Previously on Comics: Why the TokyoPop and Cracker Barrel Partnership Makes Sense

Hello again! It’s been a bit of a quiet week in comics after we all found out Jonathan Kent is gay. And thank goodness for that.

My favorite story from last week is the announcement that Tokyo Pop is going to be partnering with a brand new retailer. Yep, you guessed it–

–Cracker Barrel.

For people who have never lived near a Cracker Barrel this may seem a little strange, but this is not unlike the move DC Comics made a couple of years ago to bring comics into Wal-Mart. There are many small towns out there that will have a Cracker Barrel and a Wal-Mart but not a Target, or a Barnes and Noble. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho does not have a Barnes and Noble–but they do have a Cracker Barrel. Ironically, I live in one of the only five states to not have a Cracker Barrel (along with Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, and Wyoming).

And yes, clearly this is about Cracker Barrel changing its image, since they are the brand that will benefit most from this partnership. This isn’t the 2013 Cracker Barrel that partnered with Duck Dynasty. This is the 2019 Cracker Barrel who banned an anti-gay pastor from their restaurants. And if you want to make your queer goth Midwest teens feel comfortable when they have family dinner, having a TokyoPop Jack Skellington display in the Country Store is not a bad first step. And for kids and teens desperately seeking something that their Christian parents will allow them to buy, it might be “manga” and it might be “goth,” but it’s also Disney. I hope it sells out and they do a whole series.

The other big story is that it’s con season, and therefore Awards season, so here are the 2021 Ringo Award winners. The list of all nominees is available on the Ringo Awards website, and you can watch the full ceremony on YouTube. Also, check out WWAC reviews of these award winners:

Best Webcomic, Fangs: Review by Emily Lauer

Best Anthology, Be Gay, Do Comics: Review by Louis Skye

Ringo Spirit Award, Folklords: Reviews of Issue #1 and Issue #2 by Adrienne Resha

​​Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist)

Stan Sakai

Best Writer

James Tynion IV

Best Artist or Penciller

Jamal Campbell

Best Inker

Sanford Greene

Best Letterer

Aditya Bidikar

Best Colorist

Tamra Bonvillain

Best Cover Artist

Peach Momoko

Best Series

Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)

Best Single Issue or Story

The O.Z. (Self-published, Kickstarter)

Best Original Graphic Novel

Pulp (Image)

Best Anthology

Be Gay, Do Comics (IDW)

Best Humor Comic

Metalshark Bro 2: Assault on Hamzig Island (Scout Comics)

Best Webcomic

Fangs (Tapas)

Best Humor Webcomic

Sarah’s Scribbles (Tapas)

Best Non-fiction Comic Work

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Abrams Books)

Best Kids Comic or Graphic Novel

Twins (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Presentation in Design

Dave Cockrum’s X-Men Artifact Edition (IDW)

Jury Awards

The Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award, Joe Quesada

The Ringo Spirit Award, Folklords by Matt Kindt and Matt Smith

The Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award, Gene Ha

Fan Awards

Favorite Hero, Persephone from Lore Olympus (Webtoon)

Favorite Villain, Emma from My Deepest Secret (Webtoon)

Favorite New Series, Midnight Poppy Land (Webtoon)

Favorite New Talent, Lilydusk

Favorite Publisher, Rocketship


It was FanExpo this weekend in Toronto, so check out WWAC’s Instagram for some amazing cosplay photos and Louis Skye’s Con Diary!

That’s it for me until next month, friends.

Kate Tanski

Kate Tanski

Recovering academic. Fangirl. Geek knitter.

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