Weekender: Tezuka Prize Nominees, ‘Goldie Vance’ and Shamsia Hassani
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 has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, 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!
Let’s start with the imminent fear of death.
John Wagner, co-creator of Judge Dredd along with Carlos Ezquerra, was a guest on the 2000 AD Thrillcast this week, the official podcast for the magazine hosted by Mike Molcher (Molch-R). Wagner is still very active in keeping the architecture of his MegaCity One together. For a series that has moved in real time, Judge Dredd has seen a lot of death over the years --- but this episode of the podcast suggested that we’re heading for one of the biggest deaths yet.
In our coverage of Wagner's comments, Chris Sims suggests three candidates, including Judge Dredd himself. And weirdly, that’s simultaneously the most daring and the most likely move for the series to make. Death comes for everyone in the end --- even The Law.
That might make for an emotional Thought Bubble this year, with mournful Judge cosplayers wandering around, guns drooped sadly. But the good news is that the rest of the festival --- the best in the world, in my view -- has announced a first wave of guests that includes Lisa Hanawalt, Mike Mignola, Faith Erin Hicks, and Mahmud Asrar. The festival, held in Leeds, England, will run from 1 November, with the weekend convention taking place from 5-6 November. Exhibitors are now invited to get their applications in for a table.
Thought Bubble isn't the only comics festival booting up its plans for late 2016, as Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) will be hosting a Comics Symposium in October. The hook of CXC is that most of Columbus seems to be involved somehow. Schools, museums, art galleries, and shops all get a piece of the comics festival, making it feel like a real event. Submissions are now open for essays for the Symposium, which has the following theme:
“Canon Fodder,” seeking to test and remix the still-damp concrete of comics histories and canons before they set.
Speaking of themes... I have no thematic link between that paragraph and this one! But Crunchyroll has caught the news that the 20th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize shortlist has been announced by Japan’s The Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Named for the legendary creator whose much-admired works including Astro Boy and Kimba the Lion, the shortlist is compiled by retailers and booksellers. This year’s nominees are Orange by Ichigo Takano; Golden Army by Sataru Noda; Kodoku no Gourmet by Masayuki Kusumi and Jiro Taniguchi; Chihayafuru by Yuki Suetsugu; Chou-no-Michiyuki by Kan Takahama; Hanagami Sharaki by Kei Ichinoseki; and Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma.
John Siuntres’ Word Balloon show was one of the first and best-known podcasts to discuss comics, with the host speaking to most of the best-known voices in comics over the years. Every other week he seems to come out with another four-hour interview with the likes of Brian Michael Bendis, but this week the tables were turned as he sat in the guest chair for the ‘Robots from Tomorrow’ podcast over at Multiversity Comics. Although he does talk about podcasts with the hosts, things actually kick off in a more unexpected place: his past as a boxing journalist.
This first half of 2016 is really a waste of all our time; with everybody lazily dangling their feet in the water while they wait for the true start of the year --- which will come with the launch of March Book Three from Top Shelf. This graphic memoir from Senator John Lewis, with Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, has been one of the strongest and most singularly striking pieces of biography in comics for the last few years, with the third and final part of the trilogy due this August. In advance, here’s Powell discussing his design process for the third cover with Michael Cavna of The Washington Post.
International Women’s Day happened earlier this week, and over at the AV Club, Zainab Akhtar made a list of ten great female cartoonists you should learn about. The comments section is an inevitable tidal wave of “but what about Kate Beaton”, but hopefully these sorts of lists will draw attention to the fact that there are a lot of great female cartoonist deserving of wider attention out there.
And speaking of The AV Club, don’t think we didn’t notice CA contributor J.A.Micheline making her debut on the Comics Panel this week!
WomenWriteAboutComics has a new feature from colorist Marissa Louise, who promises to spend the next few weeks talking about the art of color. She’ll be joined by a variety of other colorists as time goes by, but for her first post she carefully goes through some of the basics --- basics that were at times completely new to me! There’s a lot to learn about the work of a colorist, and I’m excited to see her develop the feature over the next few weeks. Our own Ziah Grace is continuing his own Art of Color’ feature here on CA as well, and it genuinely feels like we’re starting to critically crack open what coloring means for a comic.
Swapna Krishna has been doing astounding work over at Panels.net for a very long while now, but one piece that caught my eye in particular was this list of six South Asian webcomics worth your attention. I don’t know about you, but something that's uniquely exciting about webcomics is their global reach. Anybody with a computer can make one, and anyone with a computer can then find that work. Most of these comics were new to me, but I’m definitely excited to spend some time this weekend checking through some of the work on offer.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
There’s been a lot of excitement over Goldie Vance, a new four-issue miniseries from Hope Larson and Brittney Williams. This detective series follows a young girl (the eponymous Ms Vance) who lives in her father’s hotel. The hotel has a live-in detective, but when he finds himself stuck on the latest mystery, he has to turn to Golde for help cracking the case. This preview over on CBR will likely explain just why this is all so exciting --- there’s a natural flair in Williams’ artwork that Larson gleefully taps into, with a lovely fresh palette which makes things look bouncy and bold.
But from there, let’s jump into something completely different --- a digital graphic novel called Jensiat, by writer Kioomars Marzban and artist Vahid Fazel, . It’s the story of a thirtysomething who returns to her home in Iran after a successful stint as an entrepreneur abroad, and stumbles from office politics to romance to wider societal themes and issues. It’s not written in English, but the form of the story struck me --- it utilizes animation in each panel, a little reminiscent of Comic Book Think Tank. We’ll keep an eye out for an English translation, but in the meantime you can learn more about the project through this article at The Creators Project.
And you know who else we should keep in-touch with? Cartoonist Tom Humberstone, whose work at The New Statesman is always worth a look. He reposted one on millennials earlier this week that, as a millennial myself, rang a few bells.
The Huffington Post ran a story this week on Shamsia Hassani, a street artist who also works as a lecturer on graffiti at the University of Kabul. That’s… that’s actually a job that exists, folks. This is a wonderful world.
The article spotlights some of her work, such as ‘Birds of No Nation’, seen above. The most important message in her work, perhaps, is the way she knocks back against the idea that tradition trumps personal freedom. Her work shows the huge amounts of personal expression that she can showcase while proudly upholding her traditions. It's lovely stuff.
Have a great weekend, everybody!