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Comics A.M. | Roz Chast discusses her National Book Award nod

Roz Chast

Roz Chast

Creators | Cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? landing on the 2014 longlist for 2014 National Book Award. It’s the first time a graphic novel has been nominated in that category, and Chast is the only woman on this year’s list. When The Wall Street Journal noted that, between this nomination and Alison Bechdel’s MacArthur “genius grant,” “it’s a good day to be a female cartoonist,” Chast replied, “I totally agree. Actually my first thought was just it’s good for cartoons, for the graphic form.” [Speakeasy]

Creators | Alex de Campi talks about her pioneering digital comic Valentine, widely regarded as the first long-form comic to make extensive use of digital techniques. She doesn’t think the medium has come too far since then: “We’re all still in the shallow end, congratulating each other for getting our feet wet. There’s been no significant innovation since us. The DC and Marvel stuff is still based on half-page increments so it can go to print. The Madefire stuff I have seen (not a lot, maybe it’s gotten better) is just embarrassing motion comics. It pisses me off because there is so much more to be done. And I want to do it. But it would take an investor, or a very daring multi-media entertainment company. And big entertainment companies are many things, but daring is not one of them.” [Digital Spy]

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Cartoonist Christine Larsen debuts short story collection

In the serialized onslaught of stories appearing each week in your local comic shop and on your digital devices, the cozy yet potent power of short comics is often overlooked. But cartoonist Christine Larsen is pulling together stories she’s created for various anthologies into one place for her own short story collection, titled aptly enough, Short Stories. The collection will debut at Wizard World: Philadelphia at the end of this month, and the artist plans to then offer them online at her webstore.

Larsen is probably best known for the online comic Valentine she created with Alex de Campi, and she’s also contributed stories to Ape Entertainment’s Shrek and Kung Fu Panda series. Her work is a really inventive menagerie of styles that reminds me of an impressionistic Doug Wildey of Jonny Quest fame. I see her name pop up in anthologies, and I’m glad to see there will be a solid place to catch more of her work.

Larsen’s shared some preview pages of Short Stories on her website, which we’ve included below:

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