§ Nice Art: 13th Dimension has reprinted the ENTIRE story by Faith Erin Hicks from the Attack on Titan anthology.
§ Lots of news and notes to catch up on, but first, it has come to my attention that copy editing has been unusually substandard of late, even for this site. While the holiday, turkey poisoning and bronchitis didn’t help, we’ll try to do better. We know you depend on sites like the Beat for honest reporting, and that’s what we’re here for, not stupid typos all the time.
§ Jason Thibault has updated his The Definitive List of Comic Publisher Submission Guidelines and it has a lot of information on different publishers, both US and Manga, so go for it!
§ Robyn Chapman has just published the Micro-Press Yearbook 2015 – okay a little late but I’m sure the info is great. It’s only $4 so run over and get your copy. In the same post, Chapman has a report on her trip to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), where she went to school a few decades ago!
SCAD has changed a lot in the last twenty years. I think the greatest improvement to the Sequential Art department (or Sequa, as it’s casually know there) is its greater focus on self-publishing. That’s largely due to David Allan Duncan, the professor who invited me down. Duncan (as he’s known) teaches the minicomics class (there’s a minicomics class now!) and he’s responsible for the annual Minicomics Expo. The Expo is tiny comics convention held in a number of classrooms. Only students and alumni exhibit, and it’s free and open to the public. Each year one special guest is invited (usually an alum), and this year it was me.
§ VANCAF show runners Chris Butcher and Andrea Demonakos sent word that the show’s date have been moved to May 20-21, not the 27-28 as previously reported.
While meeting with VanCAF’s venue partners, the Roundhouse Arts & Recreation Centre, we discovered that a miscommunication had occurred during the Festival management transition, and that the venue booking is one week earlier than previously announced, without the option of keeping the announced dates. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to attendees and exhibitors who have already begun to make plans to attend.
The silver lining here is that for 2017, our TCAF and VanCAF shows are on back-to-back weekends! We hope this will encourage Canadian and international guests and exhibitors to apply for both shows, and take advantage of the opportunity to travel across our beautiful country in order to do so.
On that note, applications for VanCAF 2017 are still open and will remain open until January 7th, 2017. We have already received an unprecedented number of exhibitor applications for VanCAF 2017, so if any potential exhibitors would like to rescind their application for this year’s VanCAF, they are welcome to do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, we’d like to apologize for this change and any inconvenience it may cause. We hope all of the enthusiastic supporters of VanCAF are as excited as we are about the opportunity this provides to create an even more dynamic and unique event in support of Vancouver’s comics community.
§ Avery Hill is a small but potent UK publisher probably best known for putting out what will someday be known as the early works of Tillie Walden, including The End of Summer (just out in a new edition with a new prologue), A City Inside and I Love This Part. They publish other fine work by Steve Tillotson, Tim Bird and many others. Their books can be hard to find, however, although they are distributed here in the US by Retrofit, and Walden’s books are available on Amazon via Walden herself. In the UK at least good news: they will now be distributed by Turnaround, which should make them a bit more available. You can also get their titles digitally via Sequential.
§ Women Write About Comics has started a new column on using comics in the classroom by Tiffany Babb and the first one is Comics Academe: Hellos and Hildebrand:
Hey Sports Fans! Tiffany here! My concept for this series of articles came from a dilemma that I’m sure many comics scholars of all ages are dealing with: What to do when you’re studying comics in an institution which does not have any courses or tracks that are angled towards comics scholarship. Obviously, I have no magic pixie dust to sprinkle over all of our individual scholarship issues, but I thought it might be cool to show how I am applying what I’m learning in my Masters program to my own burgeoning thoughts on comics. I am working towards my Masters degree in American Studies, a field which I chose specifically because of its interdisciplinary nature.
§ Gift Guide! Youth in Decline is offering an impressive bundle of Frontier that includes Issues #2-14 for $80. This is their flagship title and includes important work by Jillian Tamaki, Michael DeForge, Eleanor Davis and many other notables.
Heard your friends talking about this “Frontier” series but haven’t yet jumped on board? Interested in checking out some of the most interesting voices in contemporary comics? We have something special for you!! A special discounted bundle of every in-print Frontier issue for $80 (that = $25 less than buying individually). The bundle includes 13 comics from our Ignatz Award-winning series, and begins shipping on Dec 5th.
§ Alex Deuben interviews Aimée de Jongh about The Return of the Honey Buzzard her excellent debut graphic novel which is somehow derived from Lord of the Flies:
What is it about “Lord of the Flies” that continues to resonate with you? And what aspect of the book did you feel you needed to have in “The Return of the Honey Buzzard?”
“Lord of the Flies” is one of my favorite books, because of it’s unusual setting and the growth of the characters. What I loved most is that the children in the book seem like innocent and curious creatures at first, but by the end of the book, they’ve turned into mean and angry adults. And this change happened because they needed to survive. In “The Return of the Honey Buzzard,” there’s something similar, in the way that Simon needs to go through many changes in order to get his life back together. Changing personalities, surviving, these are all themes in the book. But also selfishness: It’s interesting how kids can appear selfish to us, adults, but when it comes to life and death, we all will think of ourselves first before turning to other people. That’s what the bullies (and eventually Ralf too) are doing in my book as well. They are choosing what works best for them, without considering the consequences it will have on other people.
§ And Chris Arrant talks to UNSTOPPABLE WASP artist Elsa Charretier:
Nrama: So what’s your process for layouts to be able to build off them so quickly into pencils and inks?
Charretier: My layouts process is pretty simple. I usually draw them on the Cintiq, but I’m doing it on the iPad Pro this weekend. I read the whole issue once, not really thinking of panel breakdown, just trying to get the feeling of the story, what are the high points of the issue. Then I go over each page once, and do real quick and rough layouts. I do the whole issue that way, then go back to the beginning, and most of time, I redo the whole thing. I re-read each panel, close my eyes, and let my brain tell me the story, as if I was watching a movie.
§ I guess Ace the Bat Hound is back in Batman Annual #1 , but he is no longer a silly, carefree character, but a grim and gritty version of himself. Because all that is light and laughter must become dark and then the cycle begins anew.
§ Dear lord! Wonder Con is already into its seventh wave of special guests. 2017 is coming right for us.
§ Speaking of Comic-Con, Comic-Con HQ, their VOD channel is chugging along, and the second season of Con Men comes out next week. The show stars Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion as nerdlebrities who negotiate the exciting world of comic cons. Trailer below:
§ Suffering from dry eyes, just read the following story and you’ll find them filling with liquid very quickly. It seems that one of the reasons Bleach creator Tite Kubo ended the manga last year is ill-health that had plagued him for a long time. However, it was a message from a sick little boy years ago inspired him to keep going for years – and now he would like to find that boy:
Apparently, it was a young boy who gave him the inspiration to continue the Bleach manga series. During his trying times; when his health issues threatened him to end the manga, a letter from a young boy, who is also a fan of the Bleach manga sent him a letter. It said “Kubo-sensei, I have one final request. Please draw BLEACH the way you want to draw it, right until its conclusion. That’s what I want to read.” Despite never knowing the boy, Tite Kubo posted on twitter a short Bleach manga drawings the way he pictured it in the past. The heartfelt dedication was poured in by Kubo, hoping the young boy will be able to read his post.
§ They became known as the Arran Stowaways, the youngest just 11-years-old, who smuggled themselves onto a boat bound for Quebec on a hapless adventure that was to end in torture, bullying and death.
So someone made a graphic novel about it. It is not pretty:
Once, having been accused of stealing meal from a barrel, the boys were handcuffed together in irons for 24 hours. Being forced to stand naked on deck was a common punishment. After three months of starvation and beatings, the seven were thrown off the Arran at the ice fields of Newfoundland. The little ones, M’Ginnes, M’Ewan, and Paul, were almost “hysterical with fright” at being told to disembark and find another ship to continue their jounrey, according to Donald. Some were bare-footed and others in rags, with a single biscuit thrown overboard for each of them to see them on their way.
§ Here’s a report on the first Jewish Comic Con held a few weeks ago:
Sunday’s convention was a much more intimate, low-key and, well, Jewish affair. It opened with shacharit, the morning prayer service, and broke in the middle of the day for an afternoon prayer. Two rows of tables in the synagogue sanctuary were set up in front of wooden pews that had been pushed to the wall, while guests in kippahs, ritual fringes or long skirts perused comic books retelling liturgy, Holocaust stories, Jewish history or biblical tales. The convention had little of the involved costumery that colors the larger Comic Cons, but attendees wore Batman, Superman or Marvel Comics shirts, and a kid in a Spider-Man costume played by the Torah ark.
§ Nerdlebrity news corner: Gus Van Zant and Joaquin Phoenix are planning to make a biopic about quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan. Callahan was paralyzed after a drunk driving incident at age 21 but learned how to draw holding a pen in both hands. HIs acerbic cartoons were a staple of the 80s and his life would make a good movie.
§ Andrew Garfield was apparently heartbroken by the Spider-Man films, although I’m not quite clear what delivered the crushing blow:
“I signed up to serve the story,” said Garfield, “and to serve this incredible character that I’ve been dressing as since I was three, and then it gets compromised and it breaks your heart. I got heartbroken a little bit to a certain degree.”
We get it, Andrew. We get it.
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.