December 9, 2016

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Hey, Andy are you goofing on Elvis? (Weekend Pattering for December 9th, 2016)

Previously on Panel Patter

The Wicked + The Divine #24- A Past Reflection of an Uncertain Present (Scott C.)
Saga #40 (James K. @ Comicosity)

Cover of the Next Week


After all of these years, Richard Corben can still draw nightmares.  Shadows of the Grave is his newest comic from Dark Horse and based off of this cover, Corben's imagination may be more twisted than ever.  And considering the great horror comics that he's worked on before, Corben's artistic worldview hasn't lost its edge.

Interviews


** First Second Editorial Director Mark Siegel on Nurturing the "New Mainstream" of Comic Books (Paste)-- First Second is one of the more fascinating publishers, nurturing a lot of very different types of comics.  Siegel, the editorial director of the house, has lead the publisher to one of the most important voices in comics.
I always knew I wanted First Second to do, in some ways, a very American thing: something that’s true to the American voices of today, with a very strong “world” component. What’s interesting now is that it used to be three great schools of comics—the American school, the European and then the Japanese school—each of which, obviously, is many schools. But the fact that now they’re speaking to each other and blending into each other, and we have things like Last Man or Faith Erin Hicks, someone who grew up reading manga, who is now a bestselling author. We’re in a different place. I think creatively people are in a different place. Now the masters of manga, the masters of Europe, the masters of America—people are drawing from all these in new and interesting ways. And you also have this situation where graphic novels are also speaking to other kinds of literature, and you have the whole range of genres, from the quiet, introspective fiction to high-fantasy and sci-fi. So the interesting thing to see is, What story will we tell about this time period that we’re in? I’m sure that we’re going to look back on this as a renaissance, as a Golden Age for a new kind of graphic novel that escaped the constraints of earlier comics.

This and That



** Odod Books Launch: A New Place for Kid's Comics! (Kickstarter)-- It's the final few days for Uncivilized Book's Kickstarter campaign for their kids' line of books, Odod Books. The Musnet comic from Kickliy looks amazing. Uncivilized has been one of my favorite smaller publishers for the past couple of years and I would love to see this campaign succeed.
Comics are very important to us, and especially comics for kids. Growing up, we loved reading comics, but sometimes they’re hard to find for people younger than 12. We've been publishing literary focused comics by award winning artists through Uncivlized Books for several years now and we think it's time we turned our attention to younger audiences. We want to publish kid's comics with all the depth and quality that we've offered through Uncivilized Books.

** Andy Kaufman Gets the Graphic Novel Treatment: A First Look at ‘Is This Guy For Real?’ (Playboy)-- So a few weeks ago, I joked about Box Brown's next book being about the 2016 Cubs but his real next books sounds just as good, if not better. As announced on Playboy of all places, Brown's next book is going to be about the great comedian Andy Kaufman.
“Andy Kaufman has fascinated me for years,” Brown says. “I was too young to remember his runs on David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. But because of Man on the Moon, Comedy Central started re-airing Andy Kaufman’s performances. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen. He was extremely influential in the comedy world, but I think still misunderstood and often emulated with varying results.”

** Comics for Choice Call for Submissions-- Whit Taylor and O.K. Fox are editing a comic anthology about abortion, raising money for the National Network of Abortion Funds. You still have a couple of weeks to check out the website and send in your submissions.
This is a scary time for reproductive freedom in America. Already, people face far too many obstacles to access the abortions they need, with bans on insurance coverage, far-away clinics and mandatory waiting periods. Fueled by misogyny and misinformation, the Trump administration wants to restrict access even more. Now is the time for us to use our art to raise both awareness and money to protect this crucial right.

** Comics Should Be Decent: A Discourse About Discourse (Loser City)-- Nick Hanover and Kim O'Connor discuss the current climate of comics criticism.
O'Connor: Is my glum mood because of the state of the discourse…sort of? I’m not sure. I feel a certain mortification around comics, like sometimes I’m a little ashamed to be associated with it when it comes up in my real life. I felt depressed after Zainab closed C&C. Along with those things…I probably shouldn’t say this…some of the people who write about comics for major outlets are the fucking cockroaches. Like…they survive this stuff that’s killing off some of the rest of us, in part because they can be nasty. So to me those are the guys who are most directly responsible for pissing in the talent pool. They’re actively making inside baseball conversations less interesting by being bullies, and they’re also helping to shape the bad, bland conversation that’s unfolding in the broader culture. I don’t know how that all relates to the harassment and the assault stuff, but it sort of feels related, doesn’t it? Maybe on some level a lot of this comes down to fanboys?? Even at the corporate level, there’s that mentality of we can’t fire these boys because they’re good at what they do. Classic fanboy shit. Not for nothing, Riesman is one of the few journalists on god’s earth who seems positioned to put some heat on DC. Which…fat fucking chance. I don’t know, I’m just thinking maybe fanboys are gonna fanboy, whether we’re talking about shielding sexual predators or yelling at people about Adrian Tomine.
This is probably an inside-baseball piece but these kinds of articles fascinate me. I'm never quite too sure what to make of these but it kills me to read about a lot of the crap and abuse writers whom I like take from creators and from the greater fandom. I think a lot of the discourse happening today is some of the best even as the larger discussions get uglier and uglier. Admittedly, in the past year I've slowly disconnected more and more from social media where I think a lot of the ugliness happens.



** Editorial: Why the New Sincerity Has Forever Changed Comics (Paste)-- Somehow, I think I've missed this whole "New Sincerity" thing. Magdalene Vissagio, the writer of Black Mask's Kim & Kim, looks at this recent movement in comics.
That grimdark saturation is enough to make one think that something like Squirrel Girl isn’t an offbeat exception, but a deliberate act of rebellion. These observations comment on the entire structure of how comics are produced and what they mean. Some of that equation is structural; the industry, as a whole, has doubled down on a particular market segment for oh, the majority of its existence to the detriment of a conceivably wider comic-buying public. These new books are almost all put together by other kinds of people other than straight white dudes—POC, women, LGBTQ writers—and widely appeal to these same audiences. That’s not a coincidence.
I'll freely admit that I don't get a lot of these comics but I'm the 45 year old guy (actually 46 years old, thank you) that Vissagio refers to ("Stylized, youthful, increasingly female and often queer, these books are almost (read: explicitly) a deliberate slap in the face to a toxic fandom culture and a broken business model that has focused exclusively on 45-year-old white dudes.")  I may not get it but I'm happy to see these comics and the audience they're reaching, even if I think Vissagio's piece spends too much time talking about what they're rebelling against instead of singing the praises of these new comics.

Your Moment of Spiegelman

** Cartoonist Art Spiegelman: 'I don’t want to spend another 13 years on a book' (Independent)-- This headline just makes me sad.
“I don’t want to spend another 13 years on a book,” he says, reflecting on the lack of a real follow-up to Maus since its 1991 completion. “I don’t have that other book obviously in me. I spent the first few years after Maus trying to figure out what that might be.” Now, after that 300-page, epochal work, he’s contemplating “the one-page graphic novel…more filled with implication than any page has a right to be”.

Current Mood