02/16/2018

Sally here with comics and comments from Lauren Weinstein, Emily Carroll, Ulli Lust, and Yona Harvey – and much more!

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Lauren Weinstein

Lauren Weinstein is the most recent guest on Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Show.

“Village Voice cartoonist Lauren Weinstein joins the show to talk about the balancing act of making comics. We get into how she integrates the political and the personal, finds humor alongside near-tragedy, and deals with the temptation to do self-help/identity comics.

They also talk motherhood and comics-making, teaching comics, and other challenges of navigating the working cartoonist’s life. Listen to the episode HERE.

You can get a copy of Lauren’s first collection of the Normal Person comics that run in Village Voice HERE. Her most recent strip dealt with Valentines Day…

Find more of the Normal Person comics HERE!

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From Speak: the Graphic Novel drawn by Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll has adapted the incredible YA novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (which came out in 1999). I read this book when I was a teenager and it has stuck with me. I’ll be curious to see how it translates into the comic form, but a story that is about a girl not speaking should work pretty well – and Emily Carroll’s imagery seems to be up for the visual task. Paste Magazine has an exclusive preview of the book HERE.

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A page from Voices in the Dark by Ulli Lust

There is an excerpt on Lit Hub from Voices in the Dark, the graphic novel by Ulli Lust that came out last year (based on Marcel Beyer’s The Karnau Tapes). Check out a few pages of the comic HERE (one that Publishers Weekly said “transcended” the source material) and get a copy of the book HERE.

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Yona Harvey, writer on two Black Panther spinoff series

Yona Harvey, poet and English professor at the University of Pittsburgh, continues to talk about her experience as the writer on two comic book stories that were part of the Black Panther series.

“My work — poetry, essays, teaching and comics — primarily aims to make Black women’s lives visible, vibrant and recognizable for other Black women, but I also want my writing to speak to women of all backgrounds,” said Harvey, who calls comic-book writing the unparalleled challenge of her career. “Writing for a comic book takes an unbelievable level of cohesion between the writers and the illustrators. As a poet, accustomed to writing in isolation, that took some getting used to. At the same time, I’ve always loved visual art. So, the biggest joy of the experience was seeing those amazing illustrated pages come together every few weeks.”

As Black Panther, the latest Marvel movie offering, comes out this weekend, Yona Harvey sees this as a promising moment.

“Literature should reflect the face of the world in which we live. Comics have always had a diverse readership and the books should reflect that,” said Harvey, who is currently working on a nonfiction collection of essays on depression and mental illness as well as other Marvel projects. “This era in the comic book industry is opening doors for a diverse set of artists and writers, and that is beautiful to see and be a part of. It is as though comics and mainstream media in general is waking up to the imagination, creativity and economic influence of people of color. The Black Panther franchise was at the very beginning of that.”

Read more HERE on The Pitt Wire.

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Weekend Reading!

From The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

  • Hilary Brown interviews Jen Wang, on the release of Wang’s new comic The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second) – read it HERE at Paste Magazine.
  • Paste Magazine also checks out Twisted Romance, a 4-issue anthology series from Image Comics featuring a lengthy who’s who list of talents.
  • Lauren Purjie has some Valentines Day cards “made” by famous artists – on Hyperallergic.
  • The Comics Beat covers the announcement of Kate Gavino‘s new comic, coming out in August. It’s called Sanpaku, and “is a coming of age story, told through Gavino’s own Catholic/Filipino background“. Read more about it HERE.

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Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.

Check out the “Best of Frank Santoro” PDF collections, available HERE!

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Suzy and Cecil – 2-16-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 2-16-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

02/09/2018

Sally here with Caitlin McGurk talking Edwina Dumm, the Apple Mary/Mary Worth comic strip story, and Six Chix!

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Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum Associate Curator Caitlin McGurk was a guest on Episode 4 of the Library of American Comics & EuroComics Podcast, with Dean Mullaney and Kurtis Findlay. She talked about the upcoming American Comics Essentials Vol. 11, which collects Edwina Dumm‘s “Tippie” comic strip from 1945. Listen to the podcast HERE.

Check out the Edwina Dumm LOAC Essentials book HERE – it will be coming out soon, and features an introduction by Caitlin McGurk. I am a huge fan of Edwina Dumm and am personally so excited for this collection!

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Apple Mary by Martha Orr

I like to root around in the archives of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, both in person and online. I was systematically going through the list of creators the other day, looking for WOMEN, and I came across June Brigman. I remembered that she was the last artist who worked on the comic Brenda Starr, Reporter (a long-running strip that has a fantastic, complete history of female creators – but that’s a tale for another day!) I looked into what she is currently working on, and noted that she is the artist behind the strip Mary Worth (syndicated by King Features).

Mary Worth is an interesting comic strip. It’s been around since 1938 or so, making it one of the longest running “continuity” strips ever. It’s like a soap opera, with loads of characters and swirling plot lines, but it is centered on Mary – a 60-something widow and former teacher. Currently written by Karen Moy and drawn since 2016 by Brigman, it touches on all sorts of social issues and features classic cliff-hanger endings. You can read it HERE.

Mary Worth was created by writer Allen Saunders and artist Dale Connor in 1938, but it has an interesting and somewhat debated connection to an earlier strip called Apple Mary.

Martha Orr (the niece of Carey Orr, a cartoonist with the Chicago Tribune) started Apple Mary in 1934. It was about an old woman named Mary, who sold apples out of a pushcart, and tended to her crippled grandson Dennie. (You can see an example of the strip at the top of this section.) The strip was successful, but Martha had to quit making it after about 4 years, in favor of raising her own family. This is when Mary Worth appeared, but whether it was made to fill the popular hole that Apple Mary had left, maintaining some of the same tone and subjects, or whether it was the true evolution of Apple Mary, is up for continuing debate. Don Markstein notes on his Toonopida page for Apple Mary that “Whatever the case may be, as the Great Depression lifted, Apple Mary was left behind. There is little to be seen of her in the Mary Worth of today.”

Here’s another Apple Mary strip by Martha Orr, one that does feature her being called Mary Worth by name.

Possibly from Feb. 1935

I like the idea of this character existing for 84 years, bookended by female creators.

Next time I’m at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum I’ll have to take a look at the one original Apple Mary strip by Martha Orr that they house in the archive! See it online HERE.

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I recently discovered a really unique comic strip called Six Chix. It’s a daily strip syndicated by King Features and created by six women cartoonists – they each have their assigned day, and then they rotate for the Sunday strip.

Isabella Bannerman draws Mondays; Martha Gradisher draws Tuesdays; Susan Camilleri Konar draws Wednesdays; Mary Lawton draws Thursdays; Benita Epstein draws Fridays; and Stephanie Piro draws Saturdays. Each cartoonist writes and draws with her own style and perspective. In any given week, you might find gags about the economy, technology, zombies, pirates or health care — and the main characters will be female and funny.

The strip began in 2000 and was the idea of Jay Kennedy, the editor-in-chief at King Features at the time. You can read it online at the Six Chix website and learn more about the cartoonists HERE.

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Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.

Check out the “Best of Frank Santoro” PDF collections, available HERE!

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Suzy and Cecil – 2-9-2018 – by Gabriella Tito

02/02/2018

Sally here with the myth of the Wonder Woman, plus Vanessa Davis, Little Dot, Ulli Lust, and more!

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Cover of June Tarpé Mills’s Miss Fury Comics, no. 2 (Timely Comics, Summer 1943).

There is a lengthy, intense essay on Artforum by Sarah Nicole Prickett titled Serious Sex Battle – it is about the myth of the “wonder woman”. She digs into comics, literature, and film and discusses the ways that pop culture has tried and repeatedly failed to make women “super” – often by stripping them of all the real things that in fact make them super. For example:

The scholar Michele Wallace argues in Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (1978) that the black woman doesn’t need a costume. She is already held to be a “woman of inordinate strength.” She “does not have the same fears, weaknesses, and insecurities as other women, but believes herself to be and is, in fact, stronger emotionally than most men. Less of a woman in that she is less ‘feminine’ and helpless, she is really more of a woman in that she is the embodiment of Mother Earth.” Ergo, says Wallace, she is a superwoman, burdened by the source of her powers.

Prickett talks about Wonder Woman quite a bit, of course, both the strengths and weaknesses of the character and what she represents. She also brings up Miss Fury, Scarlett O’Hara, Tim Burton’s take on Cat Woman, and a whole lot more. Devote an hour at least to sifting through this piece (one that Prickett spent a few years writing!)

Read the whole essay HERE.

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from Spaniel Rage, by Vanessa Davis

There is a nice interview with Vanessa Davis on Pocko, which digs into her career as a whole so far, her influences, and the choices she’s made along the way.

Pocko: Your​ ​father​ ​was​ ​a​ ​commercial​ ​artist​ ​and​ ​photo-journalist.​ ​Can​ ​you​ ​see​ ​any​ ​of​ ​his work​ ​in​ ​your​ ​own?​ ​How​ ​did​ ​your​ ​childhood​ ​affect​ ​your​ ​career?

Davis: It feels natural (if not always easy) for me to live and work within an uncertain freelance lifestyle. The humility of struggle and uncertainty mixed with the rush of work and money… that’s always been sort of central to my experience, but both my mom and dad worked doing what they loved, so that’s just paramount, by any means necessary, to me. It is a high-maintenance lifestyle, but it feels almost just cultural or religious or something–I can’t get away from it. My dad definitely had an eye for the absurd and could criticize his subjects by merely portraying them. But he also maintained a sort of joy for the chaos of this world. That’s definitely something I aspire to in my work and in my own viewpoint.

Read the whole interview HERE.

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Michael Dooley has another great article on Print, this time tying a famous comic book character of the 1950s/60s – Little Dot – to today’s art scene and specifically the work of Yayoi Kusama (who is, if it’s possible, even more dot-happy than Dot).

The article includes multiple scans of old Little Dot comics, and this excellent reminder of what made them interesting:

If you’ve never heard of this one-time comic book celebrity, it’s because Little Dot hasn’t been getting around much anymore. She started out in 1949 as a back-up feature in kids’ comics like Richie Rich but soon earned her own title. As originally conceived by cartoonist Vic Herman, she was designed with a distinctive flair and personality. But in 1953 her appearance melded into Harvey’s house style. She was softened and rounded out, which rendered her barely distinguishable from Little Audrey and Wendy the Good Little Witch. But from a marketing angle, it was a huge success.

Like the gluttonous Little Lotta, Dot fits neatly into Harvey’s formula of one-dimensional, obsessive-compulsive personalities. The less said about the actual stories, the better, because what’s truly fascinating is that this kid is completely dot-crazy, hooked on circles. She’s constantly compelled to reconstitute her surroundings to conform to her own private fetish. And why not? She may simply be an instinctual Design Modernist, sensing the dot as infinite, supremely iconic, the purest, most perfect single form in the universe. Not to mention that her very existence is totally dependent on the CMYK/benday process. Insert a shout-out to Pop Art’s Roy Lichtenstein here.”

Check out the rest of this enjoyable read HERE.

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France Culture asked ten authors to make a comic about their relationship to Chris Ware, in the event that he won a big prize at Angouleme. Ulli Lust made the little scene pictured above. As it turns out, neither Chris Ware or Ulli Lust won prizes this year at Angouleme, so when she shared the strip Ulli said it could have an alternate title: In the same boat again with Chris Ware.

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An announcement went out this week from the organizers of the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Exposition:

Dear Friends of PIX  —

We know some of you have been wondering about the status of PIX 2018. To make a long story short:  there will NOT be a PIX 2018. We apologize for the late announcement of this fact. We are, however, already working on PIX 2019 and plan to return to the August Wilson Center in April 2019. We will make a formal announcement in the summer of this year.

Thank you for your past support.

Stay tuned…

—Team PIX

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Sticky Notes

  • Apply for the Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, offered by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum – applications due by March 1st – more details HERE!
  • The Daily Beast has a lengthy profile on Trina Robbinsread it HERE.
  • Sara Lautman writes a comic for the New Yorker about Cow Tools and a new tattoo – HERE.

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Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.

Check out the “Best of Frank Santoro” PDF collections, available HERE!

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Suzy and Cecil – 2-2-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 2-2-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

01/26/2018

Sally here with comics by Ellice Weaver, Katie Fricas, Jessica Campbell, Cara Gormally, and more!

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The Washington Post has more on the new exhibition on female cartoonists at the Library of Congress.  Michael Cavna reports:

It is possible, in this era of increasing recognition of women artists, to gaze at the recent prize-laced success of Alison Bechdel and Roz Chast and Raina Telgemeier and Lynda Barry, to name just a few, and consider that the field of illustration is becoming more level along gender lines. But then you consider that only two women have ever won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, or that The Washington Post runs only two comic strips created by women — and none by a woman of color — and you remember how much further the cause of women artists getting fair representation has yet to travel.

That is a central thread running through “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists,” the rotating exhibit of nearly 70 works now up at the Library of Congress’s Swann Gallery from its Prints and Photographs Division.

Read more HERE.

I don’t know if I can wait until September to plan a visit to the Library of Congress, in conjunction with SPX – I may need a spring visit. Who’s with me?

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from Something City by Ellice Weaver

John Sevin reviews Ellice Weaver‘s Something City on The Comics Beat. Weaver is an English artist who currently lives in Berlin – I hadn’t heard of her or this comic before, but it looks pretty interesting.

Like a Richard Scarry book for the modern urbanite, Ellice Weaver’s beautifully drawn Something City weaves together various corners of an urban environment to create a tapestry of experience that portrays the trees to make the forest more clear. A city is a super-organism, a compilation of sections and neighborhoods, which are in turn the sum of their residents.

Each short piece in Something City corresponds to an area of the city, with some characters and situations making more than one appearance, but none dominating the travelogue. These are pit stops that give you a flavor for the parts of the city, echoing the intro to the old TV show Naked City that promises you the existence of eight million stories there. In Something City, there are at least 10, but probably more.

More images and details HERE. I’m keeping an eye out for this one!

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Katie Fricas

Katie Fricas has a review in comics form of Paul Alexander’s Trinkets, on Hyperallergic. The first part is above – see the rest HERE.

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Tracy Hurren and Jessica Campbell – Comic Arts Brooklyn, Saturday, November 11, 2017, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York

Chris Diaz has published his collection of photos from Comic Arts Brooklyn 2017check them out HERE!

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Upstairs and Downstairs

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Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.

Check out the “Best of Frank Santoro” PDF collections, available HERE!

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-26-2018 – by Gabriella Tito

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-26-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

 

01/19/2018

Sally here with a fabulous new exhibition at the Library of Congress, Phoebe Gloeckner in her studio, Brie Moreno, Ramona Fradon, and more!

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Dale Messick, creator of Brenda Starr, Reporter, in 1975

The Library of Congress has a new exhibition – Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists – which “is dedicated to exploring the lesser-known, centuries-spanning contributions of female artists who broke into these male-dominated fields.” Curated by Martha Kennedy, the exhibition is vast, detailed, and will be up through October 2018.

The exhibit features nearly 70 pieces from in an impressive array of 43 artists, with work from the 19th century to today. The artwork ranges from Alice Barber Stephens’ Impressionist-influenced illustrations to Anne Harriet Fish’s elegant, fine-line drawings that graced more than 30 Vanity Fair covers to Roz Chast’s frenzied and funny cartoons in The New Yorker. Even so, Kennedy saw she had more ground to cover, so she wrote a companion book (out in March) and curated a second rotation of the show, with an entirely different lineup of artists, to replace the current one in mid-May. “There are a lot of women who did really interesting, innovative work who have been overlooked and are worthy of further study,” Kennedy says.

An article on Smithsonian details the exhibition, and it is full of the names of creators and artists to research and get to know. Start there, and then plan a trip to D.C. – or two, if you want to see both halves of the show!

Read all about it HERE.

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Phoebe Gloeckner in her attic studio

The Michigan Daily visited Phoebe Gloeckner recently and talked autobiography and its place in comics.

On one hand, Phoebe argues that stories involving heavier, real topics work well as graphic novels because “the more specific something is, the more relatable it becomes. I think in a sense it’s easier to do that with comics because instead of describing the wallpaper, you’re drawing the wallpaper, it’s there.” The concept that graphic novels allow readers to visualize their characters exactly the way the author sees them, however, is a double-edged sword.

When asked if presenting readers with one specific image made them focus more on the content and less on the imagination, Phoebe responded with questions of her own.

“When you read Maus, do you just accept the person looks like a mouse? Or someone is cartoony with simplified features? This too gives you room to interpret what they look like in real life.”

Gloeckner also discusses her current project, another type of storytelling, but one that “uses cloth dolls and elaborate, miniature film sets to represent the violent scenes of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.

Read the whole piece HERE.

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Brie Moreno is featured on It’s Nice That, talking about the direction her work has taken recently.

“…Brie also notes that her style has developed as a result of “really turning away from finalising all my drawings on the computer,” she tells It’s Nice That. “I love using the computer for creating guides and altering the size of my compositions, but when it comes to the finished product I’m obsessed with the naive quality of smeared up felt tips, crumpled newsprint and happy accidents.”

In turn, there is a lush tangible quality to each of Brie’s singular drawings. Even when displayed on a digital screen they evoke that crinkly paper texture that develops from layering and layering felt tip pens to make the page a little fluffy. The appearance of this texture has also evolved from Brie experimenting with using A3 newsprint as a base, “I really look forward to seeing the originals fade and deteriorate with time,” she explains.

Plenty more comics and drawings to see HERE.

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  • The Comics Reporter found the drawing pictured above on Roger Langridge’s blog, where Langridge also posted his take on inking Ramona Fradon‘s pencils – I’m just here for Fradon’s Metamorpho however!
  • I’m reading Liz Prince‘s Be Your Own Backing Band at the moment, which collects some of her comics that were first published on the website If You Make It, which is devoted to punk music and culture. Check out her comics HERE.
  • Episode 263 of the Comics Alternative podcast includes a review of The Strumpet #5, around the 44 min. mark – listen HERE.
  • Nidhi Chanani has a comic up on Mutha Magazine – Eggs: A Comic on Stillbirth, Loss, and Breakfast.
  • On PEN America’s Illustrated PEN “Meg Lemke presents cartoonist Lisa Lim’s How I Went From Being An Apolitical to A Little More Political Asian” – HERE.
  • Tegan O’Neil reviews Hazel Newlevant‘s Sugar Town on The Comics Journal.
  • Black Mask is publishing a new comic written by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson which may be interesting – Her Infernal Descent – which is about a middle-aged mother who visits hell, guided by Agatha Christie and William Blake, in an effort to get her family back. The Comics Beat has the story.

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-19-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-19-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

01/18/2018

Sally here with the story of Orrin C. Evans and the first comic made and published by black creators, plus a Toon Book from Jaime Hernandez, and much more!

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All-Negro Comics created by Orrin C. Evans in June 1947 – cover art by Bill Driscoll

I was looking at a copy of Paul Gravett’s Holy Sh*t! The World’s Weirdest Comic Books recently, and discovered the remarkable story of Orrin C. Evans. He published the first comic book made by black artists, featuring black heroes, in 1947 (pictured above).

After a career in newspapers, one that already hade some “firsts” in it (he broke the color barrier when he became a reporter at the Philadelphia Record covering general assignments), Evans decided to turn his energy to the issue of black representation in comic books. He had the support of several former editors at the Philadelphia Record (which had folded by then over labor issues) and he put together a proper “bullpen”.

He co-created the features in the comic along with the artists who included his brother, George J Evans Jr, two other Philadelphia cartoonists, one of whom was John Terrill, the other named Cooper, and a Baltimore artist who signed his work Cravat.” – Tom Christopher

Paul Gravett’s entry on the comic includes details about the stories and characters – Lion Man and Bubba, police detective Ace Harlem, and others:

The first issue was distributed around Philadelphia, and Evans eagerly got started on the second, completing all of the stories and art. Unfortunately, as noted above, it was never published because he lost access to the actual newsprint. Evans didn’t press the matter, having already faced death threats and other harassment due to articles he had written about segregation in the armed forces, among other things. And thus black representation in comics disappeared almost entirely until the mid-60s (when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought the Black Panther to life) and a comic made and published by a black creative team didn’t turn up again for even longer.

You can learn more about Orrin C. Evans by reading the rest of Tom Christopher’s article on Evans and All-Negro Comics HERE.

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  • Jaime Hernandez is doing a Toon Book! Coming in March, it riffs on “the classic works of F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada” – more details HERE.
  • Pioneering cartoonist Jackie Ormes and influential Marvel Marvel marketing manager Carol Kalish have been selected for induction into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2018.” The Comics Beat has the full story, plus a list of the other 16 nominees who have been announced – from which 4 will be selected and added later in the year.
  • Paste Magazine has a preview of one of the comics coming from the Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse – Incognegro: Renaissance #1, written by Mat Johnson and drawn by Warren Pleece. It is a prequel mini-series set before the events in their 2018 graphic novel. Both stories deal with black reporter Zane Pinchback, who can pass as white and uses this to investigate lynchings and other anti-black violence in the 1920s and 30s. See the preview HERE.
  • Sloane Leong published her latest “dragnet” of comics on The Comics Journal – webcomics and paper, definitely some that I’ve been meaning to check out. See the list HERE.
  • Silver Sprocket has announced a lineup of comics coming out soon, including a new hardcover 112 page volume that collects Ben Passmore’s political cartoons from The Nib and VICE along with his story Your Black Friend. See this project and 11 more from other cartoonists over on The Comics Beat.
  • John Ridley, the screen-writer behind 12 Years a Slave and author of the DC series The American Way: Those Above and This Below, has a new project – The Other History of the DC Universe, which will examine some of the marginalized DC superheroes. Here’s the story, on i09.
  • Atlanta’s High Museum has figured out how to diversify their audience, with an increase of 45% in their nonwhite visitors, which shouldn’t be a noteworthy feat but in today’s world still is – Hyperallergic has the story.

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Frank Santoro and Simon Hanselmann, CAB 2013 – photo by Chris Anthony Diaz, colored by Graham Willcox

We still have a space open in the Winter Semester of thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers! 8 weeks – 500 bux – coaching for as long as you need. The course is hard, but Frank will push your comics making practice to a new level, getting you to think about timing and color in new ways. His experience and ideas have influenced the likes of Connor Willumsen, Michael DeForge, and Simon Hanselmann (quote “I consider Frank Santoro to be my L. Ron Hubbard”) among many others. Dig into something new in the new year!

Full details and how to apply can be found HERE.

 

01/12/2018

Sally here with comics by November Garcia, Sara Lautman, Margoux Othats, Corinne Mucha, and much more!

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November Garcia – 1-7-2018

November Garcia, creator of the comics Foggy Notions and Malarkey, is trying her hand at daily comics this year. You can see the first week’s worth HERE. She sez:

So my 2018 resolution is to draw a comic everyday. Haha! What a dunce I am! Turns out, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. The big reveal is that my life isn’t very interesting—who knew?
But I figure, what the hell, it’s a good exercise and I’m quite stubborn so I might see this thing through. So here it is in all its inane glory…unphotoshopped, unedited, unthought of…whatever. All critiques welcome…my goal here is to get better and I feel that these strips improved with time but I might be biased.

I think her comics are consistently hilarious, and these don’t disappoint, so I’m sending her good vibes and hope she continues to make them.

November is also currently sharing a comic called The Rusty Trombone, which is about her SPX 2017 adventures – you can catch the action HERE.

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from The Real Meaning of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Decoded by Sara Lautman

Sara Lautman‘s latest comic on Electric Literature is very amusing, sort of a “bad lip reading” situation, a literal translation of what she THINKS the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne are. See the whole thing HERE.

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from Margaux Othats’ Blanc

Philippe Leblanc reviews Margoux Othats‘ new comic Blanc for The Comics Beat. It is about a girl drawing at home during a snow storm, something many of us have probably done recently as the winter has bourn down upon the East Coast with varying ferocity this year…!

Just a small book, but one that Philippe says:

“…shines in its simplicity, clarity and style. Margaux Othats’ pencil drawings play with the blank page to great effect. The snow is overwhelming, it engulfed everything and nearly makes you forget that there ever was anything but the blinding white of the snow. The snowball revealing the beautiful, lively green grass underneath happens slowly and gives it a magical feeling. Othats is telling a simple story. It’s about seeing something seemingly impossible to overcome and deciding to try anyway. It’s about coming out of one’s shell and letting hope thaw the frost. With hope and efforts, you can accomplish anything. It’s the perfect comic to start the year with.

Read the rest of the review HERE.

Also please check out Philippe Leblanc’s New Years edition of his usual roundup of small press news HERE. Quite a few good items on the list, including a few things I’d missed (which I’ll link to specifically below).

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Corinne Mucha (2015)

Read the rest of Corinne Mucha‘s comic (pictured above) HERE.

I came across a few of her stories recenly in The Shortpants Observer #1, from 2008, which was edited by Sarah Becan. Both ladies are from the Chicago area, and this issue of The Shortpants Observer also included work by Anya Davidson. Although I can’t find out much more about the anthology, Corinne Mucha has a few notes from when it came out HERE.

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Also on the Radar

  • The Canadian publisher Ad Astra Comix released a new graphic novel called The Beast last year, created by Nicole Marie Burton, Hugh Goldring, and Dr. Patrick McCurdy. There’s a review of it up at Women Write About Comics – read it HERE.
  • Cynthia Rose celebrates French artist Annie Goetzinger, who died in Dec. 2017, for The Comics Journal.
  • Sarah Boxer writes about Chris Ware’s Monograph for The New York Review of BooksHERE.
  • Women Write About Comics features Leslie Stein‘s Presentread the review HERE.
  • Elaine M. Will talks about her comic titled Look Straight Ahead, and the mental health journey that led her to create it – HERE.
  • Quick props to myself (Sally Ingrham) here – check out Interesting Ducks for comics and writing on birding in Pittsburgh, PA, and beyond.

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Frank Santoro and Simon Hanselmann, CAB 2013 – photo by Chris Anthony Diaz, colored by Graham Willcox

The Winter Semester of thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers starts January 16th 2018! 8 weeks – 500 bux – coaching for as long as you need. The course is hard, but Frank will push your comics making practice to a new level, getting you to think about timing and color in new ways. His experience and ideas have influenced the likes of Connor Willumsen, Michael DeForge, and Simon Hanselmann (quote “I consider Frank Santoro to be my L. Ron Hubbard”) among many others. Dig into something new in the new year!

Full details and how to apply can be found HERE.

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-12-2018 – by Gabriella Tito

01/05/2018

Sally here with notes on Nicole Claveloux’s new NYRC book, work from Ulli Lust, Archana Streenivasan, and Trina Robbins, and much more!

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from The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux

Michael Dooley wrote about The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux for Print Magazine, calling it “2017’s best book in celebration of a European comics artist“. Why?

Because thanks to this handsome hardcover compilation, we can finally come to appreciate and admire this master of French comics; her extraordinary career from the late 1960s to early ’80s has been unjustly overlooked for way, way too long. Because her radiantly colorful renderings of illuminated late afternoon landscapes and elongated shadows conclusively prove that she’s the Salvador Dali of Pop Art cartooning. Because her interiors are beautifully, bleakly haunting. Because her figures might take on a Victor Moscoso-like amorphous organicism … just because they can.

Read the rest of Dooley’s thoughts and take a look at an excerpt from the book HERE.

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Ulli Lust

Ulli Lust completes her engagement with the ExBerliner magazine with the comic pictured above. She has published 15 comics with the magazine, all of them riffing on “a simple stroll” in some part of the world.

You can read them all HERE.

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Part of Otherly Urges by Archana Sreenivasan

Archana Sreenivasan, an Indian cartoonist and illustrator, has a new comic up on Ulli Lust’s Electrocomics, called Otherly Urges, about being an Indian woman who is NOT interested in having kids.

You can download the comic HERE.

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Back in 1985 Trina Robbins made an adaptation of Tanith Lee’s novel The Silver Metal Lover. Now IDW and Drew Ford have Kickstarted a reissue of the comic, with a new forward by Gail Simone and an afterward by Colleen Doran. Drew Ford wrote about the comic:

This cult classic science fiction romance is an important early example of ‘the graphic novel’ as a storytelling vehicle, telling an intimate story of a young girl’s first love…who just happens to be a robot! We are very honored to shine a light on the brilliant work of the late Tanith Lee.”

The Kickstarter has already reached it’s initial goal, but you can get in on some fun reward brackets if you want, through Jan. 5th 2018. Check it out HERE. (Thanks to The Comics Beat for the lowdown on this news item.)

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Melina Chavarria and Jean Marie Pilario, co-creators of The Magic Glasses

Just a reminder to read the website Women Write About Comics regularly. Recent articles that were great include Rosie Knight on the work of Melina Chavarria and Jean Marie Pilario (pictured above) and creating positive Latinx representation in comics, and Tia Kalla on Sleepless #1 by Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Duca. The Interview section is the best, so dive in there and then explore.

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In Addition

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Frank Santoro and Simon Hanselmann, CAB 2013 – photo by Chris Anthony Diaz, colored by Graham Willcox

The Winter Semester of thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers starts January 16th 2018! 8 weeks – 500 bux – coaching for as long as you need. The course is hard, but Frank will push your comics making practice to a new level, getting you to think about timing and color in new ways. His experience and ideas have influenced the likes of Connor Willumsen, Michael DeForge, and Simon Hanselmann (quote “I consider Frank Santoro to be my L. Ron Hubbard”) among many others. Dig into something new in the new year!

Full details and how to apply can be found HERE.

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-5-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-5-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

01/04/2018

Sally here with work by Laércio George Mabota, Djialeu Martial Ngande, and many other African cartoonists!

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Work by Laércio George Mabota

I recently found a new database that I’ve been digging into – the Africa Cartoons: Encyclopedia of African Political Cartooning. It is being built by Tejumola Olaniyan, who is the Louise Durham Mead professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is originally from Nigeria, and his interests in African diaspora have led him write numerous books on music, literature, drama, and cultural identity. Somehow these interests also condensed into the desire to build this database, which lists 180 cartoonists from many African countries, and aims to represent the entire continent eventually.

The artist whose work is represented above is Laércio George Mabota, a cartoonist from Mozambique. According to an article in The African, written when some of his work was featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem, his comics often feature “a braided, warrior-heroine in action packed panels that are as reminiscent of D.C. and Marvel comics as is the cross-hatching shadow technique in which the artist rendered her. As the heroine fights against marauders one can see that even this piece can be easily placed in the wider thematic interplay of justice/injustice prevalent in the exhibition.”

Here’s another piece by Mabota that was featured on the Africa Cartoons database:

Explore Africa Cartoons and discover more great comics artists – HERE!

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Africa Cartoons led me to Africa Comics, and the Africa e Mediterraneo Award for best unpublished comic strip by an African author (an award that Laércio George Mabota has won). This project operates within Italy and the African continent, offering workshops and lectures in schools in addition to the award.

The award has been given out between 2002-2015, and I hope it will continue, as it gives the award winners an introduction to the European comics market. You can see the list of winners HERE – and some of the comics that won are featured and written about. Mabota’s strip Metamorphos da arte is featured HERE.

A winner of the 2011-2013 award, first prize in the “Food Sovereignty” category, was this comic by Cameroonian cartoonist Djialeu Martial Ngande:

The title translates from the French to For a history of plantain – the story is described thus:

A man in a village is sent by his angry wife to look for food. He goes to the banana orchard, where he sees a man who has just taken a bunch of bananas: he threatens him and makes him carry the bananas back to his place.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Be sure to check out this whole website – lots of really interesting stuff here, and especially interesting to me because these comics definitely have more of an “underground” feel to them. They’re each 4 pages long as well, which provides a more complete look at the work of these artists than I’ve chanced upon in my internet searches.

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I can across an article by MariNaomi in Issue 4 of Midnight Breakfast, which is about Writing People of Color
(if you happen to be a person of another color). It is a good read, with interjections and digressions in comics form, and finishing with comics and bits of advice from a number of other artists, including Yumi Sakugawa, Keith Knight, Whit Taylor, and Maré Odomo.

Read the article HERE.

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Frank Santoro and Simon Hanselmann, CAB 2013 – photo by Chris Anthony Diaz, colored by Graham Willcox

The Winter Semester of thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers starts January 16th 2018! 8 weeks – 500 bux – coaching for as long as you need. The course is hard, but Frank will push your comics making practice to a new level, getting you to think about timing and color in new ways. His experience and ideas have influenced the likes of Connor Willumsen, Michael DeForge, and Simon Hanselmann (quote “I consider Frank Santoro to be my L. Ron Hubbard”) among many others. Dig into something new in the new year!

Full details and how to apply can be found HERE.