At The Nation, Jeet Heer writes about the impact of MAD magazine and references its origins, which came at a tumultuous time for the comic book industry and for EC Comics publisher William Gaines.
At The Comics Journal, Derik Badman writes about Italian comics artist Guido Crepax and his popular character Valentina Rosselli, whose strip was first serialized in a monthly adult-aimed comics magazine called Linus in the mid-1960s.
Cartoonist Michael Kupperman gives a bracingly honest interview to Simon Abrams at The Comics Journal. His 2018 graphic memoir, All the Answers, was one of the more moving books I’d read last year. I wrote about it here and, when Hyperallergic asked about my favorite comics of 2018, I had the chance to pitch it and write about it for the site. It was a big shift for Kupperman to write something so probing and intimate—while All the Answers received an Eisner nomination and eventual critical acclaim, the book was poorly promoted, and he expected the comics publishing world to react differently than it did.
From the interview at TCJ:
The people in comics who thought I wasn’t worth taking seriously still thought I wasn’t worth taking seriously. I mean, one of my aims in the book was to make it look easy. I think that’s always one of the goals in comics, and maybe I made it look too easy. But no, I felt the reaction in comics was very disappointing, to be honest. I was extremely disappointed by the reaction from the comics world. There’s been almost none, and there were people I’d worked for, where I’d told them they were part of the reason I was in comics, because of their work. They didn’t respond to me at all even after I sent them copies of my book. I mean, I was really hurt by some people’s reactions, to be honest.
I really was expecting something different. I thought, you know, the people in comics who I’d known for years would applaud it. That’s not why I did the book, obviously, but I really was surprised by the absence of reaction from certain quarters, and yeah, it was intensely dispiriting. I did think of quitting. I found last year one of the most emotionally stressful years of the last decade, and that’s saying a lot.
Jack Shafer writes at Politico about our “entering the end times of the editorial cartoon,” highlighting the impact they’ve long had on democracy and connecting recent layoffs to a couple of factors. I’m not sure that we have the whole story here.