Weekender: Red Virgin, Harlowe Vanished, And A Secret Convergence
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.
NBM has announced its lineup of comics for spring, which includes work from Kerascoët, Jiro Taniguchi, Annie Goetzinger and more, all of whom get a profile at Robot6 thanks to Brigid Alverson. It feels like we’re seeing more and more small press publishers (or studio press, as I call them --- can we make that catch on?) really build up a head of steam as we head into 2016.
Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has arrived in the UK ahead of his upcoming trial for sedition. He faces nine charges under the Sedition Act, which was introduced to Malaysia by the British in 1948. Currently he’s unable to publish anywhere but online, as every publisher in his home country is scared to put out his work --- so go read this article about said work, because it’s an actual example of free speech being threatened. We need to watch cases like these very carefully.
The Phoenix has hit 200 issues! A weekly collection of comics for all ages, the magazine has celebrated with a comics competition and the news that they’ll now be available in WH Smiths across the UK.
If you want more comics for kids, then there’s good news; APE Entertainment has the Sesame Street comics license, and is planning to release a series of children’s comics later this year. How many books? One! Two! Three! Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Ahem.
Last weekend saw The Lakes International Festival take place in Kendal, England. If you weren't able to attend, that’s fine, because this extensive back and forth between Zainab Akhtar and Claire Napier at Comics & Cola delves into every aspect of the festival.
In connected news, Mary and Bryan Talbot used the festival to announce their next project Red Virgin, about the true story of Louise Michel, the 19th century revolutionary feminist dubbed “The Red Virgin of Montmartre.” It will be published by Jonathan Cape.
November starts this weekend, which means we’re heading into Thought Bubble season! The biggest comics festival in the UK takes places from the 14th-15th November, and the full events programme has been announced. Several ComicsAlliance folks will be there, so wave hello/slap us if you see us!
Programming has also been announced for CAB in Brooklyn, which takes places next week from the 7th-8th November.
Via Tom Spurgeon, CAKE has announced that its 2016 show will take place June 11th-12th next year, taking over Chicago for another weekend. Exhibition applications will open shortly.
NEW AND UPCOMING COMICS
Jillian Tamaki has returned to webcomics this week with a new series of works at Hazlitt, fresh off the success of This One Summer over at FirstSecond. The first story, ‘Darla’, heads in some unexpected directions before offering a look at artistry and performance.
Let’s follow the Halloween theme by checking out the Tumblr of Doc Sonic. He cuts paper to create illustrations of various characters, both famous and infamous, with a unique style that has won fans from comic fans and creators, including Kelly Sue DeConnick. Here’s a look at his Halloween post for the year, for example. Such horrors!
We’re only five pages into Harlowe Vanished, but already it’s clear that Amy King is making something intensely special and personal here. It has the look of a Disney film, but it appears as though it’ll be heading into tougher territory. There’s already a strong sense of character and story in place, and I’m interested to see where the story will move forward over the next few weeks.
Manga! Here’s how to get into it! In the last year, Ardo Omer has gone from someone with only a passing knowledge of manga to somebody who reads and loves those comics. At Panels she talks about how she made the move and what the experience has brought her.
Brandon Schatz and Danica LeBlanc collaborate for a special edition of ‘The Retailer’s View’ over on The Beat this week, talking about comics curation, gatekeeping, and how comics push forward and back on themselves in a recurring cycle.
Noah Van Sciver writes a harsh and fair piece on getting into comics and staying there at his own blog; There Is No Short Cut. It hits on some of the points that everybody hits when they write one of these posts --- that you just have to make comics, get on with it, and continue doing so for a very long time despite everything telling you to give up. However, it also has an edge that a lot of these posts miss, and it all the more compelling for it. It also led to a follow-up post from John Porcellino at his own blog, which adds to some of the ideas Van Sciver mentions.
Let’s take a moment to champion two of the people who kept going in comics despite the pressure. I’m a huge fan of Jimmie Robinson, whose work has gone in innumerable different creative directions over the years. He talks about his years in comics over on Facebook, in a characteristically charming post.
Annie Koyama, the hurricane force who leads Koyama Comics, posts a similar article on her Facebook page. It’s a charged piece that again bounds along on her irresistible sense of charm, despite some of the harder subject matter she brings up. Both Annie and Jimmie are wonderful people, and comics are stronger for having them both around.
The big news in comics podcasting this week is that a weirdly familiar sounding version of The Beyonder has abducted several of the most well-known podcasters in comics for a crossover event, The Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts. The first episode is hosted by The Fan Bros Podcast, and features Chris Sims, Rachel Edidin and Graeme McMillan talking about how many wolverines it would take to beat Wolverine in a fight.
We're a little late to this party, but Terry Blas has put together an excellent comic that addresses a question that I imagine a few of us have asked innocently enough in the past; what’s the difference between ‘Latino’ and ‘Hispanic’? Blas provides an answer in clear and firm fashion. Comics that also educate you? What a world we live in!
Have a great weekend, everybody!