§ Prominent political blogger Kevin Drum faced a decision many of us have been unable to avoid: He wanted to get rid of some old shit comics and found no one wanted them.
Here’s the deal. I’ve got about two thousand old comic books that I need to dispose of. I’m reliably told that they’re basically of no value. I checked with my local comics shop, and they didn’t want them even for free. The local boys club wasn’t interested. Our local library sells used books but didn’t want seven boxes of comics. What to do?
An update informs us that Drum was ultimately successful is disposing of the whole lot. He’s very lucky.
EXHIBITS AND EVENTS
§ Paul Gravett explores Hypercomics via the art show of the same name. Many thought provoking photos in the link.
In each case, the audience can interact with the Hypercomics and follow different narrative paths. Pleece invites the public to press a door buzzer and spy on one of four bizarre tenants in his block of flat, while becoming a tenant themselves sitting on a sofa in a fifth flat. Goodbrey presents three grids of multi-nodal diaries about the work, play and dreams of a lone archivist. McKean unfolds an assault from the viewpoints of perpetrator, victim and witness, their stories branching off literally around the gallery, and then asks
THINGS THAT MADE NERDS ANGRY
§ DC Women Kicking Ass uncovers the removal of Wonder Woman as one of DC’s stand-by icons, replaced by the Flash and Green Lantern. Those who object can sign a petition.
CARTOONISTS DOING THINGS
§ Influential nerd-humored webcomic Penny Arcade made a rape joke and many people found it unfunny, although the creators, justifiably ask, NOW you are offended?
§ Colleen Doran dispenses excellent advice on the business of being a comics freelancer:
No matter how much you love your art, this is a business. When you step away from the drawing board, put the artist away, because the artist will make some incredibly boneheaded decisions. Learn basic math, learn basic contract skills. Read the books of Tad Crawford. Join the Graphic Artists Guild or the Illustrators Partnership. You can get health insurance through the Guild. Ask questions of professionals who have more than just a few credits, or who pad their resume. The sort who tout the two jobs they have had at Marvel in 20 years. I’ve seen people with just a few books under their belt giving all kinds of ridiculous advice, as if they’d know. People who can’t make a basic living at art telling young artists how to be pros. Consider the source. Don’t go to the bottom for advice, go to the top. Find truly successful people and model them. There are many creators who interact online, who will happily answer whatever questions you have at shows.
§ The Good Comics for Kids crew takes issue with Graphic Novel Reporter’s Core Manga for Kids List, pointing out that it includes both non-manga and some age-inappropriate materials.
§ Douglas Wolk thinks we need more weekly comics despite the pleas of editors and creators alike:
The biggest problem with publishing weekly mainstream comics is that there are very few upper-tier artists who are capable of producing more than a few pages a week, and probably none who could draw an entire comic book every week. (Mark Bagley’s 12-pages-a-week work on Trinity is the recent speed record. Jack Kirby was drawing 15 pages a week in the early ’70s, but he was basically superhuman.) The solution seems relatively straightforward: run multiple serials side-by-side, commission the work far enough in advance that creative snags don’t cause publication delays, and make sure the stories are targeted to both their audience (e.g. in continuity) and their format (a satisfying amount of plot that keeps readers in suspense). It can be done; it has been done successfully. It’s even still being done elsewhere (don’t forget Japan’s weekly manga anthologies). So why isn’t it being done in America now?
§ Bill Sherman onNetworked: Carabella on the Run by Gerard Jones and Mark Badger.
§ Glen Weldon on Kevin Huizenga’s WILD KINGDOM.
§ Yes, this is one of the best comic strips of the year.
Posy Simmonds is chatted at by The Scotsman as the Tamara Drewe movie is about to open.
That is Simmonds’ fault, of course, and a testament to her powers of observation. “They’re all wearing what I drew them wearing, more or less. Before I do anything, I draw characters and create a wardrobe. I do spend quite a lot of time dressing them, so that was nice.” If you know the book, watching the film is eerie, for not only have clothes and interiors been accurately recreated, some of the shots are identical to her drawings.
Knowing Simmonds, 65, to be a marvellous raconteur with exceptional powers of mimicry, and someone all too eager to prick pomposity, I’m dying to hear how she fared at the film festival that is synonymous with gaudy excess.
§ KICK-ASS was definitely a hit! As were some other movies that opened soft, like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. However, some things are still painful to contemplate:
A closer look shows that both “Jonah Hex” and “Scott Pilgrim” have little chance of ever becoming profitable. “Jonah Hex,” a Warner release that cost $47 million to make, was a box-office disaster, selling just $10.5 million in tickets. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” which cost Universal Pictures an estimated $60 million to produce, is still playing but has also tanked, fizzling after three weeks in North American theaters with about $27 million.
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.