More Comic Art News and Reviews

Jesse (‘Tex’) Atwell interview. Harvey Awards Hall of Fame. Bill Griffith address. Frazz future?; AI Calvin & Hobbes. John M. Burns retires. CXC awards. Mr. Block, socialist.

© Jesse Atwell

Tom Falco has ended his ban on interviewing cartoonists by posting a 10 With Tom with Jesse Atwell.

Tom: How did the GoComics thing come about? Did you submit samples to them? Did they contact you?

Jesse: TEX is about that time in your life when everything feels brand new. For me, it wasn’t until the lockdown when I had the time and space to really explore this kid and his world. I spent nine months working on the pitch.

I submitted a pitch to GoComics. At that time, Shena Wolf, acquisitions editor, and I had some initial conversations about the strip. She urged me to take another stab at the character design for Wayne and Barb, the parents. TEX remains relatively unchanged, but Wayne and Barb look radically different.

Tom interviews cartoonist Jesse Atwell about his TEX comic strip after a year of production.


The Harvey Awards announced who they have selected as the newest inductees into their Hall of Fame.

NEW YORK – October 3, 2023 – The Harvey Awards today revealed this year’s inductees into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame in advance of the ceremony taking place at New York Comic Con. The 2023 Harvey Awards include six renowned creators being honored: Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants), Walt Simonson (Thor, X-Factor), Louise Simonson (New Mutants, Superman: The Man of Steel), Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula, Crisis on Infinite Earths), the late George Pérez (Crisis on Infinite Earths, The New Teen Titans), and Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead, Three Rocks).

Read the press release here and The New York Times report here.

© Marvel Entertainment

The inductees include two who have worked on syndicated comic strips.

Marv Wolfman scripted the Howard the Duck newspaper comic for six months in 1978; and Bill Griffith.

The Year of Griffy continues and you can be a part of it.

The 370th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 7 pm ET. The New School, University Center, Room UL104, lower-level, 63 5th Ave., New York, NY. Live and in-person event. Free and open to the public. To register for online streaming email

Bill Griffith on the legacy of Nancy and Ernie Bushmiller

Bill Griffith will discuss the importance of Ernie Bushmiller, Nancy, and Three Rocks and present a slideshow about his new book, Three Rocks: The story of Ernie Bushmiller, The Man Who Created Nancy.

More awarding: Comics Beat reports on the awards handed out at this year’s CXC.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) announced the winners of multiple awards at its 2023 festival held in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. CXC is a nonprofit, international showcase of the comic arts that brings together cartoon storytellers, comics makers, and animators along with the fans who love and are inspired by them. The winners were Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), Evan Salazar (Rodeo), and Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly).


Yeah, we all knew this was coming – AI Calvin & Hobbes.

Cracked has details:

@brownbreadcomix is the mastermind who entered the prompts into the latest version of Open AI to create the comic, though the account is now hiding behind protected status. We’re guessing that’s to hide from comments like this one from @McThrill: “What better way to show my love to a comic I adore than by doing the exact thing that it’s creator hates so much it made him quit comics entirely for several decades.”

@McThrill wasn’t alone in the public beatdown. Watterson fans took to the streets with virtual pitchforks to express their dismay.


John M. Burns, British comic book and comic strip artist, retires.

Downthetubes informs with a wonderful gallery.

British comic artist John M. Burns, perhaps best known for his work on 2000AD and Look-In, has announced his retirement, prompting deserved plaudits from fellow creators and fans, and an update on a long-planned biography-art book which is being compiled by author and editor Paul Duncan.

John is one of the grandmasters of British comics, revered by creators and fans alike for his dynamic action sequences, fluid storytelling, and realistic characterisations. He has been plying his trade in every major British comic and newspaper for decades, working into his eighties with “The Order” for 2000AD.


The future of other cartoonists are not assured.

© Jef Mallett

It was getting shaky for cartoonists who were not included when the Lee and McClatchy groups went with a one list of comic strips for all their newspapers, but now with the largest U.S. publisher of newspapers going with a set list uncertainty is rife among those not on The Gannett 34.

Here’s Jef Mallett opining:

… [USA TODAY Network] leveraged a move where all their newspapers have to choose from the same quite limited selection of comics, and Frazz was not included in that selection.

It’s not hard on the ego, as there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern to the selection. Some very, very good strips didn’t make the cut. In every other way, it hurts. Bad. I’m sure you have questions as to the future of Frazz, and I’d love to answer them, but I have the same questions. A lot needs to be worked out. I do know it’s going to get worse; the smaller papers are adopting the changes now, and the bigger papers will do so a little later …


Mr. Block: The Subversive Comics and Writings of Ernest Riebe

Riebe’s comics are different from the cartoonists mentioned above in a crucial way. While their depictions of the working class were of heroic figures, usually clad in overalls and a flat cap, Riebe turned a more critical eye towards sections of the proletariat. Mr. Block is, per Walker C. Smith in his introduction to a 1913 pamphlet of strips featuring the character, “the representative of that host of slaves who think in terms of their masters.” While Mr. Block wears the clothes of a typical worker, his ideas are strictly backwards. He puts his faith in the courts, religion, elected officials, and “bread and butter” business unionism. He skirts radicals and foreigners and considers the IWW a bunch of rabble-rousing troublemakers.

Hank Kennedy at The Comics Journal reviews the new collection of early 20th Century socialist comic strips.

credit for headline to John Balge and his fanzine

feature image: a never distributed comic strip by Marv Wolfman, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito; © the same

copyright credits not listed are © their respective copyright owners

One thought on “More Comic Art News and Reviews

  1. Jesse Atwell is the best! He’s also one of the founding members of our “GoCreator” group at GoComics. We support each other and applaud each other’s successes.

    Other members: Teresa Burritt, Eric Scott, Amanda El-Dweek, Tauhid Bondia, Dave Whamond, Samuli Lintula, Pat Sandy, Lincoln Peirce, John McPherson, Wiley Miller, Georgia Dunn, Michael Cavna, Allison Garwood, Jonathan Lemon, Tom Toro, Nancy Beiman, Frank Page, Anthony Smith, Lela Lee, Doug Savage, Mike Baldwin, Dan Thompson, Mark Parisi, Jennifer Babcock, David Fletcher, Hameed “Ham” Khan, Dave Blazek, Ken Cursoe, Maria Scrivan, John Lustig, Greg Cravens, Jackie E. Davis, Jef Mallet, Justin Thompson, Tim Rickard, Clay Jones, Ruben Bolling, Nicholas Gurewitch, Brian Crane, Robb Armstrong…

    Honorary members: D.D. Degg, David Stanford, and Tom Heintjes.

    Thanks also to Tom Brantman at AMU/GoComics for all of this support– financial and otherwise.

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