These Are The Damned – This Week’s Links

I am deep into a bout of novel b-coronavirus sars-cov-2, which I didn’t even have the good grace of attending a comic convention to contract, so this week’s links, below, arrive to you with some bonus joint pain, fever/chills, sore throat, and sinus congestion, and from a small nest lined with various manga volumes in differing states of page-bethumbedness, although Kyoko Okazaki’s River’s Edge may have been a poor choice to read in a mild state of delirium, in hindsight.

This week’s news.

• Starting the week in the United Kingdom, as The Guardian announced that they would be sacking cartoonist Steve Bell over a cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - Bell’s work has drawn accusations of antisemitic imagery previously, and also of misunderstanding antisemitic issues in British politics in general.

• Moving to book fairs news, and Scholastic this week announced a handy, one-click plan to facilitate book bans, choosing to silo off books on race, gender and sexuality into a list that school districts in states with restrictive legislation in place can choose to excise from upcoming events, with PEN America calling on the publisher to instead “explore other solutions so they can reject any role in accommodating these nefarious laws.”

• ICv2 presented sales figures for comic books and graphic novels from 2022, with a 4% increase over sales in 2021, which itself was a record-setting year for the industry, while trends in the direct market were mixed, with periodical sales just about keeping pace with inflation between 2010 and 2022.

• Comics prizes news, and the winners of this year’s Harvey Awards were announced at last weekend’s New York Comic con, with Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in The Oil Sands named as Book of the Year, and Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus taking home Digital Book of the Year.

• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared this week of the passing of cartoonist Tony Husband, perhaps best known for work in Private Eye, who has died from a heart attack, aged 73.

This week’s reviews.


• Brian Nicholson reviews the approachable nonsense of Tiger Tateishi’s Cheat Sheets - “Certain strips have each panel presenting the broad horizontal vista of a tapestry, thick with detail and what we recognize as correct perspective on initial exposure. The tapestry, presenting a single image rich with narrative, is upended by Tateishi’s comic strip form: one can take their time reading a story into a detailed picture, but then the next panel, which the reader might expect to advance the narrative, derails it. Entire worlds are established so that the reader can see that what unfolds is not at all what was expected.”

• Ian Thomas reviews the character study of Tom Scioli’s I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee - “But I Am Stan is not purely a litany of sins, nor is it solely an apologia. What Scioli delivers is a character study rife with Freudian pathos and professional frustration, more in keeping with something the Coen brothers might put on the screen than the surface-level storytelling associated with graphic biography, a genre that too often resorts to Wikipedia regurgitation.”

• Tegan O’Neil reviews the gratifying sheen of Tom Scioli’s reworking of Jack Kirby's Starr Warriors: The Adventures of Adam Starr and the Solar Legion - “It’s a very nice-looking book, but I’m also aware that simply the act of recontextualizing the original art like this is going to rub some people the wrong way. That’s fair, certainly, and if you want to see the art as it was originally printed, happy hunting.”



• Nathan Simmons reviews the heartfelt charms of Grace Ellis and Penelope Rivera Gaylord’s Diana and the Hero’s Journey.

• Piper Whitaker reviews the awkward pacing of Mark Waid, Dan Mora, et al’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #20.

• Eric Thomas reviews the clever setup of Brian Buccellato, Christian Duce, et al’s Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong #1.

• Christopher Franey reviews the entertaining start of Jeremy Adams, Diego Olortegui, et al’s Jay Garrick: The Flash #1.

• David Brooke reviews the exceptional dialogue of Rainbow Rowell, Andrés Genolet, et al’s Sensational She-Hulk #1.

• Colin Moon reviews the effective tone of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, et al’s Bone Orchard: Tenement #5.


The Beat

• Joe Grunenwald reviews the establishing pretense of Brian Buccellato, Christian Duce, et al’s Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong #1.

• Zack Quaintance reviews the bold cartooning of Saladin Ahmed, Juan Ferreyra, et al's Spine-Tingling Spider-Man #1.

• Michael Kurt reviews the sad beauty of Zoe Thorogood’s Hack/Slash – Back to School #1.

• Cy Beltran reviews the fascinating feel of Thomas Mauceri and Seb Piquet’s In Search of Gil Scott-Heron, translated by James Hogan.

• Beau Q. reviews the resonant contrasts of Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s Roaming.

• Derrick Crow reviews the enjoyable romance of Miyuki Tonogaya’s The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl, translated by Julie Goniwich.


Broken Frontier

Andy Oliver reviews the beautiful communication of Jamila Rowser and Sam Wade’s The Gift, and the knowing comedy of  Leo Healy and Torgo Wells’ So You’ve Been Conquered by the Human Race.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien has capsule reviews of Marvel Comics’ X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #108, X-Men Red #16, Wolverine #38, and Magneto #3.


Mindless Ones

Illogical Volume reviews the shifting techniques of Eddie Campbell’s The Second Fake Death of Eddie Campbell.


Multiversity Comics

• Drew Bradley reviews the odd choices of Sina Grace’s Superman: The Harvests of Youth.

• Alexander Jones reviews the strong showcase of Rainbow Rowell, Andrés Genolet, et al’s Sensational She-Hulk #1.



Tahneer Oksman reviews the delightful friendships of Sharee Miller’s Curlfriends: New In Town.


The Washington Post

Jacob Brogan reviews the playful weirdness of Daniel Clowes’ Monica.


Women Write About Comics

Carrie McClain reviews the layered meanings of Olivia Stephens' Darlin’ And Her Other Names, Part 1: Marta.

This week’s interviews.


Jason Bergman interviews Larry Marder about Tales of the Beanworld, chemotherapy and medical health, getting pushed out at McFarlane Toys, and multi-generational family fans - “I think that people forget, but desktop publishing was the end of something. It went from Mad Men-type ad agencies, which is where I started out, to copywriters being able to lay out their own ads. They would be using whatever they used in those days. What did we use, QuarkXPress? You could just do it and you didn't need all those people. It doesn't mean it was good. There's lots of examples of bad stuff. If you look at any early issue of Wizard, you can see they did not know what they were doing, but it sold.”



• David Brooke speaks with Ed Piskor about the Hip Hop Family Tree omnibus, aiming for new readers, and sticking with creator-owned works in future.

• Chris Coplan talks to Bad Ink Studios’ Evan Schultz and Lydia Roberts about reframing the consumer relationship with comic books and their creators.


Anime News Network

Toni Sun interviews Kia Asamiya about Silent Möbius, the musical element of the book’s ensemble cast, and adapting manga to the audio drama format.


The Beat

• Avery Kaplan speaks with Claire Lordon about One in a Million, the origins of the graphic memoir, and the process behind making the book.

AJ Frost talks to Tom Scioli about I Am Stan Lee, the many faces of its subject, Lee's comics advocacy, and understanding the reasoning behind decisions that Lee made during his career.


Entertainment Weekly

Christian Holub chats with Kid Kudi and Kyle Higgins about Moon Man, bringing a new superhero to the stands for 2024, and music and comics crossover.



Brigid Alverson presents conversations between Milton Griepp, Paul Levitz, and Jim Shooter on the origins and scope of the Direct Market; and Rob Salkowitz, Jamal Igle, Dimitrios Fragiskatos, Stu Colson, Jenn Haines, and Cara O'Neil on retail strategies for a changing Direct Market, both conducted at this year’s New York Comic Con.



Alex Halberstadt interviews Julie Doucet about Dirty Plotte and Time Zone J, artistic influences, geographical influences, and future plans.


The New Yorker

Françoise Mouly speaks with Daniel Clowes about indicators of extreme wealth, what to do with magic beans, and meeting your readers.

This week’s features and longreads.

• Here at TCJ, Michael O’Connell charts an extensive look back at the early stages of Milton Caniff’s career, and the professional relationship between Caniff and editor Lonore Kent - “It’s difficult to underestimate the impact that “Bud” Sickles had on Caniff’s work. In later years, the two would share a studio in New York City. As Caniff developed Terry and the Pirates, Sickles filled in for artist John Terry on the Scorchy Smith comic strip for the Associated Press. When Terry died, Sickles took over the strip and began to apply a chiaroscuro style to his artwork that Caniff incorporated into Terry and the Pirates with great success.”

• Rich Warren writes for The Saturday Evening Post on the history and work of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, and what visitors can expect from a trip through its doors.

• For Polygon, Rosie Knight looks at the realities of making comic books in 2023, in the wake of #comicsbrokeme, speaking with people from The Cartoonist Cooperative and The Hero Initiative, as well as creators, on what needs to change to make the industry better.

Also surveying the state of comics (general) in 2023, Solrad presents a conversation between O.F. Stapledon and Jill Deleuze, comprising a, let's call it 'interesting,' perspective on the failings of comics to both its creators and readers, and their failings towards the medium in return, and how an industry returns from that particular state.

• Over at Shelfdust, Jake Murray writes on the changing of the guard in Chris Claremont and Mary Wiltshire’s New Mutants #35, and the wider sociopolitical context into which the series arrived in general.

• From the world of open-access academia, Comics, Culture, and Religion: Faith Imagined, edited by Kees de Groot, is free-to-read, under a Creative Commons license, with essays on the interplay between comics and religion across the form.

• In Forum, Audrey Chan examines Alberto Breccia’s use of Futurist techniques in Le Coeur Révélateur: Et Autres Histoires Extraodinaires d’ Edgar Poe, and the employment of these as a form of counter-censorship.

• In the European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, Fabrizio Consorti, Sara Fiorucci,Gianfranco Martucci, and Silvia Lai present a scoping review on the use of comics and graphic medicine in medical education.

• Paul O’Brien’s survey of the many enemies of Matt Murdoch continues for House to Astonish, as the nominative suitability of The Matador is discussed.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as focus was given to the deaths of innocent civilians caught in the middle of the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.

This week’s audio/visual delights.

• The smell of brimstone wafts in as Comic Books Are Burning In Hell once more, and this week Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner, and Joe McCulloch are charting the storied history of Matt Wagner’s Grendel (and Mage), or at least that of the issues published in the 80s by Comico.

• Austin English hosted this week’s meeting of the New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium, as Casper Cendre and Kelsey Westphal spoke about the work of A.B.O. Comix, and the wider work of prison abolition groups.

• David Brothers hosted the latest edition of Mangasplaining, as the team returned to discussing the work of Kamome Shirahama, this time looking at Shirahama’s debut work, Eniale & Dewiela, and the big visual changes between this and later work.

• Al Kennedy and Paul O’Brien opened the doors of the House to Astonish once more, this week recapping news out of the New York Comic Con just gone, along with a couple of recent reviews from the Direct Market, and remembrances of Keith Giffen.

• Also focused on the latest edition of NYCC, Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come saw Calvin Reid podcasting live from the show floor, speaking with Gideon Kendall and Doug Latino about WAIT… It Gets Worse, and with N. Steven Harris about working with True Fiktion.

• Claire Napier and Tegan O’Neil served up a fresh pail of Udder Madness, this week summoning up D-Tron, Billy Tan, et al’s Spirit of the Tao, and discussing the book’s redeeming qualities, the cultural design aesthetics of the book, and similarities to the Witchblade.

• Closing out the week with more Cartoonist Kayfabe, as Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg took a look at Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day, Charlton Comics’ Children of Doom, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s Astro City #1, and Issei Sagawa’s Sagawa’s Manga, before conducting a shoot interview with Steve Rude about Nexus and the enduring joys and challenges of storytelling.

No more links this week, as I need to replace lost fluids and then sleep for 14 hours.