We took a bit of a hiatus from reporting the news last month, but it seems that comics industry news did not do the same. Here are a few highlights from March.
Gucci Does Manga
Gucci Changemakers North America announced it’s second round of recipients for its five-year impact fund. Of the 250 organizations that submitted applications to the Gucci Changemakers Council, 15 non-profit recipients were selected to receive a grant of up to $50,000 to create new programs or support existing initiatives. The recipient list includes Weird Enough Productions who produces the Webtoon, The Uncommons.
Through their Changemakers Program, Gucci is helping My organization @WeirdEnoughHQ put our diversity series The UnCommons in the hands of people around the country. Give us a read on WEBTOON in the meantime. https://t.co/dNIUK2HC2f pic.twitter.com/ao8xSVV340
— Tony Weaver Jr. (@TonyWeaverJr) March 2, 2021
— NeoText (@NeoText_Books) March 8, 2021
In more sad news this past month, American writer Norton Juster also passed away. Juster was an academic, an arcitect, and most well known as the author of children’s books, including The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line.
My lunch partner, Norton Juster, ran out of stories & passed peacefully last night.
Best known for THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH + THE DOT & THE LINE, Norton’s greatest work was himself: a tapestry of delightful tales.
"To the vector goes the spoils." pic.twitter.com/9PObTjRes7
— Mo Willems' Pigeon (@The_Pigeon) March 9, 2021
New Execs for IDW
Jonny Gutman joins IDW Publishing as Vice President of Series, Cassie Conaway is the new Director of Development, and Mark Doyle is now the Editorial Director of Originals. Doyle is a notable name, coming from DC where he served as executive editor and is hailed for helping the rise of Scott Snyder. “I’ve been making comics for more than 14 years and have always been an avid IDW fan,” said Doyle in a statement. “My passion has always been working with talent and telling original stories, so I’m excited to be a part of this growing team. I know we’re going to make great things together.”
So Much for the Diamond Age
Vault Comics and Ahoy Comics both announced their new distribution deals with Simon & Schuster, freeing them from the Diamond Comic Distributors monopoly that has plagued the comics direct market for decades. Marvel Comics rounded out the month with an announcement that it has signed an exclusive deal with Penguin Random House.
You’re Never Too Old to Do Comics
At age 89, journalist Dan Rather has released a graphic novel adaptation of his latest prose work, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, featuring art by Tim Foley. Both the 2017 original and the adaptation are co-written by Elliot Kirschner. Rather says of this very new experience, “The rise of graphic novels came well after my reading habits were set. As I learn more about them, I realize they are unique and compelling. We live in a visual age and this is really its own art form. I now see why they’re so popular. I barely knew what one was. In watching this book take shape, with these wonderful drawings and the imagination of the artist, this has been an inspirational experience for me. It’s like seeing something in your mind suddenly take shape in ways that surprise and delight you.”
“Dan Rather, a first-time graphic novelist at age 89…” I guess that says it all. Sharing for those who might wish to read it. https://t.co/EKMLP2W6Cr
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) March 13, 2021
Rather also says that he’ll definitely be doing the comic convention circuit when the time comes.
The Definitive Word on Lettering
Many comics letterers look to Nate Piekos and his Blambot Comics Fonts & Lettering for his expertise. Now he’s got that knowledge all wrapped up in a new book coming from Image Comics in October with The Essential Guide to Comics Book Lettering.
- Jay Edidin joins Undercats Media as their new managing editor.
- Randall Park is adapting the graphic novel Shortcomings in his directorial debut.
- Lore Olympus is coming to print, with volume one available now for pre-order.
- Koyama Press grants Maré Odomo $1000USD. “This grant will go towards the production of the third installment of INTERNET COMICS, previously published by Sacred Prism,” says Odomo.
- All of the 2021 recordings of the MSU Comics Forums discussion panels are available online.
- The Lammys finalists have been announced, including The Magic Fish.
- The Sydney Morning Herald spotlights women leading the way in the comics industry.
- The 2021 Cartoonists Studio Prize shortlist was announced.
- Facebook can’t understand satire and political cartooning.
- King-Cat cartoonist John Porcellino is living his dream.
- CBLDF weighs in on NFTs.
- Captain Underpants creator pulls one of his books due to its passive racism.
- Doonesbury Garry Trudeau creator reminds us that “cancel culture” is not new.