- Scott C. played armchair Freud looking at Caitlin Skaalrud's dreamlike Houses of the Holy.
- At Comicosity, James K. joined in looking at Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's East of West #22.
- At his Tumblr, James K. also reviews a number of recent releases.
- At always, Mark D. has new reviews up at The Green Gocrow but this week he also has two interviews, one with Matt Hawkins and another with Nick Gonzo.
** As a complete aside, check out the credits on Comicosity's Honor Roll column that James participated in.
- James is a lawyer by day, and an avid reader of comics whenever he can.
- [Kulbir Mann] spends the day as a surgeon operating on people, spend the night as a blogger operating on comics!
** Cartoonist Lynda Barry Shows You How to Draw Batman in Her UW-Madison Course, “Making Comics” (Open Culture)-- This is from earlier in the year but I just found it thanks to the Quotes About Comics Tumblr blog. Barry's syllabus for a class she was teaching at UW-Madison tackles how we all go from artists to... non-artists or artists who have no life in their work. Read the whole thing, either the transcript on Quotes About Comics or, better yet, the original piece at Open Culture.
** The 100 Best Comics of the First Half of the 2010s: Part 1, 100-81 (Loser City)-- Subsequent posts are up dealing with approx the top 80 so far I think.
At Loser City, we feel that the 2010’s have been an especially exciting time to be into comics, thanks to the wealth of incredible material being produced as well as the emergence of more and more new perspectives from creators and fans who have historically been underserved in the medium. We wanted to take this opportunity here in the middle of the decade to look back at the phenomenal material that has already emerged and anticipate where comics are going next. Comics continues to have growing pains and a number of major issues hold the medium back from its true potential, but we have chosen this time to focus on the positive and hopefully introduce you to the works we believe are currently making up the modern canon.I can't tell if this is too soon or whether it's the right time for this kind of analysis of the past five years of comics. Either way, this is a surprisingly diverse list. And I only mean that as I'm not too familiar with the tastes of that website so when their first book is Charles Burns, that usually a good sign. (It also means that there have been 99 books better in the past 5 years than X'ed Out and I'm not too sure about that.
As we're in the season of "Best of 2015" lists in early December, I guess it's not too early to try to critically apprise the recent history but looking at some of the recent books that rank higher right now, I wonder if everyone involved is still a bit too close to what their talking about to be able to really look at what they're trying to achieve. At least 4 books ranked between 40 and 21 are from the past 12 months.
Either way, it's a pretty good list of good comics even if there are some books that I'd like to argue about the inclusion of. (Really, Darwyn Cooke's Parker? Although I'd make an argument for Cooke's storytelling over the story that he's actually telling.
** Analyzing Comics 101 (Layout) (The Hooded Utilitarian)-- Chris Gavaler is trying to write his own course on comics and presents his section on explaining layouts in comics. If nothing else, it's fun to scroll through this post just to see the wide range of artist and comics he uses as his illustrations.
It's amazing how well Roy Thomas and Neal Adams can pull of a diagonal page like this while whenever every time Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming try to do this is just bugs the hell out of me.
Gavaler's piece is particularly insightful because it helps illustrate and even define the wide range of options that are available for both creating a comic page while also helping to refine the language we could use to talk about them.
Also this is one of those posts where you can read the comment. It's entertaining and enlightening to see academics discuss terms and names.
** An Interview With Joshua Hale Fialkov (Diamond Bookshelf)-- Fialkov has created some of my favorite comics of the past decade or so. I want to revisit Elk's Run but I remember that being a really strong comic. Tumor was an excellent book. Anyone who likes Brubaker and Phillips crime stories really needs to check out Tumor. And currently The Bunker and The Life After are great.
I really wanted to link to this interview just to sing the praises of Fialkov. I really like his stuff.
** In the back of their Frontier comic, Youth in Decline usually has a short interview with the creator of that issue and you can now read those on their Tumblr.
** It’s Canon, Not Stucky That Needs to Go (The Rainbow Hub)
** On Shipping: What’s Disney’s, What’s Yours, and What’s Mine (Women Write About Comics)-- Both of these pieces are reacting to the same article at Comic Book Resources, a piece where the author claims to not understand shipping. I think I once may have but I'll admit that this is a part of fandom that I also don't completely understand but that's completely on me. One way or another, I'm not really too sure that the point is, either in CBR's piece or either of the reactions to it.
There's an ownership that fandom now feels and displays on a regular basis around characters, which is just odd from me since I guess I'm from the generation of fans that rebelled against loyalty to characters to focus on creators. The specific relationship between Captain America and Bucky just doesn't really matter.
And it's probably generational but seeing this embracing of the character is slightly off putting but refreshing. That there are fans out there who are so invested in these characters and their stories seems like a type of a pure fandom to me that there's plenty of room for. And there's room for all of these stories and interpretation of stories. It's the Tumblr age of fandom and it's much more organized and unified than we ever were.
** Frank Miller (Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá's Blog)-- Gabriel Bá has a nice story about the influence older generation of cartoonists have on the younger one and the circle of life those influences are.
Just for their sense of joy, I'm glad that we have Moon and Bá in the world of comics.