Weekender: Margaret Atwood, Copra, Chris Kindred, and Sanjay’s Super Team
The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
Perhaps the biggest news announced this week came from Dark Horse, whose recent new recruits are starting to make themselves known. Freelance editor Hope Nicholson has had an especially big week, first with the announcement that Margaret Atwood will make her comics debut next year, for a new series of graphic novels with artist Johnnie Christmas. Angel Catbird is about, well, a man with several intriguing abdominal muscles who is also partly human, partly cat, and partly bird. The first book will be out in Autumn 2016.
Then came the news that Nicholson's Kickstarter-funded The Secret Loves of Geek Girls will also be published through Dark Horse in October next year. The anthology features, yes, features Margaret Atwood, plus Kelly Sue DeConnick, Mariko Tamaki, Marjorie Liu, and more.
Yen Press also had some announcements to show off this week; namely that it will be publishing Natsuki Takaya's Fruits Basket in collector's editions next year. Out of print for half a decade, the volumes will reappear in stores next spring, with new translations. 2016 will also see new work from Takaya, as Yen Press will publish her new series Liselotte & Witch’s Forest, and her classic series Twinkle Stars.
We're properly international today. Last weekend saw New Delhi Comic-Con kick off in India. Centre Daily Times reports that attendance was around 40,000, which is an absolutely huge statement of interest from fans. American superheroes mingled with Indian heroes, for an event that looks like it's getting bigger and bigger every year.
2016 is already shaping up to be a huge year, as The Louvre Museum has announced it will be displaying an exhibition of Japanese Manga, along with French and Belgian Bande-Dessinee, in Tokyo. Opening in July, the exhibition will spotlight work from Hirohiko Araki and Jiro Taniguchi, as well as Nicolas de Crecy and Enki Bilal. The exhibition will subsequently tour Japan.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
This comic from Chris Kindred is a personal, affecting look at an issue that doesn't get covered too often in the media. Starting at the end of the 'story' and focusing solely on his personal emotional response, the comic looks at the feeling of being sexually assaulted. The structuring of the lettering is particularly effective here, really making sure the reader pauses to consider the weight and impact of each panel.
Jason Shiga's Demon, which'll be published in print through First Second next year, is still serialising online as a webcomic. You can find the Patreon-funded project over here, and start looking into the weird semi-murder mystery that the planned 700-odd page story begins with.
Copra celebrates 25 issues with a double-sized special this month, which as always can only be found via Etsy. Michel Fiffe's series, which is a skewed take on the Suicide Squad concept, has proved to be a huge success over the last few years, and this issue will follow the team both in the past and the present, on their various missions. Several guest contributors will provide pin-ups, and there'll also be a guest story from Ben Marra in the issue.
Political cartoonist E.P. Unny talks about the changing way people look at and respond to satire and cartooning at The Wire. Over three decades into his career, the cartoonist has seen things change and develop in myriad ways --- but the most interesting part is seeing him speak on how people are now starting to associate agreement with a political message as something worthy of praise; while disagreement means the comic was bad.
Peggy Burns took over at Drawn & Quarterly earlier this year, and this fun interview with Daniel Viola sees her cast an eye over her home in Montreal. There's talk about comics, sure, but it's also basically a travel guide for anybody who might be interested in visiting Quebec's Metropolis at some point --- which it sounds like everybody should.
I liked this piece by Graphic Policy, which looks at the digital comics work of Emily Carroll, paying particular note to the way she can create a page digitally that might not work in print. Rafa Conter's piece works slowly through a series of examples, appreciating her space work and following the way her work consciously allows for the different way people read a page online. Scrolling down through a comic is a much different experience to reading in print, and Conter does a nice job of exploring that dynamic.
Also on a digital note, here's an interview with Sean E. Williams about Comicker Digital, the digital comics publisher that he helped found earlier this year. The interview finds Williams about to launch an app supporting the various comics published by Comicker, as it moves to a partial subscription service that will form the backbone of its plans for 2016.
WomenWriteAboutComics has a piece from Anne Price this week, in which she talks about comics as reading tools for those who are not strong readers. As a youth services librarian, she's uniquely qualified to talk about the struggle of getting new and inexperienced readers to try out comics.
Let's head on over to the Fan Bros Podcast this week, hosted by DJ BeenHaMeen, Tatiana King Jones and ChicoLeo. One of the most high-energy podcasts about comics, a recent episode saw writer Greg Pak join the trio to talk about his work in comics. The podcast talks about aspects of comics that you wouldn't get from anyone else, with Pak going into fascinating depth about his thoughts on his 'role' as a prominent Asian American making comics.
By all accounts, Sanjay Patel's six-minute short Sanjay's Super Team is the highlight of a trip to go see the latest Pixar movie, The Good Dinosaur. This Wired piece takes a look at how his love of animation and comics combined to help him tell the story. There are already calls for this to be expanded into a full-length movie. Time will only tell whether that ever happens; but those six minutes are so good!
Have a great weekend, everybody!