Cartoonist/multi media artist Matthew Thurber has a provocative piece called Letter to a Young Cartoonist about the use of the internet as a career approach, and he offers an idea that I had never really engaged with before but now that I’ve heard it, I can’t forget it. The internet is “pay to play” for so many of us, even given the free tools available.
In the modern era of licensing, it isn’t about likenesses and wooden stories, but about reimagining things.
So Lion Forge hired Joe Casey and artist Jim Mahfood to do Miami Vice. Bringing Crockett and TUbbs to the modern day.
Since both Casey and Mahfood are certifiably bonkers*** this is awesome.
On Monday, James Sturm, cartoonist and director of the Center for Cartoon Studies, posted a cartoon at The Nib called “The Sponsor”. I’m sure if you are a cartoonist you’ve already read it, since it was the talk of the town for a few days. Basically it concerns cartoonists, jealousy, the low bar for success, anxiety over one’s abilities, tumblr hits, Kickstarter and more. All in 24 panels. I’d call that a good job.
The basic conceit is that as in various 12-step programs, cartoonists have sponsors they can call in moments of stress. A young cartoonist named Casey calls his sponsor, Alan, in the middle of the night to fret about another cartoonist named Tessa who has a six figure Kickstarter, a line out the door at a Rocketship signing, and a book deal with D&Q. Tessa’s success sends Casey into such a tizzy that he has to work things out and consider grad school, despite Alan’s insistence that Crumb never thought about hits. And despite his “stay strong” rhetoric to Casey, Alan soon picks up the phone to call his OWN sponsor.
Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, talks about how the Amazons origins are tied up with the history of suffrage and birth control and nicely sums up the history of women in comics in a couple of paragraphs:
Independent Sources is a local to NYC show that spotlights ethnic and local news. Hosted by Zyphus Lebrun, it’s put together by CUNY (City University of New York ) and runs on their cable station. Last week’s episode, covers various aspects of diversity in comics, with thoughtful interviews with Marvel’s Sana Amanat, Image’s David Brothers, Morgan Dubin from Abrams Comic Arts, Jonathan Gray, Assistant Professor of English, John Jay College, artist Dexter Vines and yours truly. Aside from my having to terrifyingly reënect walking into a comic shop, it’s a sprightly look at the basic issues of diversity and the widening audience for comics. There’s also a nice segment on a cosplayer who designed a Rita Repulsa costume and others for curvier women.
I totally stole this from artist/producer Denys Cowan’s FB page, but it’s an interesting little sidenote, Back in the 90s people still read magazines, and liquor companies would purchase full page advertisements in these magazines. Man, history is SO WEIRD, right? Anyway, Dewars scotch ran a series of profiles of debonair achievers attempting to convince you that if you drank their scotch you would also be a debonair achiever. Cowan, then well known for his Batman and Question comics and about to co-found Milestone Media, was a fitting choice but it did seem like a win for comics at the time. This predated the Rob Liefeld Levis commercial, but both are a reminder that cartoonists as media figures is far from a recent phenomenon.
In all the current hoo hah about video games, diversity and propaganda, it’s worth remembering that women make up nearly 50% of most kinds of gamers. There are some exceptions, of course. Unlike the comic industry, the video gaming industry has the money to study this sort of thing, and the Entertainment Software Association has put together many statistics on the age and gender of gamers. The most recent study shows that 48% of all gamers are women.
I was spit balling with Brett Schenker the other day, he of the groundbreaking Facebook study on comic demographics, and I wondered what his methodology would day about female games.
Navigating monthly orders is a bone-numbing pain. I feel as though this is something I write a variation of in most of these columns. The sensation clearly remains. It’s a thankless process that rarely ends happily, with hundreds of order codes to run through and thousands of bits of data to think of. In the […]
Here’s the sixth part of my interview with the late Steve Moore, with more to follow. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th parts are already online, along with some explanation of how the interview came about. One note on the text, which is particularly relevant in this section, so worth repeating: As we went […]
No one is better than Charles Burns, and his unnamed trilogy—X’ed Out, The Hive and the new Sugar Skull—may be an even greater achievement in horror than his masterful Black Hole. The horror is on the page—talking maggots, ruined faces, a grim grey land of cannibals and humanoid insects—but the true terror is the most […]
Few comics are as suitable for Halloween reading as Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, which opens with a gruesome, intense demonic possession, and continues with an exploration of a great central character, Kyle Barnes, who has to deal with his own connection to possession and the demonic world. We all know Kirkman is a horror master, but Azaceta’s art on the book is sleek and controlled, aided by top notch colors.
The first collection of Outcast comes out in December.
This extraordinary book—surely one of the most beautiful picture books of the year— has a complicated history. It began with Mattotti’s phenomenal illustrations, originally commissioned for the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007 production of Engelbert Humperdink’s opera Hansel and Gretel. Later French publisher Gallimand commissioned Jean-Claude Mourlevat to write text to go with it. And now Neil […]
The long running The Last Halloween is an engrossing tale about a girl and some monsters.