§ Nice Art: man, if there’s ONE holiday card from a cartoonists type you’d want to get it’s this collaboration between Michael DeForge and Jillian Tamaki.
§ British comics artist/colorist Pete Doherty is recovering from a torn aorta, and there is a crowdfunding effort underway to raise some money for him.
However, he’s now facing at least 2-3 weeks in hospital, then an extended period of convalescence. During this time, I think the last thing he should have on his mind is the financial pressure of being unable to work. I’m hoping therefore that his friends, colleagues and associated comic geeks might like to offer a little help. I’ve been in ongoing contact with his daughter, Hope, and suggested to her that a crowdfunding page could be set up so that people could make a donation to him, no matter how small. Her thinking is that, if any money is raised by this, it should be Peter’s decision – when he’s well enough – as to how it’s used, whether as originally intended (to offer some support to him) or perhaps he might choose to donate any money raised to the hospital unit that cared for him.
Please note, the modest amount asked for – £3000 – is basically to help him with missed work NOT to pay for his medical costs, because in the UK, they have socialized medicine, and getting deathly ill doesn’t mean you’ll go bankrupt, even if you’re a freelancer. Incredible!
§ The best of lists are flying fast and furious!
From How to Love Comics: The 10 Best Comics of 2016 According to the Readers
From NPR: Best Books of 2016
Forbes is heard from! The Best Graphic Literature of 2016
And when strikes The Vulture! The 10 Best Comic Books of 2016
Probably topping aggregate lists: The Vision, March, Patience, Ghosts, more.
§ Tom Spurgeon’s report from Comic Arts LA is up and gives a fine overview of the event with the kind of atmosphere photos that I usually take:
The map gives you another look at the show’s size and if you can read it an idea of the quality of the exhibitor. It was high for a show like this one. I didn’t see a single person that felt strongly out of place and only a few that maybe seemed they could have made a stronger showing a year or two down the line. Good shopping room. Books and paper mostly, but plenty of t-shirts. The books were mostly handmade and small. A couple of shopping highlights for me were John Pham selling his latest and beautiful-looking books and Lisa Hanawalt had a bunch of original art going of various sizes and intensity, some just art and I think some pages.
§ And some photos from the first ever Indigenous Comic Con.
Native Star Wars enthusiasts, costume-wearing Cosplayers, Stormtroopers and even Darth Vader made their way to the first Indigenous Comic Con, held November 18th through the 20th, in Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center
§ Here’s a long piece by Michael Dooley about Paul Krassner’s Fake News and the Power of Positive Hoaxing focusing on Krassner’s work for The Realist, recently reprinted by Fantagraphics.
Way back in the late 1950s, when our country was still reeling from McCarthyism, stand-up comedian Paul Krassner—stage name: Paul Maul; ouch!—decided to publish and edit The Realist as an alternative and an antidote to the frauds and hypocrisies of our politics and culture. Both he and his magazine soon became a vital inspiration for, influence on, and participant in the countercultural revolution of the 1960s. The Realist‘s distribution dwindled and eventually disappeared after its ‘sixties heyday, but its satiric spirit is still alive and thriving. When the four Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were murdered in Paris, I wrote a Print essay—available here—in which I directly linked that courageous publication with The Realist’s “often scathingly vulgar and uncompromisingly offensive… and hey, hilariously funny” texts and ‘toons. Time and other publications promptly echoed my analogy.
§ Here’s a long excerpt from that oral history of Fantagraphics, and it says I’m part of it, but
in the whole 8365 page book! I just don’t want Beat fans to be be disappointed; the rest of the book is amazing.
§ WWAC’s Megan Purdy reviews The Die Hard Coloring and Activity Book. This book is compelling.
§ Blastr has these monthly “power rankings” arrives at by means unknown, but they put out the Annual Power Ranking: The 30 best comic book artists of AND Annual Power Ranking: The 30 best comic book writers of 2016. I’ll spoil things and reveal that Jeff Lemire was the #1 writer — pretty hard to argue with that as he had a breakout year in an already substantial career – and Greg Capullo was the #1 artist. Although what are numbers anyway?
§ As the number of women on both the above lists was dismal, Stephanie Cooke has provided Best Comic Artists of 2016: Know Her Name, and there are so many great artists now who aren’t men.
§ There’s been some tweeting about comics criticism again, and I’m not sure but I think it kicked off with JA Micheline’s latest Critical Jam #8: On Conflicts of Interest
I am not incredibly concerned about conflict of interest within criticism. This might be the wrong attitude to take, but then, I’m not that concerned with people who think it is, and so, the cycle continues.
In general, the idea is meant to protect something, but I can’t be sure what. Some of it is straightforward: if the critic is being paid by the creator or the creator’s publisher, they stand to financially benefit from positive critical reception and therefore criticism is a no-no. Fine, good, no troubles there. There’s also an important question–one I will not go into here–about general access, about how critic-creator relationships influence whether a creator’s work gets covered at a publication over others, even if it’s not by the critic themself.
§ I’m not sure if Kieron Gillen speaking out on The Gillen McKelvie Paradigm was part of this or not, but he takes on the fact that criticism often gets credits wrong and isn’t aware of who did what, especially in the writer/artist paradigm favored by the mainstream:
We’re the hags gathered around with a single shared tooth and eye between them, trying to get by. The Writer/Artist team is basically a faux-cartoonist, two people trying to work in harmony to do the job which abstractly could be done by one. We push and pull one another, and the work which comes out the other end is some strange alloy of our skills, desires and ability to give a toss on any given day.
§ If you’re concerned about the Electoral College, here’s a comic that explains its history and practices.
§ Not comics but artist Butcher Billy has drawn posters for episodes of Black Mirror including the one about the prime minister and the pig.
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.