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Lyon BD 2019: Day Three

[Editor’s note: Today, Fleen concludes the recap of last week’s bandes dessin&ecaute;es festival in Lyon, courtesy of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin.


Lyon BD has always been an international festival, but it was particularly visible this year with the presence, hot off their appearance in NCSFest, of Charlie Adlard, Bill Morrison, and Steve and Luke McGarry, the latter of which was responsible for this edition’s poster. Their lines were packed whenever they were signing, unfortunately precluding me from meeting these big names, but I was able to meet other international creators such as Ariel Vittori and Natalie Nourigat on Sunday; I was especially interested in the latter’s I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation (which I ate up on the trip back, very interesting even though I has little relationship with my trade of software engineering, you should check it out), and we were able to chat and discuss differences between the Euro and North American comics signing systems, since she has experience with both. I also had Jim Jourdane sign his Fieldwork Fail: while not an international creator, his book is available in English, though it seems you’ll have to catch him to get a copy after his online store had to close.

Another Sunday highlight was the Badass (sic) exhibition: Sandrine Garage, who has been helping organize Lyon BD for some time already, took it upon herself to see whether there were now enough comic book heroines to be worth showcasing, 6 years after the first Héro-ïne-s exhibition, and there were. Rather than commission imaginary covers, she was able to showcase 10 actual, published comic book heroines that have in common that they don’t conform to stereotypes, including that of the strong female character: instead, they do what they want to do; one may be bold, while also being empathetic (and they made sure to display the pages showing that), while another heroine may be friendly to everyone while having a tendency to take responsibility to solve every single problem in the valley. Akissi and Aster were featured, but also Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl and Cece Bell’s El Deafo, giving it a worldwide scope. In between the various heroines, pages of Miron Malle’s comic book on feminism concepts, The League Of Super Feminists, were featured. However, they did solicit visitors in creating their own badass heroines, and they obliged.

But Sunday was most interesting for its interviews, beginning with that of Pénélope Bagieu. Of particular interest were these bits:

  • While she has to focus on one project at a time, she likes to alternate between personal projects and boring ones, the latter of which to allow her to recharge and remind her why she sets out to plunge on multi-year personal projects. In fact, at the end of a project she tends to be unable to work on much, trying to start new stories but failing, though by no mean remaining unoccupied as she devolves some time to the promotion of the just completed project (book tours, etc.), until such time as the sparks strikes again and she dives back in a new project.
  • No one has so far managed to publish Brazen in Arabic; the only publisher who was interested started demanding a long list of absurd changes which she gave up on reading halfway through, such as not showing women who smoke, at which point she told them she might as well remove all women and avoiding them the trouble of publishing the book. She did mention breasts having to be covered and the story of Phulan Devi having to be removed from the U.S. edition, explaining to the audience the particularity of the young adult positioning of the book in the U.S., in no small reason because comics books are still thought as being for children there and are hard to sell to adults, relating feedback such as I bought it for my daughter, and couldn’t believe I was enjoying it myself. But she was proud to mention she successfully fought back more meaningful censorship, such as when the Polish publisher wanted to remove any mention of abortion, while she refused, and she won as it ended up being published there without any cut in that regard. Ironically even when censorship happens there is no mention of it: the only disclaimer that was added to the U.S. version was a warning that elements in the books should not all be taken literally, due to the duality in the U.S. market of fiction/non-fiction and Brazen being sold as non-fiction, and the fear of fact-checkers coming e.g. for the campus restaurant background gag in Agnodice’s story. On the other hand while there was less censorship there Russia made sure to physically slap the book with a forbidden to minors badge, due to the references to homosexuality.
  • She is currently working on a comic book adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, which she is very excited about: she takes it to be the best Roald Dahl book. The idea of a comic adaptation of a Roald Dahl book came from Dahl’s estate, which proposed it to Gallimard, their French publisher, and that is how she was proposed the job. However, Gallimard initially proposed adapting Matilda, and while she loves the book, its relative lack of action did not strike her as making it particularly suited for a comics adaptation (that, and people’s idea of the universe tend to be shaped by the 1996 movie, not to mention Quentin Blake’s illustrations), so she made a counter-proposal to Gallimard of adapting The Witches, which the Dahl estate accepted. It will simultaneously come out in French and English beginning of 2020, which means she’s glad it is going to beat the Zemeckis movie to market and not be taken to be the book of the movie.

Then later in the afternoon, as the last event of the day, it was Boulet’s turn to be interviewed in a similar setup, and … wait, what are these people queueing in the stairs for? Oh, come on, it can’t be for the room where the Boulet interview will take place, it’s too far!? Well, turns out that is what it was for that. I swear, I never intended for the Lyon BD festival to conclude with the sight of Boulet’s mile-long line to be a running gag, but here we are; except that in the case of a panel/interview/etc., it’s not that you have to wait hours for your turn, it’s that the room is full before you have a chance to enter. So I am unfortunately unable to report on anything that happened there. I’m going to have to start showing up 15 minutes early whenever Boulet is involved from now on …
[Editor’s note: Nobody tell him about the Hall H camp-out lines in San Diego.]

Spam of the day:

It’s 2019 and yes! you can now burn fat without exercising!

I do that all the time, unless you count trying to put out a grease flash on my stovetop as exercise.

Lyon BD 2019: Day Two

Editor’s note: Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin continues his reporting of the French comics festival scene.


Setting up a festival of the scale of Lyon BD is never an easy task, but this year they had their work cut out for them. For instance, terror level in France as a whole has abated somewhat since 2017, when I first went; but the explosion of an abandoned package which wounded about a dozen people (they’re all out of the hospital by now) in the center of Lyon mere weeks before the event was undoubtedly responsible for heightened security: mainly, the need to show an ID before entering the main festival spaces on Saturday, and the need for tickets to be nominative, which was completely unplanned. As a result, at the ticket booth vendors had to manually write down the name of the attendee on the tickets, slowing down the sales process and lengthening the lines.¹

Given that context, my Saturday went remarkably well. I took advantage of the lack of panels in the morning to check out local creator Phiip and his Lapin crew (Marc Dubuisson, Cy, Tim, etc.), and catch up on their latest releases. Same with Thom Pico (who I met for the first time on this occasion, allowing me to congratulate him for not talking down to kids in his writing, and he was glad I noticed that) and Karensac, whose Aster is slated to be released in English by Random House in 2020.

[Editor’s note: I’d been wondering when another imprint would challenge the essentially free reign :01 Books has had with grabbing the pick of Franco-Belgian comics for re-release in the US; it’s not surprising that it’s Gina Gagliano that’s taken up the banner.]

Then the afternoon was the occasion to get to the LGBTI+ comics event (the second edition, meaning the first wasn’t a one-off), where I bought a zine from Anna Lkiss and Holly Rectum, where each of them tells how they found out they were non-binary. Then a number of panels and events on Chilean comics (including a zine created by women, the latest edition of which they made wordless, in order to present their work abroad), on migrants entering France through the Roya valley north of Nice, and on making the invisible visible, where creators of a “hobo mom” story, of a story of a Roma family tricked into emigrating to France then getting trapped into debt by the human traffickers, and of a story of emigration from Africa to Europe, exchanged on their processes for bringing these stories to life. For instance, Christian Lax, creator of the latter story, told he took advantage of a partnership with a museum and mixed that with a migration theme to create the story of a man saving an African art artifact from Muslim fanatics by taking it with him in Europe.

Come back soon for coverage of the third day, including U.S. and English creators, Pénélope Bagieu, and Boulet.

Spam of the day:

This revolutionary lightbulb camera is driving home security companies out of business

Yeah, under no circumstances am I putting an unvetted wi-fi attached camera on my home so that you assholes can either stripmine the video for your own purposes, or leave it exposed to the world. Bugger off.

¹ Oh, and the Lyon city hall was searched by police mere days before the festival following an inquiry involving the mayor, though I have no idea whether that affected festival activities.

Bonus Post To Say Happy Stripperversary

I wished to neither take away from Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin’s report from Lyon BD below, nor to ignore an act of remarkable longevity on the part of Howard Tayler:

Today, June 12th, 2019, marks the 19th anniversary of Schlock Mercenary on the web. The comic has updated daily, every day, without fail, for nineteen years now. Not because I’m a machine, but because I plan ahead, and have always had smarter people than myself handling the automation.

Don’t let him fool you, he is a machine. Or at least, more machine now than man, and the best evil twin I could ask for. Well done, let’s see what twenty (and maybe the wrap-up of the story of Schlock?) looks like.

Lyon BD 2019: Day One

Editor’s note: It’s all Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeapuin today, chiming in from the Lyon BD festival. Well, except for the Spam of the day, that’s me.


Guess what happens at the beginning of June? That’s right, Lyon BD Festival, and just like in 2017 and 2018 your correspondent was there to cover it.

One characteristic aspect of Lyon BD is that it lacks a congress-center-like space as a central hub: Quai des Bulles in Saint Malo has the Palais du Grand Large, Colomiers has the Hall Comminges, and that is without mentioning the convention centers housing the various anime cons. As a result, when the Place des Terreaux had to go into renovations this year, meaning they couldn’t erect tents to host booths like the previous years, Lyon BD had to split itself between the Town Hall where it usually resides and the Palais de la Bourse) a few blocks away.

But regardless, Lyon BD always sets up or encourages more exhibitions that they have space in the main locations for, spilling them in many public places. The lobby of a small theater/comedy scene? Yup. The town halls for three boroughs? You betcha. A local bookshop? Of course. A hospital lobby? Been there, done that. An underground parking space? That, too. Contrary to Angoulême it does not feel quite like comics taking over the town, because Lyon is just too big, but they’re getting close.

So while sub-par planning on my part prevented me from attending professional day on Friday or entering the main locations, I nevertheless had a full day going to and fro between the different exhibitions¹. My favorite piece was in the Héro-ïne-s exhibition, one of the new pieces recently introduced from international creators, called Umah-Mah, by Thomas von Kummant (the names at the top may be familiar: Umpah-Pah was an early work of theirs, from just before they started Astérix). What if Sacagawea was a badass warrior, not merely saving hapless European explorers ready to walk into every trap, but able of single-handedly hunting buffalo armed with but a tomahawk, and striking fear in the hearts of her enemies, becoming single-handedly responsible for the success of the expedition? That’s Umah-Mah in a nutshell, since that is pretty much the plot of Umpah-Pah that von Kummant references².

The day was capped by an opening party, the first of its kind, with a dozen artists including Boulet and Luke McGarry drawing live on a small scene over music they chose (one or two at a time!), with in the middle a zombie-themed drawn concert on the main scene, featuring Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead) and
Julien Limonne.

P.S. I should mention Boulet and Cy directly switched to covering the Annecy animation festival as in past years. Since the two festivals arrange themselves to be set up on successive weeks, couldn’t they coordinate to give poor creators a day of rest?

Spam of the day:

If you’d not prefer not to recive future emails Unsubcribe here
480 Walnut Drive Penn, ND 58362

Hey, I don’t want to alarm you, but apparently Penn, North Dakota is literally about six small blocks, a car repair shop, and a bar, situated on maybe eight streets total, none of which is called Walnut Drive. Weird! You’re referring me to a place that doesn’t exist, no doubt by accident.

¹ Note to the lowlife who stole my bike: I hope it gets stolen back from you at the most inconvenient time possible. And that you get caught, of course.

² Umpah-Pah actually takes place in the somewhat extrapolated context of a French expeditionary force reaching New World shores in the 18th century (e.g. they end up encountering a Prussian expeditionary force; Goscinny’s penchant for playing with history did not start with Astérix), but the parallels are otherwise striking.

That Guy Just Can’t Win

And by That Guy, I mean Alex Jones, who has a history of losing (or at least settling and admitting he was wrong) when his bluster and terrible behavior actually arrives in court. Matt Furie, on the other hand, is now two-for-two in his efforts to take various MAGA types and CHUDs to task for turning his cartoon frog into a symbol of white supremacy and Nazism.

You may recall that Furie sued a guy that appropriated Pepe to use in an anti-Muslim children’s book¹ and forced him to give up all his ill-gotten gains — and then contributed it all to CAIR, which was a rather nice fuck you to the haters. In March of last year, he filed suit against Jones for selling a poster that featured Pepe. Given that Jones sits atop a questionable-supplement-fueled media empire and no doubt has lawyers on speed-dial to deal with all the shady shit he gets up to, I had some fleeting concerns about Furie’s chances of success.

Then I remembered it’s Alex Jones, nightmare client who never shuts up or stops his clownery, and waited for the inevitable:

Fringe conspiracy-theory outlet InfoWars settled a lawsuit Monday over their use of cartoon character “Pepe the Frog,” paying $15,000 to Pepe’s creator and promising never to use the cartoon again.

To be precise, Jones and InfoWars had to fork over the US$14 grand they’d made on the poster, and another US$1000 just because. Jones and his lawyer, who apparently want to project an image where writing a check with three zeroes is insignificant, are calling it [Wayback Machine, not Jones’s site] a tiny amount and speculating that Furie spent over a million in legal fees, ignoring the whole bit where Furie was represented pro bono.

They’re … not very smart. And considering that Jones is about to be deposed in the suit that Sandy Hook parents have filed because he’s made their lives a living hell just because, here’s hoping that he keeps up the bluster, the bravado, the general dissociation from reality, and brings all of that with him into his sworn testimony, because being him is going to damage the hell out of his case.

Furie is donating the extra US$1000 of Alex Jones’s money to amphibian conservation group Save The Frogs.

In other news, Boulet is at the Annency Festival of animation and is sharing his experiences via Twitter. Day one in French and English, with more presumably forthcoming. Speaking of French festivals, Lyon BD Festival was this past weekend, and our own Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin was there. We’ll share his reports starting tomorrow.

Spam of the day:

There Is A Hidden Secret Inside You… Waiting!
=> It blows away the “complexity” of breakthrough
=> It heals the deepest of wounds and blocks… even the “impossible” ones.

Anybody ever tell you that you sound like a cut-rate Jack Kirby? Let me know when I get the “Tiger-Force” at the End Of All Things.

¹ ‘Cause your kids won’t hate who you hate without proper indoctrination, I guess.

News, Leaving Today, Etc.

Hey, remember when the news broke, ’bout four months back, that Randall Munroe would be doing a book about how to do stuff?

For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s the world’s least useful self-help book.

So Zach Weinersmith’ss BAH!Fest if it were run by experimenters instead of theorists¹, then. Very, very insane experimenters. How To releases on 3 September, and the same day, Munroe starts his book tour at the Harvard Science Center. The following two weeks will find him in Washington, DC, New York City, Ann Arbor, Portland (OR)², Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Louisville (KY), and Raleigh (NC). Venues and associates include the likes of Sidwell Friends School, Politic ‘n’ Prose, Cooper Union, The Strand, Powell’s, University of Utah, NC State University, a couple of churches, a library, and a fraternity³.

There will be one more stop on the book tour, and to get Munroe to your town (United States only), you’re going to have to gather some friends, some books, and some creativity:

Arrange the titles of your favorite books into sentences that tell a story, assemble a single continuous line of people holding up the covers, and take a photo or video documenting your feat. You can make the story as long as you want, but each book needs to be held by a different human.

Creative grammar is fine, and you’ll get extra credit for including as many books and people as possible.

Now, write the best story you can within those limits, and either post it to the sosh-meeds under the hashtag #howtoxkcd or email it to howtoxkcd — which can be found at Google’s e-mail, dot-com (say that last bit in a Homestar Runner voice for bonus points from me … I’m not sure Munroe will hear you) — between 10 June and 31 July. The additional tour stop will be announced in August.

As we all know, give Munroe’s readers a challenge, and they exceed all expectations. Best be creative as all get-out, and get to work.

Spam of the day:

One thing I am tired of is high power bills. I want to share with you a way to never for power again.

I used to dream about the day I would never for power again. Alas, big power again will require me to always for, never to never.

¹ I am reminded of that time when Richard Feynman was given a tour of CERN and shown to a massive block of science (you now the ones, they’re all over CERN) that his tour guide was busy explaining when he realized Oh! This will test your hypothesis about charge change in particles, Professor Feynman.

Feynman looked up and down over the looming, cavernous pile of technology and asked how much it cost. The guide said 37 million dollars or whatever the figure was, and Feynman asked You don’t trust me? You can find it in here.

² Event info coming soon; click here to pre-order the book for the event.

³ That is, a nerd frat; my father was a member alongside Robert Lucky, a situation that I believe I have mentioned with some slight bitterness. Also, if you follow that link, bear in mind it was from before we knew Doug TenNapel was a jerk about and to transfolk.

Goings On Across This Great Land Of Ours

Tuesdays often seem to be the busy day in Webcomicslandia; maybe it’s a knock-on effect of how books and magazines release on Tuesdays, or maybe it’s anticipation of comic books releasing on Wednesday. Maybe it’s a figment of my imagination. Whatever the case, it’s definitely busier than Thursdays … Thursdays are dead.

  • Danielle Corsetto might have been somebody you didn’t expect to hear from, what with Boo! It’s Sex wrapping up last week and all. But she’s back with a public Patreon post about BIS finishing, about other projects on deck, and about how she’s about to hit the road and you just might be on her path:

    I’m leaving this Thursday [editor’s note: day after tomorrow, 6 June] (SHIT THAT IS REALLY SOON) to work on “the book” — it still doesn’t have a name — on the west coast, among other talented cartoonists, writers, and illustrators.

    I could’ve flown, but of course I decided to make it A Whole Thing and do signings and camp out along the way. So if you’re on my route between here and Portland and back, I may be stopping at a comic shop near you!

    So that’s a roadtrip from Shepherdstown, West Virginia to Portland, where she’ll be in residence at the famed Helioscope for a month working on a new book that takes place in Shepherdstown. Sometimes, you need distance and place filled with creative friends to really make progress on a project. Along the way, she’ll be making stops for comic shop signings in Madison, Wisconsin (Friday, 7 June), Portland (Saturday, 15 June, along with Lucy Bellwood and Erika Moen), and Omaha (TBD, but probably Tuesday, 9 July).

    If you want one of the big-ass Girls With Slingshots omnibuses, best to drop Corsetto a line so she takes up precious space in her car for it. Every one of those things she packs is going to decrease her car’s fuel economy by about 3.7 MPG, so if you reserve one you better show up to buy it.

    And the best part of this entire trip? She’ll get to spend a month hanging out with Sally the greyhound. I’m so envious.

  • Hey, you know who publishes that big-ass Girls With Slingshots omnibus? Iron Circus. Know what’s going on with Iron Circus these days? C Spike Trotman is more than happy to share. If you missed IC at CAKE last weekend, you should still be on the lookout for:

    Delver is now up to issue #4, with the conclusion due on 26 July. I enjoyed the preview of issue #1 and if there’s any way for me to consume this story on paper¹ I will drop some cash on it. Seeing as how the final issue is due just after SDCC, I suspect we may seen an announcement during the show.

    And taking a cue from the long line of vendors of semi-disreputable merch (we’re talking porn here, people), Spike is celebrating the release of the third volume of Iris And Angel by declaring that the first one’s free. If you like the story about doing’ taxes² and dudes in lingerie, the parts 2 and 3 are five bucks a pop.

    And if you require comics on paper (see footnote 1, below), there’s new print comics including the previously-mentioned How Do You Smoke A Weed? (now shipping after its concluded Kickstart), and Minus, a YA thriller. For lo, Spike has seen the pile o’ money that is YA fiction and has decided to jump in and good for her.

Spam of the day:

The “Go Ahead” Signal That Makes Him Obsessed With Winning Your Love

I can’t tell if this is meant for a woman, or for a gay dude, but I have no need for your love secrets that will make any man desperate for me. Thanks, I guess?

¹ I resolutely avoid purchasing media that I do not get to own in a physical form. If I needed any further convincing of this, the problems that a student of mine had yesterday trying to attend class with a DRM-protected e-book that would not open would have sealed the deal.

² Not a euphemism, they’re actually doing taxes.

Delicious, Delicious CAKE

Hey, are you gonna be in the city of Chicago this weekend? I mean, everybody in the midwest is dodging persistent rain, tornadoes, floods, and general End Times events, but if you’re in Chicago you can at least enjoy the last days of Earth with comics at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, Saturday and Sunday, 1 & 2 June, from 11:00am to 6:00pm at the Billie Jean King Recreation Center (the third floor of Center on Halsted¹), 3656 N Halsted Street. It’s free to the public, got a humane scale of exhibitors (one big room plus a hallway entrance, an even 100 tables if my count is right), and an emphasis on the comics part of comics.

Special Guests will include Nicholas Gurewitch, Ben Passmore, Whit Taylor, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Exhibitors draw heavily from the middle of the country, and will include Ben Sears, Biance Xunise, Blue Delliquanti, Cathy G Johnson, Iron Circus², John Porcellino, Katie Schenkel, Chris Grady, Patrick Lay, Sage Coffey, Sarah Becan, Tess Eneli Reid, Tom McHenry, and Tony Breed

I didn’t include table numbers because come on — just walk around the room.

Programming is heavily tilted towards the Special Guests — I don’t think there’s a panel until Sunday that features a panelist that’s not a Special Guest. Ones that caught my eye include:

  • The Occult In Comics; Saturday, 11:30am-12:30pm; with Corinne Halbert, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Anders Nilsen, and Isabella Rotman, moderated by Anya Davidson.
  • Looks Good Enough To Eat: Drawing Food and Recipe Comics (workshop); Saturday, 11:30am-12:30pm; with Sarah Becan.
  • The Idea Kitchen (workshop); Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm; with Nicholas Gurewitch and Jackie Davis.
  • Graphic Medicine: Comics as Treatment; Sunday, 1:00pm-2:00pm; with Whit Taylor, Sage Coffey, Bianca Xunise, and Vreni, moderated by Kevin Budnik.
  • Storytelling Flow (workshop); Sunday, 3:00pm-4:00pm; with Tom Hart.

The panel room is apparently the theater off the entrance, but no indication where the workshops are.

CAKE is accessible by the El (Red line to Addison), the #8 Halsted bus, the #22 Clark bus, #36 Broadway bus, or #152 Addison bus. Head for the corner of Halsted and Waveland, and look for the Whole Foods; Center On Halsted shares the block and is just to the north.

Spam of the day:

Live Chat with Asian Women VIEW HER SEXY PHOTOS

Dude, don’t yell. Sheesh.

¹ Oddly, Center On Halsted’s events calendar doesn’t make mention of CAKE, but it’s there.

² It doesn’t specifically say that C Spike Trotman will be there but come on … it’s right down the street for her.

That Was A Surprise

Huh. Boo, It’s Sex! by Danielle Corsetto, Monica Gallagher, and Mae Keller wrapped up today. The recent plot exploration (how did Tara become a ghost?) didn’t strike me as a lead-in to a finale (there had been other, light forays into plot, although more related to sexytimes and relationships), but there it is.

The hook is present for another season if Corsetto, Gallagher, and Keller want to take it — the only folks that need more factual information on sex than four ladies that came through underserved public high schools would be the passel of dudes replacing them — but I still wish there was going to be another episode come¹ Thursday. They aren’t leaving us hangin’², though — the last strip ends with a coda of where to get quality information about how sex works, including Scarleteen, Planned Parenthood, Sexplanations, and Oh Joy, Sex Toy, which ain’t going anywhere so long as there are sexy times to be had and information about how sexytimes work to be shared.

In the meantime, show your appreciation to Corsetto, Gallagher, and Keller by a) checking out their other work, and b) refreshing yourself about sexytimes (however you define it) and how to enjoy it properly (with however many other people you wish, including zero, in whatever way you mutually agree upon) by starting again at episode #1. Being smart about sexytimes is always sexy.

Speaking of sexy, let’s check in with the Cartoon Art Museum:

  • On Sunday (that would be 2 June), in the Museum Drawing Room, there will be a talk by Steven Greenberg, editorial cartoonist of the Ventura County Reporter, and previously of the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sacramento Bee, and more. The talk is free to the public, starts at 2:00pm, and Greenberg will sign and answer questions at 3:00pm.
  • On Saturday 15 June, Jon B Cooke, Ron Turner (founder of Last Gasp), and Malcolm Whyte (CAM founder) will be talking about The Book Of Weirdo (edited by Cooke), a comprehensive retrospective of Weirdo magazine, which served in large part as a vehicle for R Crumb.

    I realize that may make it an unnecessary event for some of you, as there is an opinion that no figure in cartooning has been studied out of proportion with their actual influence and terribleness as a human so much as R Crumb. But there’s no denying that Crumb’s managed to be proximal to a bunch of cartoonists who are worthy of discussion and study³, and hopefully those better folks will be centered in the discussion. If you go and it’s mostly Crumb worship, feel free to tell the gentlemen on the riser that they’re jerking off in public.

    Toon Talk: The Book of Weirdo, and Other Weirdos starts at 6:30pm, with a suggested donation of US$10 (members free with RSVP). Copies of Cooke’s book will be available for US$35, and Cooke’s newest book (Art Out Of Chaos: The Illustrated Biography Of Maxon Crumb) for US$25.

Spam of the day:

=> 1 Weird Stretch HEALS Back Pain and Sciatica

Yeah? Cool. How come you need all this personal information to share this free miracle of No Back Pain?

¹ So to speak.

² So to speak.

³ I was never into Crumb so much as a cartoonist and feel his primary accomplishment was lending art and credence to Harvey Pekar’s work. The fact that this is the first talk at CAM I can recall that’s listed as neither free to the public, nor with a fixed ticket price, may reflect some ambivalence about Crumb on the part of the organizers.

News With Caveats

More book reviews in the immediate future, friends, but I wanted to take a moment to catch up on some things that have happened in the recent weeks that I had previously missed. In no particular order, then:

  • Know who’s cool? Lucy Bellwood. Like, adventuring around the world cool, has a better haircut than you cool, and teaming up with Scott McCloud to explain some tech stuff¹ cool. In this case, the tech stuff is federated learning, and the comic (story by Bellwood & McCloud, art by Bellwood) will bring you up to speed.

    In case you’re wondering about working for a giant behemoth that’s completely abandoned all pretense of having Don’t be evil as a guiding principle, may I remind you that Google has an enormous budget for things of this nature, and I sincerely hope that Bellwood and McCloud were given the equivalent of a dump truck full o’ money for their work on the comic.

  • I mentioned the winners of the NCS division awards for webcomics² on Sunday but did I mention the latest Johnny Wander Kickstart? On Twitter, yeah, but not here so let’s talk about it now. Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh are Kickstarting a book of previously-uncollected (and new!) comics on the theme of travel in this, the tenth year of Johnny’s wandering. It’ll be great.

    In case you’re wondering how much you want to deal with Kickstarter given the news about the company not accepting a proposed union, may I remind you this is what’s happened when unions were proposed in all cases in the history of unionization except maybe three? Yeah, I had expectations of Kickstarter-the-public-benefit-corporation being better than this, but all this means is that the next stage of labor law gets followed: there’s a vote, and if the employees vote for a union they have to recognize it.

    Honestly, I think it’s just the reflexive distrust of anything other than rugged self-made mandom³ that is the hallmark of anybody that’s temperamentally suited to be a tech executive. The vote’ll happen, my money’s on it passes, and then the entire damn industry has a reckoning to face. And even at their worst, KS not embracing a union wholeheartedly will still damage comics creators a couple order of magnitude less than the shitshow aftermath of the Oni/Lion Forge let’s be movie producers together wankfest merger.

  • Now that the Canadian {T | Van}CAFs are behind us, I’m thinking of things happening in about eight weeks in San Diego. Way too many people and way too much stuff, but I should point out that webcomicky types like Randall Munroe, Katie O’Neill, Carey Pietsch, and Ursula Vernon will be present as guests of the con.

    In case you’re wondering how I’m going to find an area of concern that balances out the news just to keep up the pattern, I’m not. These folks are great and you should read their stuff and let them know they rock.

Spam of the day:

{Well | Prince | Genoa | Lucca | arenow |justfamily | estates | Buonapartes | ButIarn | youifyou | tellme | thatthis | meanswar | ifyoustill | trytodefend | theinfamies | andhorrors | perpetrated | bythat | Antichrist | really | believe | heisAntichrist | willhave | nothing | moreto | dowith | youandyou | arenolonger | myfriend | nolongermy | faithful | slaveas | youcall | yourself | Buthow | doyoudo |

And that’s in the From: field of the email header. I leave it to your imagination how the body of the message progressed.

¹ One may recall a day ten and a half years ago when the world was introduced to the Chrome browser by McCloud.

² Requisite disclaimer: I am part of the nominating/judging process for these awards.

³ Baaaarrrrrfff.