"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Legal | Artists from around the world are drawing in support of Tunisian cartoonist Jabeur Mejri, who is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for posting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad online. Just two weeks after Tunisia adopted a new constitution that protects freedom of expression, Jabeur’s supporters have launched a “100 Cartoons for Jabeur” website and released a statement saying, “While freedom of expression and conscience are guaranteed in this founding text, the continued detention of Jabeur Mejri is contrary to the spirit and the text of the constitution.” [Yahoo News]
Publishing | Andrews McMeel’s AMP! division will publish Reading With Pictures: The Graphic Textbook, a collection of graphic stories on a number of topics, including math, history and social studies, that is designed to fit into the Common Core standards. The creators involved include Roger Langridge, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. While this is big news for Reading With Pictures, the organization behind the book, it’s also an interesting move for AMP!, which has been focusing on kid-friendly reprint collections of its parent company’s newspaper strips. [The Beat]
Great characters and great stories don’t come out of nowhere. They have a beginning, and sometime the lives they led before they’re introduced are just as interesting as who they are when me meet them.
Movie effects artist-turned-cartoonist Tim Gibson has created a whole new world for himself with Moth City. Described as “Game of Thrones-y” but with kung fu and 1930s crime noir, the digital series has attracted much interest, as well as high praise from the likes of Mark Waid. And next week Gibson will release a one-shot prelude to Moth City titled The Reservoir, focused on the Deadwood-ian primary character Governor McGaw when he was nothing more an an entrepreneurial young buck in the Texas oil boom of the early 1900s.
Passings | Lew Stringer reports that British artist Charles Grigg died Wednesday at age 97. Grigg is probably best known for drawing Korky the Cat, whose adventures graced the cover of the weekly comic The Dandy for decades, and he drew a number of other strips for The Dandy and The Topper as well. After he retired he had a second career drawing naughty postcards. [Blimey!]
Retailing | The direct-market trade organization ComicsPRO has announced its annual membership meeting will be held Feb. 26-March 1 in Atlanta. [ICv2.com]
Creators | Art Spiegelman talked to students at Lakeland College recently and then sat down to answer some questions about his love of comics, how his depression affected his work, and whether he has any regrets about the way he portrayed his father in Maus. [The Lakeland Mirror]
If you’re a fan of Tim Gibson‘s Moth City, you may have been introduced to the work on Gibson’s own site or through its serialization at Thrillbent. Fans of the digital platform are able to consume larger installments of the series in one sitting with comiXology Submit, where Moth City will wrap up its second season on Wednesday, with the digital release of Issue 4.
Set in 1930s China and featuring an interesting mix of characters, Moth City is what comiXology aptly describes as “a story about control — when we lose it, when we gain it, and when others hold it over us.”
To celebrate the release of Moth City #4, Gibson opened up about his murder-mystery series, and the creative process behind it. His storytelling and bio gave me a lot of ground to develop questions, particularly with great lines like, “When he’s not writing or drawing, he spends his time reading Elmore Leonard, Stephen King and Agatha Christie, and ogling the art of David Mazzucchelli.”
Tim O’Shea: The first issue opens with a quote from Lord Byron’s “On Leaving Newstead Abbey.” What prompted you to open with that?
Tim Gibson: Byron is this great figure of masculinity, a soldier and a poet. A romantic who had a very twisted love life. He’s a great parallel to the story’s self-imposed tyrant, Governor McCaw, a man who sees himself in a very idealised light. Newstead Abbey also touches on the failure and decay of a once-grand estate, which helps set up one of the main conflicts of the story, that of the Governor, and his daughter Glitter who lives a life so sheltered she may as well be a possession.
Plus, you know, if you’re going to do a comic with car chases, bio weapons, shoot outs, hurried romance and underground plots, you may as well put a bow tie on it.
After working for years at WETA Digital on movies like Avatar, District 9 and Tintin, artist Tim Gibson had a story of his own he wanted to tell — and he chose comics to do it.
Working on the project in his spare time (with a little funding assistance from the New Zealand government), last year Gibson debuted the innovative online comic series Moth City. Set in a fictional island off the coast of China that’s reminiscent of a 1950s-era Cuba, Moth City is a murder mystery wrapped in noir by way of South Asian comic stylings. It’s packed with shrewd tycoons, communists and a love story, laid beneath a veneer of soot.
We’ve seen many comic creators break out and jump into movies, but it’s more rare that we see people taking the opposite path. However, conceptual designer Tim Gibson is doing just that. After working for years at WETA Workshop on everything from District 9 to The Adventures of Tintin to even the aborted Justice League of America movie, Gibson set it all aside to develop his own concept, titled Moth City.
Mixing murder mystery with elements of noir and horror, Gibson’s Moth City is a story about a brilliant industrialist who;s left reeling after a close colleague is killed and the city he lives in is on the verge of a plague pandemic. Gibson will be serializing the story on a Facebook page set up for the comic. While this is the first comic Gibson is writing and drawing, he does have some unique comic cred to him, as he helped color the indie series The Red Star.
Here is a page from Moth City Gibson posted to give people a taste of what the series will look like: