§ Nice Art: Ebony Magazine profiles illustrator/cartoonist Shannon Wright for her series of illos about black women’s hairstyles. But all of her stuff is kind of amazing.


Bonus: Eleven!


§ I totally missed out on the whole baby giraffe thing, and don’t feel I can face the world anymore. I did see the moon landing though. Also, get off my lawn!

§ The trials, tests and tribulations of Going to the San Diego Comic-Con, aka the Nerd Tour de France, are now so well known that I didn’t even bother to cover LAST WEEKEND’S regular badge sale, aka Badgeoween. Blah blah thousands of people, yadda yadda, badges sold out, worra worra, I didn’t get a badge. Luckily, The Unofficial Comic-Con Blog has all the stats and tweets. They estimate that only 6.11% of people who try get a badge. Does that mean that 900,000 people try to get a badge?

Well according to this press release from 2014, it does. The number is based on actual people on line for the 2014 badge sale; I’d guess that some people had multiple computers going, a popular option, but the number sounds…about right.

That is cray.

As for this year’s sale, it took a week bit longer to sell out, but there was still heartache and triumph, USDCCB reports:

The badge buying process has become very streamlined over the years, with minimal issues. For those who unfortunately didn’t walk away with a badge, it’s all down to luck and supply/demand, rather than skill or technical issues — which can be a very small comfort. If you did have issues, hopefully you took screenshots, and you can contact Comic-Con International by using the “Contact Us” feature in your Member ID. If you weren’t able to score a badge today, the Returned Badge Sale (for refunded badges) hasn’t happened in several years, and won’t be happening again this year either. Which means, unfortunately, that you probably won’t be getting a badge. But remember, there’s tons to do around the convention even without a San Diego Comic-Con badge, and there’s also always next year (volunteer registration, for those who qualify, will also be this month). We know those aren’t going to soothe your broken heart, but you will live to fight another badge sale.


Next up: Hoteloween!

§ Con season is in full swing, and here are some reports on shows that have already come and gone.

§ DINK, the indie comics show in Denver, looked like fun.

§ The Comics Workbook crew reported on PIX, the Pittsburgh indie comics show.

The comics community in Pittsburgh just keeps on getting stronger. This year PIX took place right in the triangle of downtown. The expo at the August Wilson Center was well attended, the ToonSeum was packed out the night before for the opening of Ed Piskor’s “Hermetically Sealed” art show and then throughout the day on Sunday as programs and panels took place there. Comics Workbook students and instructors led workshops around the corner at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council building for local kids and adults alike, and hosted a talk by Carol Tyler, and a conversation with Connor Willumsen and Lale Westvind.


§ Jonas Goonface, the artist on Godshaper, written by Si Spurrier coming from Image this week, looks to be the next comics household name. Here’s a process piece on a crowd scene that had the nets buzzing like a baby giraffe.


§ Hyperallergic has a piece on Playground of My Mind by Julia Jacquette, a new graphic novel even I had never heard of. It looks nice though.

Growing up in Manhattan, the future artist played on modernist forms inspired by ancient pyramids and amphitheaters in Richard Dattner’s Adventure Playground in Central Park, and explored the tiered levels in the “miniature city within the larger city” created by M. Paul Friedberg in the courtyard of her Columbus Park Towers home. As an adult, it was not just the designs of the playgrounds with their gridded systems and sculptural shapes that would influence her paintings, but also the experience in the flow of energy and activity offered by their architecture.

§ Peter Bagge’s Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story has come under fire for various reasons, but at least he was a fan as an interview reveals:

Peter Bagge: I simply enjoyed the book. I was fascinated—besides being thoroughly entertained, I was fascinated—by the unique dialect it was written in, and her way with words, her incredible way with words, and her use of humor. Even in tragic scenes, you were never more than a page away from a laugh, so to speak. And I don’t think that was deliberate, either. I don’t think she was thinking like a Hollywood scriptwriter, where she was obliged to inject a joke every certain amount of beats. She was just a naturally funny person. Also, her background was relatively unique. As it’s mentioned in the footnotes of the book, there was a time in the mid-’30s where, at least according to one of her biographers—you can research, but it’s very hard to confirm this—she was at one point the only black female who was writing as a form of self-expression. It’s an amazing and tragic thought if you think about it.


§ At the Beat we’ve been huge fans of cartoonist Jen “Thunderpaw” Lee for years and years. Garbage Night, her latest, is coming out from Nobrow any day now. Here’s a brief interview with her from a website called Blasting News whose menu declares its subjects to be Halloween, Celebrities, Motors, and Russia…is this even a real website? I don’t want your browser to be hijacked so proceed with caution.

BN: How did you come up with the idea for “Vacancy” and how long did it take to complete?

JL: I’m fascinated by the struggle between us and our animal neighbors, especially how some critters have become dependent on us. I’ve had these animal characters since I was 13 years old, so their dynamics together feel natural to work with at this point. So, letting my characters react to this crisis of disappearing human civilization has been a fun foundation for me to build a lot of stories on. I can’t quite remember how long it took, but I definitely do like to take my time if there’s enough cushion to do so.


§ Here’s the bona fide

§ Customer Tyler Fleming remembers the now departed Chapel Hill Comics

This column is dedicated to the now closed Chapel Hill Comics. Chapel Hill lost a great asset to our community when our independent comic shop closed. The shop gave busy students a way to reconnect with childhood heroes, while also highlighting more artistic and meaningful modern storytellers and artists.
Every time you stepped foot in the store you were bound to see some new zine or comic or figurine that you wanted but might not have the money for.


§ I don’t really understand what this interactive VR graphic novel is but it sounds futuristic.

The Spiraloid Workshop Company (headed by Bay Raitt, former Valve employee, and known as the creator of the facial animation system for the character Gollum in Lord of the Rings) has created the VR comic Nanite Fulcrum, which the company calls a ‘3D Holographic Novel’ that is part comic, part mini game, and designed for Oculus Rift and Touch. Available for free on the Oculus store, Nanite Fulcrum presents viewers with a series of traditional comic pages to turn; the viewer is immersed in a fitting location for the tone of the story, which slowly fills with 3D ‘collectables’ to pick up and observe as the story progresses. Taking greater advantage of VR however, some of the illustrations have a ‘holographic’ tilt effect and, every few pages, one of the panels glows with a blue outline, which indicates you can grab the page and bring it towards your face, transporting you completely into the scene.


§ The Daily Dot looks at how a webcomic by Tate Parker became an internet meme, the scroll of truth.

The scroll’s dark secret is that we believe the truth is worth searching for, but it isn’t always what you’d like it to be—sometimes it’s downright unpleasant and difficult to accept. When you find out that “no one reads your rants on your Facebook page,” is it better to accept reality or to live in denial?

Drink more Ovaltine! And get off my lawn!


§ A reprint of Bill Mantlo & Butch Guice’s Swords of the Swashbucklers, an early Marvel graphic novel first published in 1985 in serialized form, is being Kickstarted and eventually republished by Dynamite Comics. Mantlo is best known these days for co-creating Rocket Raccoon, but he wrote many other comics. Royalties will be used for Mantlo’s ongoing care.

Swords of the Swashbucklers is the brainchild of Bill Mantlo – one of Marvel Comics’ most prolific writers and the co-creator of beloved Guardians of the Galaxy sensation, Rocket Raccoon! A pirate adventure on interstellar seas, the beloved Swords of the Swashbucklers series was illustrated by the phenomenal Jackson “Butch” Guice and has not seen print in over 25 years. It’s a story that’s long overdue for preservation as a high-quality, completely remastered trade paperback. More importantly, this Kickstarter project celebrates the far-reaching imagination of Bill Mantlo, a shining star of the comic industry whose career was tragically cut short in his prime by a hit-and-run accident.


§ This Buzzfeed piece compares the photo op demeanor of Avril Lavigne – who charges $400 but does not want to touch the photo op purchasers – and Rihanna, who exhibits a very strong connection with her fans, including touching their special places, and letting them touch her special places. It’s refreshing to see someone as uninhibited as Rihanna, but I can also understand someone not wanting to be touched by strangers. If its worth $400 to get your picture taken standing near someone who used to be a lot more famous, go for it – a hug does not come with that. Funny piece though.



  1. Fleming is, from his excellent account, a relative rookie. Chapel Hill Comics was the third or fourth iteration, the store having started back around 1977 as Foundation Bookstore in a different location (back of the NCNB/NationsBank Building on Rosemary Street). At the time, the business cards read “The only bookstore in the Carolinas devoted exclusively to science fiction, fantasy, and comics”. At that point, as the direct market was starting to scale up, it was primarily an sf/fantasy bookstore, but with a complete selection of comics as well.

    I worked there in ’81 as an asst. manager, hired because the owner 1) thought I had the most comics knowledge of those who might be interested and 2) thought “[I] was the most normal person who hung out there” : -).

    A year or two later, the store was sold to a then-employee, who changed the name to Second Foundation Bookstore (there’s still Foundation’s Edge in Raleigh near NC State; originally the stores were connected, but I don’t think that’s been the case for many years now). Gradually, the comics sections were bulking up, particularly after graphic novels and book format collections became a more standard thing.

    Then, I think in the early 2000s, the store was sold again. This time, the new owner decided that the sf/fantasy books just weren’t selling well enough anymore, and sold off all of that stock. He then changed the name to Chapel Hill Comics, and moved the store to Franklin Street (the main campus drag one block closer to campus than Rosemary, but on the other hand the new location was several blocks further east from campus).

    Finally, about four years ago, the store was sold again. This time, alas, the only significant change was that it went out of business; no name or location change.

    It was always an excellent store, and a general loss all around for it not to be there any more.

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