§ Emerald City Comicon was a wonderful, diverse event. And a survey of attendees suggests that half the attendees identified themselves as female. It was a self selecting, non-scientific survey, but I doubt that anyone who was there would dispute that this feels quite accurate. The modern comic-con is a very diverse one, and it seems to me that women are flooding into all the “nerd” categories in unprecedented numbers.
§ It seems that attendance at the recent Ottawa Comiccon was up!
With the third edition being held at EY Centre from May 9 to 11, Ottawa Comiccon continued its ascent, attracting over 38,000 visitors – an increase of 8,000 over the 2013 edition.
§ Tokyo has banned comics featuring incest:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is to ban sales to children of a manga series that depicts incestuous relationships, an official said Tuesday, the first time expanded rules on sexual content have been invoked. “Little Sisters Paradise! 2,” which was published last month by Kadokawa, will be classified as an “unhealthy publication” that must be kept out of children’s reach. The comic, a spinoff from an adult-orientated computer game with the same title, says on its cover: “More naughty days of a brother and five sisters.”
§ The first photo from the next season of The Walking Dead was released and it shows a showing image of a haggard, bloody Rick Grimes. A big departure then. I’ll never forget my excitement at the episode in S4.2 when Rick put on a clean shirt. It was the highlight of the season.
§ SHOCKER. Comics critic Ng Suat Tong reviewed the new Ms. Marvel, and although he doesn’t like much, he actually liked Ms. Marvel.
In many ways Ms Marvel is a return to the more gentle pleasures of the comics of yore; dialing back the myth of a violent America propagated by TV shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS et al.—where murderous psychopaths reside on every corner and corpses are to be found on every other doorstep and school dormitory. Can a superhero comic subsists on stories culled from ordinary high school life? Well, the sales figures on future issues of the comic should tell the tale in due course.
§ Paste Magazine named The 100 Best Comic Book Characters of All Time, and the list is a bit odd since it leaves out comic strip characters, but I get the difference. They did not include Ma Hunkel, but on the BIG PLUS side, you can read the whole list in the above link and not go through an annoying slideshow! Internet win.
§ Danica Davison interviewed Janelle Asselin and Andy Khouri about
the best way to remove stubborn red wine stains sexism in comics for MTV.
§ This is pretty alarming, but it appears that Godzilla is getting larger. I don’t know if it’s hormones in the milk, or CGI pixels being further apart, or buildings being smaller, but there it is.
§ Zainab Akhtar has a feature called “Comic Shelfie” and here she examines the horribly well organized shelves of Joe Keatinge. Just depressing. I hate organized people.
§ Zainab also has been looking at graphic novel covers she likes, but finding fewer than she expected. I agree the Winshluss cover for Pinocchio is pretty sweet though.
I don’t have a great deal of ‘floppies’ (serialised comic issues)- the vast majority of my collections is collected editions and graphic novels, but still I was surprised- actually taken aback- by how few covers stood out once I began looking though them for a few to highlight here (perhaps I don’t own many well-designed books!). Sure, part of that is down to subjective choice and aesthetic preference -looking at the ones I’ve collated below, it would appear I have a tendency to favour pared back or pattern-focused visuals, but I do think a striking image or design transcends that personal leaning.
§ I don’t know who this fellow is or if we should pay attention to him, but he thinks Barnes & Noble is on the way O-U-T.
§ Awwwwww. Comics Unlimited, a comics shop in Evansville, UN is closing next month.
Owner Matthew Hawes says the biggest reason is the internet. He says when he opened the store in 1996, the internet wasn’t anything like it is today.
§ Yay! Emerald City Comics in Clearwater, FL, has expanded and is still going strong.
§ Buzzfeed has a piece by Saladin Ahmed called How Censors Killed The Weird, Experimental, Progressive Golden Age Of Comics which suggests that Pre-Code comics were more mold-breaking than generally thought. I agree they had a wider audience, and probably a wider subject matter on newsstands. There were still a lot of bland ones, though.
§ Two links from the Hooded Utilitarian in one day! Well that’s what happens when you play catch up. Anyway, Adrielle Mitchell has been examining how comics use time, and in this final installment she looks at Luke Pearson’s Everything we Miss . I’m a huge fan of Pearson’s Hilda books, but Everything We Miss is, in my opinion, a minor classic as well.
§ This year’s Eisner judge talk about their judging process. Here’s James Romberger:
The two traditionally major comics publishers DC and Marvel unfortunately chose to represent themselves with largely redundant product, due to their reliance on well-worn, corporate-owned character/properties. However, I was impressed with Image, which produced a surprising variety of well-written, well-drawn, and well-colored creator-owned works in inexpensive collected editions, and with the high quality of the submissions from Fantagraphics, as well as with a slate of intriguing graphic novels from book-trade publishers.
As the artform matures, it becomes clear that the diversity that defines progressive human society is also present in comics’ creative and audience demographics, and our nominations reflect that fact. There is no Eisner category currently for the very vital and innovative minicomics, small-press books, and zines from alternative publishers, many of which are now excluded from Diamond’s distribution network, so they weren’t submitted by their publishers. I had brought a few items with me, as had others of the judges, and if they could be shown to fit an existing category, they were considered. Several of these made it into the final selection. I hope that next year a minicomic category will be added.
§ Here is an oldie, from a few weeks back which appears to be an attempt by Fox to ensure that the Bryan Singer mess wouldn’t affect X-Men Days of Future past by loudly exclaiming that it was tracking to make $125 million:
§ Another old one I had bookmarked: Wizard World discusses its ban of professional photography equipment which brings up the whole “no pictures!” things with the nerdlebrities.
§ Oh yeah I meant to spotlight Multiversity’s fine Five Year Anniversary series, like an interview with Warren Ellis:
WE: I mostly just needed to focus on the novel and other things. I don’t know if I particularly needed to recharge or something — I’m probably working harder than ever, these days — but it was time to take up some of the opportunities that heavy-deadline comics work prevented me from doing in the past. I have actually been writing comics slowly and steadily for about a year now — what’s happening at the moment is that you’re just finding out about things I’ve been working on for a very long time. Distance from comics gave me some… different thoughts, maybe, about the medium? Working in prose changes your perspective about things like how comics handles information, for example. But that’s a much longer conversation, and one that isn’t completely crystallised in my head yet. Not least because I’m currently writing a long novella for FSG with my other hand, and having to change gears between it and the comics work in front of me today (TREES #5).
…and the Best Five Writers of the Past Five Years and yeah there was some other stuff, too.
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.