§ Nice Art: Kris Aka’s print on sale at ECCC this year.
BIG TIME catch ups! Many comings and going some months old but just because this is the News Items of Record©•:
¶ Rowena Yow has left the Vertigo imprint where she was an associate editor. Safe travels!
¶ Robyn Chapman has been hired as Associate Editor at First Second; she was formerly part time there. As noted this is the first hire at First Second in quite some time!
I’m now an ASSOCIATE editor at First Second! That’s the highest level I’ve ever reached in the publishing hierarchy. If it’s not the big time, it’s definitely the medium time. I’ve spent over four years in trade publishing as a part-time employee, and always with “assistant” somewhere in my title. And this is the first time in eight years that First Second has added an additional editor to the staff. So this is no small thing!
¶ Matt Idelson, formerly of DC, joined Dynamite, wrapping up a hiring spree at the publisher that saw Alan Payne, Jeremy Atkins and Patrick O’Connell. Idelson is one of the most experienced editors hired at Dynamite and he should bring a lot of experience to this publisher:
I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to not just continue working in comics, but do so with a company that’s constantly looking for new ways to tell new stories and reach new audiences,” says Senior Editor Matt Idelson. “Between the diverse array of characters that Dynamite has and the golden age of creative talent we’re in, the possibilities are incredibly exciting. The sky’s the limit!”
“Matt’s track record is backed up with his years of experience, making for a formidable addition to Dynamite,” says Senior Editor Joseph Rybandt. “As we relaunch titles and add new properties and creators to the mix, I look forward to working with him and his creative vision.”
“When you work at one of the busiest and competitive publishing houses in comics, you’re required to manage a very diverse group of creative talent, fulfill the editorial vision of an influential rights holder, and generally roll up your sleeves to tackle whatever other responsibilities come at you. Matt Idelson thrived in such an environment at DC Comics, gaining a tremendous amount of experience and establishing a well-regarded reputation among creators,” says Nick Barrucci, Publisher and CEO ofDynamite Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to our fast-paced environment, and can’t wait to see what magic he brings to our team and broad line of comic books.”
¶ Mike Zagari, formerly of Marvel and Disney, has joined Aftershock as hope SVP of Digital and Creative, where he will oversee the company’s story-driven digital experiences. As you may recall Aftershock is one of the most ambitious start ups in some time with a full line of periodicals by top talents. We’ll be examining them more, very soon.
¶ I understand that there have been more layoffs at Archie Comics, with four more people leaving.
¶ Writer Marc Bernadin (Genius) has joined the LA Times as Film Editor.
While this covers about six weeks worth of comings and goings that I was aware of as you can see, even in the undercapitalized world of comics, there are staffing changes.
§ Speaking of Robyn Chapmen, she has another very modest Kickstarter that has already been funded but I’m sure a few more bucks wouldn’t hurt.
§ Last week, Beat favorite Jen Lee (Thunderpaw) has a haunting cartoonists diary at TCJ.
§ Every Tuesday retailer Big Bang Comics talks about what sold through. Today is Tuesday so…do the math!
§ Paul Karasik rounds up the ecstasy and the embarrassment of this year’s Angouleme:
Going to Angoulême is like going to the elephant’s birthday party only to be stomped on by the elephant who does not know why people are making such a fuss over getting ground into the mud as he greedily finishes off the entire birthday cake. …And yet, in the midst of this narrow-minded sediment for members of the boys’ club, there are nuggets of shiny comics-related expertise and esoterica. Things happen to me there that could only happen in Angoulême.
New research from Unmetric shows that while Marvel excels on Facebook, DC is more popular on Twitter. The two comic book giants seem to have found their strengths on social media. Unmetric looked at the Facebook and Twitter performance of the two companies from Jan. 1, 2015 through March 8, 2016, providing some interesting findings to SocialTimes.
§ This is the big week for Batman v Superman and Rob Salkowitz takes a hard look at how Superman’s brand has been changed from virtuous virtuous savior to neck snapping alien.
§ The other day we told you about a comics shop that had a rather unfortunate storefront. All the unfortunate images have been removed from their website and Facebook page and one assume the storefront will be changed as well. There’s a lot more argy bargy about this on Facebook and the comments but short version: lessons have been learned.
§ And on a way more upbeat note, Katie Proctor is opening a woman-friendly comics shop in Portland, OR.
Katie Proctor: We are going to be a comic book store. We are focused on diverse comics, but we’ll carry pretty much anything across the board. We will definitely be a woman-friendly comic book store, although in the world of comic book stores, I feel the bar is reasonably low. Our intention is to be very new-reader friendly and very much in tune with and focused on what’s going on with female creators and female representation.
§ Digital Femme is blogging again and looking at Jessica Jones the Netflix series and found Luke Cage’s intro wanting:
The treatment of Luke Cage is perhaps the most egregious given the character’s history as a Blaxploitation-era figure of empowerment. That history is gone in Jessica Jones—the character becoming a tabula rasa to aid in Jessica’s story. Luke’s cultural ties have been severed. No longer situated in Harlem, he runs a bar in Jessica’s integrated neighborhood. His past as a private investigator—one more skilled than Jessica herself—has also been taken from him. It is Jessica who shows him the ropes as a PI and compliments him for being a quick study. Luke Cage, a character with deep roots in northern African-American subcultures and an origin that highlights the racism of the prison industrial complex and the need for black people to work independently for their own justice, has been changed into a character wholly dependent on a white woman for instruction and closure in the case of his dead wife—a wife killed by the woman whose bed he routinely occupies as an emotional and physical salve. He is a private dick in the worst of all possible ways.
§ EW did an AMA with Harrison Ford, which given his dislike of interviews is a unlikely. But one answer did reveal something we’ve never been able to face up to:
Q: Out of any costume you’ve ever worn for a movie or a show, which was the most comfortable and which was the least.
￼A: Indiana Jones wears a leather jacket in the jungle…I’ve never had a proper explanation for that, but it looks cool. I’ll say that can sometimes be the most uncomfortable.
§ Here is a nice profile of IDW’s art gallery in San Diego:
The gallery’s current show features 16 prints of Jack Kirby’s “Lord of Light.” The work, based on a 1967 science fiction novel by Roger Zelazny, was supposed to inform a film adaptation and later a theme park. Neither happened, but the artwork was used by the Central Intelligence Agency as part of an elaborate ploy to rescue six State Department employees stranded in Tehran, an operation dramatized in the 2012 film “Argo.” Future exhibitions include one of classic war stories drawn by Joe Kubert, and one featuring around 70 daily and Sunday “Bloom County” newspaper strips by Berkeley Breathed, including the first appearance by Opus the Penguin.
§ Now you can play D&D set in Middle Earth. It’s okay if that comet hits us now.
— Jessie L (@LookoutsGirl) March 6, 2016
§ The Harley Quinn/Deadpool team-up of our dreams.
§ Of all the Daniel Clowes interviews regarding Patience, this one with Todd Hignite is the most comprehensive:
TH: The time-travel narrative immediately invites the reader to project their own personal history into the narrative, that notion of what one would change if it were possible is one of the major driving forces behind the story.
DC: Yeah, it’s funny because as a kid I thought about that all the time, every day at school something would come up, “If only I wouldn’t have picked my nose in front of that girl in science class!” Those little minor events that constantly go through your consciousness you wish you could eradicate are a big part of it. But when you reach my age you have such a huge accumulation of those, you stop worrying about it. There’s not a single thing I could personally pick to go back and redo. There are of course many things that I regret, but it would take a lot of time traveling to fix them all (laughter).
§ It’s not only comics that have been undergoing standard attrition. TV shows are also suffering continued declining ratings. Only 14 shows in the current Tv “season” have shown increased ratings. One of them is Arrow. I bring this up because a lot of times we look at weakness in one industry or the other and fail to see a far larger pattern. There’s a LOT of entertainment out there, and nothing has as large an audience as it once did.
§ Here’s an interview with Rokudenashiko, the vagina kayak lady that lays out how she has been harassed by the government for what we would consider free speech, including two arrests:Anne: You’ve had a lot of online skirmishes.
Rokudenashiko: My art is easy to despise in Japan so I get antagonized a lot on Twitter. I do not at all enjoy being yelled at, but I am always interested in the psychology behind these accusations. Ever since I started getting criticized I’ve learned to take seriously even the most mundane public opinions.
§ Anne Ishii was kind enough to send me a vagina kayak t-shirt. Will I have the guts to wear it in public? Maybe the gym. We’ll see.
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.