I wish I could have given Harvey Kurtzman a big hug! (Weekend Pattering for February 16, 2018)


Robert Crumb giving Harvey Kurtzman a big smooch.  (From Crumb's "Ode to Harvey Kurtzman" in Harvey Kurtzman's Strange Adventures, 1991.)

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

DC's sure getting their use out of that Multiverse map lately.  It's been showing up everywhere in the extremely messy event book Metal and here it is in a much smaller event, The Milk Wars.  This cover to Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Swamp Thing Special #1 by Rian Hughes almost looks like my desk, without the coffee stains.  Milk Wars has been a fun event so far and I'm looking forward to the final two parts of it.


*** GET A GRIP! Healing by Millimeters – Nate Piekos on how lettering injured his entire arm (The Beat)-- Kriota Wilberg, the creator of the upcoming book Draw Stronger: Self Care for Cartoonists and Visual Artists, talks with letterer Nate Piekos about his work injuries from working in comics.
Nate Piekos: My new physical therapy place is fantastic. But I’m sort of a conundrum to them because this is injury from art! They’re used to sports injuries or older clients. I had to introduce them into the world of comics to show them why I’m like this. They were all kind of scratching their heads. But they’re really good and encouraging and helpful.

*** After 10 Years We Want to Try to Find Ways to Surprise Us as Well as the Readers” – Looking Back on a Decade of Latvia’s Eisner-Nominated kuš! Comics with David Schilter and Sanita Muižniece (Broken Frontier)--  I think I've been subscribed Kus comics for the past year or two but I really know nothing about them other than the books they publish.
The series started as a way to give young artists a way to do something in between a short anthology story and a graphic novel, basically as a step to try to create longer stories. For many of the artists it was their first longer comic, while some of the more established artists of course have done longer work. For them we offer it basically as a playground where they can create and experiment as much as they want, just based on the limitations of the format but with no restrictions on the content. While they might face restrictions by bigger publishers to do something commercial, with the minis they have the space to weird out.

*** “I Watch For Patterns”: An Interview with Aleš Kot (The Comics Journal)-- Tucker Stone has a fascinating and strangely (and maybe brutally) honest correspondence with Ales Kot about this new series Days of Hate.
I struggle with whether art really changes anything. I struggle whether anything really changes anything. But I’m choosing to believe that, in a meaningless world, we have to build our own meaning, and put it into the world. If everything I did would amount to “I write stuff for a living,” uh, I don’t think I’d like myself much at all. If all Days of Hate amounted to in my head would be another violent comic with two-dimensional characters, I wouldn’t bother writing it — I’m not at all invested in those narratives, which should be pretty clear from my previous work, though I actually really appreciate it being questioned, which is what I think many artists today could use a whole lot more of. What I am invested in is taking those narratives and turning them over in my hands, seeing what they are made of, where they are falling apart, what alternatives there are to them, what could be good about them, what could be bad about them, what's more complex than the binaries (everything), what the narratives mean historically, what does happen to people caught in them. I also think it’s not just about chipping away, but also about building, and stories have an ability to let people know they are not alone. How do I know that some kid in the middle of nowhere won’t read this and write me something like “hey, this comic helped me say something to my racist uncle” or “reading this helped me get the fuck out of my hometown and look for something better”?

This and That

Run artwork by Afau Richardson

*** Congressman John Lewis' Next Book, Run, Will Pick Up Where Award-Winning March Left Off (Time)-- Lily Rothman has the announcement that John Lewis and Andrew Aydin are working on their followup to Lewis' autobio March series. Afau Richardson will be the artist with March artist Nate Powell also supplying some work in this book.

Trouble was brewing within the civil rights movement too. Run: Book One tells of how Lewis led SNCC — the group TIME called in 1966 “the most militant of all U.S. civil rights organizations” — during the tumultuous period that followed, as the organization lost support from its institutional allies and debated what it meant to be a nonviolent organization in world with no simple path to progress.

from Deathstroke #11, written by Christopher Priest, drawn by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz

*** Transmyscira: The Second Amendment Doesn’t Apply to the Fourth Wall (Comicosity)-- A day after another school shooting, Veronique Emma Huxbois takes a look at the gun culture in comics, citing everything from old Danger Girl comics to more recent work by Christopher Priest. 
Priest was, in my estimation, absolutely correct in suggesting that incompetent and trigger happy white gun owners can escape culpability for shooting people of color. This was illustrated deftly by a scenario in which the police are initially willing to let a white woman off the hook for shooting three innocent Black people to death by falsely designating the two men as would-be rapists and justifying the child’s death due to his involvement in drug dealing. It’s a phenomenon that manifests itself in real life with sickening regularity from the death of Renisha McBride, which did result in a conviction to that of Colten Boushie, which did not, despite his killer mounting a defense that had “no air of reality.”
***  Comics Industry Asks ‘NYT’ to Restore Graphic Bestseller Lists (Publishers Weekly)-- Calvin Reid has the lowdown about the effort to get the New York Times to reinstate its Graphic Bestseller List.  When I first read about this effort, I was a bit wary of it as it seemed a bit self-serving but as I thought about it, I began to wonder more and more about the effect of the best sellers list on sales.  We all know that the Direct Market is in a bit of a freefall (depending on who you talk to) so it doesn't surprise me about a lot of the names that signed this letter but when you have cartoonists who exist outside of the DM like Raina Telgemeier adding her name predominantly to this list, that makes me think a bit that there may be something here.  I wonder how her sales were last year without the list compared to the years where she dominated the list.

[Literary agent Charles] Olsen emphasized that the lists help “the visibility of our medium, and thus helps advance comics as serious literature.” He also writes that the lists “play an indispensable role in helping new readers discover books,” and without the lists, “it’s harder for us to sell books, which makes it more challenging for publishers to take chances on new voices.”

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