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January 18, 2010

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* sometimes a giant penis substitute is a giant penis substitute.

image* Abhay Khosla writes about how many web comics there are out there, and what that could mean in terms of comics' future. I personally don't think it's that a big deal that there are a lot of webcomics right now, just as I don't think it was a big deal there were thousands of print comics in existence in 1980 when the alt-comics movement hit. I read comics with a great interest in their quality for 20 years before I knew of certain John Stanley series runs that I love now, or Chon Day, or Rowland Emmet, and I'm sure there's a chance I'll miss plenty of great webcomics just as I've missed and will likely continue to miss good print comics.

* too soon?

* the esteemed critic and comics historian Paul Gravett has selected his top 21 graphic novels for 2009. His choices are:
1. The Photographer, Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
2. Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli (Pantheon)
3. Footnotes In Gaza, Joe Sacco (Metropolitan)
4. Stitches, David Small (WW Norton)
5. George Sprott, Seth (D&Q)
6. Years Of The Elephant, Willy Linthout (Ponent Mon)
7. Logicomix, Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou & Alecos Papadatos (Bloomsbury USA)
8. The Illustrated Book Of Genesis, Robert Crumb (WW Norton)
9. Giraffes In My Hair, Carol Swain & Bruce Paley (Fantagraphics)
10. Salem Brownstone: All Along The Watchtowers, John Harris Dunning & Nikhil Singh (Walker Books)
11. Bayou, Jeremy Love (DC/Zuda)
12. Talking Lines, R.O. Blechman (D&Q)
13. Pim and Francie, Al Columbia (Fantagraphics)
14. You'll Never Know, Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)
15. Grandville, Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
16. A.D.: After The Deluge, Josh Neufeld (Pantheon)
17. Essex County Trilogy, Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
18. Masterpiece Comics, R. Sikoryak (D&Q)
19. The Complete Jack Survives, Jerry Moriarty (Buenaventura Press)
20. Spleenal, Nigel Auchterlounie (Blank Slate)
21. Ball Peen Hammer, Adam Rapp & George O'Connor (First Second)
Gravett's writing about individual comics is always worth taking in, so I'll hope you'll follow the above provided link.

* I'm always a little confused about these efforts to keep marginal-selling mainstream comic book titles alive. It's nice that people become find of comics with this kind of fervor, and I guess I can imagine scenarios where this works and a title is brought back or considered for a future shot at being published. For the most part, however, these series are set up to fail from the get-go: every increment of five they stay out is a victory for that particular title, not a short-sighted decision on the part of the publisher to cut bait and run. It's like complaining that they cancel TV shows after six episodes now because they used to burn through an entire year before giving something the boot.

image* Dan Nadel has written a long blog post on Alex Raymond in the same vein of his equally interesting post on Hal Foster from a while ago. When we did the Comics Journal's Top 100 list, the best response we received was a postcard from a name cartoonist with "Alex Raymond" written on the back in what seemed like very insistent and not-pleased-at-all letters.

* not comics: dear God, no.

* finally, the good news is that the always-interesting Brian Hibbs has written about our digital future. The bad news is that it's not in the upper half of Brian's best pieces, on the one hand taking the worst excesses of incidental rhetoric surrounding electronic reading devices to task as if those excesses should be taken as serious strategic initiatives and on the other substituting a kind of slippery, grumpy-man, skeptic's logic for new insight to decimate those straw legions. What's fine about the article, the general plea for caution, could have been written five years ago.
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink

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