Comics news round-up Feb 16 2012 – happy thoughts edition
– by Ryan Ingram
Between the announcement of the desperate Watchmen prequels, the debut of Kevin Smith’s depressing Comic Book Men, and the sad fact that Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich might be paying Marvel Comics $17,000, the last few weeks of comics news have felt like a Galactus-sized facepalm.
With all the bad news floating around, it’s time for our only ever Happy Thoughts edition of The Snipe Comics News Round-Up. So, let’s check the negativity at the door for a moment – or at the very least, hope that a giant octopus monster explodes in the middle of downtown so we can move on to worrying about other things.
– Brandon Graham pointed out on his Twitter feed last week the irony that the man who helped create Ghost Rider – the biker with a Faustian bargain – is now getting a raw deal after unsuccessfully trying to sue Marvel for sole ownership of the character. Marvel is demanding $17,000 from Friedrich in damages (as well as forbidding him from signing unauthorized Ghost Rider paraphernalia).
No matter where you stand on the ruling of the countersuit, it’s hard not to find it messed up that a massive corporate entity (Marvel is owned by Disney) wants money from someone who helped create both a multi-million-dollar property, and another role for Nic Cage to act like a crazed tool in.
The good news is that writer Steve Niles has organized a call for donations to the creator, and has been flooded with help. Local artists Graham and James Stokoe responded by donating the proceeds of 20 pages worth of original art to Friedrich. As of this writing, only one page of Graham’s remains, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still donate (here), or buy some original art (here).
– If you have an interest in getting a unique look into how this whole comics thing works, and your calendar is clear tonight (Thurs. Feb 16, 6 – 8 p.m.), you’ve hit the jackpot. Cold Heat comics artist Frank Santoro is doing a West Coast tour and making a pit-stop at Vancouver store Lucky’s Comics (3972 Main St.) for a free workshop and signing. Here’s the description:
“Why do some comics read easier than others? Is it the story, the cartooning or the page design? Frank Santoro will demonstrate how some cartoonists such as Hal Foster and Herge used visual harmonies and structures in their page designs much like classical oil painters. Discover the similarities between visual and musical harmonies and how some of the great cartoonists used dynamic symmetry like a map to organize their stories.
“Also, after the talk, Frank will lead an informal FREE workshop focusing on formats available for the comic book maker in 2012. Everyone is welcome. Come see what Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course is all about – or come on down just to argue with Frank – maybe even buy a book and get it signed.” You can see more of Santoro’s work here.
– With the critical success of The Thickness, it seems like porn comics are attracting some serious creative talent these days. Next up is Smut Peddler an anthology of porn comics created “by ladies, for everyone,” featuring a provocative strip by Emily Carroll that was previewed this week.
– Vancouver-based comics writer and letterer Ed Brisson is crowd-sourcing funds for the third volume of his Murder Book series. He quickly reached the $1,500 he needed to get the book printed and is still collecting funds on IndieGoGo to pay the artists. If you’re a fan of noir that’s as dark as an East Hastings alley, there’s still time to pre-order a copy and help fund it.
– If you checked out AMC’s Comic Book Men (the Kevin Smith reality show based out of his comic shop in New Jersey), it didn’t exactly inspire positivity towards the future of comic book retailing. But after reading an interview where Kevin Smith commented on the reality of the “sausage party” atmosphere of the shop, Kate Beaton drew a quick cartoon about a much more reaffirming encounter she had at a comic shop (Legends in Victoria) in 2007.