01/06/2017

Sally here, with work by Karine Bernadou to share, info on Gert Van Houten, praise for Annie Koyama, plus the spotlight on two local Pittsburgh creators, lots and lots of lists…and your daily dose of Comics Workbook Daily Strips!

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Kickass Annie by Emile Compion

Here’s a wonderful tribute to Koyama Press and Annie Koyama via the Torontoist – as part of a reflection on the best and worst of 2016, they are voting for the Heroes and Villains of Toronto and Koyama Press has been nominated for “re-defining kickass in the local arts scene“. The write up about Annie and Koyama Press is lovely – check it out HERE. The ballots will be counted this morning and we’ll know by noon today who Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year will be – of course, the obvious choice for superhero to me is Kickass Annie!

(Also, check out more work by Emile Compion – who made the image above of our favorite gal – HERE or via Instagram – @montevarious)

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Grand Rapids Press (10/31/1918)

The comic above was made by Gertrude Van Houten, who is considered to be the first known female cartoonist in the nation who made cartoons about a specific locale. She worked for the Grande Rapids Press in the 1920s and ’30s and her comics appeared on the front page of the paper every few days. Readers referred to her as “Gert” and as you can see in the piece above, the character “Little Gert” always made an appearance in a corner of her strips.

Learn a bit more about her HERE, or get a copy of Drew Damron’s booklet Her Pitchers: The Life and Work of Gert Van Houten from Issue Press.

Little Gert at the drawing board

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A happy discovery for me this week was French cartoonist Karine Bernadou. I read a copy of Canopy (Retrofit Comics, 2016) while working at Copacetic Comics and laughed and grimaced my way through it. A young woman is abandoned in the woods by her mother and left to discover on her own the means to deal with a strange faceless man, a loving ogre, beautiful sirens, and the frightening/magical forest itself. I enjoyed Karine’s pantomime style and the somewhat violent, but hilarious tumble I took through her world.

Get a copy of Canopy from Copacetic Comics or Retrofit, where it is also available digitally.

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Work made by Pittsburgh ladies Hannah Leach (left) and Em DeMarco (right)

Shout-out to local Pittsburgh cartoonists and creators Hannah Leach and Em DeMarco who attended the Pittsburgh Comics Salon this past week. There is an incredible richness of badass women working in the city these days and I’m always excited to meet, and get to know them better.

Check out Em DeMarco’s work HERE – she is a comics journalist whose work appears regularly in the Pittsburgh City Paper, as well as a talented photographer who you are almost sure to bump into at more than one punk show on any given weekend. She works relentlessly, and is even turning her hand towards teaching comics this year. She’s definitely an inspiration to me!

Hannah Leach draws and SEWS too! She recently opened an Etsy store which you should certainly check out – WolfWitchStitch. Also follow her Instagram for more drawings and stitchery in progress – @wolfwitchstitch.

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  • Heidi MacDonald over on The Comics Beat has The Beat Annual Creator Survey 2017. It contains thoughts on what was cool in 2016, what to expect in 2017, and – thankfully, in the face of plenty of negative energy going around – what inspires the creators that Heidi interviewed.
  • Autostraddle has their list of the 10 Best Comics of 2016 – part of their Drawn to Comics series, which focuses on comics by, featuring, and for queer ladies.
  • The Comp Magazine has a nice list of 10 Comics Read Twice in 2016 – including Anya Davidson’s Band for Life, Pushwagner’s Soft City, and the new Black Panther series which are all books I can totally get on the hype wagon for myself. The rest of the list is solid too, so if your “to be read” list needs rounding out, you’ll find some books to add there.
  • Since I’m listing lists here, I may as well add The Comic Journal‘s The Best Comics of 2016 (According to Some) – and speaking of Anya Davidson, she was one among the “according to some” and had some thoughts on lists like these: “Can I say that I think these kinds of lists are arbitrary, because there is a dizzying number of brilliant books out there that I haven’t read, so this is more of a “list of things I read that I greatly enjoyed” than a best of?” Yes, you can say that, and thanks.
  • Last list for today – The Guardian has one that is looking forward to The 20 Comics to Watch Out for in 2017. Lots of good stuff including new books by Eleanor Davis and Jillian Tamaki, and more of the Worlds Of Wakanda and Shade: The Changing Girl series’.

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I was just flipping through Zona #1 (above) today, looking for Gabriella Tito‘s story specifically – which you can read online HERE – but of course I ended up perusing the whole thing since Harry Moyer, Jack Brougham, and Frank Santoro’s stories are equally rad. This is one of my favorite Comics Workbook publications and if you don’t have a copy I highly recommend it – 60 pages of work in black and white, with screen printed covers made by Frank, out of an edition of only 100. Check it out HERE.

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-6-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-6-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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