§ Nice Art: Paolo Rivera does BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES for Mondo.
§ Nick Drnaso – author of Sabrina, the first ever graphic novel to be nominated for the Man Booker literary prize – gets a long profile in the print edition of the New Yorker, which is pretty amazing. It’s very tough reading, however, and trigger warnings in effect, as Drnaso reveals much about his past that is truly heartbreaking. But also how the very lively Chicago comics scene encouraged him:
Drnaso told me that, during his adolescence, he spent a lot of time reading about “serial killers and mass murders and Chernobyl and other forms of gruesome terror.” When his family got Internet access, he looked at many things that he shouldn’t have. “There would be a beheading video, and I kind of couldn’t help myself and would be compelled to watch, and then I’d condemn myself,” he said. He understands why so many people click on such material, though: “It sounds really sick, but a lot of times you’d just end up in tears, but you’d feel something visceral. The feeling is something.”
Drnaso’s portrait was a drawing by his friend Chris Ware, but if you want to see a photo, it’s in this Italian interview. Bonus: GIANT CAT and I’m not kidding!
(h/t Ben Towle)
I clearly did not enjoy Sabrina as much as everyone else did. I will, however, fully endorse the cartoonist's giant cat. https://t.co/lP4XUkX5fv
— Ben Towle (@ben_towle) January 15, 2019
§ Via Twitter Shing Yin Khor announces the winners of the first $1000 of the Wiregrid Microgrant, and if you like indie cartoonists some very exciting talent in that thread. The Wiregrid Microgrant is given to emerging cartoonists – defined as those who have attended three or fewer shows – to help defray costs of tabling at conventions, which is a great idea.
§ Also Zainab Akhtar is taking open submissions for Peow Studio! Get on that if you think you have what it takes.
§ I missed the news that First Second is putting out an updated edition of Faith Erin Hicks’ One Year at Ellsmere. It was first published in 2008 and hard to believe but just 11 years ago the idea of a standalone GN that appealed to female readers was a hard sell. but no more. Also Hicks is cleaning up all the art from the original. new version shown above.
“[The War at Ellsmere] came out back in 2008 and sold like 2000 copies,” Hicks says. “I’m really excited that I get to return to it now 10 years later and use the skills that I have now to upgrade the art, to make it look beautiful and modern. And then for it to hopefully find a brand-new audience when First Second publishes it. “One thing I’ve noticed about this book is it’s not like it was popular or it sold a lot of copies or made me any money. But when I do signings, I always get a couple young women who come up to me and they had these old tattered copies of The War at Ellsmere […] And they’re basically like, ‘This book was the very first comic that I read in middle school. And it’s always been very special to me.'”
§ We’re now so far into the Era of the Superhero Movie that we can make do with B and C-list characters, like Cpatain Marvel and Shazam, says this thinkpiece. No, not the same character! But Aquaman and Black Panther have swept Batman and Superman right off the screen.
“Twenty minutes into ‘Guardians’ or ‘Aquaman’ and especially ‘Iron Man,’ no one is thinking about their place in comic book hierarchy. Those movies … worked because fans made a connection,” said Avila, who also wrote a book about the making of “Aquaman.” Lower-profile heroes “allow for greater creative liberties to be taken, because the history and canon isn’t as deep or well known as Batman’s backstory,” he added. Conversely, some think the booming success of Marvel’s interconnected universe may be creating the opportunity for B- and C-list heroes to thrive. One of the strongest assets lesser-known characters have is the lack of expectations that come with turning a marquee superhero into an instant box-office success.