over at Solrad, Rob Clough examines the parallels between Tara Booth’s Nocturne and Elizabeth Pich’s Fungirl, and the delights to be found in characters with boundary issues.
• From Cover to Cover's Scott Cederlund looks back on Richard McGuire's Here, the short comic from Raw that McGuire would later expand upon, and the journey through time (if not space) that the comic opens to readers.
• Comicosity appears to have returned from a couple of years’ hiatus, and so far this year has published pieces by Jude DeLuca on DC’s Erika Storn, Michael Hale on James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds’ The Department of Truth, and Allen Thomas on Okura’s I Think Our Son is Gay.
• Also returning in 2023, Andy Oliver presents a new edition of Broken Frontier’s Retroflect series, this time out celebrating the history of DC’s Wasteland.
• For Shelfdust, William Moo looks back on the origins and themes of Naoki Urasawaand Takashi Nagasaki’s Pluto, and Steve Morris considers the stunted finale of Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon’s Punisher Max #22.
• Shin Matsuura covers the increasing trend of in-house manga from Japanese companies, for The Asahi Shimbun, as production demands for corporate manga rise.
• From the world of open-access academia, in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Jon Holt and Teppei Fukuda present a translation of Natsume Fusanosuke’s 1992 essay on the recurring character of Pig Gourd in the work of Tezuka Osamu.
• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as not banning guns from classrooms, banning books from classrooms, and misinformation ahead of a visit to Ukraine were mulled upon.
Just for fun I decided to redraw the cover to Fantastic Four 16 by Jack Kirby. It’s good to learn from the masters! pic.twitter.com/K7uHvRva4a
— Jonathan Edwards (@Jontofski) February 23, 2023
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• Austin English hosted the latest meeting of the New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium, as this week CF spoke on digital and physical scrolls, and the Clean Sweep zine project, and the idea of the scroll as a manner of transporting information hidden from the casual observer.
• Brian Hibbs convened the February meeting of Comix Experience’s graphic novel kids’ club, speaking with Haley Newsome about Unfamiliar, and the importance of thumbnails for keeping things on track.
• The Beast Must Die returned to SILENCE! joining Gary Lactus for a chat about the platonic ideal of the perfect 2000 AD prog, and the insurmountable quality of Grange Hill for childhood teatime television in the UK.
• David Harper welcomed Filip Sablik, BOOM! Studios' President of Publishing & Marketing, to this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they spoke about ComicsPRO's upcoming annual meeting, and how the publisher’s slate looks in 2023.
• Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come saw Heidi MacDonald, Kate Fitzsimons, and Meg Lemke discussing Bill Watterson’s return to publishing, along with all the recent industry news, both good and also bad.
• Closing out the week with some Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor took a look at Zap Comix #0, Deathmate: Black, Coober Skeeber #2, Fantagraphics’ The Best Comics of the Decade Volume II, and a Shōnen Jump selection, before welcoming Brian Bolland back to the channel to speak about seminal work on 2000 AD’s Judge Dredd stories.
spring vision 🌿 pic.twitter.com/rbPv8m1I9i
— Jean Wei !? (@cannedcabbage) February 22, 2023
There are no more links to be had this week, but more will be along shortly.
apple stack 🍎🍏🍎 pic.twitter.com/wjWgfSY0yF
— Ry ☀️ (@rymakes) February 23, 2023