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A Conversation with Bizarro cartoonist Dan Piraro, Part One of Three

Posted by on November 3rd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Marc Librescu speaks with the longtime newspaper cartoonist about the joys of drawing a daily panel.

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Don Donahue 1942-2010: As Far as Hello

Posted by on November 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Report by Bob Levin

Fogle's message said Donahue was in Alta Bates with prostate cancer. I run into Fogle maybe once a year. I run into Donahue less. But they belong to a community of underground cartoonists, publishers, dealers, fans which has enriched my life for two decades with its vision, wit and spirit. I hate hospitals. I fear them more each year. I feel they lie in wait with open jaws. I know they do miracles. But for everyone, just once, they do not happen. Still, it was 10 minutes from my office. I could say "Hello. Sorry, man. Hope you're better soon."

More Thoughts on CCS and Its Comics

Posted by on November 1st, 2010 at 5:10 AM

Rob concludes his month-long look at comics from students and fellows from the Center For Cartoon Studies by reviewing Ninja Girl, by G.P. Bonesteel; Echo-4 Kilo, by Kevin Kilgore; Monsters, by Lena H. Chandhok; and Ten Reasons The

Jerry Robinson Interviewed by Chris Mautner

Posted by on November 1st, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Even if Jerry Robinson had initially left comics for a career in journalism as he had originally intended, he'd still be fondly remembered for his work on Batman, particularly in creating the arch-villain the Joker. Thankfully, the comics bug proved to hard to shake off, and Robinson subsequently spent the next 70 years or so working in some aspect of the industry — in comic books, in comic strips (Jet Scott and Flubbs & Fluffs), as an editorial cartoonist, as an author and biographer (The Comics) and as the head of his self-created Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate. Abrams' newest book, Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics by N.C. Christopher Couch, covers his career and biography in detail, with scads of drawings, sketches, photography and paintings Robinson has done over the years. I talked with Robinson over the phone about the new book, how he got into comics and the current, miserable state of editorial cartooning.

The Champion Bad Guy

Posted by on October 27th, 2010 at 12:17 AM

Iron Jaw, a name that still raises the hair on the back of my neck. A champion baddie of the Golden Age, Iron Jaw may have been ahead of his time, the prototype of today's soulless super-thugs. He was one of few transgressors who made encore appearances in those days. He was eventually motivated not by greed or by a desire for power (the entire gamut of motives for most villains until the Silver Age), but by the obsession to murder the good guy who repeatedly apprehended him and threw him in the hoosegow. Sometimes, instead of being captured, he died horribly in a ghastly conflagration the inadvertent result of some scheme of his own gone awry. But he always escaped or came back to life (because he hadn't really been killed; it only appeared that he had been). In all of this, as you can plainly see, he was a thoroughly modern — i.e., contemporary — villain.


Ken Parille reviews X’ed Out Vol. 1 by Charles Burns

Posted by on October 25th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Throughout the Tintin stories by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, a brief scene reappears: the hero and his canine companion, Snowy, are about to enter a black hole. Always in pursuit and often pursued, they pass through natural gaps and man-made holes that open into uncertainty — who or what lies on the other side? — but ultimately lead to a happy ending. The mystery is solved, the rupture figuratively closed-up. In X’ed Out, Charles Burns turns the fictional world of Tintin inside out as he explores the visual and visceral appeal of such seemingly routine scenes and images. Burns makes black holes central, linking them to mental and physical wounds that drive Doug, X’ed Out’s unwilling and alienated hero, to undertake his adventure — he needs answers that can only be found at the other end of the opening.


Posted by on October 24th, 2010 at 11:03 AM
Charles Burns, X'ed Out (Pantheon, 2010). $19.95, hardcover; Seth, Palookaville #20 (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010). $19.95, hardcover.

The Strangest Pictures I Have Seen #11

Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 at 10:58 PM

Michael O’Donoghue, founding member of National Lampoon and the guy opposite John Belushi in the very first Saturday Night Live sketch, is one of my favorite literary assholes, up there with James Joyce. I guess I’m amused by Irish misogynists

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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Being Gone With Ephameron

Posted by on October 15th, 2010 at 1:29 AM

Eva Cardon, better known to the outside world as Ephameron, wears many faces, artistically speaking: illustrator, webdesigner, photographer and freelance artist. Already proven herself in the small press market with her screen printed art zines and art books featuring

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