X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
Conventions | The standalone Stumptown Comics Fest may be history, but an event has popped up to help fill the void: Linework NW, organized by Zack Soto and Francois Vigneault, a free, one-day show that will take place April 12 in Portland, Oregon. Michael DeForge has been announced as a special guest for the event, which will include such exhibitors as Fantagraphics, Koyama Press, Oni Press and Top Shelf Productions. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Scott Snyder is the subject of a glowing profile in The New York Times, which states the writer has “reinvented Batman in the past two years, deepening and humanizing the Dark Knight’s myth — in the making since 1939 — like no one since Frank Miller in the 1980s.” [The New York Times]
Organizers of Stumptown Comics Fest have announced they will end the 10-year-old show as a standalone event and will instead move its panel programming and convention awards to Rose City Comic Con, which debuted last year. Stumptown Comics Inc., which achieved nonprofit status earlier this year, now plans to focus “more on its educational goals.”
“From the very beginning, Stumptown’s goals were to bring an artistic and educational focus on comics to Portland,” Shawna Gore, chair of Stumptown’s board of directors, said in a statement. “In those early days there was only one other comics convention in Portland, so the Fest eventually took the shape of a more mainstream-style show to give us a place to gather creators and fans together for our workshops and symposiums. But now Portland has multiple comic and pop culture cons. By partnering with Rose City Comic Con as a venue to present both our programming and our awards, we can focus on new ways to pursue our organizations educational mission.”
The Stumptown Comic Arts Awards were presented Saturday during the 10th annual Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon. Although organizers have yet to post the winners on the event’s website, here’s the breakdown, courtesy of Jen Vaughn and Johanna Draper Carlson:
Best Writer: Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley)
Best Artist: Juanjo Guarnido (Blacksad: A Silent Hell)
Best Webcomic: Evan Dahm (Vattu)
Best Small Press: Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less by C. Spike Trotman and Diana Nock
Best New Talent: Kory Bing (Skin Deep: Exchanges)
Best Letterer: Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Talisman)
Best Colorist: Kory Bing (Skin Deep: Exchanges)
Best Cartoonist: Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Talisman)
Best Anthology: Smut Peddler, published by Iron Circus Comics
Best Publication Design: Blacksad: A Silent Hell, designed by Cary Grazzini
Readers’ Choice Award: E.K. Weaver
The nominees were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of comics industry professionals, journalists and retailers, and then voted on by the public.
Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. This weekend, the focus turns on the creators — both established and newcomers — with the School of Visual Arts’ Illustration & Cartooning Department’s Fresh Meat exhibition in New York City and Stumptown Comics Fest is Portland, Oregon.
Meanwhile, our contributors select their picks for the best comics going on sale Wednesday, including Jupiter’s Legacy #1, Vader’s Little Princess and Morning Glories #26.
Categories for this year’s awards include Best Artist, Best Writer, Best Cartoonist, Best Letterer, Best Colorist, Best Publication Design, Best Small Press, Best Anthology, and Best New Talent, as well as a new category, Best Webcomic. Nominees were chosen by a jury of industry professionals, and the awards also include a “Reader’s Choice” category.
The 2013 nominees are:
Cullen Bunn — The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun
Greg Rucka — Stumptown
Leia Weathington — The Legend of Bold Riley
Joshua Williamson — Sketch Monsters
Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir — Bad Medicine, Vol. 1: New Moon
Free Comic Book Day | In anticipation of Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle interviews Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics, who came up with the idea in the first place, inspired by “free scoop” days at ice cream shops. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Free Comic Book Day | John Jackson Miller traces the 10-year history of Free Comic Book Day. [The Comics Chronicles]
Conventions | ReedPop Group Vice President Lance Fensterman takes stock of this year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and sees plenty of growth, both in attendees (42,000 this year) and exhibitors. It looks like the show will continue: “We feel like we got the answer we needed. We made maybe a little bit of money, which is fine. Year 3 is when we expect to start to see some positive cash flow, but even more so we felt that the community embraced the event and the turnout and the ticket sales reflect that—and that is just what we needed to see.” [ICv2]
Legal | Todd McFarlane Productions has emerged from bankruptcy after more than seven years, having paid more than $2.2 million to creditors, according to court documents dug up by Daniel Best. Of that, $1.1 million was part of McFarlane’s settlement with Neil Gaiman, which brought to a close the decade-long legal battle over the rights to Medieval Spawn, the heavenly warrior Angela and other characters (it’s unknown how much of that disbursement was eaten up by legal fees and how much actually went to Gaiman; the writer has publicly stated he gives money won in the proceedings to charity). Todd McFarlane Productions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004 following the $15 million court award to former NHL player Tony Twist, who sued over the use of his name in Spawn for the mob enforcer Antonio “Tony Twist” Twistelli. McFarlane and Twist settled in 2007 for $5 million. [20th Century Danny Boy]
Jonathan Case, artist of Green River Killer and creator of Dear Creature, was the big winner this year at the Stumptown Comic Art Awards, taking home two of the awards’ unique trophies this past weekend during the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Ore.
Nominees in each category were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of comics industry professionals, journalists and retailers, and then voted on by the comics-reading public. This year’s winners are:
Jonathan Case, Green River Killer
Brandon Graham, Prophet
Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Fox Hunt
Dave Stewart, Hellboy: House of the Living Dead; Chimichanga
Best Publication Design
Petrograd, Tyler Crook and Keith Wood
Lies Grownups Told Me edited by Nomi Kane, Jen Vaughn, Caitlin M.
Best Small Press
Fugue #1 by Beth Hetland
Best New Talent
Jonathan Case, Dear Creature, Green River Killer
Vic Boone by Shawn Aldridge, Geoffo Panda
Creators’ rights | Gerry Giovinco points out that the mega-studio that is Walt Disney got its start because Walt signed a bad contract and lost the rights to his creation Oswald the Rabbit. Giovinco calls on Disney, as the parent company of Marvel, to acknowledge and perhaps actually compensate the creators of the products it is marketing: “I can’t believe that a company as wealthy Disney cannot find a way to see the value of the good will that would be generated by establishing some sort of compensation or, at the very least, acknowledgement to the efforts put forth by these creators.” [CO2 Comics Blog]
Digital comics | John Rogers discusses working with Mark Waid on his Thrillbent digital comics initiative. “There are people who are selling enough books to make a living on Amazon, whom you’ve never heard of. Because Amazon made digital delivery cheap and easy. That is what you must do with comics. It’s not hard. The music business already solved this problem. Amazon already solved this problem. It’s not like we’re trying to build a rocketship to the moon out of cardboard boxes. Webcomics guys — and this is kind of the great heresy — solved this problem like ten years ago, using digital distribution then doing print collections and also doing advertising and stuff.” [ComicBook.com]
This weekend brings with it not only the promise of better weather – You should see the grim, grey skies outside my window as I type these words – but the annual wonder that is the Stumptown Comics Fest here in Portland, which is pretty much the one comic convention that I can’t bring myself to miss anymore.
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Legal | A proposed Arizona law that would make it a crime to annoy or offend anyone through electronic means has been held back for revision after a number of concerned parties, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, protested that it was too broad. The bill, which was passed by both houses of the Arizona legislature, basically took the language from the statute criminalizing harassing phone calls and applied it to all electronic devices, without limiting it to one-to-one communications. As a result, the language appears to make it a crime to post anything annoying or potentially offensive on the internet. [CBLDF]
Retailing | Brian Hibbs questions Mark Waid’s math, both with regard to comic shops and the cost of self-publishing, and brings up a number of arguments in favor of the Direct Market. He argues that having gatekeepers in the market is a good thing and that rather than refusing to take a risk on a new or different comic, retailers will go out of their way to stock comics they think their readers will like. [Savage Critics]
The nominees for the annual Stumptown Comics Arts Awards, which are presented in conjunction with the yearly Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Ore., have been announced on their website. Head over there if you’d like to cast your vote.
Nominees were selected by a jury of industry professionals after an open call for submissions. The awards will be presented to the winners during the Comics Fest After Party on Saturday, April 28 at the Jupiter Hotel. This year’s festival runs April 28 and 29 at the Oregon Convention Center.
The nominee are:
Joshua Willamson, Sketch Monsters
Phillip Gelatt, Petrograd
Cullen Bunn, The Sixth Gun V. 2: Crossroads
Brandon Graham, Prophet
John Arcudi and Mike Mignola, BPRD: Hell on Earth — Russia
Sparkplug Books announced last week that they plan to release a collection of Katie Skelly’s Nurse Nurse minicomics, which she has been creating since 2003. The collection will come out in April, in time for a debut at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Ore. and the MoCCA Festival in New York.
The eight Nurse Nurse minicomics are set in a future where mankind is attempting to colonize other planets, and star the nurses sent to treat the colonies as they become poisoned by the new atmospheres. In particular, the story is about Gemma, a nurse who travels to her new assignment on Venus where a mysterious substance is having an amorous effect on the Venusians … but is it a conspiracy, or just … science?
The 180 page, black and white paperback will retail for $15.
Legal | The trial resumed today, if only briefly, in Tunis for the president of a Tunisian television network accused of “insulting sacred values” when he aired the adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Tensions were so high in the courtroom that proceedings were postponed until April. The Oct. 7 broadcast resulted in an attempted arson attack on the network’s offices and the arrest of some 50 protesters. Nessma TV President Nebil Karoui, who apologized in October, is charged with “insulting sacred values, offending decent morals and causing public unrest” because of the outrage triggered by a scene in Persepolis showing God, which is prohibited by Islam. [AFP]
Organizations | Stumptown Comics, the organization that puts on the Stumptown Comics Fest every year in Portland, Oregon, has added three new members to its board: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Charles Brownstein, Boilerplate co-author Anina Bennett and editor Shawna Gore. [Stumptown Comics]