Oh man, it’s been a long time. In no particular order:
§ Several Alison Bechdel interviews are floating around upon the release of ARE YOU MY MOTHER? Here’s one.
Has your relationship changed over the course of creating these two books?
I feel like it has. I feel like it’s forced me to open up more to her and engage more with her and that makes her do likewise. There’s more mutuality in our connection now. It’s interesting that she and your father encouraged you to keep a diary, which is something that is so often seen as the province of girls. I know! Isn’t that funny. I wish that I had addressed that explicitly in the book, but I didn’t of course. My therapist talks about the idea that both my parents encouraged me to keep a diary and my therapist’s idea was they wanted me to be the repository for all these unexpressed emotions that were flying around. That keeping a diary was a way of doing that, all very subconscious.
I will admit it, gentle chums: all of this remote socializing has left me greatly confused. When it comes to Twitter I am the equivalent of a Level 1 on Modern Warfare who has racked up two kills and forty-eight deaths. I feel like a Luddite (look it up) because I am pretty sure I am going to break the Internet by accidentally tweeting the exact wrong combination of letters and numbers. Bang. Systems down, party over. I first decided to complicate the crap out of my life a couple of months ago, after my business partners pointed out to me that I was lagging so far behind on the whole connectivity issue, I had been lapped by Betty White.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco found a real-life brokeback and ruminates on its meaning.
§ Continuing the run of successful comics shows, the new Fan Expo Vancouver drew some 16,780 attendees.
§ And whatever this event is, it sounds like something excellent will come out of it given the participants: New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium
§ Speaking of cons, the great Naoki Urasawa is appearing at France’s Japan Expo:
And now Urasawa is taking his act on the road: The French site Japan Journal reports that Urasawa will be a featured guest at the French anime and manga event Japan Expo, and not only will he speak to fans and sign autographs, he will also perform a concert, backed by J-Rock band Hemenway. Urasawa has performed in clubs in Japan, but this looks like his first gig outside the country.
This news must ignite hopes in fan hearts that maybe Urasawa-sensei will come to Comic-Con or another American show. Word on the street is that he has a pretty extensive entourage, though, and that is kind of unlikely but we can dream.
§ Also manga, Johanna Draper Carlson on Comic Creator Lessons From Bakuman, the roman à clef by the team behind DEATH NOTE.
Where Bakuman differs from the usual stories we hear about aspiring comic creators is in its use of a team — a writer and artist who are separate people — and its emphasis on the virtue of editors. The insight into how the Japanese manga industry works is the book’s strongest virtue, in my opinion. It’s a key reminder that there’s no one right way to make comics.
§ Elsewhere on this very site, you’ll read about how the FBI tried to get back Joe Simon’s artwork, but have you heard about how Pixar almost deleted Toy Story 2 by using a dumb-ass Linux line command? If you don’t understand that, then how about this: as usual, it was a woman who saved things with her back-up copy.
§ Very old, but the second part of The Fifty Greatest Pop Songs About Comics— some of these we never even heard of!
§ Have you wondered how thecover to Ed Piskor’s WIZZYWIG was designed? Brett Warnock walks you through it.
§ In Berlin, they have an entire library devoted to comics:
The front room operates as a comic store, offering posters and books, but is happily devoid of the miniature toys and marvel figurines that populate larger comic chains. The most impressive part of Renate is that it maintains its credibility as a small but invaluable resource in Berlin, after all these years still helmed by artist-members loyal to its underground/adult/alternative origins. Yet the scope and breadth of the Renate Library continues to grow.
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.