Hello brave readers! Kate here again for your post May the Fourth Be With You/Mother’s Day comics news you may have missed last week because, hoo boy, did it feel like a week. And a weird one, at that.
On Monday the news broke that legendary comics artist John Paul Leon had passed away. He was 49, which feels tragically young.
It seems the news is out.
Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered. Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough. pic.twitter.com/1x73cComE7
— Chris Conroy (@ConroyForReal) May 2, 2021
You may not have heard of John Paul Leon before (I hadn’t), but you have definitely seen his work, as one of the first artists to draw Static Shock for Milestone Comics. The Comics Journal published a moving obituary and overview of his life’s work, and there have been other tweet tribute threads, including this one by Jim Lee.
Tuesday was May the Fourth, which recently has become as mainstream as Pi Day (March 14th, in case you can’t remember) and Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day (that one’s a little more tricky because it’s tied to Easter, which falls on some random day in March or April based on chimney smoke I think). There may not have been any comics news to come out of this year’s May the Fourth, but there was definitely a lot of good fanart floating around and some Star Wars Comics deals.
And then, Friday.
DC dropped some first looks at their DC Pride #1 (scheduled to release June 8th), with a fantastic lineup. My particular favorite premise so far is “Be Gay, Do Crimes” by Sina Grace, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt and Aditya Bidikar. That’s a helluva title. Unlike previous pride cash grabs, this one seems sincere in its purpose to elevate queer comics creators, but there’s always that sense of corporate exploitation in these pride things that leaves me, as a queer person, ambivalent.
Marvel did the thing that also has the communities it appears to be trying to represent feeling ambivalent because of the corporate thing. Marvel announced that in its upcoming miniseries The United States of Captain America (see what I mean about it feeling bad?) there’s a story about an indigenous Captain America. In a huge first, this story is by indigenous creators Darcie Little Badger (Lipan Apache) and David Cutler (Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation) who appear to have been in consultation with Marvel from the beginning. However, the Marvel announcement tweet was actually deleted due to backlash, although it’s difficult to tell how much of the backlash is coming from indigenous communities. It’s important to keep in mind that a bunch of white people writing indigenous creators off as corporate sellouts is maybe not the best take.
Wrapping this up with one last cool thing:
Friday was also No Pants Day, which I did not know was a thing outside of college campus, but has been co-opted for Good by cartoonists hoping to encourage people to donate to charities that provide clothing for those in need. The AP Oddities twitter put out a little piece about how newspaper comics artists and cartoonists had banded together to raise awareness for No Pants Day by drawing the characters in their strips sans pantalons.
Pants pass: Fans of newspaper comics will instantly notice something missing in many of the strips this Friday — pants. More than 25 cartoonists are celebrating No Pants Day in a way that helps charities get clothing to those in need. https://t.co/NHd9SfXkM3 #odd
— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) May 5, 2021
More of this, please.