Since this is a holiday in the U.S., I thought I’d fill in the void left by a million U.S. comics bloggers and cover a few Canadian AND U.S. links.
Item! A city councillor from my hometown of Guelph, Ontario is suing a cartoonist for libel. Andy Van Hellemond, a former NHL referee and Hockey Hall of Famer, was elected to Guelph City Council in October 2010. On May 8, the syndicated comic strip Adam@home, credited to U.S.-based writer/creator Brian Bassett and current cartoonist Rob Harrell, included a reference to Van Hellemond as the “the worst and most evil ref ever.” Although the specific authorship of the targeted strip is in question, Van Hellemond has served notice that he intends to sue for libel the strip’s creators and all of the newspapers that ran the strip (Adam@home is carried by The Guelph Mercury). Could this be the perfect storm of comics news stories? Hockey, U.S.-Canada relations, and Guelph!
Item! In the Naational Post, Mark Medley profiles Toronto illustrator and cartoonist Frank Viva, who has a new kids’ book out (Along A Long Road, HarperCollinsPublishers). Medley also announces that Viva, who works in a very Mid-Century Modern/Pascal Blanchet style, has another book due from Francoise Mouly’s Toon Books.
Item! Ziggy is 40! The icon of American banality and marketing savvy, beloved of all fans and scholars of comic art, is still published in over 500 papers worldwide.
Item! Matt Demers covers Chester Brown’s Paying For It at the Torontoist. As well, Brown’s Louis Riel has made the shortlist for a new CBC contest to choose a book to represent Manitoba.
Item! The Ottawa Citizen editors come out against Canada Customs and the current obscenity law that has lead to the case against an American caught transporting allegedly pornographic manga across the border. (Link via the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund)
Item! Saskatoon comic book artist Riley Rossmo is profiled by Planet S, Saskatoon’s City Magazine: ““Proof was my first ongoing book,” he says. “It received critical acclaim, but not many sales, [whereas] Cowboy Ninja Viking sold like crazy but didn’t have as much of a cult following as Proof. My newest book though, Green Wake, seems to be a nice mix of the two in terms of fan base and popularity.”’
Item! Comic Book Daily posts another Retailer Q&A, this time about the international phenomenon known as Free Comic Book Day. Respondents include Chris Butcher (Beguiling), Jay Bardyla (Happy Harbor Comics, Edmonton), Marc Sims (Big B Comics, Hamilton), John Tinkess (Another Dimension, Calgary), Bruno Andreacchi (B.A.’s Comics, London), and Jenn Haines (The Dragon, Guelph).