Weekender: ‘Kochikame’, Nina Bunjevac, And Fresh Gillen Cream
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!
The most New York-heavy awards ceremony to be held in, ahem, Maryland, the Harvey Awards were held this past weekend as part of Baltimore Comic-Con. The wins were well spread around, although Image Comics’ five awards were notable, in that four of them were for Saga alone.
Although nominated in most categories, and in several cases taking up 4/5ths of the nominees in particular categories, Valiant did not win a single award at the ceremony --- in a move that is largely viewed as an intentional shut-out. Many felt the company had encouraged ballot-stuffing as part of the shortlisting process (and had done so in previous years as well), so these results are perhaps not as unexpected as you might think. With this, and the continuing welt that is the Hugo Awards, perhaps some of these ceremonies need to rethink their approach moving forward.
Insight Editions has announced plans to launch a line of comics projects through 2017, overseen by editor Mark Irwin. Insight will see a mix of licensed properties with original graphic novels --- which obviously sparks our particular interest here at ComicsAlliance. However, the announcement doesn't include the names of any comics, or even the creators. Watch this space, I guess?
Kochikame, the longest-running manga in publication today, will end this month after 40 years. Created by Osamu Akimoto, the series debuted way back in 1976, and this month’s final edition will be the 200th. Phew.
Comics critic and interviewer Tim O’Shea was diagnosed with brain cancer a short while ago, and in a post made on The Comics Reporter, his friend Craig Fischer said the following:
Recently, Tim has been moved to hospice.
Tim is a friend of mine from multiple HeroesCons, so when I heard this sad news, I wrote him a letter and e-mailed it to his wife, Ellen Vance O'Shea. Ellen replied that my letter boosted Tim's spirit, so I suggested that Tim might also like to hear from other comics folk.
Ellen has given me permission to make a public announcement about Tim's condition, and to ask Tim's friends --- and fans of Tim's interviews and criticism that never met the man --- to write their own messages. All letters and good wishes for Tim can be sent directly to Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org
O’Shea is best known for his writing as part of Robot 6, as well as SmashPages --- and I wanted to share an interview he did with Brigid Alverson for the latter site, in which he talks about his thoughts on interviewing. We’d like to offer Tim our best thoughts at this time --- he’s a wonderful writer, and a supremely nice man.
Finally: The Best American Comics book is seeking submissions for their next work. Find out more here!
Denver International Comics and Arts Festival, somewhat liberally called DINK, is expanding for its next show in April 2017. Exhibitor applications have already opened, so be aware if you’re interested in tabling the event, which’ll be held now at the McNichols Civic Center Building. My favorite part about the news --- expansion of comic events to one side, as that’s always excellent --- is that apparently there will also be an awards ceremony for regional and wider comics work… and those awards will be called "The DINKies." My heart!
Embarrassingly, I missed this excellent report from the continually fantastic writer Ray Sonne, who attended the recent Flame Con in Brooklyn. That convention has, in particular this year I think, really captured the imagination of fans and creators alike, and will spark a thousand ideas, each of them spiralling off in unique directions. Comics continues to open itself up as an industry, with gatekeepers being pushed aside to let more people through, opening up the discussion and bringing more depth and meaning to the medium. Events like Flame Con, carefully curated, are the future of the industry, please.
This is all a cautious optimism, as continually we still see stories such as the news that police are investigating multiple reports of sexual assault across the course of Dragon Con. As outlined on The Outhousers, two incidents were shared across social media following the event, with both passed on to the authorities. In each case, photographs were taken of the people alleged to have committed the acts, and in at least one case this has already led to an identification. Both cases remain ongoing.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
Everyone’s passion for Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente on Panel Syndicate seems to have quietened somewhat now The Private Eye has concluded, so please consider this a reminder that the newest project from the team, Barrier, is continuing ever onwards. The second part of the series just launched, after a few delays caused by the team’s current work on that Walking Dead crossover that confused everyone at Image Expo a year or so ago. You can read Barrier, which remains on a pay-what-you-want model, here.
Twitter reminded me this week that the fantastic storyteller Nina Bunjevac runs a Patreon, which you can find here. The Patreon is to help with the funding of Bezimena, an adult picture-book (comic?) that she aims to bring to print Summer 2017. The story is a noir tale where, as she puts it, "If comparative religion is your thing this will definitely appeal to you." It sounds absolutely one-of-a-kind, and a break from the expected, which seems well worth visiting. And hey, perhaps becoming a patron for?
Our own Jon Erik Christianson was also a part of the aforementioned Flame Con, where he’s interviewed several comics talents. This interview with webcomic savant Blue Delliquanti was my favorite of the interviews he’s done so far, not least because he breaks off part way through to make sure he includes a pun of merit to proceedings. Never change, Christianson. Delliquanti gives a great interview, too, offering a look at their webcomic O Human Star. Expect more interviews from Flame Con next week!
I think we've all been waiting for Emma Houxbois to review Alters #1, the series from AfterShock which features what they billed as the first lead trans hero. Response from trans women has not been positive.
There have been a few articles about the direct market recently, kicking off with a passionate but unfocused piece on The Outhousers by Jude Terror, which got pretty lost up in itself. The emotion driving it is real, even if the facts of the piece were less held together. Over on ComicBook.com, the website I can’t think of a good way to refer to in text (cb.com? Comic Book Dot Com?) Christian Hoffer delivered what I think was the most informed thought on the whole thing.
Chase Magnett had a good piece this week in which he looks at the #artcred movement, with a focus on the publishers. #Artcred was started by Declan Shalvey to highlight when artists do not get the credit they deserve as storytellers, comic-makers, and a vital part of the medium. The goal of the #Artcred movement is to make sure that Charlie Adlard and Stefano Gaudino get their due alongside Robert Kirkman in discussions of The Walking Dead, for example. But it’s not just coverage of comics that has this problem; publishers routinely diminish the work of their artistic talent, and Magnett heads deep into the well in his piece for ComicsBulletin.
Gillen Cream sprang forth anew this week, with Kieron Gillen resurrecting his much-loved comics podcast Decompressed for a second volume. Al Ewing is the guest for the first episode! Strong!
Have a great weekend, everybody!
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