Sunset finally passed the 5pm mark here in the UK this week, which means more daylight hours to shun by staying indoors, curtains draw, blinds closed, to frown at a bank of monitors all tuned to a variety of #content feeds while scouring the web for this week’s links, a selection of which can be found below.
Cats cradle pic.twitter.com/wZ6uo3ejz7
— Savage Shapes (@Echo___River) February 5, 2023
This week’s news.
• Starting the week, as many weeks start, with the goings on at the parent corporations of the Big Two, as the Walt Disney Company announced a swathe of job cuts, laying off 7,000 employees in a restructuring that seeks to save the cultural monolith $5.5bn, as reinstated CEO Bob Iger looks to make a(nother) mark on the media conglomerate, while Nelson Peltz and Ike Perlmutter’s attempts to sow dissent in the boardroom were put to an end – industry rival Warner Bros. Discovery embarked down a similar path of ‘cost-saving’ measures last year, which resulted in widespread layoffs and project shelving for tax write-offs.
• The Daily Cartoonist shares news that cartoonist, and former President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (and its current Vice President), Kevin Necessary will no longer be providing editorial cartoons for The Cincinnati Enquirer, due to budget cuts at the paper – new AAEC President Jack Ohman recently released a statement on the mission of the organisation to fight for the rights of cartoonists, as many outlets are cutting their editorial cartoons and comic pages outright, in the face of a changing media landscape.
• Charlie Hebdo has courted controversy once more, as Charlie Hebdo is wont to do, drawing criticism for the publication of a cartoon by Pierrick Juin, in the wake of and earthquake that has killed tens of thousands in Syria and Turkey, which depicts destroyed buildings with the caption ‘no need to send tanks.’
• ICv2 reports on Alex Norris’ ongoing legal battle to regain ownership of Webcomic Name from games company Golden Bell, having raised close to $250,000 to cover legal costs via crowdfunding, in a protracted lawsuit, which has seen costly delays due in part to Golden Bell’s inability to pay its own legal costs, and the subsequent departure of its original counsel.
• The American Library Association announced the opening of this year’s call for applications to the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries – three awards of $4,000, which also include $3,000 worth of graphic novels, are available, with a deadline for submission of February 12th 2023.
• The Center for Cartoon Studies opened applications for this year’s Cornish CCS Residency, running from October 17th to November 17th, including an honorarium of $3,000, and access to the CCS classrooms, The Schulz Library, and production lab – the deadline for submissions is April 1st 2023.
• In memoriam, remembering those the world of comics has lost, and news was shared this week of the passing of cartoonist Chris Browne, illustrator of Hägar the Horrible for over 30 years – the strip celebrated its 50th anniversary just this week.
• News was also shared of the death of artist Lee Moder, co-creator of DC’s Stargirl, among other characters, who passed away at the start of this year, aged 53.
— mart (@mart_apreliy) February 7, 2023
This week’s reviews.
• Tegan O’Neil reviews the satisfying scares of Scott Snyder, Francesco Francavilla, et al’s Night of the Ghoul #1-3 – “Follow [Francavilla’s] social media and you’ll see in short order the guy watches a lot of movies. Doesn’t surprise me at all. His work is cinematic not in terms of the size or shape of the panel but the fact that he knows how to use shadow to frame a figure in a shot. No one else working today makes such good use of shadows. Good enough to make Alex Toth weep tears of blood and rend his garments in the street.”
• Irene Velentzas reviews the playful delights of Tom Gauld’s Revenge of the Librarians – “Gauld’s strips change and evolve in their form through multiple readings, engaging the readers through play and ultimately transforming them from readers into players. Revenge of the Librarians suggests that creative play is essential to navigating the mundaneness and dreariness that can encumber everyday life, encouraging the reader to include play in their lives through the end of the book and beyond.”
• Aug Stone reviews the unique artistry of Zerocalcare’s Forget My Name, translated by Carla Roncalli Di Montorio – “Particularly funny, though also poignant, is the ‘Anti-Dolphins’ chapter, making the point that people love dolphins because no one can actually understand ultrasound communications, whereas “we shout at each other for every single matter.” Immediately following this is ‘The Tree’, an analogy for growth, ending on a full-page panel representing the terrors inherent to having fully matured.”
• David Brooke reviews the enjoyable violence of Justin Jordan, Brahm Revel, et al’s Harrower #1.
• Colin Moon reviews the contemporary confrontations of Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot’s The Extraordinary Part 1: Orsay’s Hands, translated by M.B. Valente.
• Ronnie Gorham reviews the terrific start of Rodney Barnes, Alex Lins, et al’s Monarch #1.
• Rory Wilding reviews the cliched romance of Tom King, Elsa Charretier, et al’s Love Everlasting, Volume 1.
• Ellis Owens reviews the serviceable start of Nikolas Draper-Ivey and Vita Ayala‘s Static: Shadows of Dakota #1.
• Andrew Isidoro reviews the introductory promise of DC’s Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1.
• Michael Kurt reviews the compelling experimentation of Scott Snyder, Jock, et al’s Book of Evil #1 & 2.
• Avery Kaplan reviews the engaging developments of Alex Paknadel, Jan Bazaldua, et al’s Red Goblin #1.
• Andy Oliver reviews the understated beauty of Ashling Larkin’s Estrela d’Oeste.
• Lindsay Pereira reviews the wry touches of Leslie Stein’s Brooklyn’s Last Secret.
Four Color Apocalypse
Rachel Cooke reviews the mixed offerings of Maus Now: Selected Writing, edited by Hillary Chute.
Have starred capsule reviews of:
– The moving insights of Darrin Bell’s The Talk.
– The nuanced honesty of Victoria Ying’s Hungry Ghost.
Mary E. Butler has a starred capsule review of the engaging humour of Chip Zdarsky’s Public Domain, Volume 1: Past Mistakes.
• Joe Skonce reviews the slow-burn beginning of John Jennings, Valentine De Landro, et al’s Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1.
• Alexander Jones reviews the candid thrills of J. Holtham, Sean Damien Hill, et al’s Bishop: War College #1.
• Hagai Palevsky reviews the weightless superficiality of Frank Pé’s Little Nemo.
• Alex Hoffman reviews the charming approach of Régis Loisel’s Mickey Mouse: Zombie Coffee.
Women Write About Comics
Paulina Przystupa reviews the comforting connection of Sakaomi Yuzaki’s She Loves to Cook, and She Loves to Eat, Volume 1, translated by Caleb David Cook.
— ben sears (@bensears) February 9, 2023
This week’s interviews.
• Jason Bergman interviews Eric Powell about Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?, aesthetic research, career beginnings, and one-and-gone vulgarity – “ I love boobs and butts as much as anybody else, but I felt it was just– if the only thing your character has going for them is that you drew it with giant fake-looking balloon tits, it’s not for me. And there was a lot of that back then. Tits and a chrome foil cover could sell anything. But I was happy to do any kind of work at the time to get my foot in the door. It was a little weird though. “Hey, I’m working on comics,” I would tell my family. But I would never give them the books because I was a little embarrassed by it.”
• Jason Novak presents a fresh edition of Dialogue Balloons, this week sharing illustrated conversations with Nikita Petrov, Todd Webb, and Sophie Yanow.
• Chris Hassan talks to Kieron Gillen about Sins of Sinister #1, playing as part of a team, and classic antagonistic pairings.
• Ellis Owens speaks with Nikolas Draper-Ivey about Shadows of Dakota, avoiding spoilers, and superhero similarities.
• Alex Schlesinger chats with Luciano Vecchio about Sereno, the personal nature of the book, and the fun part of superhero stories.
Avery Kaplan interviews Snailords about Freaking Romance, working with Webtoon Unscrolled, and reader reactions.
Andy Oliver chats with Mathew Klickstein about See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture, and the importance of anecdotes.
The New York Times
Robert Ito talks to Barbara Brandon-Croft about Where I’m Coming From, boldness and rejections, and familial Zipatone tests.
The Washington Post
Michael Cavna speaks with Barbara Brandon-Croft about Where I’m Coming From, being honest with oneself, and the path to syndication.
Rabbit’s Eye pic.twitter.com/WdeUe4TcaI
— Ibon 🎷🐛 (@birdfrogdraws) January 14, 2023
This week’s features and longreads.
• Here at TCJ, William Schwartz looks back on the fascinating and frustrating aspects of Lee Hyun-se’s Alien Baseball Team, as the series’ 40th anniversary approaches – “There’s an angry vibe to Alien Baseball Team that has helped the comic evade appreciation relative to its cultural influence – although the fundamentally untranslatable title certainly doesn’t help. I only use “Alien Baseball Team” because it’s the most commonly used one to date, though it’s not much good. In Korean, Alien Baseball Team is rendered as “공포의 외인구단” – this actually means “Scary Alien Baseball Team”, but bit by bit the meaning of these words must be carefully contextualized.”
• For From Cover to Cover, Scott Cederlund writes on the interwoven themes of Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi’s detective mystery, The Good Asian.
• Over at The Gutter Review, Robert Smith charts the horny history of Marvel Comics’ line of vampire focused comics and stories, and the disservice done to these in modern reprints.
• The Beat’s Classic Comic Compendium series sees d. emerson eddy looking back on Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben et al’s seminal Saga of the Swamp Thing #34.
• The Los Angeles Review of Books has an essay by DW McKinney on the importance of the rapidly expanding body of works of graphic medicine.
• For Shelfdust, Steve Morris writes on the solidifying finale, and the character flaws on show, in Simon Spurrier, Jeff Stokely, et al’s Six-Gun Gorilla #6; and Justin Harrison looks back on the appropriate maximalism of Yasuhiro Nightow’s Trigun Maximum, and the subversion of this to bring focus to a character’s death.
• From the world of open-access academia, the British Medical Journal questions The Beano’s engagement with junk food brands, in light of its younger readership.
• For Ocnos: Revista de Estudios Sobre Lectura, Diana Castilleja writes on the different contributions to social discourse surrounding migration and the U.S.-Mexico border to be found in comics.
• 2009. Marvel may be going through event overload, but Wolverine has room for more.
• Mike Peterson rounds up the week’s editorial beat, over at The Daily Cartoonist, as the safety of children from everything but firearms was considered, before a lot of coverage was given to a balloon, ahead of the State of the Union Address.
CAKE 2023 IS HAPPENING!! We sincerely can’t wait to see y’all at our new venue The Broadway Armory on JUNE 3 & 4 this year! You can read our full announcement here: https://t.co/VJHbTWRiS1 pic.twitter.com/vi1IKvSquA
— Chi Alt Comics Expo (@CAKEchicago) February 8, 2023
This week’s audio/visual delights.
• Drawn and Quarterly celebrated the publication of Where I’m Coming From by hosting a new At Home With video from cartoonist Barbara Brandon-Croft, discussing the history of the strip, and the daunting task of revisiting the comics that appear in the collection.
• Ben Katchor hosted the latest meeting of the New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium, as this week Brian Maidment spoke on the work of British illustrator Robert Seymour, and Seymour’s place in the history of caricature in the 1800s.
• Andrea Kennedy welcomed Kate Beaton to BBC World Service’s Outlook, as they spoke about Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands and the experiences that inspired the book, followed by a 2020 conversation between Emily Webb and Gene Luen Yang about comic book career inspirations and personal identity.
• Christopher Woodrow-Butcher hosted this week’s edition of Mangasplaining, as the team spoke about Riyoko Ikeda’s classic shojo manga, Rose of Versailles, the visual design of the series, and its depiction of French history.
• Dark and Golden’s Douglas Noble and Tom Oldham joined Gary Lactus once more for SILENCE!, as Oldham regaled listeners with the logistical horrors of attempting to attend Angoulême as a UK-based publisher in a post-Brexit world, and what to do at such a festival when your stock doesn’t arrive.
• Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg convened for some fresh Cartoonist Kayfabe, as they took a little looksee at Fantagraphics’ Ray Bradbury: Home to Stay, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke, Frank Miller’s Sin City, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing, Eclipse Books’ Teen-Aged Dope Slaves and Reform School Girls, and Katsuhiro Otomo’s Domu.
• David Harper welcomed Gerry Duggan to this week’s edition of Off Panel, as they spoke about The Giant Kokjü, photography, putting villains centre stage, and working as part of the team behind Marvel’s line of X-Men books.
• Gil Roth was joined by Paul B. Rainey for the latest visit to The Virtual Memories Show, as they discussed Why Don’t You Love Me?, publicising a book while not spoiling the story beats, and life on the self-publishing frontlines.
Interstella 5555. Screen printed private commission project. pic.twitter.com/yCGfZd2QTw
— Kilian Eng (@DWDSGN) February 8, 2023
That is all the links for this week, please remain seated until your scrolling has come to a complete stop.
— Paul (@PaulJonMilne) February 2, 2023