§ Nice Art: Artist Patrick Léger created a series of posters for The Venture Bros. Because THE VENTURE BROS. ARE BACK.
He even designed a mural. And here’s more. This guy is so good!
My Venture Bros billboard is going up as a mural in Williamsburg! :D pic.twitter.com/RGqsqZNiJx
— Patrick Léger (@frenchprinter) January 27, 2016
§ As part of a series of arrests of media figures taking place around the anniversary of the 2011 uprising , popular Egyptian cartoonist Islam Gawish has been arrested on charges of running a website without a license, the New York Times reports. Although not seen as particularly critical of the current regime, Gawish has 1.6 million Facebook and is possibly the most prominent of the recent arrests.
The Sunday raid on the Egypt News Network, where Mr. Gawish worked, was carried out because the website was operating without an official permit, said Maj. Gen. Ayman Helmy, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
In an interview, Mohamed Elzyiat, a co-worker of Mr. Gawish, said the police raided the office without a search warrant and seemed to be mostly interested in Mr. Gawish. “They were looking for Islam because of his cartoons that are critical of the regime,” Mr. Elzyiat said.
The Interior Ministry said Mr. Gawish was being charged with possessing pirated software and running an unauthorized personal website. It was not clear whether the website in question was his Facebook page.
§ Hilary Chute has a new book out, Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form which examines the history of non-fiction documentary comics from Goya to Nakazawa to Sacco and beyond. Chute is one of the best writers about comics from a historical/literary perspective and comics have several key works in this genre, so it sounds like it’s worth checking out.
§ Paste Magazine profiles Spike Trotman whose taken a business that started as a single webcomic and turned it into a publishing house, with two new projects on Kickstarter now:
Earlier this week, Trotman launched (and has already funded nearly $30,000 over) a Kickstarter campaign for Smut Peddler’s biggest entry to date: Smut Peddler: Double-Header. The iteration will consist of two separate books, Yes, Roya and Smut Peddler Presents: My Monster Boyfriend. The former offers a graphic-novel length narrative written by Trotman with pencils by ghostgreen, taking place in Mad Men-era California as a 19-year-old cartoonist becomes enamored with his hero’s dominating wife. The second is another anthology that should redefine monster mash with a series of vignettes that are, “understandably, about monster boyfriends.” Trotman confirmed contributions from Trudy Cooper, illustrator of the steamy pro-sex web series OGLAF, and former Deadpool and Batgirl scribe Gail Simone.
§ The Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention is an old timey wimey show that offers autographs and longboxes in spartan settings. In my youth I visited it in the now razed Ambassador Hotel. The LA Weekly profiles it’s current iteration:
Over the years, the convention has weathered its fair share of changes. “There were many more pulp dealers [in the beginning], but they’re not there as much, as far as book dealers. Not antiquarian dealers, not in big numbers.” Has there been a change over time from one aspect of the convention to another? Schwartz pauses for a moment, reflecting. “I’d say toys have become a bigger part of the convention. It actually used to more comic book dealers, but it’s more of a mixture now. The room used be 90 percent comics, and now it’s maybe 60 percent comic books and 40 percent other stuff. When we started, it was a simpler time. Occasionally we’d get written up in newspapers as an oddity, and now it’s kind of an accepted thing. In the early years, most people were mainly interested in the [monetary] value of comic books, and that’s still prevalent today, but because of the movies that are coming out, and the TV shows, more people are into this than ever before.”
§ NPR picks some webcomics to check out.
§ Did I mention that the Venture Bros. returned last night after a 2 1/2 year absence? Inverse has a nice interview with James Urbaniak who does many voices for the show, including Dr. Venture and The Phantom Limb:
You’re also the voice of the devious turncoat Phantom Limb on the show. What inspired his voice?
That’s a fun one. That one popped up fully formed. Jackson showed me the sketch of the character and described him as an Errol Flynn type, so I did a British baritone that is influenced by a bit of Ian McKellen by how he luxuriates his vowels. Some of it is George Sanders, the character actor who most people know as The Leopard from The Jungle Book — with this smooth mid-Atlantic voice. At first, it was about using my lower register and moving closer to the microphone. Dr. Venture is of course my own voice, just a little more stressed out. And usually being punched or falling.
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.