§ If you’re like me you’re waking up for the first time in a world without either Lemmy or David Bowie to guide us, and that is a scarier, lonelier world. I tried to think of a Bowie/comics connection but aside from having influenced countless cartoonists, I think Sean T. Collins’s Flickr set of his Bowie sketchbook, with art by every one from Cliff Chiang (above) to Jeff Lemire to Paul Pope may be the best tribute. I’m sure there are more. That’s what the comment section is for, people.
§ Here’s Gene Luen Yang’s inaugural speech as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature which he presented at the Library of Congress. And he’s made a graphic suggesting some comics to read; winners all.
§ Convention season kicked off this weekend with Wizard World New Orleans, and there was Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner, and if you check social media you’ll see there was comics-related content as well. A few local stories, from the local news and The New Orleans Advocate concentrated on the cosplay aspect:
Buschemi, who said she’s been cosplaying since she was in the fifth grade, will wear as many as three different costumes in one day, including Armin from the manga series “Attack on Titan” and Yazawa Nico, a main character from the anime series “Love Live!”
Although she tries to attend as many conventions and meet-ups as possible, she described her life otherwise as “normal.”
“I attend school just like everybody else,” she said, praising events like Comic Con that let her show a different side to herself and be a more outgoing person. “It’s not really that big of a deal. It’s cool, in fact.”
§ The Outhousers record an economic debate between Diamond Comics owner Steve Geppi and Mark Waid and Brain Hibbs, with a ton of photos that some people would be embarrassed by that Geppi himself posted. In case you’re wondering, Geppi portrays Mr. Burns and Mark Waid portrays Bernie Sanders in this debate.
§ Chris Mautner did not much care for the first issue of DKIII.
§ This is an old link that just popped up on my social media. Patrick Hessi has a nice write up on the NJ Comics Expo I told you about a while ago, including a detailed recap of the Walt Simonson-Louise Simonson-Chris Claremont panel that I moderated. (Also, some very kind words for yours truly in the piece.) I think this first sentence here is the money quote for a lot of what went on in comics in the 70s and 80s.
Walt Simonson said that when he got into the comics industry in the early 1970’s, the prevailing wisdom was that the medium would be over within ten years but because of that, he decided to go all out and tell the craziest stories he could. Claremont and the Simonson’s talked about how they all worked together to do the original Mutant Massacre crossover with one another and how it was driven creative collaboration as opposed to editorial mandates. This led to a great insight from Walt Simonson on how as he put it, back when they were creating comics at Marvel & DC, stories started from the “bottom up” meaning that they were driven by the creative talents working on the books as opposed to editorial. This went into further insights from all three creators on how, because the nature of comics at the time were so disposable, it allowed for them to have a high level of creative freedom.
§ Women in comics, women in fine art! Michael Dooley writes about a retrospective catalog of the work of Margaret Harrison, an artist whose work explored superhero and gender tropes.
On Reflection: the Art of Margaret Harrison. “Captain America 2,” 1997. A pioneering feminist, Harrison co-founded London’s Women’s Liberation Art Group in 1970. The following year, her first solo gallery show was shut down the day after it opened for alleged indecency. Specifically, police deemed her Hugh Hefner — portrayed as a big-breasted, corseted Playboy bunny — to be offensive, apparently oblivious to the inherent irony of their actions against this already-ironic work. Undeterred, her art remains socially engaged. Among her most powerful are those that juxtapose texts with images in compelling cultural critiques. “Homeworkers,” a mixed-media assemblage, is a masterful, intricately composed indictment of female labor exploitation. And this year’s “Beautiful Ugly Violence” exhibition at New York’s Feldman Fine Arts Gallery included narratives by domestic abuse convicts which were typewritten and overlaid with delicately subdued wash drawings, often of seemingly innocent household objects, and arranged in comics panel sequences.
§ Submissions for Slate’s Fourth annual Cartoonist Studio Prize are open! Details in the link.
Eligible print comics must be written in (or translated into) English and published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of 2015. Creators or publishers may submit a print comic for consideration by clicking here. Eligible Web comics must be written in (or translated into) English and published online between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. Creators or publishers may submit a Web comic for consideration by clicking here.
§ I did not know that Sarah Horrocks and Katie Skelly did a podcast together. I haven’t listened yet, but I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be fun.
§ I *DID* listen to The Best Comics of 2015 from the Factual Opinion gang of Tucker Stone, Matt Seneca and Chris Mautner. Their list consisted of:
The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden
Band For Life, by Anya Davidson
The Terror Assaulter: One Man War On Terror, by Benjamin Marra
Demon, by Jason Shiga
Blubber, by Gilbert Hernandez
Pope Hats, by Ethan Rilly Crickets, by Sammy Harkham
Optic Nerve, by Adrian Tomine
Sky In Stereo, by Mardou
Men’s Feelings, by Ted May Copra, by Michel Fiffe
Providence, by Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows
Eat Eat Eat, by Tom Van Deusen
Invisible Ink, by Bill Griffith
Fante Bukowski, by Noah Van Sciver
Generous Bosom, by Conor Stechschulte
Inner City Romance, by Guy Colwell
SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jill Tamaki
Volcan, by Various Artists
and [SPOILER] they chose Blubber at the comic of the year. Kind of an intriguing esthetic there.
§ BTW did you know that Page 45 does some of the best review round-ups of the month? They do
§ Just to provide a nice bookend to DC’s “Pakistanian” fiasco, Marvel confused the flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico. To be fair, they are almost identical, except one has red stripes and one blue. QUIZ WHICH IS WHICH? At any rate, Marvel was all over social media apologizing.
§ John Ridley, whose American Crime show is a critical and audience hit, is apparently still developing some mysterious Marvel based TV show. Wouldn’t hold my breath though.
§ A very important post by Noelle Stevenson in which she posits that Boba Fett is actually Zam Wesell.
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.