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§ ART: Norwegian artist Jason drew Bowie doing the laundry. I wrote this on Facebook but to preserve it here, based on my FB feed just about everyone in the universe had a random pleasant encounter with David Bowie at the bodega or getting kittens or something. How did the guy have time to make records and movies when he spent his life wandering around being told “You’re David Bowie!” and touching people’s lives?

Maybe he was secretly a saint.

Two days and people are still processing his life and death.

§ Stan Lee is 93 and only human after all. In an interview with Radio Times he reveals that his eye sight has deteriorated so much that he can no longer read:

“My eyesight has gotten terrible and I can’t read comic books any more,” the 93 year says in this week’s Radio Times magazine. “The print is too small. Not only a comic book, but I can’t read the newspaper or a novel or anything. I miss reading 100 per cent. It’s my biggest miss in the world.”

 

CAF STUFF:

§ TCAF panel submissions are open and the deadline is February 8th. The show is May 14-15th.

We’d love to know if you’re interested in suggesting a program for TCAF 2016! We have kid, teen, and general audiences programming on Saturday May 14th and Sunday May 15th at TCAF. We also offer special programming for librarians and educators on Friday May 13th, as well as workshops for comics professionals on that same day too! Feel free to submit something you want do, something you want to see, or just volunteer yourself as a participant or moderator.

 

§ CAKE in Chicago has announced their 2nd Annual TRANSIT residency, which is basically you get to go work in Chicago for two weeks prior to the show. Chicago is an amazing city an you should totally apply. Better than winning the lottery.

Transit Residency is looking for non-Chicago-based cartoonists and zinesters to apply for a chance to spend the 2 weeks leading up to CAKE (May 29 – June 12) creating work at the beautiful ChiPRC studio/workspace. The winner of this juried residency is awarded a stipend of $1000 to help cover travel and lodging expenses. They will also receive a free table space at CAKE as well as integration into programming at CAKE 2016!

Last year Transit and ChiPRC hosted Ignatz nominee and Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner Roman Muradov, who wrote about his experience here for the Transit blog. We hope all of our out of town exhibitors, friends, and visitors will apply! The Fourth Annual Chicago Alternative Comics Expo will take place on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. If you have any questions about the residency, please contact Meredith Winer at [email protected]

 

THE GAMORA DOCTRINE UPDATES:

§ Here’s a comprehensive link filled piece on the death of action figures for female characters by Wendy Browne.

As far as Disney is concerned, girls only want to play with princesses (except Leia), and they obviously have the lock down on that market. Disney only captured the Star Wars and Marvel universes because they wanted to get their hands on that lucrative “boy market” they were missing out on. But rather than take the opportunity to provide both boys and girls (and collectors of all genders) with all the merchandise from these properties, it’s still a boys club that my daughter, for example, isn’t allowed to play in, even though she loves Rey, Black Widow, and Gamorra—just as much as she loves Tiana, Mulan, and Rapunzel.

The truth is characters like Rey are just as much a hero to boys as they are to girls and we need them not just to show little girls that they can be more than just the sidekick and love interest, but to show boys that girls can do and be more than that too.

 

§ Meanwhile Leah Libresco at 538 went and counted the toys on Toys’R’Us/com and found it wasn’t so bad for Rey.

To see whether Rey’s absence was local to Monopoly or more widespread across all “Force Awakens” toys, I did what any sensible data journalist would do: I went to a toy store. Well, a digital one. Toys R Us lists 256 toys in their online “Force Awakens” store,1 but only 70 of them include any of the major characters introduced in the new movie.2 Rey holds her own among this group.

The most popular figure? Kylo Ren. Wait until they do the ones with his helmet off!

LISTS ‘N’ STUFF

§ Broken Frontier has announced their 2015 award winners

§ Essential manga pundits Deb Aoki, Brigid Alverson and Kate Dacey look at The Most Anticipated Manga of 2016. Manga is really roaring back.

DEB: Almost all signs point to a healthier, more robust manga publishing business in 2016, which is a great thing. I don’t see the same rush to publish anything and everything vaguely manga-ish (even crappy manga) that I saw prior to the crash of the late 2000’s — publishers seem to be making more careful choices, more calculated risks. The fact that they’re taking any risks at all — by expanding genres, offering their stories via more digital channels and doing more simulpub/same day as Japan releases, is a good sign.

 

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§ Nick Gazin’s Top Ten Comics of 2015 at VICE is a mix of the transgressive and the expected but it really made me want to gather up all four volumes of Last Man and read them.

§ Here’s a succinct round-up of CBR’s Biggest News Stories of 2015 at, uh CBR

§ An overview of the year in queer comics at Panels.

§…and a list of 7 Feminist and LGBT Webcomics at SheWired

MORE NEWSY KINDA STUFF

§ Cartoonists for a newspaper been hired! And they are perfect in every way! The OC Weekly has launched “Orange Feathers” a weekly political cartoon. It was origiunally called “Rhymes With Orange” because they didn’t know that comic strip already existed. But anyway

So make sure to pick up a copy every week (or wait online every Thursday) for the latest “Orange Feathers.” Our cartoons won’t always be explicitly political, though: we’ll satirize OC life one way or another, whether our pendejo DA Tony Rackauckas (as this week’s entry shows), HB bros, Newport Beach MILFS, Laguna Woods geezers and the like—whatever’s topical, whatever’s HILARIOUS. Regular contributors Bob Aul and Luke McGarry will be our main cartoonists, along with a rotating cast of the usual gang of idiots until I win the lottery and can afford an in-house cartoonist. Wanna pitch us some ideas? Email me at garellano at ocweekly dot com (remember: I’m looking for OC-specific ideas, not the latest, lamest Obummer attack or Trump eviseceration). Enjoy, and start drawing!

(I assume they were hired and not volunteered.)

§ However this is an anomaly, as ICv2 ha notes in Bad Year Ends for the Cartoonists:

I’m white, male, able-bodied, educated, tall. Got a solid resume. I’m relatively adaptable. I started out as one of hundreds of professional political cartoonists. Now there are fewer than 20. Yet I’m freaked out. I’ve survived poverty, getting mugged and being shot at, and I managed to remain pretty calm. But I’m more worried now.

 

§ ICv2 has the December 2015 BookScan list and if your name is One Punch Man, Tokyo Ghoul, Walking Dead or Star Wars, you’re doing alright.

§ An exhibit of Edward Koren’s cartoons will be on display at Fairfield University:

Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Museum of Art presents its new exhibition, “Edward Koren: The Capricious Line,” a major survey of the work of the artist best known for his cartoons and cover illustrations for The New Yorker magazine,on view from Friday, February 5,through Friday, April 8, 2016. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will take place in Bellarmine Hall on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 6-7:30 p.m.

 

HUMAN INTEREST:

§ Here is a very sweet story set at the recent Wizard World New Orleans about a woman trying to get her stepdaughter into nerdy things, and succeeding.

But a cool thing happened over the past few months. My stepdaughter, who was never into the kind of nerdy things her brother was into (Lord of the Rings, Avengers, etc.,), started to become interested in our world. She picked up a few of my Spider-Gwen comics and started leafing through them, finally relating to a character – as Spider-Gwen looks a lot like my stepdaughter. She also loved the new Star Wars movie, as the girl was the one that essentially saved the day. The same thing happened with the new “Mad Max” movie. There’s a part in the film where Max lets Furiosa (portrayed by Charlize Theron) take control of a gun because she was the better shot of the two of them, and my stepdaughter was full of “girl power.”  Last year, my husband and I brought the kids to Comic Con, mainly for my stepson, and my stepdaughter tagged along. This year, it was very much for her too. She even went as Spider-Gwen.

 

SHOWBIZ:

§ The Deadpool movie has been rated R for “strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.”

FUCK YEAH!

§ As a long time sworn enemy of Akiva Goldman, ( A Beautiful Mind my ass), I was thrilled to see it was his script that sank a potential Teen Titans tv Show. However Turner Entertainment CEO Kevin Reilly suggests we’re have too many superhero shows anyway and doesn’t sound like he’d have been into it if it was written by Noah Hawley.

How much of the decision not to move forward with the DC Comics project Titans, also from Warner Bros., was based on the fact that you don’t own it?

It wasn’t. Akiva [Goldsman] is a talented guy, [but] the script just wasn’t there. There is an unbelievable glut of superhero things in the market right now and if you have a really good one, clearly people are up for it. But I just don’t think that there’s a need for one that, for me, at least on paper didn’t seem to be screaming to get made.

Gold medal for the shade, Kevin.
TOTALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH COMICS
§ There’s a newish photo app called Focus that is really excellent. It has manual focus, ISO, shutter speed and exposure and a built in light meter. I got it for a buck but even at $1.99 it’s a bargain and for me has totally replaced the built in camera app for taking the photos of buildings clouds and cats that I love snapping every day. Here’s a review.

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