Weekender: ‘100 Views of Tokyo’, Three Festivals, But Only One Lauren Purje
The weekend is here! Take a look back at what’s happened in the past seven days. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
In what could best be described as a light week for comics news --- i.e. barely anything happened --- yesterday did see a report and then a confirmation that comics publisher Double Take will be shutting down at the end of the month. This was the publisher fronted by Bill Jemas, which published ten or so comics a week all set within the world of Night of the Living Dead.
With a huge number of comics being put out every week, most of them with vague titles and writers/artists who didn’t have an immediate name-value with comics readers (Jemas himself was possibly the most well-known, as he wrote several of the books), the publisher was always going to be a hard sell into the market, but somehow has lasted around a year.
As noted in the above linked article, Double Take attempted a lot of publishing initiatives, including giving out thousands of free comics at Comic-Con this year, and was ubiquitous in its marketing on websites like The Outhousers. But the reviews were weak, the books were never distinguished from one another, and readers didn’t get a clear idea of how the line was meant to work. It’s likely these all contributed to the publisher's closure. It’s always a shame when a comics publisher shuts down, but that’s the business.
I missed this at the time, but Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver announced that their Monkeybrain series Edison Rex, which I believe was one of the publisher’s last ongoing comics, will be retooling itself as a Patreon-funded webcomic. With books like Amelia Cole and perhaps Bandette seemingly wrapped up, that would suggest a refocusing away from the Monkeybrain brand. Two pages of the series will be published every week, until the comic catches up with the print version, and new stories will follow thereafter.
Top Shelf has announced that one of its next releases is Lauren Purje’s You Might Be An Artist If…, which is planned for publication in 2017. A collection of short strips and comics that center on her ruminations on what exactly it is to be a working artist today, It looks like a wonderful collection to read whilst fretting about your deadlines.
Three big events this weekend, with Short Run, Comic Arts Brooklyn, and Thought Bubble 2016 all taking place at once!
Short Run takes place in Seattle on Saturday 5th. The festival has always focused on bringing in a core group of guests who spread their influence from bases around the world, and this year will welcome artists including Inés Estrada, Hatem Imam, and Kerascoët. Dash Shaw will also be there, debuting some new material, and I note that Estrada will be teaching Spanish-language workshops, which sounds like a wonderful idea. You can find out more about the festival on the official site.
We also have Comic Arts Brooklyn on the same day, which is held over in, shocker, Brooklyn. Charles Burns, Adrian Tomine and Katie Skelly will be among the attendees, backed up by appearances from most of the current members of the American alternative comics scene, and publishers like Nobrow. It’s one of the big ones for actual comics content, and it’s impressive for all three of this weekend’s events to have their own distinct theme and audience without stealing from one another.
THOUGHT BUBBLE 2016
But on the subject of Thought Bubble, let’s run in for another round of comics debuting this weekend across Leeds.
Joe Decie will bring a collection of his autobiographical comics, Dogs Disco. Decie has been one of the most accomplished cartoonists in the UK scene for years now, and with every new work he steps up the game.
Ship Wrecked will debut from Aaron Fever and Triona Farrell this weekend. Fever, who works with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire’s Red Cube Studio, has been putting this up as a webcomic recently, with this being the first opportunity for readers to pick it up in print.
And then there’s Sam Read, who continues to bring new material every year to the convention. Zinethology is the big new one from him this year, an anthology of zines (surprise!) that features work from other UK talent including Iain Laurie, Abigail Harding and Adlai McCook. The whole thing has been assembled by the capable hands of Colin Bell, letterer to the stars. McCook will also be one of many people involved in Irish comics anthology Project Crossroads, also out at the festival.
Hugo Boylan will have some new and familiar comics with him at the festival, including a reprinting of Malevolence. He’s also launching a collection of short comics called Black, White and Grey, with Rapha Lobesco and Kerrie Smith, which will feature four comics in one, along with a few teases for future projects.
We have Where is Momentum from Richard Amos coming this year --- you can find it online as well; a new comic that explores the topic of anxiety. The comic offers some fascinating conclusions which offer a sense of warmth for those fearing the cold.
And finally, a really interesting one will be sat on 2000 AD’s table this year, and is definitely worth picking out. The publisher's first ever script book will be available at Thought Bubble, showing off exactly how those scripting droids zarjaz do it. Si Spurrier, John Wagner and Emma Beeby are among the writers whose scripts will be on display, placed alongside the finished art for comparison’s sake. If you’re interested in making comics, this seems like a must-buy.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
Also on the radar: Shinji Tsuchimochi’s 100 Views of Tokyo, which is now available to pick up after first being released as a series of single images online. The colors are absolutely lovely, and I really like the approach taken on where the images are captured from. Rather than being at a distance, the artist gets right up in the heart of each scene, making this a vibrant, eclectic look at one of the most exciting places in the world.
Iris Jay has brought their webcomic Crossed Wires to Kickstarter, looking to send it off for a first-ever print collection, should it make the intended target of $6,000. It’s just over halfway to that target at present, and could use a boost. I mean, it’s described as being “nonstop queer cyber-postpunk fiction” --- what more could ComicsAlliance readers want from a comic, really?
Alex Townsend wrote for The Establishment website this week on "Sex, Nudity, And Rape In Horror Comics: Where Are The New Lines?", which is a fascinating topic. They bring in Gail Simone, who currently writes the horror comic Clean Room for Vertigo, to talk about her thoughts on making something supreme and scary without ever losing sight of what the point of the scare is meant to be.
I really enjoyed Chase Magnett’s interview for ComicsBulletin with Louise Simonson, by which I mean I am furiously jealous that he got to do it, and that the whole thing turned out so charmingly. Magnett!!!
Alex Hoffman’s Sequential State website has been reassuringly busy of late, reviewing all manner of different comics with grace and style. You can enjoy basically anything he writes about, so here’s a sample one for you on Will Dinski’s Trying Not To Notice.
It appears that we’ve already entered year-end territory, as Publishers Weekly --- as is tradition --- has kicked off the "best of" season with its picks for 2016. PW picks the two that I think will likely win most of the plaudits this year; The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, and March Book Three --- but also include Isabel Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero, which makes me even more determined to pick that one up. Hey, maybe I’ll do that at Thought Bubble! Okay, sorry, I promise --- no more Thought Bubble until next year, folks.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
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