Journalista for March 8, 2010: Actual gay cartoonists need not apply

Posted by on March 8th, 2010 at 9:20 AM




“Things haven’t gotten better since Milestone published its last comics in 1996. Even while they’re becoming blockbuster summer tentpole movies, superhero comics present an even more lonesome landscape for those looking for characters of color.”


“There was hardly any significant development in American 20th century history that didn’t somehow get refracted through Kirby’s whacko sensibility. Jack Kirby was the 20th century.”


Contact me:
¡Journalista! Homepage ♦ RSS Feed
¡Journalista! 2.0 Archives ♦ ¡Journalista! 1.0 Archives


From Big Questions #13, ©2009 Anders Nilsen.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Gavin Lees reports from a recent lecture in Puyallup, Washington by Maus author Art Spiegelman.

  • Noah Berlatsky reviews Fumi Yoshinaga’s All My Darling Daughters.

  • Rob Clough reviews the second volume of Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme’s Tiny Tyrant.

  • Claire Burrows reviews Drawn & Quarterly’s collection of the John Stanley-written Nancy.

  • Rich Kreiner reviews Anders Nilsen’s Big Questions #13.

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

  • Over at GutterGeek, Beth Hewitt reviews Rick Geary’s Trotsky: A Graphic Biography, while Jared Gardner introduces us to the cinematic career of Happy Hooligan.

  • Hooded Utilitarian‘s Noah Berlatsky examines the ways in which modern copyright screws with the artistic process, an essay that originally appeared in the pages of The Comics Journal.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • “Longtime freelance [Corpus Christi, Texas] Caller-Times‘ editorial page cartoonist and former Del Mar College and West Oso school district vocational art teacher Herman Gutierrez, Sr. died Friday. He was 85.”

    Detail from an image by Argentinian artist Francisco Solano Lopez, who collaborated with murdered writer Héctor Oesterheld on the seminal adventure series El Eternauta — image nicked from Javier Prado’s comics blog, La Nuez.


  • According to this report (Google translation), three soldiers and five prison guards are being tried in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a number of “disappearances” that took place during the reign of that nation’s brutal regime of the 1970s. Among the victims they’re accused of murdering: comics writer Héctor Oesterheld, whose death has long been one of the great unpunished crimes in the world of comics. If I’m not mistaken, this will be the first time that Oesterheld’s death has led to court action since he disappeared in 1977.

    (Hat tip: Gianfranco Goria.)


  • Gavin Sheehan speaks with Salt Lake City, Utah retailer Greg Gage, while Andrew McGinn interviews Springfield, Ohio retailer Scott Riley.

  • Bill Mauldin gets a stamp.

  • The Ventura County Star takes a brave stand against million-dollar comic books.


Format WarsTM corporate-asshole panorama… celebrated!

  • Apple’s iPad will be released on April 3, with pre-orders being accepted beginning on Friday.

  • So will iPad users be able to tether the device to their iPhones, negating the need for a second data plan? According to Steve Jobs, the answer is “Hahahaha fuck you.” Okay, I may have paraphrased that response just a bit.

  • Amy-Mae Elliott brings word that the Apple iTunes store was suffering from downtime and other issues yesterday. “The service is at best slow, at worst not loading for some and delivering error messages for others.” Consider it a reminder to those selling comics online: Never put all your eggs in one basket.

  • According to a BBC survey, four out of five respondents believe Internet access to be a fundamental right.




  • Brigid Alverson on Amir

    First Second editorial director Mark Siegel joins the semi-pseudonymous author of Zahra’s Paradise to discuss bringing Iran’s ongoing Green Revolution to the comics form.


  • Michael Lorah on Dylan Horrocks

    A chat with the cartoonist behind Hicksville.






  • Douglas Wolk on Meanwhile

    “Jason Shiga’s artwork is as precisely functional as a mathematical proof: it communicates what’s happening in his comics clearly, it’s funny, and that’s about all that can be said for it. But he’s an excellent, very funny, enormously original, and wildly peculiar cartoonist — American comics’ equivalent of bands like the Raincoats and Beat Happening who were such gifted songwriters that they leveraged their lack of technical polish into a strength.”


  • Dan Nadel on Afrodisiac

    Artwork from the book, ©2010 Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca.


    “As in those anything-goes-we’re-making product days of the ’70s and ’80s, the stories go from monsters to vampires to Greek mythology — all matter of fact and to the point. No cosmic posturing here — just convoluted logic and fun inconsistencies in service to a superhero.”






  • John Adcock: Caricature country and its inhabitants

    Reprinting a 1901 essay by Happy Hooligan creator Frederick Opper.


  • Tucker Stone: Can’t get enough of waxing babies

    Superhero decadence… it’s what’s for dinner!




Comics and Art


  • Harry Lee Green: Rejected John Callahan cartoons

    From Will the Real John Callahan Please Stand Up?, ©1998 John Callahan.


    Considering how over-the-top are the cartoons that don’t get rejected, you have to marvel at the ones that do.




Comics Culture


  • Paul Gravett and Wim Lockefeer: Moomin at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre

    Two reports from the Tove Jansson exhibition in Brussels.


  • Eric Diaz: The ten most important gay moments in comic-book history

    Detail from the cover of Ebine Yamaji’s novel Love My Life, available in scanlated form from Kotonoha; ©2001 Ebine Yamaji/Shodensha. Further Yamaji work can be found at Lililicious, including the complete novels Indigo Blue and Free Soul. (Love My Life is probably Yamaji’s most popular work, insofar as it was adapted to film a while back, but Free Soul is my favorite of the three, in case you need a specific recommendation on where to start.)


    Missing from this witless and insipid list: anything by Howard Cruse, Alison Bechdel, Ralf König, Ebine Yamaji, Fabrice Neaud, Ariel Schrag or Maurice Vellekoop — you know, seven of the best gay cartoonists in the world. Wouldn’t you say that Fun Home being chosen Time Magazine’s book of the year was the teensiest bit more important than a romantic relationship with a fucking Skrull? And if you go by artistic quality rather than some vague, ill-defined sense of “importance,” the list somehow manages to look even dumber. Where’s Erica Sakurazawa’s Between the Sheets, Kiriko Nananan’s Blue, or Sam Delany and Mia Wolff’s Bread & Wine? How about work by Molly Kiely, Fumi Yoshinaga or the Hernandez Brothers? Can there be any doubt that Sopa de Gran Pena and Wigwam Bam easily fit both qualifications? Even June Kim’s noble failure 12 Days was better by leaps and bounds than anything that Diaz seems to have ever read. You might argue that some of these works aren’t “important,” but can you really call any of them less important than a Peter David sub-plot? I’m going to take a wild leap in the dark and say of course not, don’t be an idiot.

    As a gay comics fan eager to see more recognition given to good, queer-themed work by artists of any orientation, shit like this just drives me nuts. Perhaps next time, might want to consider hiring someone who actually knows what the hell they’re talking about.

    (Initial link via Tom Spurgeon.)




Events Calendar


This Week:


  • March 11-12 (Chicago, IL): The first ever Comic Symposium of Chicago will be hosted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Michigan Avenue. Details here.
  • March 12-13 (Chicago, IL): The Chicago Zine Fest takes place at various locations throughout the city. Details here.
  • March 13-14 (Seattle, WA): This year’s Emerald City Comicon once again takes place at the Washington State Convention Center, where a gazillion cartoonist types await the chance to meet you. Details here.
  • March 13 (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England): Think you’re good enough to take the 24 Hour Comic Challenge? Sure you are. Prove it — go to the Tyneside cinema at 10AM and put your £15 where your mouth is. Go on, I dare you. Details here.
  • March 13 (Seattle, WA): Join Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez for an art exhibit and book signing at the Fantagraphic Bookstore on Vale Street, 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.


Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ,

One Response to “Journalista for March 8, 2010: Actual gay cartoonists need not apply”

  1. […] with Tom Spurgeon and Dirk Deppey (scroll down, it's at the halfway point), I found myself thoroughly irked at's […]