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Kibbles 'n' Bits, 2/21/12


§ The AP has a thorough round-up of the Archie Comics legal mess including many tidbits from the court papers:

The court fight became even more heated after Silberkleit stopped by the office a couple of times in December with Howard Jordan, a children’s book author who also happens to have played football. Silberkleit says he was there to talk to her about children’s book fairs. Goldwater and some other employees, however, said she shepherded the 6-foot-2-inch, 240-pound Jordan around the office in a show of force. Jordan himself said at a Feb. 2 hearing that the situation made him uncomfortable enough to reassure an employee he “was nobody’s muscle.” Concluding that Jordan was brought there for “the wrong reasons,” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich fined Silberkleit $500, saying she had violated the court’s order from last fall to limit her contact with staffers.

We’ve had a peek through some of the filings ourselves and…well, yeah, it’s messy.

§ The Osamu Tezuka Manga Movable Feast has kicked off and you will learn all about one of the medium’s great innovators.
§ This tribute to the late Richard Alf, a co-founder of the San Diego Comic-Con includes a fascinating overview of the show’s early days.

Richard always said that Shel finally proved himself to us at a subsequent meeting we had at his place in the early fall of 1969. At that meeting, Shel asked for a show of hands by any of us who were familiar with the work of Jack Kirby. Of course, all our hands went up. Then Shel asked who of us had ever met or spoken with Kirby, and all our hands went down. After that, Shel smiled and asked which of us would like to speak with him.

§ In praise of Bobby Hill.

§ Why can’t I be as cool as you, Frank Santoro?

Note to aspiring cartoonists sending in submissions- don’t include clever cover letters that read like death threats or suicide notes!

§ Last week, Warren Ellis went to 10 Downing Street to work on a secret project. Just in case you don’t watch Doctor Who, 10 Downing is the English equivalent of the White House. Yeah, we don’t believe it either.

§ Frank Miller has had to cancel an appearance at an auction of his work due to “a minor injury.” This has Steve Duin thinking about some recent rumors.

§ This just in: THE X-MEN FIRST CLASS sequel will focus on Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.

In case you haven’t noticed, we haven’t had much time to kibble or bit recently. Here are a few old tabs that are too good to close:

§ Former Marvel editor Nicole Boose talks about Mark Millar’s upcoming kids book.

Privately, I’ve often tried to reconcile some of the things I find problematic about superhero comics—depictions of women, lack of accessibility—with the basically delightful people who create those same comics. So when I see someone like Mark—known for his mature-audience material but who is, at the same time, a loving dad and a relentlessly cheerful person—channel his storytelling talents to create something fun and inclusive for kids, I believe he deserves credit for effort alone. Branching out to an audience beyond the creators’ own demographic is something that the comic industry could use more of, and when it works, I think it’s to everyone’s benefit.

First Garth Ennis, now Mark Millar. What’s next, Johnny Ryan drawing kids’ comics?

§ We’re surprised we haven’t seen more discussion spinning out of Shaenon Garrity’s list of the best cartoonists of “her generation”. The name Anders Nilsen is missing, but otherwise it’s a very discussion-worthy list.

§ Finally, we also missed Rob Clough’s Top Fifteen Comic Books of 2011:

Alt-comics are far from dead, as any number of cartoonists have stubbornly stuck to the form despite the fact that the market has shifted over to graphic novels. Below are the best I read from 2011 that resemble traditional comic books in format and/or periodicity. It should be noted that I still haven’t seen the most recent issue of Optic Nerve, which would no doubt make this list. I’m doing separate lists of minicomics and graphic novels this year, but I’d stack most of this list up against anything from the long-form lists.

  1. I keep saying but nobody listens, Kids/YA comics are the real big thing not web comics. Kids are a replenishable audience, hook em while their young and have no sense of taste yet. But no franchises, keeps things too closed up for new blood and ideas.

  2. Well, web comics are cool and are another way to get your work seen. Just ask Jeff Kinney.

    YA comics… that’s been going on for a decade. Walk into any YA section in a library, and you’ll find a graphic novel section.
    Need some recommendations?

    Kids comics… that’s a more recent phenomenon. Toon Books blazed that trail by winning a few Geisel Award, and this year there’s a huge selection, both in licensed properties (Capstone, Abdo) and in original works (Scholastic, Toon, First Second…)

    Preview here:

  3. The market can’t support both kids and web comics? It seems to me both have big audiences outside the traditional Big 2 bubble. I just think most of the creators and audience don’t think of themselves as comics fans.

  4. I’m sorry, but the Frank Miller article kinda turned my stomach. Purely as journalism, it’s weaksauce;”I have no information about the nature of [Frank’s] injury, I’ve been hearing for quite some time now from folks in the comics community that Miller is really struggling with health and dependency issues. No one wants to talk about it; just about everyone sounds deeply concerned.”

    That’s bullshit. If no one wants to talk about it, maybe that’s because there’s nothing to talk about. If you can’t get someone to give a quote — on background, anonymously — then you’ve got no business even reporting it as a rumor.

    And to go from there to the insinuation that Miller’s political statements are evidence that he’s either drugged-up or crazy — that’s just grotesque.

    This is just baseless shit-stirring, a step above the bottom-feeding “blind items” in the gossip columns. I don’t know who Steve Duin is, but I expect better of the Beat than to give oxygen to this kind of hackery.

  5. so frank miller is dying cause he’s a drunk or an addict and then you have a picture of hottie fassbender holding a martini… mixed messages.

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