§ Big big ups to Shannon O’Leary and Pam Auditore for their WonderCon coverage! You guys are THE BEST.
§ Here is that big piece was was working on last week, How to Throw a Comic Con at Your Library for Publishers Weekly. It’
s behind the paywall right now—I”ll remind you when it comes out. I talk to Dan Merritt of Kids Read Comics, the folks behind the Chesterfield Comic Con, the Clearwater Comic Con and other library events. I even caught up with how things are with the Northlake Library Hulk.
§ Here is a cautionary tale about how CG Hub, a portfolio site shut down suddenly taking ALL its content with it. I know that Deviant Art and FB are stable places, but I can’t say it enough: own your own shit, people. there are so many free portals for uploading your own content, there is no reason not to. Websites are very ephemeral things.
§ Why aren’t there more women working in superhero comics? This interview with Janelle Asselin lays out the facts very well. I know this is a super long quote, but all of this is well worth considering any time there is an outcry. Not that the factors Asselin lays out can’t be mitigated, but they need to be acknowledged:
When you’re an editor, especially an editor on monthly comic books where the company you work for owns all the characters in what it publishes, you have a different set of responsibilities than an editor who works on a less structured schedule or with creator-owned properties. The people you hire to work on books have to either be intensely reliable or immensely talented (preferably both, really). Hiring new talent is always a risk. If this person you’re trying out doesn’t hit deadlines or isn’t as skilled as you thought they were based on samples, well, that’s your fault in the eyes of the company.
So when you need a fill-in to help a schedule out or you are testing out new talent on a short story, the ideal is to find people who have already proven their reliability and talent in some way. So far, this still seems like an equal playing field, right? Then consider the fact that you have approximately 30 minutes to try to look for someone before you are given a list of people who are already proven at your company but who are looking for work because they lost their regular monthly book or haven’t had a regular gig in a while. Then add in the fact that historically your company has hired men so the creators being recommended to you are almost always male. And then add in the fact that FAR, FAR fewer women are putting their work in front of editors or pursuing these editors for work (I got one email from a woman looking for work in 3 years. I got at least one a day from male creators).
Finally, add in the fact that too often, pushing for female creators over male gets you a side-eye from the powers that be. In that moment, it’s just easier to hire a dude than spend hours you don’t have digging around on the Internet for someone who might be appropriate for the job. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying it’s easier.
§ Another interview with Zack Soto which wraps up Lineworks NW and other stuff:
CB: There was Stumptown, but there was only Stumptown once a year. It seems like it should be more. I guess between Portland and Seattle there should be more.
Soto: Well if there is Short Run in November in this area, and then we are doing ours in April this year – and I think we’ll probably continue in the Spring/cusp of Summer or something like that next year. In between the two shows, you have pretty good coverage of the year for regional arts comics. You know what I wish? That the Portland Comics Show, like the dealer shows that used to happen? I wish those would come back. Because now I think that people would actually appreciate those because otherwise they’re paying forty dollars to go to Wizard Con, and do the same thing.
§ The New Yorker writes up the Comixology-Amazon deal. NOthing we didn’t know but funny to see it in New Yorker-eese.
§ Must read: Here is an interview with Nat Gertler, founder of 24 Hour Comics Day on the occasion of its 10th Anniversary. Fascinating to see a simple idea become an institution. Did you know Fiona Staples participated one year?
What impressions still stick with you 10 years later from that first event?
I got to a visit a few of the event sites during the event, heading in during the wee hours, and I was amazed at the sheer joy of the participants. I had done a 24-hour comic myself — felt I had to before I could ask Scott to let me publish the book — and let me tell you, at 2 or 3 a.m., things seemed pretty bleak. And it wasn’t just me, if you read 24 -our comics done before the first 24 Hour Comics Day, they tend to get pretty bleak, as tired people working alone face the strong chance that they would fail in what they trying, and realizing how much work still lay ahead. But when you have a bunch of people taking that same challenge side by side, there is a shared energy, a party atmosphere going on, and overall the comics done at these events tend to be much more upbeat than those done by folks working alone. Perhaps its a shared insanity, but really, that joy was striking.
§ Nice profile of the state of the Center for Cartoon Studies.
“At the time, graphic novels and cartoonists were certainly becoming more widespread and known for their work — there was a lot of interest and celebration around [them],” Center for Cartoon Studies president Michelle Ollie said. “So I think the timing certainly was good for the school. The awareness and interest and appreciation was just starting to build.” Since then, cartooning has continued to develop into a respected artistic field.
§ Emma Stone totally schooled Andrew Garfield. Squabbling like an old married couple about Spider-man’s costume. Oh, kids.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.