February 5, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for February 5th, 2016-- 1994: The Year of Force Works!

** We were up to pattering about a few panels this week, including...

** First Second Books: a look back at ten years of world-changing graphic publishing (Boing Boing)-- Cory Doctorow has a nice retrospective interview with the key players at First Second Books.
Gina Gagliano, First Second Marketing & Publicity: Graphic novels are always going to be different to design and produce than prose novels or picture books because in them, art and text are so heavily integrated. Rather than having a page with a single image, or a page full of text, every page is full of panels of art -- and people tend to be talking in most of them! This means that all the pages have to be laid out and lettered individually, and therefore extensively designed, and that's a whole complicated process.



** Marvel. The first ever 3-D magazine cover (VanDam Clients)-- I think this was found via CBR's Albert Ching on Twitter but here's an interesting comic artifact from 1994, the 3D cover to Marvel's Forceworks #1.  I really don't even remember this being a thing even though I'm pretty sure that I have this comic buried in a longbox somewhere.


1994 was not a good year for covers at either of the Big 2 but that a design company still has this up on their website as an example of the work that they do is rather dubious.

** A Milestone (Todd's Blog)-- There's honestly only a very few comic creator blogs that I really pat attention to but Todd Klein's blog is must reading.  In one of his latest posts, he talks about how after Vince Colletta viewed his art portfolio, he ended up getting a job in production instead.

In 1977, on a whim, I put together an art portfolio and applied for jobs at Marvel and DC. The Marvel job was for Art Director in the magazine division, and I wasn’t close to being qualified for it. At DC, my portfolio was looked at by Vince Colletta, who told me I didn’t have the skills to draw comics, but he must have seen something in those air conditioner manual paste-ups.
I also love how this reminiscence is touched off by Klein showing off a logo for a forgettable comic he did back in the early 1990s.



** NEWSARAMA PREDICTS NEXT TEN COMICS CANCELLATIONS (Outhousers)-- (Conflict of Interest Note #1: I do semi-regularly contribute to Newsarama's Best Shots review column.) The Outhousers can be a very hit-or-miss site, doing a good job at covering comics but their snark really does get unbearable at times.  And let's be honest, taking shots at any list on the internet is shooting at an easy target.  But I guess that they do have a "Snark" category so "no harm, no foul," I guess.

But between all that snark is a very healthy perspective on fandom and comics, particularly what the audience should and shouldn't pay any attention to.  So, I'm just posting this quote from this article with no other commentary.
Today, Bleeding Cool is focusing on telling you all about what DC has planned for their big relaunch, CBR features weekly interviews with Marvel's Editor in Chief that serve as glorified sales pitches, and ComicBook.com regularly publishers press releases disguised as "exclusive" news stories, all in the service of promoting comic books, because the corporate comics establishment has somehow convinced the media that this is their job. Newsarama wants you, the reader, to save these comics from cancellation, but we have a more revolutionary idea: let them fail. And after that, stop paying for variant covers, super-mega-crossover events, and gimmick relaunches, and let the entire mainstream industry fail. Support books by smaller companies and independent creators instead, and let fresh new ideas replace the same old shit in a shiny new package. Maybe then, we could build something better that doesn't constantly need to be "rescued."
It's Consumerist Darwinism at work in the Direct Market.

** Art Spiegelman Asks ‘What the @#$% happened to Comics’ (PopOptiq)-- (Conflict of Interest Post #2-- I also do write regularly for PopOptiq, covering the Batman series for them [New issue out next week! Look for the review next weekend!  Note and plug are now concluded.])

PopOptiq's Logan Dalton writes about a talk Art Spiegelman gave this week at the University of Richmond.
He also talked about how Jack Cole’s Plastic Man stories where the titular character had the power to turn into anything (Basically, the power of comics.), including abstract art paintings and laundry baskets to catch crooks were his gateway drug to Mad,Spiegelman’s biggest influence, which instilled a love of parody and irony him. He said that Mad helped Americans survive the 1950s and led to all kinds of pop culture satire from The Simpsons to The Daily Show becoming a pop culture phenomenon that is still found on newsstands today after humble beginnings as a one page backup in the various horror comics published by EC under the legendary Harvey Kurtzman. Spiegelman observed that EC’s horror comics were the secular Jewish response to the Holocaust while their sci-fi comics, like Weird Science, were the same to the atom bomb.


** This One Summer Removed from Seminole County Elementary Schools (Comic Book Legal Defence Fund)-- The CBLDF chronicles some recent challenges to  Panel Patter favorite This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, which last year made history as the first graphic novel to receive a Caldecott Honor and subsequently was the graphic novel that CBLDF had to defend most frequently in 2015, has been removed from three elementary school libraries in Seminole County, Florida, after a parent complaint about profanity sexual references. To compound matters, local ABC affiliate WFTV covered the story in a biased and error-riddled report.

** Absinthe of Art Episode 1 - Brandon Graham and Troy Nixey Part 1 (You Tube)-- Kurtis Wiebe to an interesting place last week, broadcasting on his Twitch channel a session he hosted for Brandon Graham and Troy Nixey.  Here's the first part of it, now up on YouTube.  Hopefully there are more of these coming because this one was kind of fun to watch.