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

August 21, 2017

Assembled Extra: Joe McCulloch Leaving TCJ’s This Week In Comics Column

Joe "Jog" McCulloch will announce today he'll be suspending his deservedly lauded "This Week In Comics" column at McCulloch has done the column for years and years (it's archived at TCJ back to 2012), grafting an essay on any number of topics but usually super-eclectic comics onto to breezy declarations about that week's books arriving in comic book stores. McCulloch's work is certainly the best regular thing about comics on-line at the moment; it's one of the top five extended efforts ever in critical writing about comics. I would not argue with anyone who thought it best.

Next week's column will be the last one.

McCulloch plans to continue writing about comics, although he's not certain for whom. "I don't know where I'll write," he told me in a brief e-mail exchange this morning. "I'll do a few occasional pieces for the Journal, at least until [editors] Tim [Hodler] & Dan [Nadel] are gone."

Tim Hodler expressed his admiration the column which also ran at Comics Comics, the on-line magazine Hodler co-edited before TCJ. "I've been editing Joe McCulloch's work for almost exactly a decade, since he contributed a short piece on Mutt & Jeff to the third print issue of Comics Comics," he told CR. :Outside of a small handful of exceptions, by 'editing,' I mostly mean correcting the occasional typo and having the much-relished opportunity to read his work before it's published. Of those writing and publishing regularly, he is easily the most consistent, most wide-ranging, and most thoughtful North American comics critic of the century so far. I can already feel the void that will be left in his absence, and am selfishly impatient to read him again whenever he comes back from his well-deserved rest."

It sounds like future writing may be more traditional than the hybrid column. "I want to rebuild my energies toward firmly critical writing in the one-book-at-a-time sense," he says. There's some definite committed-to work on the immediate horizon, mixed in with the probable. "A few print venues will still have me; I'm in the next Critical Chips. Hell, I might even try blogging again someday; it's a compulsion. But I really need to rest for a while." He also hinted at some comics scripting work potentially, in the form of a completed script in an artist's hands.

McCulloch is also probably the best of the writers talking about comics, and one hopes that his podcast appearances on his own show and on others will continue.

Congratulations to McCulloch for this incredible run. I look forward to anything he does next. I hope all his work is as satisfying and rewarding to do as it is to read.

Update: Tim Hodler points out that previous iterations of the column are on-line as well, at least in part, at Comics Comics and at McCulloch's own site.
posted 5:35 pm PST | Permalink

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