Previously On Comics: Mighty Marvel Monday Edition

It’s Monday, so it’s time for another Mighty Marvel Mon–

Wait, hold on. That’s wrong. Let me try that again.

Welcome back for another edition of Previously On Comics! This is our new consolidated news column that aims to give you the quick and dirty news in and around the comics industry, from Anime to Zines. I will be rotating in around the first week of every month, and sharing the news-load with other writers who are no doubt familiar to you, or who will be soon. 

So what happened to Mighty Marvel Monday? Well, truth be told, after more than a year of writing Marvel-related columns, it was getting a little tiresome to find myself writing the same columns, week after week. When I started, I was a fan of many of Marvel’s characters, and many of their writers and artists and even a few of their editors, and I remain so. But Marvel has spent the past year demonstrating how to squander all the goodwill engendered even when you have an editor as amazing as Sana Amanat (recently profiled on WaPo), and talent at the level of Ta-Nehisi Coates, by making poor decisions on issues like race and lgbt representation. And while writing about these actions in isolation is important, it’s also important to write about them in context.

It’s important to understand that the Captain America is a Nazi “reveal” that turned out to be, as predicted, totally false and cheap happened the same week as DC’s massive Rebirth initiative, thus stealing attention from what DC had hoped to be a historical relaunch (and which is, also as predicted, already having problems meeting its ambitious bi-monthly publishing schedule).

It’s important to understand how unpersuasive the arguments about how successful comics are gritty grimdark and filled with violence, gore, and objectified women have become when Raina Telgemeier’s newest graphic novel, Ghosts, aimed at an all-ages audience and featuring non-sexualized preteen protagonists, is having a 500,000 copy first printing, the biggest first printing of a standalone graphic novel ever. Ever.

So, I hope you’ll go with us on this journey as we try something new, and if you were a fan of Mighty Marvel Monday, I want to thank you for all your support in the past year as I found my voice, and did my best to uplift the voices of others.

And let me reassure you that our consolidation doesn’t mean that we won’t be talking about Marvel or DC ever. When cool things happen, like Chip Zdarsky’s Trudeau fanfiction (unclear if this is an RPS fusion or a crossover at this point… 😉 ), you bet we’ll point you to it.

Civil War II #5 Variant cover art by Ramon Perez.
Civil War II #5 Variant cover art by Ramon Perez.

Along with interesting articles which remind us that his father also appeared in Marvel comics, and, of course, relevant tweets.

https://twitter.com/zdarsky/status/747783212743725056

And when it comes to even bigger announcements, like the front page New York Times announcement from DC that although queer superhero Midnighter’s much-loved solo series was a collateral damage loss in the wake of the Rebirth initiative, Midnighter and Apollo will be returning this fall with a miniseries (that could possibly parley into an ongoing….) helmed once again by Steve Orlando, well, that’s the kind of news that deserves its own article, isn’t it?

Cover of Midnighter & Apollo #1 by ACO
Cover of Midnighter & Apollo #1 by ACO

As long as I’ve been a part of Women Write About Comics, I’ve heard (and repeated) the mantra that comics are comics are comics are comics are comics, no matter the format, genre, or subject matter. But we’ve kept our Big Two and indie news separate from manga and zines, which undermines that a little, so even though I’m not incredibly well-versed in understanding all things indie or all things manga, I believe that it’s important to cover the Anime Expo announcements in the same column as the Marvel announcements, so that’s what I’m going to do. Bear with me during my learning curve.

This weekend is Anime Expo, which is still THE biggest anime convention in the US as far as I’m aware, and the announcements are trickling in and yet I’ve seen more tweets devoted to AX’s logistical problems, with a huge registration mess followed by a lack of air conditioning (a must in LA in July).

Other news! Or things you might have missed when comics twitter was once again rehashing what comics journalism means.

  • The ALA (American Libraries Association) had a panel about Valkyries and Valhalla, the Valkyries sister group for women who work with comics in the context of libraries, museums, and bookstores. Since I know many, many, librarians, including several who were at ALA, I just wanted you to know that.
  • Related to the earlier how comics are changing on the publishing side, YA and children’s graphic novels are getting new expanded BISAC codes. Do you know what BISAC codes are? Me either. And this may sound incredibly boring and inconsequential, but Comics Beat insists this is big news and might change the industry forever.
  • As Al pointed out last week, July is Zine Month and Comicosity is very timely promoting comics creation with a #MakeComics event, offering advice and other fun stuff.
  • And lest you think I would leave out indie/webcomics, let me point you to this article from AV Club about how self-pubbed comics are changing the comics industry, which discusses how the comics industry, as a whole, is actually changing to support this new “how to break into comics” model, which involves less cronyism and more systemic support.
  • Which leads me to end with this not at all related but totally related article from Vox on one of my favorite self-pubbed comics, Check, Please. Having followed along with Ngozi Okazu and the boys from Samwell for over two years now, I will not at all be surprised when she lands a major publishing deal.
Kate Tanski

Kate Tanski

Recovering academic. Fangirl. Geek knitter.
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