Something about this week. It felt like by Tuesday, we already had a week's worth of news and articles to post back to. Maybe it's the carry-over from the MAUS banning last week but here we are.
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- Nate Powell recounts when March had trouble getting into libraries and the challenges faced by artists when it comes to making sure their books get to the audiences that need them. You can also read the comic at one of our favorite places for journalistic comics, The Nib.
- This comic by Andy Marlette was originally going to be the feature image above until I found that great quote from Powell. So here it is, a picture that says a thousand words.
- In litigious news of the week, Corrado Rizzi reports for Classaction.org on a lawsuit against the publisher Action Lab.
The case claims Action Lab’s apparent failure to follow through on its contractual promises started long before the pandemic. Per the lawsuit, the defendant’s contracts with creators represented that the company would put the individuals’ work into print, as opposed to releasing it digitally. Moreover, the handbooks provided to each creator promised Action Lab would not only release their works in print but promote and market the properties, report sales and income figures, drum up retailer support and stay in communication throughout the publishing and sales process, according to the case.
Action Lab was founded in 2010 and has had a somewhat turbulent history but it used to sound like it was mostly due to just being a young publisher but over the last couple of years, more and more disgruntled creators have been vocal about their feelings for the publisher.
Right now, there's almost nothing on Action Lab's website, just promising something new. But based on Rizza's article, I wonder how long it will be before we see something from therm.
- A writer called Stitch at Teen Vogue revisits a 2014 (although the Facebook post is dated 2016) comic by Adam Ellis that became a whole anti-criticism thing.
Stitch writes that fandom has a problem with criticism.
To be clear: “Let People Like Things” culture is bad for the internet, cultural criticism, media, and fandom as a whole because of how this approach to popular culture turns all criticism into a conflict or an attack. It’s a form of anti-intellectualism to frame all criticism as “bad faith” b*tching from the haters, even when it comes to issues of racism or other forms of bigotry.
- Can I just say, I love Roger Langridge?
- Warwick Johnson is a fantastic artist. If you haven't seen him yet check out Falconspeare, recently out from Dark Horse. There have been two good interviews with him lately. First Wendy Browne at Women Write About Comics and just this week Joe Decie at The Comics Journal where he talked about collaborating with Mike Mignola.
I love collaborations. Making my own stories I could, if I chose, avoid all the things I might not want to draw, making it easier for myself to do. Working with a writer takes off those stabilizers but collaborating is so much more. Working with others means you end up with something you wouldn’t have made by yourself, something properly new. I find the process of drawing very enjoyable, [and] also engaging and instructive, I learn a lot from it. Having another creator involved expands that experience. Working from Mike’s script with Mr. Higgins was amazing, exciting and daunting, and that was an original work. Working on Tank Girl and Samurai Jackbrought another big element to the process in terms of audience expectation, and that opened up a whole other pile of issues. It also depends how you collaborate too.
- Sean Knickerbocker's Rust Belt Review has been on my list of books I need to check out and Panel Patter-pal Rob McMonigal's review of it makes me even more interested.
The next story is "Best of Three" by Knickerbocker and it's the longest story in the anthology. The art style is a familiar one to me, sharing some qualities with Ben Towle, Kevin Huizenga, Charles Forsman, and others who I've read a lot of stories from over the years. The characters are ordinary people who might not be the nicest people in the world...