Like the Cro-Mags with Chrome Mags (This Week’s Links)

I thought this week might be slow, but nope, not even — seems comics doesn't sleep. (Me neither.)


• The best of 2019 lists keep coming, starting with the big one we've all been waiting for: right here, right now, The Comic Journal's "Best Comics of 2019," as chosen by a slew of your favorite contributors. Get in there.


• Also sharing their thoughts:
The Advocate's "Best LGBTQ Graphic Novels of 2019"
The A.V. Club's "20 Best Comics of 2019"
Screen Rant's "10 Best Comic Book Creators of 2019"
Entertainment Weekly's best of 'em, breaking it down into categories, yearbook-style
SyFy Fangrrls' list of favorites
— Last but not least: Broken Frontier's "Ten UK Small Press Comics You Should Have Read Over the Last Decade!"


• Gil Roth generously posted the audio recording of the entire December 14th memorial service for Tom Spurgeon.


• Big funny drawing-related doings at The New Yorker, as the print magazine debuted its first ever "Cartoon Takeover" issue. Highlights shared online include:
— A new R. Sikoryak cover (and interview, to boot)
— Celebrities picking their favorite cartoons
TNY cartoonists making their top choices
— New work from Roz Chast (with accompanying profile!), Liana Finck, Emily Flake and Ebony Flowers
— A 1997 John Updike essay remembering his early dreams of cartoon stardom, including the realization he just wasn't as good a draftsman as Fred "Herman Munster" Gwynne


• Also, for The New Yorker (but understandably totally unrelated to the above) is an odd but charming little piece by Chris Ware, explaining a fairly wink-wink tongue-in-cheek animated companion piece for his big 2019 book Rusty Brown. He's having fun, but has a point to make; maybe go see what he has to say?


• AdHouse books send over a holiday treat: a ten page preview of Matthew Allison's Cankor. (Look for the little blue triangle after the descriptive text, that's the PDF link.) I am psyyyyyched for this one.


• Columbia University's Karen Green wrote about her affection for the classic and vital The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics for Hilobrow's "Seriocomic"column.


• I love how ready-to-rumble Saint C. is in Arnold Roth's Boxing Day post:




The Illustration Department Podcast
Kevin Eastman: writer, artist, co-creator of Tee Em En Tee

Off-Panel Podcast
Jeff Loveness, writer of comic books 'n' television programs

The Beat
Steve Horton and Mike Allred, creators of the David Bowie graphic novel, by Nick Kazden

DC Comics writer Geoff Johns, upon the conclusion of his controversial Doomsday Clock series, by Vaneta Rogers


• Comic book creator Gerry Alanguilan has died at age 51.


• The National Cartoonist Society's call for entries is open! Deadline is January 23rd.


• For the retail/business wonks among us: new information from ComicHub details significant differences between number of comics ordered and actual store sell-through.


• Along similar lines of interest, Newsarama had Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski recap the rise of his company (and comic shops in general), as well as a bit of the power struggle surrounding comic book distribution from the late 1970s into the 80s.


• I love the bizarre things Anders Nilsen did to and with Joey B. for The New York Review of Books:




Los Angeles Review of Books
Philippe Lançon's Disturbance, a first-hand account of the 2015 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, reviewed by Seth Greeland

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse
Amy Lockhart's Ditch Life
Frank Santoro’s Pittsburgh
Ana Galvan’s Press Enter To Continue

The New York Times
• The Andrew Blauner-edited The Peanuts Papers, by John Williams

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal #11, by Matt Seneca
(I found this review, like all of them by Matt, to be a thorough, fascinating critique completely unique in its approach and consideration. And I'm sorry, I can't help myself: after you read Matt's piece, take a moment and contrast it with this barely-two-paragraph take on the exact same comic at Bleeding Cool. There's a reason baseball has a Minor League.)

The Guardian
Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest, by James Smart

The Beat
Bobby Curnow and Simon Gane's Ghost Tree, by John Seven
Kim Deitch's Reincarnation Stories, also by John S.


• A lot of original Garfields are being made available for sale: not the window sticker-onners, not the ocean-polluting phones, not the ludicrous bootleg junk people find on eBay, but the actual, real comic strip art drawn by...the artist who drew that particular comic strip.


• Rick Marschall let us in on some behind-the-scenes of his experience writing the Blondie 50th anniversary book, Bob Hope anecdote and all.


• Marschall also put together a small post of some Christmas-themed work by the brilliant cartoonist Carl Giles.


• Via Twist Street, here are comic creators Paul Pope, Larry Hama and Ronald Wimberly discussing their reverence for Lone Wolf and Cub.


As I sign off for the last time this decade, I must make note of the abbreviated return of Michael DeForge's Leaving Richard's Valley. (I wouldn't want you to miss it, as I almost did; real top-notch algorithming on Instagram's part.) Looks like we're getting 31 installments of a story called "Happy New Year, Caroline Frog." Will Julianne Napkin return to serenade us on the cusp of 2020? This reporter can only hope.

Here are four impeccable LRV panels to ruminate on as 2019 crumbles. New year, new us, see you over thataway.