Journalista for Jan. 6, 2010: Three angles

Posted by on January 6th, 2010 at 8:57 AM




“It’s New Comic Book Day, and a couple Blackest Night tie-ins are hitting stands, but I’m staying home, and I’m not gonna buy them. No, as excited as I’ve been from the beginning to buy everything Blackest Night, as awesomely fun as I hoped it would be to experience the whole length and breadth of the event, and as hard as I’ve tried to accentuate the positive, DC has defeated me. They finally convinced me what a chump I was being. Well, who can blame them? The crappy tie-ins they cynically cranked out as soon as they knew they had a hit raked them in something like an extra HUNDRED DOLLARS of my money in the short term, and that’s what matters, right? It’s certainly a fair trade-off for squandering the goodwill and enthusiasm of someone who really wanted to get back into reading superhero comics, and who was actively trying to get hooked on their product.”


“The difference between an illustrator and a geometry teacher is that the geometry teacher believes there are only three angles in a triangle.”


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(Above: panel from Acme Novelty Library #19, ©2009 Chris Ware.)

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • “The editor of British comics magazine Crikey! has revealed the recent collapse of Borders UK has proved a bit of a catastrophe for the magazine, as the loss of that chain and its affiliates took away about 70% of its distribution,” according to John Freeman.

  • Winsor McCay’s 1911 Little Nemo film, which mixes animation and live action, has been inducted into the National Film Registry.

  • Still no new comics in the U.K., thanks to icy weather. Maybe Friday…?

  • I generally avoid product news, but this looks like something of a milestone: The final volume of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières’ long-running French sci-fi series Valérian et Laureline will be released (Google translation) on January 16.

    (Above: self-portrait by Mézières, featuring a few of his series’ many alien characters; ©1983 Dargaud Editeur.)


  • Brigid Alverson speaks with editor Brad Guigar about the new subscription model for his instructional website. Alverson also offers a round-up of various reactions to the move.

  • Jeff Rivera speaks with publisher Richard Nash and literary agent Jane Dystel about what the next decade might hold for the publishing industry.

  • Heidi MacDonald’s year-end industry survey continues.

  • Brian Hibbs offers a few thoughts on the future of the Direct Market.

  • Holy shit! Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury are relaunching Escape, their legendary alt-comics magazine and publishing concern! The year already looks good.

  • Not comics: Sean T. Collins reports that a group of Saturday Night Live comedians and writers is staging a benefit show, in order to raise enough money to finance a stage production of Phoebe Gloeckner’s book, Diary of a Teenage Girl.



¡Journalista! continues after this commercial message.




  • Christopher Irving and Michael Lorah on Kim Deitch

    About that second link: I have to admit, I’m accustomed enough to thinking of Deitch as a Grand Old Man of Comics that seeing Newsarama introduce him to the Wednesday Crowd with the headline “40 Year Cartooning Veteran Wants You to Smile With Ed” — as opposed to, say, “Kim Deitch discusses his new book” or something — was a bit weird. Are superhero comics fans really so sheltered and provincial as to need… sorry, it really is a stupid question, isn’t it?


  • Brian Heater on Frank Santoro

    The first installment of a four-part conversation with the author of Storeyville.


  • John Otis on Matador

    Meet Columbia’s most popular editorial cartoonist.

    (Above: cartoon for the February 22, 2009 edition of El Tiempo, nicked from the artist’s website.)


  • Scott Nickel on Leigh Rubin

    Twenty questions for the Rubes creator.




  • David Brothers on Afrodisiac

    Afrodisiac is dope. That’s really the only way to put it. Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca get it. Afrodisiac is a lot of cool in a small package, and my early front-runner for book of the year.”

    (Above: image from the book, ©2010 Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca.)


  • Sean T. Collins on Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Life

    “[Carol] Swain’s art rarely calls attention to or gets in the way of itself, and in that it meshes seamlessly with [Bruce] Paley’s deadpan ‘here’s what happened’ narrative style, his reluctance to overstate or oversell the import of the anecdote reminiscent of Harvey Pekar’s.”







  • Arvid Nelson: How I got into comics

    How Bill Kartalopoulos ruined Nelson’s career prospects — joke! I swear!


  • Robert Jones Jr.: The gods love Nubia

    The strange story of DC Comics’ botched attempts to introduce a black, female heroine into the Wonder Woman mythos over the years:

    “Nubia is a fascinating subject for study because she highlights the essential problem with an all-white, all-male power structure: Because the point of view is incredibly narrow, so is the product. Because the product is narrow, so is the audience. And the audience grows more incestuous by the second. If the goal is to broaden the audience, then it’s imperative that the point of view is likewise broadened despite obstacles or resistance. Even today, that is something with which the mainstream comic book industry struggles.”

    (Above: sequence from Super Friends #25, ©1979 DC Comics.)





Business and Craft


  • Tom Hart: How to Say Everything

    Advance preview of Hart’s forthcoming book on the thinking behind the production of comics. (11.2MB PDF file, may take a couple of tries to successfully download.)


Comics and Art


  • Carl Hammer Gallery: Chris Ware’s original art

    A gellery exhibit in Chicago gives us an opportunity to peek behind the scenes.

    (Above: detail from one of the pages on display, ©2010 Chris Ware. Link via Gabriel Corbera.)


  • Big Blog of Kids’ Comics: George Carlson’s Jingle Jangle Comics

    I could read these all day.

    (Above: splash panel from Jingle Jangle Comics #19, ©1946 Eastern Color.)


  • John Glenn Taylor: Alex Toth’s “Paul Revere’s Ride”

    Classic work from America’s greatest comic-book cartoonist.

    (Above: sequence from Four Color #822, ©1957 Western Publishing.)







  • YouTube: Jamaica Dyer

    Kane Lynch interviews the Weird Fishes creator.

    (Above: screenshot from the video. Link via Mike Lynch.)


Comics Culture


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    The story behind the friendship between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and how it ended over a debate about spiritualism, makes for a good lunchtime read.



Events Calendar


This Week:


  • December 8-10 (Sacramento, CA): The weekend’s first big J-culture event is SacAnime, taking place at the Radisson Hotel on Leisure Lane. Details here.
  • December 8-10 (Concord, NC): The weekend’s second big J-culture event is Ichibancon, happening at the Great Wolf Lodge and Resort on Weddington Road. Details here.
  • December 8-10 (Los Angeles, CA): The weekend’s third big J-culture event is Anime Los Angeles 6, taking place at the Los Angeles Airport Mariott. Details here.
  • December 10 (New York City, NY): A release party for the seventeenth edition of the Mome anthology takes place at Bergen Street Comics, from 5-7PM. 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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