Two Suspects Dead After Shooting Outside Draw Muhammed Contest Event In Texas
The mind boggles in the course of writing such a headline, but there you go. I don't believe anyone should be the victim of violence due to making a cartoon, but I also hold free speech stunts in withering contempt and see them as the different-amendment equivalent of those ding dongs that walk into a Carl's Jr with assault rifles.
My heart goes out to the families of those threatened and harmed.
For the very meager worth receiving the news has to a few of you out there, I won't be attending this week's TCAF due to personal matters. I will also not be attending HeroesCon in June. This will make the remainder of my convention year (hopefully): CAKE, CCI, Autoptic (this one is the most iffy), SPX, CXC and CAB. That seems like a ridiculous number of shows for someone not doing many shows, but that's the world we live in now.
I regret not being on hand to celebrate Drawn & Quarterly's 25th anniversary and to see all the friends I don't see anywhere else but in Toronto, or those I see only rarely, period. I hope everyone has a great time in that first-class celebration of the best the art form has to offer and I'll hopefully see you up there next year and for many years to come.
On Friday, CR readers were asked, "Name Four Comics On Which You Were Late To The Party, Liking Them Far After Most People Did Or Far After You Might Have Been Expected To, For Whatever Reason; Provide The Reason For #4." This is how they responded.
1. Red Colored Elegy
2. King-Cat Comics & Stories
3. Cold Heat
4. Kramers Ergot 4
5. I vividly recall the first time I saw that "holy shit, what is THIS?!" cover at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. I thought someone had snuck this weird book on the shelf as a joke. I would spend the next couple of months leafing through that copy before I finally bought it. Owning the book didn't help either, because each time I picked it up to read it seemed to morph into something I'd never seen before. I instantly loved some of those comics and viscerally hated others. Now, I don't know what I was thinking, because I love every square inch of it. That book is one of the greatest comics reading experiences of my life.
2. Steve Ditko's Dr. Strange
3. Conan the Barbarian by Barry Windsor-Smith
5. I don't appreciate much Japanese manga (wary after Pokemon and Dragonball Z), but when my son was younger, he borrowed the entire six volume set of Akira from our local library. He insisted I read it when he finished. I was taken aback by the scope and complexity of the story, and the detail of the artwork. I'm a little more open to manga influences these days.
1: Les Cites Obscures
4: Paul a Quebec
5: The first time I heard of Michel Rabagliati's book Paul a Quebec, I picked it up at the library. Being from Quebec City myself, I assumed I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, the settig (time period and town) is overwhelmingly present in the beginning, overpowering all like a very potent cheese. I couldn't stand the setting. It took me several years to revisit the book and found both the style and story to be quite pleasant.
1. Pushwagner's Soft City
2. Challengers of the Unknown
3. The Winter Men
5. I've read the Moomins as a kid but I always found them to be clumsy and worse, boring. I was more into dynamic drawings back then, or what I thought of being dynamic, i.e. mainly John Buscema or Romano Scarpa. When the reprints of the London Evening News strips started in 2009 I wasn't too enthusiastic about the whole thing, but a magazine asked me for a review. It was then when I realized what a gem this series is and so I had to buy all the following collections. I'm still glad I did that review, otherwise I would still think of the Moomins as some roly-poly snore bores.
1. Sam Glanzman
2. Lee Marrs
3. Foolbert Sturgeon
4. Jaime and Mario Hernandez
5. I remember reading my first issue of Love & Rockets in about 1983 or 1984 when I was working (illegally) in a little hole-in-the-wall comic shop in Freehold, New Jersey (I was 13 or 14; it was child labor, but I got paid in comics, so it was okay). I don't think I was ready for it at the time. I dipped back in again and again over the years, but I always felt that I had missed the boat; I just couldn't get into the stories. A few years ago, a review copy of Locas landed in my lap. It was too big a dose and I couldn't absorb it all. This year I finally tried again, Damn. Damn, damn, damn. I could have been reading these guys all of these years? I hate my life.
1. William Steig's Work Generally
2. Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec
4. Dennis The Menace (Newspaper Version)
5. It took me a long time to appreciate Hank Ketcham's art, but when I did I was really taken with it and remain so today. I also needed to read a bunch of the early stuff, the opportunity for which the Fantagraphics collection effort provided. Weirdly, I never had a problem taking to the best of the Wiseman/Toole comic books.
1. Julia Wertz's Fart Party-era comics
2. Master of Kung Fu
3. Simon & Kirby romance comics
4. Eddie Campbell
5. His early randomly presented wacky pages in US anthologies struck me as the sort of thing I usually enjoyed, but felt these didn't click -- which delayed by a few years reading Eddie's Bacchus, which became a favorite comic ever.
1. Stuck Rubber Baby
2. Krazy Kat
3. Little Nemo
4. Popeye by Elzie Segar
5. I grew up on the classic Fleischer Popeye cartoons and recognized the mysterious "Segar" was somehow responsible for them, but it wasn't until much, much later that I knew who he was or his remarkable contributions to the art of the comic strip. Popeye was still on the funny pages when I was a child, but as good as Bud Sagendorf was, the particular/peculiar magic that was found in Segar's original stories wasn't there. At that time the first reprints of Segar's work were long gone from the public sphere, of course, and it was many, many decades later that I finally began encountering them, first in short run reprints and finally in the gorgeous Fantagraphics collection.
The top comics-related news stories from April 25 to May 1, 2015:
1. A magazine notes some calls for cartoonists in North American and Australia to be assassinated for depictions of Muhammed, in projected lone-wolf scenarios.
2. Charlie Hebdocomes back into the news on several fronts. Multiple authors express their distaste for honoring Charlie Hebdo with an award for free speech at the PEN Awards, and multiple author express their distaste with the decisions made and opinions expressed by that original group of authors.
Losers Of The Week
Many DC Comics creators, under the way the program for compensating for character use is executed, as per this article.
Quote Of The Week
the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas
Today Is Free Comic Book Day; All Hail The Comics Shop
I hope most of you will join me in visiting a local comic book store today. This is their Free Comic Book Day promotion, and I'd say more than half of the shops do something. In most cases with the stores that do something, that something will involve various "free" comics to which these stores have access. I'd recommend three or four, but really you should pick up whatever you want that your store makes available.
Instead, let me encourage you to also just appreciate your comic book store today, or comic book stores that you visit in the course of the year if you don't have one nearby. The fact that these devoted shopkeepers have outlived a lot of their cousins in related pop-culture endeavors is an amazing thing. The bulk of the great comics I've read in my lifetime passed through one of these stores. I love them all, at least a little bit.
Announced here. I enjoyed the documentary even while disagreeing with some of its basic arguments; it's going to become an important historical document for the number of people it caught on film at various key points in their careers. I'm also interested in the fact that a work like this has to kind of chase platforms... there are literally people who have put off watching this until it has come to the platform of their choice, in this case the popular streaming-service aspect of Netflix as it exists right now.