New issue of Booklist (aimed at librarians and the people who love them) is all about comics with a nice cover taken from Houdini: The Handcuff King by James Sturm and Nick Bertozzi. It also features a brief but interesting interview with Sturm about the Center for Cartoon Studies and why Japanese baseball manga is vastly superior to American comics portrayals of sports. Note the CCS'website trumpets Booklist's review of Houdini atop the front page, so one hand washes the other (not that there's anything wrong with that).
From the Booklist website: Now that the mainstream publishing and library worlds are comfortable with the idea of graphic novels, many of the leading creators of the genre are reminding us of their roots: comics are where their hearts are, and they’re happy to say so, without the help of any highfalutin terms. That theme is everywhere in our latest Spotlight on Graphic Novels (OK, we’re still using the G-word for the moment):
As for The Center of Cartoon Studies: I was at SPX when they handed out their nascent pamphlets for the school prior to it materializing and there was both interest and considerable pessimism as to whether this "highminded" scholarly venture would actually get off the ground (anyone remember Kevin Eastman's well-funded cartoon museum?) But it did indeed and yet I'd never checked out the website until a few minutes ago ( 7:20 pm, March 24, 2008).
It seems to include everyone who has ever so much as breathed on a comic in the past twenty years as either "Faculty", "Visiting Faculty", or "Thesis Advisors."
But undoubtedly the most disturbing inclusion on the website is the mention of this fellow as a member of "Visiting Faculty":
[name deleted out of disgust] is a North American [semantic abuse of hallowed term] and cartoonist whose work has appeared in various [printed aggregations of likeminded individuals] and his own self-published comics. In 20xx, he produced his first [pretentious descriptive terminology] experimental narrative [deleted due to obsequiousness, ditto, and founded the ditto], in [southern university town]. His comic strip, [deleted due to taste issues] appeared in [southern university town] alternative arts newsweekly, [name similar to Harvey Danger novelty hit], from [20xx-20xx]. His work has also appeared in the [printed aggregations of likeminded individuals] [deleted], [deleted] and the upcoming [deleted]. He is the recipient of the [20xx-20xx] Fellowship [of the Ring]and is currently at work on his first [oft-derided term for long non-pamphlet comic].
Hey, way to pump up a resume'. A couple of minicomics, an appearance in a friend's anthology, a lot of gladhanding, more than a few free beers shoved in the right palms, some thoroughly nutty drunken screeds on the internet and... now he's qualified to teach some chil'ren.
Oh, and [fine Canadian publisher] is on board with this [unsavory epithet deleted.
It's only a matter of time before [name deleted for unnecessary dig] is named Senior Editor at Pantheon (that's as inside of a joke as imaginable so I don't expect anyone to get it).
Addendum: See what having some "editors" critique one's initial draft can do? I think the new, improved, edited post is much funnier than the original, not particularly funny, post. Don't you? If only they would pore over writing that didn't include casual mentions of their [deleted]'s in it. Ah well.
There: All better now kiddies (smiley faces all!)