The casual observer could be forgiven for mistaking comics fans for car accident victims given the whiplash generated by this week’s comics news. One moment up with the announcement of this year’s Ignatz winners, the next down with the unexpected postponement of another con. All in all, this week has been a frenetic one.
On Wednesday, Cautionary Comics claimed they would not be attending MegaCon 2018, held in Tampa, Florida, due to “actionable death threats” stemming from a “harassment campaign.” They directly named Joe Quesada, Scott Snyder, and cosplayer Renfamous as those spearheading the campaign and stated they had reported the matter to the FBI.
So far, neither Quesada nor Snyder have responded publicly, although Renfamous issued a rebuttal directly to Cautionary Comics founder and editor-in-chief Benjamin Henderson, who has since privatized his Twitter account. Curiously, however, neither MegaCon’s website or Twitter feed indicate Cautionary Comics or Henderson were ever invited guests in the first place.
The accusation came after Snyder made a public statement on Sunday against Comicsgate, breaking his silence on the issue. Snyder accompanied his statement with a photograph showing an odds sheet for “next week’s phony ‘Celebrity’ ComicsGate Denouncement.” Snyder topped the list at 3-1 odds.
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, Grand Rapids Comic Con (GRCC) announced comics writer Mike S. Miller would not be attending the con in November. Event director Mark Hodges sent Miller a letter that Mike Deodato Jr. shared, which outlined Hodges’ reasons for rescinding Miller’s invitation. These included Miller’s comments to and about a Nigerian national during a podcast in August, as well as several unspecified comments directed at women. After mere hours of online outcry and threats to boycott the con from a number of Miller’s supporters, Miller offered an apology to “anyone who was personally offended by anything I’ve said[,]” which led GRCC to re-invite him. Despite this, Miller stated he had developed a scheduling conflict and would be unable to attend.
After all that, the news that Wizard World Sacramento, scheduled for its first return to the city since 2014, is being postponed less than two weeks before it was due to begin seemed nearly anticlimactic. In their announcement, Wizard World announced they would be providing ticket holders with full refunds and codes that would provide this year’s intended attendees with buy one, get one admission in 2019. Although Sacramento is off the itinerary for 2018, Wizard World still has two events scheduled for this year, one in Austin, Texas, and one in Madison, Wisconsin, before kicking off 2019 in New Orleans.
Following his repatriation from Thailand, Chinese rights activist and cartoonist Jiang Yefei has allegedly been tortured after being convicted of “incitement to subvert state power” and “illegally crossing a national border” over political cartoons satirizing president Xi Jinping. As a result, Jiang has allegedly lost the use of one eye. Jiang’s wife Chu Ling has appealed to the United Nations and others to pressure the Chinese government to release him before further injuries can be inflicted.
Frank Cammuso, Jamal Igle, Tom Peyer, and Hart Seely joined forces in upstate New York to launch AHOY Comics with the goal “to make comics fun again.” In an interview with Syracuse University journalism student Michael Zawisza, Cammuso indicated he found few funny comics on the market, only “depressing” ones. Clearly none of these creators are familiar with Snotgirl, Kim Reaper, Dream Daddy, Magical Princess Sky, Lumberjanes, Sleepless or any of many other current comics that are far from depressing.
Meanwhile, Abrams Publishing is launching Megascope, an imprint focused on speculative fiction graphic novels exploring the experiences of people of color. The publishing company has clearly put serious thought into how to handle this new venture. First, they drew on WEB DuBois’s work for the imprint’s name (DuBois wrote Megascope, a spec fic piece, in 1908). Then they brought on comics artist and professor John Jennings, who paired with Damian Duffy to create the 2017 Eisner-winning Kindred: A Graphic Novel, as well as the anthologies Black Comix and Black Comix Returns. Jennings has curated a group of comics experts and scholars to serve as Megascope’s advisory board. With their guidance and an editorial team that includes Charlotte Greenbaum and Charles Kochman, Megascope stands poised to serve as a gateway for a variety of creators of color in the spec fic world.
Last weekend saw the announcement of the 2018 Ignatz Awards at the annual Small Press Expo. This year’s winners include Comics for Choice (Outstanding Anthology), edited by O.K. Fox, Hazel Newlevant, and Whit Taylor; Shing Yin Khor’s Say It With Noodles: Learning to Speak the Language of Food (Outstanding Minicomic); and Mis(h)adra (Promising New Talent) by Yasmin Omar Ata. Comicon published the full list of winners on Sunday. You can expect some more in depth coverage from us this coming week!
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) is holding its annual conference in Sacramento this weekend. Perhaps attendees will discuss this editorial published by the National Review decrying the response to the racist editorial cartoon of Serena Williams at the US Open as “the death of editorial cartoons.”
This week’s quick news:
Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie has a trial date for his lawsuit against Alex Jones’ Infowars: July 16, 2019.
The mystery surrounding Olivia Jaimes and her takeover of the Nancy comic strip deepened with the announcement that while Jaimes would be participating in a panel at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) 2018, attendees’ cameras and recording devices would not.
Chelsea Cain continued to speak out in the wake of the cancellation of Vision, this time in an interview with The Daily Beast.
Grant Jones took the gold in the pun Olympics when he tweeted about the 35th anniversary engraving of Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) on stone plates.
The Princess Who Saved Her Friends, created by Simon Bowland, Jonathan Coulton, Jessica Kholinne, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Greg Pak, hit Kickstarter this week.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer won’t be celebrating her 21st birthday with Dark Horse Comics but will instead be making herself at home with Boom! Studios.
The Cut published a compelling piece by comics artist Kate Beaton about the death of her sister and doctors’ tendency to ignore women’s complaints.