Friday, 31 August 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (26)

Please tell me you still read comics, because I worry that Alan Moore doesn't: the industry I infer he perceives from what he implies in interviews is a very different one from the one I see on the other side of my counter. And although I love Uncle Alan with all my heart that sends out all the wrong signals, counter-productive not only to what Page 45 wants to achieve but what it has already achieved: quality and diversity now freely available getting into the hands of the Real Mainstream. It is possible to break the corporate superhero stranglehold on comics. We've done it. Our biggest seller last year was Craig Thompson's Habibi. And that came out LATE in the year.

Menachem Luchins sent me HABIBI and then later apologized for doing so when he read his own copy.  I'm a First Amendment Purist but not Absolutist and I was really looking forward to reading it.  And then I found it to be basically Islamaphobic pedophile rape porn.  Couldn't make it through.  I don't think there should be a fatwa against Craig -- I don't think there should be a fatwa against anyone: I'm Western to the core in that way.  But it just wasn't saying anything except "Okay now she gets raped again".  "Okay now the kid gets castrated."  Menachem said it didn't really go anywhere good from there.  I'm glad it sold well for you.  Looking on the bright side, it might be the only exposure some people will have to the Koran or Arab culture. I doubt it, but maybe it would be.

Coincidentally, Barry Deutsch sent me his HEREVILLE which is kind of a Jewish equivalent.  Lots of Orthodox Jewish background, Yiddish words, clothing, customs, etc.  And then it turns into a sort of infernal, pagan story "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl: How Mirka Got her Sword".  Oy.  Should I be reading this during Ramadan?  That's not a rhetorical question for me.  Ramadan or not, I just felt like I was intentionally making myself dirty reading Craig's book. And I'm a huge fan of his work. HEREVILLE was further over on this side of the 50-yard-line than HABIBI, in my view.  He's working on a sequel right now. I want to read it a couple of more times before I write to him about it.

I finally get around to answering the question about collaborations, referring to GUN FU.  I haven't heard from Howard Shum in AGES and right today he sends me his new self-published project, FUSILLADE.  It's a gorgeous book and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Rick Norwood sends me COMICS REVUE and it usually takes me all month to read all of the strips, starting with Goodwin and Williamson's SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN, then MODESTY BLAISE, then STEVE CANYON -- way late in Caniff's run.  There was a LONG sequence from 1971 trying to "riff" on "Women's Lib".  Yike.  Um, Milt?  This isn't going to "go over" with ANYONE.  BUZZ  SAWYER.  Early sixties stuff where he's in Vietnam on behalf of US Navy intelligence.  Pretty much what you'd expect.  But it's gorgeous.  That guy did Craftint like NOBODY'S business.  I'm really flexible that way.  I really don't agree with a lot of what this is saying but ain't it gorgeous?  TARZAN by Bob Lubbers AND Russ Manning which is hallucinatory going from one to the other.  Harry Harrison's & Dan Barry's FLASH GORDON and then Mac Raboy's FLASH GORDON.  Same hallucinatory effect.  KRAZY KAT (you see how far down the list it is for me).  THE PHANTOM from the 1930s.  MANDRAKE from the 1930s.  Phil Davis actually getting pretty close to Alex Raymond's X-9 style which he is obviously devoted to.  Much closer than I ever thought he would have gotten.
Tribute to Comics Revue magazine, Cerebus #295 (October 2003)
Art by Dave Sim & Chester Brown
I'm about three books behind on DICK TRACY which Ted Adams (IDW Publishing) has been sending me.  As soon as I start, I'll bomb right through them.  Haven't touched the first four years of LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE which is a crime.  I WILL get to it.  "Are there any of our other books you want?"  JEEZ, TED I'm wracked with guilt as it is!  He sent me the BIG Wally Wood EC STORIES Book.  Just JAW DROPPING ALL CAPS.  It's my "Under the Coffee Table Book" along with David Mazzucchelli's DAREDEVIL, Neal Adams' THRILLKILL and Berni Wrightson's MUCK MONSTER.

Yeah, I read quite a lot of comics.  Brian John Mitchell -- there, I mentioned him again.  "The Lay's Potato Chips of Micro Mini Comics:  Bet You Can't Eat Just One".

And I'm looking forward to Craig Thompson's NEXT book.  :)

Tomorrow's question?

What happened to your plans (announced in Cerebus #300) to donate the ‘Cerebus Archive’ collection of your papers to a university or museum? Did you have any takers, and if not, do you have any alternative plans for that physical resource? Can you describe the size and scale of the Cerebus Archive? I’m picturing 2 or 3 filing cabinets in the corner of a room, or has it taken over your entire house? 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment! SAME Moment Of Cerebus time SAME Moment Of Cerebus Channel! 

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