"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Political Cartoons | Cartoonist Rick Friday is enjoying his newfound fame—and considering a proposal from Farm News to bring him back as their editorial cartoonist. Farm News fired Friday, a freelancer, because of a cartoon that noted the large salaries of several CEOS of big agriculture companies. “Today I was instructed by (the publisher) that we will no longer take a cartoon from you. The last one, ‘Profit,’ has caused a (storm) here that I do not understand. In the eyes of some, big ag cannot be criticized or poked fun at. The cartoon resulted in one seed dealer canceling his advertising with Farm News,” Friday’s editor wrote in an e-mail. The story attracted national attention, and while he is considering returning to Farm News, Friday has also been motivated to move in a new direction, drawing cartoons that are not about farm life. [Des Moines Register]
With a week left in the Kickstarter campaign, industry veteran Jackie Estrada is still a little more than $6,000 short of the funding goal for her hardcover Comic Book People 2: Photographs From the 1990s.
As the title indicates, the planned 176-page book is a follow-up to last year’s Comic Book People: Photographs From the 1970s and 1980s, and collects snapshots taken mostly at Comic-Con International, but also at other conventions and trade shows of the era.
Estrada, administrator of the Eisner Awards and co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, promises photos of Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Paul Norris, Nick Cardy, Neil Gaiman, George Perez, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Garth Ennis, Jeff Smith, Carla Speed McNeil, Paul Pope, Colleen Doran and more — about 600 shots in all.
Digital comics | The Korea Times takes a look at the comics market in that country, where government suppression of comic books in the 1990s (and school-sponsored book burnings even before that) has combined with the current demand for free digital material (in the form of the wildly popular “webtoons”) to create an uncertain environment for cartoonists trying to make a living from their work. “Unlike Japanese manga, which continues to drive a large part of the country’s publishing market and provide a creative influence to movies, music and video games, Korea’s cartoon culture was deprived of its opportunity to thrive,” said Lee Chung-ho, president of the Korea Cartoonist Association. “However, the most difficult process for us will be to find a sustainable business model. Readership has increased dramatically through webtoons, but you have no clear idea on how many of these readers will be willing to pay for content.” [The Korea Times]
Creators | Frannie Jackson talks with a handful of prominent creator couples — Mike Allred and Laura Allred, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction, Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin — about sexism within the comics industry. “I’m occasionally invited to participate in panel discussions about ‘women in comics,’” Coover says. “I’m usually emotionally torn by those invitations, because, yeah, I want women in comics to thrive and be seen as thriving, but I’d much rather be part of a discussion about ‘awesome creators in comics’ that’s stacked with awesome women and men.” [Paste]
Retailing | Andrew Wyrich visits several comics shops in the North Jersey area and finds they rely on a friendly atmosphere and incentive programs to keep customers coming back. “People who buy comics tend to have a $40 weekly budget,” said Len Katz, co-owner of The Joker’s Child in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. “We hear of people who love comics, but eventually just hit a wall with expenses. The key for us is to get customers coming back. The reality is we are not a necessary item; we aren’t milk, bread or cheese.” [The Record]
Industry mainstay Jackie Estrada, administrator of the Eisner Awards and co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a coffee-table book collecting photos of creators she took of comic creators and related figures in the 1970s and ’80s.
Titled simply Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s, the hardcover collects about 600 photos taken at comics and sci-fi conventions and other events, and includes shots of Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bob Kane, C.C. Beck, Murphy Anderson, Jack Kirby, Alan Moore, Archie Goodwin, Moebius, Osamu Tezuka, Charles Schulz, Chuck Jones and many more.
“These are rare shots from the days before comics and conventions were big pop culture events,” Estrada explains on the Kickstarter page, “when the founding fathers of the artform were still among us and today’s top talents were just aspiring young pros trying to get noticed. If you were there, this is a great way to recall fond memories. If you weren’t, these photos are a candid and unfiltered picture of a simpler time, familiar but far away.”
Her goal is $18,000; to help get there, she’s offering incentives like postcards and a calendar featuring photos from the book, signed copies and a one-of-a-kind booklet containing photos selected by the backer.
A heated Twitter conversation that began Wednesday with Jimmy Palmiotti saying it was “a crime” Amanda Conner didn’t receive an Eisner Award nomination for her work on Silk Spectre took an unexpected turn when Landry Walker pointed to a blog post by Eisner judge Frank Santoro in which he lists all the creators who contributed to Before Watchmen and says, “I refuse to buy or read anything by these folks.”
“HOLY SHIT… how could he be a judge then??” Palmiotti replied.
The easy answer is that if everyone who expressed an opinion was eliminated from consideration, there would be no one left to be an Eisner judge. However, Josh Flanagan of iFanboy went straight to Santoro for a response:
“Eisner committee: You could throw a rock through artists’ alley at SDCC and hit a full slate of worthy Best New Series nominees. In fact, I’m willing to turn the entire comics awards process over to throwing rocks through artists’ alleys.”
– Phil Hester, responding to a statement by Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada that this year’s judges decided to omit the Best New Series category “because they didn’t find enough contenders that reached the level of quality they were looking for.”