A special, epic-length story arc begins today in Pooch Cafe. Here's creator Paul Gilligan on "Poncho: Year One":
Revisionist histories have been a popular trend in superhero comics for some time. Alan Moore was a big catalyst, and obviously Frank Miller’s Batman Year One was a landmark. Superhero comics held me spellbound for a good 10-15 years, and their influence is still heavily visible in all my work.
In college my comic-reading world was opened up by “alternative” comics. Between then and now the work of creators like Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Chester Brown, Chris Ware, Los Bros Hernandez, Joe Matt, Charles Burns, David Mazzucchelli, and many others have
impacted my cartooning, the art and - even more - the writing.
Readers of Pooch Café may see this manifesting in the layered characters, ongoing storylines, and orbiting plots. There has been some amazingly inventive work done in graphic novels for many years, and I have fed on them creatively, more so I must admit than I have on other comic strips. It is with all this in mind that I
unveil: Poncho: Year One.
This should not prove to be an entirely drastic departure for Pooch Café. The humor in PC has always been more character/situation based than set up/punch line based, probably more so as the years have gone by. But I will be aiming for an even more in-depth exploration of Poncho’s character and a story arc that will follow his growth over a long
period of time and show us how he got to where he is now. With gags. And cool art.
I’m not 100% sure myself where this will lead. That’s part of the fun. New territories will be blazed, and at the same time long-time fans will be rewarded. I hope it’ll be an enriching ride for all, and perhaps something a little new for the comics page.
As Stan Lee would say: Excelsior!
(I just looked that up. It means “packing material”. Revisionist, indeed).
Glenn McCoy, editorial cartoonist and creator of The Duplex, was the winner of the Reuben Award for Gag Cartoons at the 64th Annual National Cartoonists Society Awards dinner Saturday night. Nice work, Glenn!
From Robert Kristof's NY Times column. Maybe think about these words from J.K. the next time you get a rejection note from a syndicate or a publisher or your bank loan for an edible-toupee company is rejected. And I'm not J/K about this.
Rowling at Harvard:
I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.
So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.
Oh boy, is this gonna be great. So many friends and just a few people I can't stand. Who'll be there from Universal? Good question.
As I understand it: Richard Thompson, Wiley Miller, Glenn McCoy (all nominees), Bill Amend, Mark Tatulli, Garry Trudeau, Bill Hinds, Lynn Johnston, Cathy Guisewhite, Scott Hilburn, Rob Harrell, Mark Pett, Paul Gilligan, Phil Dunlap, Tom Gammill, Corey Pandolph, Ted Rall, Ruben Bolling, Steve McGarry ... and some other big names rumored.