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Archives - October 2009

October 22, 2009

A Real Hero: The Dominator

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Carol sent me this story, and it moved me beyond words. It shows what the power of comics really is: The ever-inspiring belief in the best in yourself and the ability of that part of you to overcome whatever is thrown at you.
The Harvey Awards were held last night, and it looks like it was quite a star-studded event! I wish I could have attended, but alas... However, I was so happy to hear that Alex Robinson's Too Cool to Be Forgotten won Best Original Graphic Album last night. Robinson's book, about a late-30s guy who gets hypnotized to quit smoking and then suddenly finds himself transported back to high school (which is when he started smoking), is one of my recent favorites.
Quite often in the creating comics workshops that I teach, my students will hear me proclaim, “An artist reflects what they experience, see, or learn in life.” In other words, our views and feelings are what we bring to the table on any project.
October 19, 2009

Roundtable: Digital Piracy

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We hear about it all the time: digital piracy. The scourge of the entertainment industry, digital piracy has been taken on by music companies, movie studios, and major publishers. But what of comic piracy? Does it affect the industry as a whole? We talked to three people in graphic publishing to see what the state of matters is and how they are combating illegal downloading.
Lisa Elliott is a young-adult librarian at the Tigard Public Library in Tigard, Oregon, who has the distinction of once having been mere inches away from Art Speigelman. She didn’t speak to him.
It was déjà vu all over again at New York Anime Festival 2009. After a year of gloomy news in the anime and manga industry, the mood among publishers seemed cautiously upbeat. Four of the five manga publishers at the convention announced new licenses and initiatives, but almost all the new projects relied on familiar creators or crossovers with other media.
My first job after college was as a copy editor, and even now, I manage to supplement my income with some copyediting jobs here and there. That’s the first full-disclosure part, and here’s the second: I by no means claim that this site is error-free. People make mistakes all the time, be they silly, embarrassing, or even unnoticeable (and sometimes those “mistakes” are not really errors at all—style decisions and differences in opinions can account for a lot of things that catch people’s eyes. For example, I prefer to use serial commas, but I have no problem splitting infinitives or ending a sentence with a preposition—this latter preference is one many would disagree with).
Just for the record: I first approached this blog for Graphic Novel Reporter with the philosophical stance that I would not use it as my private billboard. In fact, a few weeks back, I even passed up trumpeting my appearance at the Brooklyn Book Fair.
An inker with nearly two decades of experience in the job, Bob Almond officially began the Inkwell Awards in January of 2008. It was a program that grew out of his column in Sketch magazine (“Inkblots”) the previous year, and has been instrumental in bringing positive attention and recognition to what he calls “an oft-misunderstood and maligned art form.” Almond and the rest of the Inkwell team offer an annual award to show appreciation for the best inking work done in comics over the past year, and they also run a site that Almond describes as “a one-stop resource hub for ink art explanation and education consisting of tutorials, interviews, and features on inking, among other items. And we have an inker database in the works as well.”
Our tour through the library programs of schools (in relation to graphic novels) finishes here, with a discussion involving some high-school librarians talking about the problems they face, the solutions they’ve uncovered, and the issues they’ve successfully dealt with. Here’s a look at what goes on in some typical schools and how they handle the reading needs of a very diverse audience that is growing up rapidly—but is not quite made up of adults yet.