This morning the nominees for the 2016 Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning were announced. Presented each year at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the Doug Wright Awards honor Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have published work in cartooning in the past year. (Sorry, French Canadians, only work in English are included, although translations are eligible.)
Cartoonist Kate Beaton, in her always insightful webcomic Hark, a Vagrant, recently published a page of comics about Marvel's Cloak and Dagger, and specifically about the obvious problems with the dagger-shaped cut-out in Dagger's costume. You should read the whole thing, much of which we can't post here because of the cartoon nipples.
Obviously Dagger's look is coming under increased scrutiny because a Cloak and Dagger television series is on its way to the Freeform Network. It says a lot about the weird standards of superhero comics that we don't even have to wonder if Dagger will be dressed similarly on television; there's simply no way the TV show will use the same costume. A plunging dagger-shaped cut-out that reveals cleavage and navel simply isn't something a television superhero might wear. But in comics, it's a costume that can last for thirty years.
Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be is one of my all-time favorite books, and just to give you an idea of how serious that is, keep in mind that I also own a novel where Batman fights a car that's possessed by a ghost. The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style take on Hamlet, built around that simple joke of the title, has an incredible sense of humor, an incredible roster of illustrators, and a brilliant use of the form that involves changing lead characters, a second choosable path adventure hidden within the first, and even a game of chess played against Queen Gertrude, and it's been one of my go-to recommendations ever since it came out.
But if you were a Kickstarter backer for that original campaign, then you might remember that North promised a second Shakespeare-inspired game book. Now, we've finally got an announcement, and it looks like Romeo And/Or Juliet is set for release next June.
Kate Beaton's approach to Wonder Woman is perhaps one of the clearest examples of how the acclaimed cartoonist combines brilliant humor with perceptive critical analysis. After several appearances in Hark! A Vagrant, Wonder Woman makes a return six-strip engagement in Beaton's new book, Step Aside, Pops! When we first met this incarnation she was a bitter, sarcastic superheroine just trying to have a smoke, or reluctantly helping an old lady rescue her cat from a tree by yanking it down with her magic lasso.
This time around, Beaton gives some clues about why her Wonder Woman might be the way she is. Taking a meeting in "head office," she's told, "the Greek stuff, the outfit, the lasso... it's too weird to deal with" (though a bro with the same affectations somehow works), and gets mansplained by Superman and Batman. At a bar, a fan gushes about how great she thinks Wonder Woman is, without seeming to actually know anything about her.
The week’s over! And with it we reach the final days of September --- which you've all done a dazzling job with, by all accounts. But while you’ve been off working and living and doing all those things that humans do, what have you missed in the world of comics? With Weekender, ComicsAlliance is here to give you a heads-up on some of the stories that you might have overlooked, and to showcase some great writing on comics for you to enjoy over buttery crumpets this weekend.
Since her 1941 debut, Wonder Woman has been one of the cornerstones of DC Comics, and of superhero comics in general.
In her 74-year-history, scores of artists have put their spin on the character, from subtle changes to her classic red, white, blue and gold costume to the "new" Wonder Woman of the late 1960s to some far more maligned interpretations that featured jackets and long pants. We've compiled a gallery of some of the most iconic Wonder Woman artists of the past seven decades, along with some positively stunning modern designs.
First-timer Ohio comics festival Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (also known as CXC) announced a slew of details last week, including official dates for its inaugural celebration, October 1-3, a logo created by Dustin Harbin, and a new website explaining all about the festival. Set up by Jeff Smith, Lucy Caswell, Vijaya Iyer, and executive director Tom Spurgeon, the festival's first wave of guests include Kate Beaton, Craig Thompson, Françoise Mouly and Bill Griffith.
One of the most discussed news items from last month's Comic-Con International was the first look at Wonder Woman as she will appear in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the new DC Entertainment film by Zack Snyder. Played by Gal Gadot, this will be the first cinematic appearance of William Moulton Marston's Amazonian princess and feminist icon in her nearly 75-year history, and naturally fans have had a lot to say about the portrait debuted in San Diego. In reaction to the image, members of the ComicsAlliance staff assembled to discuss and critique Gadot's costume, depictions of super-women on film, and the current state of superheroine fashion in general.
Today's participants include CA's superheroic sartorialist Betty Felon; clinical psychologist and Arkham Sessions co-host Dr. Andrea Letamendi; comic book editor Janelle Asselin; journalist Juliet Kahn; comics writer/artist Kate Leth; and blogger/vlogger Angelina L.B. aka ALB, who makes her CA debut in this in-depth analysis. Join us for our roundtable discussion on Wonder Woman's newest live-action steez, high heels, and the balance between practicality/realism and style in superheroine costume design.
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?