No Sense Of Duty, No Sense Of Destiny – This Week’s Links

Alright, the bad news is that potential water rationing might put a scupper on my quantitative analysis of whether multiple cold showers a day during a heatwave impacts on the efficiency of this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below. The good news is I can quickly pivot to a similar study as to the effects of passing out from heat exhaustion on the efficiency of the same. Education is its own reward.

The days the earth caught fire… This week’s news.

• The summer of downsizing continues, as Valiant Comics appeared last week to be the latest publisher to run afoul of their IP hungry owners, with reports of mass layoffs taking place - Valiant was acquired by ‘global media company’ DMG Entertainment in 2018, which had held a 57% stake in Valiant since 2014, aiming to mine the publisher’s characters for media properties.

• ICv2 reports on the theft of four autographed and CGC graded comics prior to an attempted smash-and-grab at Colorado Springs store The Iron Lion last Friday - any information on the thefts can be reported here.

• The DOJ’s case against Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster’s proposed merger rolled on, as MacMillan CEO Don Weisberg and HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray both testified on the implications of the formation of such a ‘mega-publisher’ on the book market landscape - Publisher’s Weekly rounds up the testimonies from week two of the trial here.

• In other lawsuit news, The New York Times reports that Frank Miller is suing the estate of David Anthony Kraft, and Kraft's widow Jennifer Bush-Kraft, over two pieces of artwork that originally appeared on the cover of Comics Interview - Miller's lawsuit contends that the artwork, which Bush-Kraft intended to auction, was only on loan, but correspondence and trade practices from the time would seem to dispute this - the artwork currently resides with online auction house Comic Connect, which was due to host bidding on the pieces in June, prior to the initiation of legal proceedings.

• The Beat shared the announcement of this year's nominees for the Harvey Awards, with ten comics in the running for 2022's Book of the Year - voting registration is open now and runs through to the 2nd of September, with the winners to be announced on the 7th of October at New York Comic Con.

• Koyama Provides announced the latest recipient of their grant program, awarding $1,500 to Julia Gfrörer, which will be used to “self-publish the long-awaited print version of Tooth and Claw."

• In memoriam, remembering those the comics world has lost, as author-illustrator Raymond Briggs passed away this week, aged 88 - The Guardian collated tributes from fellow creators to Briggs here.

• News was shared on Thursday of the passing of cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé, aged 89 - Sempé contributed more covers for The New Yorker than any other contemporary artist, and was a frequent collaborator with René Goscinny on the children's book series Le Petit Nicolas.

Hot properties… This week’s reviews.


• Frank M. Young reviews the delightful density of James the Stanton’s Gnartoons - “For all its daunting detail and sometimes-dark imagery, Stanton’s comics are genial and leisurely. In them, things just happen; one curious incident flows into another. Like the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, Stanton presents the dreamlike, improbable and what-the-hell-ial as though it’s the most natural thing in the world.”

• Leonard Pierce reviews the subjective skillfulness of various self-published works by Derek Marks - “Let’s get that out of the way first: Marks is a terrific artist. His sparse and deft use of color is very effective, and he uses clean, simple linework that is reminiscent of some of my favorite artists in the medium of comics. It’s not hard to put him in a direct line that starts with Dan DeCarlo and contains luminaries like Jaime Hernandez and Adrian Tomine, to name just a few. He’s an exceptional letterer, deploying everything from graffiti and ‘80s neon to classic Art Deco and Golden Age comic strip styles. And as much as the subject of his work leaves me flat, the tone of it is frequently funny and always loving.”



• Christopher Franey reviews the fantastic opening of Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, et al’s DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1.

• David Brooke reviews the simple fun of Jody Houser, Ze Carlos, et al’s Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1.

• Robert Reed reviews the slow-build tension of Ed Brisson, Kev Walker, et al’s Predator #1.

• Tyler West reviews the bold originality of Tom King, Elsa Charretier, et al’s Love Everlasting #1.


The Beat

• Steve Baxi reviews the doomed romances of Tom King, Elsa Charretier, et al’s Love Everlasting #1.

• Zack Quaintance reviews the satisfying finale of Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, Jamal Campbell, et al’s Naomi: Season Two #6.

• Avery Kaplan reviews the confusing structuring of Jody Houser, Ze Carlos, et al’s Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver reviews the immersive intrigue of Peter Hoey and Maria Hoey’s Animal Stories, the nuance optimism of Priya Huq’s Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab, and the progressive inclusion of DC Thomson’s The Beano #4146.


Four Color Apocalypse

Ryan C reviews the sophisticated gratuity of Andrew Pilkington's Mole #7.


From Cover to Cover

Scott Cederlund reviews the expressive empathy of Gengoroh Tagame’s Our Colours, translated by Anne Ishii.


House to Astonish

Paul O'Brien reviews the routine team-up of Jody Houser, Ze Carlos, et al’s Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1.


Multiversity Comics

• Kobi Bordoley reviews the theological questions of Peter Milligan and Marcelo Frusin’s Sacrament #1.

• Alexander Jones reviews the thrilling culmination of Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey, et al’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #14.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The immersive fairytale of JC Deveney and Nuria Tamarit’s Giantess, translated by Dan Christensen.

- The stylish horror of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night.



• Nicholas Burman reviews the arresting frictions of George Wylesol’s 2120.

• Kevin Brown reviews the balanced history of Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer's Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith.


Women Write About Comics

Lisa Fernandes reviews the adorable antics of Colleen Coover, Galaador, et al’s Wrassle Castle: Learning the Ropes.

Speak with friends and enter… This week’s interviews.


Alex Dueben interviews David F. Walker about Naomi, being a jack of many trades, saying yes to a challenge, and contrasting workflows - “I’ve been super fortunate in that I had all these friend who were in the industry who I could turn to for advice and guidance, and helped me avoid some of the pitfalls that happened especially to younger people. When you get into something in your 40s where everyone else is half your age, you have to think more calculating.”



• Chris Coplan talks to Phillip Kennedy Johnson about Worlds Without a Justice League – Green Lantern, the appeal of John Stewart, and Geoff Thorne’s influence on the story.

• David Brook chats with Cavan Scott and Bryan Q. Miller about Black Adam: The Justice Society Files – Atom Smasher and strategically placed objects.



Jasmin Wrobel and Dustin Breitenwischer speak with Breena Nuñez, Marcelo D’Salete, and André Diniz about making comics that centre the Black and Brown experience in their narratives.



Rob Salkowitz interviews Karen Berger about The Sandman’s original path to publication, the editorial relationship with Neil Gaiman, and letting the series have an ending.


The Guardian

Sam Leith talks to Nick Drnaso about Acting Class, cartooning parallels and the creators the medium attracts, and the experience of Sabrina’s publication.



Speak with Viz Media’s Kevin Hamric about the state of the manga market, ongoing supply shortages, bestselling titles, and clearing up specifics regarding Chainsaw Man.



Steven Heller chats with Neil McGinness about Pulp Power: The Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Art of the Street & Smith Universe, and the influence of pulp characters on modern superhero stories.


Women Write About Comics

Wendy Browne interviews Phil Smith about Brik Jones: Attorney for Earth, genre fiction tackling real world problems, and fictional jurisprudence.

Write it in a martial hand… This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Mark Arnold writes in remembrance of writer and editor Sid Jacobson, who passed away last month aged 92 - “His storytelling imagination encompassed teenage love songs and the childhood innocence of Harvey’s comics fables for kids, as well as the realities of Jewish history and modern bigotry and terrorism.”

• Also for TCJ, Cynthia Rose charts an extensive history of Paris’ Père Lunette dive bar, its radical clientele between the 19th and 20th centuries, and the loss and return of its extensively illustrated walls - “Many Paris bars had painted walls; murals at the nearby Château Rouge starred a guillotine. But Père Lunette was different because all its art was satirical. If most of these visual jests are long gone, many descriptions of them remain. The cartoons featured left-wing politicians, writers and celebrities depicted as animals, ogling nudes or (in the case of one Alfred Naquet) waving scissors. It was Naquet – drawn with his feet on a heart – who, in 1884, legalized divorce.”

• Tom Shapira also looks to the past for TCJ this week, as well as the future, or a possible future (???), of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and what The Last Ronin has to say about the world of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s Heroes in a Half Shell - “There are just about zero surprises. At least, I hope the story doesn’t think we are surprised when it turns out that our point-of-view turtle is the lone survivor of the group, and the other three who talk to him are ghosts in his mind (it’s called The Last Ronin after all).”

• A Cartoonist’s Diary returns to TCJ as Emily Steinberg (and Gus the dog) share a week of morning routines, summer reading, reptilian visitors, and puppy scrolling, with a final entry going up today.

• For The New Yorker, Sam Thielman profiles Jim Woodring, ahead of the publication of One Beautiful Spring Day, as well as the narrative star of the show, Frank.

• Shelfdust’s Black Comics History series continues, as Brandon Davis looks back to 1998 and Christopher Priest’s reinvigoration of Black Panther, ahead of the dawning of a new millenium.

• Mike Baxter writes for From Cover to Cover on the return of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror anthologies, this time in omnibus form, as Abrams Comicarts take up the mantle previously worn by Bongo Comics.

• Over at Women Write About Comics, Ivy Allie celebrates 15 years of Winston Rowntree’s webcomic Subnormality, and the unique reading experience that it brings to the infinite canvas.

• As The Sandman becomes the latest comics property to make it to the tumultuous world of streaming media, Polygon’s Susana Polo looks back at the source material’s tangled genesis.

• A few entries from the world of open access academia, as Bien Klomberg, Irmak Hacımusaoğlu, and Neil Cohn share analysis of a large dataset of comics from America, Europe, and Asia, in Discourse Processes, looking at temporal, character, and spatial continuity across extended visual narrative sequences.

• For Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, Alena Cicholewski writes on the sense of community to be found in fandom, as depicted in G. Willow Wilson’s writing on Ms. Marvel.

• For Çeviribilim ve Uygulamaları Dergisi, Halise Gülmüş Sırkıntı examines the back-translation of author Kutlukhan Perker’s self-translation of Turkish comic series Uykusuz, and the cultural changes to the narrative that this resulted in.

• 2003. Beyoncé is all over the music charts. Wolverine is all over the comic stands.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as headlines were once more dominated by investigation into the doings of one President Donald Trump.

Sweating the details… This week’s audio/visual delights.

• David Brothers hosts this week’s edition of Mangasplaining, as a summer of supernatural stories continues with the team diving into the comedy of Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works, as well as some sponsored speaking about Yayoi Ogawa’s You’re My Pet.

• Drawn & Quarterly hosted a new edition of At Home With, in celebration of the launch of Guy Delisle’s World Record Holders, translated by Helge Dascher, as viewers were welcomed to Delisle’s studio for a discussion of the process and experiences behind the book.

• A regular two-presenter week on Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg took a look at the work of Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth on The Sandman, Brian Bolland’s Judge Dredd: Apex Edition, Hilary Barta and Doug Rice’s Stupid #1, Brandon Choi and J. Scott Campbell’s Gen¹³, and Glenn Herdling and Todd McFarlane in The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #10.

• Politics and Prose and DC Public Library hosted a launch event for Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein’s Invisible: A Graphic Novel, as they discussed the journey of bringing the book to print, and bringing joy to others with stories.

• David Harper welcomed Tyler Crook to Off Panel to talk about The Lonesome Hunters, working on BPRD, and putting emotions at the core of a story.

• Calvin Reid and Meg Lemke spoke about two graphic novels which have recently received starred reviews for the latest edition of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, discussing Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, and Kate Gavino’s A Career in Books.

• Gil Roth welcomed Jonah Kinigstein to The Virtual Memories Show this week, as they celebrated the publication of Unrepentant Artist, and the rage that goes into political cartooning.

That’s it for this week, for I cannot bear to be close to an overheating laptop anymore, world’s smallest violins all round until it cools down.