§ First off the holiday is face-to-ass, with Mark Sanchez and Brandon Moore and Spider-Man and Uncle Sam as captured by Marvel CCO Joe Quesada. One is amusing, one tragic…you decide which is which.
§ On a happier note, this picture of Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth carving up holiday turkey not only only conjures the glory days of Esquire, but will be the Thanksgiving icon for comics for years to come. Incredibly, this tweet was favorited only once. Life is surreal.
§ We’ve been following the saga of retailer Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio as his purchased his very first tablet device, but just as he was getting into the whole digital thing, things took an ironic twist:
I wish I had more to report but on day four I got home later than usual and while I’m no Sherlock Holmes I immediately noticed my Nexus 7 was missing. There were the unmistakable signs of rifling (i.e., the lid of the little wooden box where I keep my Legion Flight and Green Lantern power rings was open, etc.) and the lawn outside my bedroom window was littered with things that had once been on the windowsill. And the shade had been pulled up so vigorously I can no longer get it down. I therefore deduced someone had gotten in my apartment by sliding the screen on my partially opened bedroom window.
I wish I could say that I was lucky the only thing missing was my Nexus 7, but it’s hard not to take that as judgment it was the only thing in my apartment worth stealing. I also wish I could say I got angry or even upset, but instead I just sat down and ate my take-out dinner, because given the year I’ve had I probably should have seen this coming.
Best wishes to Bennett for his loss; getting robbed is no fun.
§ Robot 6 sits down with Ben Abernathy, the editor at digital comics start-up Madefire, and his perspective going from DC/Wildstorm to the new frontier is worth perusing:
That’s a good question, since we’re creating something entirely new here. The way I see it, the main role of an editor, like with print, is pushing to deliver the best story possible in a timely fashion. A motion book, though, adds an additional few steps after the delivery of script and art. And on that side of things there’s a lot more coordination involved as I help manage the vision of the creators (and in some cases, the artists are doing the base art AND story building in-Tool, serving almost as the director), my own thoughts of the best reading experience, and those of the experts we have on staff like our CCO, award-winning writer/artist Liam Sharp. This is one of the fewinstances I’ve found where there’s not an issue of having “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Ultimately, while the tools and delivery are different, producing great content is still the goal!
§ Back in the print world, Bill Kartalopoulos talks about his new literary comics publishing venture:
In some ways, I do think of this book as a rebuke. The mainstream publishing industry embraced artistic, expressive comics by people like Ware and Dan Clowes a dozen years ago, but since then most major publishing houses seem to have worked as hard as possible to turn the graphic novel into a mediocre product, assembled by committees and targeted towards pre-existing age groups and genre interests. I’m very proud to be publishing a challenging book of comics that does not fit easily into any category. It’s exactly the kind of work that started the current phase in comics, and it’s very badly needed now. Of course, specialty comics publishers do publish more challenging work, but I think Barrel of Monkeys is also a statement that there’s room for more publishers with different points of view and different priorities. The pre-existing comics presses have their own tastes and priorities, and they can’t cover everything. Barrel of Monkeys, as I mentioned, has already been translated into several other languages but until now hasn’t been available in English. To me, this book is an obvious high priority translation project, but apparently the other publishers didn’t see it that way. And that’s fine. That just indicates very strongly that there’s a place for my vision here.
The Comics Reporter’s annual holiday shopping guide is as epic and invaluable as ever, but this is the line that made me LOL:
Like most men that live alone and don’t have a real specific reason why that is, I like to make crafty things from old comic book pages.
§ A profile of a little known GN coming out from author Ilan Stavans and artist Steve Sheinkin:
Literary critic and author Ilan Stavans will sign and discuss his graphic novel “El Iluminado,” a mystery set amid the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, on Sunday at the New Mexico History Museum. The book reflects Stavans’ personal and professional interest in the subject, as well as his desire to marry history with imagination. Illustrator Steve Sheinkin depicts Stavans’ fictional namesake on a journey into taco joints, desert ranches, soaring cathedrals and Santa Fe’s deep past.
§ It had never really crossed our mind that Rick O’Shay and Latigo artist Stan Lynde is still with us—surely he needs to join the pantheon of still-living greats—but not only is he alive and kicking but at age 81 he’s setting off for adventure by moving to Ecuador with his wife after lightening their load a bit:
Earlier this month, Lynde donated some of his original art, memorabilia and possessions to the Montana Historical Society. Among the items were his saddle, an 1851 Navy Colt revolver, his trademark hat, as well as chaps, spurs, registered brand and mementos from the September 1989 Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive, which he helped organize and head up.
The gifts, and a recent estate sale, were the final wrapping up of loose ends of their Helena lives from the past 15 years.
When they leave town, they’ll be packing light – just four suitcases, two backpacks and a camera bag.
§ In a perhaps related story, here is the greatest non-Onion headline of the week, month, eon: Area rancher releases graphic novel:
Merritt-area rancher David Longworth can add “published author” to his resume after two decades and several setbacks on production of USNA: The United States of North America. USNA follows a group of rebels rising in the foothills of the Rockies against the paramilitary regime that’s taken over North America and is fighting for control of South America. Longworth said the idea for the dystopian story was partially inspired by his upbringing close to the U.S. border.
§ In a video interview longest running CBR columnist Augie De Blieck Jr. talks about his own long journey:
Things change quickly on the internet. In the early days of CBR, Jonah did a few audio interviews that were available as downloadable MP3s. Years later, I started the first comic book podcast at CBR. Video has overtaken all of that now, and CBR TV is a big production complete with multiple cameras, a dedicated editor and an engineer. Who’d have thought that a website that looked like an early blog would morph into the multimedia empire it is today?
§ Via the Dan Clowes twitter feed, amazing Ghost World nails. Want.
§ Vice’s Nick Gazin went to BCGF and captured the epic moment when the banner fell. He also wrote:
This is my friendly enemy, Avi Spivak, holding up the latest issue of his zine, Human Being Lawnmower. There was a comic that was obviously making fun of me in the first issue and there’s a different one making fun of me by someone else in this one! It’s all fine now though. Oscar Wilde said that the only thing worse than having comics made about you is not having comics made about you.
A few older links we had hanging around;
§ Comics and comic-cons are also doing well in the Phillipines, despite some setbacks for the countries long comics heritage:
Komikon is now held twice a year, once in the summer called Summer Komikon, and the main Komikon held around the end of the year. That the growth of Komikon and that of the independent comics industry go hand in hand is worth considering. Most of these creators create, sell and distribute their own comics. With no huge distribution arm at their disposal, they sell their comics at every place they are capable of reaching. They can sell at the various comic book stores across Manila, including Comic Odyssey, which has always been supportive of local comics, and of course, they take full advantage of the local comic book conventions, wherever and whenever they are held.
§ Remember New York Comic-Con? PopMatters Michael D. Stewart did, and take a stab at the bigger picture:
Then there’s geek culture. Something of an undefined subculture prior to this century, geek culture has become a billion dollar industry unto itself. The notion of geek begins with comicbooks, but to say that comics and graphic literature are the cornerstones of geek culture feels like an unnatural limitation put on the medium. Comics are not the exclusive property of geeks, but rather the misunderstood offshoot of literature that can appeal to anyone. Geek culture is more a mass market concept commoditized by marketers looking to cash in on cultural trends and exploit the last bastion of cultural purity. Like trying to get that very last drop from a bottle already sucked dry.
§ In cooperation with the emergency broadcast system, it is mandatory that we link to The Comic Book Periodic Table of the Elements and now we have. Good night.
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.