keane2Item! Not a Canadian story, but a found this kind of cute: A statue memorializing U.S. cartoonist Bill Keane and his Family Circus comic strip has just been dedicated in Keane’s hometown of Scottsdale Arizona. I love statues dedicated to cartoonists. The statue is cast from 16 separate molds and welded together, the monument is called “Giddy-up Daddy” and stands in a local park. Here’s a link to a video featuring Jeff and Chris Keane, the sons of the creator currently responsible for the strip.
Item! Speaking of cartoonist memorials, awhile back I wrote a piece about Canadian Cartoonist Landmarks, including the Palmer Cox house and historic plaque in Granby, Quebec. According to this article about Cox by Brian Busby, the plaque was stolen last year, probably by metal recycling thieves. A real tragedy.

Item! Last week’s Rob Ford news resulted in some crack reporting but the best piece I read was by cartoonist Michael DeForge on the immediate effect of the crack-smoking scandal on Toronto’s cartoonist community. An instant classic of journalism.
Item! Mentioned in DeForge’s report is cartoonist Patrick Kyle. The big news from this past weekend’s Comic Art Brooklyn show is that Koyama Press will be collecting Kyle’s Distance Mover graphic novel for Fall 2014. I had a subscription to the serialized risograph version and it is funny, sad, and beautiful. Tom Spurgeon has the scoop.

Item! In Windsor, Shawn Cousineau, owner of Rogues Gallery Comics, has started a drive to add comic books to food and toy baskets for needy families at Christmas, according to the Windsor Star: “Cousineau’s goal is to collect 6,000 comics from the public – 1,000 more than last year – before Dec. 12. The need for 1,000 more distresses him a bit, he said, because that means there are more families in need in Windsor. But it’s his mission to reach that goal regardless. For people who do not collect comics or do not want to part with some of their collection, a $5 donation will ensure 20 kids receive a colourful comic book this Christmas. Since starting on Nov. 1, Cousineau has collected $195 in donations and more than 200 comics.”
Item! Reviews! Writing for The Comics Journal, Dominic Umile reviews Elaine Will’s Look Straight Ahead, a graphic novel about mental illness: “Will sets herself apart in regularly varying execution, however, and here, in positioning two divergent conceptualizations of one sequence on a single page. But it isn’t just bold drafting. As often as we marvel at the manifestation of Jeremy’s delusions in Look Straight Ahead, at the spacescapes, littered with puzzle pieces that float freely within the book’s gutters, there is a sympathetic unearthing of the hardships that affect about one in four American adults here. Will’s pages stir and stun in their blur of off-kilter aesthetics, but they’re ultimately drawing attention to her deft and worthwhile examination of a truly difficult subject matter.”
Item! Finally, Brian Heater reviews Seth’s Palookaville #21 for Boing Boing. The new issue of this annual series has several stories: “‘Nothing Lasts’ (again, a pretty spot-on Seth title) returns to the gridded sketchbook layout the artist employed for the whimsical Wimbledon Green. The autobiographical story is as much an exercise in childhood nostalgia as it is a meditation on memory, and Seth, to his credit, is every bit as invested in the bad recollections as the good. And for a young boy with few friends, warring parents and a heavily medicated mother, the results are often brutally revealing. Like most of his serials, it will be fascinating to see how things unspool — and a bit frustrating, given Palookaville’s now annual schedule. For anyone who’s been following the series, it’s required reading, obviously.”