By Leroy Douresseaux
September 25, 2007 - 14:41
THE COMICS JOURNAL #284
Since the editors and publishers instituted The Comics Journal’s new format 22 issues ago, the venerable magazine of comics criticism, analysis, and news has become even richer in its in depth coverage and scrutiny of the past, present, and future of not only American comics, but also comics the world over.
The Comics Journal #284 has as its centerpiece an massive interview by Gary Groth of New Zealand-born cartoonist, Roger Langridge (Fred the Clown, Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four), lavishly illustrated (as are all TCJ interviews) with many examples of Langridge’s work. There’s also a separate “comic book section” containing 20 pages of Langridge comics.
The other big interview features Gene Yang of the acclaimed graphic novel, American Born Chinese, which was nominated for a National Book Award, and the interview contains 19 examples of and details from Yang’s work. Jared Gardner offers a bio of Frederick Burr Opper, turn of the century (19th-20th) cartoonist and creator of Happy Hooligan. The examination of his work includes 21 pages of approximately 30 Sunday comics strips reproduced in color.
Also, in “Blood and Thunder” (the letters pages), Managing Editor Michael Dean gets down with letter writer, Craig Fischer, over aesthetic values. Gary talks to Roger Langridge’s brother, Andrew Langridge. R.C. Harvey’s “Comicopia” looks at manga (past and present), and Kenneth Smith continues The Crypto-Revolution of Our Age. Of course, there is even more…
THE LOWDOWN: The Happy Hooligan strips, the Dean/Fischer debate, and Kenneth Smith are alone worth half the cover price.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: For people who think seriously about comics as an international medium of art and expression.
A review of Langridge's Fred the Clown.