Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught our eye over the past week.
* John Seven reviews O JOSEPHINE by Jason, writing that collectively, the stories it contains "seem transitional, testing out some previously unexplored creative pathways and seeking future direction."
* Rob Clough on BILLIE THE BEE by Mary Fleener which "feels like a slightly foul-mouthed educational aid as much as it does a narrative. It also feels like a book one might sneak to a kid on the sly; they would enjoy it because of its visuals and the thrill of reading something that's not age-appropriate.
* Nola Pfau reviews TRANS GIRLS HIT THE TOWN by Emma Jayne which "can be difficult reading for those of us who are trans, but not generally worse than a given day-to-day experience, and it’s validating to know that even some of the darker feelings I experience are mirrored elsewhere. I think it’s also the kind of thing that would honestly be invaluable for cis allies to read and understand—in fact it feels so deeply that I find myself wanting to buy stacks of it to hand out to folks in need of education."
* Alex Hoffman has this microreview of RUST BELT by Sean Knickerbocker whose tragedy "is in its familiarity, and the understanding that, as Knickerbocker suggests, a lot of people are one good kick away from falling into the pit. These characters are all right on the edge. Knickerbocker applies the foot, and makes his reader watch them fall."
* Justin McGuire on ALIENATION by Ines Estrada who has "an anarchist imagination that keeps the viewer off-balance. She’s not afraid of psychedelia, and doesn’t see technology as the pure enemy."
* Keith Silva reviews the recent Fantagraphics release of THE COMPLETE LIFE AND TIMES OF $CROOGE MCDUCK by Don Rosa, calling it "an exemplar of the exploitation cartoonists and other contractors endure to keep the corporate comics making machine running"
* Wendy Browne on ALICE AT NAPTIME by Shea Proulx, writing "Seeing moms like Proulx find a way to use sequential art to tell their stories reminds us that the trials and tribulations and beauty of parenting in general and motherhood in particular are universal."
* Henry Chamberlain looks at JEREMIAH by Cathy G. Johnson whose "work has a beauty that looks effortless and pure. In the span of 160 pages, she mesmerizes the reader with her gentle yet powerful watercolor comics."
* Kirsten Thompson interviews DOMINIQUE DUONG "about her work, her approach, and her process."
* Hillary Brown interviews SETH for Paste "about his process, his dreams, his rivalry with Jason Lutes and whether or not he’s a square."
* Simon Abrams interviews MICHAEL KUPPERMAN "about the reception and release of his work, from his early comics ‘zine contributions in Hodags and Hodaddies (under the pseudonym “P. Revess”) to All the Answers."
* Andrea Shockling has PART FOUR of her comic Andrea's Bariatric Diary up on her website.
* THE TOM WAITS MAP - "An interactive guide to every location Tom Waits has sung about in his life." As well, Waits has curated his own 76-song SPOTIFY PLAYLIST by way of an introduction to his music.