§ It’s long been known that cartoonists David Rees and Michael Kupperman didn’t have a great time when they were cartooning for the New York Times last year, and it ended badly. Now, Kupperman recounts the whole sad story which involves a lot of editorial meddling (or censorship) and not the greatest deal:
Then there was the money. The New York Times- get this- refused to come up from the fee for one artist, which we were to split. We finally got them to come up a little, but only a little. These strips are done in a very short time period- basically between Wednesday night and Friday morning, and I stayed up all night for a couple fo them. We were going to be making very little money, but still, it was an opportunity to do good work, maybe make some statements on serious issues and have them be seen by people. And the Times still stands for something in peoples’s minds, some kind of editorial quality.
Of course, it didn’t work out at all; their nitpicking, antiquated style of editing got more oppressive until they were killing entire strips. And it’s quite clear they were refusing to print them because they didn’t understand them. It was like being edited by hobbits.
Some commenters on the post suggest that cartoons weren’t as brilliant as the creators thought, but the main takeaway seems to be that the Times has a very very old school take on editorial cartoons in general. Anyway, thank God for The Nib and now Jen Sorenson’s section at Fusion.net.
§ One of the things I learned reading Kupperman’s piece is that David Rees now has a TV show for National Geographic, Going Deep with David Rees. HOW did I not know this? Not quite as crazy as Dan Piraro narrating the failed Utopia show, but a lot more successful.
§ I don’t necessarily endorse the total validity of every entry in Nathanial Hood’s 10 Times Comic Book Creators Were Screwed Over. For instance, Bill Mantlo seems to have been compensated for the use of Rocket Raccoon in some way since the Guardians of the Galaxy movie went into production. However, it’s a handy guide to some of comics most shameful moments.
§ Augie De Blieck writes about a the most terrifying topic of all: purging comics.
In the meantime, ask yourself: What comics do you really need? Which ones will you never read again? Which ones are just taking up space? Which ones do you own more than once? Save the trade, ditch the issues. If they’re valuable, put them up on eBay and get rid of them. Take that money and invest in a better storage solution. Buy better comics, not more comics.
Easier said than done.
§ Before all the tragedies of the last week, I had bookmarked this link to Josh Neufeld’s comic on a Muslim American man who was detained for eight hours when returning from Canada for having an old traffic ticket involving a crooked license plate. It was troubling then, and it’s even more troubling now, because even more innocent people are going to get treated very badly.
§ People enjoyed this Nathan Fairbairn process post on creating the covers of Nameless.
This Gumroad package includes 100 pages of artwork from Natalie “Tally” Nourigat’s sketchbooks (gesture drawings, character designs, short comics, environment studies, fan art, and doodles), broken into 4 PDFs for easy downloading/viewing. These pages were drawn August – December 2014, and they consist of ALL-NEW, unpublished material, drawn after the material in the “Tally Marks: Eurotrip” series available from MonkeyBrain Comics.
§ There is a tiny but notable subset of gentleman comics publishers who happen to be former or current football players, and here’s another one, Phillip Buchanon:
On this day, Mr. Buchanon, 34, is playing a far-less hazardous position, sitting at a table with stacks of the children’s books he’s written. He chatted with kids and parents at the Bell Tower Shops, signed some books and also talked with Florida Weekly in between the youngsters and the moms and dads. Book sales weren’t particularly brisk on this special night where Mr. Buchanon and his books were only part of the attraction. “I’m competing against Santa, a bounce house, music and free food,” Mr. Buchanon said good-naturedly.
Why notable? Well, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer players do not seem to start comic book companies. They also suffer less head trauma than football players. Discuss.
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.