Cartoon Art Museum
Creators | Newsday picks up the story of Al Plastino’s original art for the John F. Kennedy comic that was canceled when the president was assassinated, and then published a few months later at the request of the Johnson administration. Plastino, now 91, had been told the artwork would be donated to the Kennedy Library, but last month at New York Comic Con he learned that a private individual had the art and was planning to sell it through Heritage Auctions, which now says it won’t move forward until the ownership question is resolved. Copyright lawyer Dale Cendall, former DC Comics President Paul Levitz and artist Neal Adams weigh in on the case. [Newsday]
Kickstarter | In the wake of the successful Fantagraphics Kickstarter campaign, Rob Salkowitz looks at the evolution of the crowdfunding platform from a way for individual creators to connect with their audiences to a pre-sale mechanism that eliminates a lot of the risk for smaller publishers. [ICv2]
Awards | Stephen Collins’ The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil won the inaugural 9th Art Award, announced Sunday during the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Presented by Graphic Scotland, the prize recognizes the year’s best English-language graphic novel. The other finalists were: Building Stories, by Chris Ware; Days of the Bagnold Summer, by Joff Winterhart; Naming Monsters, by Hannah Eaton; and The Nao of Brown, by Glyn Dillon. [9th Art Award]
Manga | Raina Telgemeier’s comic about Barefoot Gen has attracted attention in Japan, where one city recently removed the manga from elementary-school classrooms, claiming it’s too violent for children (the manga depicts the bombing of Hiroshima). “I was lucky to have adults in my life who were willing to discuss the violent subject matter with me, and help me put the story in historical context, and clarify things I might not yet understand,” Telgemeier told The Asahi Shimbun. “After I finished volume 1 of Barefoot Gen, I was deeply upset. (But) as a child, I believed that if people simply saw what war was all about, they would take care that it wouldn’t happen anymore.” [The Asahi Shimbun]
According to SF Weekly, the pieces dating back to the turn of the 20th century include just one of Robinson’s own comics, a 1954 installment of Jet Scott, a sci-fi strip about an adventurer with the Office of Scientifact who’s called in to tackle strange threats. Among the highlights of the donation are Wash Tubbs by Roy Crane, Li’l Abner by Al Capp, Baron Bean by George Herriman, Pogo by Walt Kelly and two pieces by Winsor McCay, including a hand-painted installment of Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.
Curator Andrew Farago, who became friends with Robinson and his family, said those are the first McCay originals to be included in the museum’s permanent collection.
Robinson, who co-created Robin and the Joker, and later became widely respected for his work has a comics historian and creators’ rights advocate, was presented with the Cartoon Art Museum’s lifetime achievement award in 2011.
Retailing | Borders Group says it’s determined that fewer than 150 customer names and emails were “obtained” by outsiders when a website published a searchable database of information associated with the retailer’s Borders Rewards loyalty program. The site, apparently set up by the marketing firm that helped the bookseller design and implement the program, was shut down over the weekend after Borders learned of its existence. A spokeswoman said the company is continuing its investigation. Borders Rewards has more than 41 million members. [AnnArbor.com]
Retailing | Amazon’s first-quarter profits tumbled 33 percent, even as revenue rose 38 percent, due largely to the costs of expanding its warehouse and data centers. [The New York Times]
Conventions | For the first time, organizers of the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition will make space available for an artists alley — for free. This year’s conference, which will draw about 19,000 librarians, is held June 23-28 in New Orleans. [American Library Association, via The Beat]
The Cartoon Art Museum and The Hero Initiative are teaming up for a party in honor of and to benefit veteran comics artist Ed Hannigan, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis, during the upcoming WonderCon in San Francisco. Hannigan’s work is also currently the subject of an exhibit at the museum.
Tickets for this event, scheduled for Friday, April 2, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., will be sold on a sliding scale. Ed Hannigan will receive a portion of the proceeds of all ticket sales above $20. Those who donate $35 or more will receive a special gift bag courtesy of the Cartoon Art Museum.
A silent auction will be held at the party, and all proceeds from the auction will go directly to Hannigan. Some of the pieces for the auction are recreations of past Hannigan covers, like the one to the right by Tom Lyle that recreates the classic cover to Avengers #223. You can check out the original here.
Many creators will be in attendance as special guests of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Hero Initiative. Confirmed guests include Arthur Adams, Amanda Conner, Sergio Aragones, Joyce Chin, Jimmy Palmiotti, Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Jen Van Meter and more to be announced. You can find more information on the event here, and information on how to bid by proxy in the auction here.
Back in late January, I completed this email interview with Andrew Farago, curator of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. Events on my end delayed it being run until this week. As detailed at the museum’s site: “The Cartoon Art Museum is committed to fostering and promoting a greater appreciation of cartoon art. This it achieves through collecting, cataloging, preserving and displaying the finest representations of original cartoon art as well as providing innovative educational programs designed to enrich the cultural life of our community.” While I am pleased to run this interview, before launching into it, I want to offer my condolences to Farago and the museum staff on the February 26 death of Rod Gilchrist, the museum’s executive director for the past 11 years. My thanks to Farago for his time.
Tim O’Shea: How long has the Museum had a Cartoonist-in-Residence program–and how did you land the latest person in residence, Mike Gray?
Andrew Farago: The Cartoonist-in-Residence program was started several years back as a joint effort between the Cartoon Art Museum, The Charles M. Schulz Museum and the Northern California chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. We wanted to take advantage of the fact that we’ve got such a wealth of cartoonists in our area and give the public a regular opportunity to interact with them (and vice versa).
The artists come to us in a variety of ways. Often, someone will contact me, or another staff or board member, about his upcoming book, or a new strip launching in a local publication, or a new piece of animation that they’ve created, and that person wants to work with us to promote it.