- Rob M. highlighted a comic about Elliot Smith in his Graphic Non-Fiction column.
- Rob M. talks about what SPX means to him as he introduces our month of SPX Spotlights.
- And Emilia P. has our first SPX Spotlight of 2015 with a look at The Little Red Fish #2.
- Mark D. looks at the recent Captain Midnight series, part 1 and part 2.
- Guy T. spotlight's Claire Connelly and tells you why you should check her comics out at SPX.
- At The Comics Journal, Rob K. reviews Lovers Only.
- At Trouble With Comics, Scott C. talked a bit about about the nine-panel grid and then looked at a few pages that used the nine-panel grid.
- And Mark D. has so many reviews up at The Last Askani.
** Go read Dan Hipp's comic responding to events that happened this week (and this month, this year and this decade.)
** Business Insider profiles Valiant Comics, declaring that they want to be the next Marvel.
"We're in a very fortunate situation," says Russell Brown, a former Marvel executive and Valiant's president of consumer products, marketing, and ad sales. "We don't have to rush anything, we don't have to extract crazy dollars from people — which sets up a whole chain. If you push people towards high dollars to participate (and everyone wants to be a part of Marvel 2.0), the problem is they rush product to market, it doesn't sell through, then there's a problem and people say 'Valiant is not working.' So what's the rush? We're slowly, slowly finding the right partners, in the right categories — it's a real progression."** How did I not know that Chris Ware is doing a comic on The Guardian?
** Nikole Beckwith's comic about seeing Dancer In the Dark on a first date is really frightening.
** Like so many Medium sites are doing right now, Darling Sleeper announces that they're shutting down. The site did a lot of great comics and it's a shame that for whatever reasons it's going away.
** The Hugo Awards were announced last week and in a number of categories, there were no awards actually given. Wired Magazine walks through what happened with the Hugo Awards this year.
Larry Correia, a 38-year-old Utah accountant and former gun store owner and NRA lobbyist turned novelist, created the Sad Puppies three years ago. When I reached him by phone (he didn’t come to Worldcon this year) he told me he came up with the name after seeing an SPCA ad featuring forlorn canines staring into the camera, with singer Sarah McLachlan. “We did a joke based on that: That the leading cause of puppy-related sadness was boring message-fic winning awards,” he said, laughing. Correia also explained that initially, “our spokesman was a cartoon manatee named Wendell. Wendell doesn’t speak English. You can see we kept this really super serious, right?”And the whole thing gets more ridiculous from there.
Going forward, he said, no matter how the Hugo administrators modify the nominating process to try to prevent manipulation (and there are two proposals being considered), he will still have enough supporters to control future awards. Specifically, “I have 390 sworn and numbered vile faceless minions—the hardcore shock troops—who are sworn to mindless and perfect obedience,” he said, acknowledging that his army wasn’t made up solely of sci-fi fans. On the contrary, “the people who are very anti-SJW said, ‘Okay, we want to get in on this.’” When I asked him how he might deploy those people in the future, he continued, “It’s very simple. The dark lord speaks, the minion acts.”** Guernica Magazine interviewed Gilbert Hernandez. Compared to a lot of Love and Rockets readers, I came to the book fairly late so I have trouble viewing Gilbert as an elder statesman of alt comix. Gilbert's comics like Blubber don't feel like the work of an elder statesman but of a radical and a rebel.
I notice a lot of younger artists have difficulty telling stories. They might have short stories where they express themselves well, but they don’t really know how to tell stories with characters. That [craft] just passed them by. But, you know, back in the ’60s and ’70s, there were no personal computers. There weren’t those kinds of distractions. You watched whatever they stuck on TV. That was it for accessible visual arts. But now there are so many different outlets. Nobody has to watch anything if they don’t feel like it.