As everyone crawls back to the mundane world—having spent the weekend bleaching and pressing now season-appropriate white clothing items—let’s round up a few things from the weekend past.
§ Chris Mautner’s “Comics College” feature at Robot 6 gets to Charles Burns and succinctly explains “Why we should care.” He also points out that there is no Charles Burns art book! WHYYYYYYYYYY?
As with Gary Panter, Lynda Barry and Mark Beyer, Charles Burns came to prominence during the indie comix scene of the 1980s mainly thanks to his contributions to the Raw anthology. As such, he was one of the more significant members of that generation to change the general public’s (and the fan’s) conception of what comics could be like and about. His work immediately garnered notice both for his thick brush work, where the ink threatened to swallow the page, as well as for his subject matter, grotesque displays and stories (occasionally told with a wink) that drew both on classic sci-fi and horror as well as an awareness and disgust of the body and its urges. Like filmmaker David Cronenberg, Burns was fascinated by the relationship between sex and death and the anxiety both produced and those themes show up in his work time and again.
§ People say the ’90s were a shit decade for comics. People are wrong.
§ Tom Spurgeon’s massive San Diego Comic-Con tips post has turned into more of a “Pro Tips for General Survival” kind of thing—find a means of telling the time; leave time for parking; don’t go to Mexico—but the general message is definitely “go with the flow.” The subtext being that the flow is now a raging river filled with roaring whirlpools of pocket fandoms and sharp rocks of studio publicists. Pro Tip #1: bring a raft!
§ This is your monthly reminder to check out the astonishing lineup of comics at Study Group Comic Books.
§ Colleen Coover continues to curate artwork based on the Wolverine/Freddie Mercury meme, bless her.
§ Former Marvel staffer Scott Edelman pushes back against rumors that ’70s era Marvel letterpages orchestrated a campaign to turn fans against Jack Kirby by examining scans of those letters pages.
So what will they reveal? Was there truly an orchestrated effort by us staffers, as some have claimed, to use the letters columns to sow seeds of dissatisfaction with Kirby among fandom?
The shocking answer in the link.
§ The strong female characters are back, and the Brokeback will never be the same.
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.