MonstersSo much good stuff all around!

§ Brian Heater continues his interview run with Ken Dahl:

It had to be educational at some point, because it’s a 208 page book about this character basically obsessing over his cold sores. It’s simultaneously the least important subject ever and also one that infects and affects so many people. Also, there’s this huge stigma about it. It puts 70-80-percent of adults in this weird space where they can’t talk about it, and they have to feel really bad about it. But it’s also such a non-issue. I couldn’t explain how awful this was without actually putting down the facts about herpes, as we know them. It’s surprising.

and Guy DeLisle:

Well, no, not really, because they are following me a lot. Even in France, as of today, Shenzhen—which is my first comic—is selling more nowadays than when it was first released, because it was released in a period of time when comics and graphic novels weren’t so well known, and the distributor wasn’t as big. Now things have changed a lot. it’s quite funny. Now people have read The Burma Chronicles and they go back and for all these reasons, it’s selling better than it did before. Slowly but surely.

William-Desmond-Taylor§ Chris Mautner catches up with the terrifically awesome Rick Geary, whose nonfiction GNs about crimes famed and obscure aren’t just rote retellings, but thorough investigations, including his next one, which deals with the Axe-man of New Orleans:

He operated in New Orleans in the 1918-19 period and used an ax to break into people’s houses and chopped them up. It put the city into a panic for a while. And then he just vanished. There aren’t any major theories about who it was or what happened to him. It’s a real foggy mystery, but there are a lot of juicy details. I had to use newspaper archives to ferret out the details, because no one’s done a book about this particular killer.

At the moment I’m doing research for the book after that which will be the Sacco and Venzetti case.

During the interview, Geary mentions that the market for his Hill & Wang graphic bios has gone soft: “They’re holding off. We shall see.”

§ Continuing an excellent run at Robot 6, Tim O’Sheainterviews Nevin Martell, whose new book investigates the mystery of Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson .

O’Shea: What was some of the hardest aspects of his career for you to research?

Martell: Honestly — and I don’t say this lightly — a lot of this book was difficult to research. Watterson left a very limited public record of his work and his life, so I had to do a lot of good old fashioned detective work to discover his life and find the people he met and worked with along the way. That being said, that journey was incredibly rewarding and I don’t regret any of the many hours I spent on the phone, on the internet, talking with people or traveling to collections and libraries.

§ Laura Hudson interviews XKCD’s Randall Munroe:

I had scanned all of these little drawings I’d done, and around September 2005 I started putting them up on the internet one at a time. I got most of my readers from Boing Boing, and that was kinda cool, so I put up more – a drawing a week, three times a week. I stopped when school let out for winter, but when I got back to school in January 2006 I started drawing again, and I’ve kept my update schedule ever since then. I started to get more of readership that April – that’s really when the climb started. By August, I was selling the shirts, and every time I went in to work I was losing money. That’s when I decided it might be a good idea to stay home and work on my internet job.

§ AND, Graphic NYC talks to Tom Hartabout the olden days in Seattle with fellow indie cartoonists buds Ed Brubaker and Jon Lewis:

“Ed told Jon ‘Never to draw a full moon, because a full moon just looks like an orange in the sky, so always draw a moon like a crescent shape.’ I think a full moon is sometimes a good thing to draw. I really miss Ed. We were all really good friends. Jon was more innately creative than I was and, at that age, had already produced more work than I had. But Ed really sort of tutored both of us. Jon was smarter and more creative, but I had a fire Jon never had: once I got started, I never stopped.”

§ Also at Daily Cross Hatch: Sarah Morean walks around last weekend’s FallCon:

I recently noted a change of tone in MCBA’s marketing strategy. At least, it seemed new to me. I perceived this year, for the first time, that the identity of Fallcon is slowly attempting to morph. Into what, I don’t know. But while Fallcon certainly appears to be just another fanboy-centric con to you — look again. Look at that postcard! This year the MCBA slogan for this show was realized by me for the first time. Suddenly I couldn’t think of Fallcon as “just a con” anymore because, as the postcard notes, it is “A Comic Book Celebration.”

§ Dash Shaw investigates Hayao Miyazaki’s thoughts on gekiga, manga, and other topics in his recent book Starting Point: 1979-1996. Man, this guy is smart:

People take a completely different approach with other forms of entertainment. I really don’t think, for example, that many people would leave a theater after watching only five minutes of a boring film. And it’s probably why people have such strong opinions about films. They often sit through films even while feeling angry and wondering why the heck anyone made the thing in the first place. People don’t get angry about manga because if they don’t like the stories they won’t finish reading them. I think we can say this is one of the biggest cultural characteristics of manga. It’s no wonder that manga criticism is such a barren field.

§ Evidently, writers at the New York Post don’t know how to use Google search.

The renamed Big Apple Comic-Con, which starts Friday, is expecting 20,000 to 30,000 people, according to Shamus, with about 700 companies from film, TV, videogames, toys and comics strutting their stuff. William Shatner, Adam West and dozens of other celebrities will attend. Shamus’ five Comic-Con could draw a total of 200,000 fans annually — and he is looking to buy or start more.

“There is an incredible thirst for an appealing product,” Shamus said.


  1. I find Watterson’s secrecy moronic. I mean, I agree with him on his right to privacy and all that. But the way he keeps secret, apparently not even his mom has a pic of him in her home, is the craziness of a person so self obsessed and absorbed that they think a glimpse of their personage would rock the world to such a degree that they dare not show their face.


  2. Michael,
    The key word there is that “you” find it moronic. Bill Watterston doesn’t need your approval to live his life. He lives it according to how he sees fit. It is his choice to make.