§ Top link: Comics historian Paul Gravett’s monthly trip through Previews. It’s hard to imagine a better guide to the Stuff That Matters.
John Backderf was among prospective jurors being screened last week by a judge in Cleveland. He was asked: “Has anyone you know ever been convicted of a crime?”
Backderf responded: “I had a close friend in high school who killed 17 people.”
The Plain Dealer reports Monday the answer caused the judge to freeze and lawyers to drop their pens. Backderf explained he knew Dahmer, who was raised in northeast Ohio.
Cartoonist Derf indeed went to school with Dahmer and is working on a book of comics about the killer called NY FRIEND DAHMER:
The new My Friend Dahmer graphic novel is nearing completion, a 200-page memoir that will be the definitive account of the formative years of my infamous, doomed teenage pal. Since this project is stirring up considerable interest from you readers, every month I’ll post an interesting Dahmer tidbit here, things that won’t make it into the book itself but are fascinating curiosities on their own.
§ Graphic novels replace textbooks in India…or at least one publisher would like it to be so.
§ The art blog Squidface and the Meddler has an interview with cartoonist Jesse Jacobs who has a book coming out from AdHouse which we will all soon enjoy. This is a very cool website which doesn’t allow you to download the images. Tricky! But we found a way around it.
§ Frank Santoro’s grid talk continues with an examination of Jaime Hernandez’s heartbreaking “Browntown.” You will need a copy of LOVE & ROCKETS #3 to follow along but it will be worth it.
So we see how the structure of the story, the tempo, and the emotional color of the scenes can dictate approach and what I like to call song forms. And we see how whenever ****** appears in the present day story of Love Bunglers that Jaime uses a 3 tiered layout. Only the dream sequence and Ray’s interior narration scenes are 3 tiered in Love Bunglers. When I read these stories in order as they are presented I feel the “beat” change. The pace of the story is created by the controlled changes in rhythm. Specifically from 3 tiered pages to 4 tiered pages in the Love Bunglers; and when he utilizes symmetrical grids in Browntown. How Jaime composes for these changes is, to me, breathtaking.
§ Seeing a blog post from Jim Woodring entitled SMALL WOODEN HANDLE FOR HOME USE in your RSS feed conjures both fear and curiosity. If Rick Grimes ever goes down, Woodring is the man to fight the zombie apocalypse, no question.
§ When Vice’s Nick Gazin reviews comics, he shoots a picture of his hand holding the comic for added impact.
§ Life after SCOTT PILGRIM finds Bryan Lee O’Malley a hometown hero who has turned Toronto in the Paris of Amelie:
In six years, Bryan Lee O’Malley has gone from a burgeoning artist with a single critically acclaimed graphic novel to one of the most beloved figures in the comic book community.
The reason? His six-part Toronto-set Scott Pilgrim series about a 20-something whose life is filtered through a pop culture cocktail of manga, movies, and vintage video games.
We’ve been puttering around on the subject of the afterlife of SCOTT PILGRIM — the DVD comes out today, and director Edgar Wright has been hosting some screenings to promote it, just like nothing ever happened. The Internet and social media have accelerated the spread of pop culture to the point where something doesn’t become a cult object — it’s proclaimed a cult object from the moment it is created.
Here’s an earlier link from IFC.com:
If “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” died at the box office this past August, it’s enjoying the heavenly embrace of its true fans now. During election season, one of the fiercest campaigns waged hasn’t been led by any political candidate, but rather the cast and crew of “Scott Pilgrim” who have gone far beyond the call of duty to restore honor to Edgar Wright’s gloriously insane adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel with a barnstorming tour of the country that began in Los Angeles last month at the New Beverly Cinema where everyone from star Michael Cera to director Edgar Wright showed up for the film’s first official midnight screening and will continue at a free screening the Bloor Cinema in Toronto on Friday, sold out dates at the Brattle Theatre in Boston this Saturday (where the 7:30 show is not yet sold out) and the Village East in New York on November 8th, before returning to Los Angeles for a encore weekend of midnight screenings at the New Bev on November 12th and 13th moderated by Doug Benson.
So there! Justice has triumphed after all!
§ Tim O’Shea interviews artist Janet K. Lee and finally uses the right word to describe her technique on THE RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN: Decoupage!
O’Shea: In terms of your decoupage work, what kind of wood do you use to mount the art. And how much of a challenge is it from a production side working to get the decoupage into book form? Were there lessons you learned along the way that made the production process easier for you?
Lee: I usually like to construct the pages on pine board– the cheaper and knottier the better. I love the texture that the wood gives to the pages– plus it’s good support for all the layers of paper I’m attaching to it. Once the page is constructed, I take it to a professional scanner to produce the image file.
Our main goal after scanning the boards was to make sure as much as possible that the tactile, 3-D effect of the original art translated to the printed page. For that we brought in Jeremy Brody– who also created our amazing animated trailer. Jeremy knew my art– knew the challenges associated with it– and he took so much care to get the pages the way I wanted them. I can’t thank him enough. I think the biggest lesson learned is that I should have talked to Jeremy earlier so that we could establish some guidelines at the beginning of the project– we’ll be doing that with the next books, absolutely.
§ A hefty interview with Berkeley Breathed has been posted at AICN of all places, and though the chunky block text and haphazard line spacing make it seem less than serious. Breathed joins the parade of cartoonists providing an elegy for the newspaper strip:
RUSSELL: When you launched “Opus,” you scored a glorious contractual obligation that the strip run large. The strip did not appear online, either, initially, in a bid to boost print-newspaper circulation. But changes followed. “Opus” shrank in size, lost some detail in its color palette and ended up syndicated on Salon.com. And when you ended the strip, you in fact asked readers to go online to see the final panel (a generous gesture on behalf of the Humane Society). How did your consideration of the Web and the newspaper industry change over the run of the strip?
BREATHED: I knew I was on borrowed time — and hence announced on the first day that it would go for five years and not a day more. Our culture has moved on from newspapers, and the cartoon strip as we know it has sailed off into the sunset. The Web will be a home for graphic humor. But it will be different.There are tribes of Indians in the jungles of Brazil that have never seen a spoon. But when one of them tries to get another to step into their canoe while holding an armload of bananas, promising to hold the canoe steady, the other guy will say “Oh right, and Lucy won’t yank the football away at the last second, asshole.”
We’ve lost that.
§ Oddities of twitter: Midwest Mom Mistakes Neil Gaiman for Neil Patrick Harris.
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.