Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Andy Oliver looks at PERMANENT PRESS by Luke Healy and writes "A graphic novel that somehow simultaneously manages to be entertainingly self-indulgent and carefully insightful it’s a book that will no doubt both underline Luke Healy’s status as one of the most exciting newer prospects in comics and also, as if it needs saying at this point, just what a banner year 2018 is proving to be for Avery Hill."
* Caleb Orecchio has a brief take on Lale Westvind's GRIP which "harnesses the bold visual whacky-ness of the Golden Age while maintaining the solid structure of the Silver Age, and blasts forward and upward as a work of immediacy that speaks to today’s consciousness."
* Oliver Sava reviews SHIT IS REAL by Aisha Franz, a story imbued "with ingenuity thanks to a surreal perspective that blurs the line between reality and dreaming."
* Rob Clough on Tara Booth's HOW TO BE ALIVE in which "the essential sweetness in these strips ties into her willingness to confront issues that are hidden or couched in terms of shame. In the saddest and happiness of strips, Booth forgives and celebrates herself. She allows herself to be human and to be alive, and it's that self-affirmation that acknowledges the title and shines on every scrawled but carefully-assembled page."
* Philippe LeBlanc reviews THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF FORGETTING and LEPIDOPTERA by Sara L. Jewell, writing "Sara Jewell’s understanding of how comics work allows her to make deliberate creative choices for effect, even if it’s not always absolutely successful. It’s always great to see an artist experiment with different techniques to improve their craft."
* John Seven looks at Javi Rey's OUT IN THE OPEN which gives him the opportunity to write "Pain is a process through which the opposite can be achieved, but it’s a slow, debilitating one that begs focus and clarity to make the full journey."
* Ryan Carey on Alex Nall's LAWNS "A supremely confident, fully-realized work that engages both heart and mind from its first page to its last."
* Robin McConnell interviews LISA MAAS about her debut graphic novel, Forward, "a really effective look at recovering from loss and how to move on and make connections. "
* This piece by Paste Comics Editorial called COMICSGATE WON'T BE DEFEATED BY WELL-INTENTIONED TWEETS ALONE is a pretty good run-down of that particular comics shit-show.
* As well, Tom Spurgeon has this succinct and well-said response to the aforementioned shit-show called PLEASE GOD LET'S NOT RECAST COMICSGATE GOOFBALLS AS CRITICS.
* I'm going to belabor this point a bit here by also linking to Kieran Shiach's piece titled TOP COMICS CREATORS DENOUNCE 'COMICSGATE' FOR THE FIRST TIME, as well as Abraham Riesman's piece titled COMICSGATE IS A NIGHTMARE TEARING COMICS FANDOM APART -- SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? and Ada Byron's piece on The Mary Sue called LEGENDARY COMICS ARTIST BILL SIENKIEWICZ PENS SCORCHING REBUKE OF "COMICSGATE" because I am so tired of and horrified by hate, racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and idiocy in fandoms of any kind, especially when it is fueled by some sort of puerile toxic masculinity that finds its validation in the persecution and fear of marginalized groups. SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN WHEN YOU SEE IT HAPPENING in any arena that should be a place where people should find community, safety, and solace.
* Edith Zimmerman has this illustrated interview with TOM DALY.
* Karl Stevens has been doing A CARTOONIST'S DIARY on TCJ all week.
* Seo Kim has a new comic on Vice called EYES, NOSE, NIPS so, of course, I'll link to it.
* And when Tara Booth has new comics on Vice, I'll link to that too. Check out EXTREME SNACKS.
* Ben Evans is the first featured cartoonist over on Tablet's TUESDAY COMICS.
* Sarah Miller is back on Popula with a piece called REACTOR MAN which you should read right now.