Thanks to Torsten and Matthew for holding things together here while we’re on a couple of other deadlines. Here’s some linkage:
HERNANDEZ: At first it was going to be two separate stories. Period. I thought the Maggie romance stuff, the modern-day stuff, was a little weak only in that she’s been falling in love since the first issue. [laughter] Even if I try to make it fresh and everything, I know it’s still Maggie falling in love again. Again. Oh boy. What do we have this time? So I kind of used the other story to strengthen it, linking them together even if it was just within conversation. And also, I hate to say it, but I do think about it being collected now. I didn’t use to. I didn’t use to care. Now I picture that one of these days it will be a 120 page “graphic novel” and it will all be cohesive and blah blah blah.
Before that there was Dan Clowes, who says don’t hold your breath waiting for another EIGHTBALL:
I think as what it was, it’s certainly done. I can’t say that I would never do another comic and call it Eightball. I say there’s actually a very high probability that I would do that some day. Kind of for old time’s sake, or something. Or just to kind of rethink what a comic book means at some point. But right now it sure doesn’t feel like the thing to do. After David Boring I really should have stopped doing comic books. It made no sense to do Ice Haven and The Death-Ray as comic books. I was just so married to that format for so long, that I couldn’t have the first iterations of those work in anything but a comic book. In retrospect that seems crazy. To this day I can’t explain to people who aren’t enmeshed in the world of comics what The Death-Ray is. They’re like, “I have your book Eightball.”
When big news breaks, everyone gets the story out there quickly and a couple of us usually get to the people at the heart of it to do some interviews and flesh out the details. What is harder is getting beyond the happyspeak to the nuts and bolts of what this means, who will get hurt, what does the fine print in the contract really say. Comics publishers are private companies and it usually is in their best interests not to talk. They don’t ever want to tell you hard numbers, for instance, unless they are bragging about something, and even then, it’s not like you can audit them.
§ The Daily Cross Hatch wrapped up with Tom Hart, who notes that Jaime talking about craft is a rare thing:
I just saw on your site that you were talking to Jaime Hernandez. He was making his own process a little more mystical than I believe it to be. Even he was saying, “there are people who do and people who teach.” I think he’s made a choice not to think about it and he’s put himself in a place where he doesn’t have to talk about it, but there are plenty of people who can both do, and talk about it. David Mazzucchelli is a great teacher and so is Gary Panter.
There’s a lot to the art process—any of the arts—that is not magical. There are some things that may be innate, magical, god given gifts, and obviously Jaime Hernandez has most of them [laughs]. in fact, Leela [Corman, Hart’s wife] and I were just last night saying, “there’s not a cartoonist alive that doesn’t want to be Jaime Hernandez.
§ An epic interview with Françoise Mouly at CBR:
For a weekly magazine, it’s remarkably unpredictable. One thing that makes my life livable is that I get to run my own little fiefdom. Compared to everybody else, I have very little interaction with my colleagues. Part of it is my adamant refusal to do it any other way, but fortunately for me, I don’t need to get six people’s opinion on whether they like this or don’t like that. I am answerable to just one editor. That is great. It gives me a lot more flexibility, so it’s mostly spent with two sets of people. One set is the artists themselves. There’s a lot of back and forth because I don’t so much tell them what to do as solicit ideas out of them in a fairly constant back and forth.
§ Chris Mautner picks six under-appreciated books of 2010, all of which are excellent:
§ You may like, as we didthis Kind David wallpaper by Kyle Baker.
§ A second Graphic Medicine Conference will be held this year. Johanna Draper Carlson chats with Brian Fies about the event:
As a “first-of-its-kind” pioneer, I think the London conference was excellent. About 70 people attended, with a very nice mix of cartoonists and medical people from North America, the UK, and Europe. These are academic conferences rather than comics conventions, which is an important distinction. Paul Gravett gave an outstanding keynote lecture on “Evolving Forms of Medical Graphic Narratives” that pretty much covered the whole history of comics. Sessions addressed comics and mental illness, comics in medical and patient education, comics and caregivers, manga — a real smart, high level of discussion.
I came away with a few strong impressions. I was struck by the mutual respect and easy interaction among cartoonists and medical professionals, which you wouldn’t necessarily find in other situations. We were on common ground. Everyone took comics seriously as a medium that had something to offer. I left feeling that I’d been part of the start of something that could grow into a very interesting and important piece of both comics and medicine.