License Revoked

Joe McCulloch has your weekly guide to the best-sounding new comics out in stores this week (spotlight picks from Lynda Barry and Régis Loisel), but starts things off by looking at a fairly obscure collection from Blutch:


This too is part of the character of the work - I'd argue more prominently so than Blutch's carefully parceled marshaling of sonic lines. No, the Jazzman strips are often jokes, and this is an old-but-good one: the too-cool yé-yé singer is unmoved by booze, smoke and sex, but throw on some Duke Ellington and he is open-mouthed and post-coitally limp. It's like a Carl Barks gag page, though Blutch takes different strips in different tonal directions. A horn player is seen beating a woman bloody, then rolling out to the club to reduce the audience to tears. A black superstar basks in the public adulation of Paris, only to spy provincial women grimacing at him behind his back. A promoter lazes through a parade of sub-par players, only to perk up at the sound of truly great playing, then scowl and storm away upon discovering the musician is a woman. Lee Morgan is shot dead by his lover, prompting a bassist to kiss his long-suffering wife. A harried woman in a nightgown, cleaning up after her unconscious husband, stares at a shirtless man practicing in a window across the way, and she lays down satisfied.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. Michael Cavna talks to Flemming Rose, the Danish newspaper editor who commissioned the most controversial cartoons about Islam of all time. Rose has a new book coming out.

Andrice Arp has ten questions for Simon Hanselmann.

—News. The third annual British Comics Awards were announced, with Isabel Greenberg taking Best Book, and Posy Simmonds making it into the Hall of Fame.

Richard McGuire did the cover for the latest New Yorker in the style of Here.

Add W. C. Fields to the list of wannabe cartoonists.

Also, The New Yorker has its special "Cartoons of the Year" issue out now. Looks like it might be worth picking up for the two-page Paul Karasik article on a Charles Addams gag alone.