§ Finding a single artist for this month’s Nice Art feature was extremely difficult. Early in February, #VisibleWomen took twitter by storm and helped showcase the work of phenomenal artist and cartoonist from around the world. Shortly after, another one came up to showcase the work of even more creators #DrawingWhileBlack. I decided to select the work of two artists for each of those hashtag, but I strongly encourage to go take a look at those. There’s so many amazing creators out there and this is a wonderful way to discover new artists.
The first two images are from Anoosha Syed. Anoosha is a Pakistani-Canadian comic artist, illustrator and character designer. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been reading my son a lot children’s book lately, but her aesthetic really struck a chord with me. The second artist is Camilla Sucre, a Trinidadian American and a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. You can find Camilla’s work on Twitter or read her comic I Loathe Lucy over at Tapas. You can also find Anoosha’s work at her website or on Twitter.
§ The Comics Beat is hosting a new podcast, Graphic Novel TK with Alison Wilgus and Gina Gagliano. Here’s the description of the podcast: Graphic Novel TK is your podcast guide to the world of comic book publishing. Each episode, hosts Alison Wilgus and Gina Gagliano interview a guest expert about their slice of the publishing world and take a deep dive into the specifics of how graphic novels are made.
Why “TK?” It’s a commonly used shorthand in publishing for “to come” and if we’re anything at all, we’re suckers for catchy jargon. And with graphic novels — there’s always more TK and more to learn!”
The first episode’s guest is Ryan North!
§ Jamie McKelvie has a long blog post about the best ways to share your art with a colorist or a publisher. It’s really informative and should prove to be of interest for anyone doing collaborative work.
§ Les Inrocks reports that comics writer Fabien Vehlmann and his wife Géraldine Gourbe have been hosting Fodé Condé, a 19 year-old migrant from Guinea since 2016 in their house. They’ve helped him get a more stable life in France, go back to school and apply for visa and such. Vehlmann has recently been fighting the expulsion order the young man received. You can read the article here (in French). The struggle of migrants in Europe is enormous and it’s nice to see Vehlmann and his wife taking concrete steps to help someone as much as they can.
§ There’s going to be an augmented reality comic book project launching in Quebec City from April 5 to September 30. People will be able to walk in the Montcalm neighbourhood and find a number of panels in the street and use their phone or tablet to unlock more elements. Pokemon GO meets history comics in a neat experiment that I think is the first of its type. This should prove to be an interesting project, Francis Desharnais (Art Wars) is writing and Bach (C’est pas facile d’être une fille) is providing the art. I’m not sure if something similar has been attempted in the past. I know Marvel was pusing their AR code, but an outdoor experiment is different in terms of scope. Let me know in the comments if I’m wrong.
§ Oliver Lee Bateman from Pacific Standard talked with Ben Katchor. It’s a pretty insightful interview.
§ The CBC has a list of 12 picture books to look forward to in 2018. It includes a handful of names comics reader will recognize such as Jillian Tamaki and Julie Morstad.
§ There’s been a lot of Black Panther content this month and rightly so. Here’s a retrospective of the character for CBC’s Q. It’s quite comprehensive.
§ Again at CBC, Leah Collins profiles the “free-to-print” work of Élise Gravel
§ I missed this interview with Alex Lévesque, the cartoonist behind the French-Canadian webcomic Dessine Bandé. He attended the comedy/news show La soirée est encore jeune on Radio-Canada. The interviewer asked him “Can you make a living only with comics”, he responded “no”. So the follow-up question was “what does it take to make a living as a cartoonist?”, he responded “Another job”. Brutal!
§ Radio-Canada’s French literary radio show looked at a few graphic novels this month. They looked at My Friend Dahmer as part of their series on serial killers, François Lemay and Jean-Paul Eid talks about 4 graphic novel during their Club BD segment, Julie Delporte reviews Susan Sontag’s biography and they take a long look at Ma très grande mélancolie arabe, the latest graphic novel by Lamia Ziadé.
§ I had missed the 24 hour comics challenge that was organized by the Festival de la BD francophone de Québec / Québec BD. It took place on January 26th. You can find more details on the challenge and the artists involved over at the Festival’s website. You can also find the comics on Twitter using #24hBDquebec.
§ Fanny Britt, perhaps best know as the author of Jane, The Fox & Me and Louis Undercover, is not only a comic book writer, but an accomplished novelist, playwright as well. Here she is profiled on Radio-Canada as she talks about her latest book and the pressure of writing
§ François Schuiten & Benoît Peeters’ graphic novel La Tour has been adapted as an audiobook, complete with the France National Orchestra making the music. It’s a pretty impressive work. It’s in French though.
§ Over at Slate, Kim O’Connor analysed covers from The New Yorker and how the facade of diversity undermines the point they’re trying to make.
§ Benjamin Woo, comics scholar and Carleton University professor, had two articles on Flow, the online journal on media culture. The first one is Comics aren’t literature and while the claims might seem controversial, the article is mostly about how academia views comic studies. The second article, Bam! Pow! Comics aren’t just for white men anymore is about the cultural and readership landscape of comics since it’s early days.
§ Go take a look at Shee Phon’s latest comic “about sabotage”
§ Tegan O’Neil is producing some pretty incredible and thoughtful reviews over at The Comics Journal. Here she is talking about Mike Grell’s run on Green Arrow, her review of Box Brown’s Is That Guy For Real? and her absolutely terrific review of a Ninjak comic.
§ Sam Ombiri looks at Nick Drasno’s recently internationally celebrated at Angouléme, Beverly. Sam also takes a look at Noel Freibert’s Old Ground.
§ Cory Doctorow takes a look Jen Wang’s upcoming graphic novel The Prince & The Dressmaker. Jen Wang collaborated with Doctorow in the past for the graphic novel In Real Life.
If you see something I should know about, tell me in the comments or tweet at me @Leblanc_Phil
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.