§ Nice art: here’s a panel from James Romberger’s contribution to Think of a City, an exquisite corpse type comic that’s running on Tumblr and organized by Alison Sampson and Ian McEwan. This is an old link, but it just crossed my feed: Nick Hanover interviews Romberger about his long and amazing career. And there’s a ton more nice art in the Think of a City link.
§ Here’s a review of In Garden of the Flesh, Gilbert Hernandez’s enthusiastically filthy retelling of Genesis with all the genitals:
Recently, Beto has been experimenting with works of obscenity, taking the surrealist whispers that always lurked behind the edges of even his tamest work and amping up to eye-gouging extremity. Blubber, which now seems to be the flagship book for this side of Gilbert, was published with little fanfare but, for those who read it then, dropped like an atom bomb. That book’s endless barrage of cartoon critters with swollen genitalia, buggering and killing each other in seemingly endless permutations, consistently upends the reader’s desire to categorize the work, while its artistic mastery and impressive mark making forces the reader to take it seriously. Later issues further confounded by introducing human beings to the frenzy, behaving in more or less the same fashion as the creatures before. And now in Garden of the Flesh “Beto” puts the graphic in graphic novel by taking the id-drenched frolics of the Blubber kingdom to perhaps the most popular book of all time: the Bible.
§ It is not a con until Secret Acres has reported on it, and here’s their SPX report, with the ominous title No Country for Old Men; as is often the case, The Beat makes a guest appearance:
Speaking of the Ignatz Awards, Nate Powell, the Ignatz MC, talked a bit about hanging around the comics scene long enough to be the old guard. Right after the ceremony, the scene gave way to the SPX prom, now featuring a real live fog machine. Everyone over thirty, pretty much, retired to the lanai, only to watch the youths driven from dancing by a false fire alarm, not long after the prom began. Hopefully, this prom business got someone laid because no one we spoke to would admit to ever having “done it” while at SPX. Liars. Anyway, post prom flameout, Heidi MacDonald, aka the Beat, challenged all the old coots to identify, by image alone, the artists of the SPX badges. Not one person got them all right. Not one. We laughed about this, because we had the bar to ourselves and all the kids had gone to bed. Sometimes, being the grownups is not so terrible.
It was the Daryl Seitchik and Rebecca Mock badges that stumped the judges. So many excellent new artists, we haven’t had time to make cheat sheets to recognize them all.
§ Here is a student written report on a Banned Books Week discussion of banned graphic novels that took place at Pittsburg State University. The report contains some howlers, because you gotta learn to listen:
Cox began the presentation by stating that there is a link between juvenile delinquency and comic books that includes topics such as werewolves, vampires and kissing. Along with these comic books are novels that include controversial or sensitive content. Consequently, many of these books have been banned. Cox and Leon brought and presented several graphic novels as examples of what kinds of books have been banned and why.
Probably not quite what was stated but in this day and age who knows.
§ Ralph Nader came out of retirement to recommend a comic I never even heard of:
A remarkable graphic novel titled Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism – an illustrated exposé by Joel Andreas will inform and motivate readers. Since it was published in 2002 and updated in 2015, over 450,000 copies in multiple languages are in print worldwide. Only 74 pages with 164 footnotes at the back, this book is a remarkably accurate and comprehensive narrative. It is heavily endorsed with comments from veterans, scholars and clergy, among other notables.
§ If you can brave the pop ups and autostart videos, this comicbook.com piece on How to Solve the Marvel Movies Villain Problem has some solid recommendations.
§ There were many pieces about LUke Cage, which debuted on Netflix Friday. This was the best one. ‘I will never get tired of seeing a bulletproof black man’: ‘Luke Cage’s’ show runner on busting barriers
“When I interviewed the Notorious B.I.G., about a month before he died,” Coker said earlier this year at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, “he told me a story about how his mother didn’t know anything about his life on the street. At home he was Christopher Wallace, his mother’s son. He was ‘Chrissy Pooh.’ On the street he was Big Chris and eventually Biggie. His mother, who was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, would leave home while he was wearing one thing, but then he would go to the roof and he would change clothes.
My own Cage viewing will have to wait until after NYCC>
§ Speaking of NYCC, the NY Post, one of our three daily newspaper, profiles a cartoonist and it is not a household name, but rather, one of those guys from Artists Alley, guy name of Michael Sarrao:
Sarrao, a Bay Ridge resident in his 30s who creates his own series such as “S.I.D.: Special Intergalactic Detective” and “Unmasked,” has been writing his own comics for nearly a decade — and will attend his sixth New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center as an exhibitor Thursday through Sunday. There, he networks with industry insiders, meets publishers for his series and, most important, interacts with the fans who make the event possible.
It takes a village!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.