"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Political cartoons | On the 10th anniversary of the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, experts and journalists reflect on the controversy that followed. While the publication of the cartoons and their aftermath have “made some journalists more thoughtful about the way they cover minority groups,” journalism professor Angela Phillips says, “In other instances I think it made quite a lot of journalists if anything less sensitive to these issues. There is in some countries an even faster recourse to a rather essentialist notion of freedom of expression.” [Agence France-Presse]
The Society of Illustrators has announced the winners of the 2015 Comic and Cartoon Art Annual competition. Olivier Schrauwen took the gold medal in the Long-Form category for Arsène Schrauwen, and Bianca Gagnarelli received top honors in the Short Form category for Fish. Lauren Weinstein won the gold medal in digital media for Carriers, her five-part webcomic about learning she and her husband both had the gene for cystic fibrosis, and therefore her unborn child might have the disease.
The winning entries will be put on display in two exhibits at the Society of Illustrators gallery in New York: The Short Form, Digital Media, and Special Format exhibit will run from June 16-July 18, and the Long Form, Single Image, and Comic Strip show will run from July 21-August 15. Many of the entries will also be on display at the MoCCA Arts Fest in April.
Here’s the complete list of winners:
Nobrow Press co-founder Sam Arthur once described the company’s mission as “to publish books that deserved to be printed — and by that I mean they needed to exist as tactile objects that people [can] collect and cherish.” This has been borne out over the years as Nobrow established itself as a publisher that paid painstaking attention to the production process.
Given that, it’s not surprising that it took Nobrow seven years to go digital, and when it did, it came up with a digital solution that addresses the physical aspects of its comics.
When art school students graduate, they understandably don’t always hit the ground running, creatively. However, in his debut graphic novel from Nobrow, Art Schooled, London-based illustrator (and recent graduate) Jamie Coe found great storytelling fodder with a series of vignettes about a small-town guy who moves to the city in hopes of becoming an artist.
Speaking with ROBOT 6, Coe recalls finding his narrative voice while discovering those of his characters, and why it was critical that this journey from kid to adult be told in full color. Be sure to check out the preview at the end of the interview.
While basketball season will be over by the time the summer rolls around, fans jonesin’ for some hoops in July can check out Sam Bosma‘s Fantasy Sports, the Nobrow Press expanded edition of his self-published comic Fantasy Basketball.
Previously available directly from Bosma on Gumroad, the new edition expands the original award-winning comic into an oversized hardcover. Combining elements of sports manga, video games and old-fashioned tomb raiding, this new version is in full color, which makes Bosma’s beautiful drawings pop.
Check out a preview, as well as additional information on the book, below.
Conventions | The San Diego Tourism Authority is asking hotels in the Comic-Con International room block to freeze their rates at the 2016 level for the following two years, as part of its bid to keep the convention in the city. Already, 30 of the 50 participating hotels have agreed to do so. Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Faulconer will attend the next Comic-Con board meeting to make an appeal to organizers to remain in the city; Tourism Authority CEO Joe Terzi said Anaheim has made a bid for Comic-Con, but the city’s convention bureau wouldn’t comment.
A plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center collapsed after the hotel-tax funding scheme was ruled unconstitutional, but Anaheim is preparing to break ground on its own 200,000-square-foot expansion. However, Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said, “Some people had mistakenly implied that an expanded convention center would be the thing that solidified our decision to stay or go, but there are a number of factors to be addressed: hotel room rates, available space within hotels and outside the center, things that could mitigate the issue of having outgrown the convention center. An expansion would be great for the city and us, but if it doesn’t happen we’ve been able to make do without it, and if we can mitigate the concerns we do have we’ll be able to stay here.” [U-T San Diego]
After a series of short stories in anthologies like MySpace Dark Horse Presents, Chameleon and The Anthology Project Vol. 2, cartoonist Roman Muradov is making his debut as a long-form storyteller next month with (In a Sense) Lost and Found.
In the graphic novel, from boutique publisher Nobrow, Muradov uses his flowing illustrative style to follow a young woman on a quest to find something she lost and tries to decide whether she even wants it to begin with. Saying more about the plot would spoil the book, but it’s only part of the appeal of the cartoonist’s work here.
U.K. publisher Nobrow has announced it will close its London store after three and a half years to better concentrate on publishing and to expand its office space.
“Our desire is to focus on our core business, developing and producing the best content in visual publishing,” reads a statement on the Nobrow website. “With the increasing growth of our team, we have no choice but to expand the office space and, unfortunately, this is at the expense of the Nobrow Shop. Nobrow UK will still reside in the same historic premises, but with a significantly larger team – and our books will still be available everywhere that good books are sold.”
Although the brick-and-mortar shop, located at 62 Great Eastern St., will close on July 18, the publisher plans to launch an expanded online store in September.
Book Expo America is the annual trade show where publishers promote their upcoming books to retailers and librarians. BEA is all about books, but comics and graphic novels are a growing presence. Diamond had a dedicated area, as it has in previous years, several comics publishers had their own booths, and several of the big publishers featured graphic novels alongside their other titles, most notably Hachette, which gave quite a bit of space to Yen Press.
I spent Friday at the show looking at which books the publishers were drawing the most attention to. Here’s a very subjective account of what I saw.
Kid stuff! Children’s and YA graphic novels have been hot for a couple of years, and the news that Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters is getting a 200,000 copy initial print run got a lot of buzz. Of course, the BEA crowd has been on board with her work for a while, and they lined up in droves for her book signing. The same was true of Jeff Kinney, who was signing copies of The Wimpy Kid School Planner at the Abrams booth; the crowd just kept on coming. And the staff at the BOOM! Studios table were hustling as attendees grabbed copies of their Adventure Time and Bravest Warrior collections as well as their third original Peanuts graphic novel, Peanuts: The Beagle Has Landed, which takes Snoopy to the moon.
It’s been a big couple of weeks for U.K. comics publishing, and a lot of that might have to do with this weekend’s Comica Festival (a.k.a. “the 10th London International Comics Festival”). There has been a rush of titles from British graphic novel publishers of late, no doubt timed for a big push at this most art-centric of U.K. comics conventions (it’s hosted this year at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, and I dare anyone of a certain vintage to think of that place and not start humming this).
There’s a lot of great stuff out there at the minute that’s maybe not getting enough coverage internationally, so let’s do a round-up, shall we? There’s a myth that the American comics audience is insular, so let’s disprove it: These books are even already available in English, although their spelling is a bit suspect at times. Yeah, you heard me, buy a dictionary, limeys!
• The Man Who Laughs, the oddest of Victor Hugo’s novels, adapted by David Hine and Mark Stafford, published by SelfMadeHero: Hine has posted a host of panels from the book at his blog. I was previously ignorant of Stafford’s work, but these are some handsome-looking samples; they reminded me a little of the great Dave Cooper. Hine is always good value, and has a track record of making some genuinely unsettling comics (Strange Embrace, The Bulletproof Coffin), so this sounds like the perfect alignment of talent to source material.
Usually between all of the gang here at Robot 6, we’re able to pinpoint the great new things coming out in comics either when they arrive, and sometimes while they’re on their way. But one thing that slipped under the radar in October is now making its presence known.
High Times: A History of Aviation isn’t a comic in the traditional sense, but it’s definitely a comic. Created as part of U.K. boutique publisher Nobrow‘s Leporello series, this creation by the German artist duo known as Golden Cosmos celebrates the cultural history of aviation with an expansive art print done on both sides of an accordian-folded 54″ panorama.
Both Golden Cosmos and Nobrow are relatively unknown in the United States, but that’s bound to change. Last year Nobrow secured a U.S. distribution deal, and its epicly high-quality printing — and content to match — is slowly making its way into better comic stores nationwide. High Times is available on Amazon, through your local comic shop, or directly from Nobrow’s website.
Comics have been home to stories from various mediums, but this might be a new one.
The ambitiously creative UK publisher Nobrow has recently released a a comic take of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet by artist Ping Zhu. In this impressively inventive fold out comic, the cartoonist shows the performance on one side of the accordion-style book, while on the other Zhu shows the backstage antics. Here’s picture of the book, provided by the publisher: