Carnival of souls: Ignatz Awards, Atomic Comics, Jerry Leiber, more

* Sammy Harkham, Edie Fake, and Michael DeForge lead a strong slate of Ignatz Award nominees this year. Who knows — maybe the voters will throw the obviously undeserving Chris Ware a pity win.

* Here’s the latest in a series of dispiriting interviews with the gifted superhero comics writer Grant Morrison. It’s related to this Rolling Stone profile, which in turn is accompanied by this quite good “best of Grant Morrison” list by Matthew Perpetua.

* The large Arizona comics retail chain Atomic Comics has abruptly gone out of business, with owner Mike Malve filing for bankruptcy. Comics people I talked to about this today were pretty freaked out.

* In a rare return to his home turf Jog the Blog, Joe McCulloch presents a short bit of (also rare lately) writing on art comics, among other things, with his Top Ten Comics list.

* Tucker Stone really liked Ryan Cecil Smith’s SF #1. I liked it too.

* Secret Acres’ Barry and Leon present their PACC con report. They also note that Dylan Williams of the very valuable comics publisher Sparkplug is ill, which I’m sad to hear. Get well, Dylan!

* Wow: Tom Neely is working on one of Matt Maxwell’s Western-horror Strangeways comics.

* Here’s a neat-looking project from Split Lip writer and nascent-horror-blogosphere veteran Sam Costello and artist Neal Von Flue: Labor and Love, a collection of four comics adaptations of American folk ballads. It debuts at SPX.

* Zak Smith on the most disturbing room in D&D.

* Matt Rota draws the Republican Party in action for the New York Times.

* Jerry Leiber, half of the Leiber/Stoller songwriting team, has died. What a monstrous talent.

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6 Responses to Carnival of souls: Ignatz Awards, Atomic Comics, Jerry Leiber, more

  1. Matt M. says:

    You’re a gem, sir. Thanks for spreading the word.

  2. SeanPBelcher says:

    The Morrison interview/comments of late have been disappointing. For someone whose work has always tied intellectualism and morality in thought-provoking fashion, it’s disheartening to see him come across as the “Mirror, Mirror” version of Alan Moore – – and in ways that don’t do Morrison any favors (his comments on Chris Ware reflect an almost criminal misreading of the man’s work). Having said that, I really can’t get behind the comments via Twitter from people who claim they have no respect for Morrison’s work any longer and have put him on some kind of ‘hit list’ because of his views on creators’ rights and so forth. Frankly, I find this absurd. My long boxes, book shelves, and entertainment center would be pretty desolate if I excluded work by people I disagreed with on some issue or other. I lament that Morrison’s comments make it harder for me to respect him as an intellectual (or, in the case of his Siegel and Shuster comments, a moralist), but my enjoyment and appreciation of his work hasn’t been diminished by his views.

  3. I understand some disillusionment with Morrison’s work insofar as…well, like, for example, it’s going to be hard to get into his Action Comics #1 take on Superman as a champion of the poor and downtrodden except for Siegel & Shuster who made their beds and can lie in them, as opposed to canny businessman Bob Kane. But the most vituperative responses I’ve seen are either from people whose preexisting interest in contemporary superhero comics was nil, in which case it’s simply a convenient release valve for expressing opinions they already held, or people looking for the latest target to call out in internet-hero fashion.

    The Ware stuff…sigh. It hasn’t been any fun seeing people say “Well, he has a point about Ware’s nihilism, the best art presents solutions” either.

    You know what, I’m gonna email you.

  4. Sam Costello says:

    Thanks for the linkage, Sean! Much appreciated.

  5. Rev'd '76 says:

    It’s the regular Moore-bashing that gets me. While Morrison has what feels like a legitimate complaint– in re: Moore’s taboo-shattering & deconstuctionist take on capes informed DC’s drift toward controversy-over-content –that observation is overshadowed by his neverending argument with the man. That part’s just ego, and it contrasts poorly w/ his remarks re: the shittiness of his own protégé, Millar.

    Moore’s treatment of rape (in the early days, at least) stemmed from the fact that hardly anyone in mainstream comix wanted to acknowledge anything unpleasant or uncomfortable about sex or sexual politics. What his use of the subject these days means, that’s anybody’s guess. It’s frequent enough now that it could be considered a tic.

    But that’s not what comes across in Morrison’s critique: it’s the underlying inference to be drawn by his nearest-to-hand use of Moore as an example, that somehow Big Beardy is responsible for DC’s casual abuse of rape-as-plot-device. This rankles me. Moore could, and should, do better with the topic (and the subject of sex in general) –but he’s no more to blame for the piggish ignorance of DC than Morrison is.

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