Every month I have a spot on Richard Watts' weekly arts news, views and interviews radio show on 3RRR FM, Smart Arts. My spot's called 'Drawn Out' and it covers local and international comic books and events.
This Thursday morning just gone, I talked about Jason Lutes' Jar of Fools, credited as 'A Picture Story' on its cover, (a relief to those who revile the term 'graphic novel'). 'Jar of Fools' is kinda venerable now, being first published in its complete edition in 1997. This Faber and Faber edition (yes, Faber and Faber, the big UK poetry publisher - they also publish Adrian Tomine's books, which makes sense) was published 2008, and I'm a big fan of the cover design, and particularly the typography, by Rui Tenreiro (wow, whose drawings are even better - take a look!) which bespeaks a looseness of line that belies Lutes' drawings within. This really is a lovely graphic novel (ghasp!), the story of a washed-up magician, Ernie, and the outcasts who gather around him. The tone is melancholy and sweet, and it's beautifully maintained. Lutes' current work, a long comic book series called Berlin, concerns that city in the 1930s. The first 16 issues have been collected into two big books, the last 8 will be collected some decade soon.
Other things I spoke about: the comics-and-related-arts festival at Sydney Opera House, GRAPHIC, is returning 19/20/21 August 2011. Last year Jordan Verzar got Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Shaun Tan, Gary Groth to come (wow!), and this year it sounds like another bunch of great guests are coming - the lineup gets announced on May 23, but you can line up for pre-sales here.
I am talking about editing comics at the Australian Society of Editors, Victorian branch, this Wednesday night 18 May in Melbourne town - anyone can attend, and you get a meal and the talk and the society of lovely editor-type folk for $33, with concessions available. I'll be speaking about the history of editing comics, and my own experience of that strange art. You can make a booking here.