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It’s Like Saturday In San Diego In Here

Okay, it was Saturday, but Hell’s Kitchen by the Intrepid in a early April is a far cry from SDCC. Mark Siegel of :01 Books was the one that drew the comparison (at least, I think that’s what he said; as I’ve mentioned previously, he is a soft-spoken man and it was noisy), and he’d know.

He’d best get used to Saturday at San Diego bumping up a notch or two, as they’ll be doing in-booth events this year with various McElroys to celebrate the launch of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins at San Diego, and that fandom is tenacious¹. Hardcore fandom is something I haven’t seen at MoCCA Fest since, I dunno, the last time Kate Beaton was there?

  • In addition to running a rapidly-expanding empire, Siegel was previewing his own work as well; the 5 Worlds series debuted last year about a month after MoCCA, and this year book two will do the same. I complimented Siegel on the unexpected turn at the end of Book 1 (let’s say that it’s unusual to have the I am your father-level reveal at the start of your five-part saga instead of at the two-thirds mark to set up the end); I wondered how you keep building on a situation like that. He’s got a plan, though, and we’ll see how it turns out on 8 May.
  • Meanwhile, :01’s executive editor Callista Brill was more than happy to talk about the process of ramping up new people, of releasing twice as many books as two years ago², and making sure things don’t get missed. We talked about my concerns regarding The Prince And The Dressmaker and she confirmed what I’d suspected — writer/artist Jen Wang had no idea about the history of Leopold II and the editorial pass missed it.

    It’ll be addressed in future printings, but I want to acknowledge that Brill didn’t try to underplay or deny the mistake; they made it, they own, they’re fixing it in future printings, and it’s still likely that very, very few people would have ever noticed it. Some things you do because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of how much it could fly under the radar. Everybody over there is good people.

  • Good people work with good people, too. Be Prepared from Vera Brosgol debuts in a few weeks, everybody’s excited for Island Book by Evan Dahm (not tabling for the first time in forever) and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (which Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is illustrating for Mariko Tamaki’s words), not to mention the long-awaited Zita The Spacegirl/Might Jack crossover from Ben Hatke.

    And in addition to those? Nearly 30 more books between now and the end of calendar year 2018. All Summer Long by Hope Larson, the final Hidden City book by Faith Erin Hicks, the third Delilah Dirk from Tony Cliff, four Science Comics books, On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, two more Cucumber Quest books from Gigi DG, sequels to The Spill Zone and Walker Bean and Margo Maloo, a true tale of the Rwandan genocide, the wrap-up of the Secret Coders series … it’s going to be a busy time, so clear some space on your shelves.

  • And since we mentioned Valero-O’Connell, she’s been busy for the last two years, which was where she picked up the Laura Dean job; she’s got her own graphic novels to come after (the first being an expansion of her thesis comic, Black Sun Rising), she sold out of her absolutely breathtaking mini from Zainab Akhtar’s Shortbox curation, What Is Left³. It’s been a wild ride since she was wearing bobcat-jaw earrings and trying to get college done. She was unbelievably skilled that day I first met her, she’s gotten better in the time since, and she’s only going to keep improving. I can’t wait to see what she’s like in ten years.

And somewhere on the floor, there’s the next Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, the next Carey Pietsch, the next George O’Conner, Rebecca Mock, the next Leguizamo, Neufeld, Powell, Hernandez … probably the next Ngozi Ukazu, to be honest, as the women creators behind the table are definitely outnumbering the dudes, and the white faces are not the overwhelming majority anymore. The future of comics — creators and readers both — is more female, more brown, more queer, more different than it’s ever been before, and it’s about godsdamned time.

See you there next spring. I’ll be the guy with the moustache.

Spams of the day:



Meet Hottest Russian Beauties

These are from different spam factories, but they have remarkably similar schticks. Apparently, if you are a {Russian | Asian} mail-order bride and are 24 years old, you like dancing and having Pets [sic]; if you’re 26, you like sport and sprits [sic]; if you’re 29 you like workout and shopping [again, sic]. Oh, and you’re definitely named Salome, Nana, Karina, or Victoria. It’s like there’s a template out there that gets chesty stock photos stuck into it.

¹ As it was, a giveaway of a few dozen galleys signed by artist Carey Pietsch caused an aisle-clogging knot easily equivalent to that a day earlier for the Check, Please! giveaway. A’course, Ngozi Ukazu wasn’t at MoCCA and so that crowd dispersed rapidly.

² Granted, they’ve got about three times the staff, but getting them up to speed means that the extra hands can actually be a detriment until they find their feet. Also, they were viciously overworked before the expansion, and the up-staffing means that they are now merely overworked in the ordinary sense. Some day, they may get down to non-crazy-person levels of work:hours in the day.

³ I made a point of putting a copy in front of comics power agent Judy Hansen, and rumor has it Mike Mignola had effusive praise for it.

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