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

September 6, 2007

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Eddie Campbell talks about the various definitions of graphic novels, including his own, boiling it down to three major contenders. I think that when it comes to definitional matters it's very often hard to get past a certain point where any significant number of people have invested in one definition or another; I also think the better judge for how something defined usually ends up being utility rather than historical accuracy or strict logic. Not that Campbell won't be able to thwart the first problem or that I have any idea how he fits into the second.

image* A well-done and longer than one might expect interview with John Porcellino popped up recently in the Washington paper Express, in support of the Drawn and Quarterly collection King-Cat Classix. Porcellino is an important cartoonist -- King-Cat Comics and Stories is the only mini-comic I'd put on a Top 100 list, and it may be the most directly influential autobiographical work in the comics form -- but he's also an appealing and accessible one. One thing I hadn't known or had totally forgotten is that John's cat and longtime King-Cat character Maisie Kukoc died. Also, did he drop the word "stories" from his title? I can't imagine a life of comics reading that didn't include John Porcellino's work.

* A video report from the party wrapping up the McCloud Family's Making Comics tour can be found here.

* I received a note from JP Trostle updating the story about veteran editorial cartoonist Craig Terry being let go from his Florida newspaper employer of approximately two decades. It sounds about as bad a last day at work as you can imagine not involving bullets:
In an email to the AAEC Notebook, Terry noted, "The only reason I was given: my position was eliminated. It was a cost cutting measure that seemed to be company-wide.

"They took out several advertising people, two from the newsroom, myself and a female reporter who had been there for over 20 years. It was very similar to Chuck Asay and the Colorado Springs Gazette earlier."

Unlike the situation with Asay, the announcement caught Terry and other staff members by surprise -- all were told of the decision and summarily escorted from the building.

"I had made the mistake of thinking I was bulletproof," continued Terry, "and had all workfiles, freelance and contacts at my office workstation. My former assistant will help me regain some of that. Friggin' family photos, music, toons just everything."
The story is interesting because it's one of those situation where it's not solely about papers devaluing the editorial cartoonist profession, but about the brutal personnel cuts at papers across the country.
posted 3:02 am PST | Permalink

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