Everyone’s A Critic: A round-up of comic book reviews and thinkpieces
I haven’t done this in awhile, so let’s highlight some of the more interesting posts from the past week or so — or at least what was intersting to me:
• The folks at the Hooded Utilitarian recently wrapped up a lengthy roundtable discussion on Dan Clowes’ Ghost World.
• Tom Spurgeon continues his great holiday interview series with notable critics about the great comics of the closing decade. In backwards order: Kristy Valenti on Little Nemo: So Many Splendid Sundays; Bart Beaty on Persepolis; Frank Santoro on Multiforce and our own Sean Collins on Blankets.
• Tucker Stone examines the brouhaha surrounding the announcement of Marvel’s Girl’s Comics series and wonders what lies behind it: “When the Big Two companies make a fuss about something, and that fuss can in any way be perceived as a movement towards correcting a problem, the initial responses are certain to contain a healthy slice of contempt.”
• Over on his blog, manga scholar Matt Thorn railed against what he views as the plethora of bad translations that plague most manga these days. Be sure and check out the comments section, where a number of industry folks chime in. You should also read Shaenon Garrity’s response over at TCJ too. But then, you should be reading just about everything Garrity writes.
• Matthew Brady reviews Driven By Lemons: “the artwork here really has to be seen to be believed.”
• Jeet Heer lists the five best comic anthologies ever and wonders what they reveal about the editors who made them, and about editing in general.
• Ada Price looks at the challenges behind adapting classic prose literature into comics.
• Derik Badman has been a reviewing madman (hey, it rhymes!) lately. Here he is on Travel: “Yokohama is extremely skilled at pacing and composing his work. Despite the abstracted imagery and the imaginary landscapes, he always managed to convey a sense of space and movement. The panels read fast like the speed of the train. Everything is in high gear.”
• Rob Clough has also been reviewing comics like there’s no tomorrow over at TCJ. You can get easy links to the pieces, however, by heading over to his blog rather than trying to sift through the Journal’s site.
• Here’s our own Sean Collins once more, this time reviewing the first three volumes of Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys: “This probably comes as a surprise to no one, but they’re a lot of fun.”
• Writing for the New York Times, Charles McGrath reviews the new biography of Herge, The Man Who Created Tintin: “If you don’t already know the work, this is not the place to start. And even if you do, the story is a little depressing.”
• Greg McElhatton on the first volume of the Complete Bloom County: “A lot of those early strips are surprisingly weak, but there’s always a gem among the rubble that makes it worth reading on.”
• Finally, Ed Sizemore reviews a whole lotta manga.