Too much to catch up on, but here’s a teeny sampling:
Ross Rojek, formerly of Another Universe, formerly of Comics and Comix, formerly the guy who served four years of a nearly 7 year sentence for screwing a bunch of investors who were fooled into believing he had created some kind of cool facial recognition technology that was going to keep the world safe from Al Queda, will be released on September 18 from Sacramento Community Corrections. If you are one of the many self publishers who shipped Rojek product for which you were not paid (including me), don’t expect him to be making good on those debts any time soon, felonious scoundrel that he is.
Until the early 1990s, most color comics were produced in the same way they’ve been made for nearly one hundred years. The artist drew the comic in black-and-white and then, for the most part, provided the printer with a guide of some sort to color the comic by. These guides would have been anything from simple color sketches to hand-colored photostats or Xeroxes of the black-and-white line art. Engraving plates would be created by the printer for four different colors: red, blue, yellow, and black. In combination, and with the help of screens, these would produce a limited but comprehensive palette. There was no guarantee, however, that the vision of the artist and the reality of what came off the press would match. Photoshop did not yet exist. There was no way to preview the results.
“Not-quite-ready-for-primetime,” in the case of Laura Park’s impish Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream mini, is a compliment; just as those redoubtable players took advantage of their relative freedom from network strictures to embrace a wider range of comedic stylings, Park’s self-published comic, embracing the mini format, rambles through cartooning idioms such as the gag panel, the autobiographical, the recipe and the fable. Park explained this diversity thusly: “autobiography is something I really enjoy reading (especially comics which are so suited to it) but I prefer making fictional comics. I keep a sketchbook and most of the autobio comics come directly from there.”
§ Do you think Marc-Oliver Frisch has been too harsh on DC in his sales chart analyses? Well, DC has found a fiendish way to get even with him!
Sometimes, DC sends me comics to review, which is very nice of them. The most recent one reached me literally minutes before leaving the house for an eleven-hour transatlantic flight last week. Ooo, nice, something to read on the way over, I thought. What it was? Oh, it was the first issue of Air, the new Vertigo series by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker. You know, the one starring a flight attendant, dealing with the fears of flying in the aftermath of September 11, 2001? With the images of crashing planes and people in free-fall? Yup, that’s the one. It was my first transatlantic flight, you see, and I don’t feel very comfortable on planes. But, hey, it’s just a comic, let’s not make a thing of it, right?
§ Brian Heater had yeoman coverage of the Cory Doctorow and DJ Spooky at CBLDF Fundraiser, which we were very sorry to miss.
§ From Comixology yet again, Tucker Stone on the grim ‘n’ gritty era of DC movies:
There’s this thing that happens after a movie like Dark Knight makes as much money as it did—well, actually there’s a lot of things: the next Harry Potter movie gets a massive delay placed on its release date to help offset 2009 film profits, the trailer for the next big super-hero movie increases trade paperback sales (and a lawsuit gets fast-tracked), but most of all, Warner Brothers turns around and asks where the next big spandex money machine is going to come from. And when the answer is “We’ve got these animated DVD’s that are doing alright business if you compare to them to the sales on the first season of Mannix” and “We’re making this Green Arrow in prison movie that crazy people might like,” Warner Brothers gets all flustered and says “No no no, you’re not getting it. What about the other guy, the old guy, the one everybody knows as well as Batman?”
§ “I do not think that word means what you think it does” Dept.: What’s up at Aspen?
“No way,” says Vince Hernandez, Aspen Comics Editor-in-Chief. It’s business as usual, and the editorial and creative people at Aspen haven’t even thought twice about moving forward.