:: Buzzwords Archive: November 2008. Click here for the latest posts.

The Funnies (published 19/11/2008)


[It’s been over a month since the last Funnies; here’s what’s been going on…]

Dame Darcy is guest blogging on Powells: “I always feel that life is sending me signals and codes to decipher.” + Statesman talk to Art Spiegelman: ”I’m finishing up what’ll be a collection of some sketchbooks that I’ve been keeping over the years that McSweeney‘s will publish as a really strange book project in February. It’s actually three books, each a different size, which is the size of the original sketchbooks. They’re from three different periods in my life and they have new covers.” + Spiegelman talks Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! with KCRW, Slate, the LA Times, Powells & Newsarama :”I work painfully, ridiculously slow. Way too much think, not enough ink, as one cartoonist told me when I was living in San Francisco. I’m not that prolific.” + The Design Observer’s review of Breakdowns + Alan Moore speaks with Panel Borders , the Guardian are Watching the Watchmen We cannot display this gallery, and io9 review of the book, while Jonathan Jones says of Moore: ”He’s a real force of imagination in a world that is full of fakes. If there was any justice this man would get the Turner Prize.” + Mike Mignola talks Hellboy II: ”You know I’m really thrilled with the puppet sequence for so many reasons. It’s such a weird sequence. It’s so much not what you’d expect to see in a comic book oriented film. It’s a real art film moment, something that Del Toro came up with the idea, and I was so excited.” + The Forbidden Planet blog on some early Neil Gaiman + Sandman is 20 + Five ways Sandman changed the world + Neil Gaiman on adapting Charles BurnsBlackhole for the screen + Charles Burns talks to Shock ’til you Drop and to the Daily Cross Hatch:“There are a lot of themes that come back, again and again. I never know how to explain that part of it. I always leave that to the critics to explain.” + An interview with Gerald Scarfe + The British Cartoon Archive, political cartoons from the 18th century to present {via BBC} + Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of London, as action hero {h/t A. Stevens}


Lynda Barry, interviewed by The Olympian, The Believer & Vice: “I wrote [Cruddy] with a paintbrush on legal paper. I don’t think it would have happened any other way. I came to that way of working because I had been trying to write a novel on my computer but the problem was that dang delete button. You can get rid of something before you even know what it is. Also there is all the difference in the world between tapping a finger to make an “a” and drawing the letter “a.” For me at least, it’s the movement of my hand that makes a story come to me. After ten years of trying to write a novel on a computer in the way I thought novels were written, I gave up. I remember walking around my workspace saying “OK! OK! If I were doing this, how would I do it?” And I realized that all I needed to do was do what I did when I made a painting or a comic strip. That meant slowly and by hand. It seems like writing a novel with a paintbrush would take a long time but I finished the first draft in nine months. I had the best time working on it. The story was so alive and unexpected. It seems like slowing way down is no way to write a story but it made Cruddy the way it is.” {last via Bookslut} + Peter Wild talks with Ivan Brunetti: “We are the Rodney Dangerfields of the art world. We have toiled without much notice or respect. But that has been changing, and the world a cartoonist enters today is much different from the one I entered just 20 years ago. I’d like to think the Yale anthologies contribute positively to that world. I’m really curious to see where cartooning goes in the next 20 years (if I make it that long).” + And Brunetti at Comic Book Galaxy + At ComixMix, Nate Powell: “I love self-publishing, and I still do it. If I want a few hundred copies of a new story, and it’s gonna be a while before it finds a ‘proper’ place, it’s very natural just to take matters into your own hands. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of distribution from running a record label out of my bedroom over the years too.” According to the Oregonian, we have three to look forward to from Nate Powell + Nick Abadzis talks Laika: ” I just have to hope that the graphic novel I created allows people to meditate and reflect upon some of the questions thrown up by this particular episode in history. Ultimately, it’s up to individuals to arrive at their own opinion of what impact such representations have; it’s my job to tell stories as powerfully and honestly as I possibly can.” + Inkstuds‘ interview with the marvelous Anders Nilsen + David Heatley meets Bat Segundo.


James Kochalka: “I haven’t even had a chance to think about it yet. I’m going to draw something about it for the strip today, but I don’t really know how to sum up ten years. I had a pretty good idea that it was going to be a really interesting project, but I wasn’t really thinking about how it was going to completely transform my life.” + Jason Lutes at Newsarama + Bryan Lee O’Malley draws Tintin + Tintin in Welsh + Blade Runner started, and ended, as a comic book + Karl Marx‘s Kapital as manga {h/t J.W.} + In a reflection of the nation’s growing obsession with escaping reality, more than 1,000 people have signed an on-line petition to present to the government to establish a law permitting marriage to comic characters. + A teaser from Comics Journal‘s interview with Jason: “There’s almost never any thought process, really. It all just happens. It was all improvised. I knew there was going to be a couple on the run and the ex-boyfriend hired killer, but the fairy-tale element, the wolf and the hunter, that came later. There is definitely a Jaime Hernandez influence in there, but mostly in the drawings, I think. The early Love and Rockets also had SF elements, robots and superheroes, but I’m not sure if that was the primary inspiration. It’s something that just felt very natural to me, to have the normal everyday stuff and then include fantastic elements. And having the characters behave and talk as if they’re in a story by Raymond Carver. That mix, I just find it intriguing, I guess.” + The NY Sun catch up with Jonathan Ames, author of 3:AM‘s favourite graphic novel this year The Alcoholic: “We all grew up reading comics and now as adults we feel a sense of nostalgia for them. Or at least we’re comfortable with the form.” + The Times Leader on Robert Crumb.


An audience with Gary Panter, hosted by Tokion: “They’re shutting down my storytelling, unfortunately. If you can’t write about sexual conflict, you’re screwed as a writer. Basically, that’s mostly what people are writing about in the world. But it’s too dangerous, because then someone’s going to think it’s about them.” + Windy City Times meet up with Alison Bechdel: “You know, I’ve always said I’ll do it until I keel over at my drawing board or until it was no longer viable, so I couldn’t really make enough money from it. I think it kind of maybe reached that point. Not having keeled over, but it’s become very hard to make a living from it.” + Bechdel & Harvey Pekar‘s ‘Twilight of the Titans’ + Warren Craghead‘s Seed Toss, Rough Cut is available as a d.i.y. PDF + Chip Kidd is doing the rounds to promote Bat-Manga! (and kicking up a shit storm); here’s one with Powells: “This stuff is rare over there. On several business trips to Japan I would go to manga shops with color Xeroxes to show them and ask if they had any more, and they would look at me like I was nuts. “No, of course we don’t have that. Where’d you get that?” [Laughter] To be quite honest, first of all, if we were going to access the Shonen King archive, it’s like, do we go over there? You get these instant expenses. So, the photographer and I are gonna fly over to Japan to photograph this — that’s gonna add up real quick, in terms of money. And I couldn’t imagine in a million years that they would just send them over, willy-nilly, to us.” + Comix Calptrap talk to Renee French + Alex Robinson is Too Cool to be Forgotten: “There was a bit of discussion about the cover. Matt had proposed the cigarette idea, but I wanted to go with a yearbook theme so we went back and forward on that for awhile. Between me, Matt and Top Shelf we just couldn’t settle on a yearbook cover we all liked, so I think I offered to have Matt work up the cigarette cover and it just clicked instantly. Aside from it being a great cover, I was secretly relieved because I noticed a lot of other yearbook themed books around.” + 20 questions for Dash Shaw: “I identify myself as a cartoonist or artist. The other day I was at a party and someone asked me what I do and I said I do a webcomic and my girlfriend overheard that and got really mad at me. She said I was misrepresenting myself and we talked about it later. Personally, if someone told me they did a webcomic I would be intrigued. But, of course, I like webcomics.” + The Times on Charles Schultz + 10 comics to read in your lifetime + SONASTE MANECO, from La Banadera del Comic + 3:AM has been enjoying Mindless Ones, especially their post on Edward Gorey [go read].

Naked Lunch @ 50: 1959-2009 (published 18/11/2008)


Purchase those Eurostar tickets to Paris, book those flights to New York, or hotfoot it to London in 2009 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication by Olympia Press of William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch.  On Paris’s Left Bank between June 30th and July 3rd, special events include a rare reading by Terry Wilson – a friend of Burroughs and Gysin. There will also be readings, performances, films, dance, and even a magician. July 30th at the University of London Institute, Paris, sees the launch of Naked Lunch@50: Anniversary Essays, edited by Oliver Harris and Ian MacFadyen. The homage will continue in New York City and in London later in the year – further details to follow.

It’s Spreading! (published 17/11/2008)


The original Offbeat publisher, Social Disease, has a spanking new website. After publishing the likes of Tony O’Neill, Lee Rourke, Travis Jeppesen or H. P. Tinker, they are bringing out Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone‘s Home on 26 November. Toby Litt describes it as “an extremely strong first novel”: “dark, perverse, convincing and passionate”.