Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard’s Drawing Power is a provocative visual examination of the wonderful world of cartoon advertising…. Marschall and Bernard have mixed an unusual batch of artistic and economic history. After reading this book, you’ll never look at comic strips and capitalism the same way again." – Michael Taube, The Washington Post
• Review: "It's a little silly for me to do the full-disclosure tap dance… I'm quoted ten times in Kevin Avery's Paul Nelson biography-collection-tribute, Everything Is an Afterthought, and thanked prominently in the acknowledgments…. [The book is] better than you might figure…. With Nelson, the wild card was Avery, an unknown from Utah whose national track record starts here. But he's done inspired, diligent work. Constructed from a greater proportion of direct quotes than is normally deemed proper, the biography is doubly gripping as a result… And though the critical analyses that triggered this admiration shone less brightly than I'd hoped, the narrative writing I'd put less stock in compensated." – Robert Christgau, The Barnes & Noble Review
• Review: "Over the past decade, probably the single biggest frustration we've experienced here at The Copacetic Comics Company was the inability to offer customers the opportunity to experience the magic of Carl Barks in book form…. The influence on American culture of the Disney duck comic books Carl Barks wrote, penciled, inked and lettered for roughly a quarter century is incalculably large…. Carl Barks is one of the true titans of comic books, one of the very few who can hold their own with the likes of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and R. Crumb. His fluid cartooning and storytelling is simply unmatched…. Now, at last, …his collected works will once again become available for North American readers… in what — based on the evidence of the first volume — is sure to be the most outstanding edition ever produced…. The Fantagraphics edition of The Carl Barks Library is ideal in almost every way and is sure to be the definitive edition of the works of this great comics master." – Bill Boichel (we presume), The Copacetic Comics Company
• Interview: Comics Bulletin's Jason Sacks sat down for a chat with Bill Schelly about chronicling the life and art of Joe Kubert: "Think of the effect he's had. It's like an amplifier. He's used amplification through all his students. His philosophy about good storytelling techniques, solid drawing fundamentals and all those things he's imbued in all those students who go out to every field of artistic endeavor and, in fact, internationally. So his effect is really international."
• Plugs: "Just in time for Christmas, Fantagraphics has published the first volumes of two archival comics series that promise to be amazing…. Carl Barks’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes — is a beautiful, 240-page, full-color collection… If you’ve got kids, it’s a terrific introduction to Barks’s DD mythos…. Walt Kelly’s Pogo was one of the great hilobrow comic strips of all time…. Go, Fantagraphics, go!" – HiLobrow