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Comics A.M. | Artist Geneviève Castrée passes away

Geneviève Castrée

Passings | Illustrator Geneviève Castrée, whose debut graphic novel “Susceptible” was published in 2013 by Drawn & Quarterly, passed away Saturday from pancreatic cancer. She was 35. “She was truly driven to work and stay living right up to the last minute, insisting on getting up and going to work in her studio way beyond when many would have surrendered to rest,” Castrée’s husband, musician/songwriter Phil Elverum, wrote on her GoFundMe page. “Last night and this morning she declined quickly and receded into her own eyes as her body vetoed her wishes, her lungs filling with fluid. She died at home with me and her parents holding her, hopefully having reached some last minute peace.” Castrée was diagnosed with cancer in May 2015, just four months after giving birth to their daughter. [GoFundMe]

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Comics A.M. | Attorney takes a close look at Artists Alley

Photo by Seth Polansky

Photo by Seth Polansky

Legal | An attorney who specializes in intellectual property takes a walk through an Artists Alley — and he doesn’t like what he sees: “Without exaggeration or hyperbole, 70-80% of the vendors and artists were selling infringing intellectual property (‘IP’).” He proceeds to list in detail not only the offenses but the misconceptions used to defend them. [Seth Polansky’s Blog]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Sandman: Overture’ is Amazon’s best comic of 2015

The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

Best of the year | Amazon lists its Top 20 graphic novels of 2015 in order of sales, but the editors chose The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III as the best graphic novel of the year. Other notable titles include Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro’s Bitch Planet, Scott Snyder and Jock’s Wytches, Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, and Kate Beaton’s Step Aside, Pops. Amazon also included Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, and Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll’s Baba Yaga’s Assistant in its lists of the best children’s books of the year. [Amazon]

Comics | Wayne Bell says his new comic book ISIS: A Culture of Evil, is a valuable tool to tell stories of atrocities the media won’t cover: “It’s factual, it’s accurate, it’s the real deal, and unlike a TV program it absolutely goes to the bone quick.” Some veterans who were shown the book weren’t so sure, though, especially as it looks like a coloring book; they felt the medium wasn’t appropriate for the message. [CBS St. Louis]

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Comics A.M. | Amazon opens its first physical bookstore

Amazon Books in Seattle

Amazon Books in Seattle

Retailing | Online retail giant Amazon will open its first brick-and-mortar store this morning in Seattle’s upscale shopping center University Village. Called simply Amazon Books, the store features between 5,000 and 6,000 books, from bestsellers to Amazon.com customer favorites. “Amazon Books is a physical extension of Amazon.com,” Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books, said in a statement. “We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.” As The Seattle Times notes, the opening arrives with a dose of irony: For years Amazon has been able to undercut most other retailers largely because it didn’t have any physical locations. [The Seattle Times]

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Comics A.M. | Is NYCC really bigger than San Diego?

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

Conventions | Following reports that New York Comic Con attracted 155,000 attendees this year, surpassing Comic-Con International’s 133,000, Kerry Dixon scrutinizes producer ReedPOP’s counting system and finds it leaves “a lot of room for guesswork and error in attendance size”: “So did New York Comic Con beat out San Diego to take over the title of the largest pop culture and comics convention this side of the globe? Well, not really.” [Unofficial SDCC Blog]

Publishing | Filip Sablik, BOOM! Studios’ president of publishing and marketing, talks about the company’s new offering: a $20 bundle of 50 kids’ comics that can be handed out to trick-or-treaters. The selection includes Adventure Time, Peanuts, Garfield and other comics from the kaBOOM! line. [Comicosity]

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Comics A.M. | Should feminists give up on superhero comics?

Catwoman #1

Comics | Dismayed by the portrayal of Catwoman in DC Comics’ relaunched series, Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress asks whether feminists are wasting their time in hoping and lobbying for better portrayals of women in mainstream superhero comics. While she understands the desire to walk away, the decides in the end “it’s worth it to keep nudging”: “… Even if the industry doesn’t change, there should be voices in the background when folks read these books pointing out their problems. The key is getting folks who really just want to see, say, Catwoman bang Batman and nothing else to hear those critiques and to find a way to engage with them constructively, which is really, profoundly difficult. But I’d rather live in a world where people who don’t want to hear the works they like criticized have to work to shut them out, rather than leaving them to relax into the blissful sounds of silence.”

At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky points out that not all comics are like Catwoman or Red Hood and the Outlaws, and recommends some alternatives. Meanwhile, Tom Foss jokingly suggests that the “new” Starfire is merely replacing longtime New Teen Titans creeper Terry Long. [ThinkProgress, The Atlantic]

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Book trailer: Night Salad takes you to fantasyland

Check out this video of Night Salad, a new book by the Scottish team of Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, who go by the name Metaphrog. At the Forbidden Planet blog, Joe waxes lyrical about the book and shows off some generous samples of the art, which is lovely and well worth the click. This is the latest of a series of books about the baby-faced Louis; earlier volumes have earned nominations for the Eisner and Ignatz awards. The story is a fable that works on two levels; children can read it as a simple story of Louis looking for a cure for his sick bird, while adults may see more sinster overtones. You can see more of Metaphrog’s work on their website, and an earlier Louis story, Red Letter Day at Serializer.


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