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§ Nice art: You may not be in the mood for sad pandemic comics, but Emily Flake’s We Can No Longer Pretend We’re Not Free-Falling is so beautiful and moving it must be read.

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§ If you’re in the mood for more science based gloom, Katy Doughty’s We Might Not Ever Know the True Toll of COVID-19 should do the job.

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§ Rosemary Valero-O’Connell became a household name thanks to her artwork on Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, but she has a new book of her own comics out, Don’t Go Without Me from ShortBox and you can buy it in print or digitally.

Two lovers get separated on a night out in a parallel dimension. A ship that runs on memories malfunctions in the dead of space. A giant prophesied to wake from its centuries-long slumber beneath the sea. A stunning triptych collection of stories on love, loss, longing, and connection, from rising comics superstar, Rosemary Valero O-Connell. Includes the Eisner-nominated ‘What is Left.’ The digital edition of this book is available on our Gumroad https://gum.co/bYcRm 124pp, colour, perfect-bound with gold embossed cover and french flaps.

Can’t wait to read this!

§ The Creators for Creators grant winner was announced yesterday – the website gives me a scary web warning, but this tweet has the deets on skelehime/Nicolette Bocalan’s win:

Bocalan received $30,00 to finish her book The Acorn and it looks impressive.

§ Today is the deadline to vote for the winners of the Ringo Awards – The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards. Voting is open to comics professionals only – sorry!

Pro and Fan Comic Book Awards come to “America’s Greatest Comic Book Convention” and YOU GET A VOTE! The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill and fun of comics. The nomination ballot is determined by fans and pros alike. 2020 Nominations have been announced and comics professionals may vote at the link below!

Winners will be announced at the online Baltimore Comic Con on Saturday, October 24, 2020.

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§ Sloane Leong’s A Map to the Sun is one of the notable books of the year, and here’s Tom Shapira’s review for Solrad:

The story is mostly (though not wholly) focused on the friendship between teens Ren and Luna; they became best friends in record time only to have it all disappear once Luna’s family move. Years later, Luna returns and insists on inserting herself into Ren’s (far more complex) life, even joining the school’s newly formed female basketball team. From the get-go, this graphic novel offers visions of pulsating colors creating an overexposed world seen through the hazes of a burning sun. As Ren plays basketball alone in the opening scene, her figure is stark against the glowing background. The other protagonist, Luna, dives as she tries to surf, the basketball giving way to flowing water as pinkish tones intermingle with the red and yellow.

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§ D&Q has announced new editions of three books by John Porcellino for 2021:

In January 2021, D+Q is reissuing three titles from John Porcellino’s backlist with new covers – King-Cat Classix (now for the first time in paperback), Map of My Heart, and Perfect Example. They are, as the New York Times has observed of John’s work, both “unvarnished” and “punk” but also much more than that. The sum of each John P comic is more than its parts. Whether he’s remembering a teenaged crush or a walk through a field or a treasured roadtrip or a cat’s high-jinks, he holds each moment up to the light with equal tenderness and care.

If you’re not familiar with Porcellino’s poetic minimalism, well there’s still time!

§ Now to the links. Jessica Plummer does some gender crunching on DC’s celebratory anthologies, and discovers that DC Comics Still Has a Gender Problem:

It’s also worth noting that many of the stories in the anniversary issues were written or drawn by creators with a history with the character in question, which is charming. However, it further highlights the historical (and not so historical) lack of women on these books. In the Robin issue, the only story not written by someone strongly associated with its protagonist is the Stephanie Brown story, which was written by Amy Wolfram. While I’m happy to see the female Robin get a female writer, it’s notable that she’s never had one before. (But if we’re going to talk about the sexism Steph has been subjected to over the years, we’ll be here all day.)

§ It was supposed to be a big year for Bloodshot but things didn’t quite work out as planned. Tim Seeley explains how his final ‘Bloodshot’ arc ties in to the film.

Now Valiant is finally bringing the big screen supporting cast of KT and Wigans into the present-day continuity of the comics in Bloodshot #10, set for release on January 13, 2021. The issue will also be the first installment in the final story arc for Seeley, with art by Brett Booth and Pedro Andreo. “What doesn’t work is that we couldn’t control that the movie came out on the first weekend of lockdown,” Seeley told SYFY WIRE. “It’s part of history! It’s crazy because it screwed up everything, but also forced us to do a reset and so I’m glad that the readers stuck with us, because they get it and understood, but us reaching out to this filmgoing audience is so scattered. Something you could have never predicted.”

§ MICE 2020 has gone virtual, like all gatherings, and they’ve announced a monthlong panel lineup:

During the month of October, MICE is hosting multiple live online programs with panels discussions, live drawing games, cartooning workshops and professional development webinars for comic creators. Join us for the Month of MICE: 4 weeks of comic-related virtual programming streaming live on Crowdcast! All sessions require registration but are free and open to the public. Visit our Attendee Guide to find out how to take in our virtual show and support the creators involved in our events. Week One: October 3 – October 9

§ Newsarama has jumped on the investigatory Kickstarter bandwagon and wonders Should major publishers & creators be crowdfunding comics alongside independent and DIY creators? 

For some, having established publishers and creators begin crowdfunding projects feels like the old guard horning in on territory for the next generation. But for others, it’s a new distribution model – similar to the widespread adoption to the Direct Market, and later digital comics – whose time has come. One of the most recent crowdfunding projects by a major establishment has been Boom! Studios’ BRZRKR series – you know, the comic co-written (and kind of starring) Keanu Reeves. For Boom! co-founder/publisher Ross Richie, it’s not about funding the project directly, but more about reaching a new audience, or an existing audience looking for a new way to buy these comic books. “Kickstarter offers a ‘set and forget’ single-click solution where fans who have never been to a comic shop or never read a graphic novel can pre-order this trilogy of graphic novels and have it delivered directly to their door,” Richie tells Newsarama.

Frankly, I think this is a consumer decision. Kickstarter is not a zero sum game.

§ We’re big fans of Blerdgirl, aka Karama Horne, here at the beat and here’s a lovely profile that looks at her origins and the tough times she overcame:

“Not only did I lose my father to a series of strokes that year,” Horne explains, “but I almost lost my house, I was going through a divorce, and then I had a stroke. At the end of 2013, I actually was in Philly working on a freelance editing job. It turned out, I’m anemic. I get dizzy on a regular basis. I didn’t realize that some of those dizzy spells were actually mini strokes. Black women — we stay trying to work through it all, and I was going through a lot that year.” Horne had to go to rehab because the left side of her body shut down. She had to learn how to walk without a limp, how to use her left hand properly, and once again needed to escape the rigors of life. As a way to pass the time, she launched theblerdgurl as a tumblr page. “I kept having conversations with my friends about comics and about geekdom,” says Horne, “and a lot of people were talking about diversity and how there are no people of color in comics and I was always like, ‘But there are. I just don’t know them.’ I think I made that decision to launch my tumblr in the hospital. I had friends that were sending me comic books. And I said that if I get out of this, I’m going to lean into this more and start working on stuff that makes me happy—and maybe try and help some people while I’m at it. And years later, it paid off. I did go back to editing, but I started theblerdgurl as a full-on blog on the side.”

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§ From last week: streaming ratings are a tenuous thing, but it has been decreed that ‘Lucifer’, of all things, was the top show on Netflix for an undefined period.

Lucifer, which was canceled by Fox two years ago and then given a second life by Netflix, has come out on top of Nielsen’s latest streaming rankings. The show outdid Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra, which streams on Netflix, logging just shy of 1.6 billion minutes of viewing in the U.S. from August 17-23. As has been the case since Nielsen debuted the streaming rankings last month, all 10 top titles are on Netflix. Disney+ and Hulu have been added to the consideration set as of this week. Amazon programming is also tracked by Nielsen, which measures only the U.S. and therefore can’t definitively gauge performance across global platforms.

Lucifer also triumphed over reruns of The Office, according to Nielsen, a truly mighty feat. I have some non-comics loving pals who adore Lucifer, so it has a lot of appeal – or maybe it’s just that hunky Tom Ellis.

 

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