Has it been a month already?
There’s so much happening in comics this week I don’t know where to start, so let’s break it down.
Let’s start with some good things–it’s awards season!
- Darrin Bell, a freelance cartoonist, won the Pulitzer prize for Editorial Cartooning, making him the first African-American to win the Pulitzer prize for cartooning. Listen to this interview with him on NPR’s All Things Considered.
- Slate Book Review and Center for Cartoon Studies announced the winners for the 7th annual Cartoonist Studio prize. Lauren Weinstein won Best Web Comic [sic] “Being an Artist and a Mother,” published on the New Yorker website. The winner for Best Print Comic was Keiler Roberts’ Chlorine Gardens, published by Koyama Press. Check out their short list as well.
- The 11th annual Inkwell Awards for excellence in the art form of comic-book inking were announced at Philadelphia Comic Con! Check out all the winners and nominees on their website.
Another big industry announcement is Publishers Weekly’s article What We Know About Graphic Novel Sales (I know. Someday they’ll call it comics sales, but whatever), which analyzed Diamond’s direct market numbers in conjunction with reports from BookScan. I look forward to more in-depth analysis about their results, but one of the biggest takeaways is that “juvenile” comics sales increased by 56.2%. That’s pretty staggering, considering we know that there are so many people who get their comics outside of the direct market. Once again, the data begs the question–is the direct market dying?
Now–onto the sad things. There were actual deaths this past week, from legends in many different areas of comics.
- David Brothers wrote a beautiful obituary for Kazuhiko Kato, also known as Monkey Punch, whose career spanned decades and included iconic and globally influential titles such as Lupin the Third.
- There have been many remembrances in Comic Studies about the passing of Donald Ault, founder of the journal ImageTexT and a legendary figure at the University of Florida, where he was a professor.
A couple more pieces of serious news:
- There’s a fundraiser to raise money for Michael Mantlo, who is the brother of Bill Mantlo, the co-Creator of Rocket Raccoon and Cloak & Dagger.
- Jean Kilbourne shared her interactions in the early 1960s with Al Capp, another influential figure in cartooning, who was a known sexual harasser.
- The Guardian published a piece on cartoonist Yan Cong’s anthology Naked Body, which was a political protest against censorship by the Chinese government.
But let’s end happily.
In the wake of Star Wars Celebration several new comics were announced, including two that I am REALLY excited about.
G. Willow Wilson will be writing a new comic about Vice Admiral Holdo.
And! Finn is also getting a brand new comic–which is about time!
It's announced. Finn #1 will be our first #StarWars: Age Of Resistance comic – coming in July from @Marvel.
Check out an all new Finn adventure on Starkiller base before The Force Awakens!
Cover by @philnoto. Interior art by @RamonRosanas. pic.twitter.com/XXSDmxAGNF
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) April 19, 2019
So, just to wrap up, the happy, the sad, and the happy again. Comics are changing in many ways, in ways people who have been around in comics forever never anticipated. In the past week, several comics creators shared stories of how people had discouraged them in the past. Here are some of my favorites.
It was not out of spite, but definitely to prove to myself. An editor at a well known comic publisher told me after a portfolio review, "you will never make it in comics. You are just not good enough. You should give up." I think I'm doing pretty good. 😁 Hard work pays off. https://t.co/Bzuj2UDRBK
— Agnes Garbowska (@AgnesGarbowska) April 19, 2019
— ❤️A M Y C H U❤️ #donutkiller (@AmyChu) April 18, 2019
When I started out, a Big Time Creator told me that if I wanted to work in comics I needed to do two things:
1) Adopt a pen name because Trujillo “sounded too foreign.”
2) Go back in the closet.
I did neither. Today, many years later, my first Marvel comic was published. pic.twitter.com/mwLUEhM4aL
— Josh Trujillo! 🏳️🌈 (@losthiskeysman) April 17, 2019
Until next time~