Sunday News Desk-- August 19th, 2018


Aretha Franklin at the 2008 Presidential Inauguration (drawn by Nate Powell in March Book 2.)

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

Because I'm not really paying attention to most of what Image is publishing today, I'm really not too sure what Cullen Bunn and Mark Torres' Cold Spots is about but if I see this cover on the shelves next week, I'm definitely flipping through it.  Maybe it's my love of the classic The Great Gatsby cover but I love images that use eyes in compelling ways.  This cover itself is a mystery that I want to know more about.  Looking at a preview for this first issue, the art inside is looser but just as moody as the covers.


*** “Amazon Is the Global Warming of the American Economy”: A Conversation with Eric Reynolds on the ComiXology Originals Announcement (The Comics Journal)-- This discussion between Tim Hodler, an editor of the online The Comics Journal) and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics' associate publisher) is intriguing.  They explore the idea of the recently announced Comixology Originals as more of a step in Amazon's quest to be leading our culture. The piece covers everything from how Amazon has affected the housing market in Seattle to the limitations of a POD model.

Yeah, most of them. I just wouldn’t do it. You know it’s like, oh, what’s a good recent book? That Franquin Die Laughing book that we just did. You know, if we sold out of that really quickly and we wanted to utilize Amazon to do fulfillment while we waited five months for a new printing to be printed and shipped from Asia, it would have to be reduced in trim size, it would have to be paperback, it would have to be on a completely different, a cheaper weight of paper. All of those really fine Franquin lines would not reproduce as well. Their black and white technology is actually pretty good, but you would still notice a little bit of a difference. At that point it’s just a different book. It’s a different thing when you’ve got a mass market paperback, where they’re sort of the same edition using Amazon’s technology that’s gonna more or less from five feet away look the same, right?
I think the big thing to remember here is that Amazon is not our friend.  And I say that as someone who uses them far too often.

*** INTERVIEW: Revisiting Old Friends & Soaring the Skies of Whimsy in Jeff Smith’s SMILEY’S DREAM BOOK (The Beat)-- AJ Frost talks to the always impressive Jeff Smith about his latest return to the Bone universe. 
Children’s books or picture books weren’t necessarily on my radar. My original Bone comics were for general audiences that includedchildren, but picture books are an entirely different discipline. These are for early readers. I had done one picture book a few years ago called Little Mouse Gets Ready for Toon Books. It was popular, and I enjoyed making it, but it was a one-off. I wouldn’t mind doing another one, but I didn’t have an idea. It was Scholastic that suggested a Bone children’s book. Well, that put me right in my comfort zone. As you mentioned, I’m always looking for an excuse to draw the Bone boys!

This and That

***The subculture prospering in the Middle East (CNN)-- CNN has a 3 part story about the geek culture in Dubai.  It's really worth watching because it shows just how similar we all are, no matter where in this great big world we may be.  In these videos, you see fans, comic shop owners, and comic creators all talk about what it's like to be a comic fan and geek in the Middle East.  

Oh, and their comic shops look spectacular!

Here are the other two videos:

*** Life is an Ambush. My Two Birth Stories. (The Nib)-- Leela Corman has a new comic up at the Nib about the emotional and physical pains of childbirth.  It's not the first time that Corman has used comics to deal with all of the pain that she goes through but every time she does it, she finds new ways to offer insight and to find healing in the process.  In this strip, there's something deeply poetic and meditative in all of her experiences of giving birth and being a mother.  

*** Tilting at Windmills #270: Pondering Whether to Close A Comic Shop (The Beat)-- San Francisco retailer Brian Hibbs does is usual schtick of reading a dark future for monthly serialized comic books but it's always interesting to me to hear about comics from the retailers perspective.  I get that a lot of his musings about comics comes from a purely business perspective but, with two very different sounding shops, Hibbs has a unique view of what works and doesn't work in comics.
There’s also a really pernicious problem resurging in comics of the return of speculators, and the way that impacts and changes the ways retailers purchase and rack books. Though, more accurately, I think, is that it is an influx of arbitrageurs who are looking for the quick in-and-out flip from whatever is “hot” this week, rather than speculators who were holding on to quantities for weeks or months. Arbitrage is, in many ways, more grinding on the gears of ordering and Direct Market commerce, because it is far less predictable or counterable. At the end of the day, however, it’s probably trivially easy to corner the local market on specific books because initial order quantities are so low, as are overprints on those print runs – for under $500, I’m fairly confident that an arbitrageur could buy 100% of the rack copies of almost any comic book released in the city of San Francisco.

***“East of West” Ending Announced (Multiversity)-- With the recent release of the latest trade collection, Jonathan Hickman announced that there are 8 issues left to the series, meaning that everything will wrap up in just under 50 issues.
Jonathan Hickman took to Twitter to announce the end game for his and Nick Dragotta’s Image Comics series “East of West.” Hickman confirmed that there will be two more trades worth of material, consisting of about eight more issues. That would make issue #47 the last one. Hickman described the upcoming arcs as, “So much shit going down.”

*** About Those J. Scott Campbell X-Men Black Covers – Social Media Discourse in the “Blue Age” of Comics (Women Write About Comics)-- Adrienne Resha about her Twitter experiences of questioning the use of J. Scott Campbell covers on comics about and written by women and how she believes that the current age of comics isn't defined by the content of the comics themselves but by how we use social media to talk about them.
“Blue Age” gives us an answer beyond my gender. These fans feel as if they have to defend a man that ostensibly will never care about them as much as they care about him from an attack that, well, wasn’t an attack. I didn’t say Campbell’s art was bad (I did say he couldn’t draw feet, but neither can Rob Liefeld and that’s never stopped him). I didn’t ask that he be fired (I’m pretty sure he’s a freelancer anyway). I didn’t ask Marvel to commission another cover artist (although I do have some thoughts on artists whose work is more appealing to women).

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