§ Nice Art: Jim Steranko is doing a year’s worth of Captain America variant covers and here’s one.
§ I may have overdramatized Killing Joke artist Brian Bolland’s lament over the flood of superhero movies, but think of it as a metaphor:
Brian Bolland, who is to be one of the star guests at London Super Comic Convention this weekend, told The Independent that he was “a little bit depressed” by the sheer number of superhero films being produced for the big screen and television. “I just can’t take them all,” he added.
§ On the other hand, as we know, Mark Millar is all in. In s chat with The Daily Record he gives his own overview of recent comics history:
“When Joe Quesada phoned me to come and work for him, he said, ‘The lunatics have taken over the asylum. You’re gonna love it. It’ll be like the wild west.’ “And it was, we were all just making stuff up as we went along.”
§ Businessweek is among the publishers using an open source software developed by Al Jazeera to publish online comics , called Pulp. it uses a sort of guided view on mobile:
Businessweek just published a comic strip online by Peter Coy and Dorothy Gambrell, which also appeared in print today. It argues against Fed Chair Janet Yellen introducing negative interest rates. For online readers that find their view of the strip too constricted, the site offers a way to focus on one digestible bit at a time. Open-source software released by Al Jazeera America (AJAM) last year under the MIT license, called Pulp, allowed Bloomberg to better the reading experience without writing new code.
The code has been archived for others to use. Also, very cute and smart comic!
§ Floating World comics in Portland, OR is a very progressive comics shop, thus their 2015 sales report includes things like Copra, The Incal and Megahex.
In 2015, with over 10,000 item codes in the year end spreadsheet, 10% of our total sales was represented by just 37 different books. Basically the 25 books listed below. The reason you only see 25 books instead of 37 is I skipped different volumes in the same series. For example Saga Vol. 1, 2, 3, 5 and the HC would’ve also been on the list, but I just collapsed them all into one spot. Just Saga alone accounted for 2.46% of our sales this year. That means 1 out of every 40 books sold was Saga. Our customers are interested in creator owned, creator driven books. That’s where the passion, creativity, quality and talent is. Image was the top publisher with 8 books on the list. Self publishers Michel Fiffe and John Pham were in the top 10. Small press publishers had 4 spots and DC had none. You can’t judge a book by its cover but you can judge the publisher and their design department based on the paper stocks they choose. Do they have any pride at all in their work?
§ The Nebula Award nominees for 2015 were just announced And Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona sneaked in in the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
§ Clifford Meth has announced the HERB TRIMPE Memorial Scholarship and he’s crowdfunding it at Indiegogo. Trimpe passed away last year and was a beryu inspirational figure as well as a long time comics artist:
Herb Trimpe was beloved, not just for his terrific artwork on books like The Incredible Hulk and The Transformers, but because of his warmth & energy, his magnetic sense of humor, and his generosity of spirit. Quite simply, he was adored by fans and peers, and his memory lives on in our hearts. As we did in Dave Cockrum & Gene Colan’s name’s, Aardwolf Publishing plans to continue memorializing Herb with a gift that keeps giving–a generous annual scholarship to a talented & needy student at the important Joe Kubert School for Comic & Graphic Art. These scholarships launch the next generation of comic artists.
A bunch of stories on comics shop opening, moving and abiding;
§ A profile of Granite City Comics and Games in St. Cloud, MN, the only comics shop in town:
That popularity also has helped bust some long-held stereotypes, including that only boys or young men shop for comics (about 20 percent of Granite City Comics’ customers are girls/women). It’s led to more walk-in traffic, although some new customers can get overwhelmed. Granite City Comics has hundreds of titles on its shelves, and thousands more in storage.
“That’s one of the reasons people walk in the first time, walk around and walk out,” Schulte said. “There’s just so much to look at, they don’t know what to do.”
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman, along with hundreds of other comic book heroes that are finally settled in their newly named Rubber City Comics home. The store, formerly known as Quaker Square Comics, is celebrating its grand reopening Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. after moving from its tiny restaurant location to a much roomier storefront on Mill Street, directly across from the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.
Comic Signal opens on Feb. 27, marking a dream come true for lifetime comic collector Don Meyers. He plans to sell off a portion of his a 29,000 comic books collected over four decades, he said in December when announcing the new Grand Rapids store. The Comic Signal will carrie original art by Justine Dillenbeck, an assortment of old and new comics, apparel, games, cards and collectibles. The 2,500 square-foot store, at 4318 Plainfield Ave NE. will also be a venue for popular board games and collectible card games such as Magic the Gathering.
§ AND a new comics shop has also opened in Stellarton, NS called Fly By Knight:
Jason Stuart knows that starting his own small business comes with perils and pitfalls, even when the economy is in great shape. “I’ve been talking about doing this for the last seven years,” Stuart said of Fly By Knight, a comic book and collectibles store he opened in late January on Foord Street in Stellarton. “Me and my friends were always complaining about having to go to Halifax or Truro to go to a comic books store. I kept saying it’s not the time, but eventually I figured there might never be ‘a good time’ for it, so I just did it. I felt like I was diving it, feet-first.” Although he was denied every grant and loan that he applied for, Stuart pressed on, and with the help of Northern Opportunities for Business (NOBL), he’s taking weekly courses that provide him with the skills and knowledge on the various aspects of running a business.
§ The family of the late Alvin Buenaventura responded to his death in the comments to this TCJ piece, and many industry figures also share their reminiscences.
§ Ken Parille, a longtime collaborator with Buenaventura shares his own memories.
Alvin had an instinctive artistic intelligence, the kind of peculiar perception and sensitivity toward visual art that I’ve yet to encounter in another human being. His taste was uncanny; he was able to recognize great cartoonists long before others did. He introduced me to several who have since become essential: Tom Gauld, Lisa Hanawalt, Anders Nilsen, Jeffrey Brown, Vanessa Davis, Matt Furie, and on and on. He was the first to publish many of these now-celebrated cartoonists, introducing them to the art-comics world. When I’d say I didn’t like a cartoonist that he did, he’d insist that I read them again, more carefully. He was right, every time. In the least pedantic, most unassuming way, Alvin taught me so much.
§ For the sake of completeness, and because a couple of people asked me about it, Paul Gravett reports on the rumored reason why Buenaventura Press went out of business.
§ Todd Klein is trying to figures out where the above word balloons , all by Danny Crespi, were originally published. Play along in the comments.
§ Also in TCJ, Anya Davidson on Brian Chippendale’s startling comic Puke Force
in his fourth graphic novel, Puke Force, Brian Chippendale bravely tackles the perils of modern American life. The book begins where the action in his earlier book, Ninja, left off. In Ninja, a group of friends and the titular ninja fight to prevent an evil arms manufacturer from setting up shop in their beloved city of Grain. Chippendale drew the book in the wake of the gentrification of Olneyville, his neighborhood in Providence Rhode Island, and I assume Grain to be an alternate universe manifestation of that city. The oversized pages of Ninja writhe with dots, dashes and lines. Characters rendered in thick brush strokes emerge from dense thickets of very fine line, to dizzying effect.
§ Show biz corner: an interview with director Lexi Alexander who can’t not be entertaining.
§ I guess I missed this news when it first came out, but Wizard World is running a one day, two person event in NYC on April 16 called The Doctors David Tennant & Matt Smith will appear together. Various ticketing packages are available running from $300 to $850. Like I’ve been saying, events are getting more and more targetted and nichey and this could be another direction for this kind of signing/appearance.
§ Finally, another Walking Dead cast member was bitten by a fan. When will the madness end?
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.