"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
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.
It’s a busy week at the store for me, it seems. If I had $15 this week, I’d pick up Harbinger #0 (Valiant, $3.99), the one-shot revealing the backstory of the surprisingly compelling relaunch/reboot of the 1990s series, as well as the first issues of Fearless Defenders (Marvel, $2.99) and Snapshot (Image, $2.99). The latter, I’ve already read in its Judge Dredd Megazine serialization, but I’m really curious to see if it reads differently in longer chapters; the former, I’m just hopeful for, given the high concept and involvement of Cullen Bunn.
If I had $30, I’d add the reissued 7 Miles A Second HC (Fantagraphics, $19.99) to my pile. I remember reading the original Vertigo version of this in the 1990s, and am definitely curious to see what this recolored edition, with pages restored after being cut from the Vertigo edition, is like.
Splurging, I find myself drawn to IDW’s Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 1 ($29.99). I blame the lack of new Doctor Who on the television right now. That month-and-a-bit is far too long to wait …!
Combining joy over The Avengers movie with sadness about the death of children’s book illustrator Maurice Sendak, Hannah Friederichs has created a wonderful tribute to both. You can see the entire image — including what Hawkeye is so concerned about — below.
Crime | Michael Lewis, owner of Rocket Comics in Pensacola, Florida, is being held on a $11,000 bond after his store was raided by police for allegedly selling “Spice,” a synthetic form of cannabis. [WEAR ABC]
Publishing | The Economist’s Babbage blog takes a look at R. Stevens’ successful Kickstarter for his webcomic Diesel Sweeties, which raised $60,000, far overshooting his initial goal of $3,000. [The Economist]
Creators | Gary Groth previews his interview with renowned children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who passed away last week at age 83. The interview, conducted in October, is scheduled to appear in the next issue of The Comics Journal. [TCJ.com]
I had been thinking of Maurice Sendak a lot lately even before his death was announced. That’s partly because he’d been in the news a lot in the past year with the release of his book Bumble-Ardy. But it’s also because I tend to think a lot about children’s books in general and the way they often tend to crossover with comics.
Let me put it this way: Sendak was, of course, many things: an artist, writer, designer and all-around genius. But above all, Sendak was a cartoonist and the comics informed a good deal, if not most, of his work.
Following the death of Where The Wild Things Are author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, the comics community has been paying tribute to the influential creator all week. He may not have been a quote-unquote “comics creator” in the traditional sense of how we think of the term, but you could make the argument that he was as influential on the art form as much as anybody has been. (I believe our own Chris Mautner will be making that argument, actually, so watch for it soon).
“As a parent, I read Where The Wild Things Are to my children, but Holly’s favourite Sendak book was Outside Over There, and I must have read it to her hundreds of times, perhaps thousands of times, marvelling at Sendak’s economy of words, his cruelty, his art,” Sandman writer Neil Gaiman wrote on his blog. “What I loved, what I always responded to, was the feeling that Sendak owed nothing to anyone in the books that he made. His only obligation was to the book, to make it true. His lines could be cute, but there was an honesty that transcended the cuteness.”
The Unsinkable Walker Bean creator Aaron Reiner, who spent time with the author in his later years, shared memories on his blog.
Passings | The Comics Journal collects tributes to Maurice Sendak, the legendary children’s book author and illustrator who passed away Tuesday at age 83. Philip Nel, director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature, also writes an obituary for the influential creator of Where the Wild Things Are. [TCJ.com]
Publishing | In an interview with the retail news and analysis site ICv2, IDW Publishing President and CEO Ted Adams says that while digital sales are at 10 percent of print sales, both are going up: “There’s just no question at this point that selling comics digitally is definitively not impacting [print] comic book sales. If anything you could make the argument that the success of digital is driving more print comic book sales. The correlation at this point is that increased digital has resulted in increased print. Whether or not that is a direct correlation, I don’t know how you would figure that out. I can say with no uncertainty that our increased digital revenue has come at a time when we’ve had increased comic book sales.” [ICv2]
Maurice Sendak, the trailblazing author and illustrator whose books enchanted, inspired and terrified generations of children, died this morning in a Danbury, Connecticut, hospital following a stroke, The New York Times reports. He was 83.
Best known for his 1963 dark fantasy Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak defied convention, rejecting the innocent subject matter that marked saccharine picture books of the era and instead embracing sharp-toothed monsters, unruly protagonists and childhood fears.
“I don’t write for children,” the outspoken author said in his memorable January appearance on The Colbert Report (watch the two-part interview below). “I write, and somebody says, ‘That’s for children.’ I didn’t set out to make children happy, or make life better for them, or easier for them.”
We’ve said it once before, but it bears repeating: Vice Magazine has commissioned a murderer’s row of 24 alternative comics artists–including Sammy Harkham, Tony Millionaire, Matt Furie, Lisa Hanawalt, Jordan Crane, Benjamin Marra, and Vanessa Davis–for a hugely impressive comics tribute to Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze’s long-anticipated movie adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic storybook. The movie comes out today, and all 24 artists’ interpretations are now live. Let the wild rumpus start!
Terrible Yellow Eyes is a new art blog that asks a variety of talented illustrators and cartoonists to pay homage to the Maurice Sendak classic, Where the Wild Things Are. That’s Ben Hatke’s contribution above, one of several great pieces found at the site.