The American Library Association (ALA) announced their yearly awards today in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Conference in Chicago. In a groundbreaking move, a Newbery Honor has been awarded to cartoonist Cece Bell for her graphic novel El Deafo. This is the first time a Newbery Honor has ever been awarded to a comic. At the same awards, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki won a Caldecott Honor and a Printz Honor for their graphic novel This One Summer.
In what seems like a fever dream straight from my brain, Geek-Art and French Paper Art Club have teamed up to put on The Sims Official 15th Anniversary Art Show at Espace oppidum in Paris. The pieces will also be available in very limited prints following the show, available on the French Paper Art Club site (which has a ton of really gorgeous prints besides these Sims pieces).
Comics artist Jeremy Haun is currently running a Kickstarter for a project he calls Dino Day, which the father of two created to engage his sons in the process of creating art. The end product will be a hardcover art book of all of his dinosaur drawings, which range from detailed and serious to loose or humorous.
Haun has drawn for DC, Marvel, Image, Top Cow, and more, and is currently the artist on DC's Constantine and Wolf Moon. He's also a part of the Bad Karma collective. While Dino Day has surpassed its funding goal, the Kickstarter is still running for another six days, so fans can still back the project to help it hit stretch goals like fancier printing and additional t-shirt designs.
Caitlin DiMotta goes by @ComicsLawyer on Twitter and she is exactly that. As an attorney and partner at Impact Law Group, she works with many comics creators as their lawyer. Her clients include Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ed Brubaker, Rick Remender, Chip Zdarsky, and Jeff Lemire. Her top priorities are protecting the rights of artists and educating them about their legal rights. ComicsAlliance sat down with her to learn more about the work she does.
Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.
Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.
Street artists in San Francisco are using Kamala Khan (aka Marvel's Ms. Marvel) to block out bus ads from the "American Freedom Defense Initiative" that compare Islam to Nazism. The art pasted over the ads features Kamala saying things like, "Calling all bigotry busters," and, "Free speech isn't a license to spread hate." The protest was organized by the group Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power, which runs the Facebook page where photos of the improved ads appeared, Street Cred - Advertising for the People.
Good news, folks who sell things at conventions: it seems sales are up and business is booming! Earlier this week, humor magazine The Devastator and comic news site The Beat released the results of their survey of sales at 2014 conventions, where folks who table at various conventions reported on business for the year. The Devastator started the survey in 2013 with 46 respondents, and this year the number swelled to 107. A larger sample size is very helpful with surveys of this sort -- hopefully the number will continue to grow in future years.
Charming all-ages comics that teach important lessons about gender -- while not actually being about gender at all -- are a unique and powerful thing. Luke Pearson’s Hilda books from Nobrow Press/Flying Eye Books are stories about a young girl named Hilda. She could have been any gender at all within the framework of the plots, but the choice to have a female lead in these stories serves a powerful purpose that extends beyond the page.
The title of the first book in the series, Hildafolk, is a play on the Icelandic huldufólk. Huldufólk are elves in Icelandic mythology thought to live in the rocky landscape: they sometimes had tiny houses built for them by Icelanders. The main character of Hildafolk is a young girl named Hilda who lives in a rocky, mountainous area with her mom and her pet fox-with-antlers, Twig. Quite quickly, Hilda’s world is established with a population of mythical creatures. Hilda is a risk-taker and wants to explore her world; she clearly considers herself an adventurer as well as a documentarian.
Interviews, panel appearances, fan mail -- artists and writers understandably get much of the focus when we talk about professionals in the American comics industry. But beyond the front lines there's a whole host of people working hard to keep the business running: accountants, lawyers, publicists, librarians, production staff and many others. Most of these people don't have the opportunity to talk about their work with the people who read the comics they help put in their hands, but the work they do is important -- often integral -- to this industry. Whether it's making sure creators get paid, designing logos, or even planning a convention, these people affect how the whole package of our industry comes together.
In the first of what we've planned as a series of spotlights on the behind-the-scenes comics pros, we're speaking with Alex Segura, Archie Comics' Senior Vice President - Publicity and Marketing. Segura started his career in comics as a journalist but has spent nearly a decade doing publicity at DC Comics and Archie, the latter of which has been especially praised by this site and others for revitalizing its brand. One of the architects of the new Archie Comics, Segura sat down with us to talk about how he ended up as a publicist and what exactly that job entails.
Kel McDonald has been making comics for ten years, including a ten year run on her webcomic Sorcery 101. She was an early adopter of crowdfunding as a way of getting her comics out in print, and book one of McDonald's Misfits of Avalon series came out earlier this year through Dark Horse Comics. As increasing numbers of young, particularly female comics creators turn to webcomics as a way of getting their work out there, and as increasing numbers of comics publishers look to webcomics for up-and-coming talent, creators like McDonald are poised to have a unique understanding of the current comics world we live in
As part of her wrap-up of Sorcery 101, she's currently running a Kickstarter campaign for an omnibus of the series. ComicsAlliance sat down with McDonald to talk comics, crowdfunding, and web versus print.