Chris Mautner Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Katie Skelly wants to ‘work harder and grosser and draw uglier’


[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

I’ve been interviewing comic creators since late 1999–and I periodically like to read other people’s interviews to see nuances and angles I may be overlooking. One interviewer that always engages my interest and challenges me to reconsider my approach is Robot 6 co-conspirator Chris Mautner. Mautner is widely read and respected because of his talent and because of the myriad publications that offer him a forum.

This week, over at The Comics Journal, Mautner caught up with Operation Margarine’s Katie Skelly. Having interviewed her myself in April, I was eager to see what ground Mautner covered that I had not. He did not disappoint.

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Comics A.M. | Justice League #1 sells 360,000 copies in four months

Justice League #1

Publishing | Four months in, the DC Comics relaunch seems to be a success. The most recent sales figures show Justice League #1 selling more than 360,000 copies since August, and Batman #1 and Action Comics #1 selling more than 250,000. By contrast, Marvel’s strongest seller was Ultimate Spider-Man #160, which was in the 160,000-copy neighborhood. These figures seem to reflect sales in the direct market only; it would be interesting to see how many digital copies have been sold. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Awards | Nominations are open for this year’s Eagle Awards. [Eagle Awards]

Retailing | San Francisco retailer Brian Hibbs shares the top-selling graphic novels in his store for 2011, by units and by dollars. [Savage Critics]

Retailing | Christopher Butcher looks back on the events of the past year in the comics store he manages, Toronto’s The Beguiling. [The Beguiling blog]

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I want to break free: Gilbert Hernandez on leaving Palomar for the wild frontier

from Love from the Shadows by Gilbert Hernandez

from Love from the Shadows by Gilbert Hernandez

Interviews with Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez are increasingly rare treasures. It seems the man behind the decades-spanning Palomar/Luba/Fritz saga — a story at first centered on the people of a remote Latin American village, then on one of its more irascible and memorable leading ladies, then on her irresistible but troubled sister — has preferred to let his work speak for him. So I was delighted to discover that he’d opened up again, this time to our own Chris Mautner. And in Chris’s interview with Beto over at CBR, Hernandez is not mincing words. He speaks like a man fed up with restraints of any kind — those placed on him by his early, beloved “Palomar” tales, or by his fans and critics, or by the financial limitations of professional cartooning, or by the shape of the market, or by what he sees as the timid state of contemporary comics itself. None of this all that surprising given his ever more savage, unsparing work, particularly in the “Fritz” cycle of graphic novels ostensibly adapted from the low-budget films in which the character starred, but hearing him say it all in so many words makes for a bracing read. Take a look:

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