* According to Midtown Comics, new comics from Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Kevin Huizenga, David B., Gilbert Hernandez, and Josh Simmons come out tomorrow. And for fans of more traditional genre serials, there’s also new Grant Morrison/Chris Burnham, Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips, Mike Mignola/Cameron Stewart, and Brandon Graham. That’s a fantastic new comics day right there.
* American film critic and auteur-theory pioneer/popularizer Andrew Sarris died last week, as you no doubt heard. It’s tough to think of another critic who had as much of an impact on popular understanding of their chosen field of coverage. Run, don’t walk, to David Bordwell’s lengthy and thoughtful post comparing Sarris to his arch-rival Pauline Kael. On the more personal end of things, I enjoyed Roy Edroso’s tribute.
* Tom Spurgeon interviews Ed Brubaker. This is one of the best superhero-creator interviews I’ve read in a very, very long time, both in terms of breaking news — Brubaker is leaving Captain America after nearly eight years writing it, during which time it was never less than a great time and frequently just great — and opinion — Spurge and Brubaker directly address creators’-rights flashpoints like Jack Kirby and Before Watchmen. Good on Tom for asking those questions, but better on Brubaker for answering them — you’d better believe that’s why they don’t get asked more often; there’s often just no point.
I haven’t even looked at these comics since the day I bought my last of them, and if you had asked me at the time I would have thought I’d have read them a half-dozen additional times by now. A lot of comics are like that, instant friends of the dormitory hallway variety and then suddenly you’re both decades older and you haven’t spoken in years and years.
* George R.R. Martin updates us on various projects, including three that pertain to A Song of Ice and Fire.
* I’ve seen way too many people talk about Geoff Johns inserting a He-Man character he made up when he was eight years old into a He-Man comic he’s writing today like that’s a bad thing. Ahem.
* Submitted for your approval: Freak Scene, a new-underground art show opening at L.A.’s Synchronicity Space on July 6th featuring Benjamin Marra, Tom Neely, Johnny Ryan, Zach Hazard Vaupen, Jim Rugg, Bald Eagles, and many other leading lights of nasty alternative comics.
* Yeesh, this comic by Eleanor Davis is a doozy.
* I’d never seen Simon Hanselmann’s Megg and Mogg before, but my goodness. The character designs and humor are, heh, a bit indebted to Ben Jones, but the linework (that hair!) and sumptuous, understated coloring are things unto themselves. Terrific large-scale presentation on Hanselmann’s tumblr, too. (Via Frank Santoro.)
* Kate Beaton’s chops are ridiculous, which when coupled with the rigorous idiosyncracy of her sense of humor — her sense of where jokes are to be found — is what helps elevate her above her now-legion imitators.
* I’m sure I say this nearly every week, but this is my favorite sexy Jonny Negron drawing in a long time.
* You’d think it’d be tough for Sam Humphries and Pete Toms’s new comic for Study Group, “Virginia,” to live up to the promise of this cover image, but they pull it off. It’s worth noting that Humphries is doing this at the same time he’s self-publishing more traditionally “indy” comics and doing work for hire for Marvel. It’s gratifying to see someone who could choose to do something else still do bonafide alternative comics.
* Why was I not told about Rose O’Neill’s kewpie comics before?
* If you’ve got a hundred bones you can buy yourself a first printing of Kramers Ergot 4, the most important art comic of the ’00s. (Via Frank Santoro.)
* Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, which is to L. Ron Hubbard what Velvet Goldmine is to David Bowie, has thus far had two of the most compellingly off trailers since, well, Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. I continue to maintain that if Anderson ever makes an outright horror movie he’ll have a bead on scariest of all time. Based on these trailers, it’s getting tough to think of a better current director/composer pair than Anderson and Jonny Greenwood, too.
* The young Patti Smith was many things, and one of them was “extremely attractive,” which I find interesting both for obvious reasons and because that doesn’t seem to be part of her rock-star legend at all.
* It has probably been thirteen years since I last heard the phrase “boot and rally.”
* I wrote about one of my favorite funk songs/guitar solos, “Very Yes” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band (featuring, obviously, Bootsy Collins and his brother Catfish) for Cool Practice.