Somehow I have managed not to post these for a week. Oy.

§ That iTunes version of Eddie Campbell’s Dapper John is half-price for a few days. Get it!

What has Cathy Guisewite been doing since hanging up her Cathy? Hogan’s Alley’s new issue has the answer:

But after 34 years of strips, bushel baskets of licensed merchandise, awards from her peers and a handful of appearances on the “Tonight” show with Johnny Carson, Guisewite stepped away and opted not to allow her work to be syndicated in reruns, an increasingly popular path for well-known retiring strips. “I wanted to get back to an actual blank page in my brain,” she told Hogan’s Alley. “And I wanted specifically not to have the next thing that I wanted to do figured out. I want to be open to whatever that is.”


§ Nick Gazin explores things you find on the internet when you surf Norman Saunders, the famous Mars Attacks artist. Things like the above reference shot of the artist’s son.


§ Speaking of Norman Saunders, we’re dingbats who never made the connection that illustrator Zina Saunders is his daughter. Saunders fille has done many bold political illos over the years, such as the above cover for Mother Jones. Newt Gingrich of 2009 was a very different fellow, apparently.

§ Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s essay rounding up three years of variations on Marvel execs explaining that Marvelman will take a long time is a model of its kind.

“Marvelman belongs to Marvel,” said Quesada, saying that the company purchased the character from creator Mick Anglo – a process that started in 2007 thanks to word from Neil Gaiman. “Mick is 94 years old, and I talked to him on Wednesday for an hour and a half,” said Buckley noting that Marvel had discusses plans for the character and its stories with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Alan Davis and Mark Buckingham, who was in the audience.

§ Manga may be dying here and in Japan, but Manga grows in the heart of Europe according to Beat pal Danica Davidson:

“Manga in Europe is expanding, exponentially,” said Yoko Tanigaki, sales manager of the California-based publishing company Digital Manga.

“Every quarter, it seems there is a new European publisher approaching us for new licenses. I constantly receive e-mails from European readers asking ‘Is (this title) going to be released? I plan to buy on Amazon USA and ship it to myself, no matter what the shipping cost is!’”

§ Can you write this story yourself? If you’ve been reading The Beat long enough, you can! Graphic novels and literacy: an emerging trend.

§ Kevin Smith reveals details of Comic Book Men the new reality show set in a comics shop. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this show is squarely in the Pawn Stars/Storage Wars/American Pickers crap-to-cash model.

The six-episode series is set in Smith’s real-life comic book store — Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, N.J. — which he’s owned since 1997. It features his pals, real-life comic book nerds Walter (the shop manager and the inspiration for Brodie in “Mallrats”), Bryan (the resident slacker and inspiration for Randall in “Clerks”), Mike (the “super nerd”) and Ming (the “whipping boy”). Podcasting helps shape the storytelling as the guys sit around a table, filling in Smith on what’s been happening in the store.

A show about podcasting. Seriously, what took them so long?

§ Poor Scott Edelman. He can’t turn on the TV without being confronted by a comic book mystery. This time it’s Alcatraz, which prominently features a comics shop owning detective/cartoonist as a character.

§ The Seattle Times reviews ‘Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts’:

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read any of Warren Ellis’ innovative comics or graphic novels. The prolific writer’s first extensive interview forms the core of this bare-bones documentary, and Ellis (born in Essex, England) comes across as a guy you could happily spend hours with in a pub. If nicotine fuels his fervent imagination, it is, for him, a small price to pay. Booze and cigarettes will surely kill him, eventually, but his work makes him immortal.

BTW, we saw this a couple of months ago and enjoyed it—even though were in it. The witty comments from Ellis, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick alone were worth it. Plus…we didn’t look too fat. Cheers to the amazing cinematography!

§ We haven’t been linking as much as we should to Trip City, the Brooklyn Literary Arts Salon. Lots of good content has been going up of late. Here’s cartoonist Dan Goldman’s account of moving to Sao Paolo:

Which become much later the crystal clear crux of the thing: that it’s never the place, it’s the people. Some cold sliver in me always maintained the opposite: this city’s wonderful, it’s the people I don’t like. Steeping too long in Brooklyn for the better part of eleven years, embittered by so many things that now seem… luxury to me: self-awareness, pretention, irony. But those were the things I loved when I’d first arrived myself: that every New Yorker had a mission, an agenda, their eye on some ball maybe known only to them. Everyone I’ve spoken to in São Paulo says the same thing: it’s an ugly and dangerous city, but you live here because this is where you can make the most money. Similarities to New York, sure… but New York City isn’t just the one thing. And therein should’ve been the first clue, first red alert: my tribe of art-conquerors, cunning-linguists, future-makers and reality-hackers, wherefore wert thou?

§ We seem to have never linked to this Kickstarter drive for P. Craig Russell’s Guide to Graphic Storytelling by Wayne Alan Harold. It’s already met its goal but you could still show some support—seriously, a series of process videos by P. Craig Russell? Who doesn’t want that!

§ Flashmob Fridays previews HARVEY PEKAR’S CLEVELAND with generally positive reviews. We’ve seen an advance of this and Joseph Remnant’s art is very impressive. A fuller review soonish.

§ Jim Lee on iPads and things

“You sort of lose the art of arranging panels on a page to form an eye pleasing composition but there’s also something that’s emparted subconsciously when you look at an entire page at first glance. There are things you pick up. You’re reading this panel but you still see things here [he gestures to a comic book page he’s holding up] and it seeps into your subconscious as you’re reading. There’s also a very subtle thing that happens as you read a comic. As you start getting towards the end, you know you’re running out of pages and so subsconciously you’re readying yourself for some sort of climactic ending or reveal and you’d not have that in a digital medium.”

§ Finally, banned books are hot in Vietnam:

The 26-year-old artist said censorship only increased people’s desire to read the book, entitled “The murderer with a pus-filled head”, which aims to reflect the street patois of Vietnam’s youth.

Phong said his book sold 5,000 copies in two weeks but was then discontinued, stoking under-the-counter demand that pushed prices to as much as 100,000 dong ($5) — more than double its official cost.

100,000 dong — that’s enough to buy a cup of Vietnamese instant coffee!

…and we’re out.