SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Jean Giraud (aka Moebius) may have passed away more than two years ago, but his works, and advice, lives on. Thanks to a translation by artist Xurxo g Penalta, English speakers now have the opportunity to read Moebius’ 18 tips for fellow cartoonists, from a 1996 interview with the Mexican magazine La Jornada Semanal.
Penalto’s studio mate Brandon Graham has posted the European master’s “brief manual” for cartoonists on his blog. This last tip is oddly prescient for 2014 despite being offered nearly two decades ago: “Now it is possible to find [a] reader in any part of the planet. We must have this present. To begin with, drawing is a way of personal communication, but this does not imply that the artist must envelop himself in a bubble; it’s communication with the beings near us, with oneself, but also with unknown people. Drawing is a medium to communicate with the great family we have not met, the public, the world.”
Humanoids has announced it bought the company’s long-missing original logo, hand-drawn in 1974 by co-founder Jean “Moebius” Giraud.
The inked piece, measuring 4.25 inches by 6 inches, was purchased Friday for $6,572.50 in the same Heritage Auctions sale that featured the earliest Superman cover art known to exist.
Moebius teamed with Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet and Bernard Farkas in December 1974 to form the Paris art collective Les Humanoïdes Associés in order to publish Métal Hurlant, the revolutionary sci-fi anthology that spawned several foreign versions, including the U.S. magazine Heavy Metal.
Now called simply Humanoids, the graphic novel publisher relocated it headquarters last year to Los Angeles and opened an office in Tokyo.
Moebius, the enormously influential artist whose works included The Airtight Garage, The Incal and Blueberry, died in May 2012 at age 73.
Happy Sunday and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guest is Dave Dwonch, creative director at Action Lab Entertainment and the writer of such comics as Space-Time Condominium, the upcoming Ghost Town, Double-Jumpers and more.
To see what Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
While I’m still on a Moebius tip: five amazing videos of the late master drawing digitally at that last great career retrospective Trans Forme at the Cartier Foundation have shown up at the blog Muddy Colors. It’s hypnotic to see his linework develop as he takes the most rudimentary of preliminary sketches to completion.
To see what Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
Creators | Daniel Kalder looks at the state of French comics tradition following the death last month of Jean Giraud, the influential artist widely known as Moebius, and finds it’s in the capable hands of David B (“one of the most sophisticated cartoonists in the world”) and Nicolas de Crecy (“the ‘mad genius’ of French comics”). [The Guardian]
Creators | Tom Spurgeon talks to Michael Cho about what sounds like a really interesting project, his book Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes: “Because I don’t have an affinity for drawing a pastoral landscape. [laughs] You know what I mean? I’ve never lived in that environment, so I can’t draw that thing with confidence. When I close my eyes I don’t visualize that with any confidence. But a city is something I’m surrounded with constantly. With alleyways and lane ways and how light poles connect up to transformer towers which have extra leads leading down to the basement apartment. I can see that when I close my eyes, you know?” [The Comics Reporter]
Conventions | Although final figures aren’t yet available, WonderCon organizers confirm attendance likely surpassed the 39,000 fans who came to last year’s convention. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | On his always-interesting new blog, Jim Shooter reminisces about the genesis of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars: “We went through a number of ideas for names for the toy line and series. Mattel’s focus group tests indicated that kids reacted positively to the words ‘wars’ and ‘secret.’ Okay.” [Jim Shooter]
Publishing | Longtime print broker Chikara Entertainment, which also offered book packaging and consulting services, has closed. [ICv2.com]
Retailing | Sarah Cohen provides a snapshot of South Florida comic stores struggling amid a weak economy and a changing marketplace. Some retailers have changed their strategies by diversifying their merchandise, holding events and reaching out to customers via the Internet. Others, however, prefer to do business the way they always have. “Making events and using social networking is pushy,” says Jorge Perez, owner of A&M Comics and Books in Miami. “It might help business, but then you would be on the computer all day doing stuff like that.” A&M, the oldest comic store in Florida one of the oldest in the nation, has seen business drop by about 40 percent since 2008. [Miami Herald]