§ J. Caleb Mozzocco has a lengthy look at Nancy Goldstein’s Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist:
. Goldstein makes quite clear what an incredible, colorful person Ormes was, and what a fascinating life she lead, but the biographical sections are tantalizing: One may find oneself wanting much more detail, to join Ormes in the newspaper offices or society functions she covered and put on. And while there is an awful lot of comics art reproduced within its pages, but due to the special and financial limitations of this book (it’s not an archival project, after all) and the simple lack of availability of original art, original newspapers her work was published in, or even copies or microfilm of those papers, much (too much) of Ormes’ work is lost to history.
§ Austin English is interviewed on Inkstuds with talk of his Domino Books line, Windy Corner and THE DISGUSTING ROOM.
§ The TWELVE—the long MIA 12-issue series by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston—is actually finishing! –and Weston is talking about it everywhere:
“I like stories with proper beginnings, middles and ends,” he elaborates. “I’m not a fan of ‘never-ending battles’ or soap operas. I instantly fell in love with all the characters and I worked hard to make them feel authentic. Too many super heroes seem to be the product of some cookie-cutter approach to character design. In contrast, Joe Straczynski had given them credible personalities and I wanted to reflect that in their body language. My enthusiasm for the characters never dwindled during the frequent delays in the book.” Unsurprisingly, the somewhat-reluctant “lead” of THE TWELVE, the Phantom Reporter, remains one of the artist’s top favorites from among those characters he loves, along with a certain ego-centric cast member.
§Writer Alex Segura talks about his “Occupy Riverdale” storyline:
I really wanted it to be about Occupy but also not to stray too far from what an Archie comic should be, which is light-hearted, entertaining and, most importantly, funny. It wasn’t easy, but I think we got it. I looked back at a lot of the classic Archie stories from the 60s and early 70s that showed the gang dealing with current topics in an honest, but still “Archie” way. Not to mention our current, topical output, like Kevin Keller.
§ Rob Leifeldtalks about the origins of Image and the creators’ rights of the time:
Nrama: It sounds like, from your description of how Youngblood helped “seal the deal” with the seven of you, there was no question you were leaving Marvel when you walked into their office and resigned. On that day, was there no possibility they could have kept you if they’d met some demands? Liefeld: None. As I stated earlier, I had nowhere to go but down at Marvel. They were on to the next launch and seeing if acetate covers could create a million dollar seller. Let me re-emphasize that only Jim Lee, Todd Mcfarlane and Liefeld have achieved million selling comics for Marvel. We did it by providing a great experience for our fans and giving them a new flavor of comic book punch. The prevailing notion at the time was that it was all marketing, and it could be easily manipulated and replicated. That did not happen again. Certainly, marketing was an issue, but we had the proven raw materials to start an inferno.
§ Graphic Universe has been bringing over some very cute European comics for kids like this series about a cat named Miss Annie written by Frank Le Gall and illustrated by Flore Balthazar.
§Frank Cho’s pants on, pants off Wonder Woman. Made you look.
§ This story on new hipster cities of America cites James Kochalka, cartoonist laureate of Vermont, as one of the emhippening factors of Burlington, VT.
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.