The Article That Would Have Been The Talk Of Comics Ten Years Ago And Now... Meh
It strikes me that this piece on comics in college curricula by Shannon Watkins would have enraged comics for maybe a couple of weeks back in 2008 or so, and stands very little chance of doing so today. I assume teaching prose has all of the benefits asserted. Teaching comics I imagine is developing and will develop virtues of its own. Some will overlap. There's no proof they're in serious competition. Everything in the article is a broad argument, built from delicate threads and sweeping generalization. I do like the notion that teaching comics is a way to promote progressive politics because I don't really get that out of comics as a whole at all.
I'm generally fascinated by the idea of being taught comics because I feel for certain I would have hated it and avoided such classes like a champ were they offered when I was a student. I'm not all the way sure why. I mean I would have avoided being taught in an English way, not a history way, although the latter doesn't appeal to me either. I'd be the worst comics teacher ever, too. That's mostly because I spend half my time sitting asleep, which I assume would be a bad thing for class discipline. The only class I've ever heard of in comics that I'd like to take is John Ronan's SAW history of comics class, because I bet John could teach that subject for eight semesters and not reach the 20th Century. Also, you don't fall asleep on John Ronan. Even then I'd take it pass/fail.
Clifford Meth wrote in to CR on the occasion of the passing of his friend Rich Buckler. He noted the tough last several years through which Buckler struggled despite at one point being a significant freelancer in the US mainstream.
This gofundme has some of those words from Meth, but more importantly I think gives Buckler's fans and peers a nice way to remember the artist. That's an achievable dollar amount, extra money is always useful to scholarship drives, and the end result would help someone in the here and now in a way that would keep the late comics-maker's name alive in the field where he made his name.
* Cristian Rossel profiles Rosemary Valero O'Connell. I thought the piece was going to be slippery about how much money we're talking about with the artist, but that actually become refreshingly clear by story's end.
* I tweeted this yesterday, and some of you have probably figured that for the next several months at the very least I'm going to push the line that perhaps comics should pursue fair and equitable reward to its creators as it primary community goal over the legitimacy and value of reading the comics, a battle I think mostly won (see the cover of the Fanta history). This is a minefield, of course, not the least of which is I think being honest and communicating to younger artists about the extent and nature of reward that awaits them might end up being more important than praising everyone equally to the moon at all stages of their career. We'll talk more, plenty of chances to call me a dick.
* here's a list of classic comic book stories that would be read differently today, and with obvious dismay. Tintin in the Congo remains to my mind the most directly dismaying example, though this list doesn't extend out of the US. I find most superhero stories dismaying because so many support violence as a solution in an unrealistic way.
All Support To The Cartoonist Sophie Labelle, Harassed By Shitheads And Morons
Any one of thesethreearticles -- or all of them together -- and cartoonist Sophie Labelle's Facebook post here should give you the parameters of the story.
There's such a matter of fact processing of what happened on Labelle's end, such as why the police haven't been brought in, that I hope everyone will read up and consider the issues involved very seriously. That anyone wastes their time working through their fears and hatred this way and the fact that no matter how admirable the response someone else still has to pay for this harassment in measurements of discomfort, worry and having life events disrupted, that shouldn't make anyone happy. The notion that this kind of thing continues to be an issue, that people will spend their time to actively punish someone just trying to do their thing, that's something no one can deny. It will likely be with us, in some form or another, always.
I hope the specific Canadian legal protections come, and I hope that this sort of aggression will one day feel as ridiculous and pathetic in the doing as it reads in the reporting. Until then, I hope anyone similarly afflicted will be supported as much as I'm sure most rationally thinking people will want to.