§ Nice art: Nancy has a new artist! Long running artist Guy Gilchristsepped down a few months ago and the new ‘tooner is a cartoonist who goes by “Olivia Jaimes,” but as explained here that is a psyeudonym.
“On Monday, Andrews McMeel Syndication will announce that the cartoonist Olivia Jaimes has inherited the iconic strip and will provide a ‘21st-century female perspective,’ says John Glynn, Andrews McMeel’s president and editorial director.
The first strip by Jaimes — the female cartoonist’s ‘nom de toon’ — runs Monday.
‘Nancy has been my favorite sassy grouch for a long time,’ Jaimes says in a syndicate statement. ‘I’m excited to be sassy and grouchy through her voice instead of just mine, and I can complain to the whole world about things that bother me instead of just my friends and family.’”
Jaimes was previously known for her webcomics, but her actual identity hasn’t been revealed – at least to me. (I bet Spurgeon knows!) Mike Petersen has some thoughts about this, and they are similar to my own: Jaimes’ previous webcomics work must have been a bit too naughty for the image of Nancy.
Whoever she is, Jaimes clearly gets modern life. Nancy has already found humor in both earbuds and cornbread.
§ Meanwhile, Juliet Kahn – one of the VERY VERY BEST WRITERS ABOUT COMICS – takes a look back at Cathy, by Cathy Guisewaite and and it’s brilliant:
It is not enough, really, to say that Cathy is lame. Cathy is not lame the way your math teacher’s car is lame, or the way a megabrand on Twitter calling something “on fleek” is lame, or the way a middle schooler threatening to murder you over Overwatch voice chat is lame. No: Cathy embodies all of that disparate lameness—all that mundanity, all that impotence, all that visible effort—and makes it female, which is the lamest thing of all.
§ Guisewaite herself has returned, with a book of essays! It’s out this fall.
While meeting others’ needs, Guisewite says, she also went as long as she could without doing any writing. “And then,” she says, “I just felt like I was going to explode.” “So I started writing about the experience of flying back and forth across the country” – between her daughter in California and her parents in Florida – “kind of commuting between generations,” says the Reuben Award-winning cartoonist, who’s based in Southern California. Now, the creative result is Guisewite’s debut essay collection, “Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Reflections and Rebellions From the Grown-Up Years” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons), featuring her humorous, self-deprecating observations about life in transition. The book is due out this fall.
§ For Eiichiro Oda news, Comicbook.com is your place. Here’s a look at how the One Piece creator keeps his characters straight: Spoiler: he doesn’t!
One Piece is one of the most anime and manga franchises in Japan, and has been packed to the brim with characters of all names, shapes, and sizes since it began. Long time fans have always wondered how series creator Eiichiro Oda keeps up with all of his creations. It turns out, he just kind of forgets about them from time to time. In an interview with Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump (which you can find here), Oda was asked how he keeps track of all of the series’ side characters and whether or not he plans in advance for their appearances, Oda responded “Sometimes it’s planned and other times it’s not. And sometimes a character I totally forgot about ends up returning.”
§ At Boing Boing, continuing his media blitz, Ed Piskor offers his ‘Directors Commentary” for X-Men: Grand Design.
§ I have to admit, since Tucker Stone joined TCJ.com the content has been strong almost every day, You should just go there and read it every day. But in case you need incentive, here’s Jillian Tamaki talking to Eleanor Davis:
Since Trump’s election, there’s been a lot of discussion about the [important voice] Function of Art. I had assumed that Why Art? was a response to this, but it was actually written before the presidential election. I’m assuming your “thesis” still stands?
Actually not! I mean, I guess it could, but for me I don’t need art to tell me what to do any more. It’s clear what we need to do. My thesis from Why Art? was very much from a time of uncertainty and anxiety, not knowing what was going to happen or how to make anything better. Post-election I’ve gotten much more appreciative of (terrified by?) how much art can change the cultural conversation, and what we call “the cultural conversation” really means: who gets shot by the police, who gets ripped apart from their kids, who gets fired without recourse, who is impoverished and how we think about poverty, who gets bombed.
§ Evan Narcisse has even more appreciation of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, as there can never be enough. The above piece of art might be the only superhero art you will ever need, aside from a few Kirby pages.
§ Eddie Campbell is also a genius, as certified by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman:
Eddie Campbell is a genius. But don’t take my word for it, take Alan Moore’s. “Eddie’s is a genuine one-off talent, utterly idiosyncratic and personal,” he says. Or perhaps Neil Gaiman’s: “The man’s a genius, there’s an end to it.”
§ A useful primer on How to Get the Comics Backstory for Avengers: Infinity War for Less Than $20, which involves buying and reading some comics.
§ That Bendis/Millar panel from C2E2 is also online so watch and laugh along.
§ Nicholas E. Miller takes a looooong look at Dazzler: The Movie from 1984 and finds it is full of the Dazzler being abused, and looks at it in lights of #MeToo:
With that in mind, I want to revisit Marvel Graphic Novel #12: Dazzler: The Movie (October 1984), a comic that depicts narratives of sexual abuse and assault that have been commonly heard in the #MeToo moment—especially as the entertainment industry reels from revelations about American film producer Harvey Weinstein. More importantly, however, reading this graphic novel serves as a reminder of what happens when problematic narratives do not get critiqued, but normalized—a practice that has an established history at Marvel under the editorship of Jim Shooter, who has a troubled past when it comes to responsible representation in his own work (see, for example, his infamous depiction of gay characters in The Hulk).
These concerns feel remarkably present, yet—to return to Oyola’s language—they also have been “erased from public discourse for too long.”
§ The University of Oregon has chosen Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do for their 2018-19 UO Common Reading book, the selection that all freshman must read so they have something to talk about.
“As a graphic novel, it adds a new dimension to our list of Common Reading selections,” said Julie Voelker-Morris, Common Reading program faculty fellow and a senior instructor in arts and administration. “It speaks very directly to a college age group. Many of our students, in different majors and from different backgrounds, have grown up reading, writing and drawing graphic novels and comics.” “The Best We Could Do” is a memoir that follow’s Bui’s family as they escape the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced in trying to build a new life.
§ You know all about Tom King, but what about Mitch Gerads, the artist on Mister Miracle??
§ Rosie Knight profiles the groundbreaking MARVEL KNIGHTS imprint that gave late 90s Marvel a big perk up:
The imprint’s four flagship titles were Black Panther, Daredevil, The Punisher, and The Inhumans, all of which would go on to be seen as seminal runs for the characters. Black Panther‘s current bestselling writer Ta-Nehisi Coates cited Christopher Priest’s work as “the classic Black Panther run” and it was for many readers their first introduction to the King of Wakanda. Daredevil was Kevin Smith’s inaugural Big Two comic, which would later see the now-iconic team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Marvel Knights’ The Punisher is easily one of the company’s most beloved and critically acclaimed books, as it saw the Preacher creative team of Steve Dillon and Garth Ennis head over from DC to create a bleak and brutal vision for Frank Castle.
I TOLJA Marvel Knights would get reexamined!
Convention news. I made a new header. Do you like it?
§ Mike Peterson, referenced above, has a con report on MoCCA.
§ And Jodie Culkin has the photos!
§ Peter Medlin went to C2E2 and has an old fashioned CON report!
Anything can happen at artist alley, as Caleb and I found out that first year and were reminded of it early on Friday. Caleb and I wanted to get some comics signed by award-winning artist Ben Templesmith. We had had a good time chatting with him the previous year, so we brought some more stuff as an excuse to visit his booth again. He didn’t have a big line, so we stood around and made small talk for a few minutes about the usual: Templesmith’s unique style that marries rich painted colors with fine, sketchy linework. He draws mostly horror books, so he makes sure to sign the especially eerie ones along with a cute little word balloon adorned with a heart. After noticing my brother’s Batman shirt, the conversation took a turn in a way that can only really happen at a show like this. Here’s a rough transcription:
For the startling convo, you must hit the link!
§ At the Dubai Comic Con it was bigger than ever with even more celebs:
The MEFCC has morphed into the most awaited event on the cultural calendar of Dubai with talent coming in from across the globe. Comic Cons — especially the big ones like San Diego, New York and London have developed huge fan following, with tickets being sold out months in advance. This year, the MEFCC boasted of stars such as Ezra Miller (Flash, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them); Kristian Nairn (Hodor from Game Of Thrones); and the entire caste of Netflix’s new show Lost In Space including Toby Stephens and Molly Parker. Other panelists included the voice of Spider Man — Robbie Daymond and Jason Frank (Power Rangers).
§ AND! in Saudi Arabia the Saudi Arabia Comic Con has become the vanguard of social changes like selfies with cosplayers.
The three-day event is part of a wider entertainment agenda set by the Saudi authorities in an effort to introduce a social makeover in the conservative country. The famous characters posed for photos with visitors in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where young people had their faces painted. “The reason I came to this activity is my daughter, she knows a particular series I am watching. She came and told me that Floki will be here today, so I said I had to come and watch this activity,” visitor Yasser al-Sassi said.
§ In what must be a bit of a kick in the bollocks for IDW’s long running plans to launch Locke and Key as a TV Show, Joe Hill’s epic horror-fantasy novel NOS4A2 has been picked up by AMC.
His last novel, The Fireman, was something of a disappoint, but its predecessor sure wasn’t: NOS4A2, the story of a supernatural child predator named Charles Manx, was an epic blend of horror and fantasy, and AMC just picked it up for a 10-episode order. News of AMC’s involvement in its adaptation first came back in 2015, though few details emerged in the wake of that announcement. As Entertainment Weekly reports, it turns out a writers’ room gathered last year as part of AMC’s new script-to-series model, and the results were strong enough to warrant the green light. Hill will serve as executive producer of the series, while Jami O’Brien of Fear the Walking Dead will serve as a creator and showrunner.
§ Finally, if this is all dark times for you, remember Taika Waititi might make a live action Akira movie — based on the COMICS not on the movie.
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.