Nilah Magruder's M.F.K. Wins Inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award
This should be the full PR, as a PDF: McDuffieAward2015.pdf -- I'm doing this from a phone in a restaurant. I'll have a newsbrief up tomorrow. Congratulations to Magruder, though, and to that awards program for shining a spotlight on that work.
The top comics-related news stories from February 21 to February 27, 2015:
1. Despite the explosion of conventions all over the world and the convention's seemingly unique ability to draw criticism for things that never get applied to other shows, Comic-Con International's show in San Diego is still the E-Ticket ride to end all rides, with near immediate sell-outs and people spending three or so days a year not at the show trying to negotiate the registration and reservations processes.
2. What do you do when a convention loses its hotel? Re-schedule at a different venue, and run a one-day event on the old weekend for anyone that's already made travel plans.
3. The alleged thief behind the robbery of Jim Wheelock's stellar-sounding Silver Age-focused comics collection is arraigned without any further clue as to where the comics might have ended up. I think what might fascinate me as this moves forward is if a thief could have converted a bunch of comics like that into cash in a way that's both completely quiet but also yields enough money for it to be worthwhile.
Winner Of The Week
Whoever thought up this pro-NYC campaign at Marvel just as DC heads out to Burbank. Intentional or not. Not a lot of ways to spin against the energy of a longtime rival starting a new life someplace, but this one of them.
Quote Of The Week
"Even when some people pointed to that article as 'proof' that Image Comics wasn't all it was cracked up to be, Image stuck with me, kept publishing Skullkickers, and continued to make incredible strides in expanding the market for creator-owned comics. I've always been thrilled to have my creator-owned books published by Image because I knew why the company was formed and how it's always worked: Creators are in complete control of their comics and they're compensated based on its success." -- Jim Zub, in his update for how his creator-owned numbers are working out. I might disagree a bit on the characterization of Image's history, but the enthusiasm for his publisher is something a lot of Image's creators have right now and is a big factor in terms of who wants to work where on what kind of project.
the comic image selected is from the brief but notable 1970s run of Seaboard/Atlas
By Request Extra: Comic Book People 2 Stalls At Halfway Point
The second of Jackie Estrada's comic book photo books drawn from her picture-taking at the San Diego Comic Con, this time featuring creators from the 1990s, looks like it may have reached a plateau at about halfway to its goal and is just stitting there now. I really like projects like this one because they provide some reward -- or at least not financial hardship -- for someone on the front lines of this kind of cultural history. Plus I just like looking at photos of my friends and cartoonist I admire when they're still zygotes. Anyway, this is a reminder for me that it's there.
* the writer Gary Tyrrell does a really good job covering the influence and impact of the crowd-funding mechansim Kickstarter on the fortunes of various webcomics-related projects. He has twosuch articles up this week.
* one thing that was impressed upon me this week was how much certain comics readers feel walled off from a lot of the work being done on social-media driven platforms. Usually I'd just make fun of these people for not having the inclination to track certain things down, but I do also worry that some creators don't care about having their work as widely disseminated as possible to people that would really love it. As always, I have no idea how to bridge these gaps, but it's weird that there are probably 20 interesting comics a big chunk of my comics-reading pals might never see and that there is likely a much bigger list from which I'm mostly divorced.
* finally, Kiel Phegley has a nice write-up here on Dark Horse shifting three lower-selling creator-owned series to digital-only in advance of a print trade collection. I think a lot of people are headed this direction, even if it's just creators putting up occasional chunks of comics to buy on Gumroad. At the same time, it doesn't seem like any of these series is particularly distinctive the way that, say, the Dark Horse-published Usagi Yojimbo and Resident Alien series have been.
* early-bird hotels (further away from the con, no refund, but easier to get and nail down) for Comic-Con International are available now. I believe I already have a room, or I'd be tempted to do this. As I get older, there's really little difference for me where I spend the night if it's not one of the super-convenient hotels right across the street from the convention center. I've stayed up to an hour away from the show in past years, and I probably will again at some point.
* I usually get a couple of notes from people when an article about the gender or orientation of a comic book character hits the comics-oriented sites, but this is the first time I can remember when both e-mails I got wondered why it isn't completely not extraordinary for a character to be oriented any way the writers and editors want them to be, particularly just a few years after a universe-wise reboot. I don't have a great answer for that.
* finally, Tom Bondurant suggests some snow-day comics. I think the last time I sought out an "escapist" type comic for just that purpose, I ended up with the High Society book from the Cerebus series and the Smax mini-series from a few years back. Anyway, it's a kind of comic that comics does very well.