Light and Tuneful – This Week’s Links

We’re into that block of the comics calendar year where everything is clumped together into ‘hold for build up to San Diego Comic Con, boy howdy, I’ve got a lot of work to do’ with an interesting side-helping of “I wonder if the social media platform through which I now advertise all my creative endeavours will cease to exist overnight?” which certainly adds a frisson of excitement to an otherwise quiet period, as documented in this week’s links, below.

This week’s news.

• Kicking off the week with awards news, and it was announced that Michel Rabagliati is the recipient of the 2022 Prix Athanase-David, awarded each year by the government of Quebec to a person for their remarkable contribution to Quebec literature.

• Elsewhere, the National Cartoonists Society shared the shortlist for this year’s Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, with Bill Griffith, Will Henry, Hilary B. Price, Jeff Smith, and Mark Tatulli all in the running, and the winner to be announced on September 7th.

• Checking back in with the current state of play regarding lawsuits aimed at AI developers, and there was a new filing against OpenAI this week, as authors Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay sued the company for breach of copyright law, alleging that ChatGPT has been trained on novels without the express permission of their authors or rights holders, arriving in the same week that a class action lawsuit was launched against the company for unlawful collection of personal data - Reuters recently covered how intellectual property and privacy cases such as these could affect the use of AI in the comics industry.

This week’s reviews.


• Chris Burkhalter reviews the expressive lines of Rawand Issa’s Inside the Giant Fish, translated by Amy Chiniara - “The book’s crucial image–the sea–engulfs entire pages, rendered in marbled undulations of lavish deep blue. This is contrasted by the spiky, geometric human figures that people the story. With their polygon heads and abstracted features, they evoke both the alienation of German expressionism (Kirchner comes to mind) and the pugnacious scrappiness of Mark Beyer’s Amy and Jordan strips.”

• Hagai Palevsky reviews the noteworthy clarity of Tsutomu Nihei et al’s Wolverine: Snikt! - “Nihei's line art here is cleaner than much of his contemporaneous Japanese work, since the coloring obviates the typical manga use of halftones, but his inks do their best to make up for it. His strokes are scratchy and frenetic, thick enough to pop—which is to say, pointing out their own incongruity—amidst the coloring.”



• Ronnie Gorham reviews the intriguing start of Steve Niles and Damien Worm’s Brynmore #1.

• Piper Whitaker reviews the shaky scripting of Joshua Williamson, Gulliem March, et al’s Knight Terrors: Batman #1.

• Nathan Simmons reviews the dark laughs of Matthew Rosenberg, Stefano Raffaele, et al’s Knight Terrors: The Joker #1.

• Collier Jennings reviews the powerful celebration of Marvel Comics’ Captain America #750.

• Lia Williamson reviews the inorganic writing of Ann Nocenti, Paolo Villanelli, et al’s Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #1.

• Ellis Owens reviews the lightweight narrative of Al Ewing, Kasia Nie, et al’s Wasp: Small Worlds.

• Alex Schlesinger reviews the enjoyable violence of Tim Seeley, Sid Kotian, et al’s Unforgiven.

• David Brooke reviews the robust cast of Cameron Chittock, Fero Pe, et al’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things #1.


American Antiquity

Johannes H. N. Loubser reviews the central tenets of Comics and Archaeology, edited by Zena Kamash, Katy Soar, and Leen Van Broeck.


The Beat

• Zack Quaintance reviews the idiosyncratic flare of Jordan Thomas and Shaky Kane’s Weird Work #1.

• Avery Kaplan reviews the differing aesthetics of Marvel Comics’ Extreme Venomverse #4.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver has reviews of: 

- The energetic wit of Rachel Tubb’s Metal Saga.

- The sophisticated eeriness of Isabel Greenberg’s Confinement.

- The striking accessibility of A Wave New World’s The Color of Always: An LGBTQIA+ Love Anthology, edited by Brent Fisher and Michelle Abounader.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #93, X-Men: Before the Fall – The Heralds of Apocalypse #1, Deadpool #8, and Storm #2.


International Journal of Communication

Haixia Man reviews the changing scope of Dal Yong Jin’s Understanding Korean Webtoon Culture: Transmedia Storytelling, Digital Platforms, and Genres.


Montreal Review of Books

Ian McGillis reviews the effective melancholy of Camille Jourdy’s Juliette or, the Ghosts Return in the Spring, translated by Aleshia Jensen.


Multiversity Comics

• Matthew Blair reviews the character focus of of Steve Niles and Damien Worm’s Brynmore #1.

• Brian Salvatore reviews the split decision of Latoya Morgan, Jai Jamison, Wilton Santos, et al’s Creed: The Next Round #1.

• Greg Matiasevich reviews the balanced horror of Tillie Walden’s Clementine: Book Two.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The masterful storytelling of Eddie Campbell’s The Second Fake Death of Eddie Campbell & The Fate of the Artist.

- The unhurried profundity of Lizzy Stewart’s Alison. 

- The immersive setting of Cab’s Utown.

- The low-energy romp of Tyrell Waiters’ Vern, Custodian of the Universe.

- The ambitious narrative of Jamie Lee Curtis, Karl Stevens, and Russell Goldman’s Mother Nature.

- The imaginative spiciness of Emma Jayne’s LSBN.

- The stellar nuance of Nazuna Saito’s Offshore Lightning, translated by Alexa Frank.

- The alluring elegance of Hubert and Vincent Mallié’s Darkly She Goes, translated by L. Benson.

This week’s interviews.



• Eric Buckler interviews James Stokoe about Orphan and the Five Beasts, ska deportations, drawing Nerds, and martial arts movie influences - “I don’t go too crazy on the colors, just because I hate working on the computer. I’ve done this since Orc Stain, I’ll make a palette of six or seven different colors. I’ll use that throughout the whole book, but I’ll flip the colors so this one’s more prominent in this scene, but I’ll use the same colors in the whole thing just to tie it all in. I think if I used too many colors in my work, it would get really muddy really quick. So, I try to keep everything grounded in one palette, not go too ham on it.”

• Zach Rabiroff interviews Miranda Nordel, of Baltimore’s Dreamers & Make-Believers, setting up a store during the COVID-19 pandemic, and diversifying your business - “I would say of all of the areas of our shop, manga appeals, like you said, to the most diverse readership. If you ask me what our typical manga reader looks like, I think that would be the most challenging one to answer. We have everything from young kiddos, seven or eight years old, who are basically learning to read with manga, and who are loving every minute of the Super Mario stories and Pokémon, up through customers in their 50s and 60s [for whom] that really was their first opportunity to find stories.”



• Chris Hassan speaks with J.M. DeMatteis about Magneto, the origins of the mini-series, the enduring fascination of the X-Men, and upcoming projects.

• Ellis Owens talks to Leon Chills about Icon vs. Hardware, and the harsh realities of thought experiments and alternate histories.

• Chris Coplan chats with Scott Snyder and Mark Doyle about IDW’s Dark Spaces, how the line is curated, and keeping supernatural elements out of the picture.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver interviews Rebecca K. Jones, Peter Morey and Chloe Starling about the South London Comic and Zine Fair, and curating 2023’s event, and Fraser Geesin about Ikea Comics and comics catharsis.


The Guardian

Hephzibah Anderson speaks with Alison Bechdel about Dykes to Watch Out For, thoughts on the 1980s, and the strip’s end and adaptation.



Milton Griepp talks to Greg Goldstein, Bill Schanes, and Bob Wayne about the early days of the direct market, and the impact this had on the comics industry.


Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

Darnel Degand interviews André LeRoy Davis about The Source’s The Last Word illustrations, family histories, caricaturing origins, and life after The Source.


The Los Angeles Times

Tracy Brown speaks with ND Stevenson about Nimona, reviews from younger readers, the character’s origins, and the story’s adaptation for screen during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The New Yorker

Françoise Mouly and Genevieve Bormes talks to Bill Griffith about Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, the Man Who Created Nancy and the legacy of Bushmiller’s characters.



Scott Detrow interviews ND Stevenson about Nimona, the character’s journey and evolution from page to screen, and the themes at the heart of the comic.



Tasha Robinson speaks with ND Stevenson about Nimona, the ways in which the screen adaptation expanded on the source material, and the story’s emotions being front and centre.


Publisher’s Weekly

Shaenon K. Garrity chats with Keum Seuk Gendry-Kim about The Naked Tree, the humanity at the core of the source material, and familial similarities to that story.



Daniel Elkin talks to Tal Brosh about Trigger Shot, the book’s name and its relationship to fertility treatments, and adding to the conversation on this topic.


Vermont Public

Jenn Jarecki interviews Alison Bechdel about Dykes to Watch Out For, the origins of the strip, the diversity of its cast of characters, and the comic’s adaptation to audio.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Tegan O’Neil profiles the work of Katie Skelly, as a new edition of The Agency arrives, and charts a changing of line weights amongst stories about fucking - “A book about sex that takes as its first principle the idea that sex is a topic worthy of interest and not merely passive admiration. It takes sex seriously. There’s much ado regarding the disposition of sexy art, these days, to judge from the discourse surrounding the very notion of sex scenes in movies. It’s not a coincidence that the rise of this burgeoning neopuritanism is also happening at a time of unprecedented consolidation of all human media under corporate control.”

• Also for TCJ, Jon Holt and Teppei Fukuda present new translations of Natsume Fusanosuke’s essays on Hayashi Sei’ichi's Red Colored Elegy and Kamimura Kazuo’s Live-In Age, and the dosei manga boom - “If this was done by a normal manga storyteller at the time (well, even now this is the case), such a wild and crazy scene could only happen in a yōkai (supernatural creature) manga, so Hayashi’s readers have no idea what is happening. And yet, the reader gets the feeling that what we’re seeing visualized is the antsy mentality of the young male character. It really sticks in your mind.”

• Brian Hibbs returns with a fresh edition of Tilting at Windmills, over at The Beat, as the direct market’s increasingly fractured distribution network continues to irk retailers, and the way this system undermines attempts to expand the periodical retail market.

• For Solrad, Shea Hennum writes on the experiences shared by creators under #ComicsBrokeMe, the wider endemic problems these represent, and how changes might be brought about to support the workforce of the comics industry.

• Elizabeth Sandifer’s Last War in Albion continues, as the latest entry focuses in on Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Brought to Light, and examines the various ways in which the comic conveys information regarding the machinations of the CIA.

• Continuing ICv2’s coverage of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the direct market, Jim McLauchlin chronicles the rise and demise of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ former retail behemoth, Shinders.

• For The Gutter Review, Tom Shapira writes in celebration of the house ads of yesteryear, and writes on why this aspect of periodical comics shouldn’t be overlooked when considering the evolution of the form.

• Over at Shelfdust, Steve Morris’ Dust to Dust series continues, taking the next logical step from last week’s entry to examine Hellboy’s second end in B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know; and Kelly Kanayama looks back on John Constantine: Hellblazer #8, and the parental concerns bobbing along the UK’s waterways.

• From Cover to Cover’s Scott Cederlund continues to have a Claremont Year, this month hitting the 200th issue of Uncanny X-Men, and the changing status quo of Marvel’s mutants.

• From the world of open-access academia, in Ella, Mike Classon Frangos writes on Natalia Batista’s Sword Princess Amaltea, and how Batista uses the comics form to subvert conventions of gender and sexuality. (Abstract in Norwegian, full article in English.)

• In the International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences, Lakshmi Anil presents a study on Anant Pai’s Amar Chitra Katha, the history of colourism in the comic, and the colonialist roots of this.

• For Law, Culture and the Humanities, Neal Curtis puts forth the example of superhero comics as forms of legal storytelling, and looks at the ways in which such narratives can escape, and actively counter, rhetorical imperialism.

• In Imagining the Impossible, Steen Ledet Christiansen writes on Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Nameless, and the process of unworlding by which the story eschews a coherent and cohesive form of world-building.

• 2014. Wolverine can no longer heal, but then who among us has been able to in the last decade?

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States took centre stage, along with other matters of jurisprudence and economic theory.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• A special interview episode of Mangasplaining this week, as Deb Aoki and Christopher Woodrow-Butcher spoke with Abby Denson and Matthew Loux about a life in comics-making and travel tips for those heading to Japan.

• A look ahead to comics of the future in Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as Calvin Reid, Heidi MacDonald, and Kate Fitzsimons spoke with Meg Lemke about the recent Comics and Graphic Novel Announcement issue, as well as recent industry announcements and controversies.

• John Siuntres welcomed Joe Casey aboard the Word Balloon, as they discussed Junior Baker, finding the right artist for the project, the long gestation periods of animation projects, and the ongoing writers strike.

• Closing out another week with Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor took a brief look back at Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland: I Hate Image, Mike Mignola’s early Hellboy work, the joys of Batman: Knightfall, Tim Vigil and David Quinn's Faust, Joe Maduriera x Savage Dragon, and the state of the industry in 1996’s Wizard #57.

That’s all the links there is for another 7 days, please act accordingly.