Wednesday, June 09, 2004

News about others. 

Jenn Manley Lee has an encouraging report about the Stumptown Comics Fest. For those of you who didn't know about it, some Portland indy cartoonists decided that since Portland is absolutely crawling with comic talent, it ought to have a small press show of its own. Looks like they got off to a good start.

Speaking of local talent, there's a new cartoonist in town, Bill Mudron. Bill is funny and talented and has tremendous range as a cartoonist and illustrator. Maybe that's why he left Pittsburgh.

Ted Slampyak was my first collaborator in professional comics. I inked and lettered his pencils on a book called Roadways sometime back in 19mumblety-mumble. I just read on Johanna's blog that Ted is going to be the new artist on the Little Orphan Annie newspaper strip. Ted will be taking over for the strip's creator, Harold Gray, who is retiring from cartooning at the age of 110 to take a job with the Bush administration.

For the Kubert School alumni who read this blog, here's a link to a nifty interview with one of the best loved instructors at the school, the man who taught me how to letter, cartoonist Hy Eisman.

And finally, Publisher's Weekly has a review of Sean Stewart's novel Perfect Circle.

"Ghosts are like homeless people, we are told by DK 'Dead' Kennedy, the hero of World Fantasy Award winner Stewart's latest blend of magical realism and Texas regionalism: most of us look away, but he can't. This ability to see the other side complicates life tremendously (he can't drive because at night ghosts look just like the living, and he's wrecked cars avoiding them), especially when a distant cousin hires him to exorcise the ghost of a girl the cousin murdered. Part of the novel deals with DK's offbeat career as an alternative exorcist, but what Stewart seems really to focus on is how these abilities now threaten his relationships with family, both immediate and extended. DK still loves his ex-wife and is active in the life of his daughter, but comes to realize that he's like a ghost in their lives: 'Not all ghosts are dead, but all are hungry.'

Stewart's compelling account of how DK comes to grips with his ghosts, both actual and metaphorical, is alternately poignant and hilarious, with some genuinely creepy moments and one or two powerful jolts. This compelling story is a genre title with strong potential for crossing over into the mainstream."

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