I’ve been tied up on another project so this is a free association gathering of bookmarks.
§ Gabrielle Bell has been ‘tooning a trip to Oslo.
§ It turns out Vertigo Comics is not dead! Not if executive editor Shelly Bond has anything to say about it!
“That’s always been my (method of operation) ever since I stepped inside the door” at Vertigo, she said. “We’re not afraid to go to the edge and to push the boundaries of what it means to scare someone in the 21st century. I think that’s what makes Vertigo so unique. We’re not afraid of political and social pressures and problems and situations. I think that makes our books that much richer and I think that we’re the imprint that takes those very concepts and adds the gravitas to make a compelling story.” Bond said Vertigo finds itself with a cornucopia of new talent, tales and stories. “Now is the greatest time for us to actually broaden the scope, and I think what you’ll see is that we’re not only going to defy the standards and confines of traditional genre fiction, but I think we’re going to redefine the industry standards because we’re going to really go deep and dark into areas of psychological horror, dark fantasy, action adventure and even next-wave science fiction and mythic fiction,” she said.
Vertigo editors have been hinting at new projects on recent panels, so expect some news on that around Comic-Con, I’d be guessin’.
§ I also guess that CNN.com is running some kind of Comic Book Heroes feature this week.
§ I guess Sri Lanka is not a role model for press freedom. A political cartoonist disappeared there in 2010 and hasn’t been seen since, and some people want to know if he’s really just chilling in Paris:
Sri Lankan authorities should challenge a parliamentarian’s claim as to the whereabouts of a political cartoonist who was forcibly disappeared in 2010 and provide information on his fate, Human Rights Watch said Monday. Lawmaker Arundika Fernando told the Sri Lankan parliament June 5 that Prageeth Ekneligoda, a cartoonist and government critic who has not been seen since leaving work Jan 24, 2010, is currently living in hiding in France. “Solving the disappearance of Ekneligoda and that of thousands of other Sri Lankans over past decades should be a top priority of the Sri Lankan government and its investigative agencies,” said Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch. “After years of no progress in Ekneligoda’s case, any clues about his fate should prompt an intensive investigation, not shrugs by senior government officials.” The Sri Lankan government needs to take serious measures to end enforced disappearances, provide information to families on the fate or whereabouts of their relatives, and prosecute all those responsible, Human Rights Watch said.
§ In 1902 as now, cartoonists searched for punchlines.
§ Brigid Alverson investigates the discovery that SuBLime, a Viz imprint, has been digitally reprinting OOP yaoi titles:
Then in 2011, Viz and Animate partnered to form SuBLime Manga, a yaoi imprint. “SuBLime functions through Viz, but it is not truly speaking completely Viz,” said Aker. “It is a Viz-Animate partnership.” While SuBLime publishes books under its own name, with its own trade dress, it also offers these older titles. “These are not SuBLime books,” said Aker. “We are selling them through the SuBLime site, but they are not part of the SuBLime imprint, and when you open up the books themselves, there is an ad card in front that specifies this is a title that is released by Animate.” The e-books use the same translations and cover designs as the print books they are based on. I asked Aker if the rights to the English version revert to the licensor at the end of the contract, and she said that is almost always true. “It depends on the contract, but most agreements specify that if a publisher goes out of business, all rights surrounding that work revert to the copyright holder, and in the case of manga it almost always includes translations, finished pages, and all that,” she said.
§ Rachel Edidin investigates Primates, by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks, one of the fine comics of the season:
Ottaviani’s greatest strength as a writer has always been his uncanny knack for picking out the human threads of scientific discovery, and here he continues to deliver in high form, firmly rooting his subjects’ groundbreaking discoveries in the larger context of their lives. Wicks’s art is instantly appealing and immersive, combining simple, cartoonish line work with careful attention to details of setting, subjects, and story. Together, they achieve the kind of creative alchemy that makes comics such an effective medium for the marriage of narrative and fact, and create an engaging, beautifully rendered work that is exquisitely tailored to its medium.
§ There is a book out now called The Bodacious Best of Snuffy Smith and that is bodacious. The author is tootin’ around signing things.
§ There’s a blockbuster trial going on right now: Apple is being sued for price fixing ebooks and their main defense is to claim Amazon and google mad them do it. I don’t know how this fits into digital comics, but it must some how:
Murray was cagey on the stand, frequently unable to recall any details, even when confronted with documents in evidence. The evidence presented largely backed up the government’s position that publishers used the entry of Apple as a weapon to blunt Amazon’s pricing power. E-mails show HarperCollins saw the deal as a “strategic win” because it would raise e-book prices from $9.99 to $14.99. And notes from a presentation Murray gave to literary agents after signing with Apple also suggested that HarperCollins understood that Apple’s entry “forced” publishers to move Amazon to the agency model. Both are key contentions for the government’s case. Murray, however, could not recall what he might have said to the agents, and insisted that HarperCollins did not force Amazon onto agency. Murray also conceded that he expected “retaliation” from Amazon, and from consumers.
§ It’s the week for all things Superman, and at Starbucks you can get a free download of Action Comics #1:
Starbucks has chosen DC Comics’s Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales as their Pick of the Week, marking the first time that the cafe chain has chosen a comic book as their week’s free book. According to DC, Starbucks locations across the U.S. will offer cards with free download codes for Action Comics #1, redeemable on Apple’s iBookstore. The promotion runs from June 11 – 17.
§ I agree with Johanna that these two Kickstarter comics sound very interesting.
§ Andrew Grossberg, one of the people behind Comic Rocket, the webcomic indexer chats at HuffPo — the app is now available for Android:
TOM: How will you decide which comics to feature? I noticed larger type banners on the app illustrations on your website and they appear to be different than the standard banner, they are more square and box like in shape.
ANDY: Because the app is a mobile version of our regular site, all the comics that are featured there on the front page can be featured on the app. The boxes that you are talking about are a combination of comics our staff simply likes and a reward to the people that backed our campaign at a certain level. In the future there will be some interesting additions to that featured list. But keep in mind it’s only seen by people that are not logged in yet so we use it as a sort of gateway to the rest of the great comics on Comic Rocket.
§ J.T. Yost reports on The Grand Comics Festival and found that it was “stupendous:
The show was small enough for anyone browsing to check out every table without being overwhelmed, and there was a good variety of style & subject matter. I had the good fortune to be flanked by Pat Dorian (the organizer of the show) whose clean brushwork and excellent character design I greatly admire and Jess Ruliffson, whose ongoing series of interviews with veterans is truly engrossing. Saturday was very well attended (with a lot of other cartoonists stopping by to jibber-jabber and/or shop). Sunday was much slower, which can surely be attributed to a combination of hangovers and brunch plans, but it gave all of us time to go check out each others work and do some jibber-jabbering of our own. I imagine the show will be cut down to just one day if it happens again (Pat mentioned doing another in the future).
§ Roger Langridge contemplates mini comics and digital mini comics:
I love minicomics. To me, they are the most perfect form of comics – comics in their most refined state. They are a formal embodiment of comics’ most attractive feature: comics, unlike film or theatre or even music, require no collaboration, no real financial resources to make happen. One person can do it all. With minicomics, that person is not only producing the work, but more often than not printing, assembling and stapling the things as well. If comics are the people’s artform, minicomics are its most accessible manifestation. So if it’s a digital minicomic, is it still a minicomic? Who knows? I don’t know if I’m that bothered about the label, to be honest. If I’m concerned about anything, it’s that being sold as a proper comic alongside a lot of slickly-produced material might give readers unrealistic expectations. The nice thing about putting a physical minicomic into somebody’s hands is that the format has a kind of in-built humility to it. It says, “Don’t expect Maus here. This is just a bit of fun.” I hope that, even without those visual cues, Comixology’s customers will approach this throwaway, trifling bit of fluff in the right spirit.
§ AdHouse publisher Chris Pitzer Instagrams HeroesCon:
§ Meanwhile, the Fantagraphics office, a dog investigated a copy of Jason’s Lost Cat.
§ I guess I had this tumblr by art director MATTHEW KALAMIDAS bookmarked because he has some interesting comments on art directing fantasy art.
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.