Journalista for May 16, 2010: Didn’t have a name

Posted by on May 18th, 2010 at 1:54 AM



“I like how ‘comic books’ are an option for continuing Little Orphan Annie. Why, they could get DOZENS of readers!”


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From an adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray from Graphic Classics: Oscar Wilde, created by and ©2009 Alex Burrows and Lisa K. Weber.


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And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Tom Spurgeon catches word of the death of French cartoonist Philippe Bertrand, at the age of 61. Bertrand was best known for his erotic works.

  • In South Africa, “Weyni Deysel, veteran and award winning cartoonist, allegedly shot himself at his Alberton home on Saturday night, a day after his 59th birthday.”

    Screenshot detail from a recently released video, which shows the full incident of last week’s attempted attack on Vilks.

  • Swedish artist Lars Vilks, notorious for a cartoon grawing of Muslim prophet Muhammed’s head on the body of a dog, has gone into hiding following an arson attempt on his home in Nyhamnslage on Friday.

    In Somalia, meanwhile, the Islamic-supremacist group Islamic Shebab group has praised the failed attack on Vilks last week while he was lecturing at the University of Uppsala.


  • Last Friday, Warner Brothers filed suit against Marc Toberoff, the lawyer who successfully represented the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel against the corporate giant in 2008:

    Mr. Toberoff has also represented the estate of Joseph Shuster, who with Mr. Siegel created Superman as a comic book series in the 1930s.

    But Warner’s suit on Friday said Mr. Toberoff had worked for years to interfere with agreements between the studio and the heirs, to leave himself with at least 47.5 percent of any rights recovered, while the Siegel heirs and Shuster heirs would each receive only about a quarter of the rights.

    Matthew Belloni examines the circumstances behind the lawsuit.


  • ICv2 has released its estimates for April comics sales to Direct Market retailers. According to the market report, pamphlet sales dropped by 15% against April 2009 figures, while graphic-novel sales rose by 24% against the same period.

    Here are the top-300 comics-pamphlet and graphic-novel sales charts for April, based upon ICv2 estimates.


  • Publishers Weekly reports that sales in the bookstore market rose by 1.6% in March according to U.S. Census Bureau preliminary estimates.

  • If no one’s ever heard of your comic book, can you still sue someone for stealing your ideas?

  • Dan Copulsky speaks with Loose Teeth Press publisher Mike Lecky.


Today’s Format WarsTM report



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Graphic NYC




  • Dave Gilson on Dan Clowes

    “My generation of cartoonists, we’re not exactly underground. I don’t know what we are. We never had a name, exactly. People would say ‘alternative,’ but that wasn’t quite right. Or they’d say ‘post-underground.’ There were all these terms that never stuck. I always thought that was the best thing that ever happened to us. We didn’t get pigeonholed as the ’90s cartoonists. We didn’t have a name, so we got to drift a long through the decades without being pinned into this clique.”


  • Josh Jones on Evan Dorkin

    Detail from the cover to Fun With Milk and Cheese.

    “I have a lot of ambivalence about my artwork, even moreso than with my writing. Before anyone was looking at my work, I didn’t really have a confidence problem. I knew my stuff was rough, but I also assumed I’d improve. When people started paying some attention to my work, I started doubting everything I did, and it just inflated my working process.”

    (Link via Kevin Melrose.)






  • Michael Peterson on 20th Century Boys

    The linked essay is actually about film — actually two films, Iron Man II and the first installment in the 20th Century Boys cinematic trilogy — but the section in the middle, which discusses the manga series, is smart enough to deserve a spotlight all its own:

    If Pluto is [Naoki] Urasawa’s “Alan Moore” work, peeling back the layers of an established property to find the darker questions and adult themes that lie beneath (tightly-structured, if occasionally over-purple), then 20th Century Boys is his “Grant Morrison” book — messy, rollicking, joyful in execution, and constantly digging at an industry and a fandom for which he is clearly still affectionate. Urasawa, however, often trumps Morrison at one of his greatest strengths — his ability to tap-dance right across the collapsing bridge of his narrative, emerging on the other side with a bow, as if it was planned all along.






  • Kai-Ming Cha: Handmade

    “An interesting thought came up last week in the wake of the Viz Media lay-offs — that naturally led to thoughts on pirated/online content — which I had been confused about, and that is the idea that technology (hardware and software) is one and the same.”


  • David Brothers: When disgruntled creators speak their minds

    “The past couple years has seen a rise in those fires. A number of creators have left the Big Two, meaning Marvel Comics and DC Comics, under less than friendly circumstances. These creators also felt comfortable enough in their career to fire shots back publicly at the company that they felt wronged them. While the two companies have never released a statement about the dismissals and accusations, having several angry ex-freelancers talking about their practices in public likely indicates something going on behind the scenes.”




Comics and Art


  • A Journey Round My Skull: Gyula Derkovits woodcuts

    The Hungarian artist’s work “reflected the influence of German expressionists and his political experiences in Vienna in 1928-29, when his most significant graphic work, ‘1514,’ wood engravings inspired by the Dózsa peasant revolt, was finished.”




Comics Culture


  • Glann Hauman: 2010 Glyph Awards winners

    As Hauman notes, the awards spotlight “the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color.” David Brothers offers commentary.




  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    The Kids in the Hall‘s Scott Thompson has a podcast.


Events Calendar


This Week:


  • May 19 (New York City, NY): Many Marvel Comics types make an appearance at Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, from 6-8PM. Details here.
  • May 19 (London, England): Cartoonist Martin Rowson explore’s Ronald Searle’s masterful penmanship at the Cartoon Museum on Little Russell Street, from 6:30-7:30PM Details here.
  • May 20 (Madison, NJ): Paul Levitz will be signing books and meeting readers at Dewey’s Comic City on Park Avenue, from 5:30-7:30PM. Details here.
  • May 21-23 (Copenhagen, Denmark): The Copenhagen International Comics Festival takes place at Øksnehallen on Halmtorvet, although given my knowledge of the language and region, I’ve probably gotten that wrong somehow. Details here.
  • May 21 (Copenhagen, Denmark): The Contemporary Comics Symposium will be held at the University of Copenhagen on Karen Blixens. Details here.
  • May 22-23 (Bristol, England): The Bristol International Comics and Small Press Expo opens its doors at the Ramada Bristol City Hotel on Redcliffe Way. Alas, tickets have already sold out, so forget I said anything. Details here.
  • May 22 (Seattle, WA): Jim Woodring will give a slide presentation and sign books at the Fantagraphics Bookstore on Vale Street, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • May 23 (Portland, ME): The Maine Comic Arts Festival takes place at the Ocean Gateway on Thames Street. 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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One Response to “Journalista for May 16, 2010: Didn’t have a name”

  1. […] always nice when really smart people have nice things to say about you–both Dirk and Jog paid me very kind compliments today (re: the return of the Comics Column), particularly […]