§ Congrats to Beat alumna Hannah Means-Shannon on being named editor-in-chief of Bleeding Cool. Poor Rich Johnston—writing for the site less than a year and she’s already taken it over. Seriously, congrats to Hannah, who is one of the hardest workers I know.
Avatar Press’s Editor-in-Chief William Christensen explains, “Hannah is simply the only candidate I wanted for our new E-I-C position. Her love of the medium combined with her natural ability to work well with creative people was just the icing on the cake of her stunning credentials. I am thrilled to have her voice and leadership as we enter an exciting new era for Bleeding Cool.
§ Koyama Press cartoonists offer their holiday gift suggestions.
§ Comics Alliance continues its Best Of list in awards form.
§ There’s a new book on Rube Goldberg out, and the NY Times has a nice piece on him.
As “The Art of Rube Goldberg” shows, he was also an all-around cartoon man, not to mention an authentic American eccentric and wiseacre. He could write and draw drama (“Doc Wright”) and humor (“Boob McNutt,” “Lala Palooza”), and he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for editorial cartooning (for a shockingly dull and bluff take on the threat of atomic war). During his 72-year career, he produced about 50,000 cartoons. No wonder the National Cartoonists Society’s annual award to the cartoonist of the year is called the Reuben, after Goldberg. By the way, he also designed the statuette, which is much funnier and funkier than any old Oscar or Emmy.
Have you ever used the phrase “It looked like a Rube Goldberg contraption?” While it seems to be aging out of the language, it is a reminder of the time when comic strips and cartoonists were such big shots that they added to the language.
§ Ad Reinhardt is best known as THAT GUY—the one who painted black on black abstract paintings.
Reinhardt himself was never published in The New Yorker, but in the late nineteen-thirties and forties he was a prolific cartoonist for a diverse array of clients, including the Brooklyn Dodgers, Glamour, Macy’s, the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, the New Masses, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ice Cream World, the publication of the ice-cream trade, for which he was the art director.
There are several Reinhardt shows up around town offering a wide view of his talents.
§ A gentleman who has more years behind him than ahead sits down to look at his old comic books.
This not only made me ponder my mortality a little bit, but it also made me want to revisit my own collection. Last week, I took a week off from work to rest and relax, and I spent about three of those days reorganizing my comics, something I hadn’t done in years. It was seriously better than yoga, though certainly not in the physical sense. I think my butt still hurts from sitting on a Spider-Man pillow in the middle of floor, surrounded by 10 messy longboxes.
§ Meanwhile, former comic book adherent, actor Nicolas Cage has no time for that stuff any more, as he was too busy making stuff like the National Treasure movies and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Look, the truth is I’m not obsessed with comics. I don’t read comics as a 49-year-old man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I have other interests that are more in tune with where I’m at right now. But I’m loyal and I will never forget the impressions that comics gave me as a child. They are like primitive cartoons and those characters became like a modern mythology that’s touched the world. So animated movies are like cousins to comics.
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.