§ Wizard interviews Norwegian comics great Jason who usually speaks in only short bursts, but they get a few paragraphs here and there:
You have some other fantastic strip work that appears in Meow Baby, that also has recurring motifs. What’s your philosophy behind gag strips?
JASON: No philosophy, really. I wanted to do strips that mostly had visual puns, some poetic quality hopefully.
There are a lot of pop culture references in your work, like “Aliens,” “Terminator” and even some superhero stuff. Tell me about where that comes from? Are you still into that kind of stuff?
JASON: It comes from watching too much film and TV, I guess. I thought it was funny to put pop culture icons—like Darth Vader—into an everyday situation like waiting for the bus. But it’s something I’ve moved away from. I still pick up influences from novels and movies, but they’re now a more integrated part of the story.
BTW, we heard from Fantagraphics sales manager Jason Miles that “Jason is blowing up!” The New York Times strip helped, of course, but apparently his books have been catching on like mad. They plan several omnibus reprints of some of his earlier work later this year.
§ Vanessa Bertozzi interviews Jessica Abel at Etsy:
And while this week may seem especially busy, I have a feeling this is pretty much her pace of life. Jessica is living the dream of many would-be fulltime cartoonists. She’s figured out a way to make a living from her art while also supplementing it with related editing and teaching (I think she’s got a project in the works adapting comics to movies, too…).
Last Friday, with no fanfare, we released the first major upgrade to our ComicMix online comic book reader since we launched our free online comics last October. We have done small upgrades every month or two — like adding the ability to link straight to a specific page, remembering what zoom level you like and remembering that you always want two-page spreads. But this upgrade was significant.
§ Finally, Douglas Wolk is annotating Final Crisis. Thank god, because we still haven’t figured out who died in this issue.