§ Nice Art: it ages me to reveal how much this Jim Lee drawing of Johnny Socko and his Giant Robot delights me, and I do not care.
§ First kibbles of ’22 and we got some catching up to do!
§ Rob Salkowitz has his predictions for comics in 2022.
§ One very unfortunate prediction is that struggles over book bannings are going to get more and more fierce. Bans on Jerry Craft’s Newbery Award winning New Kid are getting a lot of media attention, along with the fact that many books that are being banned are simply by Black authors.
Nearly six months ago, celebrated Black children’s author and illustrator Jerry Craft received a message saying some of his books were being pulled from a school library in Texas. “I was caught off guard,” Craft, the Newbery Medal-winning author of the 2019 graphic novel “New Kid,” told NBCBLK. “I felt bad for the kids because I know how much they love ‘New Kid’ and ‘Class Act.’ I know what my school visits do. … I felt bad if there was going to be some kids that would not be able to take advantage of that.”
§ The Broken Frontier Awards have announced their winners, including retailer/Avery Hill sales guru Steve Walsh to the Hall of Fame.
§ Artist Jeffrey Veregge tweeted last week, which doesn’t sound newsworthy, but he wrote:
Its been the roughest part of my life the past 6 month, nearly 5 of which have been at 3 different hospitals. It gets dark & scary somedays & I do cry on a lot of those days, but I have hope & the will to get better as my doctors have said. Thank you all for your prayers & tweets
Veregge has been struggling with organ failure for months as a result of lupus, and may be facing a liver and kidney transplant. Keep him in your thoughts.
§ Over the holidays this op-ed by cartoonist Nilah Magruder got a lot of attention and agreement. She argues that the production schedules for graphic novels are way too short, and she makes a good case.
So, let’s compare. When I entered the children’s book industry, six months was the average timeline for illustrating a thirty-two page picture book. Let’s say I were to expand that thirty-two pages to two hundred pages. The schedule to produce that gigantic book would be a little over three years.
Why is it, then, that graphic novel illustrators are given less time to work? The average graphic novel is two hundred pages, but it’s common for publishers to offer a year, sometimes even less. Do people think it takes less time to draw a graphic novel page than it does a picture book page? Why would a graphic novel page—which contains multiple illustrations in the form of panels—take less time than a single picture book page? I wonder where the myth that it is easy and fast to draw comics came from. Perhaps it is because comics are so easy and fast to read. By design, a comic has more pictures than words, so it’s less reading and more looking. But I would argue if that’s what you think, then you are reading comics too quickly. Images are meant to be read just as much as text, and comics are meant to be read slowly.
§ Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has named Jay Kalagayan as its new executive director, replacing the late Tom Spurgeon.
Among those who made the trek to Columbus for the annual event was Cincinnati resident Jay Kalagayan, who, in addition to his longtime work in management and fundraising at nonprofit arts organizations, is also the creator of the comic book “MeSseD.” “In 2019, I was a vendor (at CXC),” Kalagayan said. “I was so excited. … To me, CXC was just this great spotlight on creators that I really wanted to participate in.” Now Kalagayan is set to become a more permanent fixture at CXC: Last month, the organization announced that the 48-year-old native of Erie, Pennsylvania, would become its second executive director.
§ Lorelei Bunjes has joined Image Comics as Director of Digital Services, working with various digital partners including IPG, Kindle, Apple, Google, Hoopla, Humble Bundle, and more. Bunjes previkously worked at Wildstorm, IDW and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery.
“We’ve been working with Lorelei for about a year now as a consultant and have been so thrilled with her passion and level of insight that we knew we needed to find a way to make her part of the team as soon as possible,” said Stephenson. “I look forward to seeing where she takes us as we head into 2022.”
Bunjes added: “Comics have long been a passion of mine. It’s a truly unique medium with how empowering it is for storytellers and how engaged its audience is. I could not be more excited about joining Image and supporting comics, creators, and readers.”
§ Although more comics shops have opened than closed during the pandemic, Atomic Basement Comics and Creator’s Lab in Long Beach, CA is closing down, owner Mike Wellman wrote in a Facebook post:
I guess it must be said with a heavy heart that Atomic Basement Comics and Creator’s Lab will be closing it’s doors in early January 2022. It sucks. But we have to pull the plug. We did everything we could to keep it going and to be a haven and resource for not only our local independent comic community, but for comics at large! Every month, I would take your words of encouragement and the many other ways you supported to heart. All the while watching my bank account deplete as well as keeping in mind my partners investment and sweat equity that I know I’ll never be able to replace. I knew that if this didn’t work, I’d never be able to replicate it again. Anyone who visited or signed here realized what a magical realm Tony pretty much created. I’ve had people offer me money, loans and other things. But I now realize that this is just throwing money into a beautiful black and yellow hole. Shutdown begins January 1st, 2022 and will go for the next week or two. Big deals on some great comics. And if you’re a retailer, I recommend you check out some of our shelving and showcases which is still shiny and new! It pains me to leave this place and to, pretty much, say goodbye to this industry. It’s been a huge part of my life. But I’m ready to venture out into something new and unexpected. That’s what keeps us fresh, right? Love you all! Keep in touch.
§ Now that he free to spill all the beans he wants, Andrew Garfield has revealed that deceiving the public (a necessary sin) was “weirdly enjoyable.”
Garfield admitted to having “moments” when he kept telling himself how he doesn’t like to lie or isn’t a good liar! “But I kept framing it as a game. And I kept imagining myself purely as a fan of that character, which is not hard to do,” he told The Wrap, via Comic Book. Revealing further, the Amazing Spider-Man actor said that he questioned himself about what would fans of the movie want to know before watching it in the theatres and what would they avoid knowing. “I placed myself in that position of, ‘Well, what would I want to know? Would I want to be toyed with?…Would I want to discover it when I went to the theater?…I would want the actor to do an incredibly good job at convincing me he wasn’t in it. And then I would want to lose my mind in the theater when my instinct was proven right,” Garfield mentioned in the interview with The Wrap, via Comic Book.
Garfield is talking about everything else now, and there are a ton of over zealous rumors that Sony is planning another movie with Garfield as Spidey. I feel that with Tom Holland and Spider-Verse they have plenty of Spider-Man already, but talking to Variety, Garfield says he is open to playing the role again (!) if “it felt right.” Smart lad!