Axel-In-Charge: Bringing "Dead No More" to FCBD, the Original "Civil War's" Legacy
Cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier (Mother, Come Home), who created the animated opening and other work for IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang!, has launched Forlorn TV, which he describes as “a weekly series of animated monologues, shorts, and existential farts.”
In the first episode, which premiered today, “a trip to the dermatologist leads to the inevitable question: what if everyone disappeared from the face of the earth?” New installments are promised each Monday.
This isn’t comics per se, but rather a collection of portraits Hornschemeier did of various notable figures as a late-night drawing exercise of sorts. One of the things I like is that Hornschemeier tries to change his style to suit the subject matter, or at least keep things from getting similar, so that Edward Gorey might be portrayed in a traditional stipple/cross-hatch method, J.D. Salinger and John Steinbeck are all made up of severe, angular, slashing lines, while P.G. Wodehouse seems to consist of a collection of basic geometric shapes that threaten to break off into pure abstraction. My favorites are probably the “blind continuous line” drawings, where Hornschemeier attempted to capture a person’s likeness without looking at the drawing or lifting his pen form the paper. These images have a lovely chaos to them that nevertheless manage to coalesce into an identifiable face.
On the downside, Hornschemeier has a tendency to elongate people’s faces, which can result in some rather odd-looking figures (Charles Schulz in particular seems rather off-model). He’s also obviously working off of photos, and part of me wished he took even more of a chance in attempting to draw his figures in different poses or expressions — especially with someone like Tesla, where the original image is so well know. On the upside, I also appreciated Hornschemeir’s notes in the back on each individual. Every so often he comes up with a delightful turn of phrase that captures an artist’s essence, as when he describes Richard Scarry art as, “The aesthetic equivalent of a towel fresh from the dryer.” All in all, it’s a nice little gift book that holiday present-shoppers can give to fans of Mother, Come Home or those who simply share the same sort of admiration Hornschemeier clearly does for these creative people.
The latest round of “Comics-on Tees” that debuted this past weekend at C2E2 in Chicago are now available for purchase on their website. This round is “written” by Jeffrey Brown, who also contributes the design of one of the shirts, along with Jeff Lemire, Anders Nilsen, and Paul Hornschemeier. The shirts can be bought individually, or you can get all four as a set.
Awards | Big Questions by Anders Nilsen has won the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize for 2012, the second such award given by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. The organization also named four honorees: Freeway by Mark Kalesniko, Habibi by Craig Thompson, Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier and Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at Penn State later this year. [Pennsylvania Center for the Book]
Publishing | IDW Publishing has promoted Dirk Wood to vice president of marketing. Wood joined IDW in 2010 as director of retail marketing. [IDW Publishing]
Conventions | Misha Davenport previews this weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Previously they’ve recruited creators like Becky Cloonan, Mike Allred, Eduardo Risso, Jill Thompson, Colleen Coover and Tony Moore, just to name a few, to create shirts. This round will be “written” by Jeffrey Brown, who also contributes the design of one of the shirts, along with Jeff Lemire, Anders Nilsen, and Paul Hornschemeier. The shirts will debut at their booth C2E2 weekend and will be available for purchase from the Threadless site on April 16.
I’ll spare you the sound effects, but that oft-repeated headline is true: comics aren’t for kids anymore. Last year we saw James Kolchalka inducted as Vermont’s Cartoonist Laureate and now we have another interesting appointment of a cartoonist. Cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier will be spending three weeks as the inaugural Graphic Novelist-In-Residence for Ohio’s Columbus Museum of Art and the Thurber House. Scheduled to last from March 19 to April 6, Hornschmeier will be living in the Thurber House — the boyhood home of early 1900s New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber.
“[I’ll be] working on new projects, as well as doing a variety of events around town,” Hornschmeier says on his blog. “Having been an admirer of Thurber’s work since my own childhood, and having started my comics career in earnest in Columbus, deciding to answer the residency’s invitation in the affirmative took little debate.”
Hornschmeier will lead and take part in a series of events related to the residency, including graphic novel writing workshops for kids and adults, an on-stage interview, and a lecture about the philosophical nature of his work by Otterbein professor of philosophy Andrew Mills.
Awards | The gold medal for Best Graphic Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival went to Guy Delisle for Jerusalem, and the jury awarded a Special Prize to Jim Woodring for his Congress of the Animals. Veteran French creator Jean-Claude Denis was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême, so he will preside over next year’s festival, as Art Spiegelman did this year. Two manga won awards as well: Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story won the Intergenerational Award, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s autobiographical A Drifting Life received the World Outlook Award. The Heritage Award went to Glenat’s edition of Carl Barks’ Donald Duck. [Paris Match]
We’re getting down to the wire here, but we still have a couple more pre-SDCC things to share … first up, Fantagraphics sent over their booth and panel schedules, to go along with the massive list of books they’ll debut at the show. A list they keep adding to — check out the SDCC special edition of 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente they’ll have on hand. It’s so limited you can count the number of copies they’ll have on three fingers.
They’ll have a whole bunch of creators at their booth this year, including all three Hernandez brothers, Paul Hornschemeier, Johnny Ryan, Anders Nilsen and many more. Check it out after the jump.
Retailing | More than 1 million customers visited participating stores on Free Comic Book Day, according to a survey conducted by Diamond Comic Distributors. More than 2.4 million of the record 2.7 million comics ordered by retailers were handed out. What’s more, nearly 54 percent of stores saw higher profits than usual for a Saturday, while more than 37 percent reported higher profits than on a typical Wednesday. [ICv2.com]
Awards | Bob Haney and Del Connell will receive the 2011 Bill Finger Award for Achievement in Comic Book Writing, established in honor of the late writer, considered the “unsung hero” of Batman. Haney, who passed away, in 2004, is best remembered as co-creator of the Doom Patrol and Metamorpho and for his work on DC titles like The Brave and the Bold, Teen Titans and Aquaman. Connell, who began his career at Disney Studios working on such animated projects as Alice in Wonderland and The Three Caballeros, became a prolific writer and, eventually, editor-in-chief at Western Publishing. He also wrote the Mickey Mouse comic strips for more than 20 years. Connell, 94, will accept his award July 22 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International. [Comic-Con]
Crime | Josue Rivera, the comic artist known as Justiniano, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut on May 10 following a July incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. On Tuesday, the 38-year-old artist pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. [Connecticut Post]
Retailing | Days after it was announced that media conglomerate Liberty Media offered $1 billion to buy Barnes & Noble, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has revealed he bought another 603,000 shares at $18.49 a share, raising his stake in the bookseller to 19.74 percent. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Burkle, already the book chain’s largest shareholder, may be “playing a potentially dangerous game of chicken to force a takeover price for Barnes & Noble even higher.” [Deal Journal]
Over at ComicsAlliance, Laura Hudson has a real treat for those of you who like your superhero comics with an alternative twist: 50-plus pages of sketches, thumbnails, pencils, inks, color studies and more from the Strange Tales II hardcover, which debuted this week. Click on over and get a glimpse at the creative process behind contributions from Kate Beaton, Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Farel Dalrymple, Rafael Grampa, Dean Haspiel, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Hornschemeier, Benjamin Marra, Edu Medeiros, Harvey Pekar, Frank Santoro, and Paul Vella. That’s hella Strange!
How much do you love Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology? The mixing of independent talent with these mainstream comic icons is truly something to behold, and it looks like Marvel is continuing that with the recently leaked cover to the second volume’s collected edition.
Cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier recently released the cover he designed for Strange Tales II (as you can see on the right) , which features Hornschemeier’s design sensibilities with the art of Kate Beaton. Hornschemeier calls Beaton “one of the best, most pitch-perfect cartoonists working today,” and said he knew she wanted her work on the cover even before he started going through the book’s contents.
Make with the clicky to Hornschemeier’s blog to see the cover at a larger size as well as the back cover and more thoughts on the whole project.
Announced this morning on his blog, this hardcover has been serialized for years in the Mome anthology and centers on a young retail worker named Amy who becomes engrossed with a cartoon show called Mr. Dangerous.
In an interview last fall with the website New City Lit, Hornschemeier said he “wanted to write a story about that strange time between your early twenties and whatever adulthood is supposed to be. When you’ve embraced reality by getting a job, renting an apartment, getting a cat or a dog or a car or a fern — but you don’t really know who you are yet.”
In addition to the standard 140-page hardcover Villard also will release two special editions: The Limited Edition ($75) will contain a four-color silkscreened dust jacket, a signed original sketch and be limited to 75 copies. The Ultra Limited Edition ($400) will contain an 14″ x 17″ original page of artwork from the book, a hand-sculpted figure of a character from by the book by the artist, and everything from the Limited Edition package. This latter package is limited to 16. It’s first-come, first-serve, and Hornschemeier is taking advance orders now at his store.
To highlight the New Chicago Comics exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, NBC Chicago ran the above segment, which features creators Jeffrey Brown and Paul Hornschemeier talking about their work. The exhibit features their work, as well as that of Lilli Carré and Anders Nilsen.
Retailing | Troubles continue for Borders Group as the retailer filed notice Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Executive Vice President Thomas D. Carney and Chief Information Officer D. Scott Laverty have resigned. Just last week Borders, the country’s second-largest bookstore chain, announced it’s delaying payments to some publishers as it attempts to restructure its credit lines. [GalleyCat]
Libraries | Four of the top five young-adult titles checked out from the New York Public Library in 2010 were manga: Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Tite Kubo’s Bleach, Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, and Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z. Jennifer Holm’s graphic novel Babymouse and Jeff Kinney’s comics-prose hybrid Diary of a Wimpy Kid were the top two children’s titles. [NYPL Wire]