INTERVIEW: "Fantastic Four" EP On Character-Driven Approach, Sequel Plans
Comic Books, Film
Awards | Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, by Mary and Bryan Talbot, has won the Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Awards) in the biography category, marking the first time a graphic novel has received the literary prize. “Just being shortlisted was amazing and hearing we’d won the category was stunning,” Mary Talbot said. “We’re delighted of course, both personally – it’s the first story I’ve had published – but also for the medium, I can’t believe a graphic novel has won.” [The Guardian]
Awards | Jacques Tardi, the acclaimed creator of West Coast Blues, It Was the War of the Trenches and the Adèle Blanc-Sec series, has refused France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur medal: “Being fiercely attached to my freedom of thought and creativity, I do not want to receive anything, neither from this government or from any other political power whatsoever. I am therefore refusing this medal with the greatest determination.” [AFP]
Beanworld is the nearly three-decades-old fantasy comic by Larry Marder that follows the adventures of minimalistic characters known as Beans. Bean!, meanwhile, is a fantasy role-playing game published by Fabled Worlds in which participants go on adventures as beans (and, from what I can tell, may involve actual beans).
“You’d think in this day & age you might try Googling a name before doing something as stupid as these people have done,” the cartoonist wrote on Twitter. “My lawyer notified. Start the process of dealing with this thief tomorrow.”
Asked later whether it is “just the name, or does the setting in the book have a resemblance to Beanworld cosmology?,” Marder replied, “Source book title is same as my registered trademark Beanworld. Characters look like a smoosh of Mr PotatoHead and CA Raisin.”
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d walk out of the comic store with one book this week Fatale, Vol. 1: Death Chases Me (Image, $14.99). I fell off this book after the first issue, preferring to read in trades, and now that time has come. I’m looking forward to being surprised at what Brubaker and Phillips have done in this first arc as the debut issue was very promising.
If I had $30, I’d load up at Image with Manhattan Projects #4 (Image, $3.50), Prophet #26 (Image, $2.99) and Hell Yeah #4 (Image, $2.99). Prophet is becoming my favorite Image book because it unites my comic heroes of childhood (Prophet!) and one of the top cartoonists out there (Brandon Graham) with a surprising introduction of BD-style science fiction. Hell Yeah is a fun romp reimagining the staples of ’80s and ’90s comics as if John Hughes were the eighth Image founder. Last up I’d get Wolverine and the X-Men #12 (Marvel, $3.99). I was worried this series would get derailed by Avengers Vs. X-Men, but Aaron and Co. have managed to keep it on point as best as conceivably possible. It’s an ideal opening to bring Rachel Summers to the forefront, and the smirking Kid Gladiator on the cover is full of win.
If I could splurge, I’d get Michel Rabagliati’s Song of Roland hardcover (Conundrum Press, $20). I’ll always admire Free Comic Book Day, because it was there that a little Drawn and Quarterly one-shot introduced me to Rabagliati’s work. I’m surprised to see this new volume of his work not published by D&Q, instead published by Canadian house Conundrum. Anyway, this book appears to deal with the death of the father-in-law of the lead character, Paul. It’s been extremely engaging to see Paul grow through the series, and having him deal with events like this as I myself grow up and experience similar events is really touching.
Awards | The gold medal for Best Graphic Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival went to Guy Delisle for Jerusalem, and the jury awarded a Special Prize to Jim Woodring for his Congress of the Animals. Veteran French creator Jean-Claude Denis was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême, so he will preside over next year’s festival, as Art Spiegelman did this year. Two manga won awards as well: Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story won the Intergenerational Award, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s autobiographical A Drifting Life received the World Outlook Award. The Heritage Award went to Glenat’s edition of Carl Barks’ Donald Duck. [Paris Match]
MoCCA on the East Coast, Stumptown on the West Coast—the past two weeks have been busy ones for comics creators and fans alike. I made it to MoCCA, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the country, and it looks like there was a lot to see—and buy—at Stumptown. Here’s a sample of the offerings, starting with Dylan Meconis’s slew of tiny watercolor paintings, above.
“The best part of owning your own work is no one can stop you from trying your most stupid ideas. Cuz sometimes those are your best ideas. I’ve made a lot of mistakes marketing Beanworld over the years but they were MY mistakes. And It’s in the best shape its ever been.”
I have been back from New York Comic Con for a week now, but I still feel like the boa constrictor digesting the elephant—there was so much to think about. Here’s a brief sample of my thoughts about this year’s experience.
1. Thanks to the ICv2 conference before the con, everyone was talking about digital comics. This was in stark contrast to the dealers who were selling boxes and boxes of back issues on one corner of the floor. It always strikes me as odd that the rest of the show is so slick, and then there’s this one area that looks like a giant garage sale. Digital comics would seem to be the logical solution to missing issues in a complicated continuity, but that would require the publishers to play along—and of course, there will always be people who want to collect the physical issues.
2. Despite the gloomy news at the ICv2 conference that graphic novel sales are down, two different editors asked me to suggest creators for upcoming projects, which suggests that publishers (both were from traditional book publishers) see room for growth.
C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, kicks off tomorrow at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. In fact, announcements have already started rolling out in conjunction with the convention.
Here are a few more items of note if you’re attending the show. Check back to CBR and Robot 6 all weekend for news, announcements and reports from the show.
Beanworld creator Larry Marder has an offer for fans who bring either of the recent Beanworld collections from Dark Horse up to him to sign:
He’ll also be trading your homemade Beanworld sketches for his homemade Beanworld sketches.