But is it...Comic Aht? #4, edited by Austin English and August Lipp. $8, 72 pages, newsprint, 8.5 x 11
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Why a print magazine about comics, and why now? The answers are...not simple. More than at any other time in my involvement in comics, I feel that things are artistically as beautiful as they've ever been. More and more artists seem drawn to cartooning than at any other time, many of them making work of true beauty that doesn't fit into any mold that comics has appeared to be capable of. And yet the artistry and passion of these artists seems deeply out of sync with the institutions and structures that the comics 'industry' offers. Cartooning is a unique artform, yielding little support to artists, yet still acting as magnet for wildly ambitious expression, experimentation and thought.
In starting a new print magazine about comics, it's my hope that some ideas and conversations might be preserved with an ounce of the dignity that the mediums art offers. Online criticism and discussion is important, but fades away extremely quickly and seems driven by argument rather than reflection. Early issues of The Comics Journal offered quiet pages for artists to study, piecing together the practices and ideas of favorite artists in lengthy interviews. After a month of thinking about what a cartoonist said in a discussion, some debate of those ideas would appear in the next months letter column. The weight of a cartoonists words could be digested, embraced, rejected and most importantly THOUGHT about, rather then reacted to.
So, this publication is an attempt to try to do justice to the artists and implications of our favorite medium with a degree of dedication and focus that cartooning deserves. This issue features:
-Front Cover by August Lipp
-Megan Kelso interviews David Lasky
-a career retrospective interview with Chris Cilla by Tim Goodyear
-new comics by John Vasquez Mejias
-a comic about working in a comic store by Chaia Startz
-August Lipp looks closely at the comics of Darryl Cunningham
-Industry commentary by Victor Cayro
-David King on Frank Robbins
-Bill Kartalopoulos reviews of contemporary comics
-Floyd Tangeman on Justin Green
-Back cover by Mollie Goldstrom