Whooooah. TCAF was the best. It didn’t have a super moon but that’s all it didn’t have. Oh and it didn’t have enough sleep so we’re draggin’ here but we’ll be slogging through photos, newsy notes, linkage and giant what does it all mean bloviation very, very soon. Meanwhile, here is the stuff we missed that you have probably already seen—there is a lot more we’ve missed in the C2E2-mom visit-TCAF scrum of the last 2 1/2 weeks so sorry if we didn’t get to yours. It’s flagged in the RSS feed of our heart.
§ Matt Kindt writes about the joys of being a professional comics maker in an affecting way. Kindt was on the debuts panel I moderated but had completely lost his voice, which was a shame because he’s a smart creator with much to say.
I have the best job in the world. A lot of people that are happy in their jobs say that. But I’m saying it for real. I write and draw comics all day every day. I’m usually in pajamas or shorts and t-shirt and flip flops. I usually take a shower and get dressed around 3pm when it’s time to pick up my daughter from school. Until then, I drink coffee, sit in my studio and stare out the window into the backyard and daydream about stories and art. Honestly. There isn’t a better job if you love writing and drawing.
§ Former Marvel Bullpenner, and now historian Scott Edelman digs deep into the files. This was the real Bullpen.
§ And on a more sinister note of the past, Steve Bissette continues the annotations on WAP! the creators-only newsletter that explains what we were thinking in 1989 or so. The current excerpt is about retailer Buddy Saunders’ refusal to carry a bunch of comics for various reasons. At this time issues of CEREBUS sold what GREEN LANTERN does now. Think about THAT.
§ But getting back to the happy, happy past, the Library of American Comics has now reached 75 volumes! This project by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell has put our comic strip heritage—Little Orphan Annie, Terry and the Pirates, King Aroo, Dick Tracy and MORE—into beautiful, readable volumes for everyone to enjoy for as long as the silverfish stay away. Dan Nadel interviews Canwell and Mullaney at TCJ:
I’ve often wondered during the reprint “boom” whether or not there’s an identifiable audience, beyond libraries, buying and responding to this work. Have you been able to identify one?
Canwell: Certainly — more than one, in fact! I suspect all the players in the market, not just us, benefit from the same audience. The long-time devoted collectors of comic strips — call them The Sons of Bill Blackbeard — are livin’ the dream at this point in comics publishing history. Many readers who were buying the first wave of comic strip reprints from the likes of Kitchen Sink, Fantagraphics, Eclipse, and NBM are upgrading their collections with the new editions being published today.
We also see an audience segment smaller than The Sons of Bill Blackbeard but still sizeable enough to be of note: folks who find their long-time interest in the latest comic books is fading. They’re shifting to strip reprints, finding the wealth of great material that’s available, and rekindling their love of comics. (I have an affinity for this group, because that’s the exact path I walked during that first wave of strip reprints in the 1980s.)
§ So Disney creates a spunky, independent heroine who wants to carry a bow and arrow and be wild and then puts her into the dress the whole movie was about her staying out of. Socialization, folks, socialization.
§ More past!!! 20 Years ago, Dan Clowes and Peter Bagge undertook the Hateball Tour. This was a time when Eightball sold as many copies as FF does now. And I still have my Hateball tour t-shirt. 1993! Ren and Stimpy was cool the first time, the world was laughing at a young Adam Sandler and no one liked Slobodan Milošević.
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.