Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Dominic Umile on TENEMENTS, TOWERS, AND TRASH by Julia Wertz the pages of which are "an almost painful exercise in their portrayal of how rapidly our beloved buildings are altered irrevocably, bulldozed, or just left to fall into disrepair."
* John Seven reviews JOHNNY APPLESEED by Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver, a book that "becomes less a standard biography of a man -- though it most certainly is in parts -- and more a poem on the nature of America and the relationship between landscape and philosophy, with Johnny Appleseed as the manifested point of union between the intangible and the manifest." (Nice bit of writing there, Seven)
* Alex Hoffman has been struggling with the concept of the graphic memoir lately (I've been having the same experience, though for different reasons -- more on that later this week, hopefully), and that struggle informs his reviews of both Tillie Walden's SPINNING and POPPIES OF IRAQ by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim.
* Henry Chamberlain on the Ben Katchor edited THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2017 and celebrates and takes to task all that it implies. Chamberlain also interviews BEN KATCHOR (which, I know, should be in the "WHATNOT" section according to the totally arbitrary rules I've set up for myself, but sometimes my OCD won't allow me to do anything but make little "packages" like this).
* Lucy Bourton introduces me (and, perhaps, you) to the comics of MARIA MEDEM, and I, for one, am so glad for the introduction. The images that Bourton puts in this piece are amazing.
* Ryan Sands writes a few quick takes on some of the books he picked up at SPX 2017.
* Phillipe LeBlanc proves once again that Canadians have more patience and wherewithal than most other people by posting his extensive list of nice art, plugs, news, congratulations, releases, and reviews in his SMALL PRESS AND INDIE COMICS GALORE post over on The Beat.
* Finally, because he was kind enough to reach out to me last week when I was in the midst of all that I was buried under, I'd like to draw your attention to Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocolypse site, especially his READING ROUND-UP because he looks at some great books and writes well about them.
* If the ability to conduct great interviews were a currency, then Jason Sacks would be a millionaire. Check out his interviews with TILLE WALDEN and ALEX ALICE to see what I mean.
* Phillipe LeBlanc talks to NATALIE ANDREWSON about Risography and Fairy Tales.
* Kat Overland and a group of WWAC writers talk about their experience at and share their thoughts about DRAGON CON 2017.
* Alex Mansfield's WHAT MAKES A GOOD COMIC BOOK COVER?
* Elkin Obsession Tickled Alert: Paul Berman's WHITMAN AND THE AMERICAN REVELATION.
* Nick Ripatrazone's has this list of eight "notable" books in his MUST READ POETRY: OCTOBER 2017 column (I like to think they are "notable" insofar as there are places that still publish poetry).
* Jamelle Bouie's WE MADE TA-NEHISI COATES INTO A SYMBOL.
* And, finally, go read THIS.