Catch-up from all over :

§ “recently released, incredibly popular and critically acclaimed” — yep it’s the weekly Adrian Tomine interview!

“He’ll be presenting a slide show that confronts his critics who accused him of ‘hiding’ his racial identity behind his glasses.” Huh?

“Ha ha! It’s because for a long time when I used to draw autobiographical stories and I used to draw myself as a character, I’d draw myself with glasses that were just sort of opaque, empty and white”, he says. “There was a lot of silly conjecture that I was maybe trying to disguise my own features. So in the slide show I go through a history of that in cartooning, going all the way back to Robert Crumb and even Charles Schultz – when he drew this character Marcie she just had these opaque little round glasses. That’s just a starting point.”


§ Dick Hyacinth branches into interviews with Mark Andrew Smith and Paul Maybury of Aqua Leung:

MARK: I think readers will be taken by Aqua Leung and it’s got a wide range of emotion, moods, and tones throughout the work. It’s definitely an action adventure comic in every sense of the word. But also there’s a lot of our own personalities and humor that you can usually expect from us throughout the story. I think it’s okay to just do full on action and let loose. The style and the material is also something that’s very attractive. So I think it will defy all reader expectations in many ways but then satisfy them in many other ways.

§ Van Jensen yaks with Tony Millionaire at CBR:

What are some of your favorite strips collected in “The Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees?”

Where is that damn book? The thing that’s been happening lately… when I first started doing this shit, I was doing really depressing, nihilistic [things]– drinking just for killing yourself. Since my life’s gotten to be kind of deader, I’ve got a nice house with a garden, so my mind’s not as focused on blowing my brains out. It’s focused more on absurd humor. I sometimes feel that I’m losing it, that I’m not putting enough effort into it, but then I look back and say, wow, I’m improving. The more you do it… after a certain time, it starts to deteriorate. I’m always waiting for that to happen. You have to keep your eye on your work. I see plenty of cartoonists who peak and then got lazy and started drifting off.

§ The Daily Cross Hatch’s Brian Heater talks accidents wih Julia Wertz:

You got hit by a car? You weren’t lying in the street, were you?

No. I got knocked off the bike, but I didn’t get hurt. I just realized that if I’m going to be losing my health insurance in five months, it isn’t worth the five dollars an hour.

As someone who does autobiographical strips, are you thinking about how you might spin this into a book?

I don’t know. Everyone keeps saying, “It’s good material, right?” As if I’m going to stick with a shitty job because it’s good material. It’s not good material.

§ Kristy Valenti wraps up her profile of indie distrbutor/publisher Randy Chang of Bodega

The majority of Bodega’s comics sales “come directly through our website to individual customers, and through our sales guy Tony Shenton who puts us into the super-hip indie-friendly comics shops. Stores can get our books through Diamond as well. We do pretty well through Amazon, too, but that’s more sporadic. We do well enough at the shows.” However, Chang is sympathetic to ComicsPRO’s recent missive chastising publishers for debuting books at conventions.

§ Speaking of part 2, Tom got all cranky and came down on interviews and pieces that run in more than one part..

There’s really no excuse in this day and age not to run entire articles at once unless the article itself truly demands multiple parts, like Chris Butcher’s recent Japan travelogue. I’m convinced that in 90 percent of all cases, it’s stat pumping. Anyone that’s loading this site and its graphics can load an entire article from you.

Apparently Tom’s readers have been complaining about this in droves. We’ve always suspected The Beat has less fussy readers than Comics Reporter’s, but come on now, not everyone has a camel-sized attention span.

§ Finally, Andy Khouri at CBR talks to Boom! Studios’ Chip Mosher about their very controversial North Wind MySpace promotion. According to Mosher, despite some retailers crying foul and pledging never to order a Boom Studios comics again, the unthinkable happened, and orders went up for issue #4:

“We did see a bump [in sales for ‘North Wind’ #4],” Chip Mosher told CBR News. “But let me put this in perspective for you. We usually see a dip of 10% or more between issues #3 and #4 for any of our series. That said, we saw nearly a 20% increase in orders between issue #3 and #4 of ‘North Wind.’ An increase like this has never happened in the history of our company. Never. Bottom line – we are talking about a total 30% increase over the norm.”

As some comics readers may know, orders for issue #4 of a new title are generally submitted by direct market retailers a short time after issue #1 of said series goes on sale. As such, “North Wind” #2 and #3 were ordered before the MySpace promotion was announced and before issue #1 was delivered to stores. The 30% increase reflects the initial orders for “North Wind” #4, not readjustments.


  1. Do camels have large or short attention spans? I think I can gleam this from context, but I’ve never heard of such a saying, and certainly don’t know much about camel’s attention spans in general.

  2. Yeah, I guess you could look at it that way. I know how rare it is in comics for people to complain about anything, and when they do it’s always about something important, so I’m glad you pointed it out.

    Basically, it just occurred to me after the latest e-mails that I wouldn’t want to read interviews spread across three days for no particular reason if it weren’t my job, either. I’ve been able to handle 1500 words all at once instead of in three 500 word segments with a day’s rest in between since I was eight or so. And the Internet has been able to handle such documents since 1998.

    I have like 12 readers and none of them use my links so it’s not a big deal.

  3. Actually I think 1500 words is about the limit for a normal interview in the fast paced blog format. All of the pieces in the above links are about that length (not counting prose intros) except the Comixology profile, which was about 500-600 words, and the CBR Boom piece which was about 1200 words. Your own Steven-Charles Jaffe interview today is about 1100 words.

    I dunno about anyone else but editing and writing anything longer than that gives me a HUGE headache on daily deadlines. I just looked up an old Peter Bagge interview I did for Comicon, and it was 7000 words!!! I’m sure I broke that up into 2 3500 word parts.

    At PWCW it’s not fair to our copyeditors to dump giant pieces on them with our short deadlines, so we have to keep everything within a certain framework.

    Anyway, no right or wrong, I suspect, just stylistic differences. I think you’re right to not link to these multi-parters if that’s something your readers dislike.

  4. Yeah I guess it’s just stylistic difference. My own interviews are supposedly the highlights of my site (my vote for site highlight is photos of me), and they’re usually 4500-6000 words. But then again I have the luxury of not giving a shit if anyone reads them. As for the process issues, I would imagine you could copyedit a little every day and then post the interview when you’re done, but I guess that’s crazy talk. Or you could do multiple pages like other sites do.

    I’m not passing a nerd law or anything, I don’t expect anyone to do it differently. I break stuff up every now and then, too. The reason I posted wasn’t to show scorn so much as to let the people know who write in and say, “Why didn’t you link to my article” why I don’t link to their article.

  5. “I’m convinced that in 90% of cases it’s just stat pumping.”

    Well, yes. And?

    Isn’t that a bit like saying “On free-to-air television, they break up the programmes with adverts. What’s that all about?”

  6. No, it’s more like a television show where they still make the stars do a brief scene where they talk about how great it is to be smoking Pall Mall cigarettes.

  7. honestly, tom, i completely understand the complaint. i had debated how to post things when i first started my site, and it really came down to a lack of time on my part. between my “real” job, my freelancing, and the site, breaking up interviews made the most sense at the beginning.

    since then, i’ve had largely positive feedback about the formatting, though, since you’ve stirred the proverbial camel slop, a few folks have mentioned to me that they’re in agreement with you.

    while, as long as my site continues to be something that i attend to in my “free” time, i will likely continue to serialize interviews, i can definitely come up with a better way of tying said parts together, once they’re all up, and in that respect, it’s a point well taken.

    now, if you don’t mind, i need to weather the blizzard outside for a nice, smooth pack of pall malls.