Pandemic deaths: Juan Giménez

Argentinian artist and Metabarons co-creator Juan Giménez is the first (?) significant cartoonist to die of the ‘vid. As well as being able to paint comics in a full-on detailed 1970s sci-fi paperback style, he could apply that care in deadpan to writer Jodorowsky’s most ludicrous fantasias, helping the series play to a wider span of audience.

Obit at Animation Magazine.

Pandemic giveaways: Head Meds

During a time when approximately everyone in the world is having anxiety and depression forced upon them, Tatiana Gill has posted her “Head Meds,” a personal history of brain balance, for free reading. (The reader seems to be optimised for tablets or other vertical-mode screens, NB.)

Maybe right now is not the best time for folks to be getting out and making contact with a new doctor or three, but it can definitely be good to be shown a future with change in it.

Old obit: Omaha

For no direct reason, the New York Times has published a newly-written obituary of Kate Worley, the writer of 1980s/90s comics soap-opera-with-honest-sex, Omaha The Cat Dancer. Worley died of cancer in 2004. It covers the main points of Worley’s creative collaboration with Omaha creator turned artist-only, Reed Waller, including the Friendly Frank’s obscenity bust that inspired the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the later New Zealand seizure that resulted in a commendation for quality from the Indecent Publication Tribunal. It doesn’t cover one thing that could have read as timely, though: in a time when most cartoonist health-care is crowdfunded online, and the US federal election is being rigged to get the one guy who wants voters to be able to see doctors off the bill, that could have been a hook to address how Worley coordinated a series of Omaha benefit books to fund Waller‘s cancer treatment in the 1990s. (Even as they were breaking up acrimoniously behind the scenes: the writer, George Gene Gustines, addresses that they kept their split from the public.)

27 US states and territories still have a chance to vote or caucus in the primaries for a candidate who wants the populace to stay alive and solvent when they get sick. Seems like a good idea to me.

who are Leo’s guys?

Early in the double-header Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio interview on today’s WTF podcast, Leo’s dad George DiCaprio unexpectedly comes up. Host Marc Maron has enough awareness of underground comics to vaguely surf Leo’s explanation of his childhood schlepping posters, prints and comics around to LA’s comic shops, and accidentally hits on a direct interest for the actor. When discussing how Crumb is the only one of his generation whose original art really broke through in terms of gallery-priced sales, Maron notes that Robert Williams is bitter about that: an excited Leo enthuses that he personally collects Williams: “That guy is like a god to me.”

The comics talk comes about fifteen minutes into the episode above, if you’re especially curious.

Santa Claus Meets The TARDISians

Back in 1965, Doctor Who wasn’t necessarily an alien, and while the TV version was clearly from the future, he spent every week imperiling the lives of his human English grandchildren in the pages of the TV Times. This completely bonkers storyline, which starts out with Dr Who making toys of his own TARDIS time-machine-in-the-shape-of-UK-police-infrastructure for Santa, who is now manufacturing and shipping from an alien planet, and soon has him photo-enlarging a squirrel to ride like a horse while he fights a Demon Magician, is painted by Bill Mevin. (Writer unknown, probably drunk.)

All four episodes: click for readable size.

Merry Christmas to all of you at home.

William Hartnell breaking the fourth wall on the 1965 Christmas episode; the first and last Christmas special until 2005.

CATS IN COMICS: the prodigal son returns

CATS IN COMICS: “Returning home for Christmas to find you have been replaced by your parents’ cat,” by Stephen Collins

click for bigger version of this four-tier version

Published in The Guardian, date unknown. Title above taken from a tweet by Collins, titled “Cat Vs Son” in his print shop – click through to buy one of 30, or to see it in original widescreen. I’ve stacked the tiers here.

can’t ban the snowman

saw a Christmas drag / comedy revue last night that included one cast member in an inflatable costume of the telly version of Raymond Brigg’s titular The Snowman (picking up the lead and “flying” him to world locations elsewhere on the stage). Today, a profile in The Guardian opens with 85-year-old Briggs extensively dismissing the sentimentality and merchandising of that book over the last four decades.

Dismissal of sentiment has been a strong streak through Briggs’ work since the 1970s, and his new book appears from the previews here to be carrying that on simply through its circumstances. While the work is reflective and human, with the cartoonist in a more personal mode than ever, ruminating on the small moments and daily poignancies of life, it’s been printed in a form that underscores his age and incapacity. The art is unfinished and the text is typeset over pencil roughs, with Parkinsons disease and the moderate chance of death seeing publisher Jonathan Cape take the opportunity to get this palimpsest on aging into readers’ hands while the author is still around to hold a copy.