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This Site Is Good: NYC Graphic

NYC Graphic is this excellent website by writer Christopher Irving and photographer Seth Kushner that examines the comic book history (and present) of New York through interviews with the many comic book professionals who make New York their home.

It’s a wonderfully insightful website, with excellent photographs from Kushner. I believe I’ve linked before to the photography project that Kushner was doing a year or so ago that inspired this current project. In March of 2008, Kushner began doing a series of portraits of graphic novelists in the New York City area. Eventually, he decided to expand the project (which would be a coffee table-esque book) by adding interviews – enter Christopher Irving.

So as the interviews are collected, the guys add the pieces to the NYC Graphic website – some of them are poeple that Kushner already did portraits of, while some of them (like Jules Feiffer) are brand new portraits to accompany the new interview.

It’s really a wonderful project – here is a mock-up of what the book might look like…

Pretty sweet looking, no?


That’s a good site. There’s a great piece on Walt Simonson, and the picture with it has him wearing an awesome dinosaur shirt. I need to give this a more thorough lookover though. I’d buy that book in a second.

A cool site. They were in the news the last few weeks over their handling of the Carmine Infantion interview.

Yeah, I feel bad for them over that Infantino bit. They really didn’t seem to do anything wrong there, so it was a shame they got besmirched over that.


July 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm

What happened with the Infantino article?

I’ve got it up to read in-between bits of work, but I can’t see anything controversial from a quick scan.

Shame it only sticks to NY though – hopefully they’ll expand it.

Infantino later claimed he was misquoted a number of times in the piece.

Irving and Kushner, naturally, disagree, and I tend to agree with them (especially as Irving recorded the whole interview).


July 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Infantino should watch The Life Aquatic – it may not look the best, but sometimes you’ve got to accept what you did and said.

Huh? The Infantino controversy was because they claimed it was his last interview, causing his fan to think he was dead. They also claimed he had a hernia, which they just made up.

Wow, Paul Pope really looks like a Paul Pope drawing!

He told them it was his last interview and they said it was his last interview – if people read into what Infantino told them, that’s their fault?

Well, for the sake of accuracy, as far as I can tell Infantino (and/or his fans) had four problems with the interview:

1. Irving promised Infantino that he could look over the interview before it was published, which didn’t happen

2. Irving misquoted Infantino, although the only specific instance that was claim that Infantino later regretted changing Kirby’s artwork on Jimmy Olsen

3. Irving distastefully overplayed Infantino’s age, including blatant inaccuracies (i.e. the hernia)

4. Irving took what was probably a throw-away comment by Infantino and turned it into a misleading headline

As to whether any or all of those claims are TRUE, I couldn’t gather enough information. But that seems to be the way things are claimed to be.

Currently Irving’s interview reads: “When I first asked him for the interview, he told me I was “the last of the Mohicans”, and it would possibly be the last time he would ever go on record.”

The jump from “possibly be the last time he would ever go on record” to “Carmine Infantino’s Final Interview” (which I am fairly certain was the original title) was perhaps a jump to far. Irving, I’m certain, only ever wanted to imply by that title that Infantino had decided not to do any more interviews, rather than was unable to. Whether or not Irving should be held responsible for a title that could obviously be misconstrued by those not bothering to read the article is a question I’m not certain of the answer to.

That being said, what’s more Silver Age than the cover being vastly more sensational than what’s inside, to get people to pick it up. It’s rather (unintentionally) meta, in a way.

That’s a very fair list, Ted.

I’ll certainly allow that the hernia mistake is weird/bad, but I also don’t think it’s that much of a big deal.

The other three things are a lot more notable, and all three of those things I think were explained well by Irving and Kushner, which were, in turn,

1. We offered, he declined

2. He said what he said, and we posted it (and we have recordings of what was said, so we can prove it if need be)

4. He said that this was going to be it for him, interview-wise, and we went with it because it sounded catchy (and I’m personally on the side of “If the actual piece gives the context (which is that Infantino wasn’t going to do interviews anymore), then I don’t think the headline is a problem”).

I think Brian, like you, I’m more willing to side with Irving and Kushner. I don’t think that Infantino was misquoted, nor do I think that Irving necessarily needs to apolgise for what other people read into a title. I think that Infantino’s main problem is that the interview made him look old and frail, and I can see why he would have a problem with that, but that doesn’t make it bad journalism.

I think that the biggest question is over reviewing the interview before it went to print. This certainly seems to be the main focus of argument over of The Beat. First of all, the idea of giving a interview subject oversight over a piece on them is probably bad jounralistic practise in itself. That being said, if it was promised then it should have been done. If we look at what the participants say:

Infantino: “Mr. Irving promised that I could look over the materials before publication.”
Irving: “I would like to apologize to Mr. Infantino for any oversight in reviewing the interview transcript”
Kushner: “At the end of the interview, Chris mentioned that he would send along the transcript, but Mr. Infantino indicated that it wouldn’t be necessary.”

What has to be noted here is that Irving and Kushner are talking about a TRANSCRIPT and Infantino is talking about a FINISHED PRODUCT. I think what has happened here is, when asked if he wanted the transcript, Infantino said “no” as in “no, I’ll just overlook at the finished product” and Irving took it as “no, I’ll just trust you.” My best guess, and it is mostly guess, is that this is just a failure to communicate.

I don’t think that all the ad hom attacks on Irving and Kushner were justified at all, though, and they reflect badly on Infantino’s supporters.

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