April 8, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for April 8th, 2016- Moebius! Moebius! MOEBIUS!!!!!

** There's been a small flurry of activity lately, many panels to be pattered about.  Here's a brief sampling of some of our recent output.



** GHOST (Pen)-- Pen highlights Whit Taylor's work.
Robert Kirby writes: "Whit Taylor writes movingly and with deeply personal insight about the aftermath of a traumatic sexual assault in this excerpt from her new graphic novella Ghost, which melds fiction with autobiography. "
** HOW DID WE END UP HERE? (Charlie Hebdo)-- So it's been over a year now since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris so maybe it's time to ask ourselves if anything is any better now than it was a year ago?
Above all, in a sense, this stops us asking perhaps the world's oldest and most important question - "How the hell did I end up here?". "How the hell did I end up having to wander the streets all day with a big veil on my head?" "How the hell did I end up having to say prayers five times a day?" " How the hell did I end up in the back of a taxi with three rucksacks packed with explosives?" Perhaps, very sadly, the only people who are still asking themselves that most important of questions are the unlucky victims. "How the hell did I end up here, six yards away from that big bomb?"
That's from a Charlie Hebdo editorial that's outright ugly and offensive.  And worse than that, it's a response that's full of fear.  And not to get too political here, but this is Trump-like thinking that everyone one in a religion or nationality is responsible for the extremists that are hiding in that religion.  So let's be perfectly honest- that's just human nature.  It's not any religion that's doing these attacks and killing people; it's men and women who are broken and just not right in heart and mind.

On his Facebook page, writer Teju Cole responds to the racism that exists within the culture of Charlie Hebdo but that many of us overlooked when the 2015 attacks happened.
What thoughts? The wish to discriminate freely against Muslims without having to be called out on it. The freedom to draw everyone who is Muslim, or comes from a Muslim family, or is connected to North Africa, or "looks" Arab, into one big universal blood guilt that makes them literally responsible for the horrors perpetrated by a few maniacs. The desire to have this hatefulness lauded as courage.
I think the sadness and tragedy of those events still hang heavy in the air.  While it may be satirical to a degree, there's a lot of ugliness in the cartoons and expressions of Charlie Hebdo just as there is horrible ugliness in the terrorists' attacks that happened. But this essay from Charile Hebdo is just completely the wrong reaction.  It's a retreat, more content to be scared and hateful rather than reflective and questioning.  Honestly, there was probably no "right" thing for them to do but from everything that I've learned in the past year, Charlie Hebdo doesn't seem to be an organization that's ready to be moderate or level headed.

** OUTHOUSE LAUNCHES ALTERNATIVE FREE COMICS DAY WEBSITE (The Outhousers)-- So Free Comic Book Day is coming up in a few weeks but there seems to be some unexplainable gatekeeper that gives its blessings to which comics will be part of FCBD.  The Outhousers recently tried to determine who selects the comics for FCBD.
"I did some investigating and I learned that the whole process is controlled by a mysterious committee headed up by ComicsPRO director Joe Field," said Terror. "I sent an email to Diamond asking questions about it, and they responded telling me basically that Diamond doesn't have anything to do with the decision. So then I tried to talk to ComicsPRO about it, and I sent an email through the FCBD website asking about it, and the same guy from Diamond responded, and this time he said ComicsPRO has nothing to do with it and it's all Diamond."
As a reaction to it, a new program is spinning out of The Outhouses, Alternative Free Comics Day.
If you're a creator or a publisher, register for an account and then create a creator or publisher profile. You can upload a comic that you want to give away for free in CBZ format. We'll take all of the comics that are uploaded, and on the day of the event, we'll gather them together in one or more bundles and make them available to download for anyone who wants to. It's that simple! If you're a retailer or a website that wants to help promote these comics, you can sign up and create a retailer or retailer profile. Then creators and publishers can contact you and you can help to promote or give away their comics. We'll provide templates of flyers you can print out to put in your shop, and for websites, you can host or link to the bundles to download for your readers. Finally, if you're not any of the things above, but you still want to help out, you can register and create a volunteer profile. We could use volunteers to help organize the comics, make sure they're formatted properly, write instructions and FAQs, create flyers, and promote the event.
So here's an initiative that may be worth watching over the next couple of weeks to see if it gains any traction.



** Writer Notes: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl (Kieron Gillen's Tumblr)-- I always love these writer's notes that Kieron Gillen puts up on his Tumblr but I hadn't noticed that he hadn't really done them for Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl.  But now he has and done them at once for the whole miniseries.
This was one of the first conversations I wrote in the series. I’m always a “know the end” guy, and in something as small as a mini, occasionally I can just end up writing it. The first draft was… kinder. It was more like post-victory one in Rue Britannia, which bubbled. Chrissy noted that it felt off, and after I thought, I realised she was right. I was letting my love of these two characters get in the way. It was the last time I’d write them, and I wanted to leave them giggling. But, as written, this builds towards two people thinking they are probably not going to be anything to do with another again. Not because of anything either did… just because of life.
There's a lot to unpack here and honestly, I've got to get down my own thoughts on the whole Phonogram cycle before I dig too much into Gillen's.  It was a book that I wrestled with but loved.  I'm sad to see it gone but love the fact that it will always be on my bookshelves.
Anyway – the last panel, showing the oddly small physical distance between entering this world and leaving’s final line was “Phonogram ends and Phonogram doesn't” which was basically what we were trying to evoke here.


** A Study in Black and A Study in Blue: Cartooning Cumberbatch (Women Write About Comics)-- Claire Napier has an excellent look at two very different attempts by cartoonists to draw Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, one by manga artist Jay and the other by cartoonist Hannah Krieger
Both Jay and Krieger are demonstrably fine likeness artists. Their renditions of the same man, and of other people within their comics, are recognisable and allow one to feel the pleasure of the familiar. “Yes, that isBenedict Cumberbatch!” It feels good to see a well-drawn image of a person one knows. And in fact, their successful but different versions, Handsome vs. Horrible, rely on the same elements of Cumberbatch’s facial structure to make their cases. The very high, sharp cheekbones, his pale and very slim eyes; the depth of crinkling around his brow and within the eye socket, his rather messy eyebrows and the pronounced downturn of his mouth at the very corners and in the middle of his upper lip.
And go read Hannah Krieger's comic about her Cumberbatch dream.  It's positively delightful.

** Four George Kleins (Todd's Blog)-- On his blog, Todd Klein is being one of comics' great historians and this piece about four George Kleins is pure gold.
In 1968, George and other long-time artists were “eased out” at DC in favor of younger talent, but George had no trouble finding work at Marvel Comics, where he became one of their highest-profile inkers for a brief time until his death on May 10, 1969. His untimely passing at age 52 or 54 (records vary) was due to cirrhosis of the liver. Many of his peers spoke highly of him and his work.
That's probably the driest paragraph from Klein's piece but the rest of it is full of wonderful insight and connections that it's worth just clicking on the link and reading from the beginning.  Go and do that now.



** Heavy Metal Reloaded: Your exclusive first look at Grant Morrison's debut issue (Entertainment Weekly)-- EW has a preview of Morrison's first issue of Heavy Metal that, quite honestly, looks like a lot of the recent issues of that mag that I've flipped through but the last page in that article is probably the most exciting.
Morrison has contributed a story himself, “an old school sci-fi twist-ender” entitled “Beachhead” drawn by Benjamin Marra, whim Morrison describes as a “grand guignol genius.” He might have provided more material, says Krelitz, but “we kept his own content light in his inaugural issue so he could focus on his editorial choices.”
Morrison and Benjamin Marra?  Well, that may be worth checking out.


** First Look: Moebius’ The World of Edena English Edition [Exclusive] (The Creators Project)-- The first rule of Weekend Pattering is always link to Moebius.
Simon says that Dark Horse’s starting lineup of Moebius books was presented to them by the Giraud family as the “ideal starting lineup." “We’re launching with The World of Edena,The Art of Edena, and Inside Moebius Parts 1, 2, and 3—all hardcovers in the same 8.375" x 10.875" format—and a project in a larger format, The Art of Moebius, will follow,” says Simon. “The tricky part will be figuring out where to go next. There is certainly a wealth of material, and we’re looking at more art books, books in odd formats, and collections of interviews with the storytelling master as we build the line, in addition to more deluxe hardcovers that will serve as definitive English-language editions of Mr. Giraud’s graphic novels, short story collections, and illustration retrospectives.”
 Be still my heart.  I want these books now.