I’m proud to say that for the last three years I was at LA Weekly we probably had the best alt-comics coverage of any major periodical in the country. This is the third comic issue I produced for LA Weekly. Once a year, the editors would take a break (except for the poor news people) and they’d turn the whole mess over to me to put together. With the help of people such as Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics, Peggy Burns at Drawn & Quarterly, the good folks at Meltdown and Golden Apple, and many others far more knowledgeable than myself, I’d cobble together, on a budget that seemed strict at the time but probably lavish nowadays, about 20-30 pages of what I found most interesting or most printable in comics each year.
I think they were popular enough. We’d also host book signings and cosponsor other comic events in support of the artists and publishers. The Weekly even allowed me to edit one last issue a year after I’d left the paper. I’ll try to post that one soon if my intrepid photographer is willing.
The cover is by alt-comic legend Chester Brown. The idea was totally his. I take credit for being smart enough to track down his phone number, which are an art director’s most valuable skills — taking credit and tracking down phone numbers.
I loved editing these issues. Besides the interesting content, these and the annual photo issues were the only papers I got to both edit and art direct. For a control freak newspaper nerd, it’s the ultimate sensation. The editorial quality of these issues seriously benefitted from the talents of regular Weekly contributors such as Doug Harvey, Judith Lewis and Jay Babcock. I even got to line-edit copy as with the Bob Callahan story on Harvey Kurtzman below. Scary, I know.
Artwork from a just-released book about B. Krigstein
A Tony Millionaire drawing from, I think, Glass Doorknobs
This is a never-before-published drawing by Frank Miller
James Kochalka (left) and Renee French
I really enjoyed this original story by Eric Haven
An profile/interview of Get Your War On creator, David Rees, by Judith Lewis.
The “normal” comic page
A year-end roundup of editorial comics from some of the best in the biz
I heard about Art Spiegelman’s “In the Shadow of No Towers” project from a mutual friend. I think we may have had the honor of being the only publication in the country to run the pages at full size and in their entirety. They were created for broadsheet, so I had to clear two pages across a precious color well in order to print it. I think this comics issue ran the last two in the series, concluding a year of pleading for extra space with very understanding then-editor Laurie Ochoa. Laurie was extremely supportive of comics in general and none of these issues would have been possible were it not for her support.
These two Spiegelman pages were printed back-to-back so you could pull them out as a two-sided poster.