Sunday

Review: We'll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn

I don't get to travel very much, and so travel books are the way I get to live vicariously through others. I've never read Jennifer Coburn before so I literally just stumbled across the book on the shelf and I read the back of the book just based on the title. I'm a sucker for a book about Paris.

The book details a series of trips that Coburn took with her daughter Katie over a period of years starting when she was young. Coburn always believed that she would die at a young age - she discusses that and her relationship with her father and other issues in the course of the book, which is ultimately as much about that aspect of her life as it is about traveling, about the experience of travel, and about learning about her child through these experiences.

Coburn manages to convey the romance and the excitement and the awe of travel in a way that I could ultimately relate to. Having said that she never shies away from her own shortcomings or failings or how she gets sick almost every trip and while delirious and puking, thinks that this was all a horrible idea and she never should have come.

It helps that her daughter comes off as the greatest travel companion ever and an easy-going child who must be the envy of most adults. There's a scene early on where Coburn describes the arrival of a hamburger at a cafe in Paris, which is topped with a sunny side up egg. The eight year old shrugs and eats it. Later she's wearing a pink beret around Paris and sketching at the museums and honestly just comes across as a lot of fun. (Truthfully if all children were like her, more people would probably have kids).

In the end the book's main shortcoming is that the memoir sections of Coburn's youth, her relationship with her father, while insightful and thoughtful, in some ways felt like a different book. Reading it, I understood why it was there, I understood the relationship between the two sections of the book, structurally it made sense, but I didn't feel it. I honestly just enjoyed and was engaged much more with the "present" as Coburn is traveling and dealing with her daughter.

Over all, though, the book was a joy.

Articles Published the Week of May 8th

Phoebe and Her Unicorn is funny, fantastical, and for creator Dana Simpson, personal.

I think Dana Simpson is making one of the best comic strips currently running. Phoebe and Her Unicorn is genius, quite simply. It's wild and fantastical. It's a strip that a lot of people have compared to Calvin and Hobbes - instead of a boy and a tiger it's a girl and a unicorn - but that doesn't get at the many elements of the strip, the ways that Dana balances them, the inspired mix of the mundane and fantastic, and Dana's sense of humor.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/phoebe-her-unicorn-funny-fantastical-creator-dana-simpson-personal

Steven Universe Creator Rebecca Sugar on crafting a show about family, love and aliens

Last month at the MoCCA Festival, I sat down with Rebecca Sugar, the woman behind the hit animated series Steven Universe. She doesn't spill anything about the new season, which launched this week, and I didn't ask for any spoilers, but we spoke about how she thinks about the show, science fiction, intersectional feminism and more.

http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2016/05/11/steven-universe-creator-on-crafting-a-show-about-family-love-and-aliens/

Roberta Gregory on Mother Mountain, Wimmen's Comix and Bitchy Bitch

Roberta Gregory has long been a groundbreaking cartoonist. She's been creating great work since the 1970's, though she still remains best known for Bitchy Bitch, the protagonist of her long running series Naughty Bits. I spoke with her for my epic article about Wimmen's Comix for The Comics Journal and here we talk about her career and what she's working on now.

http://www.comicsbeat.com/interview-roberta-gregory-on-mother-mountain-wimmens-comix-bitchy-bitch/

Azzarello, Bisley and Floyd craft a heavy metal quest in the violently funny Alpha King

I've heard about 3 Floyds Brewing Company, though never drank the beer - they're a regional brewery and I haven't been through Indiana for a while - and now Nick Floyd has teamed up with Brian Azzarello and Simon Bisley to make a comic book inspired by the labels, designs and mythology behind the brewery. I'm a fan of all of them so I got the chance to get them on the phone together and talk about the project.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/azzarello-bisley-floyd-craft-a-heavy-metal-quest-in-violently-funny-alpha-king


Articles Published the Week of May 1st

Dean Haspiel's The Red Hook creates its own superhero ecosystem in Brooklyn

I'm a big fan of Dean Haspiel and I've interviewed him for years about a wide range of projects. His new big project is The Red Hook, a free weekly webcomic which is part of Haspiel's larger project of "New Brooklyn." I visited his studio in April and we sat down and talked about the project, how it began, the way his thinking about Brooklyn has changed over the years and trying to add some fun and romance into superhero comics.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/haspiels-the-red-hook-creates-its-own-superhero-ecosystem-in-brooklyn


Celebrate Free Comic Book Day with Wicks and Chad's "Science Comics"

First Second Books has launched a new imprint this year, Science Comics, and they're taking part in Free Comic Book Day this year to promote the line and asked two of their cartoonists - Maris Wicks and Jon Chad - to create new short comics about their books in the series, Coral Reefs and Volcanoes.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/celebrate-free-comic-book-day-with-wicks-chads-science-comics