* People drawing an equivalence between DC’s use of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen characters in Before Watchmen and Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill’s pastiche of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would have a point if and only if Moore released this issue as “BEFORE HARRY POTTER,” starring all the actual Harry Potter characters rather than parody versions of them, using the Harry Potter trade dress, through Harry Potter’s publisher, exploiting a loophole in a contract he arranged with Rowling, over Rowling’s explicit and unequivocal objections, following a two-decade string of mistreatment and broken promises.
* I had no idea that Matt Groening was still doing Life in Hell. That should have been a bigger deal, right? Anyway, that link takes you to Tom Spurgeon talking about the strip upon the announcement that it’s ending.
* Also, Tom Spurgeon reviews Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown. The more I see that cover, the funnier and better it gets.
* And in his continuing series on ’80s serialized comics, Spurge reviews Frank Miller’s Daredevil (starring the Stan Lee/Bill Everett creation) and Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz’s Elektra: Assassin. The Elektra piece in particular is a bracing bit of what-could-have-been on everything from politics to Marvel Comics’ collected editions program.
* Hey look, it’s my Thickness editors, born-again-hard Michael DeForge and wide-eyed ingenue Ryan Sands, at CAKE this past weekend. (Via CBR.) Related: an excellent photo parade from the Happiness crew, and one of Secret Acres’ trademark comprehensive/catty con reports.
* My friend Jason Dean, who designed thishyere blog, has started a webcomic based on his many years in retail. Should be a pip.
* Speaking of Mad Men, Matt Zoller Seitz, Deborah Lipp, and Kevin B. Lee of Press Play put together a fantastic, revealing, comprehensive video essay on death imagery in the fifth season. I guarantee you there’s stuff in there you missed.
* And I’m extraordinarily late to the party once again, but Molly Lambert’s Mad Men recaps for Grantland are spectacular, getting better as they go. You could skip the first couple if you wanted, probably, as they really are pretty much just recaps, but there’s something to be said for going through all of them and reaching that point where you’re like “whoa, where did this come from.”
* A new Uno Moralez comic! My five favorite words in the English language?
* I know nothing about the comics of Frederik Peeters but that’s one hell of a cover.
* The artist Frazer Irving has been doing one-hour warm-up sketches in the morning before working on comics projects. I’ve posted three of them below. This is what a one-hour warm-up sketch looks like for Frazer Irving.
* Jeepers creepers, the forthcoming collection of Pippi Longstocking comics by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman from Drawn and Quarterly looks beautiful and silly.
* The new Study Group webcomic Haunter by Sam Alden is quite something — alt-fantasy that looks like Brecht Evens colored it.
* Ha! The new book from Closed Caption Comics’ Conor Stechschulte, Lurking Nocturners, appears comprised in part of just the adjectives from H.P. Lovecraft stories.
* Real Life Horror: This short memoir essay by former American interrogator Eric Fair about living with the knowledge that he’s tortured people is…you know, it’s one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever read. Probably one of the most important, things, too.
* I can’t bear to leave you like that. Here are pictures of David Bowie and Beyoncé looking extremely attractive.