Journalista for May 21, 2010: The one with a spine

Posted by on May 21st, 2010 at 3:19 AM



“I think every day should be draw Muhammad day, or draw Jesus day or draw Moses day. These prophet and messiah types can handle themselves — I really don’t think they’re concerned about what cartoonists draw.”


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Tony Ross reimagines The Picture of Dorian Gray.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Kristian Williams‘ look at pictorial representations of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray through the years continues.

  • R.C. Harvey reviews Charles Schulz’s My Life With Charlie Brown and weighs in on Everyone Draw Muhammed Day.

  • R. Fiore looks at Dan Clowes’ new book, Wilson.

  • Not comics: Tom Crippen offers an example of how the United States isn’t ready for two men kissing on television.

  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Noah Berlatsky reviews Michael Kupperman’s Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Daryl Cagle reports: “Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is suing for an apology and €33,000 ($43,000.00) for a political cartoon, drawn by Martin ‘Shooty’ Sutovec for the SME Daily newspaper, that mocked the Prime Minister’s health by suggesting he didn’t have a backbone.”

  • Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat has reduced the bond for retailer, convention organizer and accused murderer Michael George from $2.5 million to $500,000.

  • A Pakistani judge has lifted a ban on YouTube after the website reportedly removed “objectionable” materials , but has kept a Facebook ban in place over user attempts to promote Everybody Draw Muhammed Day. Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission declined to follow Pakistan’s lead, and has refused to block access to the popular social-networking site.

    In South Africa, meanwhile, a Johannesburg High Court judge had ordered the Mail and Guardian newspaper to cease distribution of an edition containing a Zapiro cartoon containing an image of the Islamic prophet. The ruling, however, was later overturned, on the grounds that “the cartoon was already in the public domain as it had been published on the newspaper’s website.”

    The Indonesia Ulema Council decided against issuing a fatwa against Facebook:

    Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin called on Muslims to remain calm and not be provoked by what he said appears to be the biggest online movement to anger Muslims, even moderate ones.

    “This is a deliberate provocation. Muslims should control themselves. We should not be emotional and angry as this provocation will go on incessantly,” Din said.

    Here at home, the Council on American-Islamic Relations responds to the controversy, albeit without actually responding to the reasons why various people participated. Fortunately, we’ve got Mark Fiore to take up the slack on that last point. Laura Hudson offers further commentary.


  • Sung So-young reports that South Korea’s once-thriving manhwa industry “is in the midst of a crisis because of rampant illegal downloads and a shrinking market.”

  • Brian Bolland took on Erró, an artist who had “recontextualized” one of his comic-book covers, and seems to have won. Rich Johnston has the details, including the full text of the letter that Bolland sent to Erró.

  • There’s not enough for a seperate Format Wars thing here today, but Andrews McMeel Universal publishing coordinator Jim Fallone offers an interesting two-part essay on how digital publishing could level the playing field for comics, which is well worth your time: one, two.

    (Link trail: Heidi MacDonaldHarold Sipe.)


  • Christopher Butcher on the death of CMX:

    I’m not saying the whole thing isn’t utterly depressing, it is, but only because it’s just a monumental waste of time and resources and talent and opportunity, not because I’m particularly sad to see it go. Maybe that’s mercenary of me — a lot of other people liked the line and I should probably shut up — but yeah. DC evidenced quite clearly that they have no idea how to run a manga line so if they weren’t going to try then it’s best they stopped wasting my time clogging up my shelves.



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Graphic NYC




  • Laura Hudson on Colleen Coover

    “For the most part I’m only putting out stuff that makes me happy, and I think that’s a good way to go. I wish creators would worry more about satisfying themselves than satisfying a genre or a demographic. But maybe that’s why I’m still considered more of an indie artist than a mainstream one.”


  • Shaun Manning on Tony Millionaire

    From Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird, ©2010 Tony Millionaire.

    “I look to Popeye, the old strips and some of these Japanese cartoons, where the little girl controls the monster with this maternal relationship, like Ranxerox, Beauty and the Beast, even Monsters, Inc. I like those movies about a strong young girl who controls a big, wild horse.”


  • Jason Thompson on Ippongi Bang

    A look at the career of the Japanese otaku starlet:

    The over-the-top abandon of Bang’s artwork may be due to the fact that she worked mostly in the small press rather than in mainstream magazines with their emphasis on speed and clarity. But it also expresses the rough-and-tough feel of her manga, and the way she harkens back to — or, to be more accurate, geekily indulges — the spirit of classic ’70s manga. Bang is a huge fan of oldschool manga superstars such as Osamu Tezuka and Go Nagai; not only is her pen name Ippongi Bang based on a Nagai character, the famous mangaka actually named her his goddaughter, according to fandom legend.


  • Chris Arrant on Ted McKeever

    The indy cartoonist returns to creator-owned work with Meta4.




  • Tucker Stone and Benjamin Marra on The Rise of Arsenal #1-2

    ©2010 DC Comics.

    It’s exactly as good as you’re hoping it’ll be, and it made my evening.


  • Bart Beaty on R.I.P. Best of 1985-2004

    This French release “is a nicely timed reminder that Thomas Ott has been one of the world’s most interesting cartoonists for a quarter century now.”






  • Hope Larson: Girls and comics survey results

    “Please bear in mind that I am NOT a professional researcher, and that my sample size was small—just 198 people. I undertook this project to satisfy my own curiosity, and my curiosity has definitely been satisfied, but I hope that someone with an academic background will eventually do a more legitimate study on the same topic.”

    (Link via Johanna Draper Carlson.)


  • John Hitchcock: The Wally Wood letters

    “This exchange of letters and post cards began in 1976 and lasted until the artist’s death by his own hand in 1981.”

    (Thanks to Paul Slade for e-mailing me the link.)




Comics and Art


  • Leif Peng (one, two, three and counting): Robert Fawcett

    Peng offers another well-illustrated look at the art and career of a classic 20th-century commercial illustrator.






  • Comics-related podcasts

    • Jamie Coville‘s website has been updated to include five recordings of panel discussions at the recent Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
    • Also recorded at TCAF: A conversation between Dash Shaw and Paul Pope, moderated by Inkstuds‘ Robin McConnell (56.7MB). Inkstuds is also where you’ll find an interview with Bongo Comics creators James Lloyd and Ian Boothby (52.9MB).
    • Recently on Panel Borders: Alex Fitch speaks with veteran British comic book writer Pat Mills about his forays into the French market over the last 15 years (57.9MB), and Fitch and Dickon Harris speak to the winners of last year’s Manga Jiman competiton run by the Japanese Embassy in London (59.3MB).
    • Mack White & S. Miles Lewis’ PsiOp Radio welcomes underground cartoon ist Glenn Head as guest (58.2MB).
    • American graphic novelist Josh Neufeld and writer Richard Van Camp were interviewed by Richard Fidler for the Australian podcast Conversations (24.3MB).
    • On the latest episode of War Rocket Ajax: Comics Curmudgeon Josh Fruhlinger (48.2MB).
    • Al Kennedy and Paul O’Brien offer up commentary and criticism at the House to Astonish (42.4MB).

    All podcasts are in downloadable MP3 audiofile format.


Comics Culture



  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    Bob Levin on Ryszard Kapuscinski and the inevitable distortion of history:

    I thought we all knew by now that memory was entirely chemical conjunction, subject to degradation by time, alteration through inter-reaction with other events, reactive to the influence of personal wishes as to what might have been as opposed to what actually was. As the novelist/photographer Wright Morris has noted, “Anytime you rely on human memory, you are writing fiction.” (CAVEAT: I quote from memory.)


Events Calendar




  • 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 21 (New York City, NY): Dan Nadel will discuss and sign copies of his book Art in Time at Brooklyn’s own Desert Island on Metropolitan Avenue, from 7-9PM. Details here.


This Week:


  • 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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