From a prone position while dealing with a strained back (ouch ouch ouch) here are the last few days wrap-up of comic-related news items that might not generate a post of their own, but may be of interest…
The International Horror Guild Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in the field of horror and dark fantasy, were announced on Halloween (naturally). The Awards, first presented in 1994, will cease to be after this year.
Novel: The Terror by Dan Simmons
Long Fiction: Softspoken by Lucius Shepard
Mid-Length Fiction: "Closet Dreams" by Lisa Tuttle
Short Fiction: "Honey in the Wound" by Nancy Etchemendy
Fiction Collection: Dagger Key and Other Stories by Lucius Shepard
Anthology: Inferno, Ellen Datlow, ed.
Illustrated Narrative: The Nightmare Factory, Thomas Ligotti (creator/writer), Joe Harris and Stuart Moore (writers), Ben Templesmith, Michael Gaydos, Colleen Doran and Ted McKeever (illustrators)
Nonfiction: Mario Bava: All the Colors of Dark by Tim Lucas
Art: Elizabeth McGrath for "The Incurable Disorder"
IHG Living Legend: Peter Straub
Fantasy Award Winners Named
Sunday night at the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary, the winners for this year’s World Fantasy Awards were announced.
Novel: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Novella:Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
Short Story: "Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss
Anthology:Inferno, Ellen Datlow, ed.
Collection: Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman
Artist: Edward Miller
Special Award, Professional: Peter Crowther (for PS Publishing)
Special Award, Non-Professional: Midori Snyder and Terri Windling (for Endicott Studios’ Web site)
Life Achievement: Leo and Diane Dillon, Patricia McKillip
Colleen Doran provides the most useful post of the day: how freelancers can get health insurance, complete with links and her own insurance stories. Just because you haven’t got an exclusive deal with one of the big publishers, you don’t have an excuse. Now if someone would take the time and do a similar post on freelancers and life insurance…
Via John Cole: One of the largest and most photographed arches in Arches National Park has collapsed. Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.
At a convention known for its fans’ devotion and passion, Legion of Superheroes devotees are truly in a league of their own.
Throughout Saturday’s “Legion of Superheroes Panel,” fans from across the globe shared their personal connections to the DC superteam with panelists, Paul Levitz, Mike Grell, Keith Giffen, Colleen Doran, Geoff Johns, Tom Bierbaum, and Mary Bierbaum, as well as questions about the varying specifics of a series that has one of the broadest mythos of any in the comic universe.
Being such a beloved series, its no surprise that many in attendance were extremely concerned about the future of the series. Johns let out a minor spoiler, revealing part of Una’s character arc: “You turn the page and she’s multiplied into like a hundred of her and she says ‘I don’t know how I ever got anything done with just three of me,'” he added. “She’s going to be called ‘Duplicate Damsel’.”
Continuing, Legion of Three Worlds writer Johns certainly tried to ease any fears that his run would be lacking anyone’s favorite character, asserting that George Perez, “wants to draw every Legionnaire ever.” Unfortunately, the Superpets will not be making an appearance.
A question about the lack of African-American representation in classic Legion stories drew muffled sighs from the more senior members of the panel. Levitz responded by saying, “I think it’s important to look at the broader context, that’s the way things were being done in comics in ’67 or ’68.”
Levitz went on to say that the Teen Titans were going to introduce the first black superhero, however DC ardently opposed this move and redrew the character as a white character. Allegedly the creative team was blacklisted for a year.
“[There was] a certain trepidation that they wouldn’t do it right,” Mike Grell said, and then added his own anecdote about the trouble he had adding a black Legionnaire, “It was a story about a Science Policeman who makes a mistake at the beginning of the story, and corrects the mistake and becomes a hero by the end of the story… My editor said, ‘No you can’t do that, they’ll send letters.'”
Fortunately, Grell was not completely cowed by DC’s demands, “As my silent protest, I very mildly redrew the character, and sure enough we got letters saying, ‘Hey, that’s a brother painted pink.'”
All of the panelists had numerous fond memories of working with The Legion of Superheroes, and no dearth of appreciation for the fans, but perhaps Levitz summed it up best when he said, “We got to play with some really cool toys, and the only reason we got to play with them was because you guys kept coming around and saying, ‘Go ahead, have fun with them.'”
When Entertainment Weekly assembles seven of the most powerful men (and woman) in all of comics, obviously some massive news bombs are going to get dropped.
“Yes, I read comic books in the bath,” Grant Morrison announced, shocking the assembled fans and setting the blogosphere ablaze.
Okay, so there was little in the way of truly newsworthy information disseminated by the esteemed panel of Jim Lee, John Cassaday, Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola, Robert Kirkman, Colleen Doran, and Grant Morrison. However, there’s something immensely satisfying about sharing an hour of time with some of the most creative individuals in the comic book world (and frankly, beyond). It’s the kind of panel that reminds a guy why he reads comics in the first place, because these guys work their hardest and embody the philosophy John Cassaday put forth, “There’ll be limitations in whatever you do, so you might as well go for it.”
Also, these people are really, really funny.
A topic that is nearly omnipresent at this year’s ‘Con, the specter of the film industry looming large over the conference, was addressed by the panel, with many attendees asking questions about the increasingly symbiotic relationship between film and comics.
“I see a lot of storytelling techniques in TV being effected by comics,” Lee commented, pointing out that the comic book has become so successful that mainstream has no choice but to adapt some of its devices. However, not everyone on the panel was as excited by the increasingly close relationship between comics and movies,
“I see people applying film rules to comic book visuals, let’s do the comic and then let someone else do the film,” Mike Mignola said, keenly aware of the difference between comics and film. Human quote machine Grant Morrison added, “Hollywood is more formulaic, comics allow you to break those rules.”
All of the panelists expressed some dread at the lure of comic to film adaptations limiting the ambitions of up-and-coming creators. However they all reasserted that this is a life they pursued not for money, but because its the only calling they ever felt, “I really can’t imagine doing anything else… everyone up here ha a compulsion,” Colleen Doran said.
Following the theme of creative expression, Jim Lee and newly minted partner at Image Comics Robert Kirkman were asked how that will effect their craft, “Once you’ve done all that stuff, it’s kind of hard to just go back to a table and just sit there drawing,” Lee said. Adding that there’s a liberation that comes with his executive status. As for Kirkman, “So far, it’s just making a few extra phone calls.”
A heads-up, folks, that tonight at 10 PM Eastern, the TV series NUM3ERs will present its "Graphic episode," much of which takes place at a fictional comics convention featuring lots of work by very real creators, like Colleen Doran, Dan Brereton and Tony Fleecs, among many others. Wil Wheaton, who guest stars on this episode as fictional comics superstar Miles Sklar, has a Flickr stream of photos from the set, and promises a post on the experience at TV Squad sometime this afternoon.
Am I the only one who looks at the show’s title and mentally pronounces it "num-three-ers"? Just checking.
As mentioned here and on many other news sites, the voting is now open for this year’s Friends of Lulu Awards. Since the awards are all about enhancing women’s visibility in an industry that too often marginalizes and downplays them, and since there’s a lot of discussion currently going on about what real women look like, I thought I’d present the nominees pictorially:
For the Women Cartoonists’ Hall of Fame (left to right): Colleen Doran, Lily Renee Phillips, Donna Barr
For Lulu of the Year (left to right): Alison Bechdel, Abby Denson, Donna Barr (Torvald not eligible)
For the Kim Yale Award (for Best New Female Talent): Top row, Rachel Habors and June Kim; bottom row, Rivka and Joelle Jones
For the Women of Distinction Award (left to right): Jennifer deGuzman, Joan Hilty, Karen Berger
Links to all the fine work done by these women are at the FoL voting site.
Carla Speed McNeill, writer and artist of the "aboriginal SF" comic Finder, will be undergoing surgery in a couple weeks for what she describes as "moderate-to-severe carpal tunnel syndrome" in her drawing hand. As someone who can’t remember the last time I woke up without hand numbness, my thoughts are with Carla during this frustrating time, and ComicMix would like to extend our best wishes that all goes well and she’ll soon return to drawing without pain.
Colleen Doran notes that "Many people in the creative arts struggle with this painful and debilitating condition," and passes along some helpful advice to help prevent its onset.
By and large comics aren’t the best-paying gig around for writers and artists, so people who make a living telling comic book stories are primarily doing it for the love of the medium. There’s far less of a dividing line between fan and pro than there is in other entertainment media — in comics it’s always been more of a continuum.
And thus we have some nifty posts by professionals talking about the comics they love.
Colleen Doran discusses the new Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon and, erm, a missing element. Becky Cloonan talks about her love/hate relationship with an old X-Men story as a way of reminding us that "Comics is a teeny TEEENY tiny industry. Anything you say (especially on the Internet) will get back to you." And Chris Weston presents his sugestions of five artists whom he thinks would be perfect for Judge Dredd, and illustrates why.