Journalista for Jan. 19, 2010: Scary to dive

Posted by on January 19th, 2010 at 10:06 AM




“I had this dream the other night that I was in a cave full of water. I had a wetsuit on, and I was adjusting my mask because I knew that I had to dive down into the water and swim underneath this big ledge. When I surfaced on the other side, I’d be out under the open sky. Some other people had already successfully done it. But I was really anxious. It was scary to dive down there without really being able to see the way out — I just had to trust that I’d find it. I was having a really hard time psyching myself up. Finally, I got my mask sealed tightly around my face and was about to jump when… I woke up”


“[Brian] Hibb’s warning of a retail crash sounds a lot like a Cold War-era threat of mutual annihilation. It’s also something comic publishers, especially the large ones, have been well aware of; it’s why the online initiatives from the majors have been rather tepid. But we’re also working in the post iTunes era. The conventional wisdom is that the music industry, in trying to protect existing retail infrastructure, moved too late into the online business, resulting in not only the entrenchment of piracy, but also lost leverage against Apple, now the biggest music seller online or off. It’s a mistake the publishing world is eager not to repeat, so all the attention e-books have been getting is justified, even if current e-book sales are still minuscule compared to print.”


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Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Gary Groth presents the fifth installment of his six-part 1995 interview with master caricaturist David Levine.

  • Rob Clough reviews three unusual minicomics from Lisa McDonnell.

  • Rich Kreiner reviews minicomics by Ben Bishop, Joel Rivers and Jason Gorcoff.

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

(Above: sequence from Tick Tick Boom, ©2010 Lisa McDonnell.)

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • “[Village Voice editorial cartoonist] Mr. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, has joined the long list of talents in his profession that have lost their jobs,” reports Editor & Publisher.

  • ICv2 notes that this year’s American Library Association Award winners included three graphic novels.

  • Anime News Network presents 2009 circulation figures for Japanese manga magazines.

  • In Denmark, a charity auction raising monmey for disaster relief in Haiti has rejected a cartoon contribution from Kurt Westergaard, blah blah blah Killer Danish Muhammed Cartoons.

  • Incidentally, there is a group in the funnybook community raising money for disaster relief in Haiti, in case you were wondering.

  • Aaaaand now Friday registrations are sold out for this year’s big shindig in San Diego.

  • Another collegiate dumbfuck draws another stupid comic strip, and the inevitable follows.

  • Jason Boog reports that Xerox has struck a deal with On Demand Books to collaborate in the distribution and marketing of the latter company’s Espresso Book Machine.

  • Whatever Apple’s announcing, they’ll be doing it on January 29.

  • Moulinsart is still butting heads with Tintin fan Bob Garcia.

    (Link via Gianfranco Goria.)


  • U.K. retailer Dave Brzeski worries what would happen should his customers cut back on buying line-wide crossover comics.


Joe McCulloch and Matthew Brady: New this week

A look at the best-sounding books scheduled to hit the comics shops tomorrow.




  • Jason Overdorf on The Pao Collective

    “Fifteen years ago, when artist Orijit Sen produced India’s first graphic novel — a story about the Narmada valley dam protest movement — he was only able to print the book with the help of government funding, and distribution meant carrying copies of the book to stores and trying to explain why it didn’t belong in the children’s section.”


  • Christopher Irving on Larry Hama

    “Hard to believe this is the same man who’s been everything from an actor, a rock guitarist (a guitar case flanks the hardwood floor no more than a few feet from us), and the virtual creator of the G.I. Joe toy line and comic book series (155 issues in all).”


  • Sam Adams on Terry Gilliam

    Noteworthy for the portion at the end, where Gilliam discusses the joys of working for Mad Magazine founder Harvey Kurtzman:

    It was great. He was my hero. I was one of those victimized children Mad comics led down the wrong path. Working with him was quite amazing. He was meticulous, and he was an incredibly hard worker. If you’re going to do parody or pastiche, it has to be almost as good as, if not better than, the original. That was the thing I learned most from him, that you have to really understand the original thing, and in a sense, you’ve got to love the original thing before you take the piss out of it.

    There’s more at the link.







  • Kristy Valenti on Fruits Basket

    First installment of a multi-part look at Natsuki Takaya’s bestselling sh?jo series.


  • Brent Cunningham on Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

    “The authors of Logicomix do a number of things extremely well. They seem to have realized they were facing a tricky problem from the outset: how to build narrative tension while telling a ‘story’ far too technical and abstract for most lay readers to follow. To create additional suspense they fall back on one of the most pervasive devices in all of literature, telling their tale in ‘frames,’ or stories-within-stories. This ubiquitous literary device is common for a reason, and once again it proves its worth, allowing Logicomix to pull its reader right in, along, and through.”


  • Matthew Brady on Footnotes in Gaza

    “How does one even begin to approach the Israel/Palestine conflict, a notoriously complex situation that has been tangled with emotion and soaked in violence for more than 50 years? With this book, Joe Sacco, who has established himself as the foremost journalist working in the comics form over the past two decades, takes the micro approach, choosing to examine two events that have nearly been forgotten by history, but were as traumatic to those who experienced them as any of the bursts of death and bloodshed that have struck the region.”

    (Above: sequence from the book, ©2009 Joe Sacco.)







  • David Welsh on Natsume Ono

    “I’ve given up on prognostication. Experience has demonstrated that I’m usually too optimistic, and looking back at my predictions makes me realize that they’re more in the line of affirmations than realistic expectations. I will indulge in one, though: by the end of 2010, a lot more people will be aware of the work of Natsume Ono than they were when the year began.”


  • Nancy Mattoon: Libraries keep MLK’s crucial comic book

    “In December of 1957 a comic book was published that really did threaten the future — at least the future of American segregationists. Carefully preserved in the special collections of several academic libraries, such as The Smithsonian Institution, Morehouse College, and Stanford University, The Montgomery Story, a 14-page comic book is, credited with being one of the most influential teaching tools ever produced for the Civil Rights Movement.”

    (Above: cover to the comic book under discussion.)





Business and Craft


  • Thomas James: 68 useful and inspiring illustration resources

    Links to links a-plenty, and you might learn something if you’re not careful. Hey hey hey!


Comics and Art


  • Ted Dawson: Bill Yates and Stan Drake’s Annie’s Li’l Orphans

    “I don’t have any information on this strip. I don’t know if it saw syndication, but I’m guessing not. Still, it’s a rare treat to get a peek at Drake’s pencils and inks up close.”

    (Above: excerpt from one of the strips. Link via Mike Lynch.)


  • Golden Age Comic Book Stories: Dan Adkins’ sci-fi illustrations

    Either this art was created to personify the word “pulp,” or vice-versa.

    (Above: Okay, it’s the least sci-fi of the bunch, but I loved this image. What can I say?)







  • YouTube: Ralph Bakshi on surviving tough times

    “Legendary animation director Ralph Bakshi discusses how he survived the collapse of theatrical animation and offers tips to current animators for how to succeed in the cartoon business.”

    (Above: screenshot from the video. Link via Stephen Worth.)


  • Lew Stringer: Lise Myhre

    I’m linking to this copy of the video interview with the cartoonist behind the Nemi comic strip, rather than the original at, because I was hit with annoying, malware-ish pop-ups when I went to the original page for the video. The copy on Stringer’s site is safe, though.

    (Above: Don’t worry, she’s speaking English in this screenshot from the video.)


  • Malcolm Brabant: Kurt Westergaard

    The free-speech poster granddad’s first post-attack interview, in streaming audio.


Comics Culture


  • Matt Bernier: SCAD Atlanta students will destroy us all

    “Actually, SCAD Atlanta students ARE coming to destroy us all, with their art.”



  • Your Scans_Daily Link of the Day:

    And now, cat comics from Junji Ito.

    (Above: Awwww, idn’t it cuuuuute? Sequence from New Voices in the Dark, ©2006 Junji Ito.)


Events Calendar




  • January 19 (Los Angeles, CA): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will read from his work and sign books at Skylight Books on Vermont Avenue, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • January 19 (New York City, NY): Legendary cartoonist Gahan Wilson will appear at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway, from 7-8PM. Details here.


This Week:


  • January 20 (Winnetka CA): Richard Starkings will be signing books and meeting readers at Collector’s Paradise on Winnetka Avenue, beginning at noon. Details here.
  • January 20 (New York City, NY): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will read from his work and sign books at McNally Robinson Booksellers on Prince Street, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • January 21 (London, England): Paul Gravett will moderate a panel entitled “How a Comic is Made,” featuring scheduled participants Andrzej Klimowski, Danusia Schejbal, Nana Li, Pat Mills and Woodrow Phoenix, at the London Print Studio Gallery on Harrow Road, from 6:30-8PM. Details here.
  • January 21 (New York City, NY): Arie Kaplan will speak with Archie Comics editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art on Broadway, beginning at 7PM, and the names “Bob Montana” and “Dan DeCarlo” will hang ominously in the air throughout. Details here.
  • January 21 (New York City, NY): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will read from his work and sign books at the Brooklyn Public Library in Grand Army Plaza, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • January 22 (Detroit, MI): An opening reception for the “Funny (Not Funny)” exhibition of work by top cartoonists takes place at the University of Michigan Work : Detroit Gallery on Woodward, from 6-9PM. 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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