Angoulême International Comics Festival
Organizations | The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has named Alex Cox as its deputy director, responsible for oversight of the organization’s home office and fundraising program. Cox, who came to the CBLDF in 2010, previously served as development manager. [CBLDF]
Publishing | Marvel Talent Coordinator Bon Alimagno is leaving the publisher for a position at San Francisco-based software company The Apollo Group. Previously editor of Harris Comics, Alimagno handled freelance scheduling at Marvel, working with David Bogart, the publisher’s senior vice president of business affairs and talent management. [The Beat]
Graphic novels | The Texas Library Association posts its 2012 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List of recommendations for tweens and teens. [Texas Library Association]
Publishing| Joe Keatinge and Frank Cho have signed a three-book deal with Delcourt, a comics publisher in France. The first book of theirs Delcourt will publish will be the first volume of Brutal, which will debut at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angouleme 2013. Delcourt publishes many American comics in France, including Walking Dead, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Invincible, Rocketeer, Hellboy, The Goon, Haunt and many more, as well as many manga titles.
“On a personal level, French comics have had a huge influence on me. Working within that industry is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I wanted a career in comics at all. Being an author with a book debuting at Angouleme is a goal I thought was many a year away, so this has taken things to a whole new level much sooner than anticipated. While I do plan on going back in 2012, this still gives me a year to work on my awful command of the language before I have to do a signing. Being in the good hands of Delcourt makes me think it’s a good start,” Keatinge said. [Joe Keatinge]
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we talk about what comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately.
Today’s special guest is Joe Keatinge, writer and co-creator of the upcoming Image comic Brutal with Frank Cho. He’s also the writer of the final “Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies” installment in April’s Savage Dragon #171, drawn by Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, Billy Dogma’s Dean Haspiel, Nikolai Dante’s Simon Fraser, Parade (With Fireworks)’s Mike Cavallaro, The Transmigration of Ultra Lad’s Joe Infurnari, Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation’s Tim Hamilton and Olympians’ George O’Connor. He’s also executive editor of the PopGun anthology, he’s got an ongoing series coming soon that he can’t say anything else about and with his fellow studio members at Tranquility Base, regularly beats up on 13 year olds at laser tag.
To see what Joe and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
Creators | Michael Cavna talks with cartoonist Art Spiegelman about being only the third American to receive the Grand Prix from the Angoulême International Comics Festival. As recipient of the honor, the 62-year-old artist will help plan next year’s festival. “I don’t know whether you should say ‘congratulations’ or ‘condolences,’ ” he says. [The Washington Post]
Legal | A Michigan judge on Monday ordered the DNA of former retailer Michael George to be compared with a hair found on the body of his wife when she was shot to death in 1990 in their comic book store. George, 50, was found guilty in March 2008 of first-degree murder, but that conviction was set aside because of prosecutorial misconduct and the possibility of new evidence. [The Detroit News]
Awards | Art Spiegelman on Sunday won the Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, marking only the third time an American has received the honor (the other two were Will Eisner and Robert Crumb). “Considering my poor skills, I’m looking a little like the president Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” he told the festival by telephone from the United States. Spiegelman will serve as the grand marshal for next year’s event.
Other winners at the four-day festival, which drew an estimated 200,000 visitors, include David Mazzuchelli for Asterios Polyp (Grand Jury Prize), and Naoki Urasawa and the late Osamu Tezuka for Pluto (Intergenerational Award). The full list of winners can be found here. [Agence France-Presse]
Retailing | The beleaguered Borders Group announced on Sunday that it’s delaying January payments to vendors and landlords in an effort to save cash while it tries to complete a debt restructuring. This marks the second round of delays for the bookseller, which has been pressuring large publishers and distributors to agree by Feb. 1 to convert late payments into $125 million in loans. The bookstore chain announced just last week that it secured a $550 million credit line from G.E. Capital, but only if several tough conditions were met — including an unlikely agreement from publishers. [The Wall Street Journal]
Retailing | The Borders death watch continues, with the struggling bookstore chain giving publishers until Feb. 1 to accept or reject a proposal to convert delayed payments into loans. Publishers reportedly are skeptical of the plan, which would see them take up one-third to one-quarter of the bookseller’s reorganized debt. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based retailer also has hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers to advise in its restructuring efforts, which center on negotiations to secure a $500 million credit line from GE Capital.
Borders, the second-largest book chain in the United States, announced in late December that it would delay payments to key publishers and distributors, leading some — such as Diamond Book Distributors — to stop shipping books. Jacket Copy reminds us that Borders Group is closing nearly 200 Waldebooks and Borders Express outlets before the end of the month. Additionally, it’s shuttering 17 Borders superstore locations nationwide. [The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal]
Comics | A copy of Detective Comics #27 bought for 10 cents by Robert Irwin in 1939 sold at auction Thursday for $492,937. It’s not a record price for the first appearance of Batman — a CGC-graded 8.0 copy fetched more than $1 million in February — but the $400,000 that the 84-year-old Irwin will make after the commission fee is subtracted will more than pay off the mortgage on his home. [Sacramento Bee]
Digital piracy | The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would grant the Justice Department the right to shut down a website with a court order “if copyright infringement is deemed ‘central to the activity’ of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.” In short, Wired’s Sam Gustin writes, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act “would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.” [Epicenter, AFP]
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Incognito, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead, and Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Parker: The Hunter are among the official selections for the 2011 Angoulême International Comics Festival.
The winners of the festival’s prestigious awards are selected from this pool of 58 titles. Rich Johnston notes that the inclusion of Incognito marks the first time a comic published by Marvel has been named as an official selection (Incognito is a creator-owned series released through Marvel’s Icon imprint).
Other selections familiar to U.S. audiences include Charles Burns’ X’ed Out, Daniel Clowes’ Wilson, Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou’s Logicomix, David Mazzuchell’s Asterios Polyp, Joe Sacco’s Gaza 1956, Dash Shaw’s BodyWorld, James Sturm’s Market Day, and Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto. The full list of titles can be found here.
The prizes will be announced during the 2011 festival, held Jan. 28-31 in Angoulême, France.
I’m filling in for Kevin on our daily roundup of news items, so my apologies for the lateness and any dip in quality in today’s edition. –JK
Conventions | The 36th annual Angoulême International Comics Festival starts today in France, running through Jan. 31. NBM’s Terry Nantier is on the ground and blogging from it, while Bart Beaty has kicked off his usual thorough coverage at the Comics Reporter. [Angoulême International Comics Festival]
Legal | An Australian man has pleaded guilty to downloading “graphic cartoon porn images” featuring child characters from The Simpsons, The Powerpuff Girls and The Incredibles. Kurt James Milner, 28, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, but it was “wholly suspended” for five years.
“The 28-year-old is now a registered sex offender and will have to report to police after pleading guilty in Ipswich District Court to having the bizarre images on his computer,” the Queensland Times reports. [Queensland Times]
Wednesday Comics artist/Spectacular Spider-Man character designer Sean Galloway shares a work-in-progress sketch of a banner he’s designing for the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival festival held in France. Galloway says he is working with Luche Libre writer Jerry Frissen on a new title called Doctor Steel, which will be published by Soleil in France. Hopefully it’ll get picked up in over here in the United States as well.
Fantagraphics’ Jason Miles has been posting pics of his recent trip to France for the Angoulême Festival over on the Flog blog. That’s not terribly special in and of itself, except that he spent a good bit of time in Paris, checking out the offices of L’Association, above, and one of the finest comic book shops in the world, Un Regard Moderne. I’m not even gonna spoil it by running one of those photos here. Just trust me, you haven’t seen shelf porn till you’ve checked out these pictures.
I wasn’t planning on posting a bunch of Angloume-related stuff — especially at this late date — but I just have to call attention to Alvin Buenaventura’s amazing flickr set of photos taken before and during the European festival. By the way, from the left that’s Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine and Buenaventura in the photo above. That’s probably the most impressive collection of talent ever precariously balanced on a rock wall in the history of mankind. (via)
The Angouleme Festival in France wrapped up yesterday. Winshluss’ Pinocchio took the Fauve D’Or, or ‘Best Comic Book Prize.’ Additional prize winners can be found here, and other nominees for best comic book can be found here.
So what about reports from the show? The Forbidden Planet has two of them up, Bart Beaty did six of them for the Comics Reporter and C.B Cebulski had several blogposts throughout the show, sharing pictures of the legendary Moebius and some of the food he ate, like pizza with duck livers. Which looks a lot better than some of the food I’ve had at past conventions.
The annual Angouleme Festival, or Festival International de la Bande Dessinee, as it’s properly known, kicked off in Angouleme, France this week. Guests include a worldwide assortment of comics creators; some of the names North American comic fans might recognize are Eric Powell, James Kochalka, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Simone Bianchi, Gabrielle Dell’Otto and Adrian Tomine, just to name a few.
I love Angouleme. I really do. It’s one of my favorite comics’ festivals, and unlike any other I know of. The simple fact that it takes over an entire French town makes it unique in and of itself. A whole town! You step off the train and you can’t help but feel the love that’s bestowed upon our beloved graphic story-telling medium over the course of these next five days.
Walking into Gare Montparnasse in Paris to catch the TGV to Angouleme is just like walking into JFK to board aplane to San Diego Comic Con… it’s a who’s who of European comic creators. I was there with Olivier Jalabert from Soleil and we ran into all kinds of folks heading to the con; Olivier Vatine, Nic Kermidas, Theirry from Delcourt, and even Eric Powell, who I’d surprisingly never met before. The party started there as beers were bought and the train was boarded.