Massive & Wuvable Oaf At LA Art Book Fair

January 27th, 2015

Looking for something to do this weekend in Los Angeles? Check out Printed Matter’s Third Annual LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary/ Moca. Thursday is preview night and the show runs through Sunday. The LA Art Book Fair is billed as a unique event for artists books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals and zines from more than 250 artists, small press, and indy publishers from more than 20 countries. Two exhibitors you want to check out are Ed Luce, the guy behind Wuvable Oaf and the folks from MASSIVE with a book out with the same name.

Links to show information and a complete exhibitor list can be found here. Admission is $10 for preview night and free the remaining show dates.

laart2015massivewuvableOn the left is Luce’s new book, The Covers, which debuts at the Art Book Fair. It’s a set of 25 ready-to-frame art prints (ranging in size from 11″ x 14″ – 11″ x 17″), featuring covers from the first five years of Oaf comics! It can also be ordered for $25 plus shipping from the Oaf site. On the right is Massive, a survey covering the art of nine gay Japanese men who make gay manga for gay men.

Gay Previews March 2015

January 27th, 2015

wuvableoafantaThe big item making the list this time around is the appearance of Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf compilation from Fantagraphics! Wuvable Oaf is a favorite here – just do a Wuvable Oaf search to find out – and Oaf receiving the deluxe treatment is exciting news! Kudos to Luce and a big thumbs up to Fantagraphics for publishing two gay themed books with last month’s Massive and the upcoming Oaf.

On the downside this month we bid goodbye to Batwoman and Aquaman & The Others. The latter title was always a long shot in my opinion, given the green light to fill the void left by some other series thatt was on the chopping block. The cancellation of Batwoman’s solo series is a disappointment and not entirely unexpected. I think the writing was on the wall when so many readers were angry at DC when J H Williams III and W Haden Blackman were taken off and Kate and Maggie’s impending wedding was scuttled. One of the comics news site ran an article that included the mention of a second Batman Eternal series, and if that’s true Batwoman’s inclusion wouldn’t surprise me.

And then there’s IDW’s new Jem & The Holograms!

And if you’re reading this in the northeast US I hope you’re hunkered in and safe!

You’ll see Amazon links in this list for books and other items from time to time. Please consider supporting your local comic shop or bookstore though the small commissions your purchases of any items through these links, the link below, or from clicking the ad in the sidebar are very much appreciated.
Amazon & Gay League

People’s names listed in bold are either LGBT+ or supportive. Credit to Andy Mangels whose idea this is originally.

ABSTRACT STUDIOS

STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS SC $100.00 Page 258
Terry Moore
The greatest love story ever told is finally available in an affordable softcover omnibus edition! This two book package contains all 2,128 pages of Terry Moore’s epic tale featuring Katchoo, Francine, David, and Casey as they face life’s biggest challenges by facing them together. All 107 issues of the series are here, including the spin-offs Molly & Poo, Princess Warrior, When World’s Collide, and David’s Story.
Strangers In Paradise Omnibus Edition SC

ARCHIE

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE MAGAZINE #6 $4.99 Page 272
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francisco Francavilla
“The Nether-Realm.” The unthinkable has happened: Riverdale has become ground-zero for the zombie apocalypse, and the surviving members of our gang have been forced to flee their beloved home. However terrible things have been for Archie and friends, they’ve been much worse for Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Banished to witches’ purgatory after using the dreaded Necronomicon, she’s now fighting for her immortal soul! This magazine-sized version provides a perfect entry-point for new readers of the smash horror TEEN+ hit! Definitely not for all ages!

ARCHIE THE MARRIED LIFE TP Vols 2 & 3 $19.99 Page 274
Paul Kupperberg, Michael Uslan, and Norm Breyfogle
Norm Breyfogle The Eisner Award-nominated series The Married Life series is the most critically acclaimed storyline in Archie’s more than 70-year publishing history. The series explores Archie Andrews’ life down two paths: if he had married girl-next-door Betty Cooper or wealthy socialite Veronica Lodge, with our favorite characters from Riverdale dealing with more realistic, mature circumstances with the humor and heart Archie fans expect. Volume 2 collects issues #7-12 of Life With Archie; Volume 3 collects issues #13-18.
Archie: The Married Life Book 2

BLACK MASK COMICS

mayday1MAYDAY #1 $3.99 Page 287
Curt Pines and Chris Peterson
A washed-up, drug-addicted screenwriter and a transgender bartender stumble onto a Satanic cult’s plan to sacrifice people all across LA (geomapped in the form of a pentagram, of course) and bring on Armageddon. As our intrepid, damaged heroes embark on a suicide mission to stop the crazy cultists, even they wonder if this is all really happening or if they’re just plain crazy. Probably both. The latest project from Curt Pires (POP) sees him teaming with art sensation Chris Peterson (Grindhouse) for a story that cuts to the very center of Hollywood mythology and depravity itself.
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Carla Speed McNeil Launches Patreon

January 26th, 2015

Carla Speed McNeil, best known for her Finder series and the uber sexy Jaegar has started a Patreon crowdfunder. What, you don’t know who Jaegar is? Look at that face there! You want more, don’t you? Look here and then head over to McNeil’s Patreon where you’ll find several monthly pledge levels to choose with enticing incentives while simultaneously helping her deliver her wildly inventive ideas and speculative fiction.

carlaspeedmcneilpatreon

 

 

Homo Superior

January 25th, 2015

Re-publishing a lost article from 2003.

Recently an art professor friend and I were talking about art and storytelling. The touchstone of the conversation was a quote from Clifford Geertz, a Harvard Professor of Anthropology: “Art is the story that people tell themselves about themselves.” Geertz’s comment was in reference to ritualized, cultural traditions of Bali where he was living.

Exactly what does this point have to do with mutants and the X-Men? I’m getting to that.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created The X-Men in 1963, and theatrically billed them as “The Strangest Teens of All!” As Jewish men, it was natural to draw upon their own life experiences in creating the foundation which became the mythos of the X-Men: outsiders trying to co-exist with others in a society largely not their own. Lee and Kirby spun stories of intolerance and persecution, but also of survival.

Now, the notion of “outsiders” is broad and can be applied to any marginalized group within a society. It comes as no surprise then that after the revival of the X-Men in 1975 (which featured an extremely culturally-diverse team) and the advances made by the post-Stonewall Gay Rights Movement, that closeted teenagers and adults related to the outsider status of the X-Men as they began to discover themselves. The “mutant equals outsider” metaphor resonated strongly, and was co-opted to become “mutant equals gay.”

How could it not, when you considered these facts: Mutant traits first appear during puberty; Mutants are often alienated by their families and friends; Humans are fearful and intolerant of mutants; Many mutants, like gay people, are able to pass for “normal”; The Legacy Virus is the comic book analog of the AIDS pandemic, just as mutant registration recalls the ultra conservative cries of the 1980s to quarantine people with AIDS; Mutants may think they’re the only one “like this” until they come across other mutants and, like LGBT folk, create their own families of choice to forge their own sense of place in the world.

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GLAAD’s Outstanding Comic Book Nominees

January 21st, 2015

Earlier today GLAAD announced its 2014 nominees for its Outstanding Comic Book Award. Congratulations to all the nominees! The complete list can be found here.

Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, Annie Wu, et al (Marvel)
Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Booke Allen and Shannon Waters (BOOM! Studios)
Memetic, by James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan (BOOM! Studios)
Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

As Kevin Melrose noted in his coverage at CBR, GLAAD’s comic book category was typically dominated by superhero titles from DC and Marvel though alternative comics and graphic novels captured the award some years. The reason for the abundance of mainstream titles from the Big Two is committee members had to rate a title on four criteria; one being LGBT content, I think another is boldness, the third is impact, and the last one I forget. Impact was partly defined by the perceived audience size of any series under consideration. A comic from DC or Marvel would receive a higher score than a series or book from a small press publisher even if the latter might tell a compelling story with well rounded characters. Based on these titles I have to wonder if the nominating committe have revised or new guidelines. If that’s the case it’s a change deserving applause! And shame on DC for not having one title make the list.

Midnighter Never Forgets

January 21st, 2015

Grayson is one of the better comics being published by DC at the moment if you want my opinion. First there’s Mikel Janin’s beautiful art and amazing action packed sequences showing off deep cover Dick Grayson and Helena Bertinelli (who isn’t the Huntress here). Then there’s Tim Seeley and Tom King’s smart scripting. There’s the playful, sexy sensibility with how Dick is portrayed. And there’s the comfortable if not eager attitude Seeley, King, and Janin have in catering to the gay audience with Grayson being forced to adopt the guise of a gay, French acrobatics instructor as part of his cover and recurring appearances of Midnighter, Batman’s gay analog, who apparently never forgets an ass. DC needs to consider getting Seeley and King to write a Midnighter mini series!

graysonmidnighter06001

Who Is Donna Troy This Time Or Cue The Rage

January 15th, 2015

Whether you call her Wonder Girl or Donna Troy, the second most loved Amazon has often been a cypher and a victim of too many and too complicated origins. You know, the “Who Is Donna Troy” curse. You wanted Donna Troy back and now here she is and Meredith and David Finch are the responsible parties to thank or more likely to blame. We knew that a re-imagined Donna made her last page debut of sorts as a figure rising out of a cauldron in issue #37 with details of her origin told in the recent issue out Wednesday. In a nod to Diana’s original creation, Meredith Finch has used Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy, to fashion a lump of clay into a heartless being as a villain, a rival to Diana. In one breath Meredith Finch stated in an interview with CBR ” It is very important to remember that it is the fans that buy the comics and allow us the opportunity to do what we do and be creative” and then in the next breath went on to say “I think that if we had brought Donna back as a character that was even remotely similar to who she was in old continuity it would have definitely been a very difficult temptation to avoid. Because we are bringing Donna back as a villain as Diana’s current rival, I have felt a lot more freedom to make her the character I want her to be and less thee person fans expect.”

Well, okay. Read the rest of this entry »

Catching Up

January 8th, 2015

Catching up here. Yes, again. From the lack of updates you’d think we’d dropped off the face of the earth or teleported to Earth Two. Definitely not the Earth Two that’s being ravaged by pointless and incomprehensible plotting and scripting in World’s End and Earth Two. A response to Dagger Type in December’s Batgirl and the reaction the character drew had been intended. Is still intended. The reaction so many had to the character, one that is completely understandable and valid, is not the same I had. It seemed a better idea to ask a trans person to write a response and hopefully one will be forthcoming from the person who’s been asked.

In the meantime while wits and words are being gathered up, so to speak, here are a few things you might find interesting.

The enigmatically named Mr Door Tree spotlights some of Jeffrey Catherine Jones’ artwork over at his The Golden Age blog. You’re likely to find other good posts if you look around there. I only wish he’d refer to Jones as Jones wanted to be called.

Constantine fans can rejoice about one thing. Executive producer Daniel Cerone says Constantine’s bisexuality will be addressed in the show! Hat tip to Elizabeth Fernandez for sharing that.

constantineshowbisexualtweet

R C Harvey includes Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli’s Second Avenue Caper about illegally bringing HIV drugs into the US on his Best of 2014 list of graphic novels for the Village Voice. A copy was sent to me a while back and I just haven’t found the time to read it yet. I believe the creators remained faithful to the original incidents and people involved. Jaime Hernandez’s The Love Bunglers piqued harvey’s interest, too. I’m unfamiliar with S Clay Wilson’s work and the sample shown there from Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 looks really subversive.

Jillian Tamaki (who worked with her cousin Mariko on Skim and This One Summer) mentioned her Supermutant Magic Academy strips will be published by Drawn & Quarterly. D & Q has it scheduled for release sometime this coming spring, which seems so far away with this nasty weather most of of us are faced with.

The talented, smart, and cheeky Bevis Musson drew a fun illustration of the Beef Squad, an idea for a team thought up by Simone and Marjorie Liu. Check out Bevis’ tumblr. Sometimes NSFW.

Recently at The Comics Journal Howard Cruse talked about rediscovering an essay titled Slang & Profanity that he wrote as a high school freshman. Cruse couldn’t help but turn it into a four paged strip.

bevismussonbeefsquad

The Beef Squad by Bevis Musson

 

Kris Dresen’s Gone

January 6th, 2015

A preview of Kris Dresen’s upcoming work Gone. Animation and soundtrack by J D Glass.

Massive’s Tokyo Book Release Party

January 6th, 2015

In case you haven’t heard. Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbiens who along with Chip Kidd edited The Passion of Gengorah Tagame have a new book out. Titled Massive: Gay Japanese Manga & The Men Who Make It, spotlights a number of gay Japanese artists creating erotic gay mangea for gay men. This isn’t like yaoi you’ve seen before. Here’s some video frome the book release party in Tokyo. Enjoy!

Oh, and I almost forgot this interview Chris Randle did with Anne Ishii! Hat tip to Tom Spurgeon!

Massive: Gay Japanese Manga And The Men Who Make It

Probably NSFW. I’d like to be overly cautious just to be safe.