* The interview with Phoebe Gloeckner about her Juárez project to which I link in this Robot 6 post is the must-read of the year. Great cartoonists like Chris Ware and Joe Sacco and Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez are cutting closer and closer to the bone lately; this great cartoonist is already sawing through. Her next project will be a multimedia ebook for tablets, it seems. Christ, I can’t wait.
* Here’s some information on how you can help fund the next projects for Hans Rickheit (who recently lost his job) and Tom Neely, two of my favorite cartoonists.
* Grant Morrison and (mostly) Yanick Paquette’s Batman Incorporated will likely face further delays, but it’s almost okay now that DC has signed Chris Burnham to an exclusive contract so he can draw more of it.
* There have been so very, very, very, very, very many bits of new news on Game of Thrones I hardly know where to begin. But I can tell you that none of them were more eagerly anticipated by me than Curt Purcell’s post-read review of A Game of Thrones. In all seriousness, every time I opened Google Reader during my little baby-hiatus, his was the first feed I checked for, just to see if this post had gone up yet. Worth the wait; I’ll have more to say about it at some point, I should think.
* Meanwhile I started my own A Song of Ice and Fire blog STRICTLY FOR PEOPLE WHO’VE READ ALL FOUR BOOKS, I.E. SPOILERS AHOY.
* And HBO has just been pumping out the promotional video featurettes. Of late they’ve rolled out an entire series, each focusing on one House or one character. Check out the HBO GoT YouTube channel for most if not all of them: Stark, Baratheon, Lannister, Targaryen, Ned, Catelyn, Bran, Sansa, Arya, Robb, Jon, Jamie, Cersei, Tyrion, Danaerys, Drogo, and Robert are all out there somewhere iirc, if not more besides.
* Brian Ralph drew a brand-new epilogue for the collected edition of his first-person zombie comic Daybreak. Could be a pip, could be a pip.
* Kevin Huizenga says that Or Else #2, his best comic and I think potentially the best single issue of any comic ever pound for pound, is soon to be reprinted. (Either that and/or Supermonster #14, of which OE2 was a remake, will be.)
* Speaking of Huizenga, here are some very pretty Fight or Run images.
* Hooray: My pal Matt Maxwell is relaunching his quite good Weird Western comic Strangeways as a webcomic. He’s posting both of the completed Strangeways graphic novels first, so check ‘em out.
* Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s lovely and underrated Flash series is ending, or I suppose I should say “ending.” This is a book that featured a gigantic mirror the Rogues found labeled “IN CASE THE FLASH COMES BACK, BREAK GLASS” or something like that.
* The Comics Grid continues to be very good, lately on the work of Daniel Clowes: cf. Tony Venezia on architecture and environment in Ghost World and Greice Schneider on the use of the visual vocabularies of different modes of comics in David Boring.
* I’m with Ben Morse: The recent match-up between Iron Man and Doctor Octopus courtesy of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man has been fun so far. I’m almost positive I’m cribbing this insight from Tom Spurgeon, but the unexpected hero-villain match-up is a lot harder to pull off than it used to be. I was flipping through The Essential Thor phonebook, and there’s this truly awesome battle between Thor and Magneto. Unlike today, where such a fight would consist of giant two-page spreads of Thor causing electrical storms and Magneto hitting Thor with magnetic fields big enough to level skyscrapers with no discernible effect to any given stage of combat, this was as close to a fistfight as a God of Thunder could have with a Mutant Master of Magnetism. Neither combatant really knew the extent of his opponent’s powers, so their moves were intimate and all business; the one I remember most vividly was Magneto sealing Thor in a room apart from his hammer (so he reverted to his human form as Donald Blake), then using his powers to firing metal rivets out of the wall in hopes of shooting him to death. Nowadays, nearly all the Marvel Universe characters have met each other so many times that their every meeting has the feel of a high school reunion. But back then, there really was an air of the unpredictable about such confrontations: The readers truly had no way of knowing who might come out on top. Visit Tom Brevoort’s Formspring account sometime to see how much the accumulation of “statistics” from various encounters by battle-board users has sucked the fun out of these things.
* Over at the Nu-Journal, Matt Seneca offers an intriguing but to my mind not entirely convincing take on Brecht Evens’s gorgeous Night Animals, labeling it a sex comic that kind of fails to perform. I’d say that the ending of that second story—”brusque,” as Matt puts it—is a statement of its own, not a cop-out, albeit not a sex-positive statement and therefore one apt to engender a bit of head-scratching in the subculture that is the book’s natural audience.
* Saving this for when I have time to read both the book and the review: Beth Hewitt reviews Nick Bertozzi’s Lewis & Clark for The Panelists.
* Another day, another wonderfully unpleasant comic from Michael DeForge.
* Speaking of DeForge, here’s a preview of Johnny Negron’s contribution to DeForge and Ryan Sands’s porno anthology Thickness.
* And speaking of wonderfully unpleasant, I actually have a hard time reading Lisa Hanawalt’s “Extra Egg Room.” Keee-rist.
* Eleanor Davis is working on a YA comic about medieval Uzbekistan with her mom. In other news, Eleanor Davis can fucking draw. (Via Tom Spurgeon, I think.)
* Love this Jeffrey Brown Incredible Change-Bots piece. Click for a link to the full-sized thing.
* Benjamin Marra draws the Savage Dragon. YES. Click for the full size thing.
* Hahahaha, the Red Dawn remake is digitally replacing all the China stuff it already shot with North Korea stuff to avoid screwing up its international box office? Hahahahaha! WOLVERINES! hahahahahaha
* The doofus who started a fake twitter account under the name of Powr Mastrs artist C.F. doesn’t think there was any harm done–this explains why throughout all of human history people have been so thrilled to discover that other people were going around impersonating them–while Chris Ware’s The ACME Novelty Library #20 has failed to live up to Jason Overby’s exacting standards. Hopefully you’ll get there some day, Chris! (That said, the Comets Comets redesign is gorgeous.)
* Tim Hodler asks: Who did Tarantino really crib the Superman/Clark Kent Kill Bill speech from?
* Finally, thank you, everyone. It has meant so much.