§ Nice Art: Drew Friedman’s classic image of Don Rickles got a lot of social media play yesterday when the comic passed away at age 90. Friedman is really one of the greats as was Rickles.
§ And of course Abe Riesman was all over that Jack Kirby comics that co-starred Rickles:
In fact, not only did Kirby deliver the famed insult comic, he even dreamed up a cape-wearing doppelgänger named Goody Rickels [sic], a “sweet, lovable soul” whose dunderheaded antics inadvertently help defeat space aliens. In honor of Rickles, who just died at the age of 90, let us revisit his delightful and borderline incomprehensible escapade from the hands of a sequential-art master. As Kirby asked on the cover of the first issue: “Are you ready for defoliants in your succotash? Are you ready for landmines in your lunchbox?? Are you ready for this?” If so, let’s begin with the appropriately weird origins of the saga.
§ Cartoonist Lauren Weinstein and husby Tim “Comics Journal” Hodler welcomed little Sylvia to the world a few weeks back. Congrats! You can follow all the cute baby pictures at Weinstein’s Instagram, along with the cartoonist at work with baby at…hand. And Weinstein’s already back in the Village Voice with Normel Person. Working mother!
§ The Comics Journal has a review of Jeff Lemire’s Roughneck by Irene Valentzas which, to my mind anyway, is a good example of how to analyze art and story together as comics:
The story begins effortlessly with the simplicity of Lemire’s inside cover page, a single image that adeptly introduces the remainder of the text. With such images Lemire demonstrates his candid ability to say so much with so little. A sparse tree, off-centred, standing in a bank of snow, alone in the dead of winter. The tree is naked and vulnerable, it stands prey to and yet against the elements, it reveals no answers. How big is it? A towering tree, a young sapling? It’s impossible to know. It is simultaneously natural and unnatural in its composition. It conveys, ever before the first question of the text “That him?”, the inscrutability, the barrenness, the isolation of Derek Ouellette. Asking the reader to come along on a journey through Pimitamon’s barren landscape and Derek’s mind to find beauty in the wild and stubborn nature at the heart of this man and the environment that shapes him.
Newsarama: Tee, what’s Bingo Love about?
Tee “Vixen” Franklin: Bingo Love is a LGBTQ romance story that spans over 60 years. A chance meeting at church bingo in 1963 brings Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray together. Through their formative years, these two women develop feelings for each other and finally profess their love for one another. Unfortunately, these young lovebirds end up separated, as they are caught kissing by Mari’s grandmother. Being forbidden from seeing each other isn’t punishment enough as both Mari and Hazel are forced into marriages with men whom they do not love. But fate had another plan. Decades later, now in their mid 60’s, Hazel and Mari are reunited, again at a bingo hall, and their love for each other is still alive. Together again, the sexagenarians decide to divorce their husbands and live the rest of their lives together as wife and wife…despite the objections of their children and grandchildren.
§ And here’s a charming story about Vermont’s quint custom of having a Comics Laureate.
§ An anonymous Instagram comic from someone known only as @hiddenheartbreak has broken many hearts.
Some of the cartoons are cheeky—some deeply profound. However, in its entirety, the feed runs the gamut of emotions one feels deep in the process of grief after a messy, modern breakup. The cartoons’ viral success is due to how shockingly relatable a stranger’s breakup can be. Even with the intensely specific details—the ex’s infamous bird shirt, for one—viewers can easily substitute the ex for an equally narcissistic, emotionally unavailable person of their own. The account doesn’t simply condemn the ex; relationships are too complex to simply hate on the other party after it ends. The nostalgic moments are sobered with depictions of the uncertainty in the relationship.
§ CONS! The weekend is upon us and more cons around the world. I had this interview withVanCAF show runner Andrea Demonakos bookmarked for a while and now the site that ran it, Comics Alliance, is no more. But it’s a very good interview with a lot of good talk about what makes a good show:
AD: The biggest lesson I’ve found working for ECCC and VanCAF, and visiting what feels like almost every show in North America over the years, is that you’ve got to be supportive of your community. If attendees are excited and happy, they’ll bring that energy to the show. The same applies to exhibitors; if you treat them with respect, and give them great opportunities to sell their products, they’ll leave happy, and tell their friends. For me it’s not so much about attendance size or budget, it’s more about creating a space where people who read comics can meet people who make comics, and hopefully strengthen the existing comics community.
§ Well speaking of that: Ka-Boom! Middle East Film and Comic Con takes Dubai by storm – and they expect about 70,000 visitors. It’s the sixth year for the show and it seems well established by now.
§ And they love cons in Lagos as well.
In the fashion of comic-book conventions the world over, Comic Connect Africa featured a sizable floorspace for exhibitors, which included comic book dealers, collectibles merchants, artists and media companies. There was also an autograph area, as well as the Artists’ Alley where comic artists could sign autographs and do free sketches. High point of the occasion was the panel session titled ‘Comic Connect, Let’s Talk’ where both experts and professionals in the comic business value chain discussed and interacted with budding and established comic entrepreneurs, artists and art enthusiasts on the future of comic books, gaming, animation and how to collaborate and distribute products in the creative art.
§ And even in New Jersey! 5 things you cannot miss at Camden Comic Con. What are those five things?
The guest lists includes comics folk, so rest easy on that score.
§ BUT! Bad con watch! The Steampunk event AnachroCon in Atlanta is having personnel problems, money problems, problems. Con watchdog site Nerd & Tie has a condensed version or you can read a lengthy blow by blow letter from from the legal counsel who stepped down, partly because the show runner, who was accused of sexual misconduct a few years ago, had pledged to step aside, but is still involved and running things poorly. I’m not going to analyze this one in depth because it’s a familiar story of bad management and clashes, but the losers are the fans who want to have a fun time meeting like minded souls. Will there ever be a “better business bureau” for cons? Probably not but maybe there should be.