We’ll Take A Cup O’ Kindness – This Week’s Links

Alrighty then, new year/new me, so no hyuk-hyukking about how I accidentally submitted this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below, to The Conics Journal, and their subsequently returning them to me, so they have come full circle. 


This week, it’s just links. Pure, reliable, not needing you to swab your tonsils four times and your nostrils ten times, simply links. Links!

Will this horrible year never end?... This week’s news.

• Starting the year with what has now become a seasonal tradition, rounding up the notices of changes to the winter festival schedule due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety requirements, as Festival international de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême announced a postponement of this year’s events until spring, the East London Comics and Arts Festival have announced that its events are officially ‘on pause’ indefinitely, and the 10th Annual Schomburg Center's Black Comic Book Festival next week will now be entirely virtual.

• Comic Book Workers United announced that their vote to unionise has been successful, passing 7-2, with three other ballots subject to a "frivolous legal challenge on eligibility" but not able to affect a majority in favour of the move, making Image the first unionised comics publisher in the United States.

• As the old year’s awards season must end so too must the new year’s awards season begin, and winners were announced in the 2021 Prism Awards and the 2021 Broken Frontier awards, as well as Hall of Fame inductees in the 2021 Joe Shuster Awards, while Sloane Leong opened submissions to the inaugural Salt and Honey Minicomic Awards (deadline 1st February).

• Rounding up recent manga news, as Shogakukan announced that Naoki Urasawa’s manga are now available in digital format, Please Tell Me! Galko-chan creator Kenya Suzuki has reportedly been arrested on child pornography charges leading to the series’ serialisation being placed on hiatus, and an anonymous translator has made allegations to Anime News Network that localisation company Amimaru has been trialling machine-lead translations for commercial manga releases.

• Elsewhere in Japan, the manga and anime publishing industry continues its full-court press against piracy sites, claiming illegal manga consumption has increased almost four-fold over the course of the pandemic, forming an anti-piracy supergroup to try and stem the alleged loss of potential revenue.

• Auction news smashes its way into 2022, and a high grade copy of 1962’s The Incredible Hulk #1 has sold for $490,000 to a private collector, as the market saw an influx of new buyers, and new money, in 2021.

• Koyama Provides announced the first recipient of 2022’s grant round, awarding $1,500 to Laura Park, which will be used “...to give myself the time and space to work on comics. Specifically, I have a longer comic, which is still in thumbnails that I’m eager to dive back in. It’s a personal story which has required a lot of research and seems to only move forward when I can get into a particularly deep focus that is at odds with my freelance work pace at the moment.”

• In memoriam, remembering those that the comics world has lost, and news was shared of the passing of artist Ryan Bodenheim last month, aged 44, with donations in his memory welcomed to the Hero Initiative - Multiversity Comics collected a selection of tributes from friends and colleagues following the announcement.

The cycle begins anew… This week’s reviews.


• Helen Chazan reviews the heartfelt freedom of Coco Paluck’s Corpse Star Cycle - The artist, Coco Paluck, charts aesthetic terrain at this point familiar in contemporary queer art subcultures - borrowing stylings from maligned pop culture to create expressions that push formal boundaries and explore deep complex traumas, while pushing back on the familiarity of extremity by way of cheeky artifice.”

• Ryan Carey reviews the pleasant charms of Inoue Kazuo’s Bat Kid, translated by Ryan Holmberg“...readers with a keen interest in manga history will be happy, readers with a keen interest in baseball stories will be happy, readers with a keen interest in baseball and manga history will be over the moon, and readers with little to no interest in either will find this to be a lovingly-packaged but ultimately disposable volume.”

• Hillary Brown contrasts the neue-Märchen to be found in Mari Ahokoivu’s Oksi, translated by Silja-Maaria Aronpuro, and Tom Gauld’s The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess - “Where The Little Wooden Robot is clean and bright and organized, with even a family of beetles nicely accounted for and rewarded in the end, Oksi is a different beast. Informed by Finnish folklore, it follows the odd one out in a family of bears as she and her family move through the forest. The plot is hard to describe because it’s not so clear where it’s going. Ahokoivu’s art, too, is more slippery than Gauld’s.”



• David Brooke reviews the expert reveals of Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Greg Land, Mark Bagley, et al’s Timeless #1.

• Reg Cruickshank reviews the engaging thrills of Mariko Tamaki, Ivan Reis, et al’s Detective Comics #1047.

• Madeleine Chan reviews the riveting contrasts of Erica Schultz, Van Jensen, Aneke, et al’s Bylines in Blood #1.

• Lia Williamson reviews the dramatic finale of Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, et al’s Inferno #4.

• Alex Cline reviews the touching humour of Aruko and Wataru Hinekure’s My Love Mix-Up! Volume 2.


The Beat

• Cori McCreery reviews the complementary themes of Dan Watters, Dani, et al’s Arkham City: The Order of the World #4; and Mariko Tamaki, Ivan Reis, et al’s Detective Comics #1047.

• Avery Kaplan reviews the meaningful concepts of Steve Orlando, Cian Tormey, et al’s Darkhold: Omega #1.


Broken Frontier

• Andy Oliver reviews the fascinating homages of Alf Wallace and Luis Bermejo’s The Complete Johnny Future.

• Lindsay Pereira reviews the claustrophobic connections of Brigitte Archambault’s The Shiatsung Project.


Four Color Apocalypse

Ryan C reviews: 

- The outrageous eccentricities of Scoop Scuttle And His Pals: The Crackpot Comics Of Basil Wolverton, edited by Greg Sadowski. 

- The atmospheric impressions of Diego Arandojo And Facundo Percio’s Beatnik Buenos Aires, translated by Andrea Rosenberg.

- The fascinating mysteries of Ina Parsons’ A Superhero Comic Book.


From Cover to Cover

Scott Cederlund has capsule reviews of Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, et al’s What's the Furthest Place From Here #2; Naoki Urasawa’s Asadora! Volume 4, translated by John Werry; and Tom King, Jorge Fornés, et al’s Rorschach.


The Guardian

Rachel Cooke reviews the effective tenderness of Anneli Furmark’s Walk Me to the Corner, translated by Hanna Strömberg.


House to Astonish

Paul O’Brien reviews the seasonal schtick of Ryan North, Nathan Stockman, et al’s Mighty Marvel Holiday Special; the unnecessary existence of Steven S. DeKnight, Ibrahim Moustafa, et al’s Wastelanders: Wolverine #1; and the twisty strengths of Zeb Wells, Rogé Antonio, et al’s Hellions #13-18.


Kirkus Reviews

Have starred capsule reviews of:

- The epic finale of George O’Connor’s Olympians: Dionysos The New God.

- The heartful fun of Rey Terciero, Megan Kearney, et al’s Swan Lake: Quest for the Kingdoms.


Library Journal

Mary E. Butler reviews the chilling details of Didier Fassin, Frédéric Debomy, and Jake Raynal’s Policing the City: An Ethno-graphic, translated by Rachel Gomme.


Multiversity Comics

Mark Tweedale reviews the nuanced ambiguity of Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Christopher Mitten, Ben Stenbeck, et al’s Hellboy: The Silver Lantern Club #3.



Etelka Lehoczky reviews the acerbic challenge of Rutu Modan’s Tunnels, translated by Ishai Mishory.


Publisher’s Weekly

Have capsule reviews of:

- The delightful profanity of Aubrey Sitterson, Tony Gregori, et al’s The Worst Dudes.

- The rushed melodrama of Julia Quinn and Violet Charles’ Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron.

- The beguiling delights of David Sipress’ What’s So Funny?: A Cartoonist’s Memoir.

- The uneven pacing of Ram V and Filipe Andrade’s The Many Deaths of Laila Starr.

- The frothy ambition of Kendra Well’s Real Hero Shit.

- The flashy snark of Emilia Clarke, Marguerite Bennett, and Leila Leiz’ M.O.M.: Mother of Madness.

- The clever sincerity of Grace Farris’ Mom Milestones: The True Story of the First Seven Years.



Tom Shapira reviews the machine-like stylishness of Naoki Urasawa’s Asadora! Volume 1, translated by John Werry.


Women Write About Comics

• Stephanie Burt reviews the intimate finale of Leah Williams, Lukas Werneck, et al’s Trial of Magneto #5.

• Emily Lauer reviews the satisfying surprises of Claudia Gray, Eric Zawadzki, et al’s House of El Book Two: The Enemy Delusion.

• Bishop V. Navarro reviews the packed introduction of Tim Seeley, Baldemar Rivas, et al’s Robins #1 & 2.

• Magen Cubed reviews the nasty fun of Zenescope's Grimm Universe Presents Quarterly: 2021 Holiday Special.

• Masha Zhdanova reviews the fantastical surrealism of Taiyō Matsumoto's No.5 Volume 2.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot… This week’s interviews.


Valerio Stivé interviews Manuele Fior about Celestia, the brutal honesty of Igort, reading habits, creative spontaneity and improvisation, and the process of starting anew - “I like to rediscover Golden or Silver Age comics, to see if I would still enjoy the stories I’ve read when I was a kid. Some of them are incredible, and still of great inspiration. Like Elektra: Assassin and Elektra Lives Again, especially Assassin, are such great iconic books that are made of everything I would love to be able to do: great balance and synthesis in story and art. I’m currently rereading Sin City.”



David Brooke talks to Yedoye Travis about Legends of the Dark Knight and the defense mechanism of jokes, and with Mark Russell about One Star Squadron and Batman: Urban Legends.


The Beat

• Heidi MacDonald surveys a who’s who of the comicked book world, presented in four parts, covering thoughts on the year just passed, and what may lie ahead of us in 2022.

• Joe Grunenwald speaks with Yedoye Travis about Legends of the Dark Knight, growing up on manga, the psychology of Scarecrow, and why Bruce Wayne needs therapy.

• Johanna Draper Carlson talks to Christopher Marlon about Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips, comic strip collecting, bidding on artwork, and what a strip from the 70s has to say about today.

• Avery Kaplan interviews Nick Bruel about Bad Kitty Gets a Phone, the obsessions with phones, feats of strength, and the storytelling possibilities of panels.


The Guardian

Lorenzo Tondo speaks with Michele Rech, aka Zerocalcare, about Tear Along the Dotted Line, overwhelming experiences of protests and social upheaval, and marathon signing sessions.


Multiversity Comics

• Elias Rosner talks to Matt Bors about The Nib, plans for 2022, contemporary sociopolitical tumult, the time and energy needed to make and publish comics, and the ongoing pandemic.

Brian Salvatore speaks with Aditya Bidikar about the art of lettering, comics reading and career origins, lessons learned, choosing projects to work on, and communicating emotions.


Publisher's Weekly

Vicki Borah Bloom chats to Grace Farris about Mom Milestones, the universal isolation of early motherhood, and babycare boot camp.


Smash Pages

Alex Dueben interviews:

- Mike Cavallaro about Free Speech Handbook and the freedom of digital processes.

- Shaenon Garrity  about Willowweep Manor and collaborative projects.

- Lawrence Lindell and Breena Nuñez about Laneha House and exquisite corpses.

- Jeremy Holt about Made in Korea and the complexities of the Asian diaspora.



Daniel Elkin talks to Ryan Claytor about A Hunter’s Tale, adapting a family member’s poetry to the comics form, making a book that acts like therapy, and crowdfunding considerations.


The Star Tribune

James Walsh speaks with Kevin Cannon about developing artistic styles and changing perspectives, acting as illustrator for the 2022 St. Paul Winter Carnival, and changes to work patterns during fatherhood.



Matthew Jackson interviews Phillip Kennedy Johnson about Action Comics, writing a downtrodden Superman, prior work in anti-human trafficking efforts, and story plans for 2022.

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up… The rest ofs the best ofs.

A veritable deluge of year-end lists arrived, appropriately enough, at year’s end, and so they receive their own special section this week. Well done, lists!

• Here at TCJ, 28 contributors to this very site selected their favourite titles from 2021 to ring in 2022.

• AIPT presented the second part of their picks for the year’s best, and shared a separate selection of mang picks for good measure.

• The Beat staff chose 24 titles that deserved reading from the year just gone.

• Over at Four Color Apocalypse, Ryan Carey picked more comics top tens for 2021, including vintage collections, contemporary collections, and original graphic novels.

• From Cover to Cover’s Mike Baxter and Scott Cederlund alphabetised their favourite comics from 2021.

• Brigid Alverson shared the ten best kids comics and manga from 2021 for ICv2.

• Multiversity Comics closed out their granular selection of quantified comics rankings, with best original graphic novels, ongoing series, artists, and writers, before going to the source with a 5 part creator survey on what has been and what may come to be.

• Women Write About Comics also split the market, with the team sharing selections for their favourite ‘big press’ comics, small press/indie/web-comics, and manga.

No word/s of a lie… This week’s features and longreads.

• Steve Morris begins a new monthly series for Shelfdust, looking back at Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ The Unwritten, examining the first issue’s setting up of metatextual stakes for a certain child wizard’s inspiration, but not that child wizard.

• Over at From Cover to Cover, Scott Cederlund looks back at Peter Bagge’s Other Lives, and what writing on virtual existences from a decade ago can tell us about where the metaverse may be headed.

• Following up on the final big announcement from 2021, for The Hollywood Reporter, Graeme McMillan charts Dark Horse’s acquisition by Swedish gaming behemoth Embracer, examining the whys and wherefores of this move, and totting up the many, many dollar signs involved.

• For the SFWA, Nilah Magruder writes on the dangers of current graphic novel production cycles on those who make them, and why it’s increasingly difficult to push back against these as the market booms.

• Featuring a free-to-read selection of what is available over on the Four Color Apocalypse Patreon, Ryan C looks back at Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill’s Marshal Law, as depicted in the slightly truncated Deluxe Edition, in (almost) all its uneven glory.

• Over at Sequart, Nikolai Fomich examines the opening of Detective Comics #871, and explores Scott Snyder’s use of narrative captions, and the visual elements that combine to produce a sense of unease.

• 1996. Suede are Coming Up, Wolverine is going down.

• Mike Peterson rounds up the end of the old and start of the new year’s editorial coverage, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as peace on earth did not come for all, new year hope was quickly dashed, tributes were paid to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, saber rattling continued as it is wont to do, and an ignominious anniversary was observed.

• From the world of open-access academia, for ImageText Alexandra Lampp Berglund examines depictions of disability and gender in Wonder Woman, while Kristy Beers Fägersten, Anna Nordenstam, and Margareta Wallin Wictorin explore the satirising of domestic inequality in Liv Strömquist’s work; and Hendrikus Paulus Kaunang and Leonard Chrysostomos Epafras look at the cultural shift of Indonesian Christianity as portrayed in local comics, for the International Journal of Interreligious and Intercultural Studies.

Not a log fire in sight… This week’s audio/visual delights.

• Kicking off the year with some more Thick Lines, as Katie Skelly and Sally Madden discussed Jean-Claude Forest’s Barbarella, and why sometimes you just need to explain what is happening to characters on the page to make sure no one misses out.

• Comic Books Are Burning In Hell toasted the year just gone, as Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, and Matt Seneca chose the best comics of 2021, with nary a Garth Ennis title in sight, but plenty to get your teeth into nonetheless.

• Mangasplaining saw out the old year looking at a classic, as the team discussed Yoshikazu Yasuhiko et al’s Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Volume 1 and how best to appreciate big robots, and rang in the new year with duelling interviews with Jocelyne Allen and Ben Applegate on how the manga gets made.

• Mex Flentallo returned with a feature-length episode, as Ramon Villalobos and Daniel Irizarri welcomed Joshua Rivera to the show to talk about their ailments, and then dive into Green Lantern: Rebirth, cosmic political continuities and parallels, and just what the deal is with the creators who made that particular comicked book.

• Comix Experience closed out their year’s book clubs with editions for younger and older readers, speaking with Kelly Fernandez about ¡¡MANU!! and finishing a book while completing grad school, and with N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell about Far Sector and iterative character designs.

• Catching up with Cartoonist Kayfabe’s festive content, as Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg interviewed R. Kikuo Johnson about No One Else before taking a trip to Maui to join Johnson and Alika Seki for some longbox diving and Hawaiian comics history; spoke with David Choe about interviewing Frank Miller before bringing Choe on board for presenting duties to look at GI Joe, TMNT, and The Punisher; and welcomed Dave Gibbons to the show for an in-depth look at the Watchmen finale and the making of the comic.

• John Siuntres was joined in the Word Balloon by Paul Kupperberg for a special edition of the show, sharing the internet premiere of Julius Schwartz’ ‘Fifty Years of Superman’ presentation from 1988, with the video of the talk having been recently unearthed again.

• A couple of Off Panel episodes to usher out 2021 and welcome in 2022, as David Harper spoke with R. Kikuo Johnson about No One Else and editorial illustration, and with Juni Ba about Monkey Meat and Djeliya.

• Gil Roth welcomed Ken Krimstein to The Virtual Memories Show to talk about When I Grow Up: The Lost Autobiographies of Six Yiddish Teens, visual language development, and working during the pandemic.

• Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come closed out 2021 discussing a couple of the big graphic novel hits of the year, as Calvin Reid and Meg Lemke discussed Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s The Waiting and Dash Shaw’s Discipline.

There you have it, we’re back, and the first week of the year is down already, a cinch, I’m sure you will agree. What do the next 51 weeks hold? Let’s find out together, shall we?