§ Remember that Spider-women cover thing? Gosh, it seems like 200 years ago doesn’t it! Well Buzzfeed has been getting massive traffic by taking photos of regular people of all sizes doing things that normally models do, and they hit on the idea of getting regular women try to do the brokeback and the Spider-Woman and so on, and actual women couldn’t do it, oddly enough. The post has 1,589,402 views.
I’m not sure what this really proved, because drawings are used to heighten and dramatize reality, not mirror it. I’m not for cheesecake masquerading as adventure, but let people have some style.
§ Derf’s Trashed was named one of the ten best Books of or 2015 by EW.com — this BOOKS not graphic novels.
§ The AV Club weighs in with two well balanced lists, one for ongoing comics and one of graphic novels, one-shots, and archives
§ The Vox list is mostly mainstream.
§ And Panels also chooses.
§ Robert Boyd offers how own list.
One thing all these lists have in common is that they are all different! There were many comics that people liked in 2015!
§ This is a bit old, but Kickstarter put out a study on how many campaigns fail to be fulfilled, and it’s about 9% across the board, but if you look at the chart, it seems that comics have one of the lower rates. Campaigns that raise $1000 fail more than others.
§ Another one from Buzzed, this time Harley Campbell profiling author Joe Hill, who discusses his own struggles with various anxieties. The story’s main point is revealed in the title: Joe Hill Calls Bullshit On The Crazy Artist Cliché
Hill wouldn’t go into what he calls his “terrible, lunatic notions”, because he doesn’t like revisiting them. But eventually his dad suggested that seeing someone professionally could help him out – an idea Hill had resisted because he was convinced the paranoia and “lunatic ideas” were connected to his creativity. “I thought if I got help, I wouldn’t be able to write any more.” It all goes back to another cliché: the crazy artist. But as a crazy artist, he got no actual work done. The three novels he couldn’t finish are testament to that cliché being bullshit. “I got into therapy and I got on a pill, and what I discovered was getting help didn’t make me less creative. What was making me less creative was being a depressed crazy person. Figuring out how to be happy and have fun with the kids again, how to have fun with my life and work, actually made me a better writer, not a worse writer.”
§ This is another old one: charts of manga sales in 2015. One Piece was the winner.
§ Kate Tansky went to Comics Arts Los Angeles 2015 and thought th even was a bit cramped but enjoyed it overall:
Comic Arts Los Angeles held its second event this past weekend, and the first two-day event. As someone who stays mainly within mainstream comics, I was scared and intimidated about going, but now, having gone, I am very glad I went. I was only able to go out on Saturday due to family commitments, but the afternoon I spent there was my first time at an indie comics event, and it was fantastic. It’s pretty much the antithesis of San Diego Comic Con in every way, and that’s kind of great.
§ JA Micheline reports on four UK shows she attended:
My past experience—conventional wisdom, you might say—had taught me that there is a bright line between creators and fans. You might meet them in an artist alley, maybe shake their hands, or tell them how much you like their work—but before 2015, my impression was that the scene was very “us and them.” Turns out, at least in UK comics, the line is much more blurred and things are open. Even though I found most of LSCC a little lonely, thanks to the pub I still came out of the con with a few friends.
§ Emily Nussbaum reviews “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, accompanied by a nice ill by Tomer Hanuka.
Still, right away I could tell what was firing up so many viewers, particularly online: in the world of Marvel Comics, a female antihero—a female anything—is a step forward. But a rape survivor, struggling with P.T.S.D., is a genuine leap. While the fact that “Jessica Jones” is Marvel’s first TV franchise starring a superpowered woman—and that it was created by a female showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg—amounts to a pretty limited sort of artistic progress, the show doesn’t need to be perfect in order to deepen the debate. In a genre format that is often reflexively juvenile about sexuality, “Jessica Jones” is distinctly adult, an allegory that is unafraid of ugliness.
§ SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER! A Walking Dead cast member appeared in public with a haircut and now everyone is worried that character is doomed! OR maybe…the person knew their hair would grow back by the time they reported for filming for season 7?
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.