The Comics Journal #303 PDF æ The Comics PDF/EPUB ²

The Comics Journal #303 The Comics Journal which is renowned for its in depth interviews comics criticism and thought provoking editorials features Gary Groth in frank and often hilarious discussion with the satirist and children’s book author Tomi Ungerer Ungerer talks about the entire trajectory of his life and career growing up in France during the Nazi occupation creating controversial work and being blacklisted by the American Library Association This issue the first in its new twice a year format covers the “new mainstream” in American comics — how the marketplace and overall perception of the medium has drastically shifted since the “graphic novel boom” of the early 2000s and massive hits like Persepolis Fun Home and Smile It also includes sketchbook pages from French born cartoonist Antoine Cossé’ an introduction to homoerotic gag cartoons out of the US Navy; and Your Black Friend cartoonist Ben Pass’s examination of comics and gentrification


10 thoughts on “The Comics Journal #303

  1. Stewart Tame Stewart Tame says:

    I'm overjoyed to see that The Comics Journal is back in printMy local library had it shelved with the graphic novels rather than the periodicals Which makes sense The Journal was always of a book than a magazine And with its new thrice yearly publication schedule it should be appearing less freuently than many manga at least Heck that's less often than some best selling novelists almost coughJames PattersoncoughAs always the interview is the star of the show I wasn't very familiar with Tomi Ungerer’s work I kind of knew it from a few children's books and some of his anti war posters from the Vietnam War era but that was it He’s uite an impressive artist Some of his drawings recall people like Sol Steinberg or James Thurber maybe with a touch of Ralph Steadman Some fairly dark themes yeah but such memorable and comic workAnother high point of this issue was Kristy Valenti’s article “How We Got Here A Distribution Overview 1996 2019” Yes I was buying comics up until around 2003 or so and graphic novels during this time period but never really had any sense of what was driving the changes in the retail market Yes I noticed the growth of the graphic novel sections in bookstores and libraries but never understood why I’ve been a fan of The Comics Journal for much of my adult life as a teenager I was into The Comics Buyer's Guide Even at their most elitist and pretentious they're at least interesting And they do the best interviews in the business always worth reading even if it's someone you never heard of The cover price has crept up over the years but it's still excellent reading value for the money Highly recommended


  2. Mark Mark says:

    The Comics Journal is an institution that's been away for far too long I hope that this latest issue with its smaller size than the previous two volumes that is and its forward looking editor's note heralds the triumphant return of the one print magazine that actually bothers to critically consider all aspects of the comics mediumI also hope that Gary Groth takes the suggestions solicited from industry professionals and printed in the Blood and Thunder letters column seriously There are some great ideas in there Following are my article by article thoughts on this issueWhat's in Store for Us Groth has already taken one suggestion to heart which is the need for greater diversity among the Journal's contributors Ben Pass's essay on gentrification and a comic shop's responsibilities in a gentrified neighborhood is fascinating and something I'd not thought about beforeThe Fear Anger of Tomi Ungerer Groth's biography of Ungerer is really good Unfortunately the interview with Ungerer that follows it is not as interesting Groth is a peerless interviewer of artists; he's smart well read engaged and not afraid to ask difficult uestions But Ungerer was a bit of a rambler and didn't seem to add anything that I hadn't already learned by reading Groth's bio of him Cyberzone This historical assessment of Jimmie Robinson's series Cyberzone from the late '90s could have used a developmental editor Dr Howard's piece is repetitive scattered and doesn't ever uite get to the point I was glad to learn about Robinson's work but the uality of the article didn't uite live up to its subject matterSketchbook Antoine Cosse I love sketchbooks PeriodExpanded Comics Another let down Kim Jooha's exploration of comics as a visual communication medium read like the preface to a larger work That is a thesis without any substance Honestly it seemed to be the beginnings of a rehash of some of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics only without McCloud's wit or wisdom not to mention his art which is what elevated Understanding Comics to something worth readingHow We Got Here Kristy Valenti's essay on the state of the industry over the last twenty years on the other hand is a brilliant summation of twenty first century comic book publishing I started working for a comic book publisher in 1995 and lived through a lot of what she reports on here I'd call it a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane but the late '90s were actually kind of a nightmare in terms of industry health Still an amazing articleWhat Do We Do with YA? Another interesting article this one on the new mainstream which is no longer Marvel and DC superheroes but rather young adult comics such as Bone and Telgemeier's series of autobiographical graphic novels Fifi Martinez interview A good counterpoint to Groth's interview of UngererSteve Perry A Comics Tragedy Obituary of a comic book writer I'd never heard of but whose work I had nonetheless read many years ago without even knowing it he collaborated with Steve Bissette a few times in the '80s Truly a tragedy and exactly the kind of story I expect from the Comics Journal shedding a deserving light on a little known corner of comic book cultureueer Eye ueer? comics by another little known cartoonist Beautiful line workSuehiro Maruo Eh mangaOverall a really good issue Not as earth shattering to me as the beautiful doorstops that were issues 301 and 302 but if TCJ can be published a few times a year instead of once every 3 4 years I'll take itAnd last but not least some books I now need to track down thanks to this issue Ungerer's The Three Robbers Inside Marriage The Underground Sketchbook Compromises Fornicon Far Out Isn't Far Enough Slow Agony America Adam and Eve Fog Island Babylon Symptomatics Perry's Timespirits


  3. Dominick Dominick says:

    It's great to see the Journal back in its print form and there's a lot to be interested in here but the issue seems rather imbalanced Groth's long essay on followed by his even longer interview with Tomi Ungerer just takes up too much space especially since the interview itself is rather rambling repetitive and not generally all that informative Ungerer doesn't come off all that well either The other pieces are something of a mixed bag though never without interest the history of comics sales over the last twenty years was especially useful and the story of Steve Perry's tragic fate was horrifying news to me Still worth reading every word and thank God no Kenneth Smith but I don't think the reincarnation has fully found itself yet Also there are errors than one likes to see Nevertheless I do enthusiastically welcome the magazine's return


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