Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #50
Our weekly quick-hit news and links round up:
G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s frankly brilliant (and so enjoyable) Ms Marvel has won the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, something that the medium could always use more of (via Robot 6)
Richard Cowdry has another installment in his series of comics documenting his and his family’s move to, of all places, Albania, with this episode dealing with the stress of packing and moving with young children, and leaving their home in Berlin behind (more on Richard’s Tumblr):
I had no idea that literary icon and recluse Harper Lee carried on a correspondence with Bloom County creator Berke Breathed – the New York Times has a little on their shared letters, including the rather wonderful nugget that Lee was a great fan of his cartoons, with a special fondness for Opus the penguin (I must confess, so have I). The thought of this just makes me smile. (Via Tom at Comics Reporter)
Sticking with the literary theme, Tom Spurgeon at the excellent Comics Reporter has another story linking a recently lost literary giant and the world of comics, in this case one of my personal favourites, the great Italian author Umberto Eco (I first came across Eco’s academic work in semiotics at college, then his essays, his novels, a fascinating writer on so many topics and fields), here directing us to this 1985 article in the New York Review of Books in which Eco (translated by William Weaver) discusses George Herriman’s iconic Krazy Kat and Charles M Schulz’s beloved Peanuts.
A reminder for your diaries, especially those in the Midlands – the Birmingham Comics Festival returns this spring, taking place again at the famed Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 23rd of April, with guests including John Erasmus, Dan Abnett, Mark Laming, John McCrea, Ian Kennedy, Jessica Martin, Asia Alfasi, Rachael Smith, Jim Alexander, Lew Stringer, Laura Howell and more.
And while we’re at it, another reminder for your diaries, this time in the vibrant city of Glasgow as the annual Aye Write literary festival takes place in March, with a diverse array of authors and subjects, from the Scottish-tinged crime of the hugely popular Tartan Noir set to politics, history, biography and more. And naturally there’s some goodies in there for the geek literati too, including a talk by the brilliant Glasgow comics duo Metaphrog about their wonderful younger-reader’s book The Red Shoes (which made my best of the year list for 2015), that splendid chap (but terrible creator of puns) Adam Roberts will be there (Adam is one of our most consistently intelligent and interesting Brit SF writers, highly recommended), Marcus Berkmann will be discussing his book Set Phasers to Stun, celebrating fifty years of our beloved Star Trek, and there’s a whole panel of Scottish comic creators – Alan Grant, Frank Quitely and Metaphrog – discussing “The Many Faces of Scottish Comics” in the splendid Mitchell Library (a veritable cathedral to the written word). Aye Write runs from March 10th to the 20th.
Many congratulations to Improper Books and author Benjamin Read and artist Chris Wildgoose on having the second of their Porcelain series published in the French bande dessinee market by Delcourt just this week. Terrific to see an Indy Brit press getting acclaim here and attracting even the attention and praise of the large French comics market. The English language edition is being published by Improper Books this spring in the UK and I am currently happily lost in a sneaky advance copy at the moment… (you can pre-order it on our website here)
Indy UK creators – Luke Surl has created a mailing list to help you keep up to date with the mushrooming number of comics events around the UK these days (hugely improved from only a decade ago, but boy hard to keep track of them all now!). Luke’s ComicShow Tables emails creators to let them know when conventions and festivals are opening bookings for creators to reserve a table for selling their wares, very handy!