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

January 4, 2010

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the writer Paul Di Flilippo tells me that the radio episode uploaded halfway down this page as "The Author Meets The Critics 481010 29m59s The Schmo.mp3" features all-time blustery crank and all-around cartooning genius Al Capp debating comics' once and forever bogeyman Dr. Frederic Wertham about The Shmoo. This would no doubt be one damn amazing thing to download and give a listen. Unfortunately, the computer I'm using right now was built the same year as this ostensible clash of the titans: 1948. That doesn't mean you should deny yourselves, only that I can't tell you anything more from first-hand experience.

* the prominent 1980s independent cartoonist Barry Blair apparently died Sunday, from complications due to a brain aneurysm that had gone without immediate diagnosis. A full obituary will appear on this site on or after January 10.

image* Devlin Thompson was nice enough to send in a link to this article on Syd Hoff's stint (under a pseudonym) as the cartoonist at the Daily Worker.

* the analysis articles on Kurt Westergaard's attack last Friday have begun: Foreign Policy wants to know why the attacker was let into Denmark in the first place; Financial Times wants to know the same thing and provides some of the political reaction to the attack; The Guardian sees lone wolf extremists everywhere you want to look.

* prominent comics blogger Heidi MacDonald reviews the year in comics, 2009. She also started her yearly survey.

* a bunch of tributes to the late David Levine are starting to show up at various places around the Internet. Among the better tributes so far are those from Steven Heller, David Margolick, Steve Bell, Peter Kaplan and Steve Brodner.

image* new years, new projects: the veteran cartoonist and comics educator Steven Bissette has begun a webcomic called King Of Monster Isle. I think this would be his first, although I'm happy to be corrected on that. Graham Nolan has launched a strip called Sunshine State. Editorial cartooning veterans Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker launch Dustin through King Features.

* Bram Meehan has named his top ten comics and comics-related efforts for 2009. They are:
1. Batman and Robin
2. Chew
3. Detective Comics' Batwoman serial
4. Incognito
5. The Middleman Season 1 DVD
6. Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter
7. Sugarshock
8. Wednesday Comics
9. The Invincible Super-Blog
10. Midnight Fiction
There is an extensive honorable mention section and write-ups of each effort if you follow that initial link.

* blogger-prime NeilAlien analyzes the recent failed Dr. Strange-related comics effort, this one a book by writer Rick Remender putting Brother Voodoo into the Sorcerer Supreme role. There are lots of ways to analyze that one, but the basic quandary seems to be that Marvel's current editorial culture seems generally uninterested in a "classic Dr. Strange" approach, while market factors make a non-roots approach like this latest one dicier than ever.

* finally, Deathreats, a collection of the late Drew Hayes' on the comics industry and his life within it, won the 2009 New England Book Festival's Biography/Autobiography category. In the interest of full disclosure, I wrote the introduction to that book.
posted 11:30 pm PST | Permalink

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