Journalista for Dec. 23, 2009: Something something merry something

Posted by on December 23rd, 2009 at 6:51 AM




“But it’s fascinating to consider a world where anyone could write a story about Batman as easily as one can write a story about Dracula.”


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Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Our tour of the “Conversations” section from The Comics Journal #300 continues, with a long discussion between Ted Rall and Matt Bors on the state of the editorial-cartooning business.

  • Noah Van Sciver presents a cartoon interview with The Mourning Star cartoonist Kazimir Srzepek.

  • R. Fiore offers further commentary on the effects of minority stereotypes in the early comics.

  • Leonard Rifas reviews Mad’s Greatest Artists: The Completely Mad Don Martin.

  • Marc Sobel reviews Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays.

  • Rob Clough reviews a few comics from former and current students of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

  • Kent Worcester offers us a look at the cartoon art of School of Visual Arts student Catherine Small.

  • R.C. Harvey gives us a few observations from the funny pages.

  • GutterGeek‘s Jared Gardner offers a holiday gift guide.

  • Over at Hooded Utilitarian, our other fine sister site: Vom Marlowe reviews How to Draw Manga: Ultimate Manga Lessons, Vol 5: Basics of Portraying Action; and a look at yaoi on the Kindle.

(Above: jam comic by and ©2009 Mat Bors and Ted Rall.)

With that, I’m done for the year. This blog goes on hiatus for the holidays, and returns on Monday, January 4. Don’t worry, there’ll be lots of other stuff to read: In addition to the regular work of our fine bloggers and essayists, Thursday and Friday will see the final two pieces from TCJ #300’s “Conversation” series posted to the homepage, and next week will see a number of other pieces from the magazine posted online as well. You’ll want to keep checking back, I promise you.

Before shutting down, let’s take a final look at the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Gary Tyrrell investigates an apparent change in business models at the webcomics-portal publisher Keenspot, and reproduces an internal e-mail from the company. Here’s Tyrrell:

    Short form: the (in the copies I have received, unsigned) communique announced that on 1 July 2010 new, mandatory contracts will go into effect, which would essentially transform Keenspot into a traditional publisher and away from the nature it has had in the past (although we should note that Keenspot has had numerous corporate personae over the years). Creators that signed the contract would be required to be hosted by Keenspot, use their updating program, turn over control of ad slots, and accept a 50/50 revenue split on the advertising. [Emphasis in original.]


  • “King Features has temporarily suspended its ad server after last week’s hack into their ad database,” reports Alan Gardner.

  • The Borders chain of bookstores closed 45 locations in the United Kingdom yesterday. Andrew Wheeler offers a short eulogy for the chain.

  • In Japan, things are still grim for comics magazines:

    Comic Gear, the magazine that was trying a new way to do commercial manga which had garnered a mixed reaction, has announced that vol.3 which would have gone on sale in January has been canceled, and the magazine will cease publication.


  • For those mining the digital-comics motherlode, meanwhile, things continue to look promising: “A free inaugural Wallace & Gromit digital comic for the iPhone has been downloaded 500,000 times in barely a month and a half.”

  • Rich Johnston asks, “Is $9.99 the golden price point?”

  • Tokyopop makes a criminal of Christopher Butcher.



¡Journalista! continues after this commercial message.





  • Alice Parker on Dash Shaw

    Today’s interview with the creator of The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century.

    (Above: sequence from the new book, ©2009 Dash Shaw.)


  • Brian Heater on Al Columbia

    The conclusion of a four-part conversation with the Pim & Francie cartoonist.


  • Steve Bunche on Paul Guinan

    A Q&A with the Boilerplate co-creator.




  • Chris Mautner on GoGo Monster

    “A number of interwoven themes and interpretations — again, similar to themes explored in Tekkonkinkreet — seem to float to the surface: society as an organism; society vs. the individual and the need for the former to find their place in the latter; the consuming power of fantasy; the need for fantasy and reason to co-exist; the body vs. the mind; and the healing power of friendship. It’s of no small significance that [Taiyo] Matsumoto plays up the natural world in many of his panels, focusing on the gardens and insects around the school, and diving the book up to reflect the changing of the seasons.”


  • Kristy Valenti and Tom Spurgeon on Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays

    “I do think these comics are great comics, with the zeal of a convert.”







  • Ada Price: Turning classics into comics

    A look at the history and practice of comics adaptations.


  • Publishers Weekly: The year in pictures

    Embarrassing photos of your favorite cartoonists. Don’t forget to make fun of their hair!





Comics and Art


  • Paul Birch: Cartoonists’ Christmas cards

    Just keep scrolling.

    (Above: Christmas card by and ©2009 Laura Howell. Link via John Robbins.)


  • A Journey Round My Skull: E. Benyaminson’s Hello, I’m Robot!

    “This is the first post of a series featuring my recently-acquired collection of Soviet children’s books from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.”

    (Above: illustration from the 1989 book.)





Comics Culture


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    Devo would like to wish you a very Merry Something.


  • Your Scans_Daily Link of the Day:

    Meet André Franquin’s techno-layabout, Gaston Lagaffe.

    (Above: scanlated sequence from one of the strips, originally printed in an unidentified issue of Spirou; ©2009 Dupuis.)


Events Calendar returns on January 4.


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