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

August 26, 2010

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the current issue of Crikey? The last issue of Crikey.

image* here's a 2009 interview with Brendan McCarthy.

* not comics: sometimes when you're frustrated with the comics industry, it's good to reach out and see what's going on in other industries, even if it's just to affirm that people write self-congratulatory gibberish about issues for those media as well. One topic that seems to bring out the worst in writers of and about prose is the ongoing perceived literary novel crisis.

This post is pretty typical of the species, assigning solely to literary novels the virtue of making people feel connected to other people, blaming the lack of a critical support structure for the fact that literary novels don't move the way they did in 1965 according to the anecdotal evidence of one person's grandmother, blaming 9/11 for somehow diverting coverage away from books (I don't remember this), and assigning the longtime Upper East Side literary fixture Paris Review the role of populist groundswell-maker.

Here's the question I always have. If people have been kept from literary novels of tremendous virtue, should one's response be to paint a picture of how this is so through a gossamer-thin web of self-flattering, vaguely asserted reasons, or could that time be better spent simply naming five such masterpieces that this amazing set of coincidences kept from us, and then allowing us to see through their specific example a) that they were worthy of being put into that class, b) that what they assert happened is exactly what was done to them? I don't feel connected to modern literary novels at all right now, but I suspect it's less that 9/11 diverted me from certain ingrained shopping behaviors than it is that the one to three I try to read each year have just not been very good.

* Joe Matt explains the history behind the Peanuts parody book he did with Chester Brown and Seth.

* Shaenon Garrity offers up an intriguing reading of Cathy. I should mention that while I did speculate that many of Guisewite's fans may have found her public persona confusing -- Garrity suggests it was refreshing -- I was speculating on the number of people that might have had this reaction, not the existence of that reaction. That's something other folks communicated to me through the years and is also something I believe I read at least once. It's not something that would have occurred to me on my own.

* the One Piece series has apparently sold 20 million copies in Japan so far in 2010, quadrupling the series volume sales of second-place Naruto.

* finally, Borders lost its CFO. I like to imagine a boardroom in panic and someone says "what does our CFO suggest we do" and then the camera pans over to an empty, spinning, leather chair.
posted 11:10 am PST | Permalink

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