Greg Hunter's here today with the 32nd episode of his Comic Book Decalogue podcast. This month, he's talking to cartoonist and former TCJ podcaster Mike Dawson. They discuss discusses Boogie Nights, Oor Wullie, Eleanor Davis, and more.
We also have a review of Zep's Strange and Beautiful Sound, written by Helen Chazan.
If a cartoonist strives to tell a mediocre story and is very successful in doing so, is the result of their labor a mediocre comic? This is a question I found myself returning to time and time again when reading A Strange and Beautiful Sound, a thoroughly unsurprising exercise in what might be called summer literature that nevertheless was pleasant to read. The artist, Zep, well known in Francophone Europe for his bestselling children’s serial Titeuf, has more recently taken to doing more mature graphic novels, and you can tell he means business...because all the colors are a muted monochrome and feature grown ups having conversations at tables. As an artist moving into his “please take me seriously” period, Zep’s interests are more low key than, say, a Craig Thompson behemoth, but then the Franco-Belgian comics scene has always been a little more chilled out than the American on the whole. The tone that Zep strikes is pleasurable, yet it is an attitude that would occupy an entire shelf at Barnes & Noble if big bookstores actually sorted their comics section by tone.
—News. I rarely share news of comics convention guests, but this is different enough to be worth pointing out. The cartoonist behind the new Nancy, who uses the pseudonym Olivia Jaimes, is going to be at CXC.
“The CXC organizers went to great lengths so I’d feel comfortable at the event,” Jaimes told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs about her festival session. “The panel’s happening in a room that seats only about 40 people, and they’re coat-checking all phones and recording devices at the door.
“What I’m saying is: If you aren’t one of those 40 people and don’t want to be separated from your phone just to see me, don’t stress about it — I’m pretty boring in person,” she adds wryly. “But if you do jump through the hoops, I’ll be touched and honored to answer your questions [in this format]. As always, the right balance between connecting with fans and maintaining personal boundaries is my lodestar.”
—Interviews & Profiles. Alex Dueben talks to Summer Pierre.
It wasn’t until I returned to comics that poetry returned to its place. Poetry is a HUGE influence on my comics. It’s a brief and distilled form of life – something I try very hard to get right in my comics. I think cartoonists and poets have a lot in common and every time I get very ego driven and scared about “what it all means” all I have to do is read or listen to a poem and it drops me down to the small and immediate things of life. Music is more emotive to me – I am more taken away by music. Poetry keeps me in the present moment. It’s the red arrow I need on the map when I feel lost to tell me, “You are Here.”
Comics Workbook talks to Hannah K. Lee.
I like looking at packaging (fruit boxes and crates, foreign candy), flags, old and ornate rugs/textiles, pop music ephemera, Tumblr teens, fashion, clever logos, bad logos, old calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts, those kids’ Golden Books, I like to absorb and/or pick apart everything. When it comes to certain jobs that require a lot of research, I look at the design and illustration of that particular era and let that inform how it’ll turn out. For example, I just did a piece about the origins of ska, so I looked at a lot of 60’s album art coming out of Kingston.
The most recent guest on the Virtual Memories podcast is Audrey Niffenegger.