• Feature: At Care2, Wilfred Santiago, creator of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente, writes about Clemente the humanitarian: "Clemente was aware that being a baseball player gave him the resources to do even greater good than he could have imagined. Most importantly, we have the opportunity to know and share his life story, and for that, we all are very fortunate to come across the history of a man like Roberto Clemente."
• Review: "The art is wonderful. Tardi has this rounded style that is unique and easily identifiable, all at once his signature. The level of detail is astounding, in the background and mechanical details as rendered faux woodcuts...: be sure to drink in every inch of this black and white work. [...] At $17 for a sixty-four page oversized hardcover [The Arctic Marauder] is a great value: ...it stands as a great period work with wonderfully detailed art." – Scott VanderPloeg, Comic Book Daily
• Review: "As an art book From Shadow to Light is stunning; ...it offers a remarkable and overdue testament to [Mort] Meskin (1916-1995), one of the seminal yet overshadowed figures of the comic book’s formative era. I can’t imagine not having this book in the Platonic comics studies library. [...] Of the recent bounty of deluxe books exhibiting vintage comic art — surely this is the Golden Age for comic book historiography and appreciation? — From Shadow to Light is one of the best. It is beautiful. Its design is dynamic yet coherent... The survival of so many Meskin originals, from comic book pages through storyboards and advertising comps to paintings, even to sketches on (!) paper towels, is itself cause for celebration, and, man, Brower exhibits these objects to advantage." – Charles Hatfield, The Panelists
• Plug:Reason's Brian Doherty touts: "Reason's cartoonist genius Peter Bagge will be leaving his Seattle stronghold and blessing the people of New York with his luminous presence this week in multiple venues [MoCCA, Desert Island & Scott Eder Gallery]. ... It'll be a Baggapalooza weekend! If you live anywhere near New York, check out one or all of his appearances. If you live on Earth, buy all [his new] books [Hate Annual #9 and Yeah!]."
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater begins a multipart conversation with Mome contributor Noah Van Sciver: "I have some Zap Comics, but besides the Crumb stuff, it just does nothing for me. But I like the freedom that they had in the 60s. I’m more into the 80s and 90s."
This fascinating-looking exhibit which originated at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco last summer is now traveling to Toronto. From the announcement:
Graphic Details is a groundbreaking touring exhibition, providing the first in-depth look at a unique and prolific niche of graphic storytelling — Jewish women's autobiographical comics. While the influential role of Jews in cartooning has long been acknowledged, the role of Jewish women in shaping the medium is largely unexplored. This exhibition of original drawings, full comic books and graphic novels, presents the powerful work of eighteen Canadian and international artists whose intimate, confessional work has influenced the world of comics over the last four decades, creating an entirely new genre.
Featuring work from artists: Vanessa Davis, Bernice Eisenstein, Sarah Glidden, Miriam Katin, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Miss Lasko-Gross, Sarah Lazarovic, Miriam Libicki, Sarah Lightman, Diane Noomin, Corinne Pearlman, Trina Robbins, Racheli Rotner, Sharon Rudahl, Laurie Sandell, Ariel Schrag, Lauren Weinstein, Ilana Zeffren
Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women Originated by Michael Kaminer and Sarah Lightman February 17th to April 17th, 2011 Opening Reception Thursday February 17th, 7:30PM-10PM (Artists in attendance) @ Koffler Gallery Off-Site at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W Free to Attend
More info here; there's a great lineup of related events here.
This looks like an excellent and well-due survey of a robust but underacknowledged area of comics: "Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women" opens at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum on October 1, featuring work by Vanessa Davis, Bernice Eisenstein, Sarah Glidden, Miriam Katin, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Miss Lasko-Gross, Miriam Libicki, Corinne Pearlman, Sarah Lightman, Sarah Lazarovic, Diane Noomin, Trina Robbins (above), Racheli Rottner, Sharon Rudahl, Laurie Sandell, Ariel Schrag, Lauren Weinstein, and Ilana Zeffren.
From the announcement: "The Forward, the leading independent Jewish weekly newspaper and web site, is media sponsor, and will publish the show’s catalog as an eight-page newspaper broadsheet. The catalog will include the last story written by Harvey Pekar, the legendary writer and pioneer and autobiographical comics. Pekar had been collaborating with artist Tara Seibel on the essay for 'Graphic Details' at the time of his death."
• List:The Browser's Roland Chambers talks to comics scholar and junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows Hillary Chute about her top five graphic narratives, including Aline Kominsky-Crumb's Love That Bunch: "To me, Aline is one of the most important figures in comics, which isn’t to say that she’s one of the most well-known. She’s not. But her comics have inspired a legion of cartoonists working in comics autobiography: specifically women cartoonists, because Aline published the first ever autobiographical comic from a woman’s point of view."
• Review: "King has long been a figure so ubiquitous in American culture that little of his true self remains in his frequently invoked image and words. Anderson does the man a favor by taking a spiky, fractured approach to his subject and refusing to plant a halo on his troubled head. ... Though all the great moments of his civil rights battle are here (from the March on Washington to his less-successful housing campaign in Chicago), Anderson doesn't resort to the cheap cinematic trick of success and fadeout. There is more disappointment here than celebration, suffused with the sorrowful sense of a long, long battle just barely begun. A crowning achievement, like the man it portrays." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
• Review: "...Columbia's most disturbing material yet. ... he remains one of the finest horrorists (if such a word exists and I may be allowed to use it) working in comics today, far exceeding what is generally held to be the standard of excellence in the genre, via his ability to convey a terrible sense of dread and foreboding. ... As disjointed and narratively frustrating as Pim and Francie can be at times, it remains a stunning and haunting work that preys on your mind long after you've finished it. The successive wave upon wave of unsettling imagery builds upon subsequent page to suggest a world of constant pain and surreal terror, where hiding places are few and far between. ... The sheer level of craftsmanship and imagination on display makes this a book well worth reading for those who can bear its mordant message." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Back in print in a new 2009 softcover edition after a several-year absence, the 12th volume of The Complete Crumb spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with national treasure Harvey Pekar, which appeared in the legendary American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like one of Michael Moore’s cocky documentary films), Crumb’s encounter with an interviewer from High Times magazine, an evocative period piece featuring 1930s jazz musicians, another of Crumb’s collaborative “jams” with Aline Kominsky, and everything else that’s established R. Crumb as the master catoonist of his time! Makes a great gift and doubles as an evocative educational tool, teaching our youth what it means to be American (from the guy that moved to France)!
If you're not a bookseller or librarian, skip this post, but the new issue of Booklist is the annual spotlight on graphic fiction, and there's some very useful stuff for those building a core collection of GNs. The issue includes an interview with James Sturm, an "honor roll of female pioneers" in comics, and a look back at a lifetime reading "the Funnies" courtesy columnist Michael Cart. There are a number of top 10 lists, reviews, etc. as well.