* The Comics Journal has relaunched its website under the auspices of Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler. They run down its major features and contributors in this welcome letter. They say bid adieu to their old hangout, Comics Comics, in this farewell note. They speak about the changeover and their plans at length in this Tom Spurgeon interview. Spurgeon bids adieu to the old TCJ.com’s genuinely evil message board in this Comics Reporter post.
* I write at some length about the Journal’s past, present, and future in this Robot 6 post. I make my first contribution to the new site in this review of Ben Katchor’s The Cardboard Valise. And I will be a regular contributor via my soon-to-launch interview column, Say Hello.
* Phew! I’m very excited about all of this. PS: I recommend tapping into the Journal’s soon-to-be-online-in-their-entirety archives with this Gary Groth interview with the great Phoebe Gloeckner, one of my all-time artistic heroes and one of the all-time great cartoonists.
* Artist Guy Davis is leaving B.P.R.D., one of the very very very best superhero(ish) comics of the past ten years thanks in large part to his contributions. Click the link for my take on Davis’s work on the title. What he and main writer John Arcudi and co-plotter/overseer Mike Mignola did on that book is a genuine achievement. And this is one of my all-time favorite comics pages.
* The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition is coming out in a Blu-Ray box set at last. It contains all three extended-edition films, all the bonus materials from the Extended Edition DVDs, and those weird behind-the-scenes docs from the Limited Edition releases. I don’t think it includes the theatrical editions, but that’s fine. I already preordered it.
* Jay Babcock is discontinuing Arthur magazine’s online incarnation. Even after the print version was shuttered, it continued to be an underrated source of good comics. Best of luck to Mr. Babcock.
* Tom Cruise really is starring in Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. I still think that this works remarkably well.
* Writer Nick Spencer is now Marvel exclusive, though his creator-owned Morning Glories will continue at Image and, remarkably, his T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents revival will continue at DC. That’s a big get for Marvel.
* The very good cartoonist Tom Kaczynski has launched a blog for his publishing imprint Uncivilized Books. Also, his comic in Mome Vol. 21 looks sick, and he drew a sexy woman.
* This is a beautiful spread from Amazing Spider-Man #655 by artist Marcos Martin (and writer Dan Slott). It also basically crushes any given similar image or sequence of images in Inception, by the by. (Via Agent M.)
* Topless Robot’s Chris Cummins lists the 20 Greatest Liquid Television Segments. Man, what a marvel that show was. I so vividly remember feeling like I was watching something genuinely strange and genuinely adult. I still remember the “Cut-Up Camera” and “Dog Boy” theme music, and those silent Aeon Flux shorts crush the property’s later iterations.
* For some reason I really like this very simple poster for Kenneth Branagh’s Thor. (Via Agent M.)
* Kevin Huizenga revisits the ongoing debate over the existence of Hell, the topic of one of his (or anybody’s) best comics, “Jeepers Jacobs.”
* Real Life Horror: Every day, the Obama Administration’s military agents force non-violent, non-suicide-risk Army whistleblower Bradley Manning to sleep and stand for inspection fully naked during his solitary confinement on charges for which he has yet to be convicted and for which he is eligible for the death penalty.
* Finally, sink your teeth into this meaty Tom Spurgeon interview with Renée French. It’s fascinating to see an artist of French’s caliber talk so frankly, and yet without hyperbole or self-pity, about her artistic struggles. Also, I really love the declaration “Fuck narrative.”