Author Archive

Rob Rogers’ Monument to a Quarter Century

Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh's star editorial cartoonist, was recently named Cartoonist of the Year in the seventh annual Opinion Award adjudication by The Week Magazine. The accolade, however richly deserved, is just another instance of opinion in a universe of interminable opinion, but it is beyond debate that, for many years, Rogers was the profession's most eligible bachelor. He finally got married a few years ago to a beautiful and intelligent woman; and now, in the same spirit of consummation prolonged until perfection could be attained, he has produced one of the best editorial cartoon books ever. Entitled No Cartoon Left Behind: The Best of Rob Rogers (390 10x12-inch pages, black-and-white with some color; paperback, Carnegie Mellon, $39.95), the book is a wide-ranging retrospective of the cartoonist's 25-year stint at the a newspaper that was once the Pittsburgh Press and is now the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


And Now A Few Laughs

Posted by on October 20th, 2010 at 8:11 AM
At Long Last, Comedy in Comics

Dilbert On Stage

Posted by on October 18th, 2010 at 8:03 AM
All of us, passionate fans of the high arts of newspaper strip cartooning, remember the visual excellences of Leonard Starr in his exquisitely rendered On Stage (Mary Perkins).

A Ramble Through the History of Comics Criticism

Posted by on October 18th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
The Comics Journal passed its 30th anniversary not so long ago, and I intended to take note of it by reviewing the book I'm going to review here. Serious criticism of comics may have gone forward without the Journal, but it's difficult to know where. The only other periodical devoted regularly to the comics was, back then — 30 years ago — the Comics Buyer's Guide, but it was then and is now essentially a cheerleader for the industry, not a critic of any of it. And ivy-covered walls would likely not be much help in fostering a serious comics criticism for general consumption: Academia has a penchant for drowning itself in self-indulgent obscurities in prose and thought. Like much theoretical scholarly endeavor, exploration of this sort is useful in its own peculiar, trickle-down way: Some of it legitimizes the art form as it eventually filters through to popular criticism, and, hence, to the makers of comics, thereby influencing not only the cultural acceptance of comics but the ways comics are made. But academic criticism is not intended for a general readership. Or even a "fan readership." No, it took Gary Groth and the Journal to kick-start serious critical writing about the comics. But we'd be mistaken if we believed there was no serious criticism before the Journal. There was. A good bit of it.


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The Political Season

Posted by on October 15th, 2010 at 8:06 AM
Always Makes Me Laugh

Going Pink

Posted by on October 13th, 2010 at 7:54 AM
And Some More Cameo Confabulation

Education Fails Again

Posted by on October 11th, 2010 at 8:07 AM
Once again, the critics are carping

Yet More Cameos

Posted by on October 8th, 2010 at 9:15 AM
What to do when you run out of cooperative comic strip characters from other strips?


Posted by on October 6th, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Corrections for the drastic fubars I have committed in the last week or so. (“Fubar,” for the uninitiated, is a buzz word refugee from the military; it’s based upon the old military saying, “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.” Oh: you

More Cameos

Posted by on October 6th, 2010 at 7:14 PM
A Tsunami of Guest Appearances

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