Kate here for your weekly news round-up, but honestly, when I tried to figure out how to explain what happened this week, I felt like that Community GIF where Donald Glover’s character comes back to the apartment after having left to pick up pizza and found the room on fire. Like, what even happened?
So, the biggest thing that happened this week was the massive layoffs at DC Comics early in the week. First speculation, when the actual layoffs were officially announced it was even worse than people thought it would be, which caused certain reporters to coin the phrase “Bloodbath Monday”. That lurid phrasing feels a bit gauche, and highlights the drama of it all instead of the very real difficult consequences of a lot of people in an industry notorious for its lack of worker protections suddenly facing unemployment in the midst of a pandemic. That said, the Beat’s roundup of all the facts is at least fairly comprehensive, so I will direct you there, and just add what’s happened since.
The hashtag #DCLove trended immediately following the announcements, with creators and fans tweeting in solidarity and sympathy for those affected by the layoffs. But that quickly lost steam when a couple days later, DC announced which series would be continuing on and which ones were being cut, post-bloodbath, and it’s certainly telling that half of the titles are Batman or Batfam related while fan favorites Hellblazer and Young Justice got the chop.
DC also (re)announced The Other History of the DC University project by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), which had first been announced in 2018, which was almost certainly a PR move to deflect from the Black executives who were pushed out in the layoffs. Another PR attempt at recovery was to have Jim Lee, still DC’s Publisher, give an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to essentially confirm that DC was still making comics like, at all.
There will no doubt be more fallout this week, so I’ll leave it there and shift gears for a minute to talk about conferences, since we are gearing up for the fall virtual convention season.
NYCC announced that it is going to go virtual, which seems more than a little late since it’s happening in October, and far past the deadline for panel submissions. It seems that ReedPop, the parent company for NYCC and other comics conventions like Emerald City Comic Con and C2E2, ran a trial run this weekend at their MetaVerse event. I had no idea it was even going on, but there are allegedly some free panels you can check out on the NYCC YouTube channel. One of those panels is WWAC’s own Rosie Knight and Claire Napier, but that’s the only one I can verify as being real (and I can recommend that you watch!)
The fact that I, nor anyone else, seems to be aware that MetaVerse was going on or what was happening does not bode well for NYCC, but I guess we’ll find out in October what didn’t go well this weekend and NYCC will have time to learn from those mistakes (and the mistakes that SDCC made as well).
Speaking of learning from SDCC’s mistakes, SPX is allowing for virtual ballot registration for the Ignatz Awards as part of their virtual convention. I have my fingers crossed that SPX can show how virtual ballots can work, actually, when SDCC is not in charge.
TCAF announced on Instagram that they had created an anonymous feedback form in order to make TCAF better, presumably meaning more inclusive since an additional comment added that TCAF is reviewing their Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy and looking to include an anti-racism policy as well.
Before I wrap up, I just want to give a shoutout to former WWAC contributor Ivy Noelle for her announcement!
I am so excited that I can finally talk about these!! I’m beyond thrilled to be writing modern adaptations of THE SECRET GARDEN and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES alongside the enormously talented @candymistakes and @palaceofposey for @LittleBrownYR ! 🌸🌼🌻 pic.twitter.com/iHYRcFpUIw
— Ivy Noelle Weir (@ivynoelle) August 10, 2020