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A recent radio interview on PRI’s The World (Interview) about an important Haitian comic book project focusing on the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake will resonate for anybody involved in comic books and an interest in real world events.

Even though cartoons are largely associated with fun and entertainment–and this subject is anything but–the vivid, graphic nature of the project and its ability to powerfully convey the tragic events and ongoing recovery efforts makes this genre an invaluable tool for understanding the events.

(click images to expand)

The first installment of the project called “Tents Beyond Tents“was published online by the comic book site Cartoon Movement.

The project is spearheaded by Portland, Oregon cartoonist Matt Bors who teamed up with two talented Haiti natives–author Pharés Jerome and artist Chevelin Pierre.

Comics Journalism Editor Matt Bors (Photo: Caroline Bins), Pharés Jerome (Photo: Pharés Jerome), and Chevelin Pierre (Photo: Sandra Cériné)

Marco Werman, host and senior producer of The World, interviews Bors who discusses the genesis of the project, its current goals, and the Haitian comic book community in general.

This graphic approach to understanding one of the most graphic disasters ever witnessed in North America is but one step (and much more needs to be done) in communicating this unimaginable trauma brought to the Haitian people.

Indeed, Graphic Universe is in a prime position to take part in future publishing projects that advance a better understanding of this world event.


One of Graphic Universe’s most acclaimed writers—Trina Robbins—author of the popular Chicagoland Detective Agency series and the highly praised single title Lily Renée, Escape Artist—was recently interviewed by the esteemed comic book website CBR (Comic Book Resources). Interview. CBR, a pillar in the comic book community, has numerous awards to their credit, including a 2011 Eisner Award for “Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism” and an Eagle Award in the UK for “Favourite Comics-Related Website”, also in 2011.

The noteworthy and informative interview covers Ms. Robbins fascinating career—spanning over 40 years—as both an author/illustrator as well as a consummate historian. Ms. Robbins is as well-versed in the Golden Age of comics of the 1940s as she is in the underground movement of the 1960s and early 70s, of which she helped pioneer.

In the interview Ms. Robbins touches on such varied topics as her nostalgia for Golden Age publishers like Fiction House to her recent collaboration with illustrator Anne Timmons for the Lily Renée book.

When it comes to all things comic book there are few with as much knowledge and passion as Ms. Robbins and this interview is a must read for anyone with even a hint of interest in the colorful and ever captivating field.

Unshelved is a webcomic by librarian Gene Ambaum and cartoonist Bill Barnes. Book lovers, librarians, and teachers (that is to say, most of Lerner’s audience) will appreciate this light hearted look at every day life at the library. Every Friday their Unshelved Bookclub reviews a variety of books (there are usually a few graphic novels in attendance). Some of their reviews are delivered in cartoon from. It’s a smart approach, and method I hadn’t seen before.

In a recent review (a non-cartoon one, sadly) they took a closer look at the first volume in On the Case with Holmes and Watson, Sherlock Holmes and a Scandal in Bohemia. Gene Ambaum had this to say:

“Why I picked it up: My nine-year-old daughter loves Encyclopedia Brown and the BBC TV show Sherlock, and I was hoping for an adaptation that was accessible and entertaining.

Why I finished it: It’s both. Rohrbach’s drawings are large, simple, pleasant, and nicely colored, and many look like they might have been block printed. And the adaptation keeps a lot of the plot and tone of the original intact.

I’d give it to: My daughter, along with the next two books in the series. She’s really going to enjoy the way Holmes uses disguises and special effects to thwart the blackmailer.”

The GU Blog… written, scribbled, drawn, and tweeted by GU's editorial director and stalwart editorial assistant.

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