Here. Mr. Sebela just suffered an auto accident not of his making this week. No injuries, but the loss of the car and its ability to be replaced might go poorly for him. I boosted my pledge a bit, and I'll ask you to consider the same or something similar. Most of us in comics live in this fragile network where disruptions can send us spiraling out of control to a greater degree than the actual numbers involved might indicate. Sebela is at a point in his career progression that is tricky for a lot of comics pros, and I think he's a good bet to make good on an extra hand right now. Plus the comic looks fun.
By Request Extra: Kilgore Books Has A Crowd-Funder Going On Right This Very Moment
I almost missed this entirely, so please write in directly if you have one of these you want to see coverage. This features a couple of key Noah Van Sciver reprints, Summer Pierre (that's her work above), Glynnis Fawkes, Leslie Stein and Tim Lane. I'm sure I'm missing one or two people. One of the incentives is that nice sitting-in-nature print Van Sciver did a while back.
Dan Stafford of Kilgore Books is forthright in terms of why he's doing a crowd-funder and how the money will be spent. I get the sense that the various titles will get more publicity in this initial funding campaign than they might get down the road when released.
* looks like the great Gilbert Shelton may be interested in other creators working with his Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, in a way that sounds a bit different than past collaborations. Those are fun, utilitarian characters that I think could do well with artists other than Shelton. Although I'm more fond of creations remaining linked to creators, I'm most fond of the creator making whatever call they desire about that.
* here's a Henson Studio/Boom! deal that makes some sense, particularly in that past licensor Archaia is now a division of Ross Richie's comic book fiefdom. They have properties that have enough of a second life that doing comics with them can be fun. Whether or not they end up being good comics depends on the talent involved, but they've certainly made adaptation that I've bought in the past.
* finally, Marvel will do a series of cross-generational team-ups as its last event series in a while. One thing they have done pretty well this year and last is have events that offer an easy elevator-pitch hook. Whether or not that's enough to engage people for whom narrative is everything with those characters, I imagine we'll see. "Superheroes fight the Atlas Monsters" was a big no, and the jury is still out on "Everyone fights a Captain America turned fascist."
* this is a good question. I'm not in retail, so I rarely think this way. My hunch is that Black Hole is the best comic in this general neighborhood, followed by A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, but I'm probably missing something.
* mainstream-focused coverage has picked up on the fact that the ballyhooed Superman/Wonder Woman romance has now been written out of the narrative of those characters' lives. I always found that plot-line icky, and not just because the Superman of that era was really unformed and uninteresting. It should give writers pause to step away from narratives that work as well as the top superheroes' work the same way you wouldn't want to mess with the Santa Claus story in a similar way. Lois Lane really works for Superman.
* finally, some not comics: Humberto Abdo on the documentary Laert-se.
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.