§ Nice Art: Adam Hughes draws Hellboy for HELLBOY: KRAMPUSNACHT, a one shot that teams not only Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes but CHRISTMAS AND HALLOWEEN.
§ At a junket for Thor: Ragnarok someone asked Karl Urban what he thinks of a movie starring Lady Thor, and Urban, like a good sport blurted out that he thought it was a GREAT idea.
Speaking with MFR to promote Marvel’s upcoming film, Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel star Karl Urban expresses his hopes of seeing a female Thor appear in the next phase of the MCU. “I think it’s time – I think it’s well overdue, absolutely. I’d like to see that movie, why not.”
And then he literally added “I think they’re getting a female Captain America, aren’t they?”
So from one meaningless statement, dozens of headlines were born. Like this one.
§ It seems the wold has chugged into action again and people are profiling cartoonists finally. Like Yuichi Yokoyama, whose abstract comics are thrilling yet obscure, as Chris Mautner writes.
It’s in the characters’ visual design that Yokoyama’s imagination takes flight. While his figures seem to be composed of basic geometric shapes and move about in a determined but robotic fashion, they often wear elaborate, multi-patterned clothes that defy conventional fashion sense — one character’s shirt consists of the letters to his name moving across his torso like a electric billboard.
§ Julia Wertz’s new book Tenements, Towers & Trash:gets a NY Times review from Parul Sehgal:
But we’re still in Wertzworld: the velvety black and white illustrations, the crisp lines of the landscapes and the rounded, expressive faces of the characters who look straight out of a Tintin comic. The artist herself is still the tousled and anxious creature of the previous books, very much a large cat in a bee costume — awkward, unlucky, straining for dignity and supremely lovable.
§ And also at Hyperallergic:
“Moving to New York is an unparalleled experience that you only get to do once, and you either make it or you don’t,” wrote Wertz in Drinking at the Movies, her hilarious and occasionally gutting Eisner-nominated 2010 graphic memoir about moving to New York City. Amid its self-deprecating and smart, personal strips, a love of architecture is borne out in diagrammed apartment floor plans and depictions of leafy sidewalks near Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park. The Koyama Press 2015 edition of Wertz’s book included a “New York City Sketchbook,” which heralded the fruitful route taken after she quit drinking (as well as comics, for a time).
THIS IS A GREAT GIFT BOOK, PEOPLE.
§ And Tom Gauld! Everyone loves Tom Gauld, right? Esp. Graeme McMillan.
Baking With Kafka is a collection of cartoons about books, which doesn’t feel like the crossover genre with the largest audience in the world. How did you end up in such a niche area? These cartoons tend to be about literature because they have their first outing in The Guardian newspaper’s weekly books section. I took the job 12 years ago because I was happy to have any kind of paid cartooning work, but I also felt I’d be able to do it because I like to read. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know the world of books better and enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to make fun of it. Not everybody is interested in cartoons about literature, but I’ve found that the people who are interested really appreciate somebody making cartoons which lovingly mock that world.
§ The most excellent Alex Dueben is doing many of his interviews for Smash Pages now and he talks to the great Liniers about Good Night Planet, his new book, and living in rural Vermont:
It’s my third book for kids and my first Vermont-ian book, I guess. In my diaries I had this page of one of my daughters and her new stuffed animal. I gave it to her when we arrived here in Vermont. She was three years old back then, so she had like 20 words in her vocabulary. We asked her what’s the name of your new friend and she said the last word I expected to come from her which was, Planeta. I thought that was the best name I had ever heard for a stuffed animal. The story grew from there. The house where we’re living is more or less the house that I drew. We also got a puppy – because we wanted to live with an American. [laughs] So he’s in there, too. Some mice run around our house because we live in the country now so that ended up in there, too. It was just a fun, easy book to make. Every time my daughters inspire something in me it always ends up being my favorites so that one and the New York Times piece are ranking very high – for myself at least.
§ Clare McBride has an excellent piece at the Mary Sue called What Is a Problematic Fave? that spins out of a panel on the same topic at NYCC:
But first, the definition of a problematic fave. While I do agree with Taylor’s baseline definition that a problematic fave is something you have to recommend with a caveat—such as noting that Lovecraft is a big ol’ racist when recommending At the Mountains of Madness—Donnelly provided the best explanation by way of metaphor. Specifically, the metaphor of ice cream. Ice cream is delicious and easy to love, but eating ice cream all the time will leave you malnourished. This doesn’t mean you can’t have ice cream, of course, you just have to be upfront about what it is and incorporate it into a diverse diet.
§ And to wit, I was just saying how much I love Black Hammer, but Nola Pfau at Women Write about Comics points out that its gender and racial tropes aren’t the most up to date:
It’s the politics of the team that tear the book apart, that undermine it from the beginning of the story and onward. From the very first issue, the story is built on the death-through-sacrifice of the team’s only black member, the titular Black Hammer. Black Hammer has a daughter, who is now a black girl growing up without a father. It’s a disheartening stereotype, and it’s compounded when the origin of Abraham Slam, a kind of Captain America/Daredevil fusion, is built on the death of his own black mentor. On top of that, Mark Markz, the Martian Manhunter-inspired Barbalien, keeps the “shape-shifted into a human police officer” disguise, but makes that officer white and gay instead. It sends the message that being black or being gay are interchangeable character descriptors, and that’s a deeply unsettling stance to take. I understand that the book is a significant homage to Golden Age comics, but it wasn’t written in the Golden Age, and this kind of thing is unacceptable in the year 2017.
§ Matthew Vaughn is a fairly prolific director by today’s standards, but it’s only ever made one movie that didn’t have a comic book connection, making him a premiere auteur of the form. Here’s a look back at Stardust, which came out 10 years ago. Time flies!
§ I know I’ve been writing a lot about Riverdale here, but now they’ve introduced he Black Hood into the mystery, which is so damn clever! You get to boost your superhero verse and add a creepy character. With piercing green eyes.
§ There was a comic con at a US military base on Okinawa, a spackling of small islands in the China Sea at the south of Japan.
“I’m amazed by all the working parts that went into this whole thing,” said Cam Mangels, the club events coordinator with Marine Corps Community Services. “From the Provost Marshal’s Office to the coordination, all of the venders that came in, all of the people who came to visit and dressed up, I’m completely amazed by how everyone came together and made it fun all around. I’ve seen a lot of happy faces here. I’ve seen a lot of happy families come and enjoy the food, and the whole atmosphere.”
There is no where in the world that does not enjoy comic con culture.
§ Finally a SHOCKER!!! Famous wartime cartoonist had links with Uckfield.
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.