§ Condolences to Matt Fraction on the passing of his father. Dennis Fritchman attended several HeroesCon with is family and clearly he was a man who loved life. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting a donation to The Hero Initiative.
§ Marmaduke creator Brad Anderson has passed away at age 91. Anderson created the strip about the mischievous Great Dane in 1954—the strip is currently drawn by his son, Paul—and he won the NCS’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
§ Here’s an article on the Fun Home controversy that GOES THERE and reproduces the “pornographic page,” but with black bars over the parts that will send you to hell for all eternity. Seriously, can anyone look at the “naughty” parts and think this is a porno? The writer of the piece, however is affronted by the subject mater:
The 2006 memoir includes an image of “Alison” with her head between another woman’s legs performing oral sex, one of a handful of images of sexual acts illustrated in the book.
The autobiographical tale also features themes such as pedophilia and depression, and has been assigned in recent years at at least 17 universities and two high schools; sometimes as part of a class, other times as summer reading.
§ The Straight Times of Singapore profiles Agnes Gawbowska, who was burnin Poland, moved to Canada, and currently lives in LA.
Garbowska, who describes her style as “Western-meets-Japanese art”, does not believe she would have had achieved the same level of success in her career had she not moved with her family to Canada from Poland at age four. “It’s very different there (Poland) and I would not have had the same opportunities to pursue art. I don’t think I would have been as influenced by my environment (in Poland) because growing up in Canada, I was surrounded by art, anime, comics and a lot of people who also love art,” she says.
After my first two graphic novels, I made a conscious move into fiction for a number of reasons. I didn’t feel removed enough to summarize my 20s yet, and was also reasonably sick of drawing my own stupid face. Most importantly, Henni — and its sequel, my current project — is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading. It’s an adventure, with relentless forward momentum and lovely little disasters around every corner. Whereas nonfiction cuts away the inconsequential and superfluous, fiction is a sculptural process. It was a relief to flex those muscles, building up from scratch.
By 2005, Mr. Winick had branched out to animation with “The Life and Times of Juniper Lee,” which ran for two years on the Cartoon Network, about an 11-year-old Chinese girl who must keep the balance between the real and supernatural. He is now head writer for “The Awesomes,” an animated series about superheroes created by Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. (Mr. Meyers is scheduled to have Mr. Winick as a guest on “Late Night” on Sept. 15.)
§ I love these stories about institutions that throw mini comic-cons. In this case, the Highland Museum in Ashland, KY:
The museum hosted its inaugural comic convention and opened its doors to yet another venue for area residents to learn and be entertained. An exhibit showcasing the comic phenomena ran for weeks leading up to the convention, and the sidewalks of Ashland were lined with people anticipating the event.
Executive Director Carol Allen said the museum was pleased with the initial turnout (several hundred within a couple of hours, with numbers that grew steadily) and said it showed the community had a serious interest. “Everyone seems to be having a great time,” Allen said. “And we couldn’t be more pleased.”
§ Meanwhile, Fairfield, Ct, is mining the fertile ground of its local cartooning heritage for an exhibit on Harry Neigher and Frank Gerratana at the Fairfield Museum:
The exhibition celebrates the history of the weekly Bridgeport Herald (later the Connecticut Sunday Herald) with a selection of Neigher’s and Gerratana’s work documenting the news from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Columnist and cartoonist Neigher was known throughout southern Connecticut for his entertaining column “Harry Neigher Covers the Nite Life,” which ran in the Herald from 1932 until the newspaper closed in 1973. Gerratana, Neigher’s friend and colleague, was chief photographer for the Herald and created a remarkable body of work during approximately the same period, photographing every U.S. president from FDR to Nixon and documenting local politics and newsworthy events.
§ And they are even looking at comics in Kathmandu where the Nepal Art Council has an exhibit of local work that examines the educational system in Nepal:
“Cartoons not only capture the absurdities of the system and contemporary society but also can go a long way towards making a society progressive,” Pandey said.
The featured cartoons examined the problems faced by Nepal’s education system—mostly by satirising it; and many of them homed in on the disparity between the government and private institutions and brought to light several other maladies in the educational sector.
The opening was attended by many local dignitaries.
§ And back closer to home, David Harper talks with artist John Paul Leon on his cover work and more:
Covers for me are about making that one beautiful piece of art that serves a function. Depending on the job, it can be bolder, more graphic, or more literal. It’s also important to try and zig while others zag, since a big part of an effective cover is that it stand out. Lately, I’ve been feeling that the more story specific the image, the better. Literal. Conservative, from a picture making POV.—Thinking of Fawcett again, and others. Hey, maybe next we can go back to putting word balloons and captions on the cover!
§ A PR I received over the holiday touts a new comic by writer Camille Carida and artist Joe Quinones called LICK-IT MAN as a #1 Amazon bestseller. Although lollipops are involved the book is not about lollipops, but it is a female friendly book whose time has come, we’re told.
Loosely based on the award-winning short film of the same name, the story begins after a radioactive lollipop turns Beaver Sparker into LICK-IT MAN, women across the globe become empowered by the phenomenon of “enlightened orgasms,” and men everywhere are delivered the perfect role model.
The 65-page, full color graphic novel takes a hilarious, playful and somewhat twisted comedic take on the superhero genre by combining elements of bawdy sexuality, tongue-in-cheek humor and tinges of political satire.
This title did not show up on my regular perusal of Amazon’s bestseller lists, but I’m sure somewhere, sometime it was #1. However, when I checked the current comics bestsellers, I did find an unfamiliar title at #8:
EROTICA: FFM THREESOME ROMANCE STORIES MENAGE TABOO EROTIC SEX STORIES BUNDLE (MFF FMF FFF)
After some examination, I’m pretty sure that this is not really a comic book. What is this world coming to?
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.