Journalista for March 18, 2010: Violent and depressing and pointless and joyless and hopeless

Posted by on March 18th, 2010 at 9:14 AM




“I’d like to read more superhero comics than I do, but they’re all so violent and depressing and pointless and joyless and hopeless. But then, I’m female, so that still makes me something of a nonentity when it comes to many comic publishers and the audience they aim for.”


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From Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days, ©2009 Al Columbia.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • While you weren’t looking, Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ooku won a Tiptree Award. Shaenon Garrity explains the significance.

  • Tim Kreider reviews Al Columbia’s Pim & Francie: Golden Bear Days.

  • Rich Kreider reviews Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti.

  • Tom Crippen reviews the first issue of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Spider-Woman.

  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Ng Suat Tong discusses the relative merits of Hal Foster’s work on Tarzan and Prince Valiant.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Anne Constable is reporting that William Stephen Murphy died of lung cancer at his home in Santa Fe on Monday, at the age of 78:

    In New York City, Murphy worked as a cartoonist for Esquire and Playboy magazines. He illustrated books published by Grove Press, Simon & Schuster, Delacorte and others, and produced 40 educational films for the American Medical Association. He also painted a mural for the opening of John Kennedy’s presidential campaign at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.


  • Mark Andrew is seeking to confirm reports that comic-book cartoonist Bill Jaaska died late last year.

  • Sean Kleefeld brings word that Chicago retailer Joe Sarno has been in a coma and hospitalized since Saturday, after a severe fall. The prognosis doesn’t sound good.

  • Colleen LaRose is expected to be arraigned today on charges of conspiring to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, over a cartoon Vilks drew of a dog with the head of Muhammed.

  • “According to the Asahi Shimbun paper, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) intends to postpone the vote on the proposed legislation in Metropolitan Tokyo to restrict sexually provocative, ‘visual depictions’ of characters who sound or appear to be younger than 18 years old.”

  • Via press release: “Diamond Comic Distributors and IDW Publishing announced today that IDW has become the first publisher to advance to ‘premier’ status since the classification was implemented in 1996. Now please stop talking about fucking Amazon, already.”

    Note: Last sentence may not have actually appeared in the press release.


  • Jim Milliot informs us that the print-on-demand outfit Lulu expects to rake in some $50 million from its stock IPO.

  • ICv2 presents its top-ten lists by category for 2009, based on “based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers” in all channels: genre, “fiction and reality,” superheroes, “kids & tweens,” shojo and shonen. There’s a top-five comic-strip and top-25 manga list, as well.

    The site is also predicting fewer manga releases this year:

    It appears likely (see chart) that the number of volumes of manga released in 2010 will be under 1,000 for the first time since 2004.


  • Gia Manry asks industry publishers, retailers and promoters: “Has [Christopher] Handley’s sentencing had an impact on any facet of your business decisions?”

    (Link via Simon Jones.)




  • CCTV on Xu Pengfei


    “In creating cartoons, about seventy percent of the effort goes into thinking. That’s the main difference from oil painting. A fine artist specializing in oil painting must have a remarkable command of colors and drawing, but for a cartoonist, I believe, the most important is the witty and humorous expression. As long as you can state your idea, it’s a good cartoon.”

    (Warning: video begins streaming as soon as the page loads.)






  • John Adcock on Naissances de la bande dessinée

    “[Thierry Smolderen’s 2009 book] studies the parallel growth, and world-wide diffusion of influences, from the days of William Hogarth to the modern baroque stylings of Winsor McCay.”







  • Joe McCulloch: The problem with American vampires is that they just don’t think

    “Among bookshelves, as high-profile a critical darling as Asterios Polyp made sure to include thought balloons among David Mazzucchelli’s encyclopedic formal array, in both the purely iconographic manner seen above and ‘with words.’ Chris Ware’s a user too, and I imagine Archie hasn’t kicked the habit. Yes, the use of thought balloons isn’t the same as it was in fifty years ago, but it’s not like [Stephen] King is laboring under an industry prohibition.”


  • David Apatoff: John Cuneo, aiming for an invisible target

    ©2010 John Cuneo.


    “Cuneo’s artist is bedeviled by his diminutive artistic size, by the huge, languid planet of muliebrity between him and his art, by that disconcerting rump which could easily distract him from his artistic mission, by that wobbly little easel perched on top of his subject… here is a valiant artist clearly outmatched by his subject matter, whose vast limbs drape beyond the artist’s field of vision.”


  • Brett Warnock: Top ten reasons to continue teaching Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics

    “In short, it’s simply not enough these days to say that [Scott] McCloud has become an important voice for comics. We’re well past that point. It’s a lot closer to the mark to say that McCloud has become the voice for comics, at least as far as academia here in the United States is concerned. It’s hard to imagine discovering a fine arts, graphic design and/or humanities department anywhere in this country that hasn’t seen the title of that book appear on at least one instructor’s syllabus over the past fifteen years.”


Business and Craft


  • Leif Peng: Mia Carpenter

    The classic commercial artist discusses her career.


Comics and Art


  • John Campbell: Pictures For Sad Children

    ©2010 John Campbell.


    Just keep clicking “next.”


  • Kate Beaton: Kate Beaton! Kate Beaton!

    Kate Beaton? Kate Beaton, ©2010 Kate Beaton.


    Kate Beaton.






  • Stumptown Trade Review (Terry Moore, Jeff Lemire): Cartoonists at Emerald City

    Streaming-audio conversations from last weekend’s big show in Seattle.

    (Link via Kevin Melrose.)


Comics Culture



  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    “The country’s top-notch credit rating is in danger of being downgraded, Moody’s is warning — and if a ratings agency that completely failed to predict the financial crisis is sounding the alarm, we should all be afraid.”


  • Your Scans_Daily Link of the Day:

    From something called March Story, ©2010 Kim Hyang-Min and Yang Kyung-Il.


    Manga decadence: an entirely unnecessary collection of ass shots in Japanese comics.


Events Calendar




  • March 18 (Washington DC): Jules Feiffer makes an appearance at Politics and Prose on Connecticut Avenue, beginning at 4PM. Details here.
  • March 18 (San Francisco, CA): Paul Pope makes a presentation at the Cartoon Art Museum on Mission Street, with doors open at 6:45PM. $5 suggested donation. Details here.


This Week:


  • March 19 (Auckland, New Zealand): Hicksville author Dylan Horrocks will attend the launch of a new edition of his book at the High Seas on Beresford Square, beginning at 6PM. Details here.
  • March 20 (New York City, NY): Marvel/DC cartoonists Miguel Angel Munera, Andre Guinaldo and Sergio Ariño will appear at Midtown Comics on 40th Street, from 2-4PM. 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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