§ Nice art: Tillie Walden tweeted some pages from On a Sunbeam a long time ago. So nice. Keep coming back to the nice things.
§ So not nice. So sick. Nobuhiro Nishiwaki, aka Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of the hit manga Rurouni Kenshin, has been charged with possessing child pornography:
The 47-year-old cartoonist has admitted to the charge, and was quoted as telling investigators, “I was interested in little girls’ nudity,” according to the sources. He is accused of possessing DVDs containing videos of naked girls less than 18 years of age in his office in Tokyo last month in violation of the law banning child prostitution and pornography. Police raided his office in the month and seized evidence after investigations into another child pornography case brought his link to light, according to the sources.
Publisher Shueisha is suspending the series from print for at least a month.
§ Top Tens! Michael Cavna of the Washington Post has the Best graphic novels of 2017 including Emil Ferris, Roz Chast, Boundless, The Best We Could Do, etc. No Spinning though!
§ Cartoonist/publisher Austin English has begun a column on comics art with Feininger’s Grandkids for TCJ and in his doozy of a first outing he compares Kirby, Jaime Hernandez, Julie Doucet, Tod McFarlane and Lyonel Feininger.
Now, we exist in a moment where Feininger, Kirby, and Hernandez are all beloved. None of their approaches has been debunked or shunned. And yet, when we look at the above Feininger page, it doesn’t necessarily seem part of the medium in the same obvious way that Kirby’s “This Man… This Monster!” page does. If you think of painting, an Impressionist canvas doesn’t seem like a pleasing anomaly within the current hegemony of abstraction. It appears as an established fact of painting history, and one that is in constant dialogue with the art of today: built upon, reacted to, rejected, or newly embraced, but still an integral part of what a young painter will reconcile with as the potential that their medium offers. Early newspaper cartooning, on the other hand, takes everyone’s breath away, but feels like a medium from a different universe. There’s no grid, the cartoons lack strict “cartoon integrity” (meaning they look exactly the same from the first panel to the last), and the narrative drive is off-kilter at best, non-existent at worse. Why is this, the conservative crowd yells, cartooning? And why bother with it?
§ While we’re on the art comics path, Frankie Santoro wrote up Comic Arts Brooklyn 2017 and like me, he felt it “levelled up”:
The new exhibition space itself within Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute campus is a vast room not unlike the armory which used to hold the MoCCA Fest in Manhattan. This room was more sports facility than military base, though, and being on an art school campus cushioned the show in a nice way. Shows in New York are tough because once you leave the venue you are out in the current of NYC. So attendees and exhibitors alike may find it difficult to congregate inside and outside of the venue because of the lack of space. Here, on the Pratt campus, there was a nice balance. I didn’t take a single picture at the show, though.
§ Not to make this the “All TCJ” edition of K’n’B but if you’re not reading Tucker Stone’s columns there, you’re missing some championship shade throwing:
News. It was announced last week that CB Cebulski–-a man who allegedly used social media to instruct wanna-be artists to bring Five Guys with them during NYCC portfolio submissions–would be taking over the role of Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics, following the mutual decision between Axel Alonso and Marvel that Axel should go somewhere else, forever. Cebulski’s biggest legacy up to this point (besides calling himself a “foodie”) is that he was one of the guys who figured out that, thanks to the spread of high speed internet, super-hero publishers could start hiring non-American artists at poverty level wages. (He was also had the wisdom to be alive and near the room where Brian K. Vaughan delivered Runaways, which was a comic you used to have to read, but will soon be able to watch on television, thank God.) Whether or not Cebulski’s vast knowledge of places to order ramen noodles will help Marvel regain the luster it once had is a question no one has an answer to yet, but then again: who cares?
Despite or because of his noodle knowledge, industry reaction to CB Cebulski’s new EiC role has been wildly positive. I’ll have some more on all of that soonish.
§ Another one of my indie comics faves, Conor Stechschulte, is interviewed by an Italian website.
Fiction can help demonstrate ways to look sideways at what we’re experiencing. This is a great gift I’ve gotten from art and one I’m trying to pass on. Similarly, I really enjoy when I dream about something really banal – that I’ve moved a small object in my apartment or retrieved something from the car – and because it fits right in with reality, it’s like a weird boring time bomb that goes off with a light pop. It makes the rest of my day feel a little unreal. This just happened to me recently, I dreamt that I’d accidentally sent a bunch of pictures from my phone to a stranger and he’d replied simply, “Ha”. Several days after the dream I had a real moment of panic that this lightly embarrassing thing had actually occurred.
MUTHA: What have you learned in your first years as a literary ambassador—any surprises?
GENE LUEN YANG: Kids are reading more comics than they ever have before. They’re just not reading the same comics that I read when I was a kid. Nowadays, almost every kid, boy or girl, has read Smile, almost every kid, boy or girl, is a fan of Raina Telgemeier, Amulet, Zita the Space Girl, and Cece Bell’s book, El Deafo.
Not only are kids interested in comics, but teachers have gotten on board. Graphic novels are allowed in free-choice reading, some teachers are even using them for class assignments. It’s a wonderful thing to see.
§ Mutha also sat down with Jessica Abel, who in addition to making some excellent comics puts out a newsletter with advice on overcoming procrastination and other life coach topics and her new book, Growing Gills, covers just these topics:
JESSICA ABEL: In teaching my course, I know that part of the value I offer is saying the same things over and over again, for example, that it really is legitimate if you want someone to look at your work and say you’re doing a “good job.” It doesn’t mean you’re not an artist because you need approval. Find the approval: get it done. It is acceptable if some days you can’t get to your creative work, because you are incredibly busy. That’s life: it’s hard.
People are so used to punishing themselves. Anything doesn’t go as planned: it’s time to get out the hair shirt. There’s a false belief that punishment will change habits, and it doesn’t.
§ Over the long holiday weekend some have suggested that you watch The Oral History of Image Comics from SYFY Wire, a five-part YouTube series that chats with the Image people.
OR you can watch THE IMAGE REVOLUTION, which is vastly superior because I’m in it!
§ Will the Justice League flub drag down WB? Will you subscribe to The Ankler newsletter, if I say this excerpt is just the beginning:
Today, Justice League looks not just like a movie that didn’t work out, or underperformed, one that could still somehow squeak its way to break even, but a complete top to bottom systemic failure brought on a culture of dysfunction rife at one studio, one that potentially will have secondary effects big enough to swallow an entire conglomerate whole. It’s easy to point fingers on such a tough week, but just because something’s easy doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Given the implications here, it’s worth one more fond look at the things that led to this moment, and the things that might come from it. And so we proudly presenting The Ankler’s Round Up of the Top 11 Screw-Ups (People, places and things) on the Road To Justice League:
JL going down in flames is quite ironic because it’s actually been received with far better reviews than either Suicide Squad or Batman V Superman, both of which had horrific Rotten Tomatoes numbers but made bank around the world. Perhaps their general crappiness led to a malaise among theater goers with regards to the franchise…although that didn’t hurt Wonder Woman.
Honestly, it took a lot of people years and years to make this disaster.
§ Jessica Campbell takes on The Bad Behavior of Men in Comics with comics.
§ Meanwhile, you have probably seen this quote from Damon Lindelof about how making a Watchemn TV series is dangerous:
“Watchmen — it was dangerous. And you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’s sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows
Dude, its dangerous because Alan Moore is a magician and he will come for you!
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.