§ Nice Art: Joelle Jones posted some costume designs and wow. So lovely.
Playing around with old costumes for a thing… pic.twitter.com/SNSnG3s8QZ
— Joëlle Jones (@Joelle_Jones) August 6, 2019
§ I FINALLY subscribed to David Harper’s SKTCHD site which I put off because I’m lazy, not because it was too expensive – less than $12 for three months. That’s a cold brew a month. For the money, Harper has a forum and long form articles that take deep dives on various industry issues, wonky shit just as you and I like it. SKTCHD is kind of the SABR of comics, and I’m not even going to try to explain that but if you get it you know what I mean.
In the interest of getting more attention for the site, I just read Stops and Starts: Exploring the Impact of Delays on Single Issue Comics which has many charts and graphs to
explain explore whether delays in shipping periodicals really cause falling sales. You can’t really reach a definitive answer on this, but it did remind me that Nonplayer #3 has never come out.
I don’t want to steal from David by quoting stuff that’s behind the paywall but I hope I’ll be forgiven for a relatively brief excerpt, because this bit about the very tardy Sandman: Overture seems worth mentioning:
One shop told me that the first issue of this series generated a significant amount of new customers for their store – more than 100 people who hadn’t bought comics in years came in for Gaiman – and when they bought the first, they asked when issue #2 was coming. These customers returned when issue #2 was meant to drop, but it wasn’t there. The customers asked for a new date, and when they returned again and it still had not arrived, more than 90% of these new customers never came back. Not ideal.
This is definitely part of the “Doomsday Clock of the Pamphlet Economy” thing I’ve been talking about. These returning/new readers had become Sandman fans by reading the trade editions, and weren’t trained to become part of the Wednesday Crowd. Raina and Pilkey fans are used to getting their material in one big satisfying chunk. As they get older will they change their spending habits? I can see them getting ginned up for something serialized that is regular and satisfying, but the retailer dream of some kind of periodical crack arriving from heaven that keeps folks coming back into shops no matter what, is harder and harder to envision or accomplish.
Anyway there is a LOT more to read in this article, so plop down a few sheckels and check it out.
§ Following Armie Hammer (Armie Hammer!) calling out the problematic behavior of Marvel chairman Isaac Perlmutter, TCJ’s RJ Casey declared It Is Time To Boycott Marvel as a way to protest Perlmutter’s support of President Trump.
Is going to the comic book store and picking up a new issue of Absolute Carnage worth this? Tuning into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Buying a Gwenpool hoodie? Purchasing a ticket to the next Avengers movie? And the next one? And the next one? That money is being used to support Trump’s directives, like ripping families apart, now and in the future. It’s probably past time to stop letting Perlmutter and Marvel off the hook for their performative wokeness every 6 months too. Is it possible to find representation outside Squirrel Girl and Miles Morales since they have direct connections to the “very fine people on both sides” train of thought? There are bonds here that are undeniable and ever-growing. Look at the money given to Trump as recent as this past April: Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Brands LLC, front and center. Can we comic readers cut the ties of nostalgia to make sure that generations to come have a planet to feel nostalgic about?
I’ve been saying Ike is reprehensible long BEFORE President Trump, but as I explained here, a boycott of Marvel alone isn’t enough; you need to boycott everything Disney does, as Ike is an officer at Disney and Disney owns Marvel. This will be hard for many people, because Disney owns our souls and Disney+ will effectively take out a second mortgage on our souls. By all means, however, don’t buy Marvel and don’t buy Disney if you want to show you don’t support one of their officers running a shadow cabinet for the VA. That is just common sense.
§ In more exciting news:
The Creative Writing Department at UBC – one of the world's leading universities – is hiring a tenure-track position for a cartoonist/graphic novelist. This is one of those landmark days in the history of comics studieshttps://t.co/ALZVMkYwTz
— Bart Beaty (@bartbeaty) August 14, 2019
As the job listing explains:
Requirements include: graduate degree (MFA in Creative Writing preferred, but a combination of a post-graduate degree and appropriate writing and publishing experience would be acceptable); demonstrated excellence in graphic forms; experience in a second genre an asset; evidence of or demonstrated potential for excellent teaching ability of university-level creative writing courses; one major publication or equivalent required.
The ideal candidate will have an international profile and experience teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level, including workshops as well as large lecture classes; experience in teaching online classes an asset. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to high quality undergraduate and graduate education; will be expected to teach a total of 4 courses (12 credits) per year, to participate in Creative Writing program administration, to supervise graduate theses, and to maintain an excellent record of teaching, service, and scholarly activity, which includes a distinguished record of professional publication.
Qualified candidates will no doubt be comfortable with using the term “graphic forms” for “comics” – but truly, this is a great position for a comics-focused academic.
§ And speaking of which, Columbia’s Karen Green has a fun anecdote about the donation of a page of George Herriman art to Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. You’ll have to click the link to see the page and the very rare appearance of Herriman sans hat.
§ Continuing on our theme of comics and academia, Amy Chu, who recently joined the faculty of the Kubert school, attended a KISS concert and got called out and got to hang with the band, because she wrote their comic! See kids, dreams do come true.
§ Oh, speaking of Disney owning our souls, Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars theme park, has not been as mobbed as many thought:
This May, when Disney opened Galaxy’s Edge, the new 14-acre Star Wars–themed section of Disneyland in California, the company worked hard to ensure the park would not be overwhelmed by crowds of visitors coming to see it. It raised prices, required reservations, and imposed restrictions on employee and pass-holder visits. They seem to have done too good of a job: Despite expectations of ridiculous crowds, park attendance at Disneyland this summer has been so far below expectations that the Orange County Register says this summer is “the best time to visit Disneyland.”
However, that’s okay, the article goes on to say, because Disney parks usually have floppy openings and then become an essential part of our lives.
Can you tell us a little about your work as the Comics Outreach Lead as Kickstarter? What’s your day to day like?
I’m an educator, advisor, curator, and advocate for the comics community that uses Kickstarter to fund books, zines, events, comics-focused spaces, and more! My day to day really varies, depending on what creative initiatives or events I’m running or a part of, but mostly, it’s corresponding with creators over phone or email, giving advice on how to run a Kickstarter campaign, and providing feedback on project pages. I tag projects according to genre for the Comics & Illustration category page. I suggest projects to our editorial team to select as a “Project We Love” and feature in our newsletters or social media channels. I also conceptualize and coordinate big creative initiatives like Small Press, Big Ideas, which is in part connected to our sponsorship of Small Press Expo. All that comes with a bunch of event planning and working with our creative studio to put together branded collateral/swag. Of course there’s so much more I can’t fit into a single interview. I’m a one woman show, spinning plates, playing multiple instruments at the same time, and trying to time everything harmoniously. It’s hard, but I love my community and the comics medium, so it’s very fulfilling.
§ Cryptozoology corner: when I saw the headline Human-size ‘monster’ penguin species discovered in New Zealand I got really excited but they are only fossils, damn it.