Articles Published the Week of January January 31st

Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen educate DC's young heroes in "Secret Hero Society"

Fridolfs and Nguyen have been working together since they started in comics nearly twenty years ago. They found some success recently with "Li'l Gotham" which was a very fun comic featuring DC's hero and villains in a series of all ages adventures. It especially stands out at a time when there are too few superhero comics you could hand to a kid. Their new project is a book series from Scholastic featuring Bruce, Clark, and Diana as students at Ducard Academy. It's a lot of fun, really imaginative and we had a great conversation talking about the book and their careers.


Articles Published the Week of January 3rd

The Looming Dark: An Interview with Linda Pastan

I was thrilled to get to talk with Linda Pastan about her fabulous new book Insomnia, which came out at the end of last year. We spoke about using poetry to investigate ordinary life, insomnia, writing short poems. She remembers the late, great William Stafford and talks about being a poet without history.

Neil Strauss: The Truth

I had a great conversation with Neil Strauss talking about his new book The Truth. One aspect of our conversation that really struck me was his writing about this idea of a no-life crisis, and what it means to be a guy getting older and our thoughts about commitment and life and how we process our experiences. We had a great conversation, which I think comes through in the piece.

Richard Sala returns to the violent, gothic world of Violenzia

I love talking with cartoonist Richard Sala, whose recent book is Violenzia, which includes his comic of the same name which was released digitally a couple years ago along with a number of other stories. Sala always manages to interestingly combine various pulp genres and this new book is no exception.


Articles Published the Week of December 20th

Lee Marrs Reflects on a Storied Career

I think of Lee Marrs as the Zelig of the comics world. She's a legend of the comics underground - she was a co-founder of the Wimmen's Comix collective and the woman behind Pudge, Girl Blimp. She worked as Tex Blaisdell's assistant on a number of comic strips while she was still in school. While in college, her editorial cartoons impressed the legendary cartoonist Herblock that he invited her to lunch to offer career advice. She worked for Joe Orlando on both horror/mystery stories for various Dc anthologies and the humor comic Plop!. She worked on a lot of humor series over the years - though not Mad, because back then they didn't hire women. She was in a lot of anthologies ranging from Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated to Star*Reach to Gay Comix. She wrote Wonder Woman and Indiana Jones comics. She wrote and drew a TMNT knockoff. There was a Vertigo miniseries back in the 90s. She started working in computer animation starting in the early 1980's.

I had the the pleasure of meeting Lee earlier this year at the Queers and Comics Conference in New York City. She had just retired from her teaching position at Berkeley City College. She made clear at the conference and in our conversation, that she has a lot planned and won't be slowing down. Which is good news for comics and comics readers.


Articles Published the Week of December 13th

Riad Sattouf Tells the Tale of "The Arab of the Future"

Riad Sattouf is one of the biggest cartoonists in the world right now. The two time winner of the best book at the Festival International de la Bande Desinee in Angouleme, he won for the second time for his book The Arab of the Future, which has just been published in the United States. His best book, it's an incredible memoir looking at his childhood which was spent in Libya and Syria. We spoke about the book, why so many people are wrong about Charlie Hebdo and why he was working at the magazine for years, and the importance of complicating the Middle East.

An Interview with Samandal

For years Samandal has been one of the most interesting and most important comics publications in the world. It emerged earlier this year that the magazine has spent the past few years in court, battling censorship in Lebanon. The case has been finished and the result is a massive fine. I spoke with the editors of the magazine about what they've been doing, the background of the case, their current crowdfunding campaign to continue, and their hopes and plans for the future.

Articles Published the Week of November 8th

Ivan Velez, Jr. Sings the Epic Multicultural "Ballad of Wham Kabam!"

Velez has been making comics for years now. We crossed paths earlier this year at the Queers and Comics Conference at City University in New York. Velez is now in the midst of his biggest project, a historical volume of superheroes, race, and the history of the Americas. We spoke about "The Ballad of Wham Kabam!" and his career which goes from Tales of the Closet and Blood Syndicate, Howard Cruse and Dwayne McDuffie, and more.

John Leguizamo takes "Ghetto Klown" From the Stage To the Page

I've been a fan of Leguizamo for years. A fabulous writer and actor, his play Ghetto Klown is now a graphic novel. He spoke about why he decided to go this route, the process involved, talked a little about Seagal and De Palma and others, and talked about his next play which premieres in the spring.

Articles Published the Week of November 1st

Bill Griffith investigates his mother' affair in "Invisible Ink"

I've long been a great admirer of Griffith, the cartoonist behind "Zippy the Pinhead." His new book, a graphic memoir, looks into the lives of his parents and specifically the lengthy affair his mother had with a noted cartoonist.

Harlem has a teenage hero to call its own in "Ajala"

This series from Robert Garrett and N. Steven Harris really stands out in a number of ways and four issues in - with a collection coming soon - I'm intrigued to see what they'll do with the character and the series going forward but they do good work (and I've been a fan of Harris since Aztek back in the day) and we could use more politically minded fiction in this vein.

Horror, Humor and Sci-Fi Collide in "Intro to Alien Invasion"

Owen King, Mark Jude Poirer and Nancy Ahn deliver this graphic novel about an invasion on a college campus during spring break that's one part humor, one part dark drama, one part b-movie. (Full disclosure: I knew Owen very slightly as we overlapped in college by a year, where he was widely seen as a talented writer going places)

"The Comic Book Story of Beer" Creators Brew Up a Refreshing History

Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith and Aaron McConnell tell the story of beer - or maybe it's the story of human civilization - in this graphic novel which looks at a few thousand years of history and is a pretty interesting look at my favorite alcoholic beverage of choice.


Articles Published the Week of October 25th

Jennifer Hayden shares her breast cancer survival tale in "The Story of My Tits"

I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Hayden's new graphic novel which is more than just the story of her battle with breast cancer but the story of a her life, in a way that is ultimately thoughtful and profound in a way that really affected me. Her previous work like the book "Underwire" has been interesting, but this is one of the best graphic novels of the year and I'm so glad that we could have a conversation about the book.

Anders Nilsen Argues that "Poetry is Useless"

Every Anders Nilsen book I've ever read has stuck in my head. I'm not going to claim that every one of his books are my favorites, but each has stayed with me long after I read them. His new book "Poetry is Useless" is no different. It's ostensibly a sketchbook, but plays with the form in some really interesting ways. For Nilsen, drawing is a way of thinking and that has never been so evident as in this new book.

Carla Speed McNeil Illustrates the horror of "Harrow County"

I've long been a fan of Carla Speed McNeil (the woman behind the brilliant "Finder") and I got to break the news about her next project, a fill in issue of Dark Horse's series Harrow County. I'm a fan of the series (written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Tyler Crook) and


Articles Published the Week of October 18th

Jessica Abel on the Intersection of Comics and Radio and the Limitations of Art

I've long been a fan of Jessica Abel's work since she was making "Artbabe" many years ago. We talk about her two new books out this new but in particular "Out on the Wire" which is a nonfiction graphic novel about narrative radio. (Something I am also obsessed with)

An Interview with Tom Palmer

I had the privilege to talk with Tom Palmer, who among comics fans is one of those legendary figures who's been working in the industry for nearly 50 years. In a career that long you can only scratch the surface, but we spoke about Jack Kamen and Gene Colan and tools of the trade and how the comics industry has changed and advertising and other topics.

The Colin McEnroe Show Book Club: Purity

I spent an hour of my day at WNPR in Hartford where along with some other people we discussed Jonathan Franzen's new novel Purity. Of the four of us in studio, we all had decidedly mixed feelings about the book. Which may be a polite way to phrase it. But we had a good conversation that bounced around a lot and we had fun.

Articles Published the Week of October 11th

Maggie Thrash on Honor Girl, Queer Invisibility, and the Crush That Could Have Been a Scandal

I was thrilled to talk with Rookie writer Maggie Thrash about her graphic memoir, Honor Girl. We had a great conversation and shifted from laughing about the "Civil War reenactments" at Camp Bellflower and the camp's isolation, to a more serious conversation about queer invisibility, how these events shaped her life, and the ways that we've seen LGBTQ acceptance change within our lifetimes. We also spoke about how she just sat down and made a comic, and how she thinks about comics vs prose.


Articles Published the Week of September 27th

Chaykin, Hama, Levitz, Groth and more Discuss the Legacy of Wally Wood

Wally Wood remains, decades after his death, one of the great comics artists and one of the great artistic figures in American comics. Right now it's easier than ever see just why that is because of the incredible projects being reprinted by a number of companies. I spoke with a few people about Wood and his artistic legacy. Some of them, like Groth and Catron and Dunbier and Spurlock, are publishing Wood's work, some of them like Howard Chaykin, Larry Hama, Paul Levitz, collaborated with Wood in various forms. Some of them had their differences with Wood, some dislike a lot of his work, but all think that he was one of the giants of the form.

Articles Published the Week of September 13th

Will Tracy and Gabe Koplowitz tell the tale of "Allen: Son of Hellcock"

I spoke with Will Tracy and Gabe Koplowitz, two Vassar grads (go Brewers!) who have teamed up to write a new comic coming out this fall, Allen: Son of Hellcock. It's a comedic take on the fantasy epic and the two are clearly having fun with medieval hipsters and their takes on other tropes. It's also one of the debut projects from Z2 Comics, which is launching a new line of comics starting this fall.