§ Nice Art: Tom Fowler was posting some art on his twitter, like he always does and I guess it eld to a discussion of why Tom Fowler isn’t a national treasure, Canada division. I mean he is, but he needs a stamp.
§ Claire Napier has a work of some pretty amazing research listing Nineteen Technically Visible Women Who Worked on Image Comics in the 1990s and concludes that of these 19 only two, Renee Geerlings, and Wendy Fouts Broome, are still working in the industry. I’m actually amazed there were 19. Image Comics, when it started, was as boycentric as it came, and part of the reason that women in the industry got riled up around this time.
As I’m sure I’ve noted here before, Top Cow does get some props for (much later on) being a bit ahead of the curve with being the first company to hire a lot of women artists (Afua Richardson, Adriana Melo, and more) and Geerlings had the title of Editor-in-Chief.
§ Sally Ingraham is one of the very dedicated and inquisitive writers who rotate on Comics Workbook and she often writes about women cartoonists in history and in this episode she mentions something even I didn’t know Rupert the Bear was created by a woman, Mary Tourtel, who drew the strip for 15 years starting in 1920.
This is shocking to me because whenever the subject of British comics comes up Rupert the Bear is ALWAYS mentioned, since it’s one of the longest running characters in Brit comics. It’s like the “Pokey little Puppy” of England or something. And yet no one ever mentioned Tourtel when the subject of “Why have there been no great women cartoonists?” came up? I guess she sucked?
Now to be fair, Rupert achieved his greatest success when cartoonist Alfred Bestall took over the strip for 30 years, so it’s kind of like Marge and Little Lulu and John Stanley. but still “Oh hey you created the best known British kids comics character of all times, but no big whoop.”
§ Brian Cronin writes of Comic Books Set Between the Panels of Other Comic Book Stories, which is my personal in-joke for the decompressed of today. When you read those old comics, entire EVENTS could oft be inserted in between panels.
§ Also a comics shop is opening in Starkville, Miss.
The Last Page, a new book store specializing in comic books, will open its doors in downtown Starkville at the end of the month. The Last Page will be located at 101 South Washington Street, between Restaurant Tyler and Southern Billiards. Owner Sky Thompson said she was aiming to open the new book store at the end of April before Free Comic Book Day on May 5. Thompson said The Last Page will focus on entertainment and not text books, offering books and comic books. “The main focus will be comic books,” she said. “Starkville hasn’t had a comic book store in 10 or 15 years.”
Follow this brave rebel on Facebook at facebook.com/thelastpagecomics/ or on Instagram @thelastpage_starkville
§ In the past week everyone and everything of import was profiled. That’s just a fact.
§ The Hollywood Reporter profiled the Hero Initiative and Jim McLauchlin.
§ The Washington Post profiled newly installed Valiant Comics executive editor Joe Illidge.
Illidge says his new position will give him a bird’s-eye view of the Valiant universe, working with editorial staff members to outline the future publishing plan of Valiant and create ways to expand its audience. Valiant Comics includes comic book titles “Bloodshot,” “Shadowman” and “X-O Manowar.” He’ll oversee the upcoming “Harbinger Wars 2” crossover event, featuring many Valiant characters — a follow-up to its initial event in 2013. And with a “Bloodshot” movie starring Vin Diesel rumored to start production later this year, Illidge is convinced that Valiant’s movie deal with Sony will bring new sets of eyes to the publisher in the near future.
§ The Chicago Tribune profiled Spike Trotman and Iron Circus Comics:
“I’m living the uncanny dream of every book that I print goes to the printer already in the black,” Trotman said. “It’s already paid for itself before it even exists. And it takes a lot of the risk out of being a small publishers. “There have been more black female astronauts than there have been black female headline writers for comic book companies,” she continued. “I opted out of that. I’m not interested in banging my head against the wall with everyone around me pretending I’m just not good enough when I know damn well I am.”
§ The LA times profiled Dan Didio and Jim Lee vis a vis Action #1000.
§ Comicsverse wrote about MAUS, DEOGRATIAS, and Dehumanization in Genocide – Deogratias is an excellent book about the Rwandan genocide that came out a decade ago or so but it’s being preinted and I hope it gets more attention now.
§ And speaking of Maus, Art Spiegelman is profiled in the NY Review of Books:
Art Spiegelman: I’m not working on a graphic novel. At this moment, I only work when I feel the need. Frankly, I’m “comfortable” in a way that makes me uncomfortable. At the same time, I need to do something with my brain, and so I explore whatever is churning through without necessarily going public with it or publishing.
§ Chris Anthony Diaz has an amazing series of photos from MoCCA Fest last weekend. EVERYONE was entranced by the contrasting colors of Hazel Newlevant and Julia Gfrörer’s hair.
§ And another short MoCCA report by Joe Corrallo.
§ And Tingfest kicks off this week! This is sort of an only-in-Canada thing, where they spend THREE WEEKS celebrating the life of Merle Tingley:
“He’s kind of the spirit of the festival,” echoed Diana Tamblyn, the graphic novelist who came up with the idea for an annual show inspired by Free Press editorial cartoonist Merle Tingley, who died last June at the age of 95 and still serves as the spiritual guide for the three-week-long event. This will be the fifth annual edition of Tingfest and the first after Tingley’s death.
§ Finally, the annual Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant has been presented to the Kraemer Family Library.
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.