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]
Seamus Heffernan’s Freedom explores what life would be like in Boston if the upstart colonists lost the American Revolution. The main character, Adam Farr, is a teenage apprentice who ends up caught between the British army and the insurgents who haven’t given up the dream of liberty, as Heffernan explains to J.L. Bell in a fascinating five-part interview at Bell’s history blog, Boston 1775.
Heffernan tells Bell that he got the idea during a discussion of heroes in 2005, at the height of the War on Terror. Later on, he explains further:
- Nick Maandag for Streakers (possibly NSFW)
- Melissa Mendes for Freddy Stories
- John Martz for Heaven All Day
- Kevin Mutch for Fantastic Life
- Brendan Leach for The Pterodactyl Hunters (in the Guilded City)
- Steve LeCouilliard for Much the Miller’s Son
- Benjamin Rivers for Snow
Established by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird, the Xeric Foundation gives grants to comics creators to finance self-publishing their work. Previous winners include Adrian Tomine, Megan Kelso, Jessica Abel, Linda Medley, James Sturm, Jim Ottaviani, Nick Bertozzi, Jeff Lemire, and Gene Yang, which suggests that the judges do a pretty good job of picking grant recipients.
Making comics, as we all know, is hard work. And — particularly if you work in the “indie” side of the aisle — it’s not always good-paying work.
Small wonder then that many talented individuals leave the medium to find a career in illustration, animation, sales, or hell, anything that paid better than comics.
Still, while I understand the financial necessity, there’s a number of artists I wish would come back to the fold, if just for old time’s sake. For example:
1. Aaron Augenblick. In 1999 Augenblick created a charming little mini-comic, Tales of the Great Unspoken. It was inventive, clever, superbly crafted and very funny. It won a Xeric. It was, all in all, a great debut that showed enough promise to suggest that Augenblick had a great career ahead of him in comics. Then he decided to chuck it all and make animated cartoons for Adult Swim and MTV.
It’s a shame. The kid really could have really made a name for himself. Still, it’s not too late Aaron. You could give up all that sweet, sweet Nickelodeon money and come back to comics anytime …