It’s kind of quiet out there as everyone suits up for New York Comic Con, but here’s some linkage that piled up over the last few days,
§ Curious about all the CEREBUS fooferaw? While surfing around, we found this post by Ben Lundy that explains the whole 300 issue saga, warts, wonders, and all. Please note, it is FULL OF SPOILERS, so if you read this blog post you will not have the joy of experiencing Church and State or Jaka’s Story as they were meant to be read. If you have no intention of reading CEREBUS, but need a field guide to what everyone is talking about, this is a good overview, although it does go to the “CEREBUS got unbearably crazy” viewpoint.
Douglas Wolk’s CEREBUS piece in The Believer is another great overview, but must be purchased. He reprised his thoughts in Reading Comics, as well.
While digging around over the last few days, I’ve been reminded just how amazing a cartoonist Dave Sim at his height was. Perhaps no one but Chris Ware has had such a far reaching grasp of how the physical act of reading a comic can be manipulated through time and imagery to create powerful storytelling effects.
BTW, if you’re CEREBUS-curious but worried about all the weird, hateful stuff, the first 200 issues of CEREBUS contain so much humanity and subtlety in ALL the characters that you can read them in confidence.
PS: looks like the end result of all this is that Sim’s work is going to be reassessed, which it deserves to be.
Every morning, after he packs his pillow from whatever beach or bridge has been his bed, after he pedals to the Salvation Army to get a free cup of coffee, after he parks his old bike outside the Mirror Lake Library, Rick Lewis walks into the air-conditioned sanctuary, plops down at an empty table, pulls pencils from his battered backpack and begins to draw.
§ Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is getting more reviews, such as this one in the Washington Post:
Howe’s book covers too much ground for one tight story arc. Rather, it’s the same tale told several times: Marvel’s writers and illustrators get frustrated and eventually either leave or are pushed out the door. Most of them make no money, and none of them enjoys loyalty from his employer. In recent years, even Lee is regarded as an outsider after he starts an independent venture; a Marvel conference room chuckles at an announcement that his start-up has failed.
§ With the pickup of the new cartoon Steven Universe Rebecca Sugar is the first woman to ever get a show greenlit on Cartoon Network.
§ You can read Sugar’s tearjerker of a comic “Don’t Cry For Me I’m Already Dead” here.
§ The Beat’s own Steve Morris interviews Defoe artist Leigh Gallagher for Comics Bulletin:
CB: When you’re asked to create something like, for example, The Devourer, how do you begin designing the character?
Gallagher: At first it’s getting the obvious (and crappier) designs out of your system, getting them shot down by the writer, then coming up with LOADS more better designs that YOU think are great, but the writer STILL won’t approve! So after throwing various chairs and household pets through the window, it’s suggested I forget about the description given and go with something new.
The Best (worst) animation reel ever? This has been kicking around for a while, but it’s always fun.
(Note: A “reel” is a demo reel of your VERY BEST WORK showing why someone would want to hire you. Once you get that, his reel becomes even funnier. I guess if you know Maya and Nuke, it’s funnier still.)
§ An interview with that guy who goes around dressed as Deadpool:
DP: People who know me personally would think I’m kind of a silly nutcase, but I’m not psychotic loon like good ol’ Wade. But yeah, there’s something about wearing a mask that enables the freedom to do whatever I want. I mean, picture a dude in normal attire doing Gangnam Style on the street. There’s nothing appealing to that. Put on a tight, full body spandex suit, and you got something interesting going on. Plus, even when I mess around in costume, you can still picture Deadpool doing that in the comics, whether it be dancing alongside a bunch of Avengers, or singing Karaoke with a bunch of characters from Naruto. So I can basically act a fool, and still be in character. Win/win situation.
§ A Louisiana teacher is fighting for comics to be taken seriously:
While comics and graphic novels are more accepted by adults in modern times, Craig suggested that many people still don’t recognize graphic novels as actual works of literature. In order to instill a higher regard and appreciation for comic books and graphic novels, Craig explained consideration for starting a class that will focus on the psychological aspects of the popular “Batman” comics.
§ I know you have all seen A Scott Pilgrim Marriage Proposal but here’s an interview with the actual couple.
§ I did not run this item in time to plug the Mana-Con of Manatee, and I will always, always regret that.
There were boxes and boxes and more boxes containing thousands of comic books stacked around her cramped work space at the Manatee County Central Library. “We have all kinds,” said the library’s adults services supervisor, showing off Peanuts, Spider-Man, Valiant and Witchblade to name a few. “There’s something for everybody.” That should go over big with fans, who turn out for the library’s third annual Mana-Con: Comics Convention for Teens 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It’s a spinoff of the multi-genre convention held annually in San Diego.
§ Spain Rodriguez is having an art show in Buffalo, NY. That should make up for many issues of Before Watchmen.
Rodriguez was a kind of incorrigible rebellious type. With just a “bad attitude” is how he candidly assesses his case in the video. The video touches on his spoiled youth spent reading pre-code comics, the traumatic experience for him of art school, when abstract expressionism with its two-dimensionality principle was dogma—he was into three-dimensionality, in spades—and his blue-collar employment in Buffalo area manufactories, where the curriculum was the much more interesting subject to him of simmering socioeconomic class warfare. Meanwhile, he contributed artwork to a number of underground newspapers in Buffalo, some of which are on display. Pith, published by the Subterranean Press at Gallery Arcanum, 180 Allen Street, editorial office at 56 Elmwood.
§ Michael Rooker as Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy? Rooker Raccoon?
§ This blog post by Robert Mankoff about New Yorker cartoonists who write a lot is very informative.
§ In India, the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has achieved the highest honor a person can receive: he’s taking part in “Bigg Boss” which we’re guessing is India’s version of “Celebrity Big Brother.” Get a load of the other contestants:
Aseem, who was in news after his arrest on September 9 for posting controversial cartoons on his website, is participating in Bigg Boss 6 to be “seen and heard”. Cricketer-turned-commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu is another high-profile contestant this season, while Hindi poet Kumar Vishwas, who has been actively involved with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement along with Aseem , is also likely to enter the Bigg Boss 6 house. “Aseem was approached and he has agreed to be on the show,” the cartoonists’ father Ashok Trivedi, who runs a tent business in Unnav near Kanpur, confirmed to Mail Today.
Which US cartoonists would you most like to see in a reality show?
§ Tom Spurgeon talks about his near death experience and subsequent weight loss in Gil Roth’s podcast. He also reveals he may be writing a book about his weight loss. I think that book could possibly sell some copies.
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.