§ Nice Art: Sally Ingraham discovers the lost comics artist known as Paty, the pen name of Paty Greer Cockrum, who was married to Dave Cockrum and did a lot of Bullpen work back in the day.
§ The JHU fundraiser to help them move to their new location is more than half funded. The new location is 481 3rd Ave., right up the street from Trader Joe’s and down the street from The Flying Cock. It’s also super close to Stately Beat Manor, so expect lots of on the scene reports.
§ Stan Lee has been going through some rough times of late, but at least he got his dog back. It seems the 85 year old icon found his dog had gone missing, but luckily, 82-year-old NFL Hall oer Famer Jim Brown, found the lost pooch and was able to reunite them. This really needs to be a movie of the week.
Millions of books, journals, manuscripts, and images fill the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library, on the grounds of the National Institutes of Health. The documents cover the long history of medical research, the oldest dating all the way back to 11th century Persia. In 2016, the ever-growing collection started gathering one of the most recent forms of scientific literature: graphic medicine, which encompasses materials (mostly books) that use comics as a means of educating people about illness and health.
§ A local website profiles cartoonist Mari Andrew who has 750,000 twitter followers and a new book out.
Andrew, who has been writing since high school, started doodling to heal from grief and a broken heart in late 2015, and eventually drew 760,000 Instagram followers with her Peanuts-like style: simple yet vaguely philosophical drawings captioned in a curlicued script. Her debut book, a combination of essays and illustrations, touches on familiar topics like heartbreak and loss, fighting uncertainty and, of course, love and dating. But it isn’t merely a collection of her Instagram illustrations. The majority of the work is original, and her longtime followers will find a new dimension to her art, with pleasant surprises such as a written and illustrated ode to her old DC neighborhood and several maps of the cities she has visited or lived in. The maps resemble those of Middle Earth or Westeros, with her personal anecdotes in personal anecdotes in place of Old Norse-sounding city names.
Andrews art is minimal, but her insights are fresh.
§ While we may have all been enjoying those cheap Marvel digital comics, Jesse Schedeen points out that it’s severely devaluing Marvel’s digital prices:
However, these recurring sales threaten to devalue Marvel’s digital comics over the long-term. Once readers get accustomed to the prospect of paying a dollar a piece for these collections, will they willingly shift to paying $5 or $10 or $15 instead? Given how often these line-wide sales have been happening on the Kindle store, what incentive does anyone have to keep paying full price for Marvel books? Why not just wait a few months for the next big sale?
It’s been suggested that Marvel’s digital sales are part of an end of quarter cash grab to raise the bottom line. But this, too, wears thin after a while.
§ At Kotaku, Charles Pulliam stands up for the Silver Surfer cartoon of the 90s. I confess, I forgot there was such a thing.
Though it was canceled due to a rights disagreement between Marvel and Saban, Silver Surfer is one of the best animated series to come out of the studios’ partnership and, looking back on it almost 20 years later, the show holds up surprisingly well. What’s most impressive about Silver Surfer is how the series manages to stay true to much of the comics source material while including messages condemning the evils of imperialism and slavery in a kids show. As in the comics, Norrin Rad’s homeworld Zenn-La is thrust into the ongoing conflict between two of the most powerful races in the galaxy: the Kree and the Skrull. The three races find a common enemy in Galactus, the eater of worlds, who arrives to announce that he intends to devour Zenn-La to sate his never-ending hunger.
§ Dash Shaw wades into the very heart of the cult that has grown up around the comics strip Nancy.
In the midst of all of this deconstruction was a renewed interest among cartoonists in a humble, plain-looking gag strip that began in the 1930s: Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy. Nancy follows an eight-year-old suburban girl as she solves mundane problems and interacts with Sluggo, a fellow prankster and sometimes romantic interest. Bushmiller (born in 1905) drew it for most of his life, with each strip as a self-contained “gag”—a single joke that could be easily digested as the reader glanced across the strip. The imagery and jokes are so prototypical and simple that the American Heritage Dictionary uses it to illustrate the meaning of “comic strip.” The appeal of Nancy to the art comic crowd might seem counter-intuitive, but while Nancy was never particularly clever, it was always cleverly constructed. In fact, the accomplishment of Nancy, with its refined, reduced lines and preoccupation with plungers and faucets, might primarily be a matter of form. As Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead, also Raw) wrote in his 2012 introduction to a collected Nancy volume: “Nancy doesn’t tell us much about what it’s like to be a kid. What Nancy tells us is what it’s like to be a comic strip.”
PS: Somewhere, maybe, is a demo tape of a song I once wrote called “Nancy Cult Killer.”
§ Joe Corrallo looks back on Rachel Pollack’s distinguished career.
§ Weekend con round-up! That Permian Basin Comic Con was a big success and still has the best name of all.
The Permian Basin Comic Con has taken over the Midland County Horseshoe Arena this weekend.
§ Here’s a nice report on Toronto Comic Con 2018 – Day One
§ And over in Brum, Revellers enjoy cheeky Birmingham event with Cosplay outfits. Cheeky makes it sound like someone was bare-assed but I think it was just fun.
You can emphatically cross that particular worry off the list of the 2nd Oregon Coast Comic Con (formerly Northwest Comic Con). Why? In 2017, the Tillamook-based comic con was a huge success, drawing around 1,500 people. “It was just a great big ball of awesome,” says organizer Monty Elliott. “There’s no comparison to last years’ show with the level it’s been kicked up.”
§ Finally, this is a very very heartfelt first-con story.
Today, I attended my second ever comic con in Montgomery, Alabama but my first ever River Region Comic Con and I have to say, it’s was such an amazing experience. And the fact this comic con is just a few yards away from where my love of nerd culture actually began: Houston Hill Middle School referred to by people like me who used to attend there as “The Hill”
§ Nerdlebrity shocker! Ben Affleck has a massive back tattoo. He once claimed it was fake and considering that it’s a gaudy phoenix rising from his waistband, we can understand why. Remember, when you can’t see a thing but know it’s there you are free to think it looks cool.