§ A man from the Congo is trying to ban TINTIN IN THE CONGO in Belgium. Herge’s second Tintin GN is usually sold to adults only, due to some very unfortunate racism present; a court decision is expected on May 5th:

Three years ago, the UK’s Commission for Racial Equality called for the book to be banned, saying it contained imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice.

A black woman is featured in the book bowing before Tintin and exclaiming: “White man very great. White mister is big juju man!”

§ You are likely to enjoy this interview with Brian Chippendale, artist, musician, Marvel critic. Via. His immense graphic novel If’nOof is coming out later this year, it is said.

§ This is old but good: Ben Towle on publishers who can’t figure out universal spine treatment.

§ Craig Yoe’s interviewed about Dan DeCarlo’s Jetta

Craig Yoe: There’s a freshness, a brilliance to Dan’s work and, of course, sex appeal. On the latter, as sexy as the Dan DeCarlo girl was, she was the girl next door, or could have been. I never bought the idea that the Playboy centerfold was the girl next door—only in my dreams

§ If you had to name the most powerful force in comics today it would not be Dan DiDio or Joe Quesada — it would surely be karaoke, as Rebekah Isaacs’ story of how she climbed the karaoke ladder is revealed:

Rebekah: Hahaha yes! Especially with an editor as obsessed with karaoke as Ben. He can tear it up.

CA: Without indulging in too far off a karaoke tangent- do you have a go-to standard for when you take the mic? (Mine is “You Oughta Know,” just in the interest of full disclosure).

Rebekah: Nice! “Livin on a Prayer” or “Buddy Holly” (the Weezer song, not the bespectacled crooner).

CA: Solid.

Rebekah: Yeah, I think there’s a good reason that works so well to integrate yourself with professionals. It’s an easy way to tell whether someone is down-to-earth and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

§ David Uzumeri is left unsatisfied in the wake of a hugely telegraphed X-man death (spoilers in link, but we redacted the quote.):

I’m all in favor of promoting comics, and certainly you’ve got to tease enough of the story to try to get retailers and readers to buy it. But at the same time, there must be a way to achieve this without methodically pointing a series of narrative and promotional “LOOK HERE” arrows pointing to poor ol’ xxxx xxxxxx. I suppose there’s the argument that it’s our fault for reading too much stuff online, but these weren’t facts leaked to some salacious gossip website that usually bats 100, they were all put into published material that led up to the death. As a result, the crossover became less “I wonder who’s going to die, and when” and more “I guess Xxxxxxxxxxxx is going to die in ‘X-Force’ #26” before the story even started.

§ Warren Ellis was musing about serailized comics the other day:

Can you imagine a time when your favourite comics creators and stories were published together in the same comic every week? Because that’s what I grew up with. Hell, even into my twenties, I could pick up a copy and get prime slices of Milligan, Hewlett, Bond, Ennis, etc. The British comics anthology model, a weekly 32-page(ish) unit.

I mean, that’s why people still want to work for 2000AD. It’s a cultural touchstone.

But the idea’s the thing, isn’t it? Once a week, big slab of culture, comics stories the likes of which you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Not that it’ll ever happen again. Takes a crazy amount of capital and a scary amount of admin to get it to happen as a thing sold in newsagents. I can’t even imagine the horror of getting it on American newsstands, and god only knows the American comics stores would hate and fear it.

You could do it online, so long as no-one was getting paid. But the clue to the trouble with that idea is in that previous sentence too. That’d be something to see, though — once a week this glorious Thing appears, mad with hubris and crackling with ambition and wriggling with foul ideas and bad jokes. (Or even, hell, instead of one thing with five stories a week, imagine each piece of it on a different weekday, so Story 1 is always on Mondays, Story 2 is always on Tuesdays, etc.)


  1. Banning a book is never the answer.

    If the public finds it offensive, they won’t buy it: problem solved.

    If it’s still being bought, you can publish books that criticize it and educate people about what’s wrong with it: again, problem solved.

  2. I have a copy of Tintin in the Congo. There are some pretty repugnant racial stereotypes in there for sure– but the real problem is– it’s just not a very good story!

    Most Belgians I’ve met (having been over there many times) have a rational attitude to the Congo Tintin. It’s available because it is part of Herge’s formidable library–but no one is running around trumpeting the book’s merits. I’ve never seen anyone reading it or buying it but I’ve seen it in bookstores.

    I agree with Jason–preventing someone from exposure to racially offensive imagery or text is not the most empowering solution to the problem.

  3. (Or even, hell, instead of one thing with five stories a week, imagine each piece of it on a different weekday, so Story 1 is always on Mondays, Story 2 is always on Tuesdays, etc.)

    Sounds like: Transmission-X!

  4. I haven’t read that particular Tintin story, but I’ve read a few others, and I have to wonder…is the controversial stuff in Tintin in the Congo actually racist? Or is it just outdated content that seems racist by our standards now but was perfectly normal back in the day?

  5. It was, but you know what I mean. There were certain, eh, stereotypical norms that would be considered racist now but were sometimes relatively benign back then. For instance, the “coon” type portrayal of blacks with the big lips and such. Yeah, it was racist, but it was also a pretty common sort of cartoon/illustrative “slang” to show that a character was black. There wasn’t always hateful intent behind it (for instance, the Spirit’s little sidekick guy, whose name I can’t remember).

  6. I picked up Jetta and feel ripped off. First of all regardless of who the inker was, there is no way possible that issue #3 of Jetta, was illustrated by Dan DeCarlo. The art is terrible.

    Secondly, the pin-ups that are in the book could be of any space girl, there seems to be no connection to Jetta. I don’t think the artists even knew who Jetta was, and certainly didn’t research it. Specifically, Becky Dreistadt (who?), Colleen Cover, Ann Kasper (who?), Clizia Gussoni (what?), Alan Gutierrez (who?)

    And the Photoshop cloning on the Neutron High School is embarrassingly amateur. The edges don’t even line up! Hack Hack Hack

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