§ Nice Art: Bill Sienkiewicz’s tribute to the late Milton Glaser, the legendary designer who passed away on June 26th at age 90. Glaser designed the much loved DC bullet logo, among many other things.
§ Kibbles ‘n’ Bits has been away because spending time on things other than society-changing revelations and reflection seemed inappropriate for a while. Plus, I was worn out, like we all were. But I’ll try to keep up with some of the smaller stuff, although, as you will see, some of it is still pretty damn important.
§ People who were not watching Hamilton or criticizing Hamilton over the holiday were throwing down on Twitter. Sienkiewicz challenged Dilbert’s Scott Adams to a draw-off. Details here.
Hey @ScottAdamsSays! Folks want the 2 of us to do a “draw-off” (we can decide what to draw or take suggestions) Proceeds going to #BLM #LGBTQI #WomensRights . Do you have charities you want to support? This is a legit offer to do some good together rt now. No joke. No BS-You in?
— Bill Sienkiewicz (@sinKEVitch) July 3, 2020
It should be noted this was a political battle, as Sienkiewicz is a proud bleeding heart liberal, and Adams thinks gangs of antifa thugs are roaming across America. While Sienkiewicz gave it a game try, Adams was smart enough to know it was a losing battle, and even deleted all his tweets replying to Sienkiewicz, who continues to pour out amazing art on a daily basis. Oh well.
§ Another politically charged Twitter battle shaped up between writer Tom King and actor Dean Cain, who once portrayed Superman on TV. Cain, who is conservative, appeared on a Fox News chat and suggested that nowadays he’d never be allowed to say “Truth, Justice, and the American way” as Superman. To which, King responded:
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 2, 2020
Cain clapped back:
Well kudos to you! I stand corrected. I’m glad you did! What comic is that? (Also, the MF part of your tweet not necessary at all, but if it makes you feel tough, that’s ok) https://t.co/HzywfAJVfL
— Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) July 2, 2020
And so did King:
Ah the “MF” was an insult because you used your platform to discourage people from wearing masks, which will cost lives—the opposite of what Superman would do.
I don’t know if I’m tough but I did fight for my country overseas and didn’t just wear a cape in front of a camera. pic.twitter.com/58Dvi9s6Fx
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 3, 2020
Someone else pointed out that usually Superman doesn’t actually say this — it’s the announcer — and Cain’s Superman on Lois and Clark specifically never said it.
And then, because it was a holiday, probably everyone ate some potato salad and watched fireworks.
§ From a little while ago, a tribute to the fact that Milestone Comics had a lot of queer representation, long before it was all that fashionable in comics, recalling stories in Static and Blood Syndicate. Okay, maybe they were a little Afterschool Special, and wouldn’t stand up to today’s standards, but they were there.
§ The ALA’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table has announced its officers for the coming year!
I actually interview Perez and Noe for my annual look at comics in libraries for PW, which I think I forgot to link to here:
The popularity of comics in libraries has been one of the biggest stories in both sectors in recent years—but neither has been spared the effects of Covid-19. Library lockdowns have led to furloughs, layoffs, and uncertainty over future funding due to expected declines in state revenues. In the comics industry, stores have been closed temporarily (and in some cases permanently), and Diamond Comic Distributors, the dominant distributor to the direct sales market, halted shipments of new comics for seven weeks, leading to dramatically altered release schedules and cash flow issues for publishers.
However, it isn’t all bad news: in 2019, the newly organized Graphic Novel and Comics Round Table finished its first full year as an official ALA organization. The new unit accomplished many of its goals, and has many more on the table for its incoming board in 2020.
§ I guess Donny Cates is gearing up for some creator-owned stuff, partly due to some spare time during the pandemic shutdown.
I’ve got one book that I can’t name yet, that hasn’t been announced, that I’m doing with Dylan Burnett who I worked on Cosmic Ghost Rider with, with Dean White on colors. That’s coming soon – stay tuned for the details. I will go ahead and say, that book with Dylan, you’ve seen teasers of art he’s done with a big ass sword in it. I’ll just go ahead and answer the question on everyone’s mind – yes, that book is connected to God Country in some way. People have been asking me for years, are we ever gonna see another story set in the world of God Country or any connections to it. I’ve always said “no” – but I also have to remind everyone that I’ve always said I’m a liar by trade. [laughs] So be on the lookout for that.
Cates is also working on a book with God Country/Thanos co-creator Geoff Shaw that’s “the biggest and craziest thing I’ve ever attempted in my life.” AND he’s also working on a book with his wife, Megan Hutchison.
§ Allegations of sexual harassment and racism continue to be made on social media, and several art schools known for their comics programs have been singled out. The School of Visual Arts has been called out numerous times over the last few weeks, mostly at the hashtag #FUCKSVA. One instructor, Don Poynter, has been fired from the BFA Animation department after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct circulated.
— SVA BFA Animation (@svabfaanimation) June 25, 2020
A document with accounts of misconduct by several other instructors has been going around — no teachers from the comics program have yet been named, but several from the illustration program are on it. However, allegations of racial bias at SVA have been collected at an Instagram account, called Black At SVA (@blackatsva).
All in all, it paints a pretty miserable picture of a school that has a worldwide reputation for turning out notable artists.
§ The comics industry has a loooooooong way to go to address its own failings where providing racial equality are concerned, and we’ll be talking about that more in the weeks to come here at The Beat. But in the meantime, this tweet from Iron Circus’s owner/publisher Spike Trotman put things into perspective:
Spending the evening contemplating the fact that if I had done things "properly" and tried to become part of the established infrastructure of my field, jumping through all the hoops I was told were necessary, I would have DEFFO washed out at 30 and limped off defeated. Easily.
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) July 6, 2020
(Although I still maintain it's *fucking absurd* to know spending 10 years building a publisher was my best option to make a space for myself in comics resistant to abuse, exploitation, and prejudice, and it shouldn't be something anyone should be expected to have to do.)
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) July 6, 2020
We need to do better.