The New Yorker
Passings | The New Yorker cartoonist Ed Fisher has died at the age of 86. Mike Lynch has a nice appreciation, with a sampling of cartoons and links to other obituaries. Fisher was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000, Lynch says, but even so, he often came to the New Yorker offices on “look day”: “He would be sitting on the couch, in the cartoonists’ waiting room, with his portfolio, ready to chat. I introduced myself and was really glad to meet him. More than once he pulled out his roughs and showed them to me. Ed treated me like an equal.” [Mike Lynch Cartoons]
Legal | Palestinian cartoonist Muhammad Saba’aneh, who was detained by Israeli authorities in early March, has been sentenced to five months in jail and must pay a fine of 10,000 shekels. Saba’aneh was charged with contacting “enemy entities,” according to his lawyer. He was originally arrested and held without specific charges, raising fears that he would be detained indefinitely. [FARS News Agency]
“Where I was in Brooklyn, I don’t think I would have even known that there was a major storm happening,” says Adrian Tomine, the artist of next week’s cover, “Undeterred.” He continues,
Creators | Alan Moore will make a rare convention appearance in September — his first in 25 years, according to this article — at the inaugural Northants International Comics Expo in Northamptonshire, England. To attend Moore’s hour-long talk on writing comics or the hour-long question-and-answer session, convention-goers are required to donate graphic novels to the Northamptonshire Libraries, which will have a table at the event. [Stumptown Trade Review]
Creators | Mark Waid gets the NPR treatment, as Noah J. Nelson interviews him about his digital comics initiatives. “I got news for you: I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and this is the hardest writing I’ve ever had to do,” Waid says of creating digital comics. [NPR]
Publishing | Abrams ComicArts editorial director Charles Kochman discusses the publisher’s spring lineup, which will include William Stout’s Legends of the Blues, Darryl Cunningham’s What the Frack, a history of Bazooka Joe comics, and a Will Eisner artbook written by Paul Levitz. [ICv2]
Passings | Dave Thorne, sometimes called the father of Hawaiian cartooning, has died at the age of 82. His most recent strip was Thorney’s Zoo, which ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Mark Evanier has a personal appreciation of Thorne and his love of Hawaii. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]
Creators | Carl Barks once wrote, “Ninety-nine readers out of 100 think Walt Disney writes and draws all those movies and comic books between stints with his hammer and saw building Disneyland,” but for much of his career he was happy to remain anonymous and avoid the hassles that come with fame. Jim Korkis writes the fascinating story of how two fans got through the Disney wall of anonymity — and Barks’ own reticence — to figure out who Barks was and bring him into contact with his admirers. [USA Today]
The New Yorker art editor, Françoise Mouly has a Tumblr and it is awesome. In addition to cool miscellania like the ’80s photo above, Mouly also runs a weekly, “Theme of the Week” contest where artists can submit covers based on themes like this week’s “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.”
Mouly says that “this blog and contest are informal and not affiliated with The New Yorker magazine, but I’m always on the lookout for ideas. When I find them, I’ll get in touch with the artist, all on a case by case basis.” She also asks artists to “keep submissions confidential in case they are later selected for publication,” so it’s more than just for fun.
(via The Beat)
Cartoonist Shannon Wheeler isn’t one to rest on his laurels; heck, do you know how uncomfortable laurels can be on your backside? After making a name for himself with the alt-comic series Too Much Coffee Man, Wheeler branched out and in recent years began aiming to join an exclusive club: artists whose comics are published in The New Yorker. And after achieving that, he’s showing off the plethora of comics that were turned down, and the accepted ones, in a new art exhibit in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Titled “Shannon Wheeler’s One-One-One-One: One-Man Show of One-Hundred-and-One One-Panel Comics, “this exhibit at Portland’s Center for the Performing Arts opens Thursday, and continues through Dec. 1.The life of a New Yorker cartoonist is arduous; for every accepted strip there are countless ones that end up rejected. The latter are often more intriguing than those that made the cut, for the joke inside as well as the imagined reasons why the editor passed on them.
Another thing which is never brought up or mentioned, but it’s very intriguing, forever going back to the old days of The New Yorker and through now, as far as women and men cartoonists are concerned, there is no problem. None of this bullshit that’s been plaguing almost every other endeavor or business, this war of the sexes. Not a trace of it in cartooning. It just isn’t there. It may be because we all have a sense of humor. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very interesting and it’s nice.
— Legendary cartoonist Gahan Wilson of Playboy, National Lampoon and The New Yorker fame, explaining to CBR’s Alex Dueben that things apparently aren’t as contentious over issues of sex and gender in Francoise Mouly’s shop as they are in other parts of the industry. (Cf. recent New Yorker roster addition Kate Beaton’s ongoing victory lap …)
Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Shannon Wheeler, New Yorker cartoonist and creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book Too Much Coffee Man, Oil & Water, the Eisner-nominated I Thought You Would Be Funnier and the upcoming Grandpa Won’t Wake Up.
To see what Shannon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
With great power comes great insurance deductibles: At least I think that’s the message of artist Barry Blitt’s cover for this week’s issue of The New Yorker, which pokes fun at the injury-prone, delay-plagued, lead performer-shedding, Bono and the Edge-scored, Julie Taymor-directed, terribly reviewed, bafflingly titled audience magnet that is the Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Somewhere out there, there’s an alternate Earth where Norman Osborn is calling Françoise Mouly to find out how much it would cost to buy the original art for this one.
(via Douglas Wolk)
In the vein of literal videos, Garfield Minus Garfield, and Christ, What an Asshole comes The Monkeys You Ordered, a blog that takes the dry, clever, and/or inscrutable punchlines of New Yorker cartoons and makes them straightforward, and therefore somehow much more hilarious. Which stands to reason, when you think about it: Aren’t talking animals in bars, explosions in board rooms, pirates on analysts’ couches and so on weird enough as it is?
(Via Tom Ewing)
To paraphrase Mary McCarthy, every word in Françoise Mouly’s interview with CBR’s Alex Dueben is fascinating, including “and” and “the.” It’s a marvelously insightful look at nearly every aspect of the legendary RAW, New Yorker, and Toon Books editor’s multifaceted career: The status of Toon Books, the challenges of producing educational books for children that are also fun to look at and read, her personal history with comics, the importance and legacy of her and husband Art Spiegelman’s seminal alternative-comics magazine RAW‘s production values, the shift among underground/alternative cartoonists’ careers from character-focused (a la Zippy, Jimbo, and Adele Blanc-sec) to creator-focused, her duties and work style as The New Yorker‘s art editor, working with visual artists from across the comics and illustration spectrum, her dream of an increased presence of actual comics in the magazine, R. Crumb’s apparent New Yorker beef, Toon Books’ upcoming slate…pure gold from one of comics’ most influential figures.
From deviantART to The New Yorker, artists and cartoonists keep dialing G for Gaga. In the wake of Jonas Åkerlund’s epic video for Gaga & Beyoncé’s duet “Telephone” a bumper crop of artistic tributes has blossomed. We’ve already rounded up a few early highlights; consider this the remix.
Heidi MacDonald and D&Q beat me to the punch, but just in case you missed the news, I thought I’d let you know that this week’s issue of The New Yorker magazine is sporting four swell covers by Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine and Ivan Brunetti. Supposedly when you arrange the four covers together in a certain way, a super-secret picture forms. Alright, I’ll spoil it: It’s a picture of Eustace Tilly. It must be one of those “Magic Eye” type images though, because I’ve been staring at the bloody things for hours on end, and all I’m getting is a headache.
Eustace Tilley’s loss is our gain! Michael Kupperman, writer/artist of Tales Designed to Thrizzle and Twitterer extraordinaire, has posted a slew of comics that didn’t quite make it into the pages of The New Yorker.
His submissions, which can be viewed on his Twitpic account, include a look at Microscopic Goings-On About Town, Pigeons in Film, Slightly Cursed Merchandise, Other Species’ Currency, and the eternal question seen here, How Much Do You Know About Your Mutual Fund Manager? And because he’s that kinda guy, Kupperman has even shared a pair of strips that actually wound up in the mag.
Kupperman’s trip down memory lane was prompted by a request from The New Yorker to pitch them some comics again. The problem there, he tweeted, was that “after years of working for them and other magazines like them, I am in the wrong income bracket to adopt their worldview/sense of humor.” Here’s hoping that at some point soon, the likes of Hendrik Hertzberg and David Denby will once again be guarded by McGritte the Surrealist Crime Dog.
I recently caught up with seasoned industry veteran Shannon Wheeler for an email interview. This interview took place before Wheeler’s recent announcement that he was contemplating a project at ACT-I-VATE–I mention this only as an explanation as to why I ask no questions in that regard. As noted in this recent post, his work has frequently been picked up by The New Yorker as of late, while he continues his work on How to Be Happy. And, of course, we get in some discussion about his overall Too Much Coffee Man work. My thanks to Wheeler for his time.
Tim O’Shea: You are a creator with a long, proven track record, who covers a great many concepts in your work (judging by this tag cloud). This page offers me a wealth of topics to ask you about, but I’ll focus on one. In a down economy like this current one, does it make it easier (or even too easy) to tackle consumerism in the strip?
Shannon Wheeler: It makes it easier to criticize capitalism/materialism/consumerism when the economy is South in that you have specific things (like unemployment and poverty) to point at. Some of the humor becomes more poignant because the reality is more harsh. But that’s very external. To me it feels like the humor has stayed the same.
A lot of the cartoons are about my personal struggles. Consumerism is something I wrestle with. I love buying DVDs, collectibles, art. At the same time I think owning things, wanting things, is ridiculous.