This year, I did something for Free Comic Book Day that I haven't done in a long time. Borderlands, in Greenville, SC graciously hosted me as one of their artists doing free sketches for customers as part of their Free Comic Book Day celebration. It was nice once again to visit the shop and see how another store does this celebration, since I've spent the last two years closer to home, and not as an artist.
You may have a little trouble getting a copy of 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank at your local comic shop. It's entire print run has sold out in solicitations. However, if past Black Mask Studios titles are any indication, a second printing is likely to be announced any day now. There are bound to be reviews all over the Internet, because word of mouth for this series is exceptionally hot. Given that we were so fond of writer Matthew Rosenberg's We Can Never Go Home, you know we're going to review this one.
Sexual harassment is a plague not only on the comics industry, but on society as a whole. In reporting it, we have to rely on not only what is said, but what we can prove. That is why we have not covered this story, or the firing of Shelley Bond as Vertigo Executive Editor which precipitated the renewed focus and public outing of Eddie Berganza as the person behind allegations of sexual harassment at DC Comics. We are making a serious attempt at being comics journalists, but no statement is coming out of DC Comics over the matter, and all we are getting are accusations and rumor, but nothing from DC Comics.
Aly Fell's work is astounding. It's what first drew us in on The Shadow Glass. The UK-based artist came from an initial background in animation, but her more recent work in illustration shows the mastery she has over all of the essentials of great art.
American Mythology Productions has sent us a nice little press release about their new comic, The Land That Time Forgot. Based on the seminal Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel, American Mythology has licensed the Land from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. in order to present a new 32 page comic featuring characters from the original story. They also promise some new surprises. Hopefully, that adds to the promise that the comic will not be a straight adaptation of the classic science fiction, but a sequel.
In 1993, the comic book industry crash that started looked like it was going to take down most of the industry, including one of the giants, Marvel Comics. By the time it was over, Marvel was fighting to emerge from bankruptcy protection, and there was only one distributor for a reduced number of comic book shops, and it was facing a federal anti-trust investigation. Several, smaller publishers had gone out of business. The industry clawed its way back from the brink of oblivion and grew into what we see today, with it being a record-breaking year for the industry, due to increased exposure from television and films, a emphasis on variant covers as a method to increase sales, and higher cover prices for individual issues. However, we could be on the brink of another collapse and here is how it probably will happen.
The Paper Rocket Kickstarter is the type of project crowd funding was invented for. Minicomics can hold some of the true treasures of the comics medium, and one the joys of going through Artist's Alley at any convention is discovering artists elevating the art form of comics. Among those artists is Robyn Chapman, head of Paper Rocket, who publishes mini-comics.
This week, our needless character analysis might very well be just that. In legal limbo for many, many years, the Elementals are unlikely to ever see a resurgence. Their creator, Bill Willingham is at last comment, uninterested in revisiting the characters, much less trying to regain full legal ownership of them. Nevertheless, Elementals remains one of the gems from the independent comics boom of the 1980s, and worthy of your search for them.
This week's spotlight goes on someone that we've talked about before, just not as the Artist Of The Week. His webcomic The Creepy Casefiles Of Margo Maloo is an absolute treat with every page, primarily due to the incredible draftsmanship by Drew Weing.
For this week's Needless Character Analysis, I went for a non-mainstream character, Katchoo of Strangers In Paradise. This is one of those series that, while it ended several years ago, it still remains popular due to its complex characters a strong story. Because Katchoo is one of the central characters, consider this a spoiler warning for the series, if you haven't read it yet.
I got turned onto the art of Alexander Serra through of the various Legion of Super-Heroes groups that I follow on Facebook. In Googling this artist, I found precious little, but noticed that he has had some published work over the years, but his blog is a great repository for some fantastic artwork. He also produced a couple of great little comics for Saturday Morning Webtoons, Lopopo's Lost Sock and The Tried And Failed Gang which are both available to download FOR FREE.