§ Hope Larson has a new website up for her more adult art: Personal Ho. (left)
§ We totally forgot that the Pittsburgh Comicon was held this weekend, but it is now apparently dubbed “Murder con.” Someone wrote about it to the Comics Reporter and from the sound of it, it was pretty desolate.
Before I really get into this, it’s important to keep in mind here that approaching a publisher as a member of the press who wants to give them coverage or reviews is very different from poking around for stories and quotes that don’t necessarily point towards a positive angle on their product. Unsurprisingly, the latter is going to get fewer welcoming responses.
To a certain degree, that’s just how it works, and I don’t see anything particularly insidious in it. I would add, though, that because the comics press is less established (or respected) than press is in certain other fields, I think a lot of people in the industry are not as accustomed to the poking and prodding Tom describes, and consequently can get touchier in the course of journalistic inquiries. But really, I don’t see this as the primary problem. While it may not be optimal, I’m not surprised by this unresponsiveness to certain lines of inquiry.
What I don’t understand–what really blows my mind is that some companies can be just as unresponsive and unhelpful to people who want to give their books positive coverage, review them, or generally make them more visible. That’s what really resonated with me about Tom’s post, because I’ve seen it happen more than a few times and it never ceases to amaze me with its pointlessness.
§ Shaenon on The Boys of Shojo Manga :
The Tortured Genius
The heroine’s parents approve of this one. He’s a high-IQ achiever on the fast track to Tokyo University, and is often a Wealthy Playboy to boot. But his heart is as tiny as his brain is huge. An arrogant smartass, he delights in making the heroine feel stupid and insignificant. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to date her, of course; his strategy is to belittle, manipulate, and intellectually bulldoze her into falling in love with him. And it works, especially once the heroine realizes that he’s hurting inside and Just Needs Someone To Love Him. Extremely common in the works of Miki Aihara.
Signature Romantic Gestures: Intellectually abusing the heroine; emotionally abusing the heroine; physically abusing the heroine; helping her study.
In Real Life He’d Be: Exactly the same, but in his forties.
§ Catch-up 1: Indie Jones blogs the ICv2 conference.
§ Catch-up 2: Jeff Trexler on “How Siegel and Shuster created our world”:
This tension between past and present is equally evident in the Siegel case. On the one hand, for many within the comics community the ruling was a symbolic victory in the struggle for creators rights, vindicating not just Siegel and Shuster, but legions of comic book artists and writers whose genius was exploited by corporate greed.
Yet much to the surprise of longtime industry watchers, the judgment also provoked a strong negative response. Some critics focused on the fact that the winner was not Siegel himself but his heirs, who were said to have gained an unearned windfall. Other observers went a step further, questioning the wisdom of a law that voids otherwise valid contracts, and accusing the Siegels themselves of exploiting Superman for their own financial gain.
§ When we saw the headline “Comic Genius” in our RSS feed, we wondered “Who could it be this time???”
Surprise! It’s artist John Cassaday:
These days, Cassaday finds himself in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose which assignments he takes. “I’ve got specific goals in mind and don’t want to deviate just for a few bucks if I’m not interested,” he says. “The story must come first.” Though he won’t reveal what he makes, his page rate—the amount an artist charges per page drawn—is among the highest in the business. Given that an elite illustrator can command up to $1,000 a page for a 22-page comic book and that most popular titles are monthlies, a top talent like Cassaday can comfortably clear six figures annually. And that’s not counting potential back-end royalties for merchandise, trade paperbacks, and spin-offs, which are negotiated separately.