Our increasingly infrequent listing of Canadian comics items from around the web:
Item! This provocatively-titled profile of Jillian Tamaki by Anna Fitzpatrick in the National Post examines the potential fallout from Tamaki’s win of the Governor General’s Award last week. I think the answer to the question, “Does Jillian Tamaki’s GG win change the comics conversation?” is generally “No,” but who can say? In my opinion, the GGs will continue to hedge their bets in recognizing collaborative work in graphic novels intended for a YA or kidlit audience and will continue to ignore graphic novels created for adults. Regardless, the Post article does a good job of summing up the issues and has some choice quotes from Tamaki, including this one about the division between “Text” and “Illustration” in the awards: “It’s kind of a weird thing because I don’t consider comics to be illustrated. Comics are comics, and they’re not illustrated books. I do a lot of illustration. That’s how I started out. Illustration is something that supports content; it is an interpretation of existing content. It enriches something that is pre-existing. With comics, if, for example, you were to take our book and take out all the pictures and just read the text floating on the page, you wouldn’t know what was going on. But if you took away the text from the book and just looked at the pictures, you wouldn’t know what was going on. They’re kind of more woven together and they support each other in a much more fundamental way.”
Item! Cartoonist Jesse Jacobs (Safari Honeymoon) currently has an original art exhibit at Press Pop Gallery in Japan. It’s all part of the Kaigai Manga Festa, itself part of the larger Comitia dojinshi, or self-published manga, convention in Tokyo. The Kaigai Fest is a newish festival that focuses on international artists. The Canadian contingent, sponsored by the Canadian government and curated by The Beguiling, is responsible for getting Jacobs to Japan and is selling copies of Jacobs’ books at their festival booth.
Item! Jesse Jacobs’ publisher Koyama Press recently announced that they have partnered with the UK-based digital comics company Sequential to sell digital versions of their comics. Sequential is an app for reading comics on the iPad. In a press release, the publisher said “Print is the cornerstone of Koyama Press, but we are really excited about its new digital companion. Moreover, this is just the first batch of Koyama Press digital editions, so keep your eyes and apps open for more exciting releases!” Initial books on offer include Jacobs’ By This You Shall Know Him, Matt Forsythe’s Comics Class, Julie Delporte’s Journal, and Maurice Vellekoop’s The World of Gloria Badcock I believe the digitization was made possible with funds from the Ontario Media Development Corp.
Parenthetical Item! (Embarrassingly I have to admit, every time I see a headline about the Sequential app I think it’s a reference to this blog. This was especially true when I saw the above news since we report on Koyama Press alot. I couldn’t help thinking, nonsensically, “How is it we are publishing digital versions of these comics?” The situation becomes even more confusing when I see the Sequential logo, which is exactly the same as one we used for this blog once upon a time. There have been tons of comics-related mags and businesses with “sequential” in their name, so we can’t claim originality here and I guess I should just get over myself.)
Item! Speaking of the Sequential app, Dave Sim has decided to offer his chronicle of the Holocaust, Judenhass, for free. It is available for download through Sim’s own site or on the Sequential app site. Sim has decided to donate the work to the public domain from now on.
Item! There’s a new comics show associated with Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Columbus, Ohio called Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. The show is notable in part for the announced slate of organizers, which includes Jeff Smith (Bone), Lucy Caswell (Founder, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum), Vijaya Iyer (Cartoon Books), and blogger Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter). It’s my understanding that Spurgeon will be re-locating to Columbus from his base in I think New Mexico? which is quite a commitment and bodes well for this new event since Spurgeon is one of the most knowledgeable American writers-on-comics (heck, he even wrote something for Sequential once!). According to the press release, CCC plans “to stage a four-day, yearly comics festival beginning in Fall 2016. The group also announced the CXC Launch Event for October 2-3, 2015. The CXC Launch Event will be a two-day show split between the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (October 2) and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center (October 3). The October 3 portion of the event will be a one-day comics expo featuring up to 35 exhibitors.” No other names have been announced in connection to the event but it’s off to a good start.