Roz Chast Wins 2015 Reuben For Outstanding Cartoonist Of The Year
The NCS gave out their yearly awards last night during their big weekend (this time in Washington, D.C.). Roz Chast won the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year Award, otherwise known as The Reuben -- one of the great awards in world comics and one that's been held by every major editorial and strip cartoonist since its mid-20th Century inception. Roz Chast's win is a rare win for a female cartoonist (first in two decades; third ever), and I think it's now fair to argue that her memoir, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, is the second-most lauded comics work of the comics-for-adults era. Congratulations to her. The other finalists were almost certain future Reuben winners Stephan Pastis and Hilary Price.
The Division Awards went as follows, with winners in bold.
I'm not sure how to analyze the division awards. The NCS has a problem in that they seemingly must bring in some energy and membership from sources outside the scaling-back world of newspaper cartooning. So Chast in a way is a move in that direction, and so are the fact that there are two comic-book categories and two on-line categories. At the same time, the accusations of conservative voting within the body still seem like they have some fuel. This comes out mostly in an impression that the membership votes for best-known people to its sensibilities rather than really decides on the merits of each category. There are also some favorites which outside voters find confusing, such as the idea that Michael Ramirez is on some sort of historical run right now. I'm not sure how a group goes about changing perceptions like that, fair or unfair.
Next year might see Pastis, perhaps Bill Griffith (who has a graphic novel coming out) and maybe even Ramirez vying for the top prize.
Weird Extra Bit Of Housekeeping: Black Jack, Eagle
Because I am the worst person at moving, apparently I still have duplicate copies of Black Jack and Eagle sitting in an otherwise empty bookshelf in Silver City, New Mexico.
I have Volumes 1-12 of Eagle; Volumes 1-12 and then 17 of Black Jack. Does someone want to buy them before they're landfill-bound? I'd love $35 for the Black Jack and $20 for the Eagle, or $50 for both. I'll pay postage anywhere in the continental US. I'll spend the money on site-related stuff!
Update: The Black Jack books are gone. I still have the Eagle books. They'll go down to $15 on Monday and then they will be worm food!
Not Comics: Todd VanDerWerff On A Unifying Theory For This Century's Big Superhero Films
The writer Todd VanDerWerff looks at modern superhero movies as a way for culture to replay 9/11 under safe or even advantageous terms. I assume this is a part of their appeal in general, just as the monster movies of the '50s and '60s had an element of nuclear bomb horror and the original Superman movie can be seen as a reaction to 1970s masculinity and disappointing authority figures. Those movies are such large enterprises that I wonder if they aren't more the other way around, and that the way we interpret violence now isn't just wrapped up in 9/11 imagery for better or for worse. I'm not sure that comics ever recovered from the effect of having its dramatic levels recalibrated after the towers fell.
1. Get Lost #3
2. Yak Yak #2
3. Air Pirates Funnies #2
4. Art d'Ecco #4
5. Plastic Man (2006) #20
1. Amazing Adult Fantasy #15 -- Steve Ditko and Stan Lee introduce Spider-Man in this washed-up "monster-of-the-month" series
2. Little Lulu #268 -- kind of a hard to find comic pre-internet with some quality John Stanley reprints
3. Captain Canuck #14 -- the first comic I ever subscribed to was cancelled just after the hero time-travelled to the "present" of 1981. Gorgeous George Freeman art!
4. Help #26 -- Steve Allen, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Crumb, Terry Gilliam's "Buster Have You Ever Stomped a Negra?" and more!
5. Morons #1 -- can't keep track of this comic by Keith Jones. Is it really over?
The top comics-related news stories from May 16 to May 22, 2015:
1. Twenty-eight year old Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani was in court Tuesday; the verdict and possible sentences of more jail time and/or flogging are being delay one to three weeks from that trial date. In dispute is a cartoon critical of woman's right issue legislation having to do with birth control. She's already spent time in Evin Prison for daring to make the cartoon and spent more time in jail for complaining about her treatment the first time she was in jail. Involved is one of those noxious laws that partly to fully exempts sitting politicians from criticism.
2. A massive number of Charlie Hebdo-related news items continue to pop up, as Luz announces he won't be working for the magazine anymore and French police become involved with two men stalking a current staffer.
3. Zunar's sedition trial has been postponed until July. My hunch is that for the most part this is only ever bad news for the accused, as I assume they'd like to see this thing adjudicated and over with -- or at least moving forward to the next stage of appeal.
Losers Of The Week
Now and forever, the Malaysian authorities hassling Zunar.
Quote Of The Week
"I could get ahold of Barack Obama easier. Let's put it that way. I try, I try, I try, and I don’t know. It's just impossible." -- Geof Darrow, on seeking out contact with Frank Miller.
the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas