Cramming the curation of this week’s links, below, into the spare time available to me between cross-posting my thoughts regarding day-to-day life and cultural happenings on eighteen discrete social media platforms, each with their own formatting style and specific memetic language, and most with product life-cycles shorter than that of your average damselfly. The system works.
— カネコアツシ (@kaneko_atsushi_) July 12, 2023
This week’s news.
• Starting off this week with a look to the world of print media, as news was shared that Jack Ohman, Joel Pett, and Kevin Siers, all Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists, had been let go by McClatchy newspapers, as the company rethinks what exactly will appear in the pages of publications that it owns - the Herb Block foundation released a statement in response, supporting the work of editorial cartoonists, and lamenting “the lack of regard for their importance” - McClatchy announced bankruptcy in 2020, following heavy losses in 2019.
• Free speech news, and Oni Press and the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund announced that this year’s San Diego Comic Con will see the launch of the Fight Censorship, Read Comics! program, including a fundraiser for CBLDF’s work - Oni joined the CBLDF’s corporate members roll back in 2016.
• Awards news, and final voting for this year’s Ringo Awards opened to comics pros this week, with full nominees in all categories available to view here, and winners to be announced on September 9th at 2023’s Baltimore Comic-Con.
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared last week of the passing of comics publisher, historian and collector, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr., who passed away last week aged 76, from complications of liver cancer - Alex Grand’s TCJ obituary for Vadeboncoeur, Jr. can be read here.
— Annie Koyama (@AnnieKoyama) July 12, 2023
This week’s reviews.
• Aug Stone reviews the concise beauty of Pierre-Henry Gomont’s Slava: After the Fall, translated by Edward Gauvin - “Right from the first pages we’re reminded of Gomont’s wonderful use of color, as a carrier van careens through wintry mountains, highlighted by enticing shades of blue. This tone dominates the book—perhaps not surprisingly, given we’re in northern Russia—but it also pleasingly offsets Gomont’s red sound effects, rendered throughout in Cyrillic.”
• Hagai Palevsky reviews the confidence issues of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Night Fever - “I think it's not outlandish to claim that Brubaker and Phillips, by now, do not exist within American comics so much as in parallel to it. Having worked together almost continuously since 1999—that's one year more than I've been alive, dear reader, so I am not old enough to remember a world where "Brubaker/Phillips" wasn’t as much of a brand name as Coca-Cola—I suspect that any claim to profound realism on the part of this duo, one that actively engages with the externality of the rest of the world, has long been forfeited.”
• Tegan O’Neil reviews the clear-eyed continuity of Eddie Campbell’s The Second Fake Death of Eddie Campbell - “The Fate of the Artist is a book about writer’s block - which is, I know, about as played a subject as can be. It’s about a lot of things besides writers’ block. What stuck out at me most this time through was the degree to which Campbell seemed to be roasting himself. Here, now, Campbell seems to have acknowledged, I have become quite the old boor, haven’t I?”
• Christopher Franey reviews the high-octane action of Joshua Williamson, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Caspar Wijngaard, et al’s Knight Terrors #1.
• Michael Guerrero reviews the modern sensibilities of Mark Waid, Emanuela Lupacchino, et al’s World's Finest: Teen Titans #1.
• Collier Jennings reviews the solid start of Marc Guggenheim, Manuel Garcia, et al’s X-Men: Days of Future Past - Doomsday #1.
• Lukas Shayo reviews the excellent questions of Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, et al’s Immortal X-Men #13.
• Nathan Simmons reviews the hanging threads of Ram V, Francesco Manna, et al’s Web of Carnage #1.
• Andrew Isidoro reviews the fresh developments of Greg Weisman and Drew Moss’ Gargoyles: Dark Ages #1.
• David Brooke reviews the compelling characters of G. Willow Wilson, Chris Wildgoose, et al’s The Hunger and the Dusk #1.
• Colin Moon reviews the balanced horror of Jeff Lemire’s Fishflies #1.
• Timothy O’Neil reviews the informative entertainment of Brian ‘Box’ Brown’s The He-Man Effect.
• Beau Q. reviews the rewarding gags of Benji Nate’s Girl Juice.
• Lisa Gullickson reviews the thoughtful groundedness of Meghan Boehman and Rachel Briner’s Dear Rosie.
• Joe Grunenwald reviews the solid concept of DC’s Knight Terrors.
• Arpad Okay reviews the atmospheric fun of Yukinobu Tatsu’s Dandadan Volume 4, translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian.
Andy Oliver has reviews of:
- The resonant emotions of Chloe Green’s A Crying Shame.
- The formal experimentation of Gareth Brookes’ Times Tables.
- The delightful energy of Liza N. Cooper’s Meems & Feefs: Ferrets from Planet Ferretonia!.
- The communicative pacing of Nancy ArtMusic’s Mzungu Nusu: The Half Foreigner.
- The impressive juxtaposition of Mereida Fajardo’s Zayani Zam.
- The unique voice of Ellice Weaver’s Big Ugly.
- The melancholy nostalgia of Paul Ashley Brown's Browner-Knowle Vol. 2 #1.
- The daring storytelling of Peter Morey’s Endswell #4-5.
From Cover to Cover
Scott Cederlund reviews the riveting vividity of Jenna Cha and Lonnie Nadler’s The Sickness Chapter One.
House to Astonish
Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #94, X-Men #24, X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four #1, and X-23: Deadly Regenesis #5.
Have starred capsule reviews of:
- The timeless vibe of Daniel Clowe’s Monica.
- The exemplary visuals of Amy Kurzweil’s Artificial.
- The affirming explorations of Susie Yi’s A Sky of Paper Stars.
- The cosmic pizzazz of Jorge Cham’s Oliver’s Great Big Universe.
- The stirring empathy of Trang Nguyen and Jeet Zdung’s Saving H'non: Chang and the Elephant.
• Kobi Bordoley reviews the melancholy vibe of W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Simmonds, et al’s Swan Songs #1.
• Gregory Ellner reviews the heartwarming heroics of Marvel Comics’ Captain America #750.
• Robbie Pleasant reviews the interesting connections of Kieron Gillen, Paco Medina, et al’s X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four #1.
• Mark Tweedale reviews the deft plotting of Tyler Crook’s The Lonesome Hunters: The Wolf Child #1.
• Christopher Egan reviews the opening mystery of Simon Birks, Willi Roberts, et al's Antarctica #1.
• Elias Rosner reviews the powerful questions of Susumu Higa’s Okinawa, translated by Jocelyn Allen.
James A. Cosby reviews the intertwining neo-expressionism of Chuck D’s STEWdio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D.
Have capsule reviews of:
- The playful freshness of K. Briggs’ adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
- The underdeveloped questing of Tim Daniel, David Andry, Sunando C, et al’s End After End: At the Moment of Your Death.
- The crackling tautness of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Night Fever.
Kevin Brown reviews the layered satire of Aisha Franz’s Work-Life Balance, translated by Nicholas Houde.
Women Write About Comics
Lisa Fernandes reviews the sprightly delights of Marvel Comics’ Women of Marvel #1.
— Non-Fiction Comics Fest (@NFComicsFest) July 7, 2023
This week’s interviews.
Ian Thomas presents a roundtable conversation with representatives of Massachusetts’ Prison Book Program, Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh Prison Book Project, North Carolina’s Asheville Prison Books, and Wisconsin’s LGBT Books to Prisoners about the work of getting reading material to those in the United States carceral system - “[Prison Book Program:] I always say it’s a thousand tiny streams forming a mighty river. Most of the books just walk in off the street. People bring us their personal books. We hold four volunteer sessions a week, presently. We may do more in the future, [but] they can bring books any time we’re there and holding a volunteer session. So, it’s basically just community donations.”
• David Brooke speaks with Jeremy Lambert about The Hollywood Special and how to get ahead in creative endeavours, and with Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque about Duck and Cover and visual inspirations of the 1950s.
• Chris Coplan interviews Tyler Crook about The Lonesome Hunters: The Wolf Child and and evolving fictional worlds, and Dennis Culver about Unstoppable Doom Patrol and the challenge of writing iconic superheroes.
• Deanna Destito talks to Christopher Yost about Unnatural Order and merging fantasy lands with the real world, and keeping cross-genre stories grounded.
• Avery Kaplan chats with Meredith Moriarty about Third Shift Society, the series’ origins, and adapting the comic to print from the vertical scroll format.
• Zack Quaintance interviews Tze Chun about TKO Studios, living in a golden age of comic books, and the publisher’s upcoming projects.
Milton Griepp presents a three-part conversation with Pacific Comics’ Bill Schanes about a career in buying and selling comics, and the move to operating as a distributor; and a conversation with Bob Wayne about the early days of a career in comics selling and publishing, and the evolution of the direct market.
• Kate Kosturski speaks with Paul Cornell about Con & On, literary inspirations, and heading back to the 90s for the start of the series.
• Mark Tweedale talks to Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt about the return of The Sixth Gun, and bringing its characters back to the page.
Chris Barsanti chats with Bill Griffith about Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy, and heading to this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
JK Parkin interviews Paul Cornell about Con & On, favourite and least favourite convention experiences, and upcoming projects featuring weird beasts.
Power of Then // pic.twitter.com/aNWiWCEKre
— Olivia Sullivan (@zeb_ko) July 6, 2023
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, Matt Petras previews Natalie Norris’ Dear Mini, and speaks to the author about the process behind the making of this graphic memoir - “Dear Mini does not make use of conventional comic book panels. Handwritten narration weaves through illustrations with dialogue balloons. For the first draft, Norris worked quickly and let her mind intuitively guide the layout of the pages. When she moved onto a finalized draft, she mostly focused on making the artwork look polished - the content stayed mostly the same.”
• Broken Frontier hosts some fresh Inside Looks, as Julie Innes discusses autobio comics-making process and inspirations for creating work in that genre, and Absolute Collider Press share the haunting nature of their snowballing work.
• For The Gutter Review, Chloe Maveal writes on the work of ILYA, aka Ed Hillyer, focusing in on The End of the Century Club and Room for Love’s varied interpersonal connections.
• Over at Publisher’s Weekly, Heidi MacDonald previews the upcoming 2023 San Diego Comic Con, as a dearth of media megacorp attendance may mean good things for comics makers and publishers.
• SKTCHD’s David Harper marks the halfway point of the year by speaking with retailers about how their business is faring, as fluctuating sales and distribution deals make for market uncertainty.
• Shelfdust’s Dust to Dust series continues, as this week Steve Morris considers the fake-feeling squared circle of Summerslam 2018 in Dennis Hopeless and Serg Acuna’s WWE #25; and Sean Dillon explores the incongruity of JM DeMatteis and Mike Zeck’s Kraven’s Last Hunt, and the emotional core at the heart of the character of Peter Parker.
• From the world of open-access academia, as inTRAlinea, the online translation journal, presents a special issue on translation and localisation of comics, with papers on Tintin, Shakespeare, Batman Noël, and more.
• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as Vladimir Putin’s position weakened, USPS rates and global temperatures rose, and white lines were found in the White House.
— 초이초이 (@jychoioioi) July 5, 2023
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• Sally Madden was joined by Zak Sally for an all-Sallies episode of Thick Lines this week, as they discussed Inés Estrada’s Cherry and David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, and Marguerite Van Cook’s 7 Miles a Second, and the importance of the stories told therein.
• Claire Napier and Tegan O’Neil (whose new-new newsletter can be found here) reconvened for a fresh pail of Udder Madness, as this week’s foray into the history of Top Cow focused in on the work of one Michael Turner, artist on Witchblade and Fathom.
• A double bill of Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Show, as Eddie Campbell joined proceedings to discuss The Fate of the Artist & The Second Fake Death of Eddie Campbell and making the move to digital working, and Rian Hughes spoke about Black Locomotive and steam-train subculture.
• John Siuntres welcomed Louis Southard to this week’s edition of Word Balloon, as they discussed Blackout Bombshell, publishing with Sumerian Comics, and the highs and lows of Indiana Jones.
• David Harper was joined by Urban Comics’ François Hercouet for the latest episode of Off Panel, as they spoke about the French comics market and publishing American books in Europe, and the ongoing evolution of domestic and foreign comics markets.
• Calvin Reid and Meg Lemke hosted this week’s edition of Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come, as they discussed Darin Bell’s graphic novel The Talk, and the perspectives and experiences put forward in the book.
• Ending one more week on the books with Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor took a little look at Steve Bissette’s Tyrant, Ann Nocenti and David Mazzucchelli’s Chiaroscuro in Marvel Fanfare #40, Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, the comics scripts of Alan Moore, Todd McFarlane on Amazing Spider-Man #298, and James Jean’s Process Recess.
— Valentine (@valentinemsm1th) July 12, 2023
The links are done for one more week, maybe they’ll be back for one more week soon.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: The 2023 Rex Babin Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Cartooning. Details below. Deadline to enter: August 25, 2023@EditorPublisher @comicriffs @CJR @Poynter @MikeRhode1 @dailycartoonist @RobCloughHighLo @jaketapper @NiemanLab @onthemedia pic.twitter.com/uIqvLWpBRW
— AAEC (@AAEC_Cartoonist) July 13, 2023