Okay, first, if you haven't yet made time to read the obituaries and tributes for Bill Blackbeard we published yesterday, written by R.C. Harvey, Jeet Heer, and others, you really should do so at your earliest convenience. It would be difficult to overstate how great a debt anyone interested enough in comics to be reading this site owes to Blackbeard. It is easy to take for granted the state of things as they are, and think that it's entirely natural for bookstore and library shelves to be groaning with beautiful archival reprints of classic comic strips, but if not for Blackbeard, it is very unlikely we would be living in such a world. It is both frightening and motivating to think about how much can come down to one dedicated person. (Two off-site tributes worth reading come from Dylan Williams and Tom Spurgeon.)
New to the Journal today are Dan's interview with Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, regarding their upcoming Alex Toth book, Rob Clough's review of Noah Van Sciver's Blammo, and the latest column from Joe McCulloch, with the highlights of the week for newly published comics—and another in-depth look at late Steve Ditko.
Elsewhere, lots of links this morning:
Timothy Callahan has been reading old issues of the Journal and getting inspired. You can too.
Adrian Tomine is selling art to raise funds for Japanese disaster relief.
For those buried under a rock, new art from Bill Watterson has surfaced.
Ben Katchor brings us drawing-as-writing from both Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky! (In appreciation for these great finds, I ought to link to Katchor's recent interview with the A.V. Club.)
The film writer Richard Harland Smith interviews one of the great comics talkers, Drew Friedman.
James Romberger just posted an interview with Gene Colan. As you may know, Colan's health situation isn't very good right now. You can learn one way to help here.
The Point has published a nice, thoughtful review-essay based on Chris Ware's latest volume of Acme Novelty Library.
The popular literary weblog HTMLGIANT does the same for CF's City-Hunter.
Robert Boyd organized a show in Houston featuring the work of Jim Woodring and Marc Bell. He revisits it in words and video. Both artists (and JW's famous giant pen) make appearances.
I imagine this must be a very common experience, but having a kid recently, and being "forced" (she isn't that strong) to read the same books over and over again nightly, has given me immense new respect for the artistry of figures like Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak. Sendak was feeling ill when he granted a Philadelphia reporter a brief, bracing set of quotes.