§ Nice art: For Election Day, let’s flash back to Transmetropolitan’s election, one of the best long running political stories of 90s comics – how innocent those days were.
§ Artist Sean Chen’s instagram of a squirrel putting on a Halloween mask went viral because…you don’t often see a squirrel putting on a mask. Seriously how did he even DO this? Heroic effort there.
§ D&D is back and it never really went away and here’s a fine look at how it’s pernicious influence has been unavoidable all this time.
§ Alex Dueben sat down with artist Jamal Igle for a career spanning chat, which, it’s about time.
It sounds like one reason you wanted to do this is that you wanted to be a partner in this. In recent years it feels like you’ve stepped back from comics a little and now you pick your projects more carefully because you want to be a partner in whatever you do.
I think that’s probably the best way to describe it. Ultimately what really happened is that especially over the last couple of years I am not as comfortable working on other people’s brands. Not from a lack of want, because I’ve been approached to do things, but for whatever reason it didn’t pan out or we couldn’t agree on terms. Ultimately I have to do what’s in the best interest for me. It’s 2018, so it’s been six years of primarily doing my own material or working on projects where I have equity. Nobody really gets that far in this business without developing their own IP and developing their own projects or being involved with projects where they have a financial and emotional stake. That doesn’t mean that if you’re working for Marvel or DC or if your goal is to be an artist on Transformers, for example, that you’re doing something wrong. But I’m forty-six years old. As much as I love comics, the amount of time I’m going to want to do keep doing comics may end up being finite.
￼§ We’ve spoken many times about how awesome the Patron support newsletter The MNT is, and they made their latest issue free to read, and it’s excellent. Features include a concise retrospective of Action Girl, Sarah Dyer’s all-female anthology that was a crucial outlet in the 90s comics scene:
This was the opening editorial statement in each issue of Action Girl Comics, edited by Sarah Dyer. Nineteen issues were published by Slave Labor Graphics from 1994-2000. Long out of print, it provided a crucial bridge for young female cartoonists between the end of Twisted Sisters in 1994 and the modern age of comics for bookstores beginning in 2000. Dyer created the anthology as an extension of her Action Girl Newsletter, which was devoted to reviewing zines by women and girls. Dyer saw her work as an extension of post-punk and feminist ethos, dovetailing with the Riot Grrrl movement and part of the pre-web zine explosion. It’s an era of comics that has not been well-preserved, and yet it has still greatly informed modern comics.
There are also intewvier with Dan Schkade and Eli Baumgartner & Viv Tanner, and Claire Napier on how DC’s upcoming Zoom and Ink books are still continuing to treat artists as interchangeable and more. So all free and all good!
§ ALSO, David Harper’s newsletter The Crossover just presented The Return of Wizard, a whole newsletter riffing off of some of Wizard Magazine’s best known features like casting and hot artists. (Wizard is a magazine about comics that was very loud and flashy in the 90s.) Harper’s list of top artists and writers feels right on pointe and was made in consultation with retailers:
While I’m sure it could or maybe even would change if every shop was consulted, it’s worth noting that both Tom King and Fiona Staples dominated their respective categories to the point where I’m confident they’d stay at or near the top no matter how many shops I polled.The list of writers did not surprise me in the least. The artist list did. You may have noticed quite a few cover artists were included in the artist list. That might be surprising, but one shop specifically noted that they find that cover artists drive more interest from their customers than interior artists, and I got the feeling based off other lists that this shop wasn’t alone in their findings. Donny Cates has had the most meteoric rise since Tom King, and before that…well, I don’t even know. The Image guys? Joe Madureira? I can’t even think of a writer who hit it big as quick as those guys.
Jim Lee’s inclusion despite basically never drawing anything felt like the ultimate legacy vote, because his interior work is almost theoretical at this point.
§ I was recently a guest on a newish podcast called Creator At Large, which is run by Jeremy Melloul. It focuses on the business side of comics, and many good guests on there, myself aside. My edpisode will be running sometime in the next month or two and I’ll keep you posted.
§ Star Wars The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson owned the haters with this tweet:
Hot take: Luke is in fact 100% consistent with his character (not the way he’s described in marketing blurbs, but his actual, based-on-his-words-and-actions character) from the OT. I’ll be at the bar if you need me.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) November 5, 2018
I know this battle has long been over, Russian bots, violent extremists and any fanboys aside, but TLJ’s Luke was just a valid interpretation of the character. But if you think checking out in the face of evil is the coward’s way out, don’t forget to vote today!
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.