Hello again, gentle reader. This is my second to last Previously of 2019, because, in case you were wondering, there are 50 days left in 2019, 44 days until Christmas, 42 days until Hanukkah, and 38 days until The Rise of Skywalker. Yep.
So there’s no time to waste. Shall we?
The word of the week this week is “LIBRARY.”
The Canada Open Comics Library in Toronto launched their IndieGoGo campaign. They have, as of this writing, raised $834 from 23 people and I find that fucking appalling when the Check, Please! Chirpbook Kickstarter hit their $26k goal within a day. (No shade at Check, Please! because Ngozi is fantastic and one of my faves, but honestly the disparity is shocking to me).
Wendy Browne interviewed Rotem Diamant back in September of this year about the Open Comics Library project and I am frankly extremely confused about why only 23 people see the value in the work that they’re doing. It’s $8 USD to become a supporter with a 1-year membership, and if, like me, you live outside of Toronto and can’t use that membership yourself, with the “Pay-it-Forward” membership pool option to anonymously support the membership of someone who is unable to afford it. You can also subscribe to their Patreon for $1 and still get that 1-year membership.
This past week was also LibraryCon, the virtual conference for librarians and library-enthusists to hear some fanastic keynotes, talk about issues relating to comics and libraries, and even hear from some publishers and creators. Except Marvel, because they couldn’t be bothered to show up. Sounds cool, right? Wendy Browne attended and you can read her write-up of the virtual conference experience.
You know what else libraries can do? Purchase copies of comics for their collection for everyone to enjoy. Like, hey, some of these cool things that were just announced:
- The new graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. This interview from Publishers Weekly with John Jennings and Damian Duffy (whose alliterative names make them sound like superheroes) should be enough to get it on anyone’s Collections Development List.
- A new translated series of Asterix comics. This article in The New York Times gives more details about the translation and modernization process by publisher Papercutz.
- How about this new MG graphic novel series called History Smashers? That sounds pretty cool for Random House to be putting out.
If you follow my writing you know I hate ending on a negative note, but not everything can be libraries and new comics. Sometimes it’s Marvel.
CB-san couldn’t help but offer some helpful “advice” to creators to invest in a comfy chair in order to prefent health problems. Because that’s really the underlying issue here, and not the fact that Marvel doesn’t offer union protections, health benefits, or even pay its creators a living wage. But don’t take my word for it:
52% of the workers in comics have health problems DUE TO their work in comics.
20% regularly have NO BUDGET for leisure.
35% are unable to cover an extra espense of $500.
Only 35% have stable income.
WHO IS GONNA PAY FOR THESE CHAIRS?
— Sasha 👽🌻💖🌟 (@StillSashaBear) November 8, 2019
Also, oh hey, is that unspoken Marvel policy on being “apolitical” aka “friendly to facists” still a thing? Because it definitely seems to apply here.
Marvel cartoonist Joe Bennett cheered the attack on me by a far-right Bolsonaro journalist yesterday, saying it should have been a punch instead of a slap. When Marvel fans expressed their outraged, he deleted it and apologized to me, my husband & our kids https://t.co/E34fnZh0wM
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 9, 2019
Okay, okay. I can’t end that negative. So here’s one last good thing: The #DrawingWhileBlack hashtag now has a permanent home. Maybe fire people who cheer on far-right journalists and hire someone from there, Marvel?