The new Comics Journal launches!

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The new, web-based iteration of the best magazine of comics criticism has now been launched in a beta version and is already seeing steady updates from its cohort of bloggers and other writers. Please go look at what will surely become a staple of the comics internet.

I should add that I will be appearing there too, albeit it not immediately. Teaching and work on my PhD dissertation is taking up all my time, resulting in other commitments backlogging, giving me a nice load of diverse work to look forward to once I submit my dissertation.

The Danish Comics Council: An Update

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Regulars here at the Bunker, and most people in Danish comics, may be aware of the establishment earlier this year of the Danish Comics Council — an organisation working to increase the knowledge and appreciation of the comics medium in Denmark. Since I’m a member of the board, I figured I would provide a little update in English about what’s been going on.

Over the past few months, we have been working for the establishment of an officially recognised comics education in Denmark and we are happy to announce that plans for such a programme is underway at the Animation Workshop in Viborg and will hopefully launch next year.

We are also working for the establishment of a comics centre, which simultaneously will serve as an archive, a museum and, more broadly, a cultural institution representing comics to the Danish public. We are seeking to consolidate comics in school curricula as well as an academic discipline, and we have undertaken the registration of all new comics publications and will compile an annotated list in an annual compendium.

Scrooge: The Lost Adventure?

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Swedish cartoonist and Donaldist Joakim Gunnarson has acquired what he claims to be a incomplete script by Carl Barks for an Uncle Scrooge story. This should be pretty interesting news to anyone into in the Good Duck Artist, and I for one would love to take a closer look at this document.

Gunnarson describes it in some detail on his blog. He speculates that the story — which involves a trip by a so-called “do-gooders'” club, to which I assume Scrooge belongs, to a tropical island, and wrings satire from their encounter with the native population — would have been a 20-pager and dates to the early 60s, which sounds about right from his outline of the plot. He doesn’t show nearly enough for anyone to be able to judge the document’s authenticity, however. The image he has up is of a document in Barks’ hand and it looks intriguing.

Here’s hoping he will show us more.

Image from “The Status Seeker”, Uncle Scrooge #41, 1963.

Three Hundred!

tcj300.jpgAfter 33 years of publication, the best magazine about comics, The Comics Journal, now celebrates its 300th issue. Which is also going to be the last in the current format, before the recently announced migration to the web sometime later this month. In short, the printed Journal will be semiannual in the future, with a larger page count, better design (we hope), and less transient content than your average issue of the last three decades, while tcj.com will provide day-to-day news coverage and criticism in the proud tradition of the magazine.

While we’re staying tuned for that, the editors have decided to put #300 online in its entirety. A great treat. Go there now and dig into the impressive line-up of artists’ talks: Art Spiegelman and Kevin Huizenga, Jean-Christophe Menu and Sammy Harkham, Frank Quitely and Dave Gibbons, Dave Mazzucchelli and Dash Shaw, Alison Bechdel and Danica Novgorodoff, Howard Chaykin and Ho Che Anderson, Denny O’Neil and Matt Fraction, Jaime Hernandez and Zak Sally, Ted Rall and Matt Bors, Jim Borgman and Keith Knight, Stan Sakai and Chris Schweizer.

In addition to that, there are in-depth reviews of Chris Ware’s ACME #19 and David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp (read the Bunker on them here and here) and contributions by all your favourite columnists, plus yours truly, minus Kenneth Smith.

I have written an essay about Moebius’ Hermetic Garage as a constant in his creative life for as long as the Journal has been published and sincerely hope you will enjoy it, if nothing else as partial compensation for posting nothing of real substance here at the Bunker these days of dissertation drudgery.

Congrats to Gary, Kim and everyone else who has contributed to making the Journal one of the greatest critical and historical resources in comics for over thirty years!

UPDATE: They’ve now withdrawn everything from the website; it is now only accessible to subscribers. Bummer.

Line Hoven og Arne Bellstorf til Komiks.dk

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Den danske tegneseriefestival Komiks.dk, der finder sted i Øksnehallen, København, 21-23 maj, 2010, annoncerer nu endnu en håndfuld udelandske gæster, deriblandt to af Tysklands mest interessante yngre tegnere, Line Hoven og Arne Bellstorf. Førstnævnte er nok bedst kendt for graphic novel-debuten Liebe schacht weg, et subtilt og rørende erindringsbillede af hendes familie fra krigen og frem, mens Bellstorf, der i 2006 udgav den bemærkelsesværdigt underspillede, knugende ungdomsfortælling Acht, Neun, Zehn, efterhånden har en række serier på bagen og bl.a. bidrager til kvalitetsavisen Der Tagespiegel. Festivalen gæstes desuden af den svenske mangategner Ã…se Ekström.

Pressemeddelelse her.

Frank Quitely til Komiks.dk

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Danmarks internationale tegneseriebiennale, Komiks.dk, der for fjerde gang løber af stablen i Øksnehallen, København, 21-23 maj, 2010, melder nu endnu en gæst, tegneren Frank Quitely — klart den mest originale tegner i amerikansk mainstream i dag. Han er særligt kendt for sit arbejde med den mest originale forfatter i branchen, Grant Morrison (lad os håbe at festivalen også slår en klo i ham!), på serier som Flex Mentallo, New X-Men, We3, All-Star Superman og Batman and Robin. Undtagelsen fra reglen om at amerikanske superhelteserier er blevet en anakronisme.

Læs pressemeddelelsen her. Quitely bliver i øvrigt at finde på festivalen sammen med folk som Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Charles Burns, Dave Gibbons og Paul Gravett. Sæt lige et kryds til i kalenderen, ik’?