§ Spirit of the season: J. Caleb Mozzocco messed up his DC valentines.
§ And Michael Cavna has a cute story about a love story between two artists who met over Skype via Molly Crabapple, and now they’ve all made this movie together:
§ A benefit art auction for Peter David, who suffered a stroke last month, is underway.
§ A companion piece to David Petersen’s guide to setting up at a con: publisher Arnie Fenner offers his own supersound advice on setting up at a show:
• Prepare. Don’t put everything off to the last minute. Research the type of venue you’ll be showing at and the space you’ll be setting up in. Ask questions of the organizers if their information packet/website doesn’t include everything you’d like to know. If they don’t mention state or municipal laws for sales tax, definitely insist on some clarity. How are you planning to take money: cash only, checks, credit cards? Do you need electricity or a phone line? Is there free WiFi available? Questions, questions, questions: there’s no way to know the answers unless you ask.
• Be a pro. Everybody likes to have a good time, particularly when they’re among friends and the after hours booze is flowing—but don’t party so much that it affects your ability to run your booth properly and interact with potential customers. And remember that everybody you encounter at a show is a potential customer or client and they’ll remember everything they see and hear (and with camera phones these days, snap embarrassing pix or video and post them to the internet). In other words, keep your pants on when in public, don’t get into fisticuffs, and don’t barf in the shrubbery (at least when people are watching). Definitely socialize and network after hours—get the most you can out of the opportunities being offered. Chatting with fans can lead to commissions; networking with your fellow artists and art directors may lead to new work. But plan to be ready to go every morning when the show opens, if not exactly bright-eyed at least not severely hung-over.
Rosa addressed this very topic in his epilogue. He’s been told by publishers they would publish anything he creates. Despite the guaranteed money and creative freedom, it just wouldn’t match his love for Carl Barks and his wonderful Ducks. “But my reply has always been ‘Any character I might create next week … I would not have grown up with that character,’” he wrote. “‘I wouldn’t care about him. My thrill is in creating stories about characters I’ve loved all my life.’ I’m a fan.”
That opinion doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it isn’t unique. I’ve spoken with a number of cartoonists who have done major comics work, some who are struggling as they get older, and I’ve if they’ve ever considered creator-owned comics. A surprising number of them have very similar responses. They just aren’t interested. In fact, for some it’s such a turn-off, it’s as if I suggested they switch careers and go into selling time shares.
I should point out that prior to working on his beloved Ducks, Rosa did publish his own comics–he published two youthful comics strips, The Pertwillaby Papers and Captain Kentucky, and even got published by Fantagraphics. It just isn’t what he wanted to do.
§ Spekaing of someone who mostly works on his own things, the great Richard Sala is interviewed on the collected Delphine:
“The Grave Robber’s Daughter” is available on comiXology, and is the only book of yours that is available digitally, though you post a lot of artwork on your blog. I was just curious about how you think the book — and comics, more generally — reads digitally.
It’s funny, because for nearly all of my life, the idea of having a successful career as a cartoonist or illustrator was about getting into print, getting published, having a book to hold in my hand. But I’ve seen that world crumble away. I never wanted to live in a world where I couldn’t browse in bookstores or record shops. But if that’s where it’s all headed, then artists have to adapt. We have to assume that the quality of digital readers is going to keep improving. I’m a working artist, so I’m the last person to get up on a soap box and tell other artists, especially young artists, what they should or shouldn’t do to get their work out there. Just do whatever works to connect with your audience.
§ Probably about a thousand links on the Orson Scott Card thing, but here’s Brett White on what it says about the comics community:
This whole Orson Scott Card debate has really highlighted what I consider to be the real comic book community. The real comic book community is caring. They let you know when you’ve done a good job and they’re sincere in their praise. As I’ve learned as an op-ed writer, there’s no more anxious time than right after a new article goes up. Will I be vilified? Did I leave out an important perspective? Did I misspell a word? I’m not saying that I believe the real comic book community agrees with everything I write; I’m saying that the real comic book community knows that if there’s no positive comment to leave, then they don’t leave a comment.
§ Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Peter Dinklage, the only New Jersey-born actor who can hold his own in a world of brooding Brits, will play someone in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST–but WHO? Puck? Pip? Pup? Pop?
§ Having survived more or less intact the Harry Potter experience, Rupert “Ron Weasley” Grint will star in a pilot for a TV series as Super Clyde, a “meek, unassuming fast food worker who decides to become a super hero.” Okay then.
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.