The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
Dark Horse comics has announced plans to publish the Kickstarter-funded anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls in October 2016. The book, which already got a lot of buzz during its Kickstarter funded campaign, is edited by Hope Nicholson and features a mix of prose and comics about relationships and sex by more than 50 creators.
In 2014, Toronto publisher Alternate History Comics launched a Kickstarter for an anthology of indigenous comics, with the goal of “showcasing the rich heritage and identity of indigenous storytelling.” The resulting anthology, Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1, is now available, and it presents a unique and much needed look into aboriginal storytelling in multiple aspects.
It’s easy, as an indigenous person, to slip into what sounds like hyperbole when discussing a project like this. This is one of the most important comics of the year! But it’s easy for the same reasons that make it hard for any statement to actually be that hyperbolic; the blunt reality of comics as a business and popular medium is that there really aren’t that many aboriginal stories being told, and what few aboriginal characters there are usually employ crude stereotypes. These stereotypes aren’t continued out of any real sense of hatred, but out of the almost complete lack of aboriginal people involved in the telling of these stories.
Following two successful Kickstarters collecting the comics work of classic Canadian cartoonists, this year sees writer and editor Hope Nicholson return to crowdfunding for a completely new project, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. Gathering a varied collection of thematically-linked pieces, including comics, illustrated stories, and prose, the anthology --- now running on Kickstarter --- will feature work from creators including Mariko Tamaki, Sam Maggs, Jen Vaughn, Irene Koh and, yes, Margaret Atwood.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls will focus on just that --- real and imagined stories on the topics of dating, love, romance and (whisper it!) sex. Nothing more, nothing less; love is the best. This is a huge undertaking, but one that Nicholson is certainly qualified to bring together. To find out more about the project, ComicsAlliance spoke to her about what we can expect from the collection, how Margaret Atwood got involved, and the story that Hope herself will write for the anthology.
Canada offers an impressive range of comics talents, but its comic industry has usually been overshadowed by the buying power of the U.S. market -- but for one brief period in modern history. During the Second World War Canada restricted the import of non-essential items -- and that included comic books. For much of the 1940s, Canadians could only read Canadian comics. The era has become known as the Canadian Golden Age.
Hope Nicholson was a researcher on a documentary about the characters created during this era, Lost Heroes. Fascinated by the subject, Nicholson and her partner Rachel Richey launched a project to restore and republish the stories of one of the first comic superheroines, Adrian Dingle's Nelvana of the Northern Lights. With that book now in print, Nicholson has launched a Kickstarter to revive another lost Canadian hero; the square-jawed action man Brok Windsor.
Canada is comics’ secret super-power. As far back as 1938, when Toronto-born Joe Shuster created Superman with Cleveland’s Jerry Siegel, Canada has been a vital partner -- a Wild Child to America's Sabtretooth. (Age of Apocalypse version.)
”We have so many great artists and writers to choose from, it’s such an embarrassment of riches,” says Ty Templeton, a writer and artist who has worked for most major publishers and on most big name characters, and who knows just about everyone in the business. When he says Canada's creative community boasts an embarrassment of riches, he knows what he's talking about. So on this beautiful and proud Canada Day, we at Comics Alliance have to ask; why hasn't a Canadian creative team ever taken on Canada's best-known superhero team, Alpha Flight?