Sunday News Desk-- August 12th, 2018


Darkon by Jim Starlin

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

Katie Skelly's artwork is always a lot of fun.  She's got one of the sexiest lines in comics right now, able with just a few strokes to create beautiful legs for her characters. 

This and That

*** Brian Fies’ ‘A Fire Story” is coming from Abrams next spring (The Beat)--  Still fairly fresh from SDCC is news of Brian Fries' new comic about losing his home last year in the California wildfires.

The day after he discovered his loss, he went to a local Target after sneaking back home to survey the damage and began documenting his experience. The result was an 18-page webcomic. Drawn in three days, it became healing and therapeutic for him – and hugely popular. National PBS station KQED produced an animated documentary of the experience. Over three million people viewed the video, and he received an Emmy Award in June for the video. As the documentary was shown to the audience, a still visibly shaken Fies talked about the mix of surprise and emotional conflict that came with the Award.

***The Sandman: A Beginner's Guide (GQ)-- GQ pays attention to comics long enough to notice that Vertigo is giving it yet another try at prolonging the popularity profitability of the Sandman franchise, originally created by Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth.    

It's kind of amazing how they manage to sum up a 75 issue series, a number of spin off graphic novels and series, and only ever mention one artist once in the whole thing.  

No, forget that.  It's really what was to be expected of this kind of generic overview of a seminal comic.
But much of the joy of The Sandman comes from how deftly and unexpectedly it builds out the world around Dream, in stories where he’s often just a supporting player. One volume, A Game of You, takes a minor character from a previous volume and spins her off into an elaborate, surreal fantasy narrative. Another, titled World’s End, takes place at a magical pub where visitors wait out a storm by swapping crazy one-off stories. At his cleverest, Gaiman also finds ways to weave the comic’s story through actual historical events—like the World Fantasy Award-winning issue that invents a new origin for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And The Sandman also ropes in plenty of fictional characters and landmarks along the way—like an early story that’s partially set in Arkham Asylum, which is also where most of Batman’s supervillains end up.

*** The Revamped “Nancy” Is the Perfect Comic Strip for 2018 (Smithsonian)-- Kelsey McKinney covers the Olivia Jaimes' Nancy strips for the Smithsonian of all places.
“Before I even got approached, I’d kind of become an old-school Nancy fanatic. It’s so clean,” Jaimes says, who was approached by the strip’s owners because of her previous comics work (done under her real name) and her known love for the history of Nancy. “It was so ahead of its time. Some of these panels were written in the 1930s and are still funny today. My affection for this old comic strip kind of leaked out of my pores.” That affection is what drew the publishers of Nancy, Andrews McMeel Syndication, to Jaimes and made her the first woman to draw Nancy. “Plenty of men have written young girl characters for a long time, and that is demonstrably fine,” Jaimes says. “But there are definitely parts of girlhood that I really haven’t seen reflected.”

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