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Heritage Auctions Teams with Comic Artists to Benefit the Ed Asner Memorial Fund

Heritage Auctions and numerous comic artists are teaming up to raise money of the Ed Asner Memorial Fund. Bill Sienkiewicz is one of those creators who after getting involved, helped convince other artists to do the same.

Beloved for generations for roles that included gruff-but-lovable Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Santa Claus in Elf and Carl Fredericksen in Pixar’s Up, Ed Asner died Aug. 29, leaving a legacy as a giant among Hollywood stars and a champion for numerous special needs communities. Matthew Asner, the center’s president and CEO, and his wife, Navah Paskowitz-Asner, continue their tireless work of creating programs and services for those with special needs. Among the most important is raising funds to support the center, through events like Heritage Auctions’ Inktoberfest for the Ed Asner Family Center Charity Auction. Bidding for the event – Heritage’s third on behalf of The Ed Asner Family Center – opens Sept. 30 on HA.com; the event closes Oct. 28.

The event is one of the center’s primary annual fundraisers, thanks to generous contributions from some of the comic-book industry’s best and best-known artists.

The result is an extraordinary event, with roughly 140 lots of art donated by the artists who created them; the proceeds will go to support the programs and services offered at The Ed Asner Family Center. The list of artists who have contributed to the event reads like a Who’s Who of comic art, among them Sienkiewicz, Kevin Nowlan, Don Maitz, Jim Lee, Ibrahim Moustafa, Philip Tan, and Arthur Adams, to name but a few.

Without Ed’s involvement, this year’s event, of course, holds special significance to Matt and all involved with the Ed Asner Family Center.

Proceeds from the auction will go directly to the Ed Asner Memorial Fund for programs and services at The Ed Asner Family Center, “a one-stop shop for neurodivergent individuals and their families seeking wholeness in all attitudes of life.” The center “gives children and adults of all levels of ability a chance at dignity, confidence, and self-respect” through an assortment of arts and career advancement programs that are offered after school and on weekends, as well as counseling and mindfulness classes.

FSU’s Special Collections Robbed. Be on Alert

Alert

An alert has been sent out that 4,996 items were stolen from Florida State University’s Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection. The items were stolen from FSU Special Collections & Archives between March 17th 2020 and February 10th, 2021. The collection contains comics, serials, and items related to superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Items include comics from Marvel, DC, underground comix publishers, foreign language titles, pulp magazines, and Big Little Books. The release date of the items are from the 1950s through 1970s. Also taken were monographs and serials related to comic collecting, history, and criticism, as well as posters and prints.

Anyone that has information about the theft please use the information below to contact those working to get the items returned:

Katie McCormick
Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections & Archives
(she/her/hers)
Florida State University Libraries
116 Honors Way, Rm 110D
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2047
Tel: (850) 644-6167
Email: kmccormick@fsu.edu

You can see a list of what was taken here.

American Cancer Society Partners With Heroes For Causes To Bring You Center Ice

American Cancer Society Gold Together for Childhood Cancer

Fourteen-year-old Weston Herman is a four-time, brain cancer survivor who has battled through multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. His positivity and passion to help others make him the ultimate comic book superhero, Center Ice. Fighting cancer both on and off the rink, facing the nefarious Mr. I (an acronym for the outdated technology used in cancer treatments) and his legion of evil robots, Center Ice is a story of hope, activism, and the power of thinking beyond yourself to help others. Copies of the comic book will be shared with childhood cancer patients through partnering hospitals and other entities. Copies scan be purchased at American Cancer Society Discovery locations and on Ebay. Donations to support the cause can be online.

The project was created by Jeremiah Stemple, Joseph A. Michael, and Donovan Petersen, co-founders of Heroes 4 Causes, which aims to bring hope and smiles to every child through superheroes like Center Ice.

Heroes 4 Cause

Donations and proceeds from the project support the American Cancer Society’s Gold Together initiative dedicated to increasing awareness of childhood cancer, supporting families facing a diagnosis, and raising funds to end childhood cancer. Since 2014, Gold Together has raised more than $2.25 million to support childhood cancer initiatives. Center Ice’s debut is set to coincide with September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. One in 266 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.

ComiXology Rolls Out Changes and Updates this Fall

It’s been a long time coming, but comiXology has announced some changes and updates coming to the app and store this Fall. The digital comics platform was purchased by Amazon in 2014 and it was only a matter of time before greater integration between Amazon’s platform and comiXology. Some of that has happened already with a single sign on and the ability to purchase comics on Kindle and read them on comiXology but there’s been some other upgrades missing.

In an email to comiXology users today, co-founder and CEO of comiXology David Steinberger announced new updates coming soon to the app and platform.

Here are some of the changes users can expect:

  • Upgraded comiXology app will feature flexible filtering and sorting, and some fun book navigation features.
  • A revamped digital comics shopping experience on Amazon where you’ll be able to browse, buy, and borrow books to read on either the comiXology or Kindle app. You can visit the new shopping experience today as we continue to bring new features online. ComiXology.com will redirect to this new experience when they launch.
  • Faster, more reliable downloads on Android and iOS devices. Plus read-while-downloading is new for Android customers.
  • Kindle Unlimited and Prime members will be able to borrow from a large library of graphic novels and manga on the comiXology app, in select countries.
  • ComiXology purchases will be readable on Kindle apps and devices. Soon, you’ll also be able to read purchases from comiXology on the Kindle app, giving more flexibility to decide where and how you read your books.

The biggest notable change is the old comiXology website going away and redirecting to Amazon’s website. The interface is quite different and it’ll be interesting to see what type of curation it’ll bring as the comiXology website does a solid job of highlighting different series and reading experiences. There’s sure to be speculation and doomsayers focusing in on this major change, and it’s a big one. But, Amazon still potentially brings strength to the comic industry through comiXology with the best data set to leverage and “find” new readers. Whether this is the future we’ll see remains to be seen but, these steps indicate a tighter integration that has been years in the making.

Bad Idea’s Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive is Two Comics One Cover

Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive

Bad Idea has been about different ideas when it comes to their comic releases. No trades. One per customer. No digital. No variants. Issues in constant print availability. It’s been an experiment we’ve all gotten to watch. Now, they’ve decided to try something even more different, a comic with two different interiors. Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive‘s main story is written by Matt Kindt with art by David Lapham (there’s also a b-side by Kindt and Klaus Janson). The issue was delayed and out this week and is not one, but two comics.

While the cover is the same, Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive is two different interior comics, “Passive” and “Aggressive”. Together, the two stories deliver a bigger picture of an interconnected story.

One story is about a vigilante robbed by Russian hackers out for revenge to get their money back. That’s the issue we received. The other is about a Russian hacker who tries to escape from that life.

The comic also features blank pages for… something.

It’s unknown how it was determined as to which store got which comic and sales listings haven’t helped narrow that down. So, which did you get and will you try to get the other? What do you all think about the promotion? Does it feel like a way to get around the “no variant” rule?

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery Announces a New Digital Comic Series

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery has announced a new digital comic series, Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists.

The series looks at visionaries and rule breakers: Alma Thomas, Berenice Abbott, Carmen Herrera, Kay Sekimachi, Mickalene Thomas, Corita Kent, Maria Oakey Dewing, Anni Albers, Edmonia Lewis, and Romaine Brooks.

The digital comics will focus on the lives of these important women with the hopes of inspiring a new generation. Each comic will be drawn by a student-illustrator at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Read the comics now and check out the each below.

BENEATH THE HOLLY TREE: A COMIC ABOUT ALMA THOMAS

Illustrated by Lauren Lamb

Alma Thomas became the first woman to graduate from the art department at Howard University, as well as one of the first Black women to receive a degree in art. Her exuberant, colorful paintings explore the natural world around us, from garden to galaxy.

BENEATH THE HOLLY TREE: A COMIC ABOUT ALMA THOMAS

THREADS OF HISTORY: A COMIC ABOUT ANNI ALBERS

Illustrated by Emily Fromhage

Anni Albers studied art at the innovative Bauhaus, where she discovered weaving. She fled Nazi Germany and became an influential teacher at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

THREADS OF HISTORY: A COMIC ABOUT ANNI ALBERS

PICTURING A CITY: A COMIC ABOUT BERENICE ABBOTT

Illustrated by Madeline Kneubheul

Born in 1898, Berenice Abbott discovered her gift for photography in Paris. When she returned home, she created iconic portraits of buildings and people in New York City, images that still move us to this day.

PICTURING A CITY: A COMIC ABOUT BERENICE ABBOTT

IN AWE OF THE STRAIGHT LINE: A COMIC ABOUT CARMEN HERRERA

Illustrated by Ezra Gaeta

Carmen Herrera was born in Havana, Cuba, then lived in Paris before moving to New York City in 1952. She faced discrimination in the art world for being an immigrant and a woman and only found success late in life for her minimal, beautiful works.

IN AWE OF THE STRAIGHT LINE: A COMIC ABOUT CARMEN HERRERA

A LIFE IN COLOR: A COMIC ABOUT CORITA KENT

Illustrated by Mica Borovinsky

Corita Kent joined a religious order after high school and became fascinated with screen printing. She would go on to be described as “the pop art nun who combined the sensibility of Andy Warhol with social justice,” and helped to bring a little more color to the world.

A LIFE IN COLOR: A COMIC ABOUT CORITA KENT

BREAKING THE MARBLE CEILING: A COMIC ABOUT EDMONIA LEWIS

Illustrated by Rachel Bivens

The daughter of a Haitian father and an Ojibwe mother Lewis overcame many obstacles before finding success as a sculptor in Rome, where her fame brought countless visitors to her studio.

BREAKING THE MARBLE CEILING: A COMIC ABOUT EDMONIA LEWIS

THE WEAVER’S WEAVER: A COMIC ABOUT KAY SEKIMACHI

Illustrated by Emily Ehlen

Kay Sekimachi and her family were forced into a Japanese incarceration camp during WWII. There, she spent her time making art. After the war, she discovered weaving and her innovative practices and mastery of techniques earned her the sobriquet “the Weaver’s Weaver.”

THE WEAVER'S WEAVER: A COMIC ABOUT KAY SEKIMACHI

A GARDEN-THIRSTY SOUL: A COMIC ABOUT MARIA OAKEY DEWING

Illustrated by Kippy Sage

Born in 1845, the American painter known for her depiction of flowers described herself as a “Garden-Thirsty Soul.” Her promising career was overshadowed by her marriage to a more famous artist. Her artworks remain unsurpassed in celebrating the beauty of the natural world.

A GARDEN-THIRSTY SOUL: A COMIC ABOUT MARIA OAKEY DEWING

PORTRAIT: A COMIC ABOUT MICKALENE THOMAS

Illustrated by Shayna Cohen

When contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas was in art school, she couldn’t afford traditional materials and gravitated towards craft stores and the glitter and rhinestones within. Her paintings speak to female empowerment and of women of color owning and defining their own spaces.

PORTRAIT: A COMIC ABOUT MICKALENE THOMAS

DO YOU THINK I’M HIDING? A COMIC ABOUT ROMAINE BROOKS

Illustrated by Abigail Rajunov

Romaine Brooks suffered an abusive childhood but triumphed as an adult, embracing gender fluidity and her queer identity. Her fierce independence is inspiring to people today.

DO YOU THINK I'M HIDING? A COMIC ABOUT ROMAINE BROOKS

Comic Creators Head to Substack Joining Transphobes and Alt-Right…

Numerous comic creators announced their shift to Substack today in what seems like a coordinated move to make a splash. Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ram V., Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Al Ewing, Molly Knox Ostertag, and more all had various splashes and approaches to the paid newsletter platform. Tynion is going so far to step away from his writing gig on DC Comics’ Batman. More creator announcements are coming.

Substack is similar to Patreon where subscribers pay for different tiers and in this case receive chapters of comics to consume. In Snyder’s case, he’ll be providing a Comic Writing 101 interactive class through the platform. Our understanding is creators will then publish the comics in print down the road though those details have not been released.

While new avenues for distribution and revenue for comic creators is great, each of these creators have a question they need to answer:

Why are they ok working on a platform that not only has allowed transphobia and alt-right indeology to flourish but also has possibly courted it?

In June, Substack’s move into comics was released where it was revealed that Nick Spencer would lead the project. Spencer himself has courted controversy in numerous ways with things blowing up when Spencer and Marvel turned Captain America into a Hydra fascist (aka Nazi allegory).

Substack has had a lot of issues being charged with enabling bigotry. It has become a haven for alt-right individuals and alt-right adjacent regressive attitudes. Any comic creator who takes part in this will should be pressed on the controversy. You can read about it here, here, here, and here.

To quote from one:

Substack denies that it plays an editorial role, maintaining that the writers are solely responsible for what they create — and declining to meaningfully moderate the content published by those writers — but it’s nonetheless begun to look very much like a publication, and that publication has a clear stance against trans rights.

The platform claims neutrality and that it doesn’t play an editorial role but it’s also clearly courting individuals for their editorial content and lets face it, controversy sells.

While the concept of “micro comics” through a newsletter is nothing new, Substack’s willingness to buy talent is. Creators will have to decide if they’re willing to accept money from a company that has so far built itself partially on hate.

Kodansha’s Isekai Humble Manga Bundle is Here!

Kodansha and Humble Bundle have teamed up once again to bring fans a bundle that’s from another world! Manga fans can get over $700 worth of exciting, hilarious, and heartfelt isekai manga during the Humble Manga Bundle: Isekai by Kodansha event, going on until August, 26, 2021.

The Humble Manga Bundle: Isekai by Kodansha offers 65 volumes totaling over $700 worth of series themed around one of the hottest genres in manga today, isekai! Series you can expect to be part of this bundle include recent fan-favorites, like The Hero Life of a (Self-Proclaimed) “Mediocre” Demon!, as well as spinoffs of classic isekai series like, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Trinity in Tempest, to rom-com isekai like, I Guess I Became the Mother of the Great Demon King’s 10 Children in Another World, as well as anime-inspiring isekai like, I’m Standing on a Million Lives.

Read ’em anywhere: All the manga featured as part of the Humble Manga Bundle: Isekai by Kodansha will be delivered digitally upon purchase in multiple formats including CBZ, PDF, and ePub, so they work on your computer, e-readers, iPads, cell phones, and a wide array of mobile devices!

Support charity: For this Humble Bundle, Kodansha will be leveraging the purchasing power of each bundle – whether it’s at the $1 tier or the $25 to donate a portion of the proceeds to a worthy cause! Choose where the money goes among Kodansha and the preselected charity, the BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation – an organization helping bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners with unforeseen emergency financial needs. Or you can also choose a charity of your preference via the PayPal Giving Fund.

Humble Manga Bundle: Isekai by Kodansha

Kadokawa Corporation Announces Speedier Translation of its Japanese Manga and Light Novels

I'm Quitting Heroing

Kadokawa has announced that in response to requests from fans of Japanese comics and light novels in English-speaking countries, it will begin speedy ebook translation and distribution directly!

The company has delivered its translated manga and light novels through Yen Press and other local publishers, but in order to meet the needs of readers who want more titles earlier, they will translate and deliver the official  versions of these IPs straight from the source!

It usually took six months to a year from a title’s serialization in Japan to their translation and publication in English-speaking countries, but soon many of the manga will be released as “simulpubs” with Japan on the online ebook store BOOK WALKER Global, which is operated by a Kadokawa group subsidiary. As for light novels, as soon as they are translated, they will deliver them chapter by chapter!

To start, Kodakwa has selected ones that were not translated into English but are already highly recognized in the English-speaking world, and will start with seven manga! From October, they will distribute three more light novel titles as well! (Details are as follows.) The number is expected to exceed 100 titles soon.

These titles will be available on “BOOK WALKER Global” and a few other online stores. More outlets will be added gradually.

TitleTypeAuthors
A Boy Raised by Gods Will Be The StrongestMangaArt: Toya Kuno Original Work: Ryosuke Hata Character Design: fame
I’m Quitting HeroingMangaArt: Nori Kazato Original Work: Quantum Character Design: Hana Amano
Magic Stone Gourmet: Eating Magical Power Made Me The StrongestMangaArt: Kenji Sugawara Original Work: Ryou Yuuki Character Design: Chisato Naruse
My Little Sister Stole My Fiancé: The Strongest Dragon Favors Me And Plans To Take Over The Kingdom?MangaArt: hi8mugi Original Work: Ten Kashiwa Character Design: COMTA
The 31st ConsortMangaArt: Tsubasa Nanaki Original Work: Momotomoe Character Design: Nanao Yamashita
The Insipid Prince’s Furtive Grab for The ThroneMangaArt: Yukino Amagai Original Work: Tanba Character Design: Yunagi
The Lotus Eaters, Drunk and SoberMangaArt: Mizutaki Original Work: ZUN
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (*the official title name to be determined) Light novelAuthor: Shimesaba Artist: Booota
I’m Quitting Heroing *Light novelAuthor: Quantum Artist: Hana Amano
The Insipid Prince’s Furtive Grab for The Throne *Light novelAuthor: Tanba Artist: Yunagi

Fantagraphics to Publish Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings by Jaime Hernandez

Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings

For the past four decades, Jaime Hernandez has been creating some of the most beloved graphic novels of all time. He’s been honored as a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, and he’s received the prestigious PEN Award, an L.A. Times Book Prize, and numerous Harvey, Ignatz, and Eisner Awards. But what does the lifelong Angeleno do to relax? He draws ― and, for more than forty years, he has been drawing and privately amassing a body of work that no one else has seen. Until now.

This August, Fantagraphics will publish Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings By Jaime Hernandez, featuring 125 never-before-published illustrations that celebrate the women who are often ignored in pro wrestling. Through a series of pin-up pages, action shots, and fake wrestling magazine covers, Hernandez introduces an all new cast of fictional characters: the beautiful and brutal Bettie Rey; the I.F.W. Pacific Women’s Champion ― a.k.a. Golden Girl; former champions Pantera Negra and Miss Kitty Perez; and many more― all presented in a large hardcover format that echoes the wrestling magazines of the 1960s and 70s. We celebrate their victories and witness their defeats. The years pass by, the women age, and new champions are crowned. As Hernandez says, “It’s my Love and Rockets world that’s not my Love and Rockets world.”

Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings By Jaime Hernandez spotlights the heyday of 1960s and ’70s women’s wrestling and lucha libre and includes an interview with Hernadez and fellow cartoonist Katie Skelly, who edited the book. Fantagraphics will publish Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings By Jaime Hernandez on August 3, 2021.

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