Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 16, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the retailer Brian Hibbs wrote in to make fun of me for my being ignorant until recently of the PictureBox book on John Kricfalusi... as he first learned about the forthcoming volume from hearing publisher Dan Nadel talk about it on a HeroesCon panel I moderated. This will surprise no one that knows me.

image* this sounds too good to be true, but Editor & Publisher has a short piece up on RC Harvey unearthing a period of correspondence between Samuel Beckett and Ernie Bushmiller. 11:49 ET: James Sturm just wrote in to agree with me and suggests it may have something to do with a Bob Sikoryak fictional piece built along those lines. Anyone out there know more? NOON ET: Ben Towle writes: "This supposed correspondence between Beckett and Bushmiller -- if it's from an article supposedly written by 'A.S. Hamrah' and published in Hermenaut magazine #15 -- has been floating around for years, and was, I believe, concocted by Paul Karasik. It was ages ago, but I seem to remember meeting him maybe at SPX and his admitting to having written it (I'm not 100 percent on this, as this would have occured at the bar post-show, after many drinks, and many years ago). It's a pretty hilarious piece of writing, and done so well that it could easily be mistaken for legitimate... but I'm pretty stunned that R.C. Harvey and/or Editor and Publisher have taken it as legitimate, particularly since the illustrations are clearly credited to R. Sikoryak." 12:07 ET: Dan Nadel confirms. 12:34 ET: Both Bob and Paul just wrote in to clear up that AS Hamrah wrote the story, not Paul.

* this piece on "what Frank Miller did for Batman" is sort of fascinating as an example of how time gets compressed when you're building a myth in terms of someone's creative contributions. I have to imagine the actual publishing back story is a bit more complicated than that. Also: DC President and Publisher Paul Levitz apparently likes the new Batman movie. I wasn't going to see it, but if they managed to somehow win Levitz over, hey, count me in.

* the critic Tucker Stone makes a good point about predicting what's going to work in mainstream comics: what works best seems to be the stories that bubble up in someplace odd and unexpected. I know that the most entertaining work I read in that genre from those publishers tends be semi-forgotten material that's one or two years old that I buy for a $1 apiece at my semi-local comics and paintball equipment store.

image* the French-language manga publisher Editions Tonkam celebrates its 15th anniversary, which the article notes came reasonably close on the heels of what I take to be one of the seminal events in French-language manga translation history, the publication of a translated Akira.

* finally, Barack Obama responded to the Barry Blitt New Yorker cover on Larry King Live by basically saying, Allen Iverson-style, "It's a cartoon." That story should move out of the news cycle today if it hasn't already done so. I'll run some remaining links tomorrow, but for today here's the great Steve Bell on the matter, and although it's not directly related, Garry Trudeau on the state of satire generally and on the comics page.
posted 3:30 pm PST | Permalink

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