§ Nice art: Tom Gauld on awkward author events
§ Interviews! Meg Lemke talks to Whit Taylor about her new book ‘Ghost Stories’
In Ghost Stories you are portrayed getting a chance to interview dead idols, which include Charles Darwin, Joseph Campbell and, in a surprising turn, your former self, before your own experience of sexual assault. In light of the #MeToo movement, what does it mean to publish this story?The timing has certainly been odd. I knew when I initially published Ghost that it would be risky, not only because it was personally revealing and socially taboo (at that time), but because I was selling it at comic shows amongst my peers, some of whom were aware of the true story behind it. At that time, I felt so powerless about things, that the only way for me to feel heard was to write a comic about my experience and hope that it reached those who had been through similar situations. I found this to be true as I received lots of messages from women who read the story and felt less alone in their experiences.
§ And Alex Dueben talks to Sophia Foster-Dimino about ‘Sex Fantasy’ and more
Why did you decide on the title Sex Fantasy?
It was a spur of the moment decision for the first issue that wound up shaping (and fitting) subsequent issues. I wanted something attention-grabbing. And also the statements that drive the vibe of the first issue relate to utility, desirability, intimacy, communicability, aspirations. I thought it was an obscure title for such tame contents and that people wouldn’t really get it, but readers have strongly identified with the very abstract overtones of “sex fantasy.” The title encompasses each issue in a different way. In every story there is a private “fantasy” that a character is trying to reconcile with the real world. The “sex” aspect sometimes refers to literal sex, sometimes more to a nonspecific visceral desperation, sometimes with ideas of the contrast between mental and bodily identity (which is intertwined with sex, to me).
§ The Beat’s Philippe LeBlanc contributes a strong essay on the STRUCTURES series from Uncivilized Books for Your Chicken Enemy, a site about indie comics which we highly recommend.
Structures 1-11 stands as the foundation of this exploration of objects, space, and big ideas and it comes in deceptively small packages. It is not interested in depicting reality, but rather, it explores concepts on the outskirt of reality. What do our modern cities look like? What would the end of days look like? What is reality? All of those are contained within this series through abstraction and cryptic notes. The juxtaposition of words on a blank page and drawings on another is an interesting way to explore these concepts and a reminder of how comic books work. Comics are really just words over drawings, but what you can do with that is endless.
§ What has cartoonist and viral video star Gerry Alanguilan been up to? apparently this cool sounding GN about a giant mutated frog!
“Pacific Rim Uprising,” the sequel to the popular film about giant monsters terrorizing what is left of the free world, is due in the next five weeks. And if you’re that kaiju (the Japanese term for giant sized monster films) fan, or even one who loves the whole fantasy genre of comic books or who was weaned on anime and manga, you’ll want to whet your appetite with this new mini-graphic novel, “Bakokak,” from the fertile imagination of internationally renowned comic book creator Gerry Alanguilan and Kevin Ray Valentino. “Bakokak” is a 92-page black and white story about this giant frog that is horribly mutated by the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan and this kaiju arrives and threatens the Philippines. This is a fun read. I love how Alanguilan continues to mine his childhood days – of things that fascinated him and held his imagination. “Bakokak: is the latest and is an interesting left field choice after “Rodski Patotski,” which is about a child genius.
§ The headline “Geeks unite in Pialba Place” sound ominous, but it’s actually about a new comics shop opening! WHOA. It’s in Australia though.
Comics n Pop opened in Pialba Place at the end of January and you would be hard-pressed to find more dedicated comic fans than owners Simon and Carla Thornton. Mr Thornton said they moved to the Bay in December and after years of tossing around the idea of owning a comic book store, they finally bit the bullet.
§ Silicon Valley Comic Con is blessed to be the first comic-con signing experience for Jeff Goldblum, so everyone be nice to him so he does more.
§ According to my social media feeds, the best received ads from last night’s Super Bowl were the Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr. Dirty Dancing one and this Black Panther Lexus ad which makes you long for February 15th more than ever. Also, nice wheels.
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.