Thanks to a note from my friend David, I’ve been informed that there’s a whole new round of Taiyo Matsumoto t-shirts now available at Uniqlo Japan.

The last time I went to MoCCA, the Uniqlo on broadway had an explosion of manga Ts with a ton of Matsumoto designs, and I bought literally one of each of them. This time around, unfortunately, I am not going to be anywhere near a Uniqlo for the foreseeable future, and so I’m a little bummed for myself but super-excited for all of you that will have a shot at wearing the coolest t-shirts ever.

Go check out all 14 designs from Tekkon Kinkreet, Ping Pong, Sunny, and more at http://store.uniqlo.com/jp/store/feature/ut/taiyoumatsumoto/.

- Chris


Part 1

Calls Porter Airlines.

Waits Thirty-Two Minutes On Hold.

Twitters at Porter Airlines that he has been on hold for 32 minutes.

Porter representative immediately answers phone.

Part 2

Customer: “Hi, I need to move mine and my husband’s flight from this Monday to this Friday.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I’ve looked at your flight info, and you will need to pay the change fee of $75 each plus the difference in fare.”

Customer: “No problem, I will pay the change fee, and the new fare is cheaper.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “So with the $150 in change fees, and the difference in fare, you owe $450.”

Customer: “I don’t think that’s right, the new flight is like $100 less than the old flight.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Because your existing fare was discounted, we can’t apply the sale price to the new fare. You need to pay the full price of the new fare.”

Customer: “Wait, you’re telling me that because I already got a sale on the flight I booked, even though I’m cancelling that flight and booking a new one I can’t get a discounted price? Even if I agree to pay the change fee?”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I’m sorry yes, you can’t combine discounts.”

Customer: “I’m not combining discounts, I’m cancelling one discounted flight in favour of another.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “The rules of your fare state that if any part of your existing fare is discounted, you can receive no further discounts when you change flights.”

Customer: “So the credit I get from you in moving my flight is discounted so I get less credit, but I can’t get any discount at all on the flight I’m buying? Does that sound right to you?”

Porter Airlines Representative: “…”

Customer: “Can you maybe check with a supervisor? Because that seems crazy to me.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Just a moment.”

Part 3

25 minutes later.

Porter Airlines Representative: “Thank you for your patience Mr. Customer, we’re running a sale right now so my supervisor was very busy.”

Customer: “Clearly.”

Porter Airlnes Representative: “So my supervisor has agreed to let you cancel the flight for the total change fees of $150 plus tax, and I can go ahead and book the new flight for you here.”

Customer: “But I can just book the flight here myself on the website, one way, and it’s only going to be $300. I don’t have to pay a cancellation fee. I can just book the flight.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Yes, sir, but in order to cancel your Monday flight and move it, you’re going to have to pay those two cancellation fees, because of the type of ticket you bought has [Porter Airlines Rules and Regulations Excised for brevity].”

Customer: “No, no I follow what you’re saying, I’m just saying if I book a one way flight on Friday, and then simply do not show up for my original return flight on Monday, I will save $150. Because either you’re going to charge me the un-discounted price to book my new fare plus the cancellation fee, which comes out to $450, or you’re just going to let me cancel my flight for the cancellation fee $150 and book the new flight for me which I can do myself, and those two things together will also total $450.”

“If I just don’t show up at all for my Monday flight and book an additional flight, it costs me less money than you interacting with my reservation in any way. And I don’t get charged a ‘cancellation fee’ if I don’t cancel.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “…I’d have to check with my supervisor on that.”

Customer: “No you don’t, thanks. We’re just going to leave this right here, and if Porter wants to charge me $150 for simply not using their services, I’ll deal with that when it happens.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “I understand your frustration sir, but the rules of your fare…”

Customer: “Nonono, I’m not angry or anything. You’re doing your job. But I’m just going to take my own course of action here, and it is going to save me $150, and you and I don’t need you to do anything.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “We’ll just leave this the way it is then.”

Customer: “We’ll just leave this right here where it is.”

Porter Airlines Representative: “Can I help you with anything else?”

Customer: “No, no you cannot. Thank you.”

Total Call Time: 55 minutes, 51 seconds.

Epilogue:

Still better than dealing with Air Canada Reservations.


I’m going to be making the trip out to San Diego for Comic-Con again this year, in service to my various masters, and so as always I’m glad to see Tom Spurgeon’s outstanding “Comic-Con By The Numbers” guide to the show. Better still, he seems to have significantly overhauled it this year, and it’s a pretty darned fun read, in addition to being incredibly useful.

It’s worth noting that attending San Diego Comic Con does not necessitate reading a 170+ point guide to attending San Diego Comic Con, but if everyone who attended the show actually did read it we’d all have a much better time. Go check it out.

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/briefings/commentary/38346/

- Christopher


Welcome everyone!

My name is Christopher Butcher, and I am the co-founder and Festival Director of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). Just last weekend, I presided over our 7th festival in 9 years, a continued celebration of all that is great about comics and graphic novels, and their creators.

TCAF 2012 was our fourth event since making the Festival an annual affair, and the fourth to be held at Toronto Reference Library with Presenting Sponsor Toronto Public Library. Continuing our increased success and attendance year-over-year, TCAF 2012 was clearly our biggest and best-attended Festival yet, with more people than ever filing into the library to take part in all that our exhibitors, and the library, had to offer. Personally, as the Festival Director, I’ve never been happier or enjoyed one of our Festivals more than I did this weekend, and that’s thanks to the great staff of Toronto Public Library and TCAF, our amazing volunteers and exhibitors, and all of you members of the public who came to take part in our event.

In keeping with our tradition, I’m sending out this informal little note to talk about TCAF rather than doing a big PR, because TCAF is just that kind of show. :)

Higher Attendance, Less Crowded: Win/Win!

When you’ve done 7 of these events, you can feel when things are a little more bustling, a little more energized than they’ve been previously… and Saturday afternoon I could tell that we were seeing record crowds at the show. The best part though is that, following up on feedback from our exhibitors, the public, and the Toronto Public Library, the flow of traffic was smoother and less crowded than it had been for the past several years. The Festival evolves with each iteration, and this year’s decision to add additional offsite venues, to widen aisles and remove tables from the atrium, and to cap attendance in certain areas, meant that all of the library customers—regardless of why they were visiting—could have a more enjoyable year.

TCAF 2012’s attendance was a record 18,000 people. What that figure comprises is 17,896 people counted by Toronto Reference Library’s security gate above the average attendance on a normal Saturday/Sunday. While people were coming and going all day, this figure balances out the instances of a flood of people exiting through the counter all at once where only one person might be counted out of 4-5. Beyond that, we’ve averaged in the 400+ people in attendance for our awesome Friday-night kick-off event in The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon with Jeff Smith, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon, and the more than 800 people per hour accommodated in our off-site venues: Owlkids Day @ St. Paul’s on Bloor, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, The Pilot Tavern, and Ristorante Fortuna. While the possibility exists that there were in fact far more than 18,000 participants in 2012, we’re quite happy with the idea of a 20% increase in attendance over 2011. :)

Thank you for your continued support!

As TCAF heads into its 10th Anniversary show next year, it is our continued partnership with Toronto Public Library that enables it to easily remain an annual, free event for the people of Toronto and visitors from around the world. The partnership between TCAF and Toronto Public Library, and working with venue Toronto Reference Library, continues to reinforce the core ideals of the Festival: TCAF is a free event, TCAF is about books and authors, and TCAF is open to everyone—not just the ‘initiated’ comics fans. On behalf of myself and the entire TCAF organizational team, we’d like to thank our Partner and Presenting Sponsor Toronto Public Library for their support, promotion, and hosting of TCAF 2012. They’ve had a pretty tough year, as have many institutions in the City ofToronto, and we’re glad that we’re able to work with them.

We’d also like to thank TCAF’s other sponsors, the folks who help make the Festival viable financially. 2012 Kids Sponsor Owlkids was fantastically supportive in all of our new children’s and library initiatives, and allowed those initiatives the successes that they enjoyed. Thanks to Media Sponsor NOW Magazine, who provided us a wonderful avenue to help get the word out about the Festival and our satellite events, to The Marriott Bloor Yorkville as the Offical TCAF 2012 Hotel and to Air Canada for travel support. Our thanks also to local sponsors Midoco, who helped supply the festival with all of the supplies we needed for exhibiting artists to present their craft to the masses, and Little Island Comics, for stocking and representing the best of children’s comics at TCAF.

Our consular and cultural sponsors helped us bring the world of comics and cartooning to Toronto for a week, and we greatly appreciate all that they have done. Our thanks to The Consulate General of France in Toronto; The Italian Cultural Institute; NORLA—Norwegian Literature Abroad, Fiction & Non-Fiction; The Flemish Literature Fund; and The Japan Foundation Toronto.

Finally, TCAF would not exist without the funding and support of The Beguiling, and their generous donations. It’s TCAF every day at The Beguiling, and their dedication to the medium of comics is unwavering. I’m truly grateful to them to be able to do what I’m able to do with TCAF every year.

About TCAF 2012

TCAF 2012 was the most ambitious festival yet, and my most ambitious personal undertaking. With more off-site and lead-up events than ever before, more partnerships than in previous years, an additional day of programming, and more than 20 featured guests, I worried in the weeks leading up to the show that perhaps we’d bit off a bit more than we could chew. Luckily through the talent and support of some wonderful folks we had varying levels of success on every front, and as always, lessons were learned and we think 2013 will be even stronger.

The personal highlight for me was the strengthening of our programming for children, by including a large dedicated space for children’s exhibitors on the floor of TCAF, as well as the creation of a day-long special event for children’s graphic novel creators. TCAF is about engaging every reader with the medium of comics, and I’m so happy that our ambitions to promote the medium to the next generation were fully-realized this year. We also expanded our amazing “small press” area, headed once again by the fine folks in the Wowee Zonk collective. They really transformed the space they exhibited in and created something unique, wonderful, and surprising—it was amazing to see. The addition of a day of panels and programming about comics aimed at librarians and educators was the realization of a long-held dream of mine to more fully share the vast amount of knowledge possessed by our attending authors and exhibitors with the people on the front lines of bringing new readers into the medium. It was a success, and it is a service we will continue to provide and support in the years to come.

We were also treated to a wonderful array of ‘gala’ presentations this year, from Guy Delisle’s Thursday-night launch of Jerusalem: Tales from the Holy City, to Friday’s amazing Topatoco spring launch and the aforementioned Kick-off Event with Smith, Ba and Moon, TCAF started with the biggest bang yet! We also had a real first, a team-up between TIFF Nexus and The Hand-Eye Society that saw a gallery’s worth of comics/videogame hybrids that showed at both Magic Pony and TCAF! Joining the events of Thursday and Friday night was our co-presentation of Kid Koala’s Space Cadet Experience with Wavelenth, a truly incredible concert event! The amazing activities continued into the weekend with three wonderful Saturday night comics events—the launch of Alison Bechdel’s long-awaited new memoir Are You My Mother?, a once-in-a-lifetime interview with Konami Kanata, and the 2012 Doug Wright Awards for excellence in Canadian Cartooning. All three events were packed to the rafters—as were our various afterparties around the city!

In short, I feel TCAF 2012 engaged more people inToronto—and from around the world—than it ever had before, bringing the medium of comics to thousands of new readers. That’s a truly great thing, and everyone who organized, volunteered, or participated in these events should feel proud.

TCAF! Photo by Paul Hillier.

We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You…

Speaking of the folks who worked so hard to make TCAF 2012 a success, we’d like to thank some of the individuals and organizations who were a part of this event. Thanks to:

- Our Sponsors: Toronto Public Library; The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon; The Beguiling; Little Island Comics; NOW Magazine; Owlkids; The Consulate General of France in Toronto; Istituto Italiano di Cultura (The Italian Cultural Institute); NORLA—Norwegian Literature Abroad, Fiction & Non Fiction; The Flemish Literature Fund; The Japan Foundation; Midoco; Hotel sponsor The Marriott Bloor Yorkville; travel assistance by Air Canada.

- Our partner organizations and guest sponsors: TIFF Nexus; The Hand-Eye Society, Miguel Sternberg, and Matt Hawkins; Magic Pony; Wavelength; Kid Koala / Envision Management; Houghton-Mifflin & Thomas Allen and Associates, First Second Books; Drawn and Quarterly; Selfmadehero; Topatoco, Vertical Inc.; Scholastic Books; Wowee Zonk; and Koyama Press.

- Our TCAF Librarian and Educator Day Sponsors: VIZ Media LLC.; Drawn & Quarterly; First Second Books; Kids Can Press; Owlkids; Scholastic Books; and UDON Entertainment.

- Venue Partners Toronto Public Library, The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Magic Pony, The Carlton Cinema, 918 Bathurst, The Pilot Tavern, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, St. Paul’s on Bloor, Ristorante Fortuna, The Japan Foundation, Buddies in Bad Times, Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, Pauper’s Pub, and Lee’s Palace.

- TCAF 2012 Poster artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon for their amazing 2012 poster!

- To the staff of Toronto Public Library and Toronto Reference Library for all of their work on our behalf, with special thanks to TCAF Liaison Ab Velasco and Bram and Bluma Appel Salon Liaison Beth Kawecki.

- To our TCAF Featured Guests and Exhibitors, including Aislin, Gabriel Ba, Kate Beaton, Alison Bechdel, Arne Bellstorf, Jose-Luis Bocquet, Guy Delisle, Tom Gauld, Matt Holm, Jennifer Holm, Jason, Konami Kanata, Kazu Kibuishi, Kid Koala (Eric San), Bryan Lee O’Malley, Micol and Cornelius Books, Fabio Moon, Catel Muller, Michel Rabagliati, Jeff Smith, Pendleton Ward, Adam Warren, and the more than 300 other attending artists, exhibitors.

- To the hosts and staff of The Doug Wright Awards for throwing another wonderfully successful event.

- To Corey Mintz for his spectacular restaurant guide; To Chip Zdarsky for his continuing design assistance; To John Green and Dave Roman for their amazing TEEN BOAT comic in our program guide; To show photographer Paul Hillier for capturing so many wonderful aspects of the festival; To Nathalie Atkinson for her continuing support.

- To 2012 Festival Guide Designer Diana McNally—it was wonderful working with you, thanks for saving our butts… ;)

- To 2012 Website Designer Nadine Lessio; with additional thanks to Shane Bennett for technical assistance.

- To the staffs of The Beguiling and Little Island Comics, for once again working through their weekends.

- To on-site coordinators Greg Baker, Athena Pheasant, Linda Moss, Andrew Eaton, Alex Hureanzu, Christopher Hureanzu, Bled Celhyka, Michael Lamore, and Laura Prinselaar.

- To our more than 200 volunteers: You were amazing, and are routinely regarded by people all over the world as one of TCAF’s greatest strengths. Our sincere thanks for your time and effort, and we hope you’ll continue to support us into 2013 and beyond.

…and finally, my personal thanks to our amazing TCAF organizational team, Miles, Gina, Scott, Andrew, Andrew T, Parrish, and Krystle: It was a hell of a year. Everyone gets one month off until we start planning the next one. Speaking of which:

TCAF 2013: TBA

Last year, we waited a month until we had the date and location of TCAF 2012 locked down before writing this little note to all of you, and people didn’t seem to enjoy that as much—they wanted to know all about how the fest went down right after the big event! So this year we’ve released our little year-in-review much earlier, but that means we haven’t had a chance to sit down with our partners and sponsors to review this year, and talk about next year.

What can I say about TCAF 2013? Well there’ll be one, for starters. While we’d played with the idea of going back to a biennial event, there’s just no way we’re going to miss our 10th anniversary year! From our modest beginnings as a one-day-event for 600 people on March 29th, 2003 at Trinity St. Paul’s Church, to our new home for 18,000 at Toronto Reference Library, it’s been an amazing period of growth and change for the Festival and for comics in general, and we look to continue supporting and promoting authors and comics next spring.

As soon as we can confirm the 2013 show, we will.

In Conclusion…

So on behalf of myself and the entire staff, I’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who made The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2012 such a massive, unprecedented success. Whether you’re an attendee, and exhibitor, or a volunteer, your support of each other and of TCAF is what makes this amazing, free, accessible, comic book event possible. We appreciate it, and we hope we’ll have you back for the years to come.

Best,

Christopher Butcher, Festival Director and Co-Founder
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

On behalf of…

Peter Birkemoe, Co-Founder

Miles Baker, Assistant Festival Director

Gina Gagliano, Programming Coordinator

Scott Robins, Kids Programming Coordinator

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Volunteer Coordinator

Andrew Townsend, Festival Assistant

Parrish Kilthei, Tech Coordinator

Krystle Tabujara, The Beguiling/Little Island Comics Liaison

…and the staff of The Beguiling, The Beguiling Library Services, and Little Island Comics

All Photos by Paul Hillier.


Pizza.

I’ve got a million other things I should be blogging about, but I was just talking some smack about eating Pizza in Japan/Tokyo and I recalled that, on my last trip to Tokyo I had some of the best pizza ever, in my hotel restaurant of all places.

I know Japan gets a bad rap for pizza, and I’ve had a whole bunch of truly awful pizza in Japan (married to/travelling with a vegetarian), but the restaurant in “The B Ikebukuro” is called Salvatore Cuomo & BAR, and it is a straight-up excellent Italian restaurant, and I had a wood-fired pizza with real prosciutto that was so good that I went back a second night to have it again (every other meal was Japanese food, don’t judge me).

I suppose if I were in better blogging form I’d tie this all together with something about preconceived notions and surprises and yadda yadda but I haven’t blogged since like March or something and so your closing thought is: Most of the pizza I had in Tokyo was terrible, but I had some amazing pizza too and I recommend it.

- Chris


http://www.indiegogo.com/sparkplugbooks

Sparkplug Comics is ready to take on new publishing projects and we’d like to ask your help!

This campaign is a fundraiser for three of Sparkplug Books’ upcoming publishing projects.  Our soonest release, scheduled for April of 2012, is the graphic novel Nurse Nurse, by Katie Skelly.  This book compiles the previously self-published first seven issues of Katie’s ongoing sci-fi saga of nurses traversing the planets of our solar system.  The new book includes an eighth chapter to conclude the story.  The book has a two-color cover and black and white interior.”

This is a solid publisher who suffered a real loss. Head over and if you can spare a few bucks on some books, it’d really help them out.

- Chris


I had a really nice breakfast with a dude from Marvel Comics, and some other people. They were all great.. It was in the newspaper.

The Article: http://www.thestar.com/living/food/article/1150830–marvel-comics-talent-scout-has-us-marvelling-over-poached-eggs

The Transcript: http://porkosity.blogspot.ca/2012/03/fed-122-comic-scout-cb-cebulski.html

If you are my family or don’t care about comics, stop reading here.

I don’t have the best things to say about Marvel Comics a lot of the time–like most corporations they make every move for their own benefit, but unlike most corporations they end up controlling better than 50% of the industry in which they participate, and those moves tend to dramatically alter people’s livelihoods for the negative, other than Marvel’s. It’s a truly awful situation.

The problem is that many (though not ‘all’) of these decisions are made above the heads of the people who actually create the comic books. There are folks who are in essence good people, who do right by others, who have a passion for creativity and art. Some corporate fuck will come in and lay off a bunch of editors and staff, reduce the number of washrooms, admit that they’re consciously trying to wring as much possible money out of customers as possible through lower page counts, lower quality, and higher prices… but you (meaning you the reader, you the ‘comics journalist’, you the muck-raker desperate for hits on your site) can’t touch those people. You can’t. You’re not shouting at Isaac Perlemuter or whichever VP of TheBottomLine decided books didn’t need cover-stock any more–there’s a reason those people either aren’t on Twitter or simply know how not to respond to you at all. So ‘you’ lash out at the folks who are the public face, paid to put a spin on whatever the next shitty cost-cutting measure to come down the pipe is, because their job is to make a tenth the salary but eat all of the shit. Because they love comics.

I feel for someone like David Brothers, who is a smart guy who writes smart things, who bothered to engage someone like Steve Wacker on the subject of rotating in sub-par artists on a top title with Daredevil. The artist switch-ups on Daredevil are a shitty situation, I think we all agree, but Wacker proved himself completely damaged in his inability to engage a legitimate complaint in a direct way… I don’t know him but I’m going to assume eating other people’s shit (metaphorically) on the internet all goddamned day is why he responds to a legitimate question from a fan like a total nutbar stalker, maybe he was different before he started working for Marvel, but I can’t really say. But yeah, so much shit is flung at the public faces of companies that even when they’re greeted with real questions, real journalism, sometimes they’re too down it to do much but fling shit themselves. Being famous, or representing something famous, in public, it sucks. The public sucks. It’s an awful situation all around.

Occasionally, you can get someone in one of those positions, and you can take them out of the echo-chamber of insanity that Twitter/Facebook/Comics Blogs have turned into, and you can talk to them at least like they’re a real human being, and if you’re lucky you can even talk to them like you’re a journalist and they’re an interesting subject, and they respond in kind. So a month back or so, I was invited to brunch with journalist Corey Mintz, Jen Agg (owner of The Black Hoof), fine-artist Roland Jean, and C.B. Cebulski, talent scout for Marvel Comics. We sat down, we had a great brunch, had maybe two or three drinks over 4-5 hours, and we talked comics. We talked about the comics industry. Here’s a taste:

MINTZ
If you perceive what you do, whether it’s cooking or comic books, if you perceive it as an artistic discipline, not as a straight matter of business, is it ok that the majority of people, your clientele, don’t see it as an art form? Is there anything wrong with them seeing it as a product?
BUTCHER
Yeah. Because that’s where piracy comes from.
MINTZ
Ok. Food and comic books just separated themselves completely in that example.
BUTCHER
well, I know a lot of people who didn’t purchase the Momofuku cookbook but have it on their iPad. And I wag my finger at them.
MINTZ
Names!
AGG
What? What do you mean?
BUTCHER
People have scanned the Momofuku cookbook.
AGG
Scanned it?
BUTCHER
Scanned the whole book.
AGG
Who would bother to do that? Spend the $35 dollars you cheap fuck.
BUTCHER
Welcome to comics.
CEBULSKI
Every week.

From http://porkosity.blogspot.ca/2012/03/fed-122-comic-scout-cb-cebulski.html.

(By the way, Comics Internet, that’s how an “excerpt” works. If you’re reposting 75% of the content on the original site, you’re just being an asshole.)

We sat around and talked about the comics industry. As Corey said in his column, “Cebulski is extremely polite and candid in a way that has nothing to do with our drinking cider and rum at 1 p.m. A pleasure to talk to, he never once dodges a question.” Mintz treated Cebulski as he would any subject of his column, with respect, and removed from “the comics internet” Cebulski was able to discuss things like a grown-up would. He talked about the economic realities of superhero comics, of producing art, of working for Marvel. I disagreed with some of the finer points, but I never thought for a second that he was equivocating, or even speaking out of turn. It was a lovely brunch, a very fun time, and a great conversation with someone I respect, even while I don’t agree with all of his views. It was a pretty rare thing, for Marvel and DC Comics, and the internet went all kinds of crazy for a few days, with my favourite bit being that the words of this interview were so twisted as to somehow make it sound like a representative of Marvel says that Jack Kirby didn’t make art. Ugh. Uggggggggh. So stupid. I wouldn’t talk to people either. It got so bad Corey actually wrote a response to the public response:

“On the record, with the red light of a recorder going, C.B. Cebulski shared his views. I speak to a lot of people in my work, most often chefs and politicians. Most of them do not say what is on their mind. And who can blame them? I poke fun at the Toronto restaurant scene for the level of public insincerity and back-slapping, but I’m a hypocrite. It’s pretty rare that I’ll criticize a local news organization in public.

“So when someone does us the courtesy of speaking plainly, whether we agree with them or not, we ought to applaud them. True believers, take it from someone who has been paid to criticize others, the truth is a rare and valuable thing.”

- Corey Mintz, http://porkosity.blogspot.ca/2012/03/until-internet-gets-mailing-address.html

Unsurprisingly I haven’t seen anyone excerpting that bit of writing anywhere.

Here’s the thing though–does the comics internet respond so fucking poorly to people talking to them like grown-ups because it never actually happens (from Marvel or DC), or did Marvel and DC’s incessant, never-ending stream of hype and refusal to talk to people like grown-ups lower the discourse so far that the internet can no longer respond with anything other than cheers, outrage, or the standard comments-section-passive-aggressive-mixture-of-both? Was it always doomed to be a cesspool out here or are we now doomed to be in this cesspool? Discuss.

Actually, don’t bother, either way we’re still standing around in a cesspool. Recrimination is, in this instance, pretty pointless.

My pleas tend to fall on deaf ears so I get that this is all a bit pointless. But I wanted to point out that it is possible for people in this industry who disagree to respect one another, to sit down and have a meal and talk openly and honestly about situations that exist, and hopefully try to find some common ground. It’s possible to initiate these talks and cover them as a journalist and not be a jerk, and not have your subject be a jerk. I personally believe it’s even possible to not be that lazy reader and choose to interpret every single statement in the worst possible light because you’ve got an axe that needs grinding at every opportunity. This interview is by no means a rare thing-there are tons of great, professional and honest interviews out there. It’s just rare to see one from someone who works at Marvel or DC, sadly. I certainly hope that, given the reaction to this one, it hasn’t become rarer still.

- Christopher


This afternoon, the Kickstarter for Little Heart, the marriage equality-supporting comics anthology that I’m participating in hit its goal of $8500, and so it looks like the book is definitely going to be a reality. I’d like to offer a hearty congratulations to editor Raighne Hogan and all of the contributors on a successful campaign. I’d also like to thank all of you who read my words, shared them, and purchased a copy of the book: Your support is amazing, and I thank you. I don’t really ‘go to the well’ very often from my readers, but I greatly appreciate that you were there when a good project needed you. Thanks.

There’s still time to pre-order a copy, or get some amazing prints or original art–you’ve got until Friday in fact! Head over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765505753/little-heart-a-comic-anthology-for-marriage-equali?ref=live for details.

Meanwhile, I was just informed about another queer comics Kickstarter, though this one met its fundraising goal in just 48 hours! It’s for Alex Woolfson’s gay sci-fi series “Artifice”, and it looks like there will now be a graphic novel collection of that web series. I’ve attached the full PR under the cut below, but you can check out the Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexwoolfson/artifice-graphic-novel-print-drive.

While miles and miles has been written on Kickstarter and the like, I will throw in exactly 2 cents worth and say that that it’s pretty clear having a strong, dedicated following and a very public personality at the helm of your Kickstarter campaign yields very different results than not. I think the Little Heart book is an incredibly important project, but it “suffered” by not having a 25,000-readers-per-day lead-in (if one can suffer that), and it really did take the full month of non-stop promotion to get the word out about the project. I hope that other indy projects looking to use the service take note. A multi-creator book that supports marriage equality should, theoretically, have a much broader appeal for support than a dual-creator gay sci-fi graphic novel, but the web as a mass-funding medium is pretty darned unique.

(This also ties into my thoughts on why Kickstarter as a replacement for the NEA or governmental arts funding is abhorrent, but my two cents are up… for now.)

- Chris

Keep reading…