Sally here with thoughts from Annie Koyama, Shee Phon, and Ann Telnaes, a new direction for The ToonSeum, and other news and comics!
Koyama Press is officially celebrating 10 years as a publishing company at TCAF this weekend. Fearless leader Annie Koyama has been tapped a few times already this year for her thoughts on her publishing venture – most recently Quill & Quire interviewed her. Check out her continuing reflections and some well-deserved praise of her efforts HERE.
Over on The Comics Beat Philippe Leblanc has conducted a series of interviews with comics makers who are attending TCAF. It’s a great list of folks – including Shee Phon, Iona Fox, Alabaster Pizzo, Tyler Landry, and others. Philippe identifies a few distinguishing characteristics of each maker’s work, the scene they’re a part of, or their target audience, and breaks it down with them. It’s great to see The Beat focusing this attention on makers outside of mainstream comics. This series documents an interesting moment in the community, and I appreciate the effort Philippe Leblanc has put into educating himself about the scene.
I noticed in the interview with Shee Phon that Philippe found her work through last summer’s Comics Workbook Composition Competition, where Shee Phon won 2nd place for her comic I know it’s not about me, but I don’t want to die. It’s worth noting how many makers find a broader audience for their work through this competition, or in fact are “forced” to complete their first comic. And so the community keeps on growing, thanks to the stewardship of folks like Frank Santoro – and Philippe Leblanc, and of course Heidi MacDonald (editor extraordinaire of The Comics Beat!)
Ann Telnaes delivered a speech to the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom recently, and the Washington Post shared a version of it. Ann is a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist, and the current worldwide threats to her colleagues weighs on her mind. In theory, she and her American fellows are protected by the First Amendment, but some days she doesn’t feel very safe.
“I’ve always felt in the United States that an editorial cartoonist is the bastard child of journalism. This is because most editors see us only as comic relief, less than the serious, legitimate opinion writer. In reality, the only difference is that we use images and satire to express a point of view. And specifically because of the visual language we use, cartoonists will always be first in the line of fire when controversial subjects are being debated and free speech is threatened. Editorial cartoonists are a barometer for all our free speech rights; a silenced cartoonist is an indicator of an unhealthy environment for freedom of expression in any given society. If we want to protect free speech and the free press, we must vigorously protect the editorial cartoonist.” – Ann Telnaes
Here in Pittsburgh, PA, The ToonSeum is directing new focus towards comics education – check out the I Can Draw! Generosity fundraiser. The funds raised during this campaign will go directly to developing and running educational programming for kids and teens interested in making comics. Executive Directer John F. Kelly has rounded up some truly amazing donation rewards which must be seen to be believed. Pittsburgh is becoming a hub for comics education, and those of us at ground zero know how important this is to strengthening the community and ensuring it’s growth and staying power. I’ll be personally involved in this new direction for The ToonSeum, helping to teach and channel fresh energy and talent straight into the heart of things.
If you can donate to the fundraiser, thank you! If you can share the campaign, thank you! You can do both HERE.
Found In the Button Box
- Chris Gavaler reviews Eleanor Davis’ You & a Bike & a Road (Koyama Press, 2017) for PopMatters – HERE.
- Hope Nicholson, who wrote the recently published The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen (a sort of history/small encyclopedia of notable women in the comics community) has a guest post on Nerdophiles that features 5 Female Publishers Who Changed Comics.
- Hyperallergic reviews Miror Miror II, the second anthology collection from 2dcloud, edited by Sean T. Collins and Julia Gfrörer, calling it “a porn stash you’d find in the cupboard of a medieval demon” which is about what I would have expected – read more HERE.
- Cara Gormally has a comic on Mutha Magazine about making a baby with IVF – check it out.
Blinkers – 5-12-2017 – by Jack Brougham
Suzy and Cecil – 5-12-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 5-12-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio