CBR's Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2016
Legal | Leo Cendrowicz examines the issues surrounding the upcoming trial, set to begin Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium, over whether to ban Herge’s Tintin in the Congo for its racist portrayals of native Africans. The legal battle was launched three years ago by Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a Congolese man living in Belgium, who wants the book removed from the country’s bookstores, or at least sold with warning labels as it is in Britain. “It shows the Africans as childish imbeciles,” Mbutu Mondondo says. “It suggests blacks have not evolved.” [Time.com]
Conventions | Amid Amidi reports that Comic-Con International has raised the price of additional-exhibitor badges from $75 to $200: “As anybody who has ever exhibited at Comic-Con can tell you, artists typically don’t earn truckloads of money at the event, and when all the costs of booth rental, travel, and lodging are factored in, the obscene $200 exhibitor badge essentially guarantees that an independent artist will leave the convention empty-handed.” [Cartoon Brew]
Daniel Best gets an update on the health of legendary artist Gene Colan from the man himself, who’s in a rehabilitation center after breaking his shoulder in a fall.
“I lost my balance and down I went, on my back,” the 83-year-old artist said. “It could have been worse, but the doctor told me that it was fortunate that they don’t have to operate and put in a ball joint. It turns out that the hairline fracture will heal, I just have to be patient. That was all they had to say, and he was right because I can do a lot more with that hand now, I can even draw a little bit, just a little, and I’m getting my handwriting back which I couldn’t do before. So I’m doing a few things that I never did before I came here. It’s coming back, slow but sure.”
News circulated last month that Colan had been injured, and that some of his artwork was missing, leading some to incorrectly report that he had been mugged. In the brief Q&A, the artist explains the situation with the art — “they are listed as perhaps stolen” — discusses his recovery, and reacts to the outpouring of support from fans.
“I can’t wait to get back to earning money and getting to work,” he told Best. “I just want to start making a living again. I should be thinking more of retirement, I suppose, but I don’t even think about retiring. I need to draw, I love it, so why should I give it up?”
Legal | A Belgian court will rule next week whether Herge’s 1931 collection Tintin in the Congo will be banned because of its depictions of native Africans. The decision, originally expected today, following a nearly three-year-old effort by Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a Congolese man living in Belgium, to have the book removed from the country’s bookstores, or at least sold with warning labels as it is in Britain. [Guardian, Mail Online]
Libraries | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson reports on a C2E2 panel devoted to helping librarians deal with public challenges to graphic novels. On a related note, she also talks to Jeff Smith about a Minnesota mother’s attempt to have Bone removed from libraries in her school district. [Publishers Weekly]
Clifford Meth has set up an auction to benefit artist Gene Colan, who is currently in the hospital after suffering an injury to his shoulder earlier this month. He’s collected donations from Mike Deodato (above), Stan Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walter Simonson and many more; you can check out the complete list of items (which includes a lot of original art) and get details on how to bid here.
The Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin reports that comics legend Gene Colan was hospitalized earlier this week due to pneumonia and other issues:
Gene Colan’s wife Adrienne informs us that Gene was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York early in the morning on Monday, Aug. 10 by ambulance.
All is looking okay, and best guess is that Gene might be laid up in hospital for a few days. In fact, steady improvement could get him home by late Wednesday-early Thursday. He has pneumonia in his right lung behind his heart, and possibility of infection of some fluids. Some Encephalopathy-related difficulties may be going on, too.
As positive vibes are always a nice tonic, cards, letters and well-wishes are deeply appreciated, and can be sent to:
2240 Burnett Street, #5D
Brooklyn, New York 11229
Colan has done numerous prints benefiting the Hero Initiative, which you can find and buy right here. On behalf of everyone at Robot 6, we’d like to wish Gene the best of luck with a speedy recovery.
Update: Clifford Meth offers an update after talking to Colan on the phone.
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.