A brief welcome to this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below, as it’s being written in short bursts between walks in the countryside which I’ve spent the last few days in close proximity to - I read a paper a while back on how closeness to nature can be beneficial to mental health, so I put that to the test by standing in the complete silence of a woodland glade while doomscrolling using surprisingly good 5G signal, and, you know what, it did actually feel a bit better.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 10, 2022
This week’s news.
• One of the last bumper crops of awards news of the year, as convention season meanders towards a close, with last weekend seeing the Harvey Awards taking place at New York Comic Con, and prizes were given to Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi’s The Good Asian for Book of the Year, Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus for Digital Book of the Year, and Mirka Andolfo’s Sweet Paprika for Best International Book.
• Last weekend also saw the return of the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Awards, with Keith Knight presented with the Master Cartoonist Award, Lee Marrs and Trina Robbins presented with the Transformative Work Award, and manga translator and scholar Frederick Schodt presented with the Tom Spurgeon Award, while Victoria Douglas was presented with 2022’s Emerging Talent Prize the following day on the show floor.
• In prizes to be announced news, The Beat shares the reveal of the finalists for this year's Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, with Marc Bernadin and Ariela Kristantina's Adora and the Distance; Lilah Sturges and Meaghan Carter's Girl Haven; Harmony Becker's Himawari House; Desirée Proctor, Erica Harrell, and Lynne Yoshii's Nuclear Power; and Johnnie Christmas' Swim Team all in the running.
• A fair amount of news winging its way out of the NYCC PR cavalcade, and two of the bigger stories were the announcement that Heavy Metal have entered into a publishing partnership with ecommerce platform Whatnot, and that former Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada has crossed the aisle to the Distinguished Competition to provide variant covers for Batman.
• Some more comics personnel change news, as ICv2 shares Z2 Comics' announcement that the publisher's co-founder and CEO Josh Frankel has departed for pastures new, with various internal title changes and promotions in the wake of this. Update your spreadsheets accordingly.
• Continuing what has been a spate of fairly high profile comic shop thefts in the last few weeks, TMZ reports on allegations levelled against actor Ray Buffer, who has been accused of stealing $600 worth of funny books from San Diego’s Southern California Comics, with video footage appearing to support the claims.
• Stars and Stripes reports that Yu Gi Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi’s death by drowning in July of this year occurred as Takahashi was attempting to aid in the rescue of swimmers who had been caught in a riptide off the coast of Okinawa - Major Robert Bourgeau, who has been recommended for the Soldier’s Medal for his actions during the rescue, said of Takahashi “He's a hero…He died trying to save someone else.”
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, ICv2 shares the news that Lashawn Colvin, former owner of Alabama’s Comics & Geeks, passed away earlier this month, aged 37 - Colvin’s comic series Beautiful Soldiers had been set to be published by Scout Comics.
Wrong spell 😳✨ pic.twitter.com/NGhFU4DT3T
— 🌜Sibylline🌛 (@Sibylline_M) October 11, 2022
This week’s reviews.
Helen Chazan reviews the painful beauty of Lynda Barry’s My Perfect Life - “It is a testament to Barry’s craft as a cartoonist that both halves of her story are visually compelling - the length of the narration does not drown out the art but wonderfully captures the anxious over-excited inner voice of a kid who needs to tell huge stories to make their life grand and beautiful in the face of a small and joyless existence.”
• Keigen Rea reviews the meaningful action of Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr., et al’s Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 1: World Without Love; and the rushed ending of Tochi Onyebuchi, Setor Fiadzigbey, et al’s Black Panther: Legends.
• Robert Reed reviews the expressive wit of Stephanie Williams, Paco Medina, et al’s Wakanda #1.
• Christopher Franey reviews the dramatic surprises of Chip Zdarsky, Rafael de Latorre, et al’s Daredevil #4.
• David Brooke reviews the character juggling of Ed Brisson, John Timms, et al’s Batman Incorporated #1.
• Chris Coplan reviews the lost opportunities of DC’s Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Green Arrow #1.
• Justin Harrison reviews the haunting conclusion of Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, et al’s Once & Future #30.
• Rory Wilding reviews the compelling horror of James Tynion IV, Gavin Fullerton, et al’s The Closet.
• Zack Quaintance reviews the layered tension of DC’s Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Green Arrow #1.
• Avery Kaplan reviews the artful storytelling of Christopher Cantwell, Pasqual Ferry, et al’s Namor The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #1.
• Arpad Okay reviews the randy fun of Yukinobu Tatsu's Dandadan Volume 1, translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian.
• Andy Oliver reviews the taut suspense of Dan Cox and Fraser Geesin’s A Pocket Chiller: “Jeff”, the ludicrous wit of Obom’s adaptation of Marcel Aymé’s The Man Who Walked Through Walls, and the imaginative delights of Yetunde Ekuntuyi’s The StarBrigade In: A Quest to Help a Friend.
• Rebecca Burke reviews the manifested protest of Elle Shivers’ Cicatrix.
Four Color Apocalypse
Rob Salkowitz reviews the effective subtlety of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s The Night Eaters.
From Cover to Cover
Scott Cederlud reviews the puzzling possibilities of Marvel Comics’ Miracleman #0.
• Rachel Cooke reviews the endearing passion of Lucie Arnoux Je Ne Sais Quoi.
• David M. Higgins reviews the transcendent savaging of Alan Moore's Illuminations.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien reviews the curtailed strangeness of Peter Milligan, Michael Allred, et al’s The X-Cellent #1-5.
Have starred capsule reviews of:
- The joyful delights of Kaz Windness’ Worm and Caterpillar are Friends.
- The relatable honesty of Nathan Fairbairn and Michele Assarasakorn’s Mindy Makes Some Space.
• Matthew Blair reviews the unique variety of Marvel Comics’ Miracleman #0.
• Drew Bradley reviews the studied imperfections of Mark Crilley’s The Comic Book Lesson.
• Christopher Egan reviews the methodical horror of Scott Snyder, Francesco Francavilla, et al’s Night of the Ghoul #1.
• Gregory Ellner reviews the alienating action of Ed Brisson, John Timms, et al’s Batman Incorporated #1.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The astute intensity of Kindra Neely’s Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting.
- The extraordinary resilience of Roberto Saviano and Asaf Hanuka’s I’m Still Alive.
• Rob Kirby reviews the uncanny truths of Lynda Barry’s It’s So Magic.
• Kori Michele Handwerker reviews the breathtaking construction of Linnea Sterte’s A Frog in the Fall.
— Jack T. Cole (@NewJackCole) October 6, 2022
This week’s interviews.
Alex Dueben interviews Duncan Fegredo about Hellboy, childhood reading habits, collaborations, and editorial teams - “For me it is exactly that. It’s why I rarely feel the need to converse more about the book whilst drawing it - because everything is powered by the voice of the character. I hear it play out in my head and it suggests not just the actions but the emotional performance of the character. You know when it works on the page because you can feel that connection to the character. It’s about empathy.”
• David Brooke talks to Ed Brisson and John Timms about Batman Incorporated, business takeovers, the pressure of following in footsteps, and juggling an ensemble.
• Chris Coplan speaks with:
- Marjorie Liu about The Night Eaters and the various sides of intergenerational legacies.
- Matt Lesniewski about Faceless and the Family and reasons for crowdfunding.
- John Harris Dunning about Wiper and rebelling against the surveillance state.
- Xavier Saxon about Night at the Belfry and the joys of losers.
• Deanna Destito interviews Marjorie Liu about The Night Eaters: She Eats The Night, horror movie and gardening addictions, what makes for a good collaboration, and writing during the pandemic.
• Joe Grunenwald talks to Paul Dano about The Riddler: Year One, intense artistic collaborations, choosing the comics form over film for this project, and the difficulty of writing riddles.
Lindsay Pereira chats with Phil Elverum about curating Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1981-2016, Castrée’s childhood reading, and letting work speak for itself.
Briana Lawrence speaks with Sho Harusono about Sasaki and Miyano, manga origin stories, the series’ adaptation for the screen, and the characters’ boys’ love romance.
• Sam Leith interviews Alan Moore about Illuminations, leaving comics behind and moving to prose writing, thoughts on the comics industry, and the problems with modern superheroes.
• Harriet Sherwood talks to Marjane Satrapi about hopes in the context of current protests in Iran, the courage of those standing up to the country’s regime, and auctioning artwork from Persepolis.
The Gutter Review
Chloe Maveal interviews Simon Bisley about changing convention realities, canine testicles, what is aht, and what is AI.
Los Angeles Review of Books
L. Kejera speaks with Reimena Yee about The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya, the parallel visual language of comics and carpets, and the importance of research.
Rosie Knight talks to Dana Mele about Tragic, Shakesepearean origins, the history of Hamlet as a queer character, and focusing in on family drama; and to Stephen Graham Jones about Earthdivers, alternate history origins, creative collaborations, and classic comics influences.
• Andrew Limbong speaks with Kate Beaton about Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, realities of life on the sands, and the complexities of the lives it depicts.
• Mandalit del Barco talks to Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez about La Borinqueña, and Kayden Phoenix about A La Brava, and the real-world problems their Latina superheroes are tackling.
Steven Heller interviews Tom Gauld about Revenge of the Librarians, the importance of libraries, industrious procrastination while cartooning, and luck with publishers.
C.K. Stewart talks to Gale Galligan about Freestyle, the intimidation of creative freedom, comics lessons learned from animation, and the world of Yo-Yos.
Miles Ellingham speaks with Alan Moore about Illuminations, Northampton in a four dimensional universe, arguments against court maigicians, and conveying mystical experiences through the medium of comics.
Ryosuke Arakane interviews Kazuo Umezu (or “Umezz”) about ‘The Great Art Exhibition’, the beauty of mixing colours, the realities of modern progress, and living in your own head.
Skullface & Hellrazor pic.twitter.com/0dCu6llOWl
— Michel Fiffe (@MichelFiffe) October 7, 2022
This week’s features and longreads.
• TCJ’s co-editor, Joe McCulloch reports live from the scene at 2022’s Philly Comics Expo, and presents thoughts on a selection of the titles available from the exhibitors therein - “There are not a lot of 'big' publishers at PCX. Domino Books may be one of the bigger names. Bubbles Fanzine was there, because they are everywhere. Philly's own Beehive Books had all their very fancy "Illuminated Editions" of old prose works standing up in a row. Ambling around, I decided to take up an open invitation to see the current exhibition at the Partners and Son store about 10 minutes away. This was not 'show programming', the store always seems to have an exhibition happening.”
• Further scene reportage for TCJ, over on the west coast, as Chris Anthony Diaz reports from San Francisco’s Permanent Damage Comix Show, featuring a plethora of photographs - “There was also an animated program, Cartoon Damage, screened at the Balboa Theatre the evening before. This was a new component of the comix show, on top of the music performances and readings which typically follow. The animated films in the program were half old animated cartoons on 35 mm from the Theatre's vault, and half recent works.”
• Also for TCJ, Robert Petersen looks back on Lynda Barry’s body of work, and the quest to reclaim the magical power of images, increasingly lost in the modern age - “Though her comics are deeply steeped in kid culture, the childhood found in her pages is closer in character to my own upbringing in the 1960s than that of children of the 1990s, when these comics were first made. The obvious absence of cell phones and social media in the comics make them quite different, even now, from the childhood of college students today. Fried baloney sandwiches, bathing caps with rubber flowers, and calling an AM radio station to request a song are just a few of the many things I remember from my own childhood while reading Drawn & Qaurterly's new reprints of Ernie Pook’s Comeek.”
• For the newly revamped The Gutter Review, Tom Shapira writes on the combative transhumanist anachronisms of Deathlok.
• Over at Shelfdust, Dave Buesing looks back on judging John Francis Moore and Pat Broderick’s Doom 2099 by the cover; and Charlotte Finn writes on the complex realities depicted in Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, and the remarkable feat of comics-making the book represents.
• Also covering Kate Beaton’s Ducks:Two Years in the Oil Sands, Elvie Mae Parian presents a roundtable of contributors to Women Write About Comics, with discussion on Beaton’s choices to convey the book’s various themes to the reader.
• Thoughts on the current state of the industry, from last weekend’s comics events, as Brigid Alverson presents key takeaways from ICv2’s Insider Talks events on direct market distribution, crowdfunding, and vertical scroll revenue; and Calvin Reid reports from the same day of events for Publisher's Weekly with the broader trends seen across comics in 2021.
• From the world of open access academia, writing in Global Mental Health, L. Ahuja , F. Hasan, P. C. Diedrichs, and H. Lewis-Smith write on the use of comics to improve body image among students in Indian Hindi medium schools.
• Zahra Ebrahimi, Mohammad Reza Esfandiari, and Forough Rahimi write in the London Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences on the quality of onomatopoeias and interjections in Persian translations of The Walking Dead.
— natasha allegri (@natazilla) October 11, 2022
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• Once more Comic Books Are Burning In Hell, and this week Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner, Matt Seneca, and Joe McCulloch are talking about the Fantastic Four, Alex Ross, Alex Ross’ Fantastic Four: Full Circle, and valid reasons not to read Marvels or Ross’ wider oeuvre.
• TCJ’s Joe McCulloch also joined Katie Skelly and Sally Madden for this week’s Thick Lines discussion on Kazuo Umezz’ Orochi: The Perfect Edition, Volume 2 and superhero power sets, as well as brief scene reports from recent expos both Small Press and Philly Comics.
• Deb Aoki hosted this week’s edition of Mangasplaining, as the team discussed Jun Mayuzuki’s singular seinen story Kowloon Generic Romance, the unique setting for the manga, and the slightly sanitised version of life it presents.
• Another triple-header presenter week for Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor, intermittently joined by Bryan Moss, took a little look-see at Keith Giffen’s Images of Shadowhawk, Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man: Artist’s Edition, R. Crumb’s Sketchbook: Volume 1, Simon Bisley's Illustrations From The Bible: A Work in Progress, and Frank Miller on Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14.
• Noah Van Sciver’s cartoonist chats returned this week, as Drew Friedman joined proceedings to discuss Maverix and Lunatix: Icons Of Underground Comix, working to amuse yourself, stories about Will Eisner, and illustrating covers for Screw.
• A couple of NYCC specials from Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as Heidi MacDonald, Calvin Reid, and Kate Fitzsimons celebrated a return to in-person programming with a cavalcade of conversations with comics creators.
• David Harper welcomed Tom Brevoort to this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they spoke about life at the House of Ideas, getting your foot in the door, and how the publisher has changed over the last few decades, since the whole 90s bankruptcy thing.
Daily bunny no.1906 accepts cash, card and lettuce pic.twitter.com/aEvnzReo8s
— Will Quinn (@willquinnart) October 12, 2022
That’s all for this week, back soon with more, once I have reconfigured my sense of self to once again being surrounded by concrete, steel, and glass.
Quick PERFECT BLUE thing and now I have to draw other stuff. pic.twitter.com/Fu8do8lzfl
— Annie Wu (@AnnieW) October 10, 2022