§ Deb Aoki reports that WonderCon continued the recession-bucking behavior trend at comics conventions,
SATURDAY’S WONDERCON CROWDS CAME TO SEE AND SPEND… TO A POINT I asked Daniel Davis of Steamcrow Press and creator of the Monster Commute webcomic for his take on WonderCon weekend 2009, and by his account, “(Saturday) was the best WonderCon day we’d ever had. Other exhibitors told much of the same… business was up, mostly on the back of a grand Saturday.” He continued, “While Friday and Sunday were fairly slow, Saturday was something special.” However, he offered this caveat, “I also heard that some of the larger (less indie) folks may not have had the same luck, as their product was readily available beyond WonderCon.”
§ Paul DeBenedetto interviews Columbia’s Karen Green:
WC: Where do you feel the benefit lies in academic study of comics? Is it in study of the work itself, as a tool to study another topic, or is there some other benefit?
KG: I feel like my answer to this question was profoundly changed by the panel I moderated, as well as at a talk Art Spiegelman gave at the ALA Midwinter meeting two weeks before NYCC. I had really only thought of approaching comics as another kind of text–as you put it, as a tool to study a topic–but now I think that studying the structure of the medium is incredibly valuable. Spiegelman deconstructed a couple of panels–one from Maus, one from In the Shadow of No Towers–and demonstrated how the placement of the panels, the location of the speech balloons, all worked both to control the readers’ eyes and to add to the power of the story. He did the same thing with a Nancy comic strip, showing how the artist used techniques as simple as whether someone is walking from left-to-right or right-to-left to help tell the story.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco randomly assesses WonderCon news:
I’m getting just as sick of Obamasploitation in comics as anyone else, but if you’re a comic book publisher and you’re going to try to make a buck of the president’s popularity, this is definitely the way to do it—making halfway decent comics about the man, rather than just shoehorning bad drawings of him into whatever you’ve already got going. I like the Presidential Material one-shot well enough, and I’d be more likely to pick this up than a Thunderbolts vs. Obama story arc or an issue of (shudder) Youngblood with the president’s likeness on the cover.
§ Tom Mason interviews the people who were running comics in 1986 about what they were doing then.
§ Dick Hyacinth sits down with Paul Maybury:
That’s interesting that you bring up the cute/scary dichotomy with bears, since it seems like those are the two qualities a child might want from a father: a tough exterior, but cuddly and loving to the family. It’s the “Party” in Party Bear that adds an extra degree of weirdness. Is that mostly a joke, or will you be explaining it later on?
The whole idea stems from a drawing I did in 2004 titled “Dealing with Esteban”. I just liked the way it looked, and it sort of had a fairy tale element to it. I won’t really explain why he’s a Party Bear in the story, as I feel it’s more fun just guessing what he’s all about, and adds to his magical mystique.
§ AND, techno wonks will enjoy Glenn Hauman’s analysis of a recent report on how TV, mobile, and Internet video viewing stacks up. Many obvious trends are quantified, for instance:
Time-shifted television consumption is up by 33% compared to a year ago to 7:11 in 4Q08 versus 5:24 in 4Q07.