But is it...Comic Aht? #1, edited by Austin English with contributions from August Lipp. $5, 32 pages, newsprint, 8.5 x 11

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 catooning deserves. Our first issue will (tentatively) feature:

-a career retrospective interview with Megan Kelso conducted by Austin English

-Chantal McStay on Julie Doucet's Carpet Sweeper Tales

-David King on Mort Weisinger

-Ines Estrada on the Mexican Comics scene

-Tim Goodyear on current zines and minis

-Matthew Thurber on 'good' and 'bad' drawing

-Jesse McManus (this issues cover artist) on drawing water

-Victor Cayro on Popeye