§ At Emerald City, best selling cartoonist Raina Telgemeier showed she’s not just the president, she’s a customer, cosplaying as Miyazaki’s Ponyo. Just when you thought life couldn’t get any more awesome.
§ Writer Joshua Dysart dropped us a line to say that his comic Living Level-3: Iraq, with art by Alberto Ponticelli, colors by Pat Masioni, and lettering by Thomas Mauer, is now free on Comixology, which gives the logline as “The story of a young aid worker fighting hunger and fear on the frontline.” In addition to a 35 page comic, the book includes new essays and other material. Dyasrt went to Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014 to research the book, and is planning a return for Volume 2. The book was funded by the World Food Programme.
He writes: “In a matter of weeks I’m hitting the road again to start researching Vol. 2, so this project is expanding fast. Because we have never charged readers a dime for the work, it survives entirely on people’s interest in the project (clicks, downloads, reviews, buzz on social media, etc.), that’s how we let the powers that pay for this know it’s worth their time to tell these stories in this format. So everybody row!”
§ New Yorker cartoonist William Hamilton passed away over the weekend at age 76. Hamilton was killed when the dar he was driving went through a stop sign and he was struck by a pick-up truck. Hamilton’s elegant satires on the rich were a staple of The New Yorker for 50 years.
§ The Middle East Film and Comic Con drew some 60,000 people in Dubai this weekend.
Although the event is in its fifth year, 2016’s MEFCC was a special one: The UAE is still flush from the excitement of being one of the shooting locations for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” where Abu Dhabi’s rolling sand dunes filled in for the desert planet Jakku. That excitement brought out more Reys, Obi-Wans and Kylo Rens than you could shake a lightsaber at, even though the “Star Wars” saga’s penchant for black-robed, masked villains made for moments of confusion alongside the traditional black covering, the abaya, donned by women in the Emirates.
§ At the other end of the world, the Bangor ComicCon was also a success, with “Thousands” turning out to see 100 cartoonists and Verne Troyer.
§ If you’re wondering what will fill the void left by the departure of Comics & Cola, nothing will, but while I was looking for something else, I stumbled across Your Chicken Enemy by Daniel Elkin, which has regular round-ups of small press reviews and news. Here’s a recent piece on Kilgore Books, a new indie with book by Box Brown, Amara Leipzig, Alex Graham and Lauren Barnett.
§ I guess mara Leipzigrevealed that the next Spider-Man movie will have othe MCU guest stars. Maybe we’ll get that Woodgod movie someday after all!
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.