Journalista for April 29, 2010: Our national religion

Posted by on April 29th, 2010 at 12:09 AM



“You might say irreverence is our national religion. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously and from killing one another over differences of opinion. Cartoons get under our skin in special ways, driving past our defenses and aiming right for the heart of our self-importance. That’s why we respond so emotionally.”


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From The Hookah Girl and Other True Stories Vol. 2, ©2010 Marguerite Dabaie.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • In the third installment of my 2006 interview with Fables creator Bill Willingham, the conversation turns to superhero decadence and working for DC Comics.

  • Rob Clough reviews the second volume of Marguerite Dabaie’s The Hookah Girl.

  • Ian Burns reviews the first seven issues of Jeff Smith’s RASL.

  • As always, R.C. Harvey covers the funny pages.

  • Over at GutterGeek, Alex Boney examines this year’s Eisner Award nominees for Best New Series.

  • It’s The Hooded Utilitarian‘s Noah Berlatsky vs. the Journal‘s R. Fiore in a cage match to the death! Okay, nobody actually dies…

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Joe Gordon breaks the news: “Sad news coming out of the Netherlands — Kees Kousemaker, founder of the great Lambiek comics emporium (way back in 1968, when for most a comics shop was a rack in the newsagent if you were lucky), has passed away at the age of 68.”

    Racist? Indisputably. Illegal? That’s the question. Sequence from Tintin in the Congo.

  • Should Hergé’s notorious Tintin in the Congo be banned as a racist work? A Belgian court is expected to make that decision next week.

  • San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District is offering $100,000/year for five years if Comicon International agrees not to jump ship for greener pastures, reports Lori Weisberg.

  • High rent and tough economic times are about to put Vancouver’s Elfsar Comics & Toys out of business.

    (Link via Kevin Melrose.)


  • Simon Jones translates the latest list of “harmful” (and therefore banned) manga publications as determined by the Japan’s Osaka Prefecture.

  • By a 10-to-1 vote, Minnesota’s Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District has decided not to ban Jeff Smith’s fantasy epic, Bone.



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Graphic NYC




  • Hec Leemans on Guy Dessicy

    Second installment of an interview with one of the last witnesses to the rise of Studio Hergé.


  • Zak Kaveney and Kerry Skemp on Kevin Church

    Two conversations with the blogger and writer of the online strip The Rack.




  • Tom Spurgeon on Complete Li’l Abner Vol. 1

    “Of all the classic comic strips, I have the hardest time processing Li’l Abner. I recognize the verve and energy of the strip, and love the beauties and grotesques that stomp their way across Dogpatch, but the tone and pacing and most of the satire leaves me cold.”






  • John Kricfalusi: All media have arbitrary rules

    “I think media has always had some sort of arbitrary rules, but they seem more narrow and strict than ever today. I had a pitch meeting once and the executive asked me if my stories followed the acceptable plot formula of all the sitcom cartoons. I didn’t even know there was a formula, but they explained it to me with much sincerity.”




Business and Craft


  • Chris Samnee: Speed/productivity advice for artists

    “A friend recently emailed me asking for advice to help him speed up his work to better hit his deadlines. I’m not huge on giving advice, since I think I still have a lot to learn myself, but this seemed to help him — so I’m passing it along here for any artists who may need it. Not all of this will apply to everyone, but if you’re struggling with deadlines I hope you find something useful here.”

    (Link via David Pepose.)


  • Mike Lynch: Your signature

    “OK, this may solicit a shoulder shrug. Who cares? It’s not a big deal kind of change. But, look: writing my first and last name on each cartoon I draw makes me an easier guy to find.”


Comics and Art


  • David Apatoff: Working drawings

    Detail from a rough sketch by William A. Smith.

    “[…] I especially like preliminary sketches where you can see honest artists put that ‘state of grace’ to practical use constructing a picture the way a carpenter might use tools to build a house. I love the candor and unpretentiousness of working drawings.”




Comics Culture


  • Brian Heater: The future of comics

    A report from a panel held at the recent MoCCA Art Festival.


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    A few thoughts on recent events in my home state of Arizona.


Events Calendar




  • April 29 (Portland, OR): Dash Shaw makes an appearance at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne Boulevard, beginning at 7PM. Details here.


This Week:


  • April 30-May 2 (Naples, Italy): The International Comics Festival — wait, you guys aren’t pretending you’re the only one, are you? Details here.
  • April 30 (Manchester, England): An opening reception for Oliver East’s new exhibit will be held at the International 3 on Fairfield Street, from 6-9PM. Details here.
  • May 1-9 (Lucerne, Switzerland): It’s the Fumetto Festival, and it wants you! Details here.
  • May 1 (Everywhere): Free Comic Book Day is today! Get yourself out to a participating comics shop and pick up a free funnybook. Details here.
  • May 1 (London, England): Garry Leach, Rian Hughes, Gary Erskine, John Freeman and Rod Barzilay discuss Dan Dare at Apollo Piccadilly on Regent Street, beginning at 10:30AM. Details here.
  • May 1 (Keene, NH): Market Day author James Sturm makes an apprearance at the Toadstool Bookshop on West Street, from 11AM-noon. Details here.
  • May 1 (Peterborough, NH): Market Day author James Sturm makes an apprearance at the Toadstool Bookshop on Depot Street, beginning at 2PM.. Details here.
  • May 1 (Berkeley, CA): Gene Yang will discuss his work at Mrs. Dalloway’s on College Avenue, beginning at 7PM. Details here.
  • May 2 (Washington DC): The Washington Comicon comes to George Mason University. Details here.
  • May 2 (Atlanta, GA): The Atlanta Comic Convention takes place at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center on Century Boulevard. Details here.


Want to see your comics-related event listed here? Email a link to and let me know. Please include an online link to which I can send people for more information. No sales-only events, please — it’s nice that you’ve marked things down at your store or website, but I won’t be listing it here.


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