Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 9/29/14: Pow! Bam! Mainstream media gets literary comics!

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Photos from the Long Beach Comic Con via their FB page
Photos from the Long Beach Comic Con via their FB page

§ This weekend the Long Beach Comic Con was held and it sounds like a nice time. And, as the Long Beach Post tell us, it is Surprisingly, a Librarian’s Paradise, as a profile of one graphic novel friendly librarian reveals.

Ziba is happy to be working at a public library in Orange County, but is always trying to push the envelope on expanding the graphic novel collection and even having a collection of zines that patrons can bring home, much like the Salt Lake City Public Library. “I would love to be part of an innovative library system that is forward-thinking, easy to change, fast moving,” she said. “I think libraries need to adapt to the current times to keep staying relevant to new generations and try new things and not be afraid of change.” While Ziba tries to purchase all kinds of graphic novels for the library, she finds that most adult graphic novels are centered around male superheroes and are more about masculine strength than anything else. While she doesn’t refrain from such purchases in an effort to simply grow the library’s collection, she wants to expand the number of titles to include more female lead characters as well as novels in foreign languages.

§ And it was also home to Geeky Mamas, a fashion-company for geek femmes:

Geeky Mamas is a homegrown business that blossomed in the heart of a woman with her family in mind. In an effort to provide her mother with a stable income and to create a safe and welcoming space for the female geek, Maria Estrada began designing, while her mother began the sewing, of the geek chic Ewok-inspired over-the-shoulder bag. They tested out the accessory at a swap meet, then quickly sold out and the rest is history. Joel Estrada, a lawyer, entrepreneur, savvy businessman and husband to Maria, breathed financial life into Geeky Mamas, an idea born in 2010 that has since become a local success. With four stores, one in Cerritos, Anaheim, Buena Park and now Long Beach, Joel and Andrea Jaco, District Manager for Geeky Mamas, met with me to explain how they got started, where they’re headed and why Long Beach, and Long Beach Comic Con, are the perfect places to cater toward lovers of the comic world, including their family and friends.

 

§ Comic Con is coming to Brulington, VT for the first time on October 25-26. Very old comics readers or historians may recall that Rutland, VT was the site of a Superhero costume parade that was in the days pre-cosplay the epicenter for superhero dressing desires. I wonder if that event will be referenced in this con?

§ Comic shop opening of the week: My Secret Identity in Glace Bay, Cape Breton in a story that ladles on every single comic book story trope from pow! bam! to leaping things in a single bound. I guess they haven’t heard of Snapchat in Cape Breton.

My Secret Identity is the project of Jeff and Danielle Gusso, who leaped all obstacles related to opening a new business in a troubled economy in a single bound and started their dream store two weeks ago in the People’s Mall. No, they were not bitten by a radioactive spiders, our sun doesn’t give them superpowers and they’re not secretly billionaires in disguise. They are just two people who moved to Glace Bay four years ago from London, Ont. and fell in love with the place.

 

Some older links:

§ Two weeks ago, the New York Times contemplated the question of our times: what happens When Geeks Rule. It’s a whole section of op-eds; your ability to read them all may be compromised by the Times’ pay wall but just the titles tell a story familiar to anyone who had been reading this site for the last decade—the piece is accompanied by a still from The Big Bang Theory, the 2014 equivalent of “Biff! Pow! Comics aren’t just for kids anymore!” in newspaper shorthand:
Be Careful of the Consumerism
Winners Who Identify as Losers—(The Url reveals an earlier more combative title: “Geeks you are no longer victims, get over it.”)
Digitally Savvy, But Not Geeks
A Diversifying Effect on Us
Geek Culture is Smart and Creative
Some Are Still in the Margins
Women Will Break Down the Wall

§ I’ve seen many links to Juliet Kahn’s Why Women In Comics Don’t ‘Just Report’ Sexual Harassment and, frankly, I don’t see why the word “comics” ins in the title since the situations apply to women in every profession everywhere. And yeah, I know you’re sick of must reads. Bun contemplate for one minute why getting harassed and reporting is is construed as “creating drama”, while being the harasser isn’t?

Or maybe you’re working the booth at San Diego Comic-Con, and you’ve stepped inside with a coworker to see if you have any more t-shirts in stock. You turn to leave, but he grabs your arm and forces a kiss onto you. You’re stunned. You have nowhere to go. You’re in the middle of the busiest day of the weekend and no one needs drama right now—and you know that’s how it would be seen, as drama. You feel sick and ashamed and angry and you know this crosses a definite line, but there’s nothing you can do in that moment. You tell yourself you’ll report him, but days pass and when people ask how the con went, you can only muster a vague smile. If you report him, will he be fired? Will people know it was you? Your coworkers seem decent, but he has a lot of friends among them and you know your name won’t stay secret for long. He’ll get it out there, far beyond your organization, out into the suffocatingly small industry at large. Some would believe you—but how many wouldn’t? How many would get angry? You’re pretty sure your boss would support you, but beyond him, there is no guarantee of safety. You can’t take the risk. You tell a few trusted friends about him, put the word out to women in the industry: don’t be alone with this guy.

§ A podcast interview with BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2014 editor Bill Kartalopoulos . Later this week, an interview with the other half of the editorial team, Scott McCloud, on PW Comics World’s More To Come. Listen in stereo.

OKAY PEOPLE LISTEN UP, here are two links that show exactly HOW FAR comics have come as an artform; two pieces in the two biggest papers in the two biggest cities in the US which handle the subtleties of two comics beloved among comics insiders with intelligence and nuance.

here

§ A talk with Richard McGuire about Here, his conceptual comics classic, and a look at the exhibit of his work up at the NYPL:

Each two-page spread features a fixed view of the room in a certain year, with pop-up windows giving glimpses of what might have been visible in exactly that spot at various moments in the past and future: from the tail of a passing dinosaur to a 1960s children’s birthday party to a quiet late-21st-century fireside chat. If the conceit seems fantastical, Mr. McGuire explained in an interview, it mimics our everyday experience of time. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how seldom we’re in the moment, how we’re always thinking about something else, making plans, remembering,” he said. “But occasionally we get flashes of being right where we are.”

 

§ And a review of John Porcellino’s The Hospital Suite in the LA Times by book reviewer David L. Ulin:

Rather, the rawness of Porcellino’s work, its unfiltered directness, is the essence of its charm. In these pages, the artist bares everything, or appears to, making narrative out of the most basic materials of his life. He is treated for a stomach ailment; he recovers, but not quite. He is beset by OCD and allergies; his marriage falls apart.

For Porcellino (best known, perhaps, as the creator of “King-Cat”), it is in the willingness to show us everything that he finds the freedom to show us anything, a transcendence that is almost spiritual. It’s a point he makes explicit by peppering the book with Zen aphorisms: “Cicadas burst forth,” reads one, “and I run from the sound. / Seventeen years they waited — / and so I wait, too.”

 

§ Oh yeah and Ng Suat Tan likes ANOTHER COMIC! LUke PEarson’s Hilda books. #goldenage