Item! As he does four times a year, Seth covers the latest issue of CNQ, Canadian Notes and Queries. This issue (Winter 2013) is about libraries and Seth provides a gorgeous wrap-around cover of strange creatures lining up to return library books at the night depository. Besides a plethora of articles and reviews about book collecting and other literary pasttimes, there is an article by Jeet Heer on imaginary books and libraries and a 2-page “classic comics” style adaptation by the great Aaron Costain (Team Society League, Entropy).
Item! Montreal’s Georgia Webber has launched an indiegogo campaign to print the first two issues of her Dumb comics series, chronicling her year of not speaking because of a throat ailment. The aim is to print comics to finance a trip to the CAKE festival in Chicago: “In October of 2012, after a vague doctor’s assessment and much googling, I decided to stop talking for all but 15 minutes a day. See, usually my throat pain goes away quickly, but this pain showed up in May, and it stayed. Over the summer it got worse, and worse, and worse, until it was constant and unbearable.[…]In order to get better as quickly as possible (and to not be in pain), I stopped talking. I stopped singing. I stopped everything.[…]Take a moment to imagine what this would be like for you. How would you feel? How would you communicate with your loved ones, friends, coworkers, neighbours? Could you do it? […]If you want to find out what I did, pitch in a little to help me bring the first two 20-page comics of DUMB into existence.”
Item! Tickets for this summer’s Fan Expo Canada have just gone on sale (with a few hitches) and the con has announced that former Marvel Comics editor, co-plotter, and dialogue writer and current paid spokesperson Stan Lee will be in attendance once again.
Item! The Beguiling in Toronto is hosting an event for U.S. cartoonist Brian Wood on Saturday April 13 at 3 pm. Facebook event page.
Item! The new Shuster Awards director Tyrone Biljan has made his first official statement as fearless leader: “To me the position is all about collaboration with like minded individuals to promote and celebrate great Canadian talent working in the comic book industry. I’m very proud to contribute to the ongoing celebration of these great creative talents, as well as looking back at our Canadian heritage when comic books were in their infancy.”
Item! This short article wonders if the rennaissance in French-language graphic novel creation in Quebec has stalled due to lack of demand. Jean-Paul Eid is among the commentators:
(google translation)
“L’Affaire Radisson avait mis en relief avec éloquence le mal-être dont semble être affligée la bande dessinée populaire. Rappelons que Glénat Québec avait prématurément mis un terme à la série de Jean-Sébastien Bérubé, refusant dans un premier temps de publier le quatrième et ultime ouvrage de la série, prétextant un déclin des ventes. Décision sur laquelle l’éditeur est rapidement revenu.
Les nouvelles orientations de M. Plante relancent la question de la place qu’occupe la bande dessinée commerciale dans le 9e art québécois. Certes, le «roman graphique» a le vent dans les voiles et jouit d’une indéniable faveur médiatique, mais est-il viable d’investir massivement ce milieu au détriment du reste? Car la bande dessinée populaire se vend souvent mieux, mais voilà: elle coûte plus chère à produire.
Pas étonnant, donc, que plusieurs artisans locaux, dont Thierry Labrosse, Jacques Lamontagne, Voro, Denis Rodier, Yves Rodier, François Miville-Deschênes, Djief Bergeron, ouvrent du côté des grands éditeurs européens.
Comme le disait l’éloquent sémiologue Jacques Samson dans ma chronique du 17 février dernier: «Je crois que nous aurions tout intérêt à focaliser davantage sur lectorat jeunesse, question de préparer les lecteurs de demain.»
Le milieu ne fait-il pas fausse route en délaissant le lectorat grand public, celui-là même qui jouera un rôle décisif dans la pérennité du médium?
La question est lancée.”