§ Brian Hibbs wanders around his store for 31 days and along the way hopes to list “31 classic graphic novels.” First up: Alan Moore’s SWAMP THING.
§ Another Zuda profile! This one spotlights Jeremy Love of Bayou fame:
“I was just trying to come up with a story that compelled me, that I always wanted to read,” Love says. “I’ve always found something haunting about the South. Every time I’d go back and visit, it just seemed like there was something underneath the surface that was intangible. I really wanted to explore that and give the South and American culture a fantasy epic similar to ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ I wanted to give us something that tapped into our folklore.”
§ We all know WIMPY KID is one of the biggest things in children’s publishing nowadays, but few actually think of it as a straight comics — it’s an illustrated novel. However, as this profile of creator Jeff Kinney explains, he did start out as a cartoonist:
The Wimpy Kid series culminates Kinney’s years of fascination for the comic strip artform, beginning as a youngster, when he marveled at how cartoonists such as Gary Larson (The Far Side) and Matt Groening ( The Simpsons, Life in Hell) could make newsprint come to life with animated characters and humorous word balloons. When he was in college, Kinney published a cartoon featuring a wisecracking college freshman named Igdoof. It became a must-read on campus and made many of Kinney’s colleagues believe that he was destined for a future in comic strips.
Foreign visitors have always flocked to old tourist spots in Japan, such as Kyoto, the Sapporo Snow Festival, hot-springs baths and Mount Fuji. But these days, they’re also checking out new offbeat ways to experience Japan, such as ninja classes, a geeky pop culture in Tokyo’s Akihabara gadget district and animation museums displaying manga, or Japanese-style cartoons. And they’re coming in record numbers — many of them from elsewhere in Asia. Last year, an all-time high 8.34 million foreign tourists visited Japan, up 14 percent from the previous year.
§ Is Djimon Hounsou going to play the Black Panther? At a junket he says he signed for a dream comics character but doesn’t say who. Publicity ploy or…
Do you have any groupies that want to have sex with you just to see how you’ll draw them in a comic?
Whenever I deal with fans some other part of me turns off. I just go into this mode where I’m trying to be gregarious and friendly. I’m very uncomfortable with the whole interaction between men and women. I really feel that if there’s anyone out there for me it’s going to be really hard to find her. I have my eyes open, but I don’t have any hope. The last girl I pursued was an autobiographical cartoonist. I thought she’d be perfect. She does exactly what I do. I thought it’d work out because we both have a shared occupation. It was disastrous. I made assumptions she’d be just like me and she wasn’t. I’ll probably write about that in my next book.