PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
§ City Paper profiles alumnus Tim Kreider and his new book:
Former City Paper contributor Tim Kreider has published three cartoon anthologies and has written essays regularly for The New York Times since 2009. Now comes his first book of both, We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons (Free Press, hardcover). Essay topics range from the bright side of being stabbed to the cognitive jolt he suffers when his male role model undergoes a sex change to what it’s like to be adopted and meet one’s siblings as an adult. (Companion cartoons accompanying each essay are topical, and include old favorites like “Babies Are Assholes” and “A Big Fag.” If you’re not familiar, visit thepaincomics.com.)
§ Comics writer/nurse Mindy Newell has been looking back on the successes and failures of trying to make a creative life, and in light of recent doubts over the comics career, it has a lot of hard-won perspective. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and this from the conclusion.
These days I wonder. All my failures – but were they really failures? Weren’t they just part of the pattern that’s made me who I am today? And any failures, any successes that I continue to experience will just add to that person who I will be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or in a decade. These days most people would say that my life is a success. Well, I don’t know about that, but if it is, it didn’t happen without failures, some my own, some caused by outside factors. For instance, two years ago I got laid off. (Yes, Virginia, registered nurses do get laid off these days.) It sucked. I cried. I ranted. I worked at a couple of hospitals I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to. (Well, maybe I would.) But I also went back to school and finished my BSN, opening up new doors for me.
§ Dark Horse assistant editor Jim Gibbons explains how he attained that much coveted position:
In brief, how did you go about getting this job?
I made it through many rounds of layoffs at Wizard magazine as they neared cancellation, but eventually the axe came down on me too. However, it happened at a really fortuitous time. A friend sent me a link to Dark Horse’s site. They were looking for a publicity coordinator. Having just worked for a few years in the comics press, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. I applied, asked some former co-workers and friends if they could possibly put in a good word and, after a few phone interviews, I was hired. After a while in PR, I was asked if I’d be interested in moving over to the editorial department. I said,” Hell yes!” or, likely, something enthusiastic but more professional, and became an assistant editor after that.
§ Rob Salkowitz, author of that new book about Comic-Con, is interviewed:
Included in Comic-Con are Salkowitz’s projections of the possible futures of the comics world, describing the changes to the creators, publishers, readers, and more. From the “Expanding Universe” where digital creation and distribution revitalizes the industry to the “Infinite Crisis” in which the popularity of comics fades from the mass market and leaves “fanboys” as the only remaining audience, Salkowitz goes into detail about the factors that could bring about each outcome. “That’s my ‘special sauce,'” he said. “That’s actually part of my methodology and technique that I use when I’m doing analysis for other industries. I’ve done the future of the automotive industry, the future of work, the future of workplaces for corporate clients.”
§ To be fair, if you asked us to come up with one kids graphic novel featuring African-American characters, we’d think of five. Martha Cornog has dozens, including stuff like this that we’ve never heard of but they sound COOL:
ROBBINS, Trina. Bessie Coleman: Daring Stunt Pilot. illus. by Ken Steacy. 32p. (Graphic Biography Series). Capstone. 2007. PLB $29.99. ISBN 978-0-7368-6851-8; pap. $7.95. ISBN 978-0-7368-7903-3. Born to a poor family in Texas, Bessie leaves her struggling family to find a job as a manicurist in Chicago. But her dream is to fly, and so she travels to France to train as a pilot in a country with fewer restrictions on women-and on African Americans. A number of other biographies in this series focus on other prominent African Americans, including Booker T. Washington and Matthew Henson.
Ken Steacy and Trina Robbins? Sign us up.
§ USA Today looks at MARATHON, the new historical GN by Boaz Yakin:
“I was like, have people gotten in so much better shape today that 60-year-olds commonly run 26 miles, and a few thousand years ago a young warrior died if he tried it? Was he wounded or what?” Yakin says. The thought and his run led him to script Marathon, which started as a screenplay and is now a historical fiction graphic novel from First Second Books illustrated by Joe Infurnari (Mush!) and out just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics that start July 27.
COMICS IN THE NEWS
§ This headline would seem to indicate that The Advocate, the #1 LGBT news publication, is in favor of the Northstar/Kyle wedding: Comic Books Take a Big Leap Forward With Gay Wedding.
§ Meanwhile, wrestler/comics fan/new father Shane Helms also airs his feelings on the new gay Green Lantern.
§ “Have you ever wondered what Disney’s Seven Dwarfs would look like if the characters were designed by an artist who had no fundamental understanding of drawing, color theory or appeal? Wonder no more.”
§ Headline of the day, but it’s actually a pretty good article about censorship: Graphic Novels and Comic Books, They’re Not Just for Kids.
§ Jason Aaron went to the Denver Comic Con and enjoyed himself:
San Diego is still the Grand Poohba of American comic cons, though I myself rarely go. And the New York Comic Con is always a blast, and one I never miss. But overall my favorite cons remain the smaller regional shows, like Emerald City in Seattle, Baltimore Comic Con and this weekend’s Heroes in Charlotte. Now I expect it won’t be long before I’m adding Denver to that list.
§ Wow, we JUST wised up to the fact that Tim Callahan has spent the whole year rereading the works of Alan Moore and he’s already up to 1963:
It not only sharply contrasted with every other Image book on the stands next to it, but it was conceived of as a work that would bridge the days of yesteryear with the comic books of today (or, what was “today” in 1993), and culminate in a massive 80-page 1963 Annual in which the old-fashioned pastiche characters would meet up with the Youngbloods and Spawns and Savage Dragons of
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.