§ Nice Art: Dean Haspiel posted his tribute to the film The Thing, John Carpenter version, of course. It’s part of PRINTED IN BLOOD, a book length tribute to the film with work by many artists. Haspiel writes:
Sometimes we take on a job that is too close to our heart and it becomes difficult to commit to one idea, one succinct image that represents your feelings; what you love and admire about a piece of work that influences and transcends. So, with that struggle in mind, I put off my illustration until the 11th hour and, when push came to shove, I vomited something primal and reactionary. A Rorschach, as it were, of something imperfect yet representational. A knee-jerk drawing.
§ If you’re like most people, and me, you’re still haunted by the 8th episode of the Twin Peaks revival, one of the greatest episodes of a TV show ever. I get totally creeped out every time I think of it. I don’t really buy the Invisibles connection, except for the fact that, as mentioned, both Morrison and and Lynch are Boomers, and Baby Boomers were raised to be obsessed with nuclear war, past and potential. I remember as a kid every time I tried to read some “adult” literary fiction it was obsessed with McCarthyism and the Cold War, both of which bored me. Today’s kids were raised on a steady diet of 9/11 and Terrorism, so it’s no different.
I *would* compare this episode to the final episode of The Prisoner, a similarly seemingly random string of visual sequences that scandalized audiences and whose meaning is debated to this day. Lynch threw his “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” right in the middle of the show however…can you imagine what the finale will be like???
If you’re looking for a gallery of hi-res wallpaperable images from this episode of Twin Peaks – or just want to slow it down and ponder it some more – here’s a big Imgur gallery of more than 100 images.
§ Ivy Noelle has a column about comics and libraries and stuff, and the ongoing struggle:
A great tool for this is to appeal directly to reason. Get some numbers together. Statistics carry a lot of weight in a profession that gets its jollies from creating databases and information hierarchies. When I dropped the fact that (at least digital) comics readership is a pretty even 53.33% male, 46.67% female, the room actually gasped. Take the basic statistics that you think people should know and assume that they don’t know them. I can’t tell you how shocked my colleagues are when they find out that average comic readers are not twelve year old boys, but twenty-and-thirty-something professionals. A woman at one of my sessions actually refused to believe this, repeating “no, no, you’re wrong” at me until I just shrugged and gave up. Good luck circulating your collection, weirdo.
§ Many people shared this link for Eid: 10 Muslim Women Who Draw; there are many more than 10!
§ Possibly related eventually: Digging around his announcement of employment by former Dark Horse Editor Brendan Wright one finds news of Saudi Girls Revolution, an ambitious “shared universe” of female heroes being developed by game publisher New Arab Media (NA3AM). Debut titles include Latifa: The Bedouin Blade and Infidel, which are planned to launch in 2018. They are looking for talent so maybe hit up the link above this and magic will happen.
§ This link about a man from the UK who moved to Japan to work in anime has been making the rounds because it turns out, working conditions are just brutal and people are totally underpaid:
I’ve seen people going home only once per week, or working 35 hours in a row. I’ve even met an animation director who was going home only once per year to their parents—she wasn’t renting an apartment. She was living at the studio, using the public bath and manga cafes to rest a little bit from time to time. A married couple, a director and his wife character designer, were camping in a corner of the studio, sleeping in sleeping bags until the production was finished. Some people also don’t allow themselves to take a break even if they are sick, because they don’t want to spend their small wage on health care.
“Karoshi” – death from overwork – is an actual thing in Japan, and strokes can be caused by blood clots which can be caused by sitting down for too long.
Life expectancy amongst animators isn’t very old. I’ve seen people passing out at work. The worst has been people dying from karoshi (death by overwork). One of my colleagues died from a stroke 10 years ago while he was working in a different studio (staff working for several companies at a time is rather common). Another one barely recovered from a severe stroke as well. Recently I’ve heard of the death of an animator working on a pretty famous show in another studio, but everybody kept it secret, probably not to damage the company.
§ I had this link saved for like a month so its old news – but GOOD news: The Virginia Library Association has announced the VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award Winners for 2016, saluting graphic novels that promote and showcase diversity. And the winners, honors and Overfloweth titles are:
Watson and Holmes Volume 2 by Lyndsay Faye, Brandon Easton, Hannibal Tabu, Steven Grant and Karl Bollers, Illustrated by N. Steven Harris, Dennis Calero and Eli Powell. New Paradigm Studios.
[Editor’s Note: This book is always winning awards but remains so below the radar!
March: Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. Top Shelf Productions.
Brotherman: Revelation by Guy A. Sims, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile and Brian McGee. Brotherman Comics.
Japanese Notebooks: A Journey to the Empire of Signs by Igort. Chronicle books.
Paper Girls Volume 1, by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, and colored by Matt Wilson. Image Comics
Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore. Silver Sprocket.
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raúl the Third. Chronicle Books.
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks and Jordie Bellaire. First Second Books.
identify themselves among their own people.
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage: Deluxe Edition by Jen Van Meter, illustrated by Roberto de la Torre. Valiant Entertainment.
Gumballsby Erin Nations. Top shelf Productions.
Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis. Self-published.
Faith Volume 1: Hollywood And Vine by Jody Houser, illustrated by Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage. Valiant Entertainment.
§ Speaking of March, again, at last months BEA, Hillary Clinton was asked if she’s read March, the book by Rep. John Lewis – it turns out she hasn’t but she knows about it, because everyone has. And she’s friends with Lewis of course. The Beat conveniently queued up the video to the relevant portion for you.
§ Dark Horse has announced a second volume of the illustrated prose and comics anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls with The Secret Loves of Geeks, which will be out on Valentines Day 2018.
Editor Hope Nicholson returns to assemble a dazzling mix of prose, comics, and illustrated stories from a variety of creators. Cartoonists and professional geeks tell the most intimate, heartbreaking, and inspiring stories about love, sex, and dating; featuring creators of all genders, orientations, and cultural backgrounds. The anthology includes work by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), Gerard Way (Umbrella Academy), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Dana Simpson (Phoebe and Her Unicorn), Gabby Rivera (America), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Cecil Castellucci (Soupy Leaves Home), Valentine de Landro (Bitch Planet), Marley Zarcone (Shade), Sfé R. Monster (Beyond: A queer comics anthology), Amy Chu (Wonder Woman), and more. Becky Cloonan (The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys) illustrates the gorgeous and “catastic” cover.
§ Here’s one more little news tidbit I had socked away and forgot to run: Ohio State Press has a graphic novel imprint called Latinographix, which is edited by Frederick Luis Aldama. The first release will be Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life by Alberto Ledesma which will be out in September.
§ And Heavy Metal will be running a comic about Iron Maiden in its pages, written by Llexi Leon and Ian Edginton with art from Kevin J. West. It his in issue #287.
Praise to the Elder Gods, our dark prayers have been answered! This summer, Heavy Metal will unleash an Iron Maiden comic book and it looks awesome. Metal music and comic books have a long history of intertwining, so teaming up one of the genre’s most iconic bands with one of the industry’s most innovative publishers is a no-freaking-brainer. Based on the mobile role-playing game Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast, the comic is set to feature the band’s longtime mascot Eddie battling through the worlds of their albums. Does this mean we’ll get an issue dedicated to Powerslave? We can only hope!