§ Nice Art: Inktober continues, this time from Becky Cloonan.
§ So when I reported on that story about the handyman stealing $250,000 worth of art and comicsfrom a Sparta, NJ home the other day….I knew that Marvel’s chief creative officer Joe Quesada and his wife Nanci Quesada have a home there, but I thought, well maybe someone ELSE who lives in Sparta has a spectacular comics collection? But nope,
it was the Quesadas. Handyman Francisco Bove was hired to make repairs after a leak, but I guess when he saw the valuables on hand, he couldn’t help himself”
Bove covered the property’s security cameras with towels, McCarrick wrote, then he moved himself and his girlfriend into Quesada’s house. But Quesada’s wife noticed something was amiss when she remotely checked the security cameras and found nothing but blacked-out screens, the affidavit said. She called the security company, which told her the cameras were working fine, the affadavit said. So she asked a friend to physically check on the house.
Bove sold some of the art, and someone recognized a piece and notified Quesada. Meanwhile Bove had used the money to visit Italy. He’s now in custody. I understand it was a pretty spectacular collection. Quesada has recovered some of it but I hope it’s all returned somehow.
§ Last Sunday’s Simpsons included cameos from Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast and Marjane Satrapi, and the story involved Lisa and Marge making an indie comic called Sad Gurl. Somehow that was not headline news for the weeks because comics are everywhere. Bechdel wrote about the cameo here.
§ Zainab Akhtar has been putting together a list of 50 modern comics that are a starting point for reading outside superheroes and it’s a very solid list, with some old favorites and new favorites.
§ With the small press show circuit mostly done for the year – CAB and CALA await – people are thinking about what comics arts festivals can and should do. Juan Fernández at Comics Workbook has a think piece on “Expanding the Festival Toolkit” that offers lots of ideas.
Comics making and comics reading practices need more breathing room. To grow. To continue expanding. We need to nurture interdisciplinary approaches to experiencing comics. We need our festivals to make this their guiding principle.
Comics making no longer needs to be limited to being a collectible, genre-oriented narrative art form.
It’s time that it be seen as a mode of communication with breadth and depth, that can survive in any kind of market-driven cultural ecosystem. We need to celebrate the cartoonists and comics for whom the craft is but one aspect of their life’s work. Not just the cartoonists’ cartoonists.
The comments section is lively as well. The idea of expanding beyond a comics show as vibrant selling market to a workshop/symposium model is definitely happening, but it seems to me that every show will have its own focus. CXC sounds like it was a good one, though, and I hope to attend next year.
§ Speaking of CXC, Adam Griffiths wrote a wide ranging review of the panels and creators at the show. It’s an old school con report of the best kind, and if this is what fests are inspiring, there should be much more.
§ And the ever-thoughtful Rob Clough also looked at CXC:
This gets to the heart of what should make a successful comics show. Whatever local resources are available, make sure to use them. If you have a good local comics scene, make sure to include it. If there are beautiful or unusual venues available, take advantage of them. If there’s a local university nearby interested in comics, get their support. If the organizers have ways to incorporate arts other than comics, by all means one should do this. Mixing music, zines, video games, photography, or other arts into the event has been successful for many. Programming should be more than a distraction; it should be carefully considered and the heart of your show. Keep your ambitions low to start, don’t look to make money, and consider getting sponsorships and/or crowdfunding to cover your costs instead of passing it on to the artists and attendees.
This show inspired some good writing.
§ Future comics star Vita Ayala is interviewed at io9:
I’m a huge DC fan. DC was kind of my first love and Barbara Gordon specifically is one of my favorite superheroes, in every incarnation. I was not completely caught up and had to read half of the run to get caught up to who Barbara is now. It was such a joy to rediscover Barbara Gordon. Working on the Batman Beyond [issues] with Steve [Orlando], I got to play,
§ John Constantine, as portrayed by Matt Ryan, has been hanging around Legends of Tomorrow, but when he returns in a two-parter, he’ll be the bisexual nicotine addict we know and love::
“As for the character of Constantine, we knew that an alienated, chain-smoking, bisexual, world-weary demonologist would feel right at home among our Legends,” says Klemmer. “His appearance in episode 310 will involve the following: a revisiting of Arrow season four and the events following that season’s finale episode; a confrontation with this season’s Big Bad on Legends — the name we’ve only heard whispered until now, Mallus; some hot sex — something that has been in short supply on the Waverider thus far in season three; and Damien Darhk [Neil McDonough], because how can you do an episode about dark magic and not have Damien Darhk? More than anything, the episode promises to be scary as you know what — tonally it’s The Exorcist meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Demonic possession in a mental institution — what’s not to love?”
When Constantine aired on NBC the network got antsy about Constantine being the nasty character from the comics — and the series didn’t last. A lesson to be learned.
§ I have to be honest, I can’t make heads or tails of the The Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce fiasco. I’ve yet to study R&M, I hate McDonald’s and I get my Szechuan sauce at the Stickys on Third Avenue. However this does seem to be some kind of “Day of the Locusts” for fandom, branding and cult cartoons. Seeing as we’re actually living in a post post-modern hellscape where truth is an illusion, life has no value, and human dignity is a myth, we’d better get used to this kind of thing.
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.