Many many things which we had stored up or emailed to us which we have been meaning to tell you about.

§ Douglas Wolk has a new link blog. We’re already stealing from it.

§ We were talking about con fatigue the other day and unbeknownst to us, Shaenon K. Garrity had already covered it

One big change, of course, was that I moved to the other side of the booth. Conventions aren’t quite the same when you’re selling. Some cartoonists—horrible, horrible cartoonists who should die in fires—thrive on convention sales, love interacting with their fans and recruiting new readers. I’m not one of them. When someone walks up and asks me why they should read my comic, I consider the question seriously, and usually I can’t come up with an answer that doesn’t involve a lot of stammering qualifiers. Also, working a booth, unless you’re one of those hateful popular cartoonists, usually includes long stretches of boredom, just standing at attention and staring into space. I’ve invented many games to pass the time. One is to scan the crowd for people who look like characters in my comics, in case I need to cast a movie on the fly. Another is to burst into silent tears.

§ Speaking of ComiXology, they have added a new column by cinephile Kent M. Beeson on comics and films and such, First up, a look at the animated PERSEPOLIS:

Let me confess my sin up-front and get it out of the way: I pretty much left comics in 1990. I was starting college, so the money wasn’t there, and the nearest place to get them was a bookstore one town over, and me without a driver’s license. It hurt at first — I’d been reading and collecting for almost ten years previous — but soon the pangs of missing the weekly ritual were replaced by the ritual of the midnight movie. I traded my comic geekdom for the life of a cinephile, exchanging The Uncanny X-Men, Suicide Squad and The Badger for Orson Welles, film noir and talky French flicks.

§ Paul Karasik’s verdict on a new story based on a Fletcher Hanks character by Joe Keatinge and Mike Allred Do not want!:

CMix: Given how dated those comics are and the idiosyncrasies of Hanks’ vision, should those comics be resuscitated by new creators?

PK: I can’t imagine a single reason to recreate Hanks’ work. It’s the same idea as remaking films you liked when you were younger. The impulse is fundamentally flawed and the results are categorically disastrous.

§ UN-MEN creator John Whalen shows how it is done on his blog

No one wants to know how sausage is made. And not just because it often involves gory parliamentary processes and/or having to watch C-Span 2, but because, ew, it’s just plain gross. Ah, but who can resist a meaty behind-the-scenes look at how a comic book is rendered? How an idea is processed in the unsanitary abattoir of the writer’s mind, then ground up and extruded onto the artist’s page?

§ CBR catches up with Ivan Brandon on his South American adventure:

In terms of comics, how have things changed while you’ve been traveling?

Well, I’ve certainly grown less attached to the physical tools I’d used in the past. My laptop was inadvertently smashed a couple months before I left, so here I’ve had to write scripts on notebooks and scraps of paper and into emails from random internet hubs in whatever city we’ve happened to be staying in. It’s odd not having my stuff, so to speak; my art files and so on. It makes it tricky in that I like to build my own reference for the artists I’m working with — even though Marvel, for example, has excellent resources for just about anything you’d want.

§ Also at CBR, Steven Grant looks at ALTER EGO what some think of as the first fanzine:

I’ve never seen the early issues before. My own exposure to ALTER EGO came in the late ’60s, second hand via reverential mentions in other fanzines like ROCKET’S BLAST-COMIC COLLECTOR (which advertised in the classified in Marvel Comics – DC was too classy for such things – and was mostly an adzine where people could sell or offer to buy old comics, other fanzines and similar items, mixed with a smattering of articles and art; I think Mike Zeck had his first art published there), but by then Roy Thomas was Marvel’s #2 writer and the fanzine was in limbo. But they’re fascinating reading, not because they’re especially good (they have their moments) but because they’re such a template of fandom to come. From these tiny roots you can see the whole of the modern San Diego Comic-Con sprawled before you, if you know where to look.

§ CBR trifecta! An interview with Tim Sievert and his new book That Salty Air:

“In the fall of 2005, my mother died very suddenly,” Tim Sievert told CBR News. “Making ‘That Salty Air’ was my way of trying to deal with that. The ocean has always offered an incredible mental escape to for me, being such a powerful and mysterious force that we know so little about, housing life forms too numerous and bizarre to understand, and ultimately for me being a midwesterner, it has always seemed so foreign and far away. I think I chose the ocean for the setting because it offered that mental retreat that I was looking for at the time.”

§ This one is a little old but still of interest. Paul Gravett talks about Italy’s Bilbobul Festival:

Italians affectionately call their comics fumetti, or ‘little smokes’, after the puffs of dialogue rising from speakers’ mouths. To clarify, while this term has somehow come to mean mainly photo-strips elsewhere, like Britain’s old Jackie and My Guy girls’ romances parodied in Viz, in Italy it covers comics of all types.

After spending last weekend (7 to 9 March, 2008) enjoying the BilBOlbul Festival Internazionale di Fumetto in Bologna, this week I thought I’d share some of my discoveries and experiences there. I was puzzled where the odd name for this festival originates, until I remembered that Bilbolbul is actually a vintage fumetti character. He was created by Attilio Mussino a century ago this December 27th in the first issue of Il Corriere dei piccoli (‘the newspaper of the little ones’), a weekly children’s supplement of Il Corriere della sera. Not exactly politically correct today, he was a little black African boy wandering through an imaginary metaphorical landscape. You can see how Francesca Ghermandi discreetly acknowledges him in her abstract cartoon logo for the festival.