§ The 2011 Most Kick Ass DC Woman contest is down to its final two contestants: Cassandra Cain and Wonder Woman? Who will win? Go and vote.

§ The scene report continues with Tom K’s exhaustive look at Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, a vibrant scene that keeps spitting out new cartoonists thanks to the presence of MCAD:

The Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul) have a long and storied relationship to comics. We’re best known for the St. Paul born Charles Schulz who created Peanuts as an instructor of the Minneapolis based Art Instruction School. But there is a lot more to our scene. I left the Twin Cities at the turn of the century, when I came back a almost a decade later I found the city transformed. Since I left whole neighborhoods gentrified, a nice new light rail system sprouted, and a bike shop graced every corner. The comics scene had grown significantly during my absence. There seem to be a lot more cartoonists around and generally the scene feels vibrant and growing… this was not how things seemed in the 90’s.

Frank Santoro suggests keeping scene reports to 400 words but we say let ’em ride.

§ In the piece we learned something we did not know: Dreamhaven Books & Comics is closing next year. A longtime mainstay of the imaginative fiction scene, particularly noted for its relationship with Neil Gaiman, they’ll be concentrating on mail order in the future. Sign o’ the times.

§ If you are looking for some webcomics to read, Comics Riffs has a ‘BEST’ WEBCOMICS OF 2011: An Open Call for Your Nominations with nearly 300 posts.

§ Laura Sneddon chats up Alan Moore:

Moore had proved with Halo that good comics were capable of drawing a new female audience without losing their core readership; the large comics publishers are still struggling to realise this today. But something else he wanted to create was a beautiful “whole extended work that was about nothing other than sex and sexuality; to do an erotic piece that was as thought-through and considered as any other work. It always struck me as peculiar,” he rumbles in his Northampton twang, “that you could have endless American comics every month that were all based around acts of violence, and yet to be about something as universal and common and normal and socially productive as sex was completely forbidden.”


§ J. Caleb Mozzocco  explains the terrible importance of this panel and more more in his weekly link roundup.

§ One of which was Greg Pak’s touching tribute to Bill Mantlo:

Bill Mantlo has had a huge influence on me as a writer and reader. His “Micronauts” stories blew my mind as a kid and his “Incredible Hulk” run laid the groundwork for the themes I explored my five-and-a-half year run with the character. In the afterward to “Incredible Hulk” #635, I dedicated my run to Mantlo, and a couple of months ago devoted my Newsarama column to singing his praises and letting folks know how to donate to his ongoing care.

§ A Comics Reporter interview with Rich Tommaso that mostly covers his coloring work on the new Carl Barks Library, a fairly thankless task, given that the original coloring was weak but all the alternatives are too:

TOMMASO: When I started doing it, I forget what the story was I started on, but I started on an Uncle Scrooge story. And a lot of things seemed like really odd choices [laughs] for coloring. Trees that are green, and things like that. These are really odd. I would never choose colors for some of the stuff in the background. Disney was also talking to Kim [Thompson] and Gary about it. They said we didn’t have to be so religious about it. They wanted to make sure the color for the ducks, the reds and blues and the yellows, that those were pretty much bang-on. But they agreed that there was a little bit of leeway. If something looked like a bad color choice, you could find something in the ballpark range of that color. So that’s what I would do. “What’s something that’s a little more aesthetically pleasing than the color I’m looking at for this building, this road or this tree?” So I don’t follow them too religiously if the colors are kind of odd. Because sometimes they are strange color choices. Colors that don’t really complement. Some completely clash. I would find something in the ballpark range that looked a little better.

§ Finally a trio of gift guides: Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide for 2011

The NY Times’ Graphic Novels Worthy of Being Gifts

and SF Gate’s Holiday gift guide: Comics/graphic novels