DreamWorks options I SAW YOU

Wait a minute, help may be on the way for uninsured Julia Wertz! Andrea McCloud’s script based on I SAW YOU, the book she edited, has been picked up by DreamWorks after a bidding war for somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000.

Company ponied up mid-six figures for the romantic comedy pitch, which sparked a heated bidding war involving Screen Gems and New Line, among others.

George Tillman (“Notorious”) is attached to direct the project, which involves four intersecting love stories;and his State Street shingle is onboard to produce.

Now before you say Julia is buying the brews from here on out, note the bidding war was for McCloud’s script, not an option. But let’s hope some of that moolah will trickle down to Wertz.

Cartoonists and insurance

It’s about time cartoonists got embroiled in the fun, easy-to-understand debate over health insurance currently going on. Julia Wertz , author of Fart Party, appears on Time.Com explaining that she has a disease — lupus– and no health insurance. That’s a problem.

Evan Dorkin responds with many thoughts on how freelancers can get coverage and how people are young and stupid.

I’m not judging anyone, here I’m a Mistake King first-class and I have made a lot of dumb choices myself over the years. When I was in my 20’s, I worked for Jim Hanley’s Universe, I was a manager and I had coverage. I never used it. Even when I had a big piece of glass go through my hand, my drawing hand. And it repeatedly opened up and soaked my bedsheets with blood. Why? Because I was young, and I was invulnerable, and I wanted to see my girlfriend that night and not see a stupid doctor and the stupid hand will heal and I’m busy this week going out and screwing around and it only hurts a little now, what can happen. I went to the doctor a week too late, and my hand has hurt ever since. My drawing hand, So stupid, so common, as Julia Wertz wrote. Ms Wertz has lupus, however, and Sarah knows someone who died because of that malady, so, y’know…this shit’s important to stay on top of and deal with. Not lecturing, honest. But what we do in our youth affects our later life, and later life is a long god-damned time, fingers crossed (I want to make stupid comics for a long time, and my hand is a disaster, and my neck went untreated for years…and my back…)

Tom has a few other links.

Reading comments on Julia’s status always depresses me. Obviously she’s made some decisions that affect her life — living in a $900 month an apartment isn’t one of them. This is a society where you can have insurance and still go bankrupt if you get a life-threatening disease. So getting sick isn’t just a matter of dying, it’s a matter of losing everything you have, as well. That’s an ethical choice we as a society have made.

Some people think that’s a problem as well.

AFI’s Top 10 includes two ‘toons

The American Film Institute has released its annual list of 10 notable films:

The Hangover
The Hurt Locker
The Messenger
Precious: Based On The Novel “Push” By Sapphire
A Serious Man
A Single Man
Up In The Air

While none of the movies with “9” in the title made it — 9, NINE, or DISTRICT 9 — the two “UP” movies did and so did the two “A [Blank] MAN.”

CORALINE and UP are both animated — one Henry Selick’s much-praised stop-motion 3D adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book, the other from Pixar. As CGI makes actual filmmaking more and more like animation, it seems that any stigma attached to the process is quickly disappearing.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits — 12/14/09

§ Must read: The Daily Cross Hatch polled cartoonists for their Best of 2009 lists and more than 40 replied.

§ Douglas Wolk posts The Best Graphic Novels of 2009 for Barnes and Noble.

§ Fantagraphics/TCJ honcho Gary Groth steps onto the balcony of his stronghold to to address the throng and gives a very cogent history of comics criticism while he’s at it:

You know why you’re here: You’re looking for honest, intelligent, robust criticism and commentary on comics and related media and, hell, maybe even a dollop of philosophical discourse because you’re the kind of gal or guy who isn’t discomfited with a little straying from the thematic farm. But in the course of mulling over what tcj.com means in the greater scheme of things, I began reflecting on the history of comics criticism and concluded that it may be worth reciting, especially for those of you who don’t even know that there’s such a shaggy and ramshackle series of events that could even remotely comprise a history of comics criticism.

§ Newly installed TCJ blogger Noah Berlatsky risks punishment in his very first blog post by commenting on the new TCJ.com’s rather spotty rollout. See also the comment thread. Our opinion? Good content eventually wins out, but you gotta be able to find it.

§ Related and this is a serious question: Why would ANYONE ever choose numeric post titles over SEO-friendly title-based post titles in WordPress?
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RIP Irving Tripp

Steve Bissette was first to break the news that Irving Tripp, collaborator with John Stanley on many of the great Little Lulu stories, died in November at age 88.

Tripp was an artist for Dell Comics in the ’40s and ’50s who teamed with Stanley. Stanley would write the Lulu stories in thumbnail fashion and Tripp would pencil, ink and sometimes letter. He also contributed covers — and worked until his retirement in the ’80s. While Tripp certainly drew in the style of Stanley, he contributed his own fine line — often just the angle of a line was enough to connote some shade of an emotion that took a panel from funny to hilarious — that was Tripp’s work.


The most common reaction to Tripp’s death among comics scholars was “He was still alive?” Comics Comics goes the extra mile and finds the only extant interview with Tripp, from the long out of print Another Rainbow Little Lulu collections. It is well worth reading in its entirety for the light it sheds on the comics world of the ’40s and ’50s, and the Lulu work of other contributors, such as Arnold Drake and Virginia Hubbell. As critical acclaim grows for John Stanley (who died in 1993, largely embittered by the way the industry had treated him), I’d suspect a lot of people, myself included, are sad that Tripp never got a chance to bask in some of the spotlight he so greatly deserved. It’s a reminder that we shouldn’t stop trying to find these “lost cartoonists” before it’s too late.

More from Tom Spurgeon and Mark Evanier. Also, his obituary.

Cho and Millionaire classic posters for sale


Art Director Paul Buckley directs our attention to the fact that two of the cartoonist-themed covers for the Penguin Classics series are now available as posters: White Noise by Michael Cho and Moby Dick by Tony Millionaire.

Surely there is someone on your shopping list who might like these fine graphics? Although personally, we would also like a whale eye poster.

TCAF Posters 2003-2009

Cool things to look at

18 Days of Christmas: Nancy did it