Weekender: Solarman, Roz Chast, and Remembering Sudhur Tailang
What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.
ComicsAlliance have got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, and so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
This week saw the announcement of this year’s nominees for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. Five comics are up for the award this year: Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri; Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin and featuring various creative talent (see the full list here); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos; Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; and Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger, from Emet Comics.
That last nominee is particularly worth pointing out, because it may be the least familiar. Emet Comics is a fledgling small press operation, but Zana has a good chance of pickiing up the award. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is also an unexpected choice, simply because only a few issues have been released versus the now long-running Ms. Marvel. Neither DC or Image are represented in the list, curiously.
The Times of India reported on the sad passing of cartoonist Sudhur Tailang, whose political works held satirical sway over the country for decades. Awarded Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India) in 2004, Tailang started his career in the 1980s, working continuously right up until and somewhat beyond being diagnosed with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife, and by his daughter Aditi, who has pledged to fulfil his dream of establishing a comics museum in India.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are reteaming following the success of their previous project, Princess in Black, for a new graphic novel called First Friends. Based on their own experiences in school, the story looks at friendship, bullying, and childhood. Due out in 2017, this one looks very promising indeed, and the interview given by the pair at Entertainment Weekly speak volumes to the tone of the narrative. Keep an eye out for this next year.
Alex de Campi is back at it over on Kickstarter, pairing with Jerry Ordway for Semiautomatic. This is a collection of a strip that ran through Dark Horse Presents over the last few years, colored by Marissa Louise. While it appears Dark Horse is going to publish a trade paperback of the collected edition, the creative team wants to put out a deluxe hardcover, with new work included. A horror comic, the story centers on occult investigator Alice Creed, and the rather unique circumstances she keeps falling into.
There’s a sterling creative team for the reboot of Solarman, as reported by BlackGirlNerds this week. Joseph Illidge and Brendan Deneen will write, with N. Steven Harris and Andrew Dalhouse as artist and colorist respectively.
You might be familiar with Solarman, as the character has appeared all over the place over the years, including a brief stint under the pen of Stan Lee. This new iteration will be published by Scout Comics, with no announced release date at present. N. Steven Harris is always worth following, and it’ll be interesting to see what Illidge does as a writer --- especially given the ideas expressed over the last two years in his column The Mission at CBR.
New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast joins the Design Matters podcast this week, hosted by Debbie Millman. The conversation ranges from how she first came into her role, to what influences play into her art and ideas. It’s a nice one to sit down with for a little while --- Chast is an interesting thinker, and she strings her ideas together in a lovely idiosyncratic manner.
This month is the anniversary of Dwayne McDuffie’s untimely death, and there have been several tributes to the writer, but the one posted by B.L.A.C. (Black Life, Arts & Culture) caught my eye. It looks back over his whole career, and the various ups and downs he experienced as an African-American in the industry, and hails him as "Detroit's Stan Lee."
Dr Casey Brienza is highly knowledgeable on the American Manga industry --- a concept that doesn’t get the spotlight that you might expect it to. In conversation with The OASG this week, Brienza gets a chance to delve into that world once more, offering a detailed synopsis of the medium.
Chris Gavaler at The Hooded Utilitarian offers a guide to the different elements of a comic before segueing into a complex discussion of how those elements can be assembled together, and how their new context informs the way readers visualize a comics page.
I liked this interview with Michael Moreci over on MultiversityComics (which has had a revamp!) as this year he quit his day job in order to go full-time freelance. He’s had a number of comics over the last few years that you’ll recognise, from Hoax Hunters to Roche Limit, and it’s always great to see somebody get to go full-time with their passion. Hurrah!
Whilst reading more about Rat Queens writer Kurtis J. Wiebe, for reasons that will soon make themselves known to you all, dear ComicsAlliance readers, I learned about a new Twitch show he’s running, called Absinthe of Art.
Each episode, later uploaded to Youtube, sees Wiebe invite artists for what is essentially a “drink and draw” night, like you always see flyered in your local comic shop. Guests including Brandon Graham, Tessa Black and Shannon Woodhouse, chat, draw some comics stuff, and get pretty hammered. It is, as we surely all agree, a great addition to the internet. Thanks Kurtis!
Have a great weekend, everybody!