Art by Liz Anna Kozik
Art by Liz Anna Kozik
Art by Sonya Lunsay
Art by Sonya Lindsay

NICE ART

§ This month’s Nice Art feature was difficult to select, it was #VisibleWomen time on Twitter and I’ve discovered so so many amazing artists. I’ve honed in on two artists in particular, Sonya Lindsay and Liz Anna Kozik. Sonya Lindsay is an artist living in British Columbia (who’s being ravaged by the worst forest fires ever on record), she does wonderful illustration and has a webseries called Druin Saga on Tapas and you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Liz Anna Kozik is a Ph.D. student in Environment & Resource, a comic artist and illustrator located in Wisconsin. Her work focuses on nature, environmental history, ecological restoration, and science communication. You can follow her on Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram

My Comics Beat colleague Andrea Ayres has a wonderful round-up with even more wonderful artists to discover.

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Art by Meghan Thurbitt

PLUGS

§ Cartoonist Meghan Turbitt has recently lost her job and could use support. You can buy her comics on her online store.

§ The International Comics Arts Forum has launched their call for proposal and is currently accepting abstracts for the 2019 conference. The deadline to submit proposals is on October 15th

§ There’s still time to contribute to Reimena Yee Crowdfunding campaign for a print version of The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya. A beautiful series I am very much looking forward to seeing in print form.

Art by Thi Bui

NEWS

§ I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the biggest small press and indie comics news of the month. Cartoonist and small-press comics publisher Cody Pickrodt, who has been accused of rape, sexual harassment, anti-Semitic remarks, and withholding payment of royalties to artists whose work he’s printed, has filed a defamation lawsuit against 11 individuals who made allegations or denounced Pickrodt while commenting on them. These affects a surprising number of artists in the indie and small press comics scene, including Whit Taylor, Laura Knetzger, Emma Louthan, Emi Gennis, Ben Passmore, Hazel Newlevant, Tom Kaczynski, Jordan Shiveley, Morgan Pielli, as well as publisher Josh O’Neill and comics critic Rob Clough.

I will let you read Alec Berry’s account to get a better sense of what is happening with this case. This is a developing story, obviously. On August 30th, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and SPX announced that they were donating $20,000 for the defense of the cartoonists involved. We’re bound to hear more about this in the coming weeks.

§ Brigid Alverson over at Good comics for kids report that First Second will be publishing Kiku Hughes first graphic novel Displacement. It’s a middle-grade graphic novel about family trauma and the history of Japanese-American internment camps.  Hughes has explored the theme of family legacy and identity in the past in other comics. I’m looking forward to reading it. Her comics The Ghosts we are and the Ghosts we will Become (which I reviewed here) was a wonderful exploration of family and legacy and Displacement should expand on her theme in new and interesting ways.

§ Mallory Yu over at NPR interviewed Thi Bui

§ Broken Frontier profiles Decadence Comics, the small press publisher behind the work of Lando and Stathis Tsemberlidis.

§ Broken Frontier interviews Patrick Crotty and Olle Forsslöf as part of their ELCAF coverage.

§ A final Broken Frontier link, Karrie Fransman provide tips on pitching to publishers and potential avenues work.

§ Claire Napier talked with Chris Claremont on Psylocke and the racial change of her character. It’s interesting to see his take on this problematic change, what they expected to do and what actually occurred.

§ I missed that back in May, Anya Davidson interviews cartoonist Sam Szabo over at her podcast Mindkiller

§ Elisa Shoenberger has a list of 20 of the best comics artist working right now. My main caveat is that while Marjane Satrapi is a wonderful artist and contributed classics to comics, she’s been focusing mostly on film making these past few years, so I’m not she would qualify as an artist working right now, but it’s nonetheless a good list worthy of a read. I discovered the stunning work Daniel Lieske thanks to her list!

§ Jane van Koeverden over at CBC looks at Georgia Webber’s graphic memoir Dumb

§ Osvaldo Oyola reviews a bunch of comics

§ The Comics Bulletin interviewed Daniel Elkin, the editor of small press review site Your Chicken Enemy. Elkin’s been supportive of small press publishers and artists and he lays out his philosophy for his site.(full disclosure, I’m an irregular contributor to Daniel’s site)

§ A couple of French news for our French-speaking audience. India Desjardins’ graphic novel series Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme has big changes coming up for it’s 9th volume. The series focused on teenager Aurélie Laflamme and her life in high school. The 9th volume will skip ahead a few years to focus on the protagonists’ entry  into adult life having completed university, finding a new job and a new apartment. This new setting is sure to revitalize the already popular series and open up multiple story avenues. It’s quite refreshing to see such a popular series take a bold step by challenging it’s audience to grow with the characters they know and love.

§ A new series called L’Ordre de Jacques Cartier is launching soon. It’s a fictional/fantasy retelling of famous explorer Jacques Cartier and Étienne Brulé’s founding a secret order to protect Ontario and Canada from mysterious threats in the early days of the country. Creators Kevin Montpellier, Martin Deschatelets and Nicholas Lockead promises this comic will be a fun and lighthearted look at Franco-Ontarian history.

§ Les Libraires, the independent bookstores association put together a list of 12 new classic graphic novels everyone should know. These are really contemporary books and some of them have completely flown by me and I need to check them out.

§ Back to English with this, The Walrus looks at the creation of Inuk superhero Snowguard

§ Adrienne Resha describe the Blue Age of comics and the harrassment that occurred when she made some comments online about the cover work of J. Scott Campbell.

Art by Jay Odjick

§ Jay Odjick’ created artwork for the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Museum of Civilization). It is part of the History Hall exhibition on the Origins of the First People who lived on this land. I like Jay’s art, and this is a high profile gig I had missed. I have to go see that exhibit soon.

§ Ardo Omer has a heartfelt account of what it means to write comics criticism while black. I absolutely adore Omer’s work and am always happy to see her write. Her twitter page is equally entertaining and insightful. It’s not easy writing comics criticism, especially in an age where social media brings a proximity between people and makes it so easy to exploit for abuse. I hope her enthusiasm for the medium remains, her voice is a shining beacon in the world of comics

§ Sara Goetter debuted a new comic at FlameCon

§ Here’s something I didn’t know about, David Finch, famous DC comics artists has been designing stained glass window for the Church of Ascension in Windsor, Ontario. David’s wife and comic writer Meredith Finch encouraged him to pitch the idea to the church and the result is quite fascinating.

§ The CBC has a list of upcoming graphic novels of interest coming out this Fall

§ The Calgary Herald catches up with graphic novelist Ben Rankel’s about his new book Frank about the 1903 Frank slideFrank is an historical mystery set in the tragedy of the Frank Slide, one of Canada’s deadliest natural disasters.

§ Nicole Slaunwhite, a romance author from Halifax just released her first comic, Wild Rose an Irish folktale of Elisa Day. The story is about an Irish peasant girl who falls in love with a rich Englishman, but ends up being betrayed.

§ Not a comics link, but CBC uncovered an interview with Leonard Nimoy from the 60’s about how he came up with Spock’s nerve pinch. A must-see if you’re a Star Trek fan like me.

§ Is Eric Kostiuk William is working  on an X-Men series? I sure hope so.

Art by Bianca Xunise

COMICS

§ Hand down the most interesting comic I’ve read this month, Bianca Xunise provide perspective on how she felt after Nia Wilson’s death and describe how Black women deserve better. It’s short and concise and, much like Xunise’s other work, packs an emotional punch.

§ Cartoon Movement have a comic about Land Rights in Northern Uganda. I promise it’s interesting and does a good job of summarizing complex issues.

§ Laura Knetzger has a new comics for her Laura K Plays series. This time, she looks at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

§ Four comics of interest for The Nib this month: Places of Violence by Laura RomagnoliCritical Hits in the Classroom by Phil McAndrewWhy I Made Myself Quiet by Aubrey Nolan and I Went to Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic by Arwen Donahue

§ Popula published the very intimate story of José-Luis Olivares called Cotton Story

§ Shane-Michael Viddauri’s has a great short comic on Twitter about gentrification, rising housing cost and self-worth

§ Molly McIntyre has a personal story about co-parenting over at Mutha Magazine

§ Ita Mehrotra navigates New Delhi’s constant gaze and feelings of being under observation in a short comic for Popula

§ And finally, a four panel comic by Anatola Howard about haircut

REVIEWS

§ Matt Seneca on Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X

§ Hannah Rose-May reviews A Girl in the Himalayas by David Jesus Vignolli

§ Hilary Chute on Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend

§ Alex Hoffman reviews Dull Margaret

§ Ryan C. on Alex Graham’s Angloid

§ Josephine Livingstone on Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina

§ Sally Ingraham on Aisha Franz’s Shit is Real and on Lisa Hanawalt’s Coyote Doggirl

§ And finally, a self-promotion. I wrote about Sara L. Jewell’s comics Lepidoptera and The Impossibility of Forgetting over at Your Chicken Enemy

§ If you see something I should know about, tell me in the comments or tweet at me @Leblanc_Phil