Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
Last week readers of SF Weekly, San Francisco’s weekly alternative newspaper, received a special treat — the entire issue, including the features, columns, news stories, letters and more — were transformed into comics.
The writers for the paper teamed up with artists from the California College of the Arts, under the guidance of the paper’s editor, Brandon R. Reynolds, and special guest co-editor Matt Silady, chair of the California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics Program and creator of the Eisner-nominated The Homeless Channel. The goal was to take the writers and artists out of their comfort zones, to get them thinking more like their counterparts and to find new ways to tell stories — within the boundaries of a regular issue.
Silady told me, “This very special issue has been in the works for quite some time, and we’re thrilled it is hitting SF Weekly newsstands and the web this week.”
Our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back” feature continues, as we ask various comics folks what they liked in 2013, what they’re looking forward to in 2014 and what projects they have planned for the coming year. In this round, see what Van Jensen, Faith Erin Hicks, Thom Zahler, Andrew MacLean, Tyler Kirkham, Ian Harker, Ryan Ferrier, Jay Faerber, Matt Silady and Matthew Petz had to say.
And if you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, where we heard from Jimmy Palmiotti, Tim Seeley, Chris Roberson and many more. And we still have plenty to go, so check back Wednesday to hear from more creators!
It may be Saturday, but for today’s Shelf Porn class is in session. Matt Silady, chair of the California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics Program, shares his robust collection of graphic novels and trade paperbacks, which also serves as a lending library for his students. Matt’s a comic creator himself, whose The Homeless Channel was nominated for an Eisner a few years back.
You can find out how to submit your own shelves to us right here. And no let’s hear from Matt …
It’s become an annual tradition during our birthday bash: No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of people we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they liked in 2012 and what they are excited about for 2013.
Check out Part One, and keep reading to see more of what people shared with us, including details on their upcoming projects. Our thanks to everyone who responded this year. Also, thanks again to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.
SAM HUMPHRIES (The Ultimates, Sacrifice, Uncanny X-Force)
What was your favorite comic of 2012?
The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, kicked off today in San Francisco, and I made the trek up north to partake in comic culture-dom. I missed the show last year, and in fact haven’t been to a comic convention since SDCC in 2010, so it was fun to get back into the con groove. And APE is just the place to do it, with its laid back vibe and focus on making, buying and talking about comics.
Like I said, I missed last year’s show, so I have no idea how the crowds compared or the size of the place compared. Since I first started attending the show in 2007, they’ve switched up the layout of the place, and it seemed much bigger, with more exhibitors, than it has in the past. There seemed to be a bunch of people there, many with kids, and the folks exhibiting who I talked to for the most part seemed to be happy with the turn out. The weather was beautiful, which can sometimes be a hindrance; San Francisco doesn’t have that many days per year where there’s lots of sunshine and it’s very warm outside, so you never know when someone might decide to hit the park instead of, say, a convention. It’ll be interesting to hear what the CCI folks say about attendance this year
The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, returns to the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco this weekend. The show’s special guests are Groo creator Sergio Aragonés, Flood creator Eric Drooker, all three legendary Hernandez Brothers, The Cardboard Valise creator Ben Katchor, jobnik! creator Miriam Libicki, and Weathercraft creator and giant pen owner Jim Woodring, all of whom have spotlight panels over the course of the two days. In addition, other guests attending the show include Shannon Wheeler, Stan Mack, Justin Hall, Derek Kirk Kim, Jason Shiga, Thien Pham, Jamaica Dyer and many more.
In addition to the spotlight panels, the show has panels on politics and comics, censorship, queer cartoonists and a “Gigantes” meet-up with the Hernandez Bros. and Aragones. They also have workshop panels if you’re interested in making comics and a “creator connection” that allows aspiring creators to find writers or artists to work with.
The show is usually one of my favorites of the year, mainly because it’s so easy going and loaded with opportunities to discover something new and cool. Here’s a round-up of some of the folks you can see and buy cool stuff from at the show, as well as things to do inside and outside of the Concourse:
Graphic novels | The seventh volume of Sailor Moon was the top-selling graphic novel in bookstores in September, according to BookScan, followed by Naruto,Vol. 58, an Avengers character guide, the third volume of Batman: Knightfall, and vol. 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise. ICv2 notes that, the Avengers book aside (and it is published by DK Publishing), Marvel is completely absent from the top ten, although DC makes a strong showing. [ICv2]
Creators | Hope Larson, who adapted Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time into graphic novel form, chats with Margaret Ferguson, her editor on the project. [Publishers Weekly]
Noise Pop, a music, culture and arts festival that’s kinda like Austin’s South by Southwest, kicked off in San Francisco this week, and this weekend many comic book folks will join in on the fun. And at the center of it all is Isotope Comics, as owner James Sime is serving as “Comics Curator” for the event.
So what have they got planned?
Courtesy of artist Greg Hinkle, we’re pleased to present the finale to his horror comic Parasomnia. Be sure to read the first three chapters (here, here and here) before reading the final one, which is written by Matt Silady.
Here’s what Matt and Greg had to say about this chapter:
“When Greg asked me to contribute to his horror anthology, I knew immediately I wanted to write a ghost story. So, here’s a little tale about an urban spirit who wants more than anything to rest in peace.
“To be honest, when I asked Matt to fill out the roster on this book, I never thought he’d agree. I mean, he’s a very busy guy. So I figured my little anthology would be way down at the bottom of his list of priorities. Instead, he got right back to me, and we met up at the famous saloon, the Vesuvio, in San Francisco to discuss his piece.
Matt and I ended up working in the old Marvel style. He had an outline, with some rough layouts, and told me to work on the art, and he’d fit the story to the finished pages. It was great to have the liberty to help guide the story, but a little intimidating. I kept sending Matt thumbnails as I’d finish them, just to make sure I was headed in the ‘right’ direction. I wanted to blur the line between waking and sleeping a bit with the last dream, and Matt’s Ghost Story was exactly what the book called for.
Matt and Jason helped me tie up the ending as well, with an intense series of late night back-and-forth emailing. I had a certain ending in mind, and they helped talk me down from that clichéd ledge. Without their combined effort, and Josh’s lightning fast lettering, I don’t think I wouldn’t have had anything worth looking at.”
This wraps up the comic, but tomorrow come back for Greg Hinkle’s illustrated Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. Print copies of Parasomnia are available from Greg’s Etsy shop.