Interview: Craig Yoe Pt. 2 [of 2]

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In part two of our interview with cartoon art historian Craig Yoe. We discuss the roles that Fredrick Wertham, a Brooklyn-based gang of Jewish Nazis, and the Supreme Court judge who helped found the ACLU played in Joe Shuster’s post-Superman SM drawings.

[Part One]

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Interview: Craig Yoe Pt. 1 [of 2]

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Given the breadth and diversity of Craig Yoe’s career, from My Little Pony employee to creative director of the Muppets to self-made comics historian, it might be easier to define him by those seemingly few things he hasn’t done in the entertainment industry. Or better yet, we’ll simply focus on those aspects of Yoe’s career that are particularly important to us, at the moment, beginning with the 2005 publication of Modern Arf.

The first in the Fantagraphic series—which now includes Art Museum and Arf Forum—the anthology helped established Yoe a first-class documenter of sequential art’s secret history, a position echoed in the near simultaneous publication of Boody, the Fantagraphics-published love letter largely forgotten master, Boody Rogers and Abrams’ Secret Identity.

We sat down with Yoe at the recent MoCCA Festival in midtown Manhattan for a conversation that largely revolved around the latter, a book devoted to the long lost SM drawings of Superman artist, Joe Shuster, which Yoe happened to stumble upon at a rare art sale.

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The Laugh-out-Loud Cats Sell Out by A. Koford

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The Laugh-out-Loud Cats Sell Out
By A. Koford

akofordlolcatscoverFor better or worse, we live in the age of the meme. In some form or other, the concept has existed since the beginning of recorded history, but, given the modern ubiquity of the Internet, culture is being disseminated at a dizzying pace, spread through blogs and Websites and e-mail, becoming ever more fragmented and ephemeral.  In fact, it should be regarded as something of a marked success for those pop-cultural Internet touchstones capable of remaining in the public conscious for longer than a week or two.

By that measure, the Lolcat is downright canonical. One of the most persuasive Internet memes of the decade, the concept is something of a critical mass the Web’s love of silly animal pictures with its devotion to forced misspellings and malapropism, marrying the two into works that seem to imply, among other things, that if cats could indeed speak, they would likely do so poorly. Love it or hate it, the Lolcat shows no sign of slowing. In fact, if one can indeed predict the meme’s downfall, it will likely be from cannibalization on the part of the many sub-memes it’s spawned.
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