Wednesday 22 August 2007

It's all sunny, except outside it's still raining.

Melbourne's newspaper The Age, the sunday magazine insert, M , is doing a feature on the presence of the 'graphic novel' in the Melbourne Writers' Festival this year. They've interviewed me and Nicki Greenberg. She's been photographed for the front cover and superimposed against blow-ups of her characters, and I was commissioned to do a full page in colour for inside. It's a 12 panel autobiographical job, and that's a small detail enlarged on the left. It's in the style of the Fate of the Artist. So let's cross fingers and hope that it all comes out right, as you never know whether mainstream mags are goint to 'get it'. But Editor Michelle Griffin interviewed me for the Australian back in 2001 when she was a freelance journalist and that came out very well, so I'm hopeful. There's certainly room to write an optimistic piece on the subect vis a vis this country. With my First Second books distributed over here by MacMillan (my self-published books have never really been on sale outside of the comicbook specialty shops), with Nicki's book (see yesterday) and The Arrival by Shaun Tan, who will also be a guest of the festival, there's ample room to make a case for the form at last having its moment in the Australian sunshine. That's Sunday 26 aug. If any of it is online I'll let you know. For my appearances on panels and interviews, scroll down and see my post of 8th aug.
Nick Bertozzi has posted all ten pages of the Black Diamond pitch he and James Sturm prepared. My understanding is that they worked this up from the movie script (though they ignored its actual contents much more than I did) for the purpose of pitching to publishers. By the time First Second showed an interest in the book, they had committed to other jobs and could no longer see it through. This is dated 2003 and I was called in towards the end of 2004
Taking comics seriously -- fun and all- Chicago Tribune- August 19.
Douglas Wolk is a nice enough bloke, but my feeling right now is that his book "Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean" (Da Capo, 2007), which I haven't read, is probably doing more damage than good. I'm tired of having it all lumped together as though we are all doing the same thing. As my pal Evans once quipped; "Did Ingmar Bergman have to justify Star Wars every time he sat down for an interview?"
YEEHOO!!! "The world's most unlikely detective comes to DVD for the first time ever in all 23 thrilling Season One episodes of The Rockford Files."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over on the Pulp Faction boards Bruce Mutard indicates that he's been interviewed in this issue of the Age magazine, as well. He mentiones his Sacrifice gn has been published by Allen and Unwin as well (as Nicki's Gatsby book).

22 August 2007 at 04:05:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Stanley Lieber said...


Season 2 is also available, here in the states. I will claim this as one of my favorite pieces of television.

22 August 2007 at 04:18:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

All this bloody discussion about what graphic fucking novels are and why they are and what they mean is making me hate them.

It's wank. Who fucking cares? It's every English teacher I ever had pulling apart my favourite books and making me loathe them all over again.

Fuck it.

I'm used to the slightly bewildered and mostly patronising looks I get from people if I mention comics. I like that look. It means shut up. It means talk about something else. It means talk comics with people who know comics. I worked in a bookshop, I got that look a lot.

I also dealt with book people vs. comics people and I know who I'd rather deal with. It upset me that people fell into one of the two camps and rarely crossed over. Give me a comic fan ("Morons and homicidal maniacs" my arse) any day.

You could also recognise a book person who'd been told about these so called 'graphic novels'. They'd ask for them and wait to be impressed - they're good, huh? Prove it. I hated that look most of all. I came close to pretending we didn't have the book in stock because I didn't want them to see it.

I don't want the English teachers getting in on our fun.

I'm going to continue ignoring books such as Wolk's, and articles like that one. The ones that start with the 'you may think they're all about flying men in underpants -- but think again!'

I'm going to stop caring right this very minute.

I realise I've veered off the point of the article. Anyhoo.

With swear words and grey London grumbles,
the somewhat disillusioned and contrary ms campbell.

22 August 2007 at 10:38:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

Hayley: :}D>

Eddie: This may interest

22 August 2007 at 14:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Douglas Wolk said...

Eddie--Many thanks for the comprehensive citation! I haven't read The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second, 2008) myself, but I can confidently say that it will do more good than damage. Which is more than I can say for newspaper articles that claim their interviewees hold opinions those articles' authors have evidently decided we ought to hold, whether we do or not... but I've probably been guilty of a couple of those in my time, too.

22 August 2007 at 15:37:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 August 2007 at 16:42:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

Personally, Hayley, I like good stories. If they're in books, great; it they're in "comic books", great. Neither medium is the better just because. And I like to think I cross over or between or what the fuck ever pretty well, but I'm never gonna love an illustrated book just because it's illustrated anymore than I'm gonna love a book just because it has words. And I actually enjoyed most of my English classes and a descent portion of my teachers. They showed me lots of good things and the bad things usually slid right off. No one on earth can make me hate a book I really love. But plenty of people can show me things I wouldn't have known otherwise.


22 August 2007 at 19:36:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Nicki Greenberg said...

I'm with you, Grace. And I want EVERYONE to get in on our fun! I don't much like the idea of us comic makers / readers closing ourselves off in the "comics people" world.

There is so much great art & writing out there to enjoy, and if we can widen the audience for good comics by catching the interest of those who hadn't considered them before, then all the better.

Mostly I get really curious, positive responses when I tell people (people unfamiliar with comics) what I do. They usually want to know more. Doesn't mean they're going to love it, but... so?

And I just don't care what anyone calls comics or how they define them... Graphic novels, comics, whatever!!!

22 August 2007 at 20:53:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone mustve been listening to us at the pub two weeks ago and rushed that through for 2 quick sales, cannot wait, as I only ge to watch occasional episodes on FOX.

On James Garner I could never remember the title of one of my favorite movies of his, and I finally looked it up.

36 hours.

Whata a friggin brilliant movie, I am going to have to get a a copy of that now, looking it up it was from a Roald Dahl story, always played like a great extended Hitchcock presents so that makes sense.

Track that one down if you havent already.

23 August 2007 at 06:22:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the article in The Age today Eddie. Thought it turned out pretty good. Were you happy with it? The only negative was that they didn't point out that this Wednesday's lunchtime talk at The Malthouse is for schoolkids. I was planning on attending until I looking it up on the MWF site.

25 August 2007 at 22:08:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Cameron Reilly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 August 2007 at 01:10:00 GMT-5  

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