Kibbles ‘n’ chunks 2/21/13 – comics are coming to India, Berlin and Long Island!

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Today an EXTRA LONG installment of Kibbles ‘n’ Bits that literally spans the world of comics and art. There is something for EVERYONE here — please join us on our journey of clicks.

§ Spotlight on comics in India! The third Indian Comic-Con wrapped up a few weeks ago, and left a brand new comics industry in its wake!

The Times of India reports that the Indian comics industry has changed with the times

and is not a $22 million a year industry.

According to industry experts, it was the need of the hour to change and modernise content of their publications to cater to the children of the new millennium. “The content has changed over the years and keeping with the times the characters have changed and so has the storytelling,” Manas Mohan, chief operating officer of one of India’s oldest publications, Amar Chitra Katha, said. “The contemporary content has helped us to retain our young readers in the metros and mini metros while we have successfully percolated into tier-II and tier-III cities as well,” he added. The transformation was evident, going by the success of the just-concluded Comic Con India (CCI) at Dilli Haat and a huge turnout of children and young adults alike. Be it Batman, Fred Flintstone or Chacha Chowdhary, the three-day annual event saw over 80 participants and several interactive sessions and talks by renowned artists.


The Indian Express is also excited by developments:

A graphic novel billed as the first ever to tackle the theme of zombie infestation; another, a prequel to the movie Agent Vinod; and a third, the exploits of a Sadhu in post-apocalyptic world. The new graphic novels that are slowly catching the fancy of audience have taut plots, explicit artwork and language, as well as themes that are nowhere close to the “regular”. Graphic novels or comics by Indian writers are not only adapting fast to the dynamics of an ever-changing reader, but also accommodating styles used by writers in the West. Boasting of a cult fan following, works such as Superman: Man of Steel, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth and The Killing Joke score because of their detailed graphic language and artwork.

 

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§ Finally First Second editor Calista Brill went to the Indian Comic Con specifically to destroy the hopes of young Indian cartoonists and had a great time:

I had no idea what to expect when I was shipping books to India to sell at the show, but I was delighted to find that our sales were very strong. And the books that people are drawn to at our US shows were the ones that got the most love in India, as well, which was cool: First Second books speak to people on some universal level, apparently.

 

§ Meanwhile, in Lahore, Pakistan they are discovering superhero films:

LAHORE Pakistani films have been about love, romance, action, comedy and even terrorism and social issues embedded deep in our system, but never have we seen a film based on comics or sci-fi super heroes.

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

§ Spotlight on comics in Germany! There’s a a whole comics scene in Berlin now! Germany has long lagged behind other countries in developing its own comics culture but those days are gone:

There was a time not so long ago when everyone in Berlin would tell you that they were writing a novel. How passé! These days, they’re turning their talents to graphic novels. The term is controversial – to some it just means an expensive comic – but be that as it may, it’s a genre that’s left the bedside tables of teenage nerds, grown up and gone mainstream. Sequential art is everywhere in this city, from comic strips luring you away from turgid headlines about the euro crisis and electricity tax hikes every time you open a newspaper, to bookstores’ graphic novel sections, which seem to expand exponentially every time you turn your back. I also recently found out that Berlin is home to Germany’s one and only comic book library, the Comicbibliothek Renate in Mitte.

Sounds pretty exciting.

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§ Spotlight on Long Island! A new comic shop has opened in Huntington, L.I., Escape Pod Comics, and here’s a nice little profile:

The store, which is still expecting hundreds of comics to come in, has artwork from a variety of talented artists and friends of Luchins lining the walls, as well as comic books of all sizes and storylines. Back issues of superhero comics are also available, and shelves of comics show a number of main characters — from Cyclopes to Peanuts. In the back of the store is a reading section for people to come in, sit down, and enjoy what the store has to offer. Behind that is a section for children, which will have comics for children to enjoy.

Although the photos look like the store could use a little more stock, their business model is 2013 all the way — to survive as a retail destination its all about creating an environment where the customer comes first.

§ A look back at How Chris Claremont Reinvented the Female Superhero

Yet when used to describe Claremont’s characters the phrase “strong female character” acknowledged a sincere shift in the portrayal of women away from limited, stereotypically feminine roles towards allowing women to fulfill any role in a story, up to and including carrying it.

The piece doesn’t mention it, but in contemporary interviews, Claremont’s modus operandi was, upon introducing a new character, asking himself, Is there any reason this character couldn’t be a woman?” Heck it was the 70s. The result was everyone from Rogue to Mystique to Moira MacTaggert — and the question has never been asked again in mass media pop culture.

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§ Also back in the 70s, writer Don McGregor looks back on his career, including Killraven (above drawn by P. Craig Russell) and Black Panther, and the lack of editorial oversight that could never exist today:

I would hear this kind of thinking and see it in practice, but I never understood it. And though I was working in the Hallowed Halls, I wasn’t part of the inner circle of confidences. Dean Mullaney told me in recent years that they must have thought I was some kind of alien. I had no political desires. I had no designs to want to be editor-in-chief. My prime thought was storytelling. And the readers were responding with such in-depth letters on the books that they added to my belief that what we do as writers is important, and to give everything I had to each issue.

Two years later, I suspect neither “Killraven” nor “Panther’s Rage” could have existed. The series came about during a time at Marvel where the line was expanding so rapidly that there weren’t enough eyes to go over every book before it existed, became a reality.

 

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§ Meanwhile, in the UK gender stereotypes have been SOLVED with this new comic called Cat, who is definitely a strong female character.

Cat – Catherine Abigail Daniels – is a PhD student and the daughter of a policeman, whose only super-power is her extraordinary intelligence. She was dreamed up by author and academic Will Brooker, who was so horrified at the way women are represented in comics that he decided to write his own antidote. The catalyst for the creation of his new series, My So-Called Secret Identity – which he says has a “feminist approach from the ground up, in terms of story, character, artwork and production” – was a visit to his local comic shop near Kingston University, where he teaches.

§ Former Marvel head Terry Stewart has lived a pretty good life.

§ Art Balthazar and Franco talk about Aw Yeah! Comics, their very successful Kickstarter aimed at kids comics:

Aureliani: I think we have a bigger audience now, and we knew we had a bigger audience, but we still had our roots in self-publishing. That’s how we approached Aw Yeah! Comics. The biggest surprise for us was how much our audience has apparently grown, and it was obvious on the first day of the Kickstarter that we have this huge audience. We knew we had it, but in the back of your mind when you’re coming up in the self-publishing route, you approach projects thinking you’re going to keep doing it all by yourself. But now our fanbase is so much bigger than it used to be, and as we’re still going the self-publishing way it’s paying off. People are loyal to us, and we’re so humbled by it.

Cat – Catherine Abigail Daniels – is a PhD student and the daughter of a policeman, whose only super-power is her extraordinary intelligence. She was dreamed up by author and academic Will Brooker, who was so horrified at the way women are represented in comics that he decided to write his own antidote. The catalyst for the creation of his new series, My So-Called Secret Identity – which he says has a “feminist approach from the ground up, in terms of story, character, artwork and production” – was a visit to his local comic shop near Kingston University, where he teaches.

§ Inside the secret novels of outsider artist Henry Darger. We checked out one of the (pretty frequent all things considered) art shows of Darger’s work here in NYC the other day and that guy really had a lot going on.

§ Alex Dueben has a wide ranging interview with Locke and Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez:

We always tried to have a clear idea of where we were going with the story, where we were going with the characters and certain key elements of the plot, but how to get to that part has always been a surprise for me. I like it that way. I tell Joe, “Just attach information about the story if it’s going to impact what I’m drawing right now.” For example, right now we are working on “Omega,” the last miniseries. For issues #4, 5 and 6, which we already know is going to be much more of one large sequence, Joe is writing all three issues at once because we know that there are going to be elements of the sixth issue that are going to have an effect on the way I present the events of the fourth. In this case, we’re trying to have all those points answered before I start working on the fourth issue, but I still don’t know which characters are going to die or if they’re going to die, with a couple exceptions. For me, it’s really great to have surprises as part of the process, always pointing to the right direction of where we’re heading. Both Joe and myself are very obsessive with every detail of the story and of the mythology we’re building. We’re trying to be very careful of a lot of tiny details and planning them as much in advance as possible.

§ Someone has already made a comic using Vine, Twitter’s 6-second long video service.

§ Do you want Rob Liefeld to draw one of your stories? Of course you do.

§ Dear god, it’s time for a revealing story entitled: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s art? from a paper called The Samson Crimson, which is published by a college called Samson:

By combining dialogue and narration with illustrated panels, comics are able to tell stories in ways that no one has been able to tell them before.

They have taught the children well…to write the ritual story over and over again!

§ Our Top 5 Comics Highlights of ALA Midwinter

§ The Ten Worst Scooby-Doo Guest Stars

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§ Artist Brandon Bird has created a Nicolas Cage Hairstyle Whiteboard and you will never be bored again.

§ Random: awesome Flickr set of of old paperback covers.

Comments

  1. I love Kibbles ‘N’ Chunks and today’s edition was particularly tasty. I bookmarked several things for later reading after I finish writing my next bloggy thing.

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  1. [...] Go read this piece over at Comics Alliance: Mutant Women of Earth: How Chris Claremont Reinvented the Female Superhero. A great read! Via. [...]

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