At least a couple of times over the course of the weekend, Bill Willingham talked about his goal for the Fabletown and Beyond convention he hosted in Rochester, Minnesota. He may not have actually used the term “bucket list,” but that’s essentially what the show seems to have been for him: an opportunity to throw the kind of comics convention he wanted to attend and to see if other creators and fans would enjoy it just as much. From the standing ovation he received at Sunday’s closing ceremony, it appears he was right.
Chris Roberson pointed out to me that Fabletown and Beyond was a lot like fantasy and sci-fi literary conventions. It had that feel from the opening ceremony (an idea Willingham freely admits to stealing from fantasy/sci-fi shows) to the final farewell. It was completely focused on comics and storytelling, and it was a uniquely intimate experience. The show was only designed to accommodate a maximum of 500 attendees, and it got 505. That meant I kept seeing the same faces over and over again all weekend — creators and fans alike — so that by the third day, even people I never talked to were familiar. Instead of a hectic event where people rushed from place to place trying to see and do everything they wanted to, it was a relaxed environment that felt more like just hanging out with friends. Really smart, interesting friends.
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Comics strips | An original 1986 Sunday installment of Calvin and Hobbes, drawn and hand-colored by Bill Watterson, has sold at auction for $203,150. The piece had been owned by Adam@Home and Red and Rover cartoonist Brian Basset, who exchanged original comics with Watterson in 1986. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Best of the year | The Top Ten lists are coming thick and fast now. Michael Cavna counts down his favorites of the year, which include Chris Ware’s Building Stories, Raina Telgemeier’s Drama, and Matt Dembicki’s Washington, D.C.-focused anthology, District Comics. [The Washington Post]
Best of the year | … and George Gene Gustines weighs in with his list. [The New York Times]
IDW Publishing announced at New York Comic Con that Kill Shakespeare co-creators Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery and artist Andy Belanger will return in February with a five-issue miniseries called The Tide of Blood.
Debuting in 2010, the original 12-issue adventure pits the Bard’s greatest heroes — Hamlet, Juliet and Puck, among them — against his most menacing villains (a list that includes Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago) in a quest to find a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare.
The Tide of Blood will follow Hamlet, Juliet, Othello and Romeo as they confront the rogue wizard Prospero, who’s determined to destroy all of creation. As if that weren’t enough, “Hamlet must embark on a perilous journey to a remote island whose inhabitants have gone mad and want the Dane’s blood – if a love triangle and Cupid’s poisoned bow doesn’t kill Hamlet first.”
“It is a dream come true for us to be back at the New York Comic Con, where we first pitched Kill Shakespeare to IDW almost four years ago,” Del Col said in a statement. “We are incredibly happy that our fans and readers have been asking for more and have put together a new story that takes our characters in an exciting new direction.”
Kill Shakespeare was nominated for the 2011 Harvey Award for Best New Comic Series and the 2012 Joe Shuster Award for Comic Writing. The first series has been collected in two volumes, A Sea of Troubles and The Blast of War.
Legal | Don MacPherson, who covers the courts for his daily newspaper, updates the case of Josue Rivera, aka comic artist Justiniano, who pleaded not guilty in May 2011 to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut following a July 2010 incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. A judge has denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney had argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. However, the judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home. MacPherson’s summary of court documents provides more details on the case. [Eye on Comics]