§ Hoo boy the drumbeat for Patience by Daniel Clowes is beginning and here’s a petty epic profile of Clowes by Robert Ito with ILLUSTRATIONS by Rutu Modan, Anders Nilsen, Richard Sala, Isabel Seliger, Seth (above, der) and Anuj Shrestha just as a super duper bonus feature. Ito weaves together Clowes history with the rise of the comics, and you’ll learn that Patience’s time travel story was foreshadowed on an Eightball cover! Time travel indeed.
If things had gone differently, says Clowes, Patience might have been published, in a greatly abbreviated form, more than two decades ago. He had an opening for the story in issue No. 16 of his long-running anthology, Eightball, and the germ of an idea. “I had this vision of a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of guy from the future stomping through the present,” he says. But Clowes had only six pages to spare, sandwiched between the letters page (“Tell your friends they’re fucked-up and stupid,” one read; another asked Clowes if he “got an erection” while coloring nude figures) and the sixth installment of Ghost World. Figuring it would take at least 20 pages to tell the story, Clowes abandoned the idea. If you look at the original cover he created for that issue back in 1995, you’ll see the unwritten story’s evocative title, “Martian Holiday,” between headlines for “Immortal, Invisible” and “Squirrel Girl and Candy-Pants.”
There’s also some pretty good shelf porn within.
§ Speaking of Shelfporn, here some primo French shelf porn!
§ Speaking of Books of the Year, Tom Hart’s Rosalie Lightning is one of them. Rob Clough has an in-depth review of this haunting masterwork:
The immediacy and power of Hart’s images have never been better. He uses a cheery, cartoony style in depicting scenes from the past. There’s a recurring image that Hart shares of a man and woman adrift on a raft drawn in classic Hart style (cartoony but slightly grotesque, with sausage fingers and bulbous noses), in which he transposes himself and Leela onto that couple. In the present tense, especially in the beginning of the book set shortly after Rosalie’s death, Hart’s self-caricature is an inky, chunky, scratchy, jagged mass of lines that looks as much stabbed onto the page as drawn. Hart makes references to EC Comics, to the cartooning team Metaphrog, to George Herriman, to Gustave Verbeek’s upside-down comics, to Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, Werner Herzog’s film Fitzcarraldo, and to a single panel from a Chester Brown comic. Each reference builds on the next in how they personally speak to him regarding loss; for example, Astro Boy is about an inventor building a robot to replace a boy. The referenced EC story climaxes with characters falling into a huge hole, an image that Hart returns to repeatedly.
§ One more Angoulême link! Photos from the show via PW and Jody Culkin! Above, the Women in Comics Publishing panel.
§ Albert Ching of Comics Book Resources had a pretty awesome start to his day this week.
§ Patreon, the recurring crowdfunder beloved of webcartoonists and The Beat, now has an app!
§ Patreon is not as robust as Kickstarter in quantifying all its campaigns for that “Wow that’s doing great I better support it! factor, however, this site, Graphteon provides some metrics if you’re into that. Podcast, videos, and naughty podcasts and videos are the big earners, but you’ll see Jeph Jaques and Zack Weinersmith on there as well. And believe it or not, The Beat’s own campaign is in the top 1000 campaigns! Let’s make it top 900, people!
§ Many of you will want to read an article entitled: Why Are Comics So Damn Complicated?
§ Yet THIS is the title of the day: I Completely Lost My Will to Write After a Long Career—Until I Discovered Graphic Novels by Anneli Rufus, an dit refers to The Haunted Guitar a story about, well, I guess about a haunted guitar. The healing power of comics.
After 11 nonfiction books and several thousand articles, is The Haunted Guitar (begun for fun, a birthday card that swelled to 37 illustrated pages) my true soul liberated, surfacing at last, hilariously drawing dolphins? In its sculpted-earwax randomness, is The Haunted Guitar a New Thing which, as such, I should gaily display? Or is it gloomy proof of my past-50 plummet from prize-winning intellectual to past-it pity case, waving crayons while yelling “I dwew dis!” as ex-fans tiptoe silently away?
§ Mark Trail artist Jack Elrod, whom we often linked to as the oldest working cartoonist until he retired in 2014. has passed away at age 92.
§ Suicide Squad released a trailer on Instagram. That’s a preferred format these days, and we have seven more months of this.
§ Of all the very very clever promos for Deadpool trhis may be the most startling.
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.