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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Kibbles n Bits, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/18/14: To canon or not to canon?

§ Multiversity has been killin’ it lately with a bunch of industry analyses and convention reports. Here’s David Harper on Creator-Owned and the Thin Line Between “To Be Continued” and “The End” whch spins out of a comment Brandon Montclare made right here at The Beat.

What that commenter fails to realize, and what Montclare only scrapes the edges of, is that comics exist within a delicate ecosystem. A title’s fate – especially when it is outside of Marvel or DC – can be determined before a single issue is even released, and beyond that initial launch, it takes the actions of readers, retailers and creators in various channels and forms to keep those books alive in an increasingly diverse and competitive market. Those three groups don’t just impact the fate of a book, though. Each group impacts one another in some obvious and some not so obvious ways, and those three work together to create the special alchemy that makes the wheels of the comic book industry turn.

§ New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff remembers Charles Barsotti who passed away on Monday.

§ Cleaning up the tabs, a few days ago Beat alum Marc-Oliver Frisch took on comics criticism with a piece called What We Talk About When We Talk About Crit, which, in my sleep deprived state, was a hard slog for me:

It may well be true that people view criticism “as an extension of the artistic experience,” as Tom Spurgeon suggests. It’s probably fair to say, too, that “criticism” tends to be seen as being synonymous with “reviews,” and those, in turn, as a service rendered to the entertainment seeker—plot summary, some light background info, thumbs-up/thumbs-down recommendation, mission accomplished. Consequently, the worst and most obnoxious thing a critic could possibly do is be a spoilsport, either by being ambivalent, or by revealing plot points people would rather find out themselves, or by suggesting their taste is superior to the taste of their readers. It’s no wonder critics aren’t terribly popular when, at best, they’re supposed to be glorified food tasters, efficient catalysts for a maximized entertainment and/or artistic experience, ideally with no delusions of being anything more than, at best, useful leeches.


 § Sort of along the same lines, Dan Nadel interviewed Hillary Chute, an academic who is best known for her books of interviews with comics creators, Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics  this year’s Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists, and as the organizer of the famed G17 2012 cartoonists summit, Comics: Philosophy and Practice. Nadel stats off with some sharp questioning on whether Chute has been making a canon, and why she doesn’t include cartoonists such as Mat Brinkman, Ron Rege, CF and Ben Jones in her interview series, considering many of her actual subjects were interviewed or profiled in previous books about cartoonists. (For the record the cartoonists in her latest book are McCloud, Burns, Barry, Kominsky-Crumb, Clowes, Gloeckner, Sacco, Bechdel, Mouly, Tomine Spiegelman and Ware—a group certainly not encumbered by obscurity to be sure, but they are pretty much the best of the lot from the last 40 years or so, so they earned it.) Anyway, Chute replies:

I don’t think the Comics: Philosophy & Practice conference or Outside the Box ignores post-2000 developments in comics–almost every single person I cover in Outside the Box has published a really important recent work, like Charles Burns’s The Hive, Chris Ware’s Building Stories, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Lynda Barry’s collage activity books, and Phoebe Gloeckner’s in-progress reportage on Mexico.  So it doesn’t seem backwards looking at all: these people are doing fascinating and game-changing work right now.


Setting aside that the cartoonists Nadel is championing are ones he used to publish when he ran Picturebox—being passionate about the creators you publish is a good thing—this harkens back to a matter I’ve touched on here several times: the lack of cartoonists of acknowledged or potential canonical stature since, hm, let’s say Fun Home. Whether this is because they aren’t as good, they don’t have strong enough bodies of work (maybe because they don’t need to publish regularly as everyone listed above did at one point) or the “canon” is locked up tight, I’m not sure. Or maybe Frisch is right and writing criticism is such a hopeless task that we just let the chickens run free in the barnyard now. And you know, I’m not in favor of “canon” either. But I’d join in on what Chute suggests Nadel’s agenda is: if there is a canon, the Hernandez Brothers need to be in it.

Nadel linked to the current, comic-focused issue of Art- Forum, where more of this argument turns into a catnip toy for kittenish commentators. A few have been posted. One such is disreputable sources: art and comics by Fabrice Stroun, director of Kunsthalle Bern, who argues that since going mainstream, comics just aren’t as edgy and cool:

OVER THE YEARS, Artforum has published reviews of all types—laudatory or excoriating, lyrical or polemical—but only one has taken the form of a comic. That singular piece, authored by Art Spiegelman, appeared in the December 1990 issue of the magazine. Spiegelman’s task was to assess the controversial exhibition “High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture,” which had gone on view the preceding October at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and, while he was not nearly as incensed as some commentators by curators Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik’s mixture of MoMA masterpieces and pop-cultural detritus, he was by no means complimentary.


Given that this is Artforum, its natural that comics should be approached from the fine arts direction; I haven’t heard the notorious High and Low show referenced much in recent years, but it does hold a kind of Wertham-like stature in the history of comics acceptance, since it was a thorough beat down of the “low” part of the exhibit.

The other night I was chatting with someone in the academic world who told me that although comics are generally accepted in the pop culture sphere, in academia they are still fighting for their place. The cartoonists Chute covers can certainly all be used as rungs on the ladder to High Art; it will be a long time before a C.F. or a Nilson gets to join the club though. (BTW Chute does mention a bunch of younger cartoonists she likes in the piece; to see who click the link!)

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§ New nerd-friendly Nikki Finke has a piece on the odd place of storyboard artists in Hollywood—they’re stuck in the Art Direction union when they probably shouldn’t be. I mention this becuase so many storyboard atists are quasi-cartoonists, or even cartoonsits, like Gabriel Hardman, whose storyboard for Inception is above.

“We board artists are basically stuck (after being forced to integrate) inside a union which has nothing to do with who we are. That’s the gist. Our concerns are not theirs. And secondly, we are not who people think we are. We’re like a white elephant in the room whom nobody wants to address. ‘Hellllloooooo?… is there anybody out there?’ [Pan right to the powers that be as they nervously look the other way.]

There is a new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer with portentous, choir-infused music, sad childhoods and every assurance that this will be just like every other Marvel movie, after all.

11 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/18/14: To canon or not to canon?, last added: 6/20/2014
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2. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/12/14: There is this thing called the World Cup…

§ I guess I need to update this post.

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§ What makes this cartoon by Peter Arno perfect? Paul Karasik explains.

When the stars of the convention appeared, they found out that their hotel rooms hadn’t been paid for. They were forced to pay out of their own pockets. As the con progressed, it became apparent that the thousands of attendees needed would not appear. Vendors and venue realized that they were not going to be paid. Shamrock management contacted all the dealers in the hotel and told them that unless the remaining balance was collected by that evening, they would all be thrown out. They passed the hat to keep the doors open and hoped to sell enough to recoup their losses.

§ When did this crappy con happen? 1982. The story of a failed Houston comic-con and a successful new one, Comicpalooza as told by Jeff Rouner. Man, I love these looks back at old timey comics oddballs like Jerry Wilhite.

§ I had this bookmark in my tabs for ages: free Toon Books comics with audio in multiple languages. Help the kids read!

§ Remember John Carter? I know you do. Here’s Taylor Kitsch looking back and talking the never to be seen sequel.

§ CBR’s Brian Cronin watched every episode of The A Team to find out if Mr. T ever actually said ‘I Pity the Fool’. I will not spoil the answer.

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§ Jason Youngbluth dropped a line to say that the collected Weapon Brown is available and Tom Brevoort said nice things about it. The story involves a grown up, lethal character sort of like Charlie Brown.

§ Gail Simone will be selling limited edition scripts at this weekend’s Special Edition in NYC.

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§ Some people STILL DO NOT GET STARSHIP TROOPERS, nearly twenty years later. We’ll keep fighting and we’ll win.

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/12/14: There is this thing called the World Cup…, last added: 6/12/2014
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3. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/5/14: cartoonists embroiled in scandal over affair

It’s been a while since I kibbled and bitted because…well I had one version of this that had like 50 links. I tweeted them instead.

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§ Cartoonists in the US are not celebrities, with one or two exceptions. They can leave the house without make-up, or go to the beach or do normal human cock-ups and TMZ will not give a flying donut. But if this story is to be believed, that is not quite the case in Taiwan, where cartoonist Wan Wan has been forced to have a press conference where she wore a mask because fans are mad that she had an affair. Known for her adorable drawings about typical life subjects, she has sold millions of books, appears on TV and in movies and has a devoted following throughout Asia. Thus when news broke that the married Wan Wan was canoodling with a fellow cartoonist not her husby, fans were dismayed:

Wan Wan and Huang, who is a fellow blogger and cartoonist, were seen dining together, enjoying each other’s company and kissing, before they took a night drive to a mountain park on the outskirts of Taipei, according to the report. Taiwan’s online communities were abuzz over the “Wan Wan affair” yesterday. Many netizens said they were shocked, especially because she is a newlywed. “Wan Wan should apologize to her husband, and not to us,” one wrote. “If this is true, then she should get a divorce. She has set a very bad example to others,” another posted. Some of her fans defended her, saying that it was Wan Wan’s private business, which was probably a misjudgement on her part, but that they would continue to support her.


I’m sure there’s a lot of sexism involved in Wan Wan’s fall from grace, but the moral lesson is clear: don’t become a celebrity if you want to enjoy a nice private night drive to a mountain park.

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§ NEPOTISM ALERT: Michael Gezsel is a friend of this blog and a collaborator with people close to The Beat. However, on the occasion of the re-release of the GN Tribes by Geszel and Inaki Miranda, he was interviewed by CBR and passed along some good advice looking back on some of the problems with the first edition of Tribes, including the hard-sell horizontal format:

First, you’ve got to be very realistic about the marketplace and you have to control costs. As far as the reality is, just be really shrewd and thrifty. Don’t think you’re going to reinvent the wheel or the rules. Be patient, too. It’s about being persistent and patient with people. You have to find out how the industry ticks. My main regret and a big lesson was not starting a comic series to be released issue-by-issue mostly to build readership and not fight the economic tides of the comic book industry. Tribes is a rich story world. There’s a ton of story there. The book was always conceived as part one of a three-part narrative. I should have made better choices to maximize reader engagement, i.e. to make it as easy as possible to experience the story in comics. That means the vertical standard format in 22-page issues — serializing the story rollout. And we could have had not quite 50 issues. Instead I created a big widescreen, 200-page (178 comic story pages) graphic novel that was released as a trade and that was murder to sell because retailers do not like to stack horizontals, especially trade paperback “horizontals” from unknown creators. I could not have made it harder on myself if my worst enemy had arranged my story publishing strategy or lack thereof. As a hardcover the new edition has a new shot. Inaki now has a Vertigo monthly (“Coffin Hill”) and that helps too. IDW does a great job with packaging and book production. A new cover helps. All that helps.

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§ The D&Q blog sums up the success of Mimi Pond’s GN Over Easy and reveals that she will be designing a set of dishware for Fishs Eddy. They previously did a set of mugs and what nots with Roz Chast that was also loverly. I WANT THAT TEA TRAY.

§ The Frisky suggests

5 Genre-Busting Comic Books For People Who Think They Hate Comic Books, none of which are horrible.

§ I enjoyed this negative review of the Comics Unmasked exhibit at the British Library, by James Heartfield, because instead of saying comics suck, it’s all about the comics that got left out, like the Beano and all that.

Unfortunately, the curators of the exhibition Comics Unmasked at the British Library have been overwhelmed by the Gothic vision, at the expense of every other contribution to the medium. And as creative as Moore’s gothic is, it is still a lot less interesting than the material that has been left out of the exhibition. It is an aesthetic for adolescent boys who think that unhappy and twisted stuff is correspondingly profound, while comedy is trivial and facile. The truth is often the other way round, where horror and gore are really just sentimentality, prurient and moralistic at the same time, while comedy allows marvellous slippages of meaning that are much more intelligent. These are the fanatics who renamed the comic book a ‘graphic novel’ to make it sound more grown-up.


Not having seen the show, I can’t say if this is a valid argument or not. The comments suggest that there is some Leo Baxendale on display. At any rate, it’s clear that curator Paul Gravett was going for an exhibit that covered the subversive side of Brit Comics. [ViaRobot 6.

§ I know we were all talking about cons and harassment the other day, and apparently there is a SF con called WisCon that bills itself as progressive and feminist, but it had all kinds of problems with people who had been banned for good reason being let back in. SF people back up their outrage with an intense number of links, quotes, callouts to other blogs, backtracks when new facts some to light, and so on, making keeping up a daunting task. If you want to dive it this seems to be a passable entry way.

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§ There is a comic book from Nigeria and it is called Akaraka: The Call Of Destiny. It’s about warring demigods and you can read it right at the link.

§ This Batman-centric comics site is looking for reviewers. They have a lot of guidelines though, so make sure you are (wo)man enough.

§ Marvel mad a Miracleman featurette. It’s kind of funny how now that this is finally out, no one really cares, isn’t it?

§ This is old but David Harper’s excellent The Life and Times of the Modern Comic Book Artist is a total must read for its look at lifestyles, quotes on rates and general much needed overview of how things are.

8 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/5/14: cartoonists embroiled in scandal over affair, last added: 6/8/2014
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4. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/24/14 – Don’t scan my testicles

§ Beware the timeslot! It seems that the aborted single season of Beware The Batman will finish but new episodes will be shawn at 3 am. Talk about a vote of confidence. Of course there is DVR for those who aren’t night owls. Why did this show flop so badly?

§ There is a newish (two years) comics company called OSSM Comics that I got a few PR pieces about. They publish actionish comics. It is owned by Omar Spahi and Siike Donnely is also involved.

§ PW Talked to Roz Chast about her great new book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant.

§ PW also talked to G. Willow Wilson about the new Ms. Marvel.

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§ Here is an interesting piece about how 1951 comic from WITCHES’ TALES was bowdlerized and the original version is seen for the first time (swell sort of) since 1951. The post-Wertham version consisted of less cleavage and bigger American flags.

§ Author Solutions and Golden Apple Comics have teamed up to offer self-publishing and marketing services for graphic novel authors.

§ In this week’s outrage there was this extremely stupid t-shirt at WonderCon that insulted both fangirls and coffee. And pro-fangirl and coffee t-shirts have been made in response. Because..people like coffee. The above link covers the response of the t-shirt maker who is one Facebook, who said that “we hate fanboys too and blah blah.” Really, Rebecca Pahle’s piece above is a smart round-up of the kerfuffle, which included a spirited and excellent piece by Greg Rucka about his daughter. I looked at the FB page from the t-shirt maker in question and one thing I noticed — he’s a young guy. I mean maybe he looks young for his age but I’d guess early 20s. And people that age do stupid stuff. Sorry, kids. I think it’s worth remembering that a lot of the current problem stems from dumbass kids. It doesn’t make it any better but it is important to know the source of the shade.

§ I liked this Compendium of Comic Maps

§ I am sad to report that whether or not Almost Human has been renewed is STILL NOT KNOWN. This show will forever have a place in my heart for the scene where Kennex begs Dorian “Don’t scan my testicles.” HAS NO ONE MADE A GIF OF THIS YET? Yes they did! Anyway I’m sure no news is bad news, and this show is doomed. In the meantime, here is a fine run down of Karl Urban’s many geek roles.

2 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/24/14 – Don’t scan my testicles, last added: 4/24/2014
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5. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/27/14: People said things, did things

§ Many thanks to David FairbanksMichael DeLaney, David Nieves and of course, Tireless Torsten Adair for their C2E2 coverage. Sounds like this show has come into its own at last.

§ There were a bajillion comics events this weekend and one of the more oblique was the Brooklyn Zine Fest ; Robyn Chapman has a complete report and says it was her most profitable show since Comic Arts Brooklyn, so in Brooklyn they like ziney comics. That is good.

§ Before the BZF I attended Brain Frame which is kind of a performance art showcase for cartoonists. Some of it was wacky, but some was pretty cool, and there were two giant paper mache feet. Brain Frame is generally located in Chicago and I suggest you check it out if you get a chance.

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§ Anne Ishii interviews cartoonist to watch Sophie Yanow about her book War of Streets and Houses (above) which is a startlingly concise examination of urban development, public protest and more.

§ CBR spoke with Fred Van Lente about stuff including his upcoming book How to Make Comics Like the Pros, co-written with Greg Pak:

We take readers from idea to scriptwriting process, pencils, inks, colors, letters, and then we talk about marketing. Greg obviously had a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Ryan and I have had a successful self-publishing company. We’re able to use our joint experience to guide folks from unpublished to published, and then perhaps after that, getting hired by one of the Big Two. We do some of the basic business and math stuff on how to run a self-published comics operation. To answer your question, I wish I had this information before I started doing this, in the ’90s. It would’ve saved me a lot of wasted money and frustration.

 

§ A spirited debate about Zen Pencils, and that #hate comic he ran a while ago.

§ I enjoyed The Eltingville Club #1 and his review of the book.

Dorkin’s The Eltingville Club #1 should be funny as he skewers fanboys left and right. From lousy comic shops who refuse to carry anything other than Marvel or DC comics to fans who enjoy the act of hating more than anything else, Dorkin viciously attacks the ugliness of fandom. Dorkin has absolutely no sympathy for his characters, only sadness, disappointment and a healthy amount of contempt. They think of themselves as “true fans,” the ones upholding the vigorous standards that any real art form requires. Instead, they’re the ones building up the walls around their precious love, protecting it from the “fake” fanboys and fangirls.  When one of them finally gets a job in a comic shop, for lousy pay and work, it’s the culmination of a little life as he’s reached the peak of existence, just like that high school quarterback who has no dreams beyond becoming the starter and winning the state championship.

 

§ In comic book FIGHT news, there was this, which you may have seen some people talking about on Twitter the last few days. Dan Nadel accused Scott McCloud and First Second of making shitty comic, and used an ableist term. I think First Second has had its share of clunkers over the years, but no way is This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki shitty. But, you know, something to talk about!

10 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/27/14: People said things, did things, last added: 4/29/2014
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6. KIbbles ‘n’ Bits 4/29/14: Trolling of the very finest kind

§ Alex Dueben catches up with Richard Thompsonas “The Complete Cul de Sac” is published:

What was it like seeing the exhibit at OSU?

I don’t think I saw the whole exhibit; there were too many people that I wanted to spend time with. What I saw of it was great but mostly I remember the crowd of familiar faces. My daughters booth told me their favorite parts of the exhibit. For my older daughter, it was seeing a bunch of people who where laughing at a cartoon on the wall. For my younger daughter, it was an original by Jack Kirby in the adjoining room.

§ The great insult wars between Marvel and DC have largely cooled off, but Joe Quesada got offsome awesome concern trolling by pointing out some flaws with Man Of Steel…like thinking Zod was the hero, as he told Kevin Smith in his podcast:

“He wanted to save his race, and Superman didn’t let him,” Quesada continued. “Zod, in this particular incarnation, struck me as not necessarily an evil man, but a man of … he had a particular … he had his orders, he had a mission. He was a zealot of sorts, but he was a zealot … again, correct me if I’m wrong  … but he didn’t say, ‘I want to rebuild Krypton,’ and then come back and destroy this little planet. ‘All I want is to rebuild this planet. And the only reason I’m blowing everything to bits here is because you’ve got what I want, and you’re not giving it to me. So please, give me my people, and I’ll leave.’”


Actually, a pretty good point by Quesada — Zod, although ultimately evil, clearly had noble intentions at one point, and that added a bit of complexity to the storyline. People like a complicated plto when it’s Batman, when it’s SUperman they don’t.

§ Michael Cavna profiles Herblock Prize winner Jen Sorensen:

Her award is notable partly because Sorensen is the first woman to win the prize in its decade-long history. But her career is also a barometer of another shifting wind: She is the relatively rare freelancer who scoops up so many industry honors while making a living not by seeking that scarce newspaper staff position, but by patching together a political-cartoon portfolio of webcomics, alt-weekly works, magazine gigs (Ms., The Progressive, the Nation) and even the occasional corporate assignment.

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§ Chris Sims was pretty annoyed by these heavily gendered Happy meal toys for Amazing Spider-Man 2 — boys got spiders and a mask; girls get pink wallets that say Spider-Man on them. And I found them icky too, but the DC Women Kicking Ass crew actually thought this was a POSITIVE step, since McDonald’s was at least marketing a superhero movie to girls. CHOICE YOUR SIDE. One thing that Sims wrote though:

There is, however, an argument in favor of the toys, one that I first heard with regards to the LEGO Friends set, a hot pink “girly” version of everyone’s favorite (pretty much gender-neutral) building blocks. It went like this: While the sets were clearly marketed as being “For Girls,” with an emphasis on cute puppies, hair salons, and friendship, the actual sets weren’t really targeting the kids. They were targeting the parents, encouraging them to pick something up for girls that would be a sort of gateway toy, for parents who wouldn’t have otherwise bought little girls sets that were based on Star Wars, superheroes or fire trucks. It’s an interesting argument, and it’s certainly true that toy commercials have conditioned kids to separate the stuff they like into the old blue-is-for-boys, pink-is-for-girls categories without even knowing it, and that girls as a market have been pretty traditionally underserved by superheroes. If the goal here is to give little girls a way to express their love of Spider-Man in a way that their stodgy parents won’t frown on, then that’s something we can get behind.


Yous are heavily, heavily gender stereotyped, but I have to say the new Legos for Girls definitely sell more than the gender neutral Legos did. Is it just socialization that allows girls to prefer cute little puppies and social situations? I don’t know, but those girl legos are adorable…

§ I totally did not watch the video of Diane Nelson playing pinball but luckily Kevin MElrose did.

§ Some Graphic Novel reviews by Paul Gravett.

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1 Comments on KIbbles ‘n’ Bits 4/29/14: Trolling of the very finest kind, last added: 4/29/2014
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7. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 5/2/2014: No More ADHD

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§ Old news, but unmentioned here. It seems Fox has cancelled its Saturday night ADHD animation block. But two animated shows will be coming back on Sunday night—which ones we don’t know yet. The fate of Axe Cop remains unclear — the creator was making sounds like it might be one of the two shows. We shall see. Cartoonist/multi-media artist Ben Jones was the creative director for the entire enterprise and had a show called Stone Quackers in development. Unknown where that is going either. I was never home to watch any of the ADHD line-up, but I know there were fans. Interesting comments on 2d animation and other creative concerns in the Cartoon Brew post above.

§ Colleen Doran went to Arkansas to chat about comics, and it was nice.

Doran followed the lecture with a question and answer session in Arkansas Hall on Friday afternoon before heading to Little Rock to appear at the Arkansas Literary Festival on Saturday. “Art students and comics fans are really fortunate to be here at Henderson,” Dr. Travis Langley, professor of psychology, said. “To be able to hear people like Colleen speak is really unique.”

§ Expect to see more Roz Chast profiles like this one in the Times as her new Graphic Novel makes the rounds.

It is almost shocking to meet Ms. Chast, whose cartoons so often feature a chronically frazzled woman of her own general appearance, and find no visible rays of anxiety emanating from her head. Other than not being an obvious bundle of neuroses, she is very much the way you might expect: wry, ruminative, able to take the smallest thing and find what is funny about it.

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§ Golden Age artist Barbara Hall Calhoun passed away at age 94. Hall drew Girl Commandos for Harvey. Like many women artists of the era, she retired to start a family but later on helped found the entire commune movement in Vertmont of the 60s and 70s. So, a busy life well lived.

§ Craig Yoe has a nice remembrance of Al Feldstein.

§ Spike Trotman has a revealing essay on the difficulties of publishing an erotic comic, including a publisher who had no problem with a book where a man’s penis got bitten off, but wouldn’t publish a scene of consensual oral sex. Priorities, people.

Have you ever tried to print comic book porno? Not a picnic. I know where to look, thanks to two years of experience and the aid of a freelance print production manager, but it still took two weeks and a dozen price quotes. I had to assemble a PDF of what I call “the black diamond pages,” or the most potentially objectionable content, to send around with the quote requests. I had to double and triple-check. “There is sex in this. There are sex organs in this. There is penetration in this. Is that okay? Are you sure? Very sure? Did you see the PDF?”

§ Aaaaand from the other side, Joey Esposito talks about the probelms finding a publisher for Captain Ultimate, his all-ages comic published digitally via Monkeybrain.

And therein lies our problem. We’re remarkably grateful that Monkeybrain took us in and is so committed to the cause of not only publishing great, innovative comics, but including all-ages books among them. Unfortunately, we’ve been turned down by print publishers we thought would be a great fit for Captain Ultimate. This could be because of the other books they publish, or maybe they like all-ages but hate capes/superheroes, or maybe because we’re unknowns. It’s even been suggested to us that we might be better off shopping our comic book outside of the comic book industry. Meaning, we might have better luck with our all-ages comic at a publisher that does traditional kids lit. But whatever the reason, it hasn’t been in the cards thus far.

§ Ming Doyle captures te joys and frustrations of being a woman anytime anywhere when asked if being a women cartoonists has benefits or drawbacks:

The short, practical answer: Most business is conducted entirely over email. Your editors may hire you, work with you for years, and if you don’t post selfies or attend conventions, they may never know what you look like. Even if they do know what you look like, editors care more about your quality of work, your timeliness and your professionalism, than any selfie. Be fearless, do the work, make connections online, and of course you can flourish! The long, twisted answer: Yes. We’re women, it’s inevitable that we’ll be judged, coveted, and derided purely on the basis of our looks, our age, our perceived sexual availability. These judgments crash against us at every turn in life. They’re inescapable, and yes, explicitly or implicitly, from men and from women, you will confront these judgments and many more during your professional career.

§ Some classic Johanna snark on DC’s creatorless solicitations for their Five Years Later September books:

Apparently, DC doesn’t care about the actual story inside the covers, just the fancy gimmick. This is cynical, uncaring marketing, and I regret that so many people will take part in it. Comics are magical for the stories they tell, created by actual people, not corporations. Buying comics because of one plastic picture… well, it’s been done many times before, but it doesn’t bode well.

§ Ok tech dude John Carmack is building a virtual reality comic book shop . Your guess is as good as mine.

1 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 5/2/2014: No More ADHD, last added: 5/2/2014
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8. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 5/15/14: Lots of women at ECCC; first Walking Dead Season Five teaser, etc etc etc

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§ Emerald City Comicon was a wonderful, diverse event. And a survey of attendees suggests that half the attendees identified themselves as female. It was a self selecting, non-scientific survey, but I doubt that anyone who was there would dispute that this feels quite accurate. The modern comic-con is a very diverse one, and it seems to me that women are flooding into all the “nerd” categories in unprecedented numbers.

§ It seems that attendance at the recent Ottawa Comiccon was up!

With the third edition being held at EY Centre from May 9 to 11, Ottawa Comiccon continued its ascent, attracting over 38,000 visitors – an increase of 8,000 over the 2013 edition.



§ Tokyo has banned comics featuring incest:

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is to ban sales to children of a manga series that depicts incestuous relationships, an official said Tuesday, the first time expanded rules on sexual content have been invoked. “Little Sisters Paradise! 2,” which was published last month by Kadokawa, will be classified as an “unhealthy publication” that must be kept out of children’s reach. The comic, a spinoff from an adult-orientated computer game with the same title, says on its cover: “More naughty days of a brother and five sisters.”


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§ The first photo from the next season of The Walking Dead was released and it shows a showing image of a haggard, bloody Rick Grimes. A big departure then. I’ll never forget my excitement at the episode in S4.2 when Rick put on a clean shirt. It was the highlight of the season.

§ SHOCKER. Comics critic Ng Suat Tong reviewed the new Ms. Marvel, and although he doesn’t like much, he actually liked Ms. Marvel.

In many ways Ms Marvel is a return to the more gentle pleasures of the comics of yore; dialing back the myth of a violent America propagated by TV shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS et al.—where murderous psychopaths reside on every corner and corpses are to be found on every other doorstep and school dormitory. Can a superhero comic subsists on stories culled from ordinary high school life? Well, the sales figures on future issues of the comic should tell the tale in due course.


§ Paste Magazine named The 100 Best Comic Book Characters of All Time, and the list is a bit odd since it leaves out comic strip characters, but I get the difference. They did not include Ma Hunkel, but on the BIG PLUS side, you can read the whole list in the above link and not go through an annoying slideshow! Internet win.

§ Danica Davison interviewed Janelle Asselin and Andy Khouri about the best way to remove stubborn red wine stains sexism in comics for MTV.

§ This is pretty alarming, but it appears that Godzilla is getting larger. I don’t know if it’s hormones in the milk, or CGI pixels being further apart, or buildings being smaller, but there it is.

§ Zainab Akhtar has a feature called “Comic Shelfie” and here she examines the horribly well organized shelves of Joe Keatinge. Just depressing. I hate organized people.

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§ Zainab also has been looking at graphic novel covers she likes, but finding fewer than she expected. I agree the Winshluss cover for Pinocchio is pretty sweet though.

I don’t have a great deal of ‘floppies’ (serialised comic issues)- the vast majority of my collections is collected editions and graphic novels, but still I was surprised- actually taken aback- by how few covers stood out once I began looking though them for a few to highlight here (perhaps I don’t own many well-designed books!). Sure, part of that is down to subjective choice and aesthetic preference -looking at the ones I’ve collated below, it would appear I have a tendency to favour pared back or pattern-focused visuals, but I do think a striking image or design transcends that personal leaning.

§ Bad newsL Andy Serkis is a bit of a jerk.

§ I don’t know who this fellow is or if we should pay attention to him, but he thinks Barnes & Noble is on the way O-U-T.

§ Awwwwww. Comics Unlimited, a comics shop in Evansville, UN is closing next month.
Owner Matthew Hawes says the biggest reason is the internet. He says when he opened the store in 1996, the internet wasn’t anything like it is today.

§ Yay! Emerald City Comics in Clearwater, FL, has expanded and is still going strong.

§ Buzzfeed has a piece by Saladin Ahmed called How Censors Killed The Weird, Experimental, Progressive Golden Age Of Comics which suggests that Pre-Code comics were more mold-breaking than generally thought. I agree they had a wider audience, and probably a wider subject matter on newsstands. There were still a lot of bland ones, though.

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§ Two links from the Hooded Utilitarian in one day! Well that’s what happens when you play catch up. Anyway, Adrielle Mitchell has been examining how comics use time, and in this final installment she looks at Luke Pearson’s Everything we Miss . I’m a huge fan of Pearson’s Hilda books, but Everything We Miss is, in my opinion, a minor classic as well.

§ This year’s Eisner judge talk about their judging process. Here’s James Romberger:

The two traditionally major comics publishers DC and Marvel unfortunately chose to represent themselves with largely redundant product, due to their reliance on well-worn, corporate-owned character/properties. However, I was impressed with Image, which produced a surprising variety of well-written, well-drawn, and well-colored creator-owned works in inexpensive collected editions, and with the high quality of the submissions from Fantagraphics, as well as with a slate of intriguing graphic novels from book-trade publishers.

As the artform matures, it becomes clear that the diversity that defines progressive human society is also present in comics’ creative and audience demographics, and our nominations reflect that fact. There is no Eisner category currently for the very vital and innovative minicomics, small-press books, and zines from alternative publishers, many of which are now excluded from Diamond’s distribution network, so they weren’t submitted by their publishers. I had brought a few items with me, as had others of the judges, and if they could be shown to fit an existing category, they were considered. Several of these made it into the final selection. I hope that next year a minicomic category will be added.

§ Here is an oldie, from a few weeks back which appears to be an attempt by Fox to ensure that the Bryan Singer mess wouldn’t affect X-Men Days of Future past by loudly exclaiming that it was tracking to make $125 million:

§ Another old one I had bookmarked: Wizard World discusses its ban of professional photography equipment which brings up the whole “no pictures!” things with the nerdlebrities.

§ Oh yeah I meant to spotlight Multiversity’s fine Five Year Anniversary series, like an interview with Warren Ellis:

WE: I mostly just needed to focus on the novel and other things. I don’t know if I particularly needed to recharge or something — I’m probably working harder than ever, these days — but it was time to take up some of the opportunities that heavy-deadline comics work prevented me from doing in the past. I have actually been writing comics slowly and steadily for about a year now — what’s happening at the moment is that you’re just finding out about things I’ve been working on for a very long time. Distance from comics gave me some… different thoughts, maybe, about the medium? Working in prose changes your perspective about things like how comics handles information, for example. But that’s a much longer conversation, and one that isn’t completely crystallised in my head yet. Not least because I’m currently writing a long novella for FSG with my other hand, and having to change gears between it and the comics work in front of me today (TREES #5).

…and the Best Five Writers of the Past Five Years and yeah there was some other stuff, too.

5 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 5/15/14: Lots of women at ECCC; first Walking Dead Season Five teaser, etc etc etc, last added: 5/15/2014
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9. Celebrate Torsten’s “Nerd Birthday” With His Crazy Party Favors!

Everyone has milestone events which they remember (or wish to forget).  Some are small memories, like a first kiss, while others can be momentous anniversaries marked each year.

May 25th is one such day for me.This Star Wars Day/International Towel Day marks thirty years of my actively reading, collecting, studying, proselytizing comics.  May 25, 1984, I walked into a grocery store, and was instantly seduced by a black-suited Spider-Man.It’s the day I became a nerd/geek.  Sure, there were things before which I geeked about, like most kids.  But comics…that set me on a crazy journey around the world, meeting some amazing people, sharing my passion with everyone who would listen!

But comics aren’t my only geek passion!

I’m a polymath, soaking up all sorts of crazy stuff!

Here are some of my crazy interestest, and some crazy links you might not have realized existed!  (Or blotted out in your youth to save on psychiatry bills!)

Comics

Geez…  so much is out there already… what can I find…?

Comics retailing!    The architects!  How to get there!

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LEGOs

The wiki.

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The Lego Millennium Falcon graphic novel!

(Take THAT, Ikea!)

Adam Reed Tucker, the genius behind the Lego Architecture series!

MAD Magazine

Why MAD doesn’t release these digitally…?

And here’s the unaired 1974 pilot…

Video Games

If you want to really delve into the history of videogames, read:

Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984 By Van Burnham

Here’s a site for laserdisc arcade games, including one of early anime!

Reading

Go study and read everything by Ellen Raskin.  Had she not died at 56, she might have been the first author to win a Newbery and a Caldecott Medal.  She wrote, drew, and designed books, and all are worth a few hours escape.

Animation

Remember Saturday morning cartoons?  Remember when the networks would air a special the Friday night before, to introduce the new series?  Yeah, they were usually pretty cheesy… here are three samples…

Superman meeting Bugs Bunny and Yogi Bear, at a party thrown by Avery Schreiber and Jack Burns?

ALF playing detective?

Boss Hogg trying to swindle Scott Baio out of his discoteque?

Ah… to return to those innocent naive days when I hadn’t yet developed a critical eye.  (Yes, I thought the Star Wars Holiday Special was spectacular when it first aired.  Now, I think I can last five minutes before revealing the location of the  rebel base, Gilligan’s full name, and the lyrics to “Louie Louie”.)

If you’re really into pain, check out “Shirt Tails”, “Get Along Gang”, and/or “Care Bears”.

Cable Television

Weekend nights, USA would show “Night Flight”, an interesting mix of music videos, short films, and cult classics.  MTV might have been cool, but Night Flight was hep.  Here’s a memorial site.

And a playlist from YouTube:

Comedy

The comedy record to seek out: “Retail Comedy @ Wholesale Prices“!  Here’s a sample: “Mr. Wizard and Timmy”.  The entire album is comedy gold!

(Right, Don.)

Music

I’ve got a predilection for TV themes, especially the full versions which cut out stanzas so there would be more time for story and commercials.

I’ve made a series of posts over on Google Plus, with the tag #forgottentvlyrics.  Star Trek, Andy Griffith, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie…

Here’s one of my favorites, first heard during the end credits to the Buck Rogers movie!  If it was remixed, it would make a great graduation song!

That’s all for this year!  Hope you had a great time!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

5 Comments on Celebrate Torsten’s “Nerd Birthday” With His Crazy Party Favors!, last added: 5/28/2014
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10. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/5/14: Mystery bullet found in former comics shop

§ I bet you thought the Michael George murder case was over. The former comics shop owner was tried twice for killing his wife in 1990, and convicted in 2011 after years of legal proceedings. But one little shard of the past may have just been revealed: a dusty bullet found behind a water heater in an unused room in the commercial space that was the murder scene back in ’90. Creepy, isn’t it? George’s defense attorney has been granted a motion to have the bullet tested for fingerprints and any other evidence, just in case it provides new light on the case..

§ Augie DeBlieck has some interesting commentary n Eric Stephenson’s ComicsPRO speech.

He went on to point out that the biggest problem with the Direct Market is its continued reliance on The Big Two, who now operate at the whim of their much larger corporate masters, putting the Direct Market in a bad position. In the world of computer programming, we refer to this as the bus factor: The bus factor is the total number of key developers who would need to be incapacitated (for example, by getting hit by a bus/truck) to send the project into such disarray that it would not be able to proceed.

§ What is Paul Levitz going to be doing as a Boom Studios board member? Vaneta Rogers went and asked him:

But I’ve been doing a lot of teaching, as you know, a fair amount of writing — the part of my brain that hasn’t been fully occupied is the part that’s used to solving business problems. So I’ve been looking, over the last couple of years, as my non-competes became looser, at what kind of opportunities there might be to use those skill sets. I’ve done a little bit of consulting work, but not directly related to comics. Once the contracts made it possible, I wanted to see if there was anything useful I could do that way in comics. I told a number of my friends, “I’m available if there’s a consulting project, or a board seat in your structure. I’m open to having conversations.” And the conversations with Ross led to doing a consulting project for them, and to the offer of the board seat.

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§ You know the Federal Reserve as the mysterious organization that somehow controls our monetary supply. But they also make educational comic books! And you can read them online for free! One of them has had perhaps MILLIONS of copies distributed over the years (it is printed in batches of 250,000, just like our money.).

Of the five comics Steinberg wrote himself, three were updates of the Fed’s longest-running titles, while two, The Story of the Federal Reserve System and The Story of Monetary Policy were new additions to the Fed’s extensive comics catalog.


§ I guess there was a mini-kerfuffle the other day wherein Newsarama Editor Lucas Siegel complained anonymously about a comics company not wanting Newsie to cover their comics. Okay, whatever floats your boat. The Outhouse, as usual, has the best coverage. Is that what it has come to?

§ Speaking of Newsarama, here’s a fine piece by Jim McLauchlin that looks at the monetary aspects of he convention boom, such as charging for autographs and the money to be made from sketches:

They’ve grown so much that artists can make way more money being artists at conventions than in the pages of a Marvel or DC book. Look no further than beloved longtime comic artist George Pérez.

“I can earn more in a single weekend of convetioneering than I would in an entire month drawing comics,” Pérez says. “And I get a pretty high rate drawing comics.”

§ I don’t always do Kickstarter listings but here’s a really good one: help Robin McConnell and Brandon Graham hit the road to record a series of live Inkstuds podcasts. They’ve made goal but are adding on a trip to New York to gab it up.

§ Here is a depressing piece about how just having a bestselling book doesn’t mean you’re going to have money to live on. All of my cartoonist friends on Facebook shared this link so you do the math there.

§ Retailer Duncan McGeary (he owns Pegasus Books in Bend, Oregon, formerly owned by Mike Richardson) is now an author, with the release of Led to the Slaughter: The Donner Party Werewolves. I’m pretty much fascinated by the tale of the Donner Party, and adding werewolves makes it just a wee bit scarier than what really happened.

§ Ulises Farinas has given up writing comics reviews and delivers an exit manifesto:

The reason i read other reviews, is because critical thinking should operate from a certain standpoint. We all gotta be speaking the same language, understanding how a story works, characterization, that kinda shit. And when i go and read other reviews, it quickly becomes clear that IT JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN. There are no ten commandments. There’s no one talking about story, why Batman is doing something Batman-ish. Just because we all understand the archetype doesn’t mean you get to get away with brooding for 172 pages cause THATS JUST HOW HE IS. Do you know how many superhero comics have basically just skipped any kind of character development? How many comics have basically abandoned any kind of narrative structure and called it ‘serialization’ and ‘decompression?’


I really enjoyed Ulises’s reviews because they were the kind of stuff people say late in the bar but never put in writing, and I guess there’s a reason for that. Anyway I guess he can get back to drawing his most excellent comics now.

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§ Finally, Johnny Ryan illustrates a sad trip to Corey Feldman’s house for a horrible party.

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/5/14: Mystery bullet found in former comics shop, last added: 3/6/2014
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11. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/10/14: Is Upworthy funny anymore?

§ Alex Behr has an excellent interview with Chris Ware at Salon where he talks about his daughter’s drawing ability, the bully that apologized to him etc. Just read the whole thing, dammit.

§ At Cartoon Brew, Amid Amidi notes that Stu Snyder, the Cartoon Network exec who tried to turn it into a live action network, has left not entirely willingly. Many people, thought this Live Action era of CN was a disaster, one only rescued by the Adventure Time juggernaut, so it will be interetsing to see where it goes now.

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§ Tom Spurgeon chats withMK Brown whose new book of cartoons from Fantagraphics, Stranger than Life, (above) is a delight:

I’ve given up being practical long ago. No, the best work is when I respond to what I want to do, more than anything. Even now, when there’s no real market for them, I get ideas for single panels and I kind of try not to, in a way. [Spurgeon laughs] If they persist, I do a little sketch, and I’ve got them for later. What I will do with them I don’t know. Maybe another collection. Or I’ll include them in a new national humor magazine and website that seems to be cooking.

§ Yet ANOTHER profile of Jack Elrod the 89-year old cartoonist on Mark Trail. This time he delves seep into his storytelling secrets.

One reader wrote Elrod to ask how Mark Trail made a living, other than writing for a magazine, as he seemed to be prone to wandering all over the outdoors all the time. While Mark is constantly in trouble during his never-ending adventures, Andy the dog frequently comes to his rescue. When Andy got into trouble, Elrod says that’s when he got the most mail from readers.

One reader admonished the artist after he drew a story that featured river rafters who weren’t wearing life jackets. Elrod was sure to include life jackets for his characters in future stories.

§ The first Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con was this weekend and it drew huge, colorful crowds, we’re told.

The three-day event drew crowds from far and wide with a star-studded lineup that included actors Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”) and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”), as well as producer and writer Stan Lee (“Spider-Man,” “Iron Man”) and a slew of other recognizable names and faces from the film and television universe. Fans formed lines outside the Sacramento Convention Center starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, some returning with half-full gift bags from Friday’s festivities and some itching to enter the convention for the first time.

§ I’ve had this link in my tabs for a while: KHURSTEN SANTOS

talks about josei manga—that is manga written for adult women, which has a strong heritage in Japan but hasn’t caught on here that much, perhaps, SAntos suggests, because teen readers enjoy the escapism of manga and don’t want to graduate to the ambivalent, sometimes tough world of adult issues and theme. There’s also the historical perspective:

It’s interesting how quick we are to dismiss the interest of housewives while people still continue to sing and dedicate issues of journals and books to Osamu Tezuka. I find this particularly frustrating when manga has so much to offer but sadly, that’s just how the world turns and sadly things like this stay outside of the radar.

2 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/10/14: Is Upworthy funny anymore?, last added: 3/10/2014
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12. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/17/14: Top o’ the Kibble to ye!

Let’s start out this late St. Patricks Day roundup with Shaenon Garrity on two webcomics that adapt Irish Mythology:

I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it many times again, but one of the joys of webcomics is their ability to cover every possible subject and fill every conceivable niche. Say, for example, you’re into early Irish literature and you want to read it in comics form. Webcomics are happy to help you out. At this very moment, in fact, there are at least two ongoing webcomics based on the Táin Bó Cúailnge, or Cattle Raid of Cooley, the central epic of the Ulster cycle: Patrick Brown’s The Cattle Raid of Cooley and M.K. Reed’s About a Bull. Thank you, webcomics! You’ve justified the existence of the Internet yet again!

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You won’t read a better piece of comics criticism this month than this and then be sure to check out Patrick Brown’s The Cattle Raid of Cooley (above) and M.K. Reed’s About a Bull (below, with art by Farel Dalrymple) and enjoy some REAL Irish culture this day.

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§ We’re very lucky that Qiana Whitted is writing more about comics; here’s an examination of meta-fiction in the work of M.F. Grimm and Howard Cruse.

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§ And Samantha Meier continues her look at some long neglected history of women in the underground comics movement with a piece on the sexual anthology Tits & Clits

From its inception, Tits & Clits was a fundamentally different anthology than Wimmen’s Comix. Not only was it more single-minded thematically, it completely lacked the collective structure and underlying democratic ideology of Wimmen’s Comix. Whereas Wimmen’s Comix at its inception was a collaborative effort aiming to unite all of the women currently in the underground comix world (and to bring in even more women), Tits & Clits began as a partnership between Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli, who created all of the material for Tits & Clits #1 and #2, Pandora’s Box, and Abortion Eve by themselves. (Farmer and Chevli produced seven issues of Tits & Clits between 1972 and 1987.)

§ The Tiny Report rejoices over John Pham as should we all:

Why isn’t John Pham super famous? I think he’s respected by most of us who are familiar with his work, but not enough indie comics fans are. This probably has something to do with the fact that a large portion of his work has been self-published or appeared in anthologies, so it tends to reach a limited market for a limited time. Maybe he’s a famous graphic designer, but I wouldn’t know it. That’s not my scene.

§ Dan Slott is truly a good sport.

§ An interview with Indie Age great Mike Baron reminds us some of that era wasn’t that great:

Q: I’ll be asking about your prose career, but first I wanted to ask you about comics. When I was thinking of people I wanted to interview, you were in my top five because of what you’re doing and what you’ve been doing for over 30 years: creator-owned comics. Before Image Comics and “creator-owned comics” were cool, you were doing them steadily and heavily with Nexus and later Badger. What was it like being a trailblazer?

A: Well, it was extremely exciting, but I do have to point out that when we originally signed the deals for Nexus and Badger we signed away the rights to those characters. It’s only thanks to Dark Horse Comics’ Mike Richardson that Steve Rude and I got the rights back to Nexus, but First still holds an interest in Badger. But since the creation of those two I’ve done numerous creator-owned series like The World of Ginger Fox, Spyke and Feud.

Flat Squirrel Productions

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13. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/19/14: Beware the backpack

§ Here’s a sad story making the rounds: a young lad of nine named Grayson went to school wearing his beloved My Little Pony backpack, and got bullied and the school said it was his fault. The school principal told Grayson’s mom he had to leave his backpack at home. The mom had a rather interesting response: “[It's] flawed logic; it doesn’t make any sense,. Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape.” Tolerance goes every which way, people.

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§ The Gerald Peters Gallery in NYC is having a Pat Oliphaunt art show starting this Thursday More art by Oliphaunt, best known as an editorial cartoonist, in the link.

§ Maylasian cartoonist Zunar is in trouble again, this time for a cartoon about Flight 370.

§ Speaking of Malaysia, when the government isn’t bungling investigations, it’s banning Ultraman comics that use the word “Allah.” Part of the reason for the ban is that they couldn’t find the publisher. Yes, another foiled investigation. SO MANY JOKES.

A visit by The Malay Mail Online to Jalan Brunei Utara in the Pudu area shown as the site of Resign Publication’s office failed to locate the lot 78 listed as its address.

A 67-year-old retiree who only wanted to be identified as Mr Wong told The Malay Mail Online yesterday that he has never seen a No. 78 shoplot.

“This is the end of the row, No. 56,” said the Pudu resident of over 40 years as he sat in the corner coffeeshop bearing the same unit number at the edge of Jalan Brunei Utara.


My theory is that the missing building was turned into an airstrip.

§ This commentator does not like Deathlok’s costume in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saying it resembled “a plastic laser tag vest.” Lets face it, when you’re cold, you’re cold.

§ Today’s “area man” profile is retailer Dennis Barger.

§ Rutgers is holding a small comic-con in Camden, NJ. I know they had Chris Ware there a while ago. This will include “creators and artists; panel discussions; vendors, including comics and memorabilia sellers; live music, and family-friendly activities, including arts, crafts and other children’s activities.” It takes place on the Rutegrs-Camden campus, and hopefully you won’t need to drive through much of Camden, because it looks like this:

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§ They have comics in Bulgaria! And now Bulgarian comics are getting a museum:

For the 30 years since then he had found a copy of the first Bulgarian comic book – “Children’s Newspaper” from 1925 and the first color comic books from the “golden age of the Bulgarian comics” – the 1930s and early 1940s.


I did not know Bulgarian comics had a Golden Age and now I do!

§ My Comics Shop DocumantARy [sic] is a film about the comics shop Alternate Realities Comics in Scarsdale NY. The entire film will be available May 1 at the Flat Squirrel Productions website or you can just watch the trailer above.

§ Would you like to read a short, fictional story about young Alan Moore by Darren Shan? Just click the link and it can all happen.

§ I greatly enjoyed this detailed account of the days when Wendy Pini cosplayed at Red Sonja. This is a factoid that comes up now and then, and I know I’ve written about it before but it’s just one of those things that never ceases to be incredible.

§ Andrew Wheeler devised The Harvey/Renee Index of Superhero Diversity to see how many superteams reflect the actual diversity of America where only 1 in 3 people is a straight white non-Hispanic cisgender male. It turns out a lot of superteams are actually quite diverse! I’ll leave you to guess the team that has the MOST straight white non-Hispanic cisgender males.

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/19/14: Beware the backpack, last added: 3/19/2014
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14. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/20/14: Powers gets 10-episode series on Playstation

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§ Words like “TV” and “Broadcast” are long ago relics as streaming from many sources takes over the sitting in front of a screen time. And many comics properties are getting a second (or first) life on these new platforms. F’rinstance, Powers, the Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Avon Oeming series that was made into a pilot then passed on by the FX network, is getting revived as a streaming series for Playstaton. The show will go straight to series for 10 episodes. The cast and crew of the previous pilot has been scrubbed, with Charlie Huston on board to write, with Michael Dinner (director of everything from The Wonder Years to Masters of Sex) to direct. According to THR, Huston and Bendis will be the showrunners—it’s nice to see Bendis getting a good title on this. Circle of Confusion (which also reps The Walking Dead) is among the exec producers.

Powers, in case you don’t know, is basically about two detectives who work for the “Super” division of the local force, solving crimes involving superheroes. It’s a natural.
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§ A new issue of Infinity Magazine, a pdf and iPad magazine about digital comics, is now out, best read via the Sequential app. I like this magazine!

§ Jared Gardner reviews three GNs by Julia Gfrörer, Isalebl Greenberg and Cole Closser. All of them are excellent, but as I think I’ve stated here before, Greenberg’s debut graphic novel—Encyclopedia of Early Earth— is a stunner for a first timer.

§ I received an email lauding a new site called WebcomicsHub – A Better Way To Discover Webcomics — I’ve linked to a few sites like this over time, and I think most folks know what webcomics they liked reading but hey, if you have spare time, surf away.

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§ This post suggesting candidates for the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame 2014 also serves as a quick primer in Canadian comic book history. That’s a page by E. T.  Legault, creator of Dart Daring and Whiz Wallace above.

§ No Plans for Any Female Superhero Films Coming from Marvel — so says Kevin Feige, and what Kevin Feige says goes!

The positive reaction to Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow led to some rumors about a solo film for the red haired Avenger. However, Kevin Feige has shot down that idea. He says, “Frankly if we do a Black Widow movie after Age of Ultron, when she’s been central in three or four movies, I don’t think we’d get the quote unquote credit for it. People would say ‘She’s already a big giant superhero!’ But if we had a great idea, we’d do it… I like the idea if we’re going to do a female lead, to do a new one. Do a wholly new character, do an origin story… We’ve talked a lot about Captain Marvel. I think that would be very cool. “


I’d like to think that Marvel Comics’ current emphasis on female-led titles is laying the groundwork for an eventual female led superhero movie in 2020 or so.

§ If you don’t read comics on digital apps, this NYT primer will serves as a very basic entry– that is, if you didn’t already read your 10 articles this month like I did.

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§ Another movie option alert: Will Smith has optioned Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Canaan White.. This is an interesting graphic novel because it’s by World War Z Max Brooks, and also because it’s a fictionalized version of real history: the African American 369th Regiment, which served longer in World War I than any other regiment. Despite the obvious option-bait in this book, it’s a good take on a little known—and dramatic—piece of history. If this film gets made, will we call it a comic book movie? I kinda think not.

§ Whit Taylor Interviewed Mike Dawson Whit Taylor interviews Mike Dawson whose dense and complex Angie Bongiolatti is coming out at MoCCA:

Mike Dawson: This book is extremely personal to me, despite being a work of fiction. I feel very exposed by it. The story reveals much of my own thinking about political engagement, gender roles, and sex; topics readers are likely to already have strong preexisting feelings and opinions about. Even the choice to excerpt key passages by Arthur Koestler and George Orwell, feels very revealing. It shows that these passages moved me enough that I opted to incorporate them into my work. I feel like I need to be prepared to defend that choice, in ways I didn’t feel the need to defend appropriating Queen lyrics or aspects of Boy Scout culture in my previous work.

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§ And here’s an interview with Paul Rivoche who has The Forgotten Man, a history of the Great Depression based on Amity Shales’ bestseller. This book looks amazing!

The original book was nonfiction and of course not at all structured to be a graphic novel. It’s an economic history of the New Deal/Great Depression era, described from an alternative viewpoint. It has a huge cast of characters — all real people — and discusses many abstract ideas. To make it work as a graphic novel, we had to find a new structure for the same material; we couldn’t follow the exact arrangement in the print book. For example, there are many jumps in location in the real-life story we tell, and all these characters coming and going. In prose, it worked because you imagine it in your head, stitching it together, following the steady guidance of the author’s voice. In comics form, the same thing was disorienting.

2 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/20/14: Powers gets 10-episode series on Playstation, last added: 3/21/2014
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15. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/21/14: The Apotheosis of Zen Pencils

§ Zen Pencils is a website where a cartoonist named Gavin Aung Than takes famous speeches written by other folks and turns them into comics. It was the subject of a famous beatdown by Abhay Khosla who tagged it as vapid pap that stole other people’s thoughts, and some other folks think it’s just fine and signed it to a book deal. Perhaps Than was stung by some of the haters because he just penned his first ORIGINAL cartoon, called “The Artist-Troll War” and it is a bit…on the nose. It is in four parts;
ONETWO & THREE and FOUR. In the story, Than throws his own shade on the haters:

It’s time to choose a side. Are you on the side who takes the easy option? The troll. The armchair critic slinging snarky quips behind the safety of a keyboard. Firing sarcastic bullets at those in the trenches. Or are you a creator? Someone who makes something. Someone who lets themselves be vulnerable in front of an audience, who contributes something new and hopeful to an increasingly dark and depressing world. Choose. Which side are you on? And listen, I know my work ain’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m relatively new at being a professional cartoonist and I’m sure Zen Pencils isn’t for everyone. But I’m all in – 110%. I’m going to continue to learn and (hopefully) improve and I’m extremely lucky to have a loyal group of fans who have supported and encouraged me every step of the way.


I’ll give you two excerpted panels and you can decide if you’re going to click through, although the spoiler that someone who looks like Hayao Miyazaki is instrumental in fighting the haters may tip the balance one way or the other.

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§ Image Comics has joined the Cartoon Art Museum as its newest corporate member. “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Image as a corporate member,” said CAM’s executive director Summerlea Kashar. “We’ve developed a great relationship with them over the years and worked closely with them during our 20th anniversary retrospective of their work. Their latest show of support not only gives CAM a boost, but also rewards their employees with free museum admission and discounts at our bookstore.”

“Image is thrilled to support the Cartoon Art Museum,” said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “They do a fantastic job of fostering enthusiasm for sequential art and its historical and cultural value here in the Bay Area, and after having such a great experience hosting our Image Expo after party at the museum this past January, we look forward to continuing our partnership into the future.”

§ Marvel’s CEO Isaac Perlmutter is now only the 520th richest person on earth, Forbes tells us, with a fortune of a mere $3.1 billion. That is a LOT of paper clips.

§ Diversity corner: The Times looks at a NY Public LIbrary show called Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution which looks at cartoons like Fat Albert and The Jackson 5ive that presented positive stereotypes for minority kids. I guess they don’t make these kind of targeted cartoons any more, although The Boondocks is coming back next month after a FOUR YEAR hiatus.

§ A Buzzfeed profile entitled Meet Pat Loika, The Comic Book Industry’s Greatest Sidekick is not anything I ever thought I would live to see but seriously, does anyone not like Pat Loika?

Meet Pat Loika, The Comic Book Industry’s Greatest Sidekick Comic books have become increasingly important to Hollywood, but the community of artists and fans remains relatively small — and mostly ignored by mainstream media. Pat Loika is the industry’s beloved hybrid podcast host/journalist/superfan/convention photographer, with enough influence that artists sometimes draw him into their books

Congratulations, Pat Loika.

Here are two con reports that I wanted to point to:

§ The one and only John Porcellino went to the Chicago Zine Fest:

This year my table, which I shared with Chicago zine impresario Jake Austen, was located on the first floor, and after a slow start there was a steady stream of people coming through all day.  I’m pretty sure this was the first year in which there were so many exhibitors everyone was limited to one half-table spot.  This made for a slightly claustrophobic feel behind the tables, but I got used to it pretty quick.  Sales were the best I’ve ever had at this show, and it was fun to see everybody.  You do enough of these shows and it all becomes family– not only your fellow exhibitors, but the people in the crowd stopping by.

Also, I did not promote the new SMUDGE Festival in Arlington, VA at the beginning of the month, and I feel so guilty about that here is a report by Alex Lupp — sounds like the new indie style event was a success.

Yesterday I attended the very first Smudge! Expo, and I hope that it will be the first of many. It was a lovely and very creator focused show, the kind we need more of, especially as the big conventions grow into larger and larger media spectacles. The expo is the creation of comic creator Matt Dembicki and event manager Tina Henry, and was hosted at Artisphere in Arlington, VA (an excellent venue, by the way). The whole thing lasted from noon until 6pm, and featured exhibitors and great programming both in terms of presenters and classroom-like workshops. At 7:30 it was capped by a screening of Dear Mr. Watterson, which also included a short performance by We Were Pirates, who composed the score of the documentary. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, and only wish it had lasted longer than just a single day – an in depth description of my day-long venture follows below.

§ Oh yeah and Frank Santoro has one of his tour diaries about his trip to Columbus where he gave a talk warning of the evils of panel gutters. It’s a great read just do it.

It makes me very old fashioned but I still love a good, personal con/tour diary. I have a bunch I haven’t gotten around to. Heck I never even finished my Angoulême report. If there is EVEN ONE person who gets to the end of the column and wants me to do more trip reports, I will do them. Otherwise, I’ll just stick with twitter.

8 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/21/14: The Apotheosis of Zen Pencils, last added: 3/21/2014
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16. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/24/14: These LIttle Nemo tribute pages are sweet!

§ Frank Santoro is firing up his comics making correspondence course for spring, with a May 1 start date.

SANTORO CORRESPONDENCE COURSE FOR COMIC BOOK MAKERS – SPRING 2014 COURSE
Application guidelines:
-3 figure drawings done on blank 3 x 5 index cards
-3 landscape drawings done on blank 3 x 5 index cards
-3 still life drawings done on blank 3 x 5 cards
-send me simple jpgs
- do not post app drawings to your blog pls
-also send me specific url links to any comics work you have done.  Applications due by April 26th. Email me – santoroschoolATgmailDOTcom - and I will send you an invite to the course blog so you see what it’s like. Check out my Layout Workbook series over at The Comics Journal. Overseas students welcome. Payment plans available – I will work with you to make it affordable. Concerned about not having enough time to do the course? Many students have full time jobs. The “learn at home” method works on YOUR time. THE SPRING COURSE BEGINS MAY 1st AND LASTS 8 WEEKS.

§ Joe Illidge concludes his interview with Phil Jimenez who is just a classy individual all around:

I’ve always seen myself as a “professional” gay, someone who combines my politics and social outlook as a gay man with my work and how I choose to represent myself in my business. I claim it, find no shame in it, and I’m proud to represent, even if I’m keenly aware that I do so from a place of privilege — I have to be very careful to remember that “gay” doesn’t simply mean white and male, and so if I choose to embrace this advocacy as I do, I have to advocate for all gay people, and make sure the symbols I use in my work represent the many diverse facets of the LGBT community. It’s the least I can do.

§ Ursula Vernon has launched a Patreon campaign. Will webcomics take off on this new style of crowdfunding? Because its more focused on the creator and less on getting amazing rewards, we shall see.

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§ Hasn’t Little Nemo been in the public domain for a while? It’s surprising that everyone is doing Little Nemo tributes now, including IDW and Locust Moon comics. Zainab Akhtar previews the Dream Another Dream, the Locust Moon offering and the page above by Jeremy Bastien is but one of several gobsmacking pages already seen. YOW.

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§ Tom Spurgeon interviews Mimi Pond, whose autobiographical graphic novel Over Easy is one of the great pleasure of 2014 thus far.

SPURGEON: I’m always fascinated when someone takes this long to complete a single project. Does the voice change simply for the fact that you’ve worked on Over Easy for as long as you have? Does your perspective change over that period of time? Do you see those youthful experiences differently now than you did 15 years ago?

POND: All I can say is that I’m glad I wrote it all down back then, because I never would have remembered that stuff now. It was good that I got it down on paper. When I went to work in this restaurant in 1978 I knew there was a story. I absolutely knew that this was a story, and I had to figure out what it was and how to tell it. Over the years, it was always in the back of my mind. I would think, “I have got to get on that project. It’s gotta happen. I can’t let my life go by without doing it. It’s just too important.” Eventually, I figured out what the story was, and was able to start on it in fits and starts when my children were very small.

§ On a far less classy note, did you know that the National Enquirer nowruns stories about Walking Dead plotlines like this one that says a Daryl-Maggie-Glenn love triangle is in the works. Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

§ Andrew Wheeler writes about gay stereotypes in the Marvel short Hail To The King and why it disappoints him so.

Now, let me put this in generous terms. It is easier to read this as an imbalanced and exploitative prison bitch relationship presented for comedic effect than to read it as a positive presentation of a loving same-sex relationship in which everyone is accorded dignity and respect. And this is throwback, retrograde, oh-so-’80s being-gay-is-something-that-happens-in-prison frat house humour. And this is the first presentation of a same-sex relationship or anything resembling a gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe across eight movies, five one-shots, and fifteen episodes of television. And that is the part that burns.

1 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/24/14: These LIttle Nemo tribute pages are sweet!, last added: 3/24/2014
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17. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/8/14: RIP Jeff Pert

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§ Maine cartoonist Jeff Pert died suddenly at age 53. Pert was known for his local humor, and his cartoon books were a staple of Maine gift shops. Casablanca Comics Rick Lowell remembered him:

“His work is so recognizable. I’ve traveled the East Coast down to Florida, walk into gift shops and see his work everywhere,” said Lowell. “He has a niche for the type of cartoons he was doing.” Lowell carried Pert’s book, “Cartoons From Maine: How’s the Water, Bob?” published by Down East Books, and said it was a top seller last year. At Pert’s book signing, the line was out the door. “He was overwhelmed by how many people showed up,” Lowell recalled.

§ Marc Tyler Nobleman has interviewed Nancy Wykoff, granddaughter of William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman. Although Wykoff never met her grandfather, you have to imagine there were a few family stories.

He died when my dad was 13 so most of the stories came from my grandmother. Stories say that he modeled Wonder Woman after Elizabeth Marston but my grandmother, Olive Richard, claims that Wonder Woman was designed after her. If you ever see a picture of the two ladies, you would see that indeed Wonder Woman was designed after my grandmother.

Bill Marston had four children with two different women. All the children, three boys and one girl, have Marston as their last name. My grandmother Olive met Bill when she was 19. Bill came home to his wife, Elizabeth Marston, and asked if Olive could come live with them. Elizabeth agreed. Olive was the homemaker and Elizabeth was an attorney for Met Life.

§ Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar has been optioned for a film by Benderspink and Ford Gilmore’s Illuminati Entertainment. Dreadstar is a rousing space opera, and I can imagine it making quite a colorful film.

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§ For some reason, I bookmarked this Charles Burns cover for a digital reissue of Shadows of Carcosa: Tales of Cosmic Horror by Lovecraft, Chambers, Machen, Poe, and Other Masters of the Weird Probably because I love Charles Burns and he would draw a damn fine Carcosa.

§ There was another little con kerfuffle over a badge and questionable imagery, but this time organizers owner up to it in proper fashion.

§ CAF time is in full swing with the first Lineworks NW show taking up the mantle in Portland. Tom Spurgeon interviewed co-organizer Zack Soto but really this could be “model cartoonist interview 2014″ as Soto talks about retail, cartooning, social media and all the other things we juggle. Also worth noting, although indie shows haven’t had many harassment reports, Lineworks has a policy in place and its zero tolerance as it should be.

§ Via Fantagraphics, how much do you know about Donald Duck´s Family Tree? Even looking at the famed Duck genealogy chart by Don Rosa, my answer is…not much.

§ I had forgotten that Miley Cyrus teamed up with John K to provide the animated backgrounds for her show but when you think about it, the current Miley looks a lot like a John K character, so props to Miley!

§ That Dubai Comic Con was banging again.

Crowds made huge lines at the entry gates to purchase tickets. “I had to wait 45 minutes to get into the exhibition halls at 1pm. The convention is open till 10pm and I can’t even imagine what the crowds in the evening are going to be like,” said one visitor. More crowds are expected to visit the halls, according to organisers.

§ Yesterday’s big battle was the news that the two Kevins, Tsujihara and Feige, are going has to head on May 6, 2014 when Captain America 3 will open against Batman-Superman (Wonder Woman if you squint.) Cap, of course, is coming off the biggest April opening ever and another massive triumph for Team Marvel. WHO IS STRONGER AT THE BOX OFFICE? I must admit when I read the cast list for Batman Superman—Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Gal Godot, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane—I thought “That is definitely the cast of a Warner Bros. movie.”

1 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/8/14: RIP Jeff Pert, last added: 4/8/2014
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18. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/10/14: Check out the SCHMUCK Kickstarter!

§ Mark Evanier reports that original Airboy artist Fred Kida, a nominee for this year’s Eisner Hall of Fame, has passed away at 93.

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The Kickstarter for Seth Kushner’s SCHMUCK: A Graphic Novel is in its last days with about $2500 to go. With art by Joseph Remnant, Nick Bertozzi, Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel and many more illustrating stories of awkward young adulthood, this books should be published. There’s some good stuff here. One of the rewards is the award winning photographer Kushner giving you a photography lesson for $250. AND a copy of the book. Check it out.

§ CBR’s chart cruncher John Mayo weighs in on these controversial times with his own analysis including this moebius strip about selling non Big Two comics:

There is a bit of a chicken and the egg situation going on here. The smaller publishers are in fewer stores, causing them to sell less, which in turn causes them to be in fewer stores because they sell less. In many cases, sales will go up on a title if retailers and readers would just give it a chance. The problem is, there is no major incentive for retailers to put a title on the rack in the hopes it will sell. When ordering in the single digit number of units, it is very risky for a retailer to take a chance on a title. The best way to remove that risk for a retailer is to tell you retailer about the comics you are planning on buying during the preorder phase. If you seem something you want to buy in Previews, help your retailer out and tell them. Some people dislike the preorder nature of the comic book industry, and there are many valid reasons for this. However, the reality is, the current marketplace is preorder-driven, and those preorders determine what does and does not get published in the future.


Yep Comics 101 right there.

§ It is not an Indie Comics CAF until the Secret Acres crew weighs in, even if they ARE on the steering committee. It is instructive to read the grumblings about the show from two years ago and the positive reviews now. See, things can be fixed! If you wanna read my report, it’s here.

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§ MUST READ!!! Ryan Holmberg offers some groundbreaking research as he examines how the work of american cartoonists Rose O’Neill and Grace Drayton influenced manga artist Matsumoto Katsuji, who essentially invented the kawaii (cute) look.

The recent show, a retrospective of illustrator and manga author Matsumoto Katsuji (1904-86), was filled with the kind of frilly, sentimental shōjo stuff that usually makes me gag. But there was at the center of the show a ray of sharp, clarifying light that has changed my understanding of the development of manga in that transitional era of the 1930s, when the medium went from adult pastime and occasional kids plaything to big-time commercial entertainment. In that spotlight stood one work in particular: Matsumoto’s The Mysterious Clover (Nazo no kuroobaa), an 16-page, magazine-format (7 x 10 in.), premium insert furoku for the April 1934 issue of the monthly Shōjo no tomo (A Girl’s Friend), an iconic magazine in the history of shōjo culture.

§ Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone talk about the new comic for the fan created female Transformer Windblade. I don’t get how robots have gender or whatever, but Scott and Stone do, luckily.

§ As you MAY have heard last night’s Agents of SHIELD finally revealed that the producers were right and they WERE building towards something all along. I stand corrected. In this case…tieing in with Captain America: Winter Soldier. Corey Blake examines this Marvel Cinematic Crossover

Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out less than a week ago, and the plot of last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. weaved in and around that movie’s story, which significantly altered the course of the show’s storylines and will continue to do so for the remainder of the season. Structurally, it was almost like reading the Infinity War crossover issues of Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. All that was missing was editor’s notes directing viewers to “*See Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in theaters now! -Ed.,” Pop-Up Video style. For those immersed and aware enough (and able to afford movie tickets), this is a really fun experience. It really feels like #ItsAllConnected, as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Facebook and Twitter accounts have been telling us. It’s exciting, unprecedented, and feels very much like reading a classic Marvel event.


This seems to have significantly excited the base so we can only say well played. However since the next Marvel movie is Guardians in August, hopefully more will happen on AoS before then.
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§ There were a minor kerfuffle last week about a review of Walt Kelly that sort of excused the contemporary racist caricatures of his work. Luckily Brian Kremins wrote a much better piece that puts Kelly’s work into an even broader social context, including Bridgeport, CT, a grim industrial swath located in the generally affluent suburbs of Connecticut. I can say that because I lived near Bridgeport until I was 10. While Kelly did create some stories that make us very uncomfortable now, he also had a complicated history, as befits a great artist. It is a very sad thing that almost every great cartoonist of the first half of the 20th century used racist imagery; and even sadder that they lived in a society where this imagery was tolerated and condoned. Papering over everything now would be fun, but we’re not living in a post racial society yet, so the time for papering is not yet. And yes, Walt Kelly is still one of the great cartoonists.

§ Disney’s Infinity game—a mix of sandbox video gaming and collectible figurines that includes many Disney and Pixar characters—will be adding Marvel characters, it seems, as suggested by the unsubtle video above that show’s Captain America’s Shield whizzing by Captain Jack, Sully, the Incredibles and so on. Also, the end of the trailer states “Bring on the super heroes.” Disney’s characters have always existed in some multi universal crossover state—think Disney World!—so this is only sensible. Woodgod vs Charles Muntz, I’m calling it.

§ A review and comments on Mimi Pond’s graphic novel ‘Over Easy’ in the Los Angeles Times

§ What did comics fanzines looked like in 1980? This link will tell you. Spoiler: they were not as immediately attractive as Tumblr.

§ The Asbury Park Comic con is this weekend, and local boy made good Brendan Leach is profiled with the classic headline Comic books not kid stuff for aspiring graphic novelist:

He found himself mining his childhood memories to bring to life the scenes set in Asbury Park. He recalled snapshots of seeing the rock band Weezer at The Stone Pony and huddling on the beach with friends to listen to the muffled echoes of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band practicing inside the Convention Center. Maintaining a realistic look to Asbury Park in “Iron Bound” was no small task. So when his memory failed him, Leach utilized Google Maps to get a bird’s-eye view on the town. He didn’t just want you to see the boardwalk, he wanted you to feel the sunwarmed beams burning your bare feet.


§ If you enjoyed Spurge’s interview with Zack Soto, here’s a companion piece, Rob McMonigal interviewingLineworks co-director François Vigneault:

Panel Patter: What were some of the challenges in putting together a small press show in such a short time, and how did you handle them?

Vigneault:  There are many, many challenges, but luckily we had some strong experience between us that allowed us to pull it together. For my part, I previously ran the San Francisco Zine Fest for six years, so I had a good idea of the difficulties that awaited us. I would say the biggest thing is just juggling all the various balls at once. If you put too much focus on any one thing you soon realize you have neglected some other, essential part. We also had some nasty surprises with last minute cancellations; you’ve always got to have a back-up plan for those contingencies!

2 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/10/14: Check out the SCHMUCK Kickstarter!, last added: 4/11/2014
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19. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/14-18 2014: Megahex cover revealed

I was working on a long article this week so this all piled up, but I know it’s the weekend and everyone has nothing to do but read all the stuff they missed earlier, right?

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§ The final cover to Simon Hanselmann‘s Megahex has been revealed. The book comes out this fall, collecting the popular webcomic, and a lot of people I know will be talking about this.

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§ Eric Colossal’s Rutabaga the Adventure Chef will be published by Amulet Books, in a two book deal. The first books comes out in March, 2015. The webcomic concerns the fantasy adventures of a chef who goes questing for exotic ingredients. There will be recipes in the print version.

§ Speaking of fun fantasies, Game of Thrones show runner David Benioff and HBO are auctioning off a set visit during Season Five filming. I haven’t read the books so I don’t know if this will involves another grisly wedding, wandering around icy fjords or just watching someone get a vital appendage chopped off, but whatever happens it will be amazing! Go place your bid here. The current top bid is $9,500 so be prepared to spend. A Lannister always pays via Paypal. The proceeds benefit the Epic Theatre Ensemble.

§ Corinne Mucha’s break up comic Get Over It! is previewed here. Been there.

§ The feature I was working on involved libraries, so this expose of library school amused me.

You’re probably wondering at this point how you’re going to fit in. Simple! Have you seen Doctor Who? You should probably have a favorite Doctor (NINE FOREVER.) You’ve read Harry Potter and maybe dabbled in fandom? And you love Tina Fey. You must love Tina Fey. To really stand out you should probably have at least one “thing.” It’ll have to be really weird to stand out in library school though. Maybe cyborg hockey player RPS? Oh wait, that’s taken. Maybe just think on it for a while. Whatever you do, don’t talk about the rock wall at your gym constantly. Nobody likes that guy.

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§ I joked about the Camden Comic Con, but it was “a Pleasant Surprise” and I am very happy to hear that. CO2 Comics’ Gerry Giovinco has a nice report.

For a small, first-time convention organized in just two short months, so many things were done right that it is just amazing, beginning with and highlighted by the hospitality of the staff and Rutgers University. They found a way to make everyone feel appreciated which is, in and of itself, a rarity anywhere in today’s society. They even provided a delicious,complimentary lunch  to all vendors, dealers and guests! Who can not be happy when you are being fed?


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§ Tom Devlin has a photo report on MoCCA and stained glass windows.

§ And Maura McHugh went to MCM Dublin, which appears to be one of those “emerging markets.”

If anything MCM Ireland Comic Con has proved that the potential audience is bigger than previously realised. It’s not so much a case of ‘if you build it, they will come,’ as ‘if you let them know the event is going on, they will come.’ MCM had the media connections and marketing budget that many of the Irish conventions don’t possess, and even though it rolled out its poster campaign in Dublin a little late, it still collared the attention of a large audience impatient for this kind of event.

§ Speaking of conventions, First Second’s Gina Gagaliano has another Comics Etiquette 101 on why pitching your great American graphic novel in the middle of a comicon is unlikely to end in a sale. Everyone is busy and distracted and buying a book is serious business. BUT wise words at the end:

So — if we see you at a convention and we tell you that we like your work and that you should stay in touch, that’s not us giving you the brush-off.

That’s us telling you to stay in touch with us — the first step towards an author/publisher relationship.


§ Mimi Pond’s Over Easy has been getting lots of press and it even made Buzzfeed with a piece called 14 Observations About Working At A Restaurant From Mimi Pond’s Graphic Memoir.

§ Here’s a project where they are redrawing ROM, the Marvel Publisher, Bill Mantlo-written, Sal Buscema drawn comic about a robot that will never ever be reprinted because no one has the rights any more. Well, someone does but they don’t want to reprint it.

§ Laura Hudson interviews Matt Fraction because he got sex comics right. Indeed he did!

§ Here is an old one. Sean Michael Robinson on an aborted graphic novel project that he had to scrap after four years. Among the problems: the characters weren’t well designed and the art style was too introcate. Definitely something an aspiring creator should ponder before launching a big project. Sam Alden’s Eighth Grade is another

§ Here is an old news item I completely biffed, the Kirby family taking their case regarding ownership of various Marvel characters to the Supreme Court. Although this sounds unlikely, Beat legal expert Jeff Trexler actually caleld this—and some of the issues raised in the filing—back in his thorough analysis of the case for TCJ. A very sim chance, to be sure, but perhaps…one last chance.

The Marvel v. Kirby appeal could offer an attractive case for justices on both sides of the ideological fence to resolve the question of judicial takings in a mutually acceptable way. On the one hand, it is a documentable case of judges unilaterally depriving freelancers and their heirs of substantial property rights, including both the original copyright and the right to terminate the earlier transfer. In this case it’s all intellectual property, but as the court indicates in Stop the Beach Renourishment, property rights are property rights, no matter how intangible.

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20. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/21/2014: That old verbal visual blend

First off, thanks to Nicholas Eskey for his WonderCon coverage this weekend. He did a smashing job covering some diverse panels, including Con Talk-Back — sounds like it was a great time.

§ On his mailing list, Warren Ellis had a bit more about his revamp of Project Superpowers, which will apparently be a single series:

Let me catch you up: a few days ago, Dynamite Comics announced that I’m going to do a short serial utilising the same 1940s public-domain characters that Alex Ross and Jim Krueger used for their PROJECT SUPERPOWERS series. My book will not be the same as their book. At all. More on this will be said soon. The idea crystallised while I was watching TOP OF THE LAKE, oddly.

I have actually been fascinated by those old characters for a great many years. Golden Age comics, as they’re called, are strange things. This is something I’ll get into with you at a later date, once the thing’s up and running, I think. There’s a haunted nature to many of them: like the pulps, some of them are a window for pure id to stream through.

Top of the Lake is a TV miniseries by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee about a female detective who investigates the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl who happens to be pregnant. Well then!

§ Washington DC’s Awesome Con attempted to set a record for most cosplayers this weekend but they fell more than 1000 people short. But it got them a lot of press and people had a good time.

Two follow-ups to last week’s extreme reaction to Janelle Asselin’s Teen Titans cover critique.

§ The writer of the new Titans bool, Will Pfeifer defended the new title, understandably, but was also appalled by the reaction.

I don’t agree with her opinion of the cover, but it’s appalling the reaction to her. As a writer, and I’m sure for Kenneth as an artist, we want people to respond to our work, even if we don’t agree with it. We want to put our work out there and have people react. But this kind of thing is insane! If you disagree with her, that’s fine. If you agree with her that’s fine too. But if you’re threatening her or just doing some crazy mean attack, grow up! That’s all I would say, grow up. Have a conversation, don’t threaten. It’s so out of my wheelhouse; I know it goes on, but I can barely believe this goes on!

§ David Harper puts the inappropriate reaction in a wider context of fan over-reaction”

Even when you leave the world of threats on industry professional’s lives and bodies, you hear about experiences like the one Noelle Stevenson had at a comic book retailer, where she was treated like a complete joke when she was just trying to buy comics from them. The lack of respect she received, simply because she was a woman, would be enough for most potential readers to drop their interest in buying comics in a heartbeat. And it’s not just women who have these experiences. My nephew, once an interested neophyte comic reader, was berated and mocked when he went into a shop simply because he had the audacity of wanting to buy a “Deadpool” comic. Nothing else. He just happened to want to buy a comic that the people who worked in the shop didn’t deem good enough, and they made sure he felt their disdain. He didn’t buy that “Deadpool” comic, or any comic that day.

§ In case you missed any of the very fine and thoughtful reactions to Asselin’s first piece, Jill Pantozzi has her own reaction and a good round-up of the strongest pieces. I know you didn’t miss these, but I wanted to get that out there.

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§ Returning to the topic of actual comic books, R.C. Harvey is a long time comics critic and scholar whose main these is that comics should be a verbal/visual blend. He has a new piece up analyzing a bunch of newer “non fiction” comics and finds them very word heavy, such as the work in Super Zelda ( a proper page is shown above) and The Bohemians.

As the humble comic book has graduated from the denigrated throw-away periodical to the esteemed and culturally significant “graphic novel,” the shelves of the nation’s bookstores have been increasingly polluted with the works of ambitious well-meaning comics enthusiasts who don’t understand the medium and whose perversions of it not only threaten the form but indoctrinate an audience with false perceptions: readers of such lame endeavors will have a skewed understanding of what graphic novels are and what the cartooning arts are capable of.


While I agree with Harvey that Chester Brown’s Louis Reil is a far superior artistic work for many reasons, it’s also true that graphic novels are more popular than ever, and most lay readers aren’t that put off by the “over captionizing” that so many non fiction comics use. There are definitely some stinkers out there, though. Hopefully, as “applied cartooning” is studied more, there will be fewer stinkers.

§ Speaking of graphic novels, here’s Flacorwire with 25 Best Graphic Novels. You will have to click through slide-show style, and for those who couldn’t stay the course, this is a decent basic list. I liked that it included some more difficult books like Asterios Polyp, and also it reflects a wider minority experience with books like Yummy and Stuck Robber Baby. How excellent it is that there are so many good graphic novels to put on lists such as these.

§ Oh and FSU’s Joelle Garcia reviewed The Beat itself.

1 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/21/2014: That old verbal visual blend, last added: 4/21/2014
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21. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/22/14 – shocking facts that will leave you limp!

§ Big big ups to Shannon O’Leary and Pam Auditore for their WonderCon coverage! You guys are THE BEST.

§ Here is that big piece was was working on last week, How to Throw a Comic Con at Your Library for Publishers Weekly. It’
s behind the paywall right now—I”ll remind you when it comes out. I talk to Dan Merritt of Kids Read Comics, the folks behind the Chesterfield Comic Con, the Clearwater Comic Con and other library events. I even caught up with how things are with the Northlake Library Hulk.

§ Here is a cautionary tale about how CG Hub, a portfolio site shut down suddenly taking ALL its content with it. I know that Deviant Art and FB are stable places, but I can’t say it enough: own your own shit, people. there are so many free portals for uploading your own content, there is no reason not to. Websites are very ephemeral things.

§ Why aren’t there more women working in superhero comics? This interview with Janelle Asselin lays out the facts very well. I know this is a super long quote, but all of this is well worth considering any time there is an outcry. Not that the factors Asselin lays out can’t be mitigated, but they need to be acknowledged:

When you’re an editor, especially an editor on monthly comic books where the company you work for owns all the characters in what it publishes, you have a different set of responsibilities than an editor who works on a less structured schedule or with creator-owned properties. The people you hire to work on books have to either be intensely reliable or immensely talented (preferably both, really). Hiring new talent is always a risk. If this person you’re trying out doesn’t hit deadlines or isn’t as skilled as you thought they were based on samples, well, that’s your fault in the eyes of the company.

So when you need a fill-in to help a schedule out or you are testing out new talent on a short story, the ideal is to find people who have already proven their reliability and talent in some way. So far, this still seems like an equal playing field, right? Then consider the fact that you have approximately 30 minutes to try to look for someone before you are given a list of people who are already proven at your company but who are looking for work because they lost their regular monthly book or haven’t had a regular gig in a while. Then add in the fact that historically your company has hired men so the creators being recommended to you are almost always male. And then add in the fact that FAR, FAR fewer women are putting their work in front of editors or pursuing these editors for work (I got one email from a woman looking for work in 3 years. I got at least one a day from male creators).

Finally, add in the fact that too often, pushing for female creators over male gets you a side-eye from the powers that be. In that moment, it’s just easier to hire a dude than spend hours you don’t have digging around on the Internet for someone who might be appropriate for the job. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying it’s easier.

§ Another interview with Zack Soto which wraps up Lineworks NW and other stuff:

CB: There was Stumptown, but there was only Stumptown once a year. It seems like it should be more. I guess between Portland and Seattle there should be more.

Soto: Well if there is Short Run in November in this area, and then we are doing ours in April this year – and I think we’ll probably continue in the Spring/cusp of Summer or something like that next year. In between the two shows, you have pretty good coverage of the year for regional arts comics. You know what I wish?  That the Portland Comics Show, like the dealer shows that used to happen? I wish those would come back. Because now I think that people would actually appreciate those because otherwise they’re paying forty dollars to go to Wizard Con, and do the same thing.

§ The New Yorker writes up the Comixology-Amazon deal. NOthing we didn’t know but funny to see it in New Yorker-eese.

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§ Must read: Here is an interview with Nat Gertler, founder of 24 Hour Comics Day on the occasion of its 10th Anniversary. Fascinating to see a simple idea become an institution. Did you know Fiona Staples participated one year?

What impressions still stick with you 10 years later from that first event?

I got to a visit a few of the event sites during the event, heading in during the wee hours, and I was amazed at the sheer joy of the participants. I had done a 24-hour comic myself — felt I had to before I could ask Scott to let me publish the book — and let me tell you, at 2 or 3 a.m., things seemed pretty bleak. And it wasn’t just me, if you read 24 -our comics done before the first 24 Hour Comics Day, they tend to get pretty bleak, as tired people working alone face the strong chance that they would fail in what they trying, and realizing how much work still lay ahead. But when you have a bunch of people taking that same challenge side by side, there is a shared energy, a party atmosphere going on, and overall the comics done at these events tend to be much more upbeat than those done by folks working alone. Perhaps its a shared insanity, but really, that joy was striking.

§ Remember that retailer survey I was pimping not too long ago? it’s taken on a life of its own.

§ Nice profile of the state of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

“At the time, graphic novels and cartoonists were certainly becoming more widespread and known for their work — there was a lot of interest and celebration around [them],” Center for Cartoon Studies president Michelle Ollie said. “So I think the timing certainly was good for the school. The awareness and interest and appreciation was just starting to build.” Since then, cartooning has continued to develop into a respected artistic field.

§ Emma Stone totally schooled Andrew Garfield. Squabbling like an old married couple about Spider-man’s costume. Oh, kids.

4 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/22/14 – shocking facts that will leave you limp!, last added: 4/23/2014
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22. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/2/13: Foodtown

§ Steve Bissette has begun writing a a history of WaP!, a pros-only newsletter from the 80s—spearheaded by Steven Grant and Frank Miller—that created quite a stir at the time. The history is tied up with much of the creator unrest of the era. The first chapter is much concerned with Dave Sim, Diamond and what would become Tundra Publishing, Kevin Eastman’s ambitious but disastrous publishing venture. Also mentioned, The Frying Pan, a pro APA that I was a member of during its run. Much of the history is convoluted and interconnected, but its definitely behind a lot of the thinking that went on among creators and self-publishers in an era when indie comics sold 30,000 copies with no sweat at all. It all reflects frustration with the comics industry’s inability to reach a wider audience and backsliding on creators rights that pretty much went into the hopper with the great crash of the 90s. Ancient history for many, but fascinating stuff.

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§ New Yorker cartoonists Benjamin Schwartz and Liam Francis Walsh went to see the Harvey Kurtzman exhibit and made a comic about it.

§ Sean Kleefeld looks back on 2008, the year we “lost” Comic-Con.

§ Variety had a lengthy profile of new WB ceo Kevin Tsujihara which reveals he’s a nice guy who likes his family. Also what to do with the DC characters is a priority.

Among the priorities for the studio, which enjoys enviable market share in film and television, is finding fresh tentpole franchises now that the “Harry Potter” series has run its course; mining more content from the wealth of material in the DC Entertainment vault; and expanding WB’s activity in consumer products and international markets, in tandem with other Time Warner units, notably Turner Broadcasting.

§ You may have seen Peter Sanderson’s report on the Asbury Park Comicon’s panels, but here’s another excellent piece which surveys the cartoonists in attendance on the future of comics:

Artist Jay Lynch, an East Orange native, was part of the underground comics movement of the late 1960s. The irreverent, barrier-busting comics drawn by Lynch, Robert Crumb and others introduced sex, drugs and self-expression to the medium. Was it truly a movement? Or a bunch of unconnected artists who had the same idea at the same time? “Well,” Lynch said wryly, “I think it had to do with LSD.”

§ Don MacPhersonjumps into the digitla comics grey market:

I discovered a few months ago some folks sell these codes on eBay. The same is done by some people when it comes to digital copies of DVDs/Blu-Rays, so a similar development in the world of comics was a foreseeable development. The eBay practice isn’t something that seems to be curbed in any way, so I don’t know if it qualifies as a “grey market” for comics or not. There’s nothing overtly listed in the details outlined by Marvel that precludes the resale of the codes. The only real conditions mentioned on the page featuring the code are the following: “Digital copy requires purchase of a physical comic. Download code valid for one use only.” There’s no mention that the person who bought the comic is the only one who can use it, nor does Marvel state the code isn’t for resale.

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§ Coming this summer, a debut novel called The Night Gwen Stacy Died by Sarah Bruni It’s described as “A debut novel and quirky love story about the adventures and mutual rescue of an Iowan girl and a mysterious stranger who begins to cast her in the image of Spider-Man’s first love.”

§ In case you missed David Brothers’ take on Alex Summers and “The M Word” here it is.

§ The Longbox Project aims to collect reminiscences of specific comics readers purchased as specific times in the past. I was going to say, whoo, I’ve had enugh of that, but the one I happened to click on mentioned Foodtown, and I was immediately swept back to the Foodtown in White House Station on Route 22 where I eagerly riffled through the shopworn racks in search of the new Master of Kung Fu. So yeah….Foodtown. Buying your comics in supermarkets. That was a time.

§ Scenes from a con:

A female fan asked why the DC 101 panel hadn’t highlighted any female-centric books and media. “Sometimes it feels like there’s a conspiracy like we don’t want any girls, but we actually love girls and would love girls to read the books, even the ‘Teen Wolf’ fans here,” Lobdell began, but was drowned out by shouts from an agitated group of “Teen Wolf” fans who had just enough of being mentioned by the writer. “If the point of this panel is to get new fans, why have you spent the entire panel alienating every single person waiting for the panel coming up?” a “Teen Wolf” fan in front yelled back at the two as the audience divided into boos and a smattering of applause. Cunningham and Lobdell both apologized for any hurt feelings for their “Teen Wolf” comments, telling the large “Teen Wolf” contingent it was not their intention to alienate them, though Lobdell was unable to resist jokingly ask the audience to show by raising their hands who felt alienated.

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23. News ‘n’ notes: Bendis teaches, how to exhibit at SPX, and more

§ SPX is coming and cartoonist Sara McH. offers sensible advice for exhibiting, like how to tally your sales, keeping dinner groups manageable, and leaving the crappy stuff people gave you behind in the hotel room.

§ Professor Bendis will see you now: Brian Michael Bendis, who formerly taught a class on comics at Portland State University, will teach a new class at the University of Oregon:

During his time at PSU, Bendis sought to make the class workshop extensive, believing that that’s the best way to learn about writing. “I’m a big believer in workshops. It’s the only way you’re going to learn by doing it over and over again,” Bendis said.

“We’ll also show some Will Eisner documentaries and some hidden gems from Jack Kirby, pretty much the grandmasters who created this language. We’re going to look at the philosophical history of comics as well as doing plenty of workshop stuff.”

§ Hannah Gorfinkel has joined Dynamite Entertainment as Associate Editor. She was formerly at Zenescope.


§ Writer Jamie S. Rich is planning something for next weekend’s Rose City Comic Con and here’s the trailer.

§ That Salt Lake City Con the other day was very successful, but organizers may have let success go to their heads:

“Not only will we increase local participation by 50 to 100 percent, but based on analytics, we are going to be another San Diego Comic-Con,” Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con VP of marketing, said on Monday.  

That may seem like a tall order, given that San Diego is the unquestioned comic con flagship, but a post on Salt Lake Comic Con’s Facebook page says that between 70,000 and 80,000 people attended Saturday alone. To put that in perspective, the next-biggest stated attendance for a first-time show was New York City at 33,000 — over all three days — in 2006. Salt Lake Comic Con officials said an official three-day estimate is not yet available.

§ Speaking of SLCC, there was a panel on Brigham Young, Porter Rockwell, and other Mormons in comics.

§ By now you have probably seen the touching picture of disabled comics writer Bill Mantlo, posted by Greg Pak. Mantlo was a prolific comics scripter in the ’70s before he left comics to practice law and was struck by a hit and run vehicle, resulting in permanent brain damage. Among the characters created by Mantlo: Rocket Raccoon. Pak suggests that if you like the character you make a small donation to Mantlo’s ongoing care, which seems a fine and karmically powerful idea.

§ Headline of the week, or perhaps epoch: Superheroes can be gay, but not happy

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§ On a happier note, here’s JH Williams III’s cover for Sandman: Overture #2.

§ Breaking! Ten Reasons Children Should Read Comic Books says this article with the usual rundown of benefits to imagination and reading. Comics offer an “Introduction to non-linear storytelling” as well.

§ Meanwhile, Comic book geeks have never had it so good. Okay then.

§ Frank Santoro was interviewed for the Tell Me Something I Don’t Know podcast at Boing Boing.

§ Lots of comics events are happening in the Washington DC area.

§ Retailer Mike Sterling points out there are a lot of comics now.

Comic fans only have so much to budget for their books, and every dollar that goes towards maintaining their run of Amazing or whatever at two or three copies a month are dollars not going toward maybe trying out something that isn’t a Spider-Man comic that month. It’s rack crowding and market flooding, and I don’t like it when Marvel is cranking out two or three issues per title per month, and I don’t like it when both Marvel and DC are cranking out a half-dozen titles or more for each of their franchises. We don’t need this many Batman books, or this many X-Men or Green Lantern or Avengers or Superman books, except we now have a marketplace that depends on devotion to the big franchises and doesn’t leave room in anyone’s budgets to try out or support something different.


Young screenwriter/comics writer Max Landis has mastered the art of making bold statements in Reddit AMAs, claiming he wants to write a Wonder Woman pitch, among other things, even as he looks at a bridge while thumbing his lighter.

Of course, were a Wonder Woman project to go ahead, Landis may have to curb his ire toward the current state of DC Comics. Asked what he would erase from comics if he could, he answered, “The New 52″ (DC’s reboot of continuity from September 2011). When asked about any future comics plans from the publisher — he wrote a story that appeared in last year’s Action Comics Annual, his answer was, “I dunno, man. I was working on something with [comic artist] Jock, but … I dunno. DC is … DC.”

§ This is from a while ago, but cartoonist/gardener Ursula Vernon looks at the graying of SF fandom as witnessed at the recent WorldCon.

I will say right now that it was by-and-large an older white con. Tina came along as part of my entourage (She said she’d never been on an entourage before!) and at one point she turned to me and said “Wow. I feel like the youngest person in the room.” Tina’s in her fifties. I’m thirty-six. In fact, the topic came up practically every time we talked to somebody–”Wow. Anybody seen a teenager?” Teiran claimed to have, and said they were the only ones who bought anything. The furry contingent sat around the bar shaking our heads. At Anthrocon—and indeed, by standard demographic spread—we are solidly middle-aged. At this con, we felt terrifyingly young. Of all the cons I do (and I have done many, over the years) this was far and away the oldest skew of any of them.

3 Comments on News ‘n’ notes: Bendis teaches, how to exhibit at SPX, and more, last added: 9/12/2013
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24. Pedigree Chum 13/09/13: Wonder Man Don’t Count

Heidi’s off at Congress, as per usual, meaning there’s just me here at Stately Beat Mansion right now. It would be very bad luck indeed to not have a roundup piece on a Friday the 13th, so here’s a selection of news, opinion pieces, artwork, and all kinds of other stuff. Here’s some of the things which’ve caught my eye over the last few days.

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The last page of Paul Harrison-Davies webcomic Astrodog is up today, making this a perfect chance for you to jump in from the start.

Sarah McIntyre’s taking over the UK right now. Look! She’s been on the radio with Katie Melua, and everything!

Top Shelf are running their annual $3 sale, with a number of notable comics available at a deeply reduced price. Go take a look round, see if there’s anything you fancy!

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Mark Kardwell interviews Milligan and McCarthy about… The Best of Milligan and McCarthy!

The Outhousers suggest 5.2 reasons why DC shouldn’t fire Dan DiDio.

On the other hand, retailer OK Comics pen an open letter to DC Comics regarding their Villains Month initiative, or rather DC’s messing up of said initiative.

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Jason Sacks has a brilliant interview with Elaine Will, about a graphic novel I’d not heard of before – but which sounds utterly fascinating.

Ant Man, directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Joe Cornish, has been placed for release in 2015.

Not comics, but you can sponsor David Brothers on a charity 5K run he’s doing on behalf of Prevention International. If you sponsor, you are guaranteed not to be cursed for the rest of this Friday 13th. Guaranteed!

Jeremy Whitley’s been on the promotional trail for the return of his series Princeless.

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Marvel have released an app for iPhones and iPads and all those other fancy iThings which brings JARVIS onto your screen. Voiced by Paul Bettany, the app allows you to find secrets unlocked in the Iron Man 3 DVD, which is out sometime soon. 

Self-promotion is all the rage nowadays, so here’s my pitch for the Perfect Wonder Woman Movie.

If you’ve never read Andy Oliver’s Small Press Column over at Broken Frontier, I’d recommend it!

Brian Cronin takes a look at the universally-agreed worst Avenger of all time Wonder Man, and specifically the awful outfits the character has worn over the years.

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25. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/3/14: Don Rosa stars in McDuck-themed rock video

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I believe we’ve mentioned before that Finnish prog-metal musician Tuomas Holopainen (think Toki from Dethklok only Finnish) is making a concept album devoted to Don Rosa’s classic The LIfe and Times of Scrooge McDuck, but now there is a VIDEO which stars Don Rosa.

There’s also a video of Holopainen talking about the album.

Rosa has also created the cover art for the album, above. We knew Don Rosa was a household name in Northern Europe, but we didn’t know that included Finnish Prog Metal households.

§ Although it isn’t Oscar eligible until next year (by which time everyone will have forgoten about it) Blue is the Warmest Color won Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film is based on Julie Maroh’s GN of the same title.

§ British cartoonists went to Malta and has a great time.

§ Minecraft, the insanely popular video game that only young people understand, has already teamed with Marvel for an Avengers Skin Pack but the two companies could be collaborating again.

§ Here is a very nuts and bolts, covering all the bases article about how a library in St. Peterburg, FL added a graphic novel section.

§ Comics are getting some attention in South Africa, or at least, merchandise.

“Over the last five years, the SA comic scene has just gone pow,” he says, “We’re starting to realise that comics aren’t just silly things for kids. I think it’s because of cinematic exposure – now all the biggest earning films are comic book films like The Avengers and so on, and the TV series like Agents of SHIELD and so on – we’re starting to get very exposed to comic book characters. And because of this exposure, so many people are going ‘oh, so comics are actually cool’. If you look in fashion, any average Pick ‘nPay or Mr Price will sell superhero shirts now.”

§ For nearly a decade we laughed at the antics and misfortunes of the Spider-Man musical, but the injury sustained by dancer Daniel Curry was pretty gruesome.

But on the night of Aug. 15, something went wrong. Mr. Curry, giving his first interview since that performance, said he felt the lift moving as usual as the “Spider-Man” score swelled. He couldn’t see, though that was normal, too, because he wore a blindfold, and the stage was dark. Then, in a split second, something solid pressed down against his right foot, then crushed it. His foot had become trapped between the lift and the stage.


Curry has lost most of his foot, and will probably never be able to dance again. He’s also suing the producers.

§ Here’s a big story from last week: Disney will film its upcoming Netflix series The Defenders in New York. They’ll also spend $200 million on it. This is exciting to me because it means at any random moment, I may stumble on the Defenders set.

§ Everyone linked to this great comic by Boulet — why should I be left out?

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§ Apparently. Charlton Comics is coming back as a 44-page tribute, the Charlton Arrow.

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