Oh, here we go:
Item! Amy Lockhart and Marc Bell are interviewed on Books for Breakfast, CFRU’s weekly literary radio how hosted by Peter Bradley and Dan Evans. The two artists talk about their own comics, animation, book-making and the experience of working as sometimes-collaborative artists living in a tiny apartment together (at the 12:45 mark). Totally inspiring and worth listening to the whole thing. Loved Amy’s bit on her iconography:
“Ladies in profile, usually their tongues hanging out, big foreheads, big necks and sort of creepy-cute is how it gets described. And ink line drawings (I used to do more cross-hatching) and also acrylic painting that is somewhere between flat and bad-illusionistic rendering. Weird muscle-y men. Lots of ladies.”
Item! Jeet Heer on how all superheroes are gay in The Globe and Mail:
Male superheroes like Batman and Superman also display pervasive homoerotic subtexts, as well as anxiety about sexual identity, says Berlatsky, as can seen in recurring themes of “male bifurcated selves, secret identities, and intense male-male relationships in which love/hate is worked out through paranoid violence which looks a lot like homosexual panic.”
Paradoxically Berlatsky sees these sexual subtexts as an outgrowth of the hyper-masculinity of these characters. The superheroes have a gender identity so extreme and brittle that it always threatens to “deconstruct itself.”
Item! Writing for T-Dot Comics, Ryan C. Burgess recounts his first experience of Anime North, which was held in Toronto a few weekends past:
“The Double Tree International Plaza Hotel held the majority of the panels, where discussions and theories rule the room. Discussions on the Social Relevance of Final Fantasy VII, What Not to Cosplay, and even a panel described on the schedule as random discussion panel were available for anyone attending.
One of the coolest rooms in the hotel was the Manga Library, a conference room devoted to chairs and a wall of books. For those who prefer to read in moderate levels of privacy, a small fort of boxes had been erected in one of the corners of the room.
More events were scattered throughout the five-block radius. Inside the same building as the dealers room was live wrestling bouts, photo ops, artists and various signings. Just outside of the building was even more photos, a stage with a DJ for the entire weekend and live cosplay chess.”
Item! I think Max also linked to it elsewhere on Sequential but I so loved that Matt Forsythe poster design for the Montreal Casseroles movement. I like the “new character parade” aspect of this sort of poster, tiered drawings of weird types, like we see in this Otto Soglow pitch for The Little King or in Michael Deforge’s recent poster for the Wright Awards. Part comics, part Richard Scarry, I guess.
Item! Speaking of Montreal-related stuff Max already linked to, I thought I’d just pull out this quote from Andy Brown’s report on last week’s Montreal Comics Festival:
“Conundrum has just signed the rights to Philippe Girard’s La Visite des Morts (Obituary Man) his fourth with Conundrum, which we plan on launching at TCAF 2013.”
Item! Writing for Torontoist, Kevin Plummer gives us part one of a lengthy two-part feature article on iconic Canadian cartoonist Jimmie Frise (1891-1948), a huge talent and the man indirectly responsible for the career of Doug Wright. This is one of the best things I’ve read on Frise.
“Jimmie Frise was perhaps the most important Canadian cartoonist in the first half of the twentieth century. His immensely popular Birdseye Center, which gently sent up the rural life and rustic villages of his youth from a metropolitan perch, struck a nerve in a rapidly modernizing and urbanizing country, and he became one of the country’s most recognizable celebrities for his adventures with Greg Clark—around town, or out hunting and fishing—were published weekly, with Clark providing the words, and Frise, the comical illustration.
Before it all, however, Frise was a country boy looking for his big break in the city…”
Item! Kate Beaton produces her first magazine cover ever! And it’s for The Walrus summer reading issue. (Prints are available, too.)
Item! Robin Bougie and Maxine Frank present a preview of Humpmonkey Wasteland, a new comic scheduled for Sleazy Slice #6, February 2013 (that seems like too far in the future to wait!). According to Robin, it’s about “post apocalyptic girlgangs. It’s very violent, and there is a lot of sex.”
Item! Dave Sim recently announced a Kickstarter fundraiser effort to digitize his Cerebus graphic novel series. The campaign was super-successful after only a few weeks, raising something like $30,000 in excess of the original $6000 goal. Congrats to Dave and his crew. Perhaps the most amazing part of this effort was the news that Sim actually owns a computer that is connected to the internet, which he claims he only uses for typesetting and downloading photo-references from Google Images, and not for porn or reading what people are writing about him on the internet, preferring to receive faxes and snail-mail delivered print-outs from the web from fans/collaborators/assistants. Also, Sim has announced a DVD collection of his latest opus Glamourpuss. I heard they were going to stop making dvds, but whatever:
“EVERYone keeps telling me: KICKSTARTER! KICKSTARTER! KICKSTARTER! So, um, here I am as part of a event/partnership — Cerebus Digital — registered by John Scrudder in his home state of North Carolina. You GO, TARHEELS! Okay, so John tells me I just have to sign my name and personalize CEREBUS esoterica a few thousand times and mail out a few hundred packages…
(both of which I’m definitely up for since, fortunately, they don’t require computer literacy — I still use an electric typewriter, “escargot mail”, a fax machine and landline telephone to communicate with the outside world, relying on outside help for anything Internet-based (my MacBook is only for typesetting and downloading photoreference: God Bless Google Images!!!) I have written instructions here from John telling me how to input this. I hope I’m doing this right)…”
Item! Sequential received a press release about a new comics studio space opening up in Hamilton. Illustrator/writer Mike Gagnon, a creator who I am unfamiliar with but who advertise a handful of Marvel and Dark Horse credits as well as some indy superhero efforts on his resume, seems to be the key person behind this effort at community building and the studio is having a very public launch this June 16th featuring an appearance by animation character designer Kurt Lehner (Gargoyles, Franklin the Turtle). The Hammer Comics studio launch is billed as a family event with live music and with “raffles, prizes and trivia games that are fun for all ages,” leading into a fun night of dancing and live music with local artists at the Homegrown Hamilton restaurant.
Item! Michael Deforge news: Steve Bissette reviews Lose #3 and an animated Ant Comic.
Item! And finally, Seth and Chris Ware starring in what some are calling the greatest comics photo ever.