Highlighting some great comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Since 2011, Retrofit Comics has been publishing amazing books by a diverse and talented group of cartoonists, consistently pushing the envelope of what is possible in the medium. Over on The Beat, John Seven takes a look at some of RETROFIT'S EXCELLENT COMICS BY WOMEN
* Speaking of Retrofit, Alex Widen does a short review of Leela Corman's WE ALL WISH FOR DEADLY FORCE
* A powerhouse quartet of comics critics, Shea Hennum, J.A. Micheline, Caitlin Rosberg, and Oliver Sava, have a thick and thoughtful conversation about the cultural impact and contextualization of RAINA TELGEMEIER'S SMILE
* Christopher M. Jones turns his perceptive critical eye onto all the problems that exist in the much-lauded SWALLOWING THE EARTH by Osamu Tezuka
* Nadia Bauman writes about CODENAME BABOUSHKA AND CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. In it, she introduces you to the term razvesistaya kliukva ("a branchy cranberry tree") and how this applies to fiction that exploits stereotypical views on Russia
* Alex Hoffman parses Josh Cotter's SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST in a note-like, observational way. There's something nice about this format, sort of a conversation between a critic and a reader, that allows you to join in as you read it
* I guess it IS half-way through 2016, so, in a way, it makes some sense to post something like this (other than, you know, click-bait), so here's Abraham Riesman's THE BEST COMICS OF 2016 (SO FAR). This is a pretty all-over-the-place kind of list, which calls into question Riesman's own sense of aesthetic (if you ask me), but the fact that he includes Nick Drnaso's Beverly shows he does have some taste (which he quickly undermines by including Dark Night, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish)
* Matt O'Keefe interviews writer CHRIS SEBELA about his work on We(l)come Back and Heartthrob. Unfortunately, there is no mention of #PoolDisaster2016
* Sean Ford talks to GABBY SCHULZ about Sick, a book which, after listening to this conversation, I really need on my shelf.
* Robert Kirby has a breezy, casual, and fascinating conversation with MARINAOMI about her new book, Turning Japanese, her drawing style, and book tours
* Take a listen to this great conversation between cartoonist Tillie Walden, Avery Hill Publishing co-publisher Ricky Miller, and founder of TheLesbianReview.com Sheena about WORKING WITH AN EDITOR
* Katie Skelly has posted THE COMPLETE AGENT 73 which was written by her Trash Twins Team-mate, Sarah Horrocks.
* Caitlin Rosberg writes an interesting but kind of unfocused piece on THE GROWTH OF SMALL PRESS AND SELF-PUBLISHED COMICS which rails against the Eisner's (to an extent) and celebrates the efforts of both C. Spike Trotman and Beyond Press
* LOU REED AND LAURIE ANDERSON'S THREE RULES FOR LIVING WELL
* Talynn Kel's WHEN WHITE PEOPLE CONSUME BLACKNESS FOR PERSONAL GAIN discusses Cultural Cannibalism and the intrinsic violence therein
* Am I wrong for being confused by the tone of Hermione Hoby's piece in the New Yorker about GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE? It seems kind of condescending, but I'm not sure if it is condescending towards its readers or its subject? Help me out here.