§ Last week marked the one year anniversary of Ms. Marvel #1 and…well it was quite a year. There’s been a tumblr celebration, which Brigid Alverson sums up, including some thoughtful essays on what the character means. The AV Club’s Oliver Sava also took a look:
It’s a been a year since Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan’s ongoing series debuted at Marvel Comics, and it’s safe to say that she’s made a huge impact on the current landscape of superhero comics. There’s been a considerable rise in superhero titles targeted to younger female readers—from DC’s Batgirl, Gotham Academy, and Supergirl to Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the upcoming Spider-Gwen—and while Kamala can’t take all the credit, she’s certainly been leading the charge. Her introduction was heralded by lots of hype thanks to her status as the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel series, but Ms. Marvel has become one of the industry’s best titles because it’s an outstanding superhero comic created with confidence, intelligence, and a lot of style.
Art above by Jake Wyatt, the cover to Ms. Marvel #14.
§ It was a huge Friday for comics news, obvs. Steve Morris has a fine overview of the New 24 and the creators and characters involved. Chris Sims looks at The Three Weirdest Comics From DC’s Upcoming Lineup—Bat-Mite, Prez and Section Eight—while Tom Bondurant looks back at the New 52. Ah, the New 52.
Accordingly, it’s time to let “The New 52″ — the title, that is — fade into the mists of comics history. It started with a bang, and it was hardly perfect, but it altered the super-comics landscape in ways which are still being felt. For all its faults, the “New 52″ moniker represented a concerted, line-wide effort to reach out to readers of all kinds — a promise to comics fans everywhere, whether DC realizes it or not, that it would produce something for each of them.
§ While The View biffed Marvel’s planned A-Force rollout, while I was in a taxi on Friday night (no crawling over black ice for me) A-Force was on the news feed. The last time I saw that was when the lesbian Batwoman was announced in 2006. So Marvel did get some mileage out of it.
§ Speaking of A-Force I’m looking forward to the Singularity cosplay.
§ Cartoonist A. Degan will be getting some attention soon with the release of Mighty Star in April, and he gets interviewed at Darling Sleeper:
Writing a comic that has words in it is a new technique for me. Though I don’t know if that’s anything novel for most readers of comics. This fall I put out a book from Sonatina called Junior Detective Files which I call a comic, but maybe makes more sense to call an “illustration book”. I was trying to tell a story, a very open-ended and dream-like story, through one page illustrations. It felt like a new thing for me, I was trying to push the limits on implied narrative, and I think it was successful. I’m thinking of trying to experiment with drawing comics with a brush soon. I used to paint in gouache and watercolor but found that it didn’t scan very well. But that was a while ago and I think scanner technology is better now.
§ Wizard World debuted in Madison, WI this weekend and Aaron Conklin has an entertaining diary that, like most of these con reports, mentions celebs and cosplay but not comics;
Frank qualifies as the Madison con’s most ubiquitous celebrity presence — or, if you’re feeling a little more cynical, its resident media whore. In addition to tonight’s event, Frank is part of a paid meet-and-greet event each of the event’s three days, and he spends a lot of his time tonight talking up his karate training classes and new reality show — that and showing off his tats. The vibe’s a little breezier for William Kircher, the New Zealand actor who plays the jam-loving dwarf Bifur in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. The man wins major style points for gamely warbling a line or two from “Misty Mountain Song.”
But it’s something Ferrigno says toward the end of his stage time that rings truest: Without that cheesy-ass, low-budget TV version of The Hulk — and his menacing but campy performance in it — we might not have Mark Ruffalo playing a CGI-ified version of Marvel’s Jolly Green Giant today. And we definitely wouldn’t be gathering to celebrate a mainstream pop culture universe where the Hulk is just one of a thousand points of superhero, and sci-fi, light.
§ A Finnish graphic novel is being translated into Berber, a language spoken across much of Africa. Aɣeṛṛabu n ugafa (”The Yacht of the North”) is about mid-19th century Russo-English researchers exploring the Arctic Ocean. Will this be of interest to Berber-speakers?
”They were looking to publish a comic in Berber,” says Koskela. “The language group is quite young, so there isn’t much literature – and no graphic novels.” Koskela says the connection with the Algerian publisher was born through FILI, the Finnish Literature Exchange, which acts as a go-between for authors and translators. The publisher and Amarouche both felt that Koskela’s book was a good fit for the Berber language market.
Comics are everywhere.
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.