§ Nice art: io9 tipped us off to Mary Cagle’s Sleepless Domain, about a world full of magical girls and one team’s interpersonal dilemmas. You can read the comic here.
§ Chris Ware’s app “Touch Sensitive” is now available for free via iTunes but only for iPads. It was developed for McSweeney’s app, which doesn’t exist any more, and the story was adapted for print in Building stories. (h/t Tom Spurgeon)
§ And at the AV Club, Oliver Sava looks at Invisible Republic by Corinne Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, one of the best of Image’s current crop of SF comics. The second collection is just out.
The Earth may seem like a scary place right now, but imagine what it will look like in 800 years. That’s what Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko do in the pages of Invisible Republic #11, kicking off a new arc of their hard sci-fi political thriller by visiting the dying planet that spawned the Sol Central Government. Climate change has devastated the environment and made Earth uninhabitable except for the Terra Stations full of people trying to re-terraform the planet, and reporter Croger Babb gets to see these dire circumstances up close when he goes to Earth on his Invisible Republic book tour.
§ Here’s a profile of The Hernandez Bros in advance of the new issue of Love and Rockets that talks about the book in context as Latin-American literature:
In 2016, as the subject of diversity in writers’ rooms gains more media traction, it is helpful to look to Love and Rockets as a case study in what can happen when writers of color have complete control over their creative work and stories; when they are free to depict compelling worlds and appeal to a wide audience without relying on tired stereotypes.
§ Keith Knight’s cartoons about police shootings are all too relevant these days, as he tells the Washington Post.
§ And a profile of MariNaomi’s ‘Cartoonists Of Color’:
It’s not like there are no people of color drawing comics and cartoons. The internet is filled with them. In fact, when MariNaomi sat down to write an article about creating characters of another race than your own, she realized there was so much talent out there that an article wouldn’t do the topic justice enough. And so the Cartoonists of Color database was born: made up nearly 1,000 entries, the archive even features sections fornon-male and LGBTQ cartoonists of color. Whether you’re looking to hire someone, find other artists like yourself, or simply want to discover some good art, the lists might be a good place to start.
§ And this much linked to piece by Kaitlyn Greenidge called Who Gets to Write What? that looks at issues of cultural appropriation, stereotypes, Lionel Shriver’s controversial speech about these topics and more. Must reading that touches on the intertwined aspects of this ongoing topic.
Some would have you believe that if you’re a serious writer, you are not allowed to add questions about who is telling what story and why to the list of things we ask of a piece of fiction. It can be hard to come up with real answers to those questions. It’s especially difficult if you aren’t doing the work of creating fully human characters, regardless of your or their identity. And it can be really, really, hard to come up against your own blindness, when as a writer, you are supposed to be a great observer. It can be terrifying to come to the realization that it is totally possible to write into this blind spot for years. Whole books, in fact whole genres of fiction, make their home in this blind spot, because of writers’ publishing community’s biases.
I’m hesitant to paraphrase Greenidge’s thoughts, in light of all the comics controversy over whether people should write about cultures and people not like them, but my interpretation of the shorter version is “Yes, but you need to do it well.” And, y’know, listen.
§ Mike Diana might not be a name familiar to a lot of today’s comics readers, but in the 90s he was sent to jail for drawing cartoons, leading to a long legal battle that helped prove the importance of the CBLDF. The Guardian has an excellent piece on the whole case and the CBLDF.
In 1994, Mike Diana found himself in jail near his home in Largo, Florida. Sitting alongside rapists, muggers and murderers, he spent four days waiting to be sentenced after his conviction at Pinellas County court. His crime? Making comics. Diana was just 25 when he became the first person in the US to be convicted of “artistic obscenity”. The jury took 40 minutes to find him guilty on three counts: for publishing, distributing and advertising his comic series Boiled Angel. Now based in New York, Diana remembers his time in jail clearly. “It was an empty cell with a metal bed, a bright light that stayed on all the time,” he says. “I got a baloney sandwich to eat and a cup of Kool-Aid … I had no idea what they were going to do to me.”
Yes this really happened.
§ A nice fellow wrote in to mention a fellow named Zaalen Tallis who composes soundtracks for comics and has a COMIC BOOK MUSIC channel on YouTube, One of his compositions is for The Saga Of Crystar, The Crystal Warrior, proving that human beings are truly capable of anything they set their minds to.
§ Oh speaking of YouTube, animator/cartoonist Graham Annable has had a pretty wide-ranging career, as the “Awards” section of his Wikipedia page shows,
2015 Academy Award nominee for The Boxtrolls.
2002 Harvey Award nominee for Best New Talent. 
Annable’s comics, called “Grickle”, were published by Alternative back in the day before he became a big deal animation director, but he ALSO has his own grickle channel on YOuTube with a bunch of humorous shorts. The latest is linked above. He also has a Patreon, like we all do.
§ For Women Write about Comics, Al Rosenberg finally rips the lids off Candy Crush Saga and over King Games.
§ Is ‘Son Of Zorn’ Based On A Comic Book? No it isn’t, but the headline made you look anyway! Well played.
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.