The past few years have been an interesting time for fan conventions, as organizers have to confront social issues that they may not have considered in years past. Conventions including Heroes Con and Emerald City Comic Con have taken a head-on approach to harassment and gender discrimination. DragonCon wisely cut ties with a founder in the wake of a child molestatiion case. And the list goes on.
But many of those have been cases of conventions dealing with direct internal challenges. This week, Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America, took the fight to the state government of Indiana, threatening to leave the Hoosier State if Gov. Mick Pence signs into law a bill that would facilitate discrimination against gay people.
Aatmaja Pandya is a cartoonist who specializes in doing minicomics and zines as well as webcomics. Some of her past projects include The Bell Blues, Baker’s Dozen, and Travelogue, which is the webcomic she's currently working on.
The adventure series Rat Queens from Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch took home the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday. The medieval fantasy series centers on a diverse cast of female adventurers, including lesbian halfling thief Betty.
This year's other nominees were Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu, and Matt Hollingsworth; Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen; Memetic, by James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan; and Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Marvel has announced a new bi-monthly book called A-Force Presents that will collect issues of various Marvel comics featuring female heroes in trade paperback format. Rather than the traditional collection of a single storyline, these collections will be more of sampler of what's going on at Marvel at any given time. This is a great idea from Marvel, and a really exciting example of how the publisher is taking women seriously as an audience.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
Today, Oni Press announced that in May they will begin to accept submissions. This is a big deal in the comics world, as Marvel and DC don't accept unsolicited submissions and only some of the next tier of publishers ever do. Accepting submissions puts Oni in a better place to bring new talent into the industry, and to compete for that talent with the few publishers who do accept submissions, like Dark Horse.
Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics creators, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.
Cartoonist E.K. Weaver produced her webcomic The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal for five years and it is currently being collected in an omnibus that's being Kickstarted by Iron Circus Comics. She's also done things as varied as erotica for Smut Peddler and covers for Adventure Time.
Nerd-rock group Kirby Krackle has been making geek rock and roll for years now, and is releasing their fifth studio album, Mutate, Baby today. The band sings about a little of everything related to geek culture: comics, video games, genre television, and general geek experiences. Their newest album has a lot in common with their previous albums, but it's also about putting a positive spin on geek life.
ComicsAlliance spoke with KK frontman Kyle Stevens to talk about this new album and the band's evolution and inspiration.
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