March 4, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for March 4th, 2016-- The Facebook Edition

** Whenever I put this weekly post together, I always forget about all of the links I've saved via Facebook.  Instapaper is my preferred method for saving pages but it's a pain to use in the mobile Facebook apps so I guess I have to use theirs.  Here's a bunch I've been saving from there over the past month or so.



** 14 Graphic Novels and Comics Every Twentysomething Woman Should Read (Cosmopolitan)-- Meave Gallagher provides a thorough and somewhat surprising list of comics that (fill-in-the-blank) type of person should read.  Her list for twentysomething women starts out fairly standard for the current zeitgeist (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel and Saga are shown in the article's banner) and also includes modern classics like Fun Home and Persepolis. Towards the second half of it, it veers into some interesting choices like Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III's Promethea and a book that I'm not that familiar with, Maggie Thrash's Honor Girl.
#8 HONOR GIRL-- In her memoir about first love at summer camp, Maggie Thrash uses simple, beautiful watercolors to illustrate the story of what happened when she fell for a counselor at her all-girls Christian summer camp. While the wide-open spaces and massive skies make Maggie feel free, the unspoken, conservative social rules constrain her. Fifteen-year-old Maggie is full to bursting with huge emotions, and uses the rifle range as her outlet, until she can't stay bottled up any longer. Honor Girl is a big-hearted story told honestly and generously.


** In defense of Liefeld (Arsenic Lullaby)-- Someday I'll have to figure out my own complicated feelings about Liefeld but I'm always fascinated by defenses of his artwork.  I'm not saying that I don't see the appeal of his artwork but I don't get the fervor people defend it, particularly the fervor of a lot of today's cartoonists.  The latest cartoonist to jump into the fray is Doug Paszkiewicz of Arsenic Lullaby, responding to another piece that exists just to point out the worst drawings that Liefeld has done.
Maybe more importantly, he’s not ripping anyone off. If you see that Liefeld drew the book, you know what you’re getting. Some people like his stuff and they think it’s worth the cash, those who don’t know right away not to spend the money. It’s a different situation then a middle tier guy phoning it in, when he should be earning the readers cash and …perish the thought…even advancing the medium. Liefeld already contributed to the medium of comic books in a substantial way, he helped found Image and break the hold on the store shelves that Marvel and DC had, and helped advance the option of creators owning their work even in larger companies. He did some stuff that wasn’t good, but he did more things that helped the industry stay relevant.
The article that Paskiewicz is reacting to calls the cover to New Mutants #92 one of Liefeld's worst drawings but of all of Liefeld's work, I have a soft spot for his New Mutants/X-Force stuff.   And I think this cover, when Liefeld was working through his Art Adams phase, isn't all that bad.


** Whit Taylor edited Comics Workbook Magazine #10 and you can get it from Copacetic Comics.

** Women in Comics NYC Collective International: Black Women in Comics Spotlights – Whit Taylor (Comic Book Resources)-- Regine Sawyer has a nice, brief spotlight on Whit's comic work at CBR.



** The Future of Sparkplug (Sparkplug Comic Book blog)- Virginia Paine announces that she's going to wind down operation of the great Sparkplug Books this year.
It's become increasingly difficult for me to balance my day job as assistant manager at an art gallery, my own comics career, and Sparkplug. I don't have the time to put into nurturing the press and its artists that they deserve.
I would like to express my gratitude to people who have joined and helped me on this journey, and everyone who has supported Sparkplug and me in the years since Dylan's passing. You will always have a place in my heart.
Eric Kirsammer, owner of Quimby's Bookstore on North Avenue in Chicago
** Quimby's Bookstore still keeping a corner of Wicker Park weird (The Chicago Tribune)-- I've had some of the most fun nights as a fan of comics at Quimby's and its sister store, Chicago Comics. But Quimby's is so different from any other comic or book store that I've been to that it's an incredibly singular experience.
Upscale brands like Lululemon, Nike and Shinola have moved in nearby. But of the businesses that helped make Wicker Park a bohemian mecca in the '90s, such as the video store Earwax, the bicycle shop Rapid Transit and the coffee shop Urbis Orbis — a pioneer in "hipster service" where patrons were sometimes forced to serve themselves — "there's really only us, Reckless Records and Myopic Books left," said Kirsammer, 51, who also owns the more traditional superhero-comic store, Chicago Comics, in Lakeview. 
"I don't feel like Quimby's belongs in the neighborhood anymore," he said. "But it's never been about how much money I make. It's always been about promoting independent voices."