§ There isn’t too much going on in the world of comis because everyone seems..preoccupied or something. But the very first Fan2Sea cruise just wrapped up with a bunch of comics folks and nerdlebrities stuck on a boat for a few days (lucky) and the reviews are…great. Reilly Brown posted on FB:
Finally got home from the Fan2Sea cruise– had an awesome time! It was great to spend time with so many other killer comics creators and their families, and the fans were all great as well, although I think Will had more fun than anyone! Huge thanks to all the #Fan2Sea staff for getting me involved. You guys rock!
And Instagram tells a tale:
I can't say enough about these two young men. They were a complete joy to have on board. I had so much fun hanging out with them all evening @gatenm123 I'm still ready to steal a boat! Just let me know when @therealcalebmclaughlin you are an exquisite young man with a great future ahead of you. Thank you both for being so silly and fun dancing with me 😜 And both of you have fantastic parents! Hope to see you again soon! Be sure to let @milliebobby_brown what a great time she missed!!! And that we missed her!!! #fan2seacruise #fan2sea #strangerthings #netflix @strangerthingstv @comicconfan2sea
So yeah! An unusual event from the usual ingredients that seems to have been pulled it off. I had some operatives aboard though, so if there is more dirt I’ll spill!
§ Tom Spurgeon talked to Mark Siegel of First Second, and they covered pretty much everything:
SIEGEL: We rarely go for any media rights. We barely have, Tom. There was a space where we experimented with that, where for a limited time we tried to make something happen with film or gaming or something, and then give them back to the author if we don’t make it happen. But we’ve always been on the side of just taking book publishing rights and leaving the rest to the authors. So we were more unique in the field in that way in the beginning than we are now. I don’t know… are people more informed? Yeah, I suppose so. People generally have agents or they get one soon after their first book or two. I think the good agents know if they’re helping their clients build a long-lasting relationship with a house or a few different houses, they’ll be doing that over time, and not with a first book. If they have a hit, they do come back and push. Which is what they should do. That’s their job.
§ Meanwhile, for those of us not enjoying life on a boat, Sophie Yanow has an excellent reportorial comics about foinr to Wahington DC for the day of the Iauguration, The First Day of the Resistance
§ Vanessa Davis is a marvelous cartoonist but she’s not that prolific. (although she had some comics at The Paris Review recently) but her Spaniel Rage collection from 2005 was very influential, as explained by Anne Mok:
Originally published in 2005, Spaniel Rage presents the first collected cartooning efforts by Vanessa Davis, a Florida-born and LA-based cartoonist. The book contains diary comics 2003-04 from Davis’ life in NYC, a few anthology stories, and a new watercolored introduction by Davis. The pages feature a free-form panel layout that mirrors a scattered approach to narrative, in contrast to the more structured autobiographical stories in Davis’ later book for Drawn & Quarterly, Make Me a Woman. Often funny, often tinged with loss, Davis chronicles a life page by page. It’s a flawed book: some bits fall flat due to awkward drafting skills, and some don’t work because the jokes don’t connect. However, the charm of Davis’s project, one that seems to be one of teaching or re-teaching herself to draw, overrides any shortcomings this collection faces. “I didn’t know how to make comics,” she says in the introduction, “But I could draw one thing a day in my sketchbook.”
Spaniel Rage is out in a new edition from D&Q.
Alex Hoffman looks at Libby’s Dad from the other great Davis, Eleanor:
Libby’s Dad is the story of a combination pool party and sleepover Libby is throwing for her friends at her dad’s new house. There are rumors circulating about Libby’s mom; how Libby’s dad threatened to shoot Libby’s mom with his gun, how her mom is crazy, and how none of it makes a lot of sense. Friends’ parents have decided to not let them come over because of Libby’s mother’s accusations against Libby’s dad. Despite the book’s seemingly simple framework, the narrative contorts the reader’s perspective and understanding. My first observation of Libby’s Dad is how Davis perfectly articulates how children speak to one another. The conversation is casual, innocent, clique-enforcing, and sometimes cruel. There is a strong in-group/outsider power dynamic at play which feels like much of my experience as a small child. This dynamic amplifies the tension of the comic, and is a psychological fulcrum for the entire work.
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.