§ Well hello! I had been salting away a lot of links and news while I was travelling around last week but my browser ate them so let’s just pick up anew.
§ I know we’re all sad about Bill Paxton, who died from complications of heart surgery over the weekend. he was only 61. He was just Always Good. Aliens, Terminator, Predator, Apollo 13. He was heartbreaking in A Simple Plan and Frailty, too.
§ Tom Spurgeon talked to Annie Koyama about her recent art donation.
Wizard World, Inc. and its former Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Shamus have resolved all of their outstanding lawsuits amicably, with neither party found doing any wrongdoing, according to a Friday afternoon press release. “We are pleased to have worked with Stephen to resolve our disagreements, so that each of us can focus our talents on the entertainment world, instead of the courtroom,” said Wizard World CEO John Maatta as per the press release. “I want to thank the current Wizard World leadership team for working collaboratively on this effort, and wish them all the best,” added Shamus.
§ this article entitled A History of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo sounds promising but is mostly a list of celebrities who attended. “I don ‘t think much of your diary. Snowstorms on January the twelfth: there was no need to come back to report that!”
§ A story with the title Cartoonist expands story of ‘weird Mormon girl’ in new graphic novels Includes the above graphic.
§ Cynthia Rose wonders ifAndré Franquin was Great or…The Greatest?
Was Belgian Andre Franquin (1924-1997) comics’ greatest draftsman? One colleague who certainly thought so was Hergé. “Franquin”, he declared, “is a great artist. Next to him, I’m only a mediocre pen-pusher.” Fantagraphics’ Kim Thompson agreed with Tintin’s creator. “In terms of ultra-classic greatness,” he once wrote me, “Hergé has that abstract line but Franquin has something else. He created the most complete, the most alive, the most absolute cartooniness in comics history.” A current Paris retrospective, Gaston, shares their views. It also honours a landmark birthday – the sixtieth year of Gaston Lagaffe, Franquin’s most well-known character. Gaston, whose last name means “the blunder”, is an dedicated idler in jeans and espadrilles. While hardly the first antihero of European comics, Gaston was one of their first post-adolescents. Franquin made him into a prototype of subversion.
§ Kurt Busiek talked to io9 about 100 issues of Astro City, a number it took 20+ years to reach but a fine feat.
io9: When you first started out on Astro City, did you ever think you’d get this far? What’s it been like reflecting on the legacy of the series now that the 100th issue is out?
Kurt Busiek: When Brent [Anderson] came on the series and became our regular penciller, he said, “I’ll draw it for 100 issues, or 10 years—whichever comes first.” And everybody laughed. Because those were such ridiculous numbers to be drawing around. And now, 10 years came and went, and we’re up here at 22 years and thanks to having guest art here and there, Brent hasn’t quite done 100 issues, but—we just kept going. We just kept putting one more page on the stack, one more story on the pile and slowly but surely got here. But at no point was I thinking, “Ah yes, when we got to 100 issues…” and I can’t even say I was ever thinking, “Oh no, we’ll never make 100 issues.” Because the support of the audience has been wonderful.
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.