Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 6/5/14: cartoonists embroiled in scandal over affair

It’s been a while since I kibbled and bitted because…well I had one version of this that had like 50 links. I tweeted them instead.

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§ Cartoonists in the US are not celebrities, with one or two exceptions. They can leave the house without make-up, or go to the beach or do normal human cock-ups and TMZ will not give a flying donut. But if this story is to be believed, that is not quite the case in Taiwan, where cartoonist Wan Wan has been forced to have a press conference where she wore a mask because fans are mad that she had an affair. Known for her adorable drawings about typical life subjects, she has sold millions of books, appears on TV and in movies and has a devoted following throughout Asia. Thus when news broke that the married Wan Wan was canoodling with a fellow cartoonist not her husby, fans were dismayed:

Wan Wan and Huang, who is a fellow blogger and cartoonist, were seen dining together, enjoying each other’s company and kissing, before they took a night drive to a mountain park on the outskirts of Taipei, according to the report. Taiwan’s online communities were abuzz over the “Wan Wan affair” yesterday. Many netizens said they were shocked, especially because she is a newlywed. “Wan Wan should apologize to her husband, and not to us,” one wrote. “If this is true, then she should get a divorce. She has set a very bad example to others,” another posted. Some of her fans defended her, saying that it was Wan Wan’s private business, which was probably a misjudgement on her part, but that they would continue to support her.


I’m sure there’s a lot of sexism involved in Wan Wan’s fall from grace, but the moral lesson is clear: don’t become a celebrity if you want to enjoy a nice private night drive to a mountain park.

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§ NEPOTISM ALERT: Michael Gezsel is a friend of this blog and a collaborator with people close to The Beat. However, on the occasion of the re-release of the GN Tribes by Geszel and Inaki Miranda, he was interviewed by CBR and passed along some good advice looking back on some of the problems with the first edition of Tribes, including the hard-sell horizontal format:

First, you’ve got to be very realistic about the marketplace and you have to control costs. As far as the reality is, just be really shrewd and thrifty. Don’t think you’re going to reinvent the wheel or the rules. Be patient, too. It’s about being persistent and patient with people. You have to find out how the industry ticks. My main regret and a big lesson was not starting a comic series to be released issue-by-issue mostly to build readership and not fight the economic tides of the comic book industry. Tribes is a rich story world. There’s a ton of story there. The book was always conceived as part one of a three-part narrative. I should have made better choices to maximize reader engagement, i.e. to make it as easy as possible to experience the story in comics. That means the vertical standard format in 22-page issues — serializing the story rollout. And we could have had not quite 50 issues. Instead I created a big widescreen, 200-page (178 comic story pages) graphic novel that was released as a trade and that was murder to sell because retailers do not like to stack horizontals, especially trade paperback “horizontals” from unknown creators. I could not have made it harder on myself if my worst enemy had arranged my story publishing strategy or lack thereof. As a hardcover the new edition has a new shot. Inaki now has a Vertigo monthly (“Coffin Hill”) and that helps too. IDW does a great job with packaging and book production. A new cover helps. All that helps.

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§ The D&Q blog sums up the success of Mimi Pond’s GN Over Easy and reveals that she will be designing a set of dishware for Fishs Eddy. They previously did a set of mugs and what nots with Roz Chast that was also loverly. I WANT THAT TEA TRAY.

§ The Frisky suggests

5 Genre-Busting Comic Books For People Who Think They Hate Comic Books, none of which are horrible.

§ I enjoyed this negative review of the Comics Unmasked exhibit at the British Library, by James Heartfield, because instead of saying comics suck, it’s all about the comics that got left out, like the Beano and all that.

Unfortunately, the curators of the exhibition Comics Unmasked at the British Library have been overwhelmed by the Gothic vision, at the expense of every other contribution to the medium. And as creative as Moore’s gothic is, it is still a lot less interesting than the material that has been left out of the exhibition. It is an aesthetic for adolescent boys who think that unhappy and twisted stuff is correspondingly profound, while comedy is trivial and facile. The truth is often the other way round, where horror and gore are really just sentimentality, prurient and moralistic at the same time, while comedy allows marvellous slippages of meaning that are much more intelligent. These are the fanatics who renamed the comic book a ‘graphic novel’ to make it sound more grown-up.


Not having seen the show, I can’t say if this is a valid argument or not. The comments suggest that there is some Leo Baxendale on display. At any rate, it’s clear that curator Paul Gravett was going for an exhibit that covered the subversive side of Brit Comics. [ViaRobot 6.

§ I know we were all talking about cons and harassment the other day, and apparently there is a SF con called WisCon that bills itself as progressive and feminist, but it had all kinds of problems with people who had been banned for good reason being let back in. SF people back up their outrage with an intense number of links, quotes, callouts to other blogs, backtracks when new facts some to light, and so on, making keeping up a daunting task. If you want to dive it this seems to be a passable entry way.

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§ There is a comic book from Nigeria and it is called Akaraka: The Call Of Destiny. It’s about warring demigods and you can read it right at the link.

§ This Batman-centric comics site is looking for reviewers. They have a lot of guidelines though, so make sure you are (wo)man enough.

§ Marvel mad a Miracleman featurette. It’s kind of funny how now that this is finally out, no one really cares, isn’t it?

§ This is old but David Harper’s excellent The Life and Times of the Modern Comic Book Artist is a total must read for its look at lifestyles, quotes on rates and general much needed overview of how things are.

Comments

  1. Hey, a slight clarification: no one was officially banned from WisCon; the issue is that (apparently) no action was taken at all on two of the three complaints that were filed last year against two separate individuals. WisCon does not, at this time, have a good process for dealing with harassment complaints and there were clearly some major communication breakdowns behind the scenes. I am hopeful that they’ll be able to correct this before next year.

  2. Paul Gravett is no slouch; I hope he responds to that critique in some way.

  3. Nick Jones says:

    “I’m sure there’s a lot of sexism involved in Wan Wan’s fall from grace,”

    You’re sure that a situation you know little about, taking place in a country you’re not particularly familiar with, not only involves sexism, but a lot of sexism? There’s literally no possibility that because she had an affair a few weeks into her high-profile marriage she’s facing justifiable disappointment from her fans and sexism really doesn’t play into it?

  4. Darryl Ayo says:

    Nick, please enlighten the class with your insights and findings.

  5. I don’t think that you meant it this way, but the phrasing “apparently there is a SF con called WisCon that bills itself as progressive and feminist” comes off really dismissive. The convention has been around since the 70′s and a lot of great race/gender/accessibility discussion has come out of it. The Wikipedia page has more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiscon

  6. briguyx says:

    Re: Miracleman, I have all the Eclipse issues, so I’ll be excited when they start putting out new Neil Gaiman issues!

  7. Nick Jones says:

    “Nick, please enlighten the class with your insights and findings.”

    I don’t know much about Taiwan and I’d never heard of Wan Wan before reading that article. I’m just pointing out that it’s silly to assume that sexism, much less “a lot” of sexism, is involved without even a single word as evidence. I’ll happily entertain the idea that sexism is playing a part in what’s going on if somebody meets the bare minimum standard of pointing to a source that can provide even one sexist quote; however, until there’s that kind of legitimate allegation of sexism, being “sure” that it’s happening simply because a woman is the one being called out on her actions trivializes actual sexism.

  8. sweller says:

    Marvel’s Miracleman is printed too damn small for the lettering. That’s why I don’t care…

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