Beanworld To Dark Horse!

beanworldThe big news coming out of Stumpown this weekend is that Larry Marder‘s resurgent Beanworld comics will be published by Dark Horse:

Steve Duin of the Oregonian did a nice write up of today’s panel–including the announcement above and includes the following summary:”Dark Horse plans to republish the first 21 issues of Tales of the Beanworld, possibly in deluxe hardcover editions, then deliver Marder’s new adventures sometime in early 2009. Diana Schutz will edit.”

I’m really very excited to be affiliated with Dark Horse. I’ve admired Mike Richardson and his crew from across the playing field for two decades and have always had the greatest admiration for the entire Dark Horse team.

Today I gave the first solo Beanworld panel presentation in over 15 years. It covered a lot of ground, and I’m almost certainly going to be giving it again at SD08. Also revealed was the name of the up-coming NEW graphic novel: “Remember HERE when you are THERE.”

More: Steve Duin in the Oregonian and an interview with Marder at CBR.

Around the Web

Tattooed§ Hope Larson has a new website up for her more adult art: Personal Ho. (left)

§ We totally forgot that the Pittsburgh Comicon was held this weekend, but it is now apparently dubbed “Murder con.” Someone wrote about it to the Comics Reporter and from the sound of it, it was pretty desolate.

§ Laura Hudson suggests that the comics industry’s press relations in general could use a review:

Before I really get into this, it’s important to keep in mind here that approaching a publisher as a member of the press who wants to give them coverage or reviews is very different from poking around for stories and quotes that don’t necessarily point towards a positive angle on their product. Unsurprisingly, the latter is going to get fewer welcoming responses.

To a certain degree, that’s just how it works, and I don’t see anything particularly insidious in it. I would add, though, that because the comics press is less established (or respected) than press is in certain other fields, I think a lot of people in the industry are not as accustomed to the poking and prodding Tom describes, and consequently can get touchier in the course of journalistic inquiries. But really, I don’t see this as the primary problem. While it may not be optimal, I’m not surprised by this unresponsiveness to certain lines of inquiry.

What I don’t understand–what really blows my mind is that some companies can be just as unresponsive and unhelpful to people who want to give their books positive coverage, review them, or generally make them more visible. That’s what really resonated with me about Tom’s post, because I’ve seen it happen more than a few times and it never ceases to amaze me with its pointlessness.

§ Mark Evanier went to the LA Times Book fest.

§ Shaenon on The Boys of Shojo Manga :

The Tortured Genius
The heroine’s parents approve of this one. He’s a high-IQ achiever on the fast track to Tokyo University, and is often a Wealthy Playboy to boot. But his heart is as tiny as his brain is huge. An arrogant smartass, he delights in making the heroine feel stupid and insignificant. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to date her, of course; his strategy is to belittle, manipulate, and intellectually bulldoze her into falling in love with him. And it works, especially once the heroine realizes that he’s hurting inside and Just Needs Someone To Love Him. Extremely common in the works of Miki Aihara.
Signature Romantic Gestures: Intellectually abusing the heroine; emotionally abusing the heroine; physically abusing the heroine; helping her study.
In Real Life He’d Be: Exactly the same, but in his forties.

§ Catch-up 1: Indie Jones blogs the ICv2 conference.

§ Catch-up 2: Jeff Trexler on “How Siegel and Shuster created our world”:

This tension between past and present is equally evident in the Siegel case. On the one hand, for many within the comics community the ruling was a symbolic victory in the struggle for creators rights, vindicating not just Siegel and Shuster, but legions of comic book artists and writers whose genius was exploited by corporate greed.

Yet much to the surprise of longtime industry watchers, the judgment also provoked a strong negative response. Some critics focused on the fact that the winner was not Siegel himself but his heirs, who were said to have gained an unearned windfall. Other observers went a step further, questioning the wisdom of a law that voids otherwise valid contracts, and accusing the Siegels themselves of exploiting Superman for their own financial gain.

§ Jim Steranko copies himself

§ When we saw the headline “Comic Genius” in our RSS feed, we wondered “Who could it be this time???”

Surprise! It’s artist John Cassaday:

These days, Cassaday finds himself in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose which assignments he takes. “I’ve got specific goals in mind and don’t want to deviate just for a few bucks if I’m not interested,” he says. “The story must come first.” Though he won’t reveal what he makes, his page rate—the amount an artist charges per page drawn—is among the highest in the business. Given that an elite illustrator can command up to $1,000 a page for a 22-page comic book and that most popular titles are monthlies, a top talent like Cassaday can comfortably clear six figures annually. And that’s not counting potential back-end royalties for merchandise, trade paperbacks, and spin-offs, which are negotiated separately.

Manga report: Felipe Smith in Morning 2; Viz’s new line


How cool are American cartoonists? So cool that they are publishing them in Japan!

Felipe Smith (MBQ) will have a monthly series starting in Morning 2 next month. (The ads for it are reproduced above, courtesy of Ed Chavez who writes:

His manga is going to be on the cover of the June 21 issue of Morning 2 magazine (extremely rare for a debut) that will be followed by 6 color pages and around 40 pages in his first chapter.

this is incredibly rare for an American cartoonist, and shows that the cultural trade deficit is going down just a tad. Brigid has a bit more and a link to a great Myspace blog by Smith.
MEANWHILE, Chris Butcher has the scoop on Viz’s move to publish original graphic novels, via a chat with editor Marc Weidenbaum…and for those of you readying your submission, here’s some info:

[He] made it pretty clear he had no interest in submissions right now. “Maybe in a few years we’ll open it up to submissions,” said Marc. “But right now I just want to see already completed work. What you’ve done, what you’re capable of.” So if you’re sitting on the world’s best manuscript for a 3400 part serial about a new level of Super-Saiyan, can it. At least for a little while. But I do have to say that Marc seemed quite genuine about wanting to see published work and specifically mentioned webcomics, mini-comics and self-pub’d work as well as professionally published material…

What will Wonder Woman wear in Dubai?

This interesting AP article looks at the move to grab the low-hanging fruit of giving the cash-rich Middle East their own amusement parks, and the cultural difficulties therein.

Politically sensitive characters such as Captain America could be left at home. Prayer rooms will join the list of accommodations, and menus will likely feature falafel and humus alongside pizza and hot dogs.

The piece looks specifically at the efforts by DC and Marvel to get their characters in these parks:

Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. home entertainment group, is convinced that Superman, Batman and other DC Comics characters licensed by Warner will be readily accepted by those who visit the park from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Even the bare-shouldered Wonder Woman shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows “unless we depicted her as a Muslim woman,” said Tsujihara, who is spearheading the Warner theme park in Abu Dhabi.

Even so, “we probably wouldn’t have her running around in costume around the park,” he said.

With plans to help build a $1 billion theme park in Abu Dhabi by 2011, Marvel Entertainment Inc. is downplaying Captain America, a World War II creation draped in the American flag, in favor of attractions based on popular characters such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men — none of whom carry the same political baggage.

“One of the things that’s nice about our characters is they’re either about individuals helping people or they’re about teams of people of different types, like mutants, that band together and solve problems,” Marvel chairman David Maisel said.

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Comics shop owner wounded in robbery

David Pirkola, owner of Apparitions Comics and Books in Kentwood, MI wasshot in a a robbery on Friday evening . Pirkola is in critical but stable condition. According to the police, a man entered the store abut 7 pm, demanded money, shot Pirkola and fled.

The police are still investigating the crime, and anyone with information is urged to contact them.

Ifanboy has set up a fundraising drive to raise money to help with keeping the store open. The Bendis board has also rallied.

UPDATE: More on efforts to help Pirkola:

“This isn’t something you do to get rich,” said Peter Ryan, who is one of the partners in the Kentwood store as well as another store in Lansing.

He said most comic book store owners are fans who turned their love of the medium into a business, but one that operates with tight margins. It is a job that rarely comes with perks like comprehensive health plans, so an Internet site has been set up to collect money to be used for health costs and also to help Pirkola keep the store open.

On comic book-related Web sites, word of the robbery has been passed nationwide. Ronald Richards, of San Francisco, offered to use his comic book Web site as a host site for the account set up for Pirkola.

Stumptown Stuff

Sounds like Stumptown was totally teh awesome, and we wish we could have been there. Tom Spurgeon:

Portland is also the home to dozens of cartoonists, a good sign for a city as comics folk can live practically anywhere and are drawn like flies when a comfortable and cosmopolitan city reaches that tipping point where it’s discussed on chatboards and in the blogs of early adopters. What’s interesting about Portland’s assumption of the Comics Town USA title is that it does so without offering a gigantic number of hometown opportunities the way New York, LA or even Kansas City might. There is a small set of newspaper illustration gigs and a few proud local comic book companies where one might assume proximity could be helpful in gaining their attention, but for the most part the comics outfits here in town think nationally/internationally and just live here like everyone else. Comics thrives in the Rose City because Portland fits comics people, and because the large number of working artists has given them a voice and provided their city with another identity in a time when those kinds of things are still important.

§ Rachel Edidin:

Phew–that was a lot of con. Today was more intense at the table, and I hardly had any time to wander. Now, I am entirely braindead, so again, just a handful of notes before I crash. Proper write-up and forum thread tomorrow.

§ Erik Henriksen of The Portland Mercury:

It’s been great watching the fest grow over the years, and I feel like this year, Stumptown has really hit its stride—just from the brief time I spent there today, the vibe was friendly, attendance was good, booths were plentiful, the comics were promising, and the two panels I jumped back and forth between—trying to listen to both at the same time, with, eh, mostly successful results—were a lot of fun.

§ Elijah J. Brubaker:

I got to Trade some books with folks and a little money changed hands. I got some of the new Papercutters from Greg and all the Ivy books that Sarah O has out so far but the really cool part of these kinds of shows is getting books from all the newer people. I mean, I’m still pretty new at this I suppose but I got a bunch of stuff from folks that have just put out books for the first time and that is so great it hurts. With books like Ivy or Papercutter I get to read great stuff from people with real chops but there’s something really enticing to me about seeing raw energy poured out onto the page by someone who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet. I’m not saying I enjoy reading a lot of stuff like that but there is a real palpable charm to people that are so excited about the possibilities of the form and the way they just let loose onto a page. I don’t know if I’m making any sense here but rest assured when I get a little sleep I’ll be writing reviews of some of this stuff.

Doubtless more reports will filter in over the next few days. In the meantime here are some Flickr sets. The above photo taken from greyaenigma.

Lulu Noms OPEN

The Friends of Lulu Blog reports that nominations for the 2008 Friends of Lulu Awards are open and ANYONE can nominate:

Lulu Awards: Nominations are open!

You don’t have to be a member to nominate!
You don’t have to be female to nominate!
Heck, you don’t even have to like us to nominate!
But you do need to know of a female comic creator that you want
to see recognized for her hard work in this industry.

You’ll find the form here. Go and ANyone got suggestions for the various categories? I would nominate Rutu Modan and Marjane Satrapi for Lulu of the Year, for instance.

Open source dumbass program

This has been going around in email and blogs, and we’re not really going to get into it too much, but apparently this dude started something at a SF con where men who wanted to grab women’s boobs could do it if the women were wearing a button that said it was okay. If a woman had a button that said “No, it’s not okay” you’re not supposed to grab her boobs, which is gentlemanly. He ended his call for creating an “Open Source Boob Project” that would carry the practice far and wide with the words “Touch the magic, my friends. Touch the magic.”
Our first thought is that we wish boobs really were magic so we could magically change the kitty litter. Our second is that SF cons have this whole “sex positive” thing going on and a lot of people go to them to meet up with other people and some times get it on with other people who like to wear cat ears or whatever. But maybe that is not supposed to be carried over to other areas of life. Val, as usual, put it in some perspective:

I think if people want to have adult-themed comic book or sci-fi conventions where this sort of behavior is agreed-to upon before people even buy the ticket, that’s fine. If there is such a driving need among some people to have sexual situations at a con, to fully “liberate oneself,” great — create a separate con for that. Then “consenting adults” can purchase a few fanzines, cop a feel, and call it a day.

Val also links to theOpen Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project.

Related: We found this link in our trackbacks and we can’t read Italian but it seems to be on the same topic and we stole the above illo from it.