§ Rat Queens artist and co-creator Roc Upchurch was arrested last month on charges of assault and battery against his wife, who posted an account on a blog and then removed it. It’s a sad familiar tale, but hasn’t gotten that much attention among comics folk. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do when one of our own transgresses. Women Write About Comics’ Megan Purdy also received information about the assult and the arrest and offers some very important perspective:
Many have suggested that the arrest is a private matter, and that his ex-wife’s more extensive allegations have the potential to ruin Upchurch’s career. But domestic violence is not a private matter — it’s a criminal one — and rare is the man’s career that has been ruined by it. Upchurch stands to lose little from our merely speaking about an arrest that hasn’t been further pursued. Rat Queens, remember, is a creator-owned book published by Image, and it has been hailed as a breath of fresh air, a genuinely and breezily feminist comic, around which Kurt Wiebe and Upchurch have been a vibrant and supportive community. That community is unlikely to suddenly disappear in the wake of this news. Some readers may stand to lose more, though, should we shy from reporting the matter honestly — they may lose whatever sense of safety and trust they have found among us.
We must not shy away from reporting unpleasant facts.
We must not cultivate a culture of silence and polite withdrawal.
As I said, there is often foot shuffling about these matters, but bringing them to light is often the surest way to begin recovery for all involved.
And now back to more trivial matters.
§ That big Saga hardcover with extras is just out and Brian K. Vaughan offers the potential problems with the breast-feeding cover:
Anyway, Eric Stephenson was concerned that we might be limiting our audience with this kind of cover, and we had a lot of back and forth with him until he finally said, “You guys know I’m not your boss, right? You can do anything you want at Image, I just wanted you to be aware of the climate out there.” Which is one of the countless reasons why Image is the best publisher in the world. And to Eric’s credit, as soon as he saw Fiona’s gorgeous execution of our cover idea, his response was the same as mine: “However many of these we print, it’s not gonna be enough.”
Thankfully, retailers have been equally supportive, and we haven’t had a single complaint. Sounds like one national book chain is even going to feature the hardcover at the front of their stores for the holiday season, so we’re enormously grateful for everybody’s approval of horned babies and milk-engorged boobs.
§ Did you know that New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff stars in a video series called The Cartoon Lounge? In the above episode Mankoff fiddles with his gizmos.
§ DC Comics is suing the Valencia football (soccer to Usains) club because their traditional “bat logo” has been altered in such a way as to resemble Batman’s. Valencia has included a bat in the logo since 1919 so this is hardly a new thing. Another local team, Levante, also has a bat in their logo because apparently, Valencians are in love with bats:
The symbol of the bat has a long history with Valencia that dates back to the 13th century when the region was conquered by King James I of Aragon who added the image of the bat to his coat of arms as a symbol of good luck. Bats are common in the region of Valencia and the Balearic Islands and the coat of arms of the city of Valencia still features a bat.
Perhaps DC should send Bruce Wayne to team up with these guys instead—it seems they are all on the same side.
§ A new Egyptian comic called Shakmagia or “ewlery Box” includes comics focusing on the problems with sexual harassment and volence in Egypt. The link includes a history of Egyptians political cartoons which go back 100 years.
§ Cinemax’s pilot for Outcast,the Kirkman/Azaeta comics has been cast.
Rounding out the cast is an ensemble of season television and film actors, The Hollywood Reporter notes, many of whom who have starred in recent television hits. The cast include Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl), Philip Glenister (Big School), Reg E. Cathy (House of Cards), Julia Crockett (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire, and Kip Pardue (Ray Donovan).
§ Acclaimed cartoonist Kevin Huizenga has updated his activities. Haven’t really seen much from him of late which is sad, but Ganges will continue with a new issue out next spring. YAY.
§ Noah Berlatsky has his own book on Wonder Woman coming out next year, and some thoughts on the current Jill Lepore book:
That issue is…the title, and in many ways the thesis of the book, are misleading. Lepore presents the Marston family history of polyamory, and therefore the connection between Wonder Woman creator William Marston and his lover Olive Byrne’s aunt Margaret Sanger, as unknown. If this was the first book you’d ever read about Marston and Wonder Woman, I think you’d come away with the impression that Lepore is the first one to reveal that Marston and his wife Elizabeth lived in a polyamorous relationship with another woman (Olive Byrne).
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.