Dave Coverly, Jim Davis, Bill Plympton, J. C. Duffy, Trina Robbins, Georgia Higley, Peter Maresca.
Bored Panda regularly features small collections of comics, today it is the syndicated Speed Bump.
Bored Panda usually includes a few words from the cartoonist and in this one Dave Coverly is interviewed.
“I have to turn in 7 cartoons every week so I live in the shadow of a looming deadline. The most challenging thing about ‘being funny’ for a living is that life isn’t always funny. A bad day or a sad day really makes it difficult to find anything humorous to write about. So another big part of this job is compartmentalizing and setting aside the external world to concentrate on your internal world. Sometimes you don’t feel funny but you have to at least remember what funny feels like, if that makes sense.”
As a current library employee, I can report that Garfield books [link added] still fly off the shelves in multiple languages.
At Book Riot Jeffery Davies asks and answers “Why Do Kids Love Garfield Comics?”
There’s something calming about Garfield. Unlike Calvin and Hobbes or The Adventures of Tintin, which employ vast and colorful sceneries, usually paired with adventures, Garfield’s artistry is simple, almost to the point of being dull, in the best way possible. I long for the days when I could read Garfield comics without a care in the world because that’s exactly what he would have expected of me. In the anxious atmosphere that is childhood, Garfield can be mean and nasty, sure, but he also doesn’t ask anything of his readers. The simplicity and repetition, and the comfort that comes with that, is the appeal.
While on the subject of books and libraries and comics…
On October 31, 2023, Georgia Higley retired from the Library of Congress (LOC) where she had worked for 33 years upon joining the staff as a library intern in 1990. Georgia had been in charge of the Newspapers and Current Periodicals division and had overseen the rebuilding, strengthening, and spotlighting of one of the largest comic book collections in the world and possibly the largest in America. The website for the collection calls it, “The largest publicly available comic book collection in the world is comprised of over 165,000 original print issues and 12,000 different titles that span 1934-present.”
Mike Rhode profiles and covers the retirement of Georgia Higley, “America’s comic book librarian.”
Acclaimed cartoonist and animator Bill Plympton has made a number of animated films and shorts—including the Oscar-nominated Your Face and several couch gags for The Simpsons—over the course of a storied career, but he considers his upcoming animated feature, Slide, which he wrote, animated, directed, and designed, to be the most personal film he’s ever done.
Plympton describes Slide, which is decidedly not for children (“It’s not a kids’ film, it’s not a Pixar film, it’s not Disney.”), as the kind of film Mel Brooks would make if he’d been a cartoonist. The main character is a musician called Slide, described as a mysterious, Clint Eastwood-type who plays the slide guitar, which Plympton also plays. While the film is titled after this heroic character, the bad guys are Plympton’s favorite part.
To learn more about Bill Plympton and Slide, visit https://www.plymptoons.com/.
The first round of USPS stamps announced for 2024 do not include honoring any comics or cartoonists.
Comic strip history fans should run, not walk, to grab the one indispensable reprint project of this holiday book season, Trina Robbins and Pete Maresca’s Dauntless Dames: High-Heeled Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics/Sunday Press, $100). And I don’t mean “indispensable” as a blurb-able critical throwaway, either. The female characters and creators reprinted here from the 1930s and 40s have been “dispensable” in too many histories of the newspaper comic.
Steve Smith, at Panels & Prose reviews the newest BIG (13.2 x 1 x 17 inches, ? 5.45 pounds) comic strip history.