I'd love First Second to bridge a host of different fields of endeavor -- and it's begun already. Historical sites who seldom turn their scholarly gaze upon comics are now posting about George O'Connor's JOURNEY TO MOHAWK COUNTRY; see for instance New York History Net...
In other news, there's a First Second interview at the indispensable iCV2.
And it's busy season in the blogs, have you noticed -- and now there's Paul Pope blogging too! By the looks of it, this may be shaping into a new manifesto for the creator of, among others BATMAN YEAR 100 and BATTLING BOY (forthcoming from :01).
The following appeared in "favorite books of 2006" at CRITICAL MASS, the blog of the national book critics circle board of directors:
And while critics have hailed this as The Year of the Graphic Novel Memoir, I must put in a plug, not for Alison Bechdel's deeply poignant Fun Home, but for Eddie Campbell's The Fate of the Artist, in which the author, who has disappeared, hires a troupe of amateur actors to recreate silly scenes from his wretched family life. It's an autobiography of Tristam Shandy-ian complexity, delicate collages and comic-strip humor.
This week's NYTimes Book Review has not one but two substantial pieces on Graphic Novels. They're still too sporadic in the Review for them to capture any kind of overview on the matter -- but mentions of comics keep coming.
David Hadju, in his piece "STARS and STRIPS" captures the moment, by saying the obvious:
If anyone really qualifies as the voice of the current literary generation, he or she could well be using the language of cartoons, captions and word balloons.
He also writes an inspired ode to Ivan Brunetti's anthology of GRAPHIC FICTION (from Yale University Press) -- which I look forward to getting my hands on. Brunetti is a very talented man, and the line-up in this anthology promises to be the real stuff.
The other NYTimes piece is by Doug Wolk, and is a holiday selection of comics... A small selection, to fit on one page alas. Wolk writes a lovely piece, and is at his most lyrical when talking about Krazy Kat (in the new Krazy & Ignatz 1937 - 1938: Shifting Sands Dusts Its Cheek in Powdered Beauty, from Fantagraphics):
Written in a cracked phonetic babble (in one strip, Krazy is upset over atomic warfare — “sign tisks ... smeshing that poo l’il adam”), it forces readers to absorb it slowly. And what’s really worth lingering over is the broad, desolate background behind Herriman’s kat-and-mouse pas de deux, the desert’s expanses broken only by a gnarled cactus or a half-carved-out twist of orange and green that stands in for the moon.
Several of you have told me the link to Eddie Campbell's blog wasn't working in the earlier entry. Here it is: http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com .
Is it my imagination, or does Eddie pepper his work (and now his blog) with Beatles references? Oh wait, it's "all the lonely people" I'm thinking of, not "all the lovely people"...