§ Charles Hatfield reminds us that JH Williams IIIis a total badass who is able to mix formalist experimentation with affecting and evocative storytelling.
And then there’s JH Williams III, in whom graphic experimentation, the demands of narrative drawing, and the conventions of genre are perfectly counterpoised. These days, in the wake of the so-called widescreen genre aesthetic — all those hyperrealist godchildren of Adams and Ross, artists like Bryan Hitch and Steve McNiven and the more interesting John Cassaday — Williams is the new master of trick layouts, the one artist who is, month after month, doing more than anyone else to reinvigorate page design in mainstream comic books. Though capable of, indeed comfortable in, hyperrealism, he has, like Frank Quitely and few others, a flare for design that reintroduces a graphic energy to the straitened pages of today’s mainstream comics.
DC’s collection of the Rucka/Williams Detective/Batwoman series is coming out in June. Surely it will find a place in the Expedit.
§ Blogger Christopher Allen interviews blogger Sean T. Collins and there is much talk of reviewing and blogging that is of interest. We became particularly nostalgic at Collins’ evocation of the Early Days of the Comics Blogosphere when we were all so young and things were so simple.
§ Tom Spurgeon’s gift giving guide for 2009 includes many excellent suggestions, and also what comics his mother likes, which is more useful than you’d think.
§ Jason Thompson has a very amusing look at A History of Horrible, Harmless Violence by which he means Japanese comics meant for boys.
“The basics of shonen manga are smiles and a happy ending,” said Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin. To this I would add, “and terrible suffering.” Japanese shonen (boys’) manga permits violence way beyond anything found in American comics or animation, and seinen (adult) manga is even more explicit.
The article categorizes levels of mutilation and suffering from the endless blood supply to the limb that hangs on by a shred of flesh.
§ This is from last week’s kids comic discussion. Noah Berlatsky points out that young boys like superheroes:
But I think this maybe misses or downplays a fairly major point — kids really, really, really like superheroes. A lot. It’s not me who was foisting my old Spidey Super Stories and Super-friends comics on my kid because I desperately wanted him to read them for the sake of my overwhelming nostalgia. On the contrary, I pulled those out of the long boxes because my son was obsessed, and I figured it would be cheaper than buying new reading material. And let me tell you, by the time I’d read them fifty or sixty times out loud, any lingering nostalgia I felt for the material was killed well nigh dead.
Young boys grow to be older boys — and thus the Wednesday Crowd regenerates.
§ Videos, cartoonists doing things and so on.
––Paul K. posts Audio of an interview with European masters Mawil and Trondheim. If you don’t know who Mawil and Trondheim are…well, you should.
—Newsarama posts the entirety of the documentary The ACT-I-VATE Experience.