Our free e-book for December is Hillary L. Chute’s Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists. Download your copy here. *** We are living in a golden age of cartoon art. Never before has graphic storytelling been so prominent or garnered such respect: critics and readers alike agree that contemporary cartoonists are creating some of the most innovative and exciting work in all the arts. For nearly a decade Hillary L. Chute has been sitting down for extensive interviews with the leading figures in comics, and with Outside the Box she offers fans a chance to share her ringside seat. Chute’s in-depth discussions with twelve of the most prominent and accomplished artists and writers in comics today reveal a creative community that is richly interconnected yet fiercely independent, its members sharing many interests and approaches while working with wildly different styles and themes. Chute’s subjects run the gamut of contemporary comics practice, from underground pioneers like Art Spiegelman and Lynda Barry, to the analytic work of Scott McCloud, the journalism of Joe Sacco, and the extended narratives of Alison Bechdel, Charles Burns, and more. They reflect on their experience and innovations, the influence of peers and mentors, the reception of . . .
Speaking of climate change. . . . Pankaj Mistra on Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement at the Guardian: How such “progress” changes the global environment is revealed, along with other true faces of easternisation, by Ghosh in his short but broad-ranging and consistently stimulating indictment of our era of the “great derangement”. It has been a time, he writes, when “most forms of art and literature were drawn into the modes of concealment that prevented people from recognising the realities of their plight.” Ghosh details the original damage inflicted by the west’s carbon-fuelled modes of economic and political imperialism. But it was, he adds, the “expanding industrialisation of Asia’s most populous nations, beginning in the 1980s, that brought the climate crisis to a head.” China’s carbon emissions per head of population have now surpassed the EU’s; India is not far behind. Briskly, Ghosh outlines the devastating consequences: the loss in India of “some of the country’s most fertile lands”; the disappearance of “many of the subcontinent’s low-lying islands, like the Lakshadweep chain”; the “migration of up to 50 million people in India and 75 million in Bangladesh”; not to mention that “if the glaciers continue to shrink at the present rate, the most . . .