Editorial cartoons | Michael Cavna interviews Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s demand that the newspaper apologize for an April 25 cartoon in which the politician is depicted boasting that “Business is booming in Texas!” beneath a banner that reads, “Low Tax! Low Regs!,” juxtaposed with an image of the deadly fertilizer-plant explosion in West, Texas. “It was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon,” Perry wrote in a letter to the editor. “While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans.” Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has reportedly called for Ohman to be fired.
Eleanor Davis, the creator of the kids’ graphic novels The Secret Science Alliance and The Copycat Crook and Stinky, has also illustrated Crescent Dragonwagon’s new cookbook, Beans and Greens. You don’t have to like either to enjoy Davis’s whimsical illustrations, with their charmingly retro green-and-white color scheme; these drawings will tickle even the most dedicated carnivore.
Because then I could have enjoyed two years’ worth of Eleanor Davis’ absurdly proficient “sketches,” comics, illustrations and more instead of having to catch up with them all at once.
Wait. “Having” to catch up with them all at once? Isn’t it more like getting to catch up with them all at once? When it’s someone with Davis’s level of chops we’re talking about, what the hell am I complaining for?
(hat tip: Zack Soto)
One of the more notable news stories of the week was the announcement by Mome editor (and Fantagraphics co-publisher) Eric Reynolds that the quarterly anthology would come to an end with the release of the 22nd volume later this year.
The series has had a rather remarkable and distinguished run since its inception in 2005. In addition to featuring work by such notable cartoonists like Jim Woodring and Gilbert Hernandez, it’s served as a publishing venue to highlight the work of up and coming artists like Laura Park, Tom Kaczynski and Sara Edward-Corbett, as well as introduce American readers to work by notable European creators like Emile Bravo and Sergio Ponchione.
As a memorial of sorts for the anthology’s oncoming demise, I thought I’d attempt to put together a quick list of my own favorite stories from Mome. This was a tough list to put together actually, and there are a number of names I feel a bit guilty for leaving off, but I’m sure you all can duly chastise me for my omissions in the comments section.
Joey Weiser is giving readers a variety of choices in order to read his latest work. In catching up on Weiser’s work, you currently have three choices: Cavemen in Space (distributed by AdHouse [PDF preview here]), Mermin (his mini-comic series with two issues released so far about an adorable fish-boy); or Monster Isle (his weekly webcomic, which he told me, was “inspired by Japanese Kaiju monsters, and it’s a lot of fun to make”). The bulk of our interview focuses upon Cavemen in Space (“A caveman named Washington and his prehistoric tribe have been torn from their era and placed aboard ‘The Wheel,’ a futuristic space laboratory…”)–but we also touch briefly upon the initial response to Mermin. My thanks to Weiser for taking the time to discuss his work.
Tim O’Shea: The main appeal to Cavemen in Space (for me) is that many of the Cavemen–transported to a future time, become accustomed to the new world/dynamics to varying degrees. Had you always intended to have that juxtaposition–or was that a nuance to the characters that evolved as the story developed? I was really pleased with the character arcs for Madison and Jefferson.
Joey Weiser: In this case, I came up with the characters first, and the story just formed around them. I wanted to work with a large cast and give them all stories that intertwined. The goofy concept of Cavemen in Space is obviously playing with opposites, so that was a core part of the characters and from that I realized how they would interact with each other and what developments I would want them to have by the end of the book.
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, has won the prestigious Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.
The award was announced this morning at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver.
He quickly followed that comment with this slighly less subdued one: “Newbery, not Newbury. Also FUCK!!!! I won the FUCKING NEWBERY THIS IS SO FUCKING AWESOME. I thank you.”
Released in September in the U.S. by HarperCollins, the young-adult fantasy centers on a boy who takes refuge in a cemetery after the murder of his parents. There, he’s adopted and befriended by ghosts.
Davis’ Stinky is about a monster who is terrified of people, and concocts crazy plans to scare a kid away from his swamp.