Three Things | Ed Brubaker, public domain Dr. Seuss, Evan Cohen’s ‘Life’

Here are three things to read, to back and to buy today.

Three Things is a new column that spotlights, as the title states, three things from comics today. Or yesterday, or last week, or whatever. It’ll be three things with links, no more, no less.

[Image above: Reckless: Follow Me Down promo image by Sean Phillips]

1. TO READ: Reckless, the graphic novel series from the award-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, gets the spotlight in this feature story by the L.A. Times. Jim Ruland, author of Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records talks with Brubaker about ‘80s L.A., mining his personal history for the story and updating the lurid detective series his father used to read for the new century.

“I can’t believe how lucky I was to get this feature, and how much art they’re running from the books, as well,” Brubaker said in his email newsletter. “This is actually the first L.A.-specific press the books have gotten, and since they’re basically a love-letter to the L.A. of my past, it means a lot.”

Reckless: The Ghost in You is the fourth volume in the Reckless series and is currently in stores. The fifth volume, Follow Me Down, comes out in October.

2. TO BACK: At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson highlights a new Kickstarter being run by the comics site ComicMix, who, as you might recall, settled a lawsuit last year with Dr. Seuss Enterprises over another book they were crowdfunding, Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!

That book mashed up the Seuss book of the (almost) same title with Star Trek characters and themes, but the Seuss estate sued on grounds of both trademark and copyright infringement. The courts dismissed the trademark case in 2017, and in 2019 a judge found the book was sufficiently “transformative” and met the conditions for fair use. The Seuss folks appealed, and the parties settled out of court in October.

End of the story? Oh no, not at all. While conducting research for their case, the ComicMix team discovered that several Seuss stories are now in the public domain, and this book will collect six of them. But don’t take my word for it — you’ll want to visit their Kickstarter page if for no other reason than ComicMix’s Glenn Hauman wrote their whole campaign pitch as a Seuss-esque poem. That’s worth a few bucks, wouldn’t you say? So head over to Kickstarter if you’re willing to pay.

3. TO BUY: Cartoonist Evan Cohen has released a new edition of his self-published graphic novel Life, which you can buy directly from his Big Cartel shop. Cohen’s art is beautiful and surreal, experimenting with and breaking the limitations of the form. It’s also just very pleasant to look at, especially today, which is my official Mental Health Day Off at my day job. When they ask me on Monday what I did, I’ll just send them a link to Cohen’s website and say I spent the day looking at his calming, serene artwork.

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