Archive for the 'press' Category
Troop 142 was recently translated into Spanish by Ediciones La Cúpula. Fantastic Plastic Mag, a Spanish publication, asked me to recommend three books I’ve read recently for a Book Club series they have been running. The link is here.
For those of you who can’t read Spanish, or don’t enjoy reading the Google translation, here’s my original text:
Europeans might have noticed how heated US partisan politics are. Intense, intractable partisanship in the national conversation is something Americans have learned to live with; at least in how our media portrays it. In real life, most people aren’t the fire-breathing extremists we see on television, and people on both the Right and Left are coming at their World View from a sincere place. I’ve always leaned Left, but have been interested lately in reading books that write about Conservatism in an intellectually honest way. I am less interested in seeing The Right as The Other, and more interested in understanding that World View. These are three books that have shaped my perception heavily.
There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters, by Claire Berlinski. I am not sure what the common Spanish opinion of Margaret Thatcher is, but in the UK I know she’s polarizing. I think it’s important to understand that Thatcher came to power because of the state of the Left Wing in the 1970’s. Endless strikes and a dysfunctional society turned the population away from Labour, and to their only alternative. What is interesting about Thatcher is how hard-line and energetic she was in implementing her policies, radically remaking the country in a very short period of time. How We Got Here: The 70’s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life – For Better Or Worse, by David Frum. The conventional wisdom in America is that the tumultuous 1960’s were the decade that changed the social fabric of the country. Frum argues that it was the conflicts and convulsions of the 1970’s that transformed the USA in ways that are more relevant to our modern era. Similarly to the Thatcher book, he convincingly shows how the American Left Wing lost its way, and made way for the rise of Reagan. This book was published in 2000, but is still a fascinating assessment of America. Culture of Complaint, by Robert Hughes. This book is even older, published in 1993. I was inspired to read it after re-watching the excellent Crumb documentary. Hughes has both Left and Right wing leanings, depending on the topic at hand, which is exactly how normal people are. The book focuses a lot on pop-culture, and the world of Fine Arts, and is also an interesting time-capsule of the “Politically Correct” nineties.
In terms of American comics I’d recommend; Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks, Berlin Books I & II by Jason Lutes, and My New York Diary by Julie Doucet are all perennial favorites of mine.No comments
This is something fun. I was a guest on The Inkstuds Comic Book and Cartoon Power Hour this past week. Thanks to podcast rival Robin McConnell for inviting me on his show. I really enjoyed the conversation.
It actually was pretty great to talk to another comics-podcaster. I am hesitant to listen back to the audio, because I am pretty sure I am guilty of hijacking some of the interview and turning it around on Robin. I am not sure it’s something I can help at this point – I’m finding that hosting my own podcasts week in and week out is making me a compulsive interrogator.
But, in a way, I think that the fact that we’re putting each other in the hot-seat, probably makes for a pretty interesting discussion. We talk a lot about the reasons why we’re making podcasts, and how doing all the research and thinking about comics in terms of discussing them publicly is having an effect on our abilities to continue to enjoy reading them personally. This is something I wonder about a lot. At the moment I’ve really focused on guests for TCJ Talkies whose work I was already very familiar with and a fan of. I have not yet tried bringing someone on whose work I hadn’t already read. I am not sure how that would change my enjoyment of their work – if I needed to cram and read the material to prepare to talk to them. Robin on the other hand (who has interviewed a ton of people) is in a completely different boat – reading comics to get ready for shows. He even talks about reading Troop 142 the day before our conversation, while sitting on a bus going to work.
Also, if you want to hear the audio of my first appearance on Inkstuds, back in 2009, I’ve got the link here.No comments
A couple of nice bits of press have come in recently. One is this funny interview up at the F*cked in Park Slope blog (or FIPS), which I am really excited about, since I assume it will mean that people will recognize me when I walk into the Pavillion movie theater or go to Union Market from now on. Also, I love that they used that adorable photo of me and Orli. It was taken in Scotland, not Park Slope, but it was just too lovely not to repurpose, I imagine.
This interview came about because of the short Park Slope Vampire Mom story I posted a little while back, which can be read online here.
Also, some nice reviews for Troop 142 that I believe I have not yet linked to:
There are a lot of interpretations to Troop 142, an original graphic novel concerning Boy Scouts and adult chaperones up at a summer camp. It’s a credit to the creator, Mike Dawson, that the book is so rich with genuine-feeling human interaction and characterization that it merits discussion as literature rather than pop entertainment. Under the Radar
Applying the same level of merciless scrutiny used by Anton Chekhov, Dawson rips away the naive Norman Rockwell facade of one of the few rites of passage left to young American males, and replaces it with something complex and uncomfortable. Foreword ReviewsNo comments
The release party is over, which means Troop 142 is essentially out now. I believe amazon orders will start shipping now, and hopefully the book will start making it’s way into finer comic stores within the next few weeks. Be on the lookout!
This weekend, September 10th and 11th, I will be appearing at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda (Rockville?), Maryland. I’ll be curled up at the Secret Acres booth pretty much the whole time, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find me. There’ll be plenty of books.
I am also participating in two panels over the weekend:
On Saturday, at 4:30PM, in the Brookside Conference room, I’ll be moderating Alex Robinson: Ten Years of Box Office Poison
Over the last several years, Alex Robinson has produced Tricked, A Kidnapped Santa Claus, and Too Cool to Be Forgotten, among other books, but his first major work was the 600 page graphic novel Box Office Poison, originally serialized in comic book format and collected in 2001. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his debut book, Robinson will discuss his career with his Ink Panthers podcast co-host, cartoonist Mike Dawson.
On Sunday, at 1:30PM, in the same room, I’ll be appearing as one of the panelists in this discussion: Navigating the Contemporary Publishing Landscape
In the early 2000s, corporate publishers nearly raced to acquire graphic novels. Now, as the mainstream publishing industry faces severe contractions and as online media assumes many traditional functions of publishing, cartoonists face a rapidly changing publishing landscape, one that includes a resurgent small press. Johanna Draper Carlson will speak with Domitille Collardey, Mike Dawson, Meredith Gran, Roger Langridge and Julia Wertz about publishing options today.
I plan on bringing my little shiny pink MP3 recorder to both panels, so if you miss them, they may appear online at some point down the line. But don’t miss them! Come on out. I am sure they’ll both be better live and in person.
Speaking of me speaking about myself, please take a half-hour to read through this in-depth interview with me over at The Comics Journal. Thanks to Rob Clough for doing it with me. I don’t think I’ve ever publicly discussed a lot of things in there, especially about the early part of my career. It was really great to be able to talk about all of that, and just incredible to be interviewed by TCJ at all. I think if you read the interview, you’ll understand just how long I’ve been a comics fan, and what a big deal it is for me to get the spotlight treatment here.
I think that’s all. I hope to see you all this weekend!
Four new Troop 142 pages posted. I love the word “wuss”. Is it regional to the New York area, or is it widely used? I used it around my Scottish Uncle once, and always thought it was amusing how he pronounced it (woose, like “Moose”) with his thick accent.
In other news, Troop 142 #4 got a mixed-to-good write-up over at The Comics Reporter. Obviously I wish the review had been 100% totally positive, as Tom Spurgeon is one of my favorite writers about comics, but I’m still psyched to get to read his response to the book. And, he’s not wrong about some of the criticisms he made, especially that scene where the Dad’s discuss Scouts and atheism. It felt clumsy when I wrote it, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt totally confident about it.
Having wobbly scenes like this go out into the world is one of the big downsides to my approach to writing combined with how I’m releasing the pages (online and in print) as I finish them. I’m certainly look forward to the day I start editing/revising this thing as a whole.No comments
Rob Clough, one of my favorite reviewers, posted a thoughtful write-up of Troop 142 #3 over at The Comics Journal website
The issue’s ending was another marvelous bit of restraint on Dawson’s part, as one of the boys asks the other if he wants to know a secret. Nothing further is revealed here, and I’ll be fascinated to see where Dawson takes this particular development, especially in light of the BSA’s infamous attitudes toward homosexuality. Dawson is cooking up a fascinating series here, and it’s clearly the best work of his career.
Clearly! Come on people, pay attention!
I was the guest on two podcasts which were posted today.
The Weekly Midtown Comics Podcast. We talk about all my books, The Ink Panthers, and the meaning of friendship.
Kidsmomo Podcast. My friends Nancy and Karen host a great podcast for kids, where they recommend all sorts of children’s books. I came on as a graphic novel expert and also to talk about BONE and OWLY.No comments
A very nice review of the first two TROOP 142 minis over at tcj.com
Mike Dawson has two chief virtues as a writer: writing dialogue with an almost painful level of verisimilitude, and an understanding of the dynamics of teenagers that manages to emphasize the Darwinian nature of their relationships along with the naivete’ of youth. The first two issues of his latest project, TROOP 142, put the viciousness of the interplay between teenage boys in the context of a Boy Scout outing. One thing that Dawson hammers home in these comics is the tension between the ideals of being a Boy Scout and the reality of being a teen.
I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to make these minis available for sale outside of comic conventions. I’d like to try to get a distributor interested in helping me out, but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll probably setup some kind of Paypal system or something.No comments