The above images are from Ann Xu. I like her work and her use of colour. I’ve bookmarked her website as something to check out. I’m on vacation this week and am looking forward to dive into her comics.
§ I can’t possibly keep up with all the Patreon pages for cartoonists, however, a few struck me as relevant in August. First up, Bianca Xunise has launched a Patreon where she posts various materials including diary comics. Jade Feng Lee also has a Patreon page for her ongoing comic Dumpling Heart. Regina Sawyer also launched a Patreon page in support of her ongoing projects.
§ Frank Santoro’s personal project Never Comes Tomorrow is on Indie GoGo. It’s a book about his relationship with his parents. While the Crowdfunding campaign doesn’t give you a copy of the book, it does give you access to curated versions of his writings on comics. Santoro has written extensively about comics for over a decade and his thoughts are well worth a read should you wish to learn more about the medium.
§ Applications for TCAF 2018 are open until October 31st!!! Go and apply, it’s a great show to attend. If you get in let me know, I want to meet you!
§ Go help Shee Phon by answering four short questions for one of her future zine about life on future Earth
§ Lorina Mapa and Jonny Sun are on the list of Canadian authors to watch in 2017. I have yet to read their comics, but I’ll get around to it before the end of the year.
§ Presented here without comment; Harriet Tubman: Demon Hunter
§ World Guinness Record reported that Unaiza Ali Barlas, a Pakistani cartoonist created the longest comic strip in the world! Quite a feat considering the length of the work.
§ Canada 150 follow-up: the CBC has a list of 150 Canadian novels to read and it includes a few graphic novels! Essex County by Jeff Lemire come in at #27 and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s Skim at #126 . The big surprises for me were that Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée come in at #6. and Jeff Lemire and Gord Downie’s Secret Path comes in at #112, a surprise considering how recent the book is. I guess the list itself is an interesting mishmash of old and very recent books. No Mordechai Richler except Home Sweet Home, quite a few Margaret Atwood’s books and barely any French-Canadian authors (only five, six with Geneviève Castrée!) Any list like this comes with caveats of course, but it’s still interesting to note that the Canadian graphic novel industry is recognized widely in these kind of lists. I’m not sure I’d put Essex County over Handmaiden’s Tale though opinions might differ.
§ Michel Rabagliati launched Paul à Montréal a new art/walk exhibit in Montreal on the occasion of the 375th anniversary of the city. If you were at TCAF this year, I believe there was a preview of this on the 2nd floor at TCAF, overlooking the main library floor. Here’s the road you need to take to see the art pieces should you be in Montreal in the next few weeks.
§ Julia Gfrörer was attacked by a cat and relates her tale over at the Portland Mercury. A very unusual news indeed
§ Again with the CBC! They picked a highly unusual list of the 7 Canadian Graphic Novels to look forward to in the Fall. Patrick Kyle and GG were on the list with some more eclectic titles like Clem Martini & Olivier Martini’s graphic memoir The Unraveling about Olivier’s schizophrenia diagnosis 36 years ago and the ways it influenced his life or The Breadwinner, the graphic novel adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ novel.
§ La Pastèque has launched a year long project called “Tout Garni” (All dressed) to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It’s a multimedia project coming out each month revolving around the theme of pizza delivery. It’s quite unusual, but a fun and innovative way to experience comics. It’s in French though, so beware!!!
§ Farting horses disrupted a reading of Kate Beaton’s Princess and the Pony at a library in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. If you know the story of this book, this news report is hilarious!
Reviews, commentary, etc.
§ Sarah Horrocks has begun a new series of comics criticism, mostly focusing on mainstream superhero comics. Each week, she picks one of the top 10 comics on Comixology and picks it apart. Her sharp wit is phenomenal and her honesty is quite refreshing. She’s reviewed a random issue of Titans and the latest DC Comics event Dark Night: Metal. It’s a type of criticism I enjoy, a critic detailing how the mechanic of a comic fails. It really helps to understand the mechanic behind it so as to make better comics. If you’re so inclined, do contribute to her Patreon page for early access to these articles.
§ Again, another mainstream comics criticism about a new DC Comics that’s gotten rave reviews. David Fairbanks talks about the flaws in Mister Miracle #1 over at Loser City.
§ Caleb Orrechio reconsiders Dark Knight Strikes Again over at the Comics Workbook. My memory is fuzzy, but I think Dark Knight Strikes Again had fairly mixed and even negative reviews when it came out. I remembered it as a bold statement on superhero comics, an insanely over-the-top concept where the silliness inherent at the core of the genre comes back to save the day from a dark dystopian future. Orecchio’s analysis is a good point to re-evaluate this work.
§ Jocelyn Sakal Froese talks about Calling Dr. Laura and Fun Home over at Women Write About Comics
§ Great discussion on fashion in comics by Véronique Emma Houxbois over at Women Write About Comics
§ John Paul talks about Dave Chisolm’s Instrumental, a fantastic work integrating music in a very fascinating way. I had the chance to meet Dave at TCAF this year and his book really impressed me. Well worth a read.
§ Alex Mansfield on Heavenly Blues over on Comics Bulletin
§ And finally, Daniel Elkin & Jason Sacks on Catel & Bocquet’s Josephine Baker.
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.