Weekender: Rosy Press, Red Road, And The Animation Escape Hatch
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.
Former ComicsAlliance editor Janelle Asselin has written a post on her Tumblr page about her studio press publisher Rosy Press and its excellent romance anthology Fresh Romance. Six months after initial crowdfunding ended, she has elected to put the project on hold while she reviews her options, which may include leaving comics as a whole. We selfishly hope that won’t happen, of course, but it's worth reading Asselin's post to understand the difficult choices that come with trying to make a comics project work.
On a related note, Emma Houxbois at The Rainbow Hub published an interview with Sarah Kuhn, who writes ‘The Ruby Equation’ for Fresh Romance. Hopefully we’ll see more from Rosy Press at some point in future --- and all the best to Janelle and the many wonderful people who contributed to the series.
You may remember that there was a hit and run at SDCC last year, with a car driving into a crowd of people who were participating in a “zombie walk” event. The driver, Matthew Pocci, was this week found guilty of reckless driving resulting in serious injury, and faces up to three years in jail. Nobody was killed in the incident, but one of the victims suffered a broken arm.
‘Tis the season for end of year lists, with Publishers Weekly continuing the annual tradition of being first out the gate to publish their rundown of the year. There’s not much to surprise among the choices --- SuperMutant Magic Academy is likely going to be a mainstay on such lists this year, I think.
The newest Humble Bundle collection is centered on Peanuts, as a tie-in to this weekend's film release. The first three volumes are among the first tier books on offer at a pay-what-you-want level, with subsequent editions and further stories locked at slightly higher levels. Also on a Peanuts kick, here’s an interview with creator Charles Schultz’s daughter Amy over at Deseret News.
The Locust Moon Comics Festival took place in Philadelphia at Halloween, and guests in attendance included Bill Sienkiewicz, Ron Wimberley, David Mack and Alexa Kitchen. The Daily Pennsylvanian has a report on their website, which details who delivered the most tricks (Mack) and who delivered the most treats (literally, Wimberley).
Last weekend also saw the Short Run Comix & Art Festival take place in Seattle, and organizers have reported a record number of attendees. Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon has collected together a series of reports, stories and photos from the day, which you can find here.
This coming weekend is a big one, boasting both Comics Arts Brooklyn in the USA and Thought Bubble over in Leeds, England. Oh my!
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
Rozi Hathaway got in touch to tell us the new edition of her latest project The Red Road goes on sale today. After the first run of the story sold out earlier this year, she’s back with a second printing featuring additional pages of sketchbook and concept work. It’s a story based on Indigenous American tales, which builds on a central theme of redemption and acceptance, and the artwork tells the story in sometimes stark, brutal panels.
2015 marks the 70th year since the Hiroshima Bombings, and Gen Okamoto reports on a particularly fascinating manga by Takaaki Morikawa, being published in remembrance by radio station Hiroshima Chuo Hosokyoku. The station was due to announce a public warning of incoming air raids only moments before the first bomb hit, which knocked it off the air. If it had only been able to sound the alert sooner, thousands of lives could’ve been saved.
Starting as a serialised supernatural horror tale, which you can read online here, Vigor Mortis by Ella McConnell and Jennie Gyllblad has now come to print, and is currently available for shipping worldwide. The creative team also has a Patreon, so if you like the look of the series, consider pledging to it!
Cece Bell’s award-winning El Deafo graphic novel has been out for a month or so now, in which the cartoonist turns her real life hearing-impairment into a semi-autobiographical story about a young girl with a hearing aid who finds she can become a superhero… in part because of it. Also, she turns into a bunny when she’s a superhero, because bunnies are awesome. If this interests you - and it surely must, because what part of this isn't totally amazing - then nip across to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who have a preview of the project.
Heidi MacDonald gets us out the gate with a rare article outside of The Beat/Publishers Weekly. Writing for Slate, she speaks to a number of artists about how animation provides many comic creators with stability that comics can't offer. Matt Groening is obviously the biggest name here, but recently we’ve seen Lisa Hanawalt involved in creating Bojack Horseman, Zac Gorman on Over The Garden Wall, Sam Alden at Adventure Time, and many more. Could the safety net of animation be the future for our best comics-makers?
I know I’d turn to Chase Magnett if I had a series of questions I wanted to ask about the world of comics, and Comics Bulletin has smartly decided to do the same for a series called ‘Leading Questions’. In eaach installment, he's posed a question by Mark Stack --- with the first one being about manga, and where it sits within the American marketplace.
There’s further exposition on manga over at Panels.net this week, as Vernieda Vergara offers a beginner’s guide to terminology.
And here’s a feature on Matt Fraction by Oliver Sava over at The AV Club, which looks at how the writer was revitalised by his decision to drop Marvel and head back to Image. Focusing on books including Sex Criminals, Satellite Sam and ODY-C, the profile sees a writer rediscovering his creativity and heading in new and distinct directions, without anything tethering him to the floor.
Critic and diversity advocate Miz Caramel Vixen from VixenVarsity was the victim of a car accident last year, which requires her to undertake rehabilitation and physical therapy. She’s set up a GoFundMe to help her cover those costs, so if there’s anything ComicsAlliance readers can do to help bump up that donation, please give what you can!
Vixen is responsible for the #BlackComicsMonth trend that went from Twitter to NYCC over the course of a few months, and her dedication towards promoting a more diverse comics industry that respects, supports, and hires people of color makes her an important presence in the industry. We need as many people like her as possible --- people with real talent and passion for making comics better.
Have a great weekend, everybody!