- 2019 Oct 01
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
The Millions takes the reader into the belly of the beast—well, actually it’s a visit to TwitchCon, the annual videogaming convention—in pursuit of an insight or two into the absurdly addictive pleasures of Fortnite, the wildly popular, insanely profitable, battle royale videogame from Epic Games.
Comics In the Age of Streaming
Insider Talks, pop culture trade news site ICv2’s annual comics and pop culture business convention, features interviews with top industry professionals; usually held during New York Comic Con, this year the conference has been moved to the Monday after New York Comic Con and will be held at Pace University.
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus
Started in 2014 by Lucy Shelton Caswell, founder and curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Jeff Smith, cartoonist and creator of the Bone comics series, and his wife Vijaya Iger, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) is an international festival showcasing comics, editorial cartoons, newspaper comicstrips and animation, held annually in Columbus, Ohio. PW visited the show this year and captured images from the event.
The Believer: Cabramatta
An autobiographical interactive comic by Matt Huynh about growing up in a community of Vietnam War refugees resettled in Australia’s heroin capital. The comic will also appear in print in the October issue of The Believer.
Kids Make Comics
Loot, a combination comics shop (sort of) and comics workshop for kids just opened in Brooklyn, offers a new model for a comics store—parents pay a subscription fee that allows kids to borrow a comic and pays for materials and lessons to teach them to make their own.
- 2019 Sep 17
Publish and Perish
For those legions of writers and aspiring writers determined to get their book published by a big time New York publisher, author Russell Rowland essentially warns: “be careful what you wish for,” in a thoughtful and lively recap on The Millions about his personal struggle to get a publisher.
A Trick of Light, the final book to be published under the name of the late and legendary Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee (co-written with novelist Kat Rosenfield), was published this week by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book tells the story of two teenagers with extraordinary powers and it’s also Lee’s first novel for adults.
Hearing In Living Color
You say you like fantasy, magical realism and comics, but you’re looking for a bit more color in all those categories, if you get my meaning? Try The Colored Pages, a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Marci and Ako, two lively personalities that host the show, who talk up a storm about pop culture literature in the context of anti-oppression, intersectionality, people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Better known for funny mostly medical-oriented TikTok videos (though don’t miss the hilarious spoof of her native Minnesotan accent), Dr. Rose Marie Leslie, a real doctor at the University of Minnesota North Memorial Hospital, is using her fame on the short-video platform to provide very real warnings to her TikTok followers to stop vaping in the wake of a spate of vaping-related lung ailments.
FESTAC For Beginners
In an essay on The Culture Crush, writer Sara Rosen tells the story of Calvin Reid—yes, the dude that edits this newsletter—and an historic trip to cover FESTAC 77, a global celebration of African diasporan culture held in Lagos, Nigeria, when he was a young student photographer for the Howard University student newspaper in 1977.
- 2019 Sep 03
Atwood’s The Testaments On TV
Hulu and MGM are developing The Testaments, Margaret Atwoods’s forthcoming sequel to her classic novel The Handmaid’s Tale, into a new TV series. The Testaments will be published in September.
The New Batman
Actor Robert Pattinson responds to the challenges of being picked to replace Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in The Batman, the next film about DC’s Dark Knight.
Ursula Le Guin On the Small Screen
Earthsea, a series of six novels plus additional short stories, written by the late and acclaimed science-fiction and fantasy author Ursula Le Guin, will be developed into a TV series by the production house A24 and producer Jennifer Fox.
Jazz and Racial Justice
Historian Gerald Horne talks about the sheer danger involved just being a black Jazz musician in the early 20th century in an interview about his new book, Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music published by the Monthly Review Press in June.
Junji Ito On Adult Swim
Japanese master of horror Junji Ito’s acclaimed manga master work Uzumaki will be adapted into a four part anime series for Toonami/Adult Swim.
- 2019 Aug 20
The Millions continues its survey of Doomsday literature with a look at post-apocalyptic moms as depicted in the novels and short fiction of such authors as N.K. Jemison, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, and John Krasinski.
Obamas’ 'American Factory' on Netflix
American Factory, a documentary film about a Chinese-run autoglass factory in the U.S. that is staffed by American and Chinese workers, premiers this week in the U.S. The film is the first release under an agreement between Netflix and Higher Ground Productions, which is the new post-presidency film production house established by Barack and Michelle Obama.
Marvel’s Golden Age
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics, The Folio Society has teamed up with Marvel to create Marvel: The Golden Age 1939-1949, a hardcover collectors’ edition containing archivally restored editions of five Marvel comic books that helped to launch the superhero genre in the 1930s. Edited by former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, the book includes such comics as Sub-Mariner #1, Human Torch #5, Captain America Comics #10, and All Winners Comics #19.
Mammoth Saga Book Collection
Ahead of the impending ending of Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ wildly popular bestselling sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel series, Image Comics is releasing Saga: Compendium One, a massive 1,300-page trade paperback collecting the previous nine volumes of the series.
Ghost in the Shell Returns
Kodansha will launch a new series of manga stories set in the world of Ghost in the Shell, manga artist Masamune Shirow’s acclaimed cyber punk manga and anime series. Ghost in the Shell: The Human Algorithm will debut in Kodansha’s Young Magazine and in its Comic Days manga app in September.
- 2019 Aug 06
Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison (1931-2019)
The late CBS correspondent Ed Bradley interviews Toni Morrison on 60 Minutes in 1998.
Toni Morrison on Race and Publishing
Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehesi Coates, and Sonia Sanchez discuss art and social justice at an event in New York City in 2016.
Toni Morrison in the World
PW talks with director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders about producing the 2019 documentary film Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.
In an essay on the animation blog Dot + Line, John Maher examines the nature and power of love (and self-love) through the prism of Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon and Rebecca Sugar’s animated TV series Steven Universe.
Vanity Fair takes a look at the (mostly) gunless finale of the new action film Hobbs & Shaw
- 2019 Jul 15
Only Hollywood Can Ruin It
Thrillist takes a good long look at the social (and business) transformation of Japanese animation in the U.S. from the uncool years of the ‘90s the ‘00s to today’s world of celebrity otaku (apparently Kim Kardashian and Kanye are “obsessed” with anime) and an unfortunate wave of white washed live-action film adaptations of anime with more to come.
In Tribute to Ursula Le Guin
The late and acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Ursula Le Guin wrote 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stoires, four collections of essays, children books, poetry and translations. On August 2, PBS will premier Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a documentary on the life and works of Le Guin, directed by Arwen Curry.
Veronica Mars and Its Discontents
The fan favorite TV crime show starring Kristen Bell spawned a crowdfunded feature film, a series of novels, a shortlived comedy web series and now a Hulu TV revival. What could be better? Apparently the show.
We’ll Take It
Rumors say Lashana Lynch (last seen in Captain Marvel) will be the next 007 in the next Bond film—a black women, mind you—although not necessarily the next James Bond. Daniel Craig will be in the movie as well; but it’s a start.
An Emoji that Looks Like Me
In a continuation of adding inclusive graphics to their platforms, Apple and Google are marking World Emoji Day (July 17) with an update to the emoji’s offered via their platforms. There will be added representations of accessibility with wheelchairs and guide dogs, as well as more combinations of skin colors and gender.
- 2019 Jul 02
Reflections On Independence Day
On July 5, 1852, former slave and abolitionist orator Frederick Douglas gave a speech about American Independence Day.
Spider-Man Post-Avengers: Endgame
Vox reviews Spider-Man Far From Home: the movie starts slow but finishes big and fast.
The Water Dancer
In his first work of fiction, acclaimed nonfiction author Ta-Nehesi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power) sets his new novel, The Water Dancer, on a Virginia plantation during slavery. His hero Hiram Walker, has a photographic memory though he is unable to remember much about his mother, who was sold away, until he encounters a vision of her when he is plunged into a river after a bridge collapses.
The Source chronicles five rappers, among them Jay-Z and Young M.A., making a stand against hate and homophobia and who look to create an inclusive future for Hip Hop and the LGBTQ community.
Books and Hooping
The Warriors celebrated sixth man Andre Iguodala talks to the New Yorker about this new book, The Sixth Man, playing with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and life in the NBA.
- 2019 Jun 18
GNCRT Debuts at ALA Annual Meeting
The newly organized Graphic Novel and Comics Roundtable has organized four days of panels and presentations at the ALA Annual Meeting, kicking off with a day of programing (3 panels) devoted to Social Justice and Comics on Friday, June 21; a comics breakfast on Saturday June 22, the Will Eisner Library Grants and much more.
Illustrating Batman at SoI
DC’s iconic superhero Batman and the venerable Society of Illustrators, share a date: Batman was born in 1939, the same year SoI moved into its current building on East 63 Street. To celebrate the date the society has organized Batman-related exhibitions in all three of its galleries. Illustrating Batman, a show of 50 great Batman artists opens June 21; and there are two exhibitions focused on the collections of Batman expert and acclaimed book designer Chip Kidd.
The Annecy Festival
The annual international animation festival, just ended June 15, turns the entire town of Annecy France into a showcase for all kinds of animation, from features to short films. And reflecting on the global popularity of animation, pop culture news site Cartoon Brew says the show is getting busier, more crowded, and there are plans for an Annecy-branded satellite festival in Asia.
Here Comics Ironheart
Robert Downey says Marvel's Ironheart character, or Riri Williams, a black female MIT student who builds her own suit of cybernetic Iron-Man armor in the comics, should be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. More to Come on this topic.
A tribute to Jazz Pianist Geri Allen
The great jazz pianist Geri Allen, who died in 2017, was honored with a musical tribute, organized by the talented musicians who played with her. The tribute was held at the Spoleto Festival USA earlier this month. Musicians Lynn Carrington, Ravi Coltrane and pianist Craig Taborn were among the musicians celebrating the life of Allen.
- 2019 Jun 04
That’s All, Folks
Do you like animation? Better yet, do you love animation? Then pay regular visits to The Dot and Line, a site devoted to animation cofounded and coedited by my esteemed colleague, PW news editor John Maher, and Eric Vilas-Boas, managing editor at Hyperallergic. The site has everything you want to know about the news in animation, including interviews, feature films, anime, TV animation, a free newsletter, you name it. And the site has just been redesigned and rebooted, so it’s looking kind of shiny.
Focus On ‘The Tale of Genji’
Manga artist Yamata Waki, whose 1989-1993 manga adaptation of Murasaki Shikibu’s celebrated 11th century novel The Tale of Genji is part of the Met’s current exhibition on the Japanese literary classic, will speak about the novel and her other works on June 8.
Manga In the British Museum
The British art magazine Apollo takes a good look at the sprawling exhibition on Japanese comics, or manga, currently on exhibition in the British Museum.
Ok, iTunes is gone but what comes next? Oh, there’s an app for that, says Apple Insider.
Melissa Got it Goin’ On
Acclaimed tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana has a new album entitled Visions. She’s Chilean, plays straight ahead and her sound has been compared to Sony Rollins and to George Coleman, who she studied under. Buy it, stream it, whatever. You will dig, says PopMatters and me.
- 2019 May 14
This Bookseller Gets It
Elliott Bay Book Co. manager Emma Nichols gives parents and other skeptics of the category the 411 on why they should embrace graphic novels, just as their children already have.
Not Quite Done
In the latest example of fan hyper impatience, author George R. R. Martin used his blog to address rumors that the next two books in the Song of Ice and Fire series have already been written—No, he wrote on his blog, they have not been written. Nor is there a secret deal with HBO to suppress the books until the Game of Thrones TV series concludes. OK?
Mammoth Manga Mural
It’s not just alliteration. Manga publishers Shuesha and Kodansha teamed up to create a nearly 100-foot mural in a massively long section of the Tokyo Metro subway. The mural includes many of the manga titles with high school as a setting, including the volleyball manga series Haikyu!!, the soccer manga series Days, and, of course, My Hero Academia.
James Charles Feud Stuff
We don’t claim to understand the nuance around the current YouTube beauty vlog feud, so we’ll let BuzzFeed explain it all.
Skip the Line
Worried about getting in to see the newly opened Whitney Biennial? ArtNet has published a “virtual tour” of the show, or really, just a lot of photos of work from the current survey of contemporary American art.
- 2019 Apr 30
We Got Your GoT Recap Right Here
BlackNerdProblems recaps Game of Thrones's "The Long Night" episode with authority: “Game Time! Shit is mad foreboding.”
Black Widow Lives
The Atlantic takes a look at Natasha Romanov post-death, post-Endgame and post-Ike Perlmutter.
Avengers: War Against Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders becomes the Avengers’ next super foe after essentially teaming up with Abigail Disney (granddaughter of Roy) to demand that Disney use the mega profits of Avengers: Endgame to pay its (non-movie star) workers better wages.
Pull Your Coat: 13 Young Jazz Musicians
Vibist Joel Ross, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and singer Jazzmeia Horn (yes that’s her name), among others.
Submarines Are Cool
Technology porn about a new Japanese sub that features all kinds of cool new battery tech.
- 2019 Apr 16
C. Ham’s 'Nina Simone: Four Women'
Valerie Curtis-Newton will direct a new production of Ham’s play, Nina Simone: Four Women, which is based on Simone’s powerful feminist and antiracist song "Four Women," at the Seattle Reportory Theater, April 26-June 2.
Hollywood Writers Go to War with Agents
Everything you need to know about why Hollywood’s writers—all of them—have been told to fire their Hollywood agents.
Beyoncé Is Back
The pop culture mother-of-us-all is back with Homecoming, a new album. Nuff Said.
After TikTok, Lil Nas X Takes Billboard
Wired magazine takes a look at Lil Nas X’s eccentric hip-hop/country western hit song.
Cook Bookery by Podcast
You say you like cookbooks and you like podcasts? Well, Suzy Chase claims her podcast Cookery by the Book, which she launched in 2015, is the first podcast devoted to cookbooks. Who am I to doubt her? She’s a wife, a mom, and a podcaster and lives in NYC’s West Village. Check out her podcast on iTunes.
- 2019 Apr 02
Avengers: Endgame Tease
Okay, we haven’t really finished breaking down the Captain Marvel movie and there’s a new trailor/promotion for Avengers: Endgame. That’s right, the anticipation and chatter will have to be redirected to the next Marvel superhero blockbuster, right now. Get used to it.
Alleged Nipsey Hussle Shooter Arrested
Eric Holder, a rapper who goes by the name of Fly Mac, has been arrested by the LAPD as a suspect in the recent and tragic murder of rapper and political activist Nipsey Hussle.
It’s Streaming Disney!
CNET looks at Disney plans for a new streaming service that will launch sometime late this year. And yes, much like Thanos, Disney plans total domination of the galaxy.
Griffin Spikoski plays video games 18 hours a day; he also has a YouTube channel with nearly 1.2 million subscribers, and generated $200,000 in income last year. Oh, he’s also 14 years old.
Crunchyroll News provides a fascinating and deep dive into the work of manga artist Takehiko Inoue, whose bestselling basketball manga Slam Dunk, was not only a huge bestseller hit (it has sold more than 170 million copies over the years) but changed the role and boosted the popularity of the game of basketball in Japan.
- 2019 Mar 19
Comic Books In the Graphic Novel Era
Two veterans of old school comics publishing—former Marvel executives Bill Jemis and Axel Alonso—along with Jonathan Miller are behind the launch of Artists, Writers & Artisans, a new comics publisher based on a hybrid business model.
Game of Thrones (Sort of) at The Met
Fable and Lark, a company that creates interactive tours at Museums, has launched Crown and Prophet, an interactive tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art focused on the medieval artifacts in the museum that have influenced the storytelling of the popular TV Show.
Making STEM Work for Girls
Deloitte Consulting is teaming with The Ella Project, a collaborative initiative to expose girls to science and technology careers, to create a comic book series that tells stories with girl characters that apply their STEM skills to solve tech problems.
Woodstock 2019? The 50th Anniversary
Following previous revivals in 1994 and 1999, the legendary Woodstock Arts and Music Fair (“3 Days of Peace and Music”), first held in upstate New York in 1969, will return in August 2019 with an impressive lineup of artists, among them Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, and original Woodstock ’69 performers such as Santana.
The British Jazz Scene
Ten recordings by a new generation of multicultural and multinational musicians based in London.
- 2019 Mar 05
Captain Marvel Has Arrived
And an early review/verdict on Marvel’s blockbuster Captain Marvel movie (which opens this weekend) by New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott is … “it’s pretty good fun.” Marvel will take it.
Captain Marvel, Female Fans, and Comics
Polygon’s Caitlin Rosberg offers an in-depth look at the recent publishing history of Captain Marvel, the support of the character’s female fans—the Carol Corps—and Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue Deconnick, as a prelude to the opening of Marvel’s first female-led blockbuster superhero movie.
Graphic Novels In the Age of Trump
New York Times graphic books columnist Ed Park examines several new graphic novels, among them James Sturm’s Off Season and Elly Lonon and Joan Reilly’s Amongst the Liberal Elite.
Manga Art Hotel
American otaku, the next time you’re visiting downtown Tokyo, try the Manga Art Hotel, a new Japanese capsule hotel designed around a collection of 5,000 manga titles available for guests to borrow whenever they choose or to buy. Every title in the hotel is accompanied by a review and reason why it was included, and English language manga are also available.
White Follows Black
Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, co-creators of the critically acclaimed comics/graphic novel series, Black, the story of a world where only black people have super powers, have announced the debut of White, a new six-part sequel that is also being launched with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, like its predecessor.
- 2019 Feb 19
Google To launch Gaming Service
Just in case you haven’t spent enough time on the Google platform, the search engine/online content motherlode is launching a streaming videogame service on March 19 that should correct that momentary lapse.
Queer Black Ladies History Month 2019
Autostraddle, the online site for kickass queer ladies (and their friends), offers up a page full of Black History Month insight.
Daniel Kaluuya To Play Fred Hampton
Acclaimed actors Klauuya and Lakeith Stanfield are in talks to costar in a film (co-produced by Black Panther film director Ryan Coogler) about Hampton, a charismatic Black Panther organizer who was murdered by the Chicago police in 1969.
Blackface Is American Pop Culture
Vox serves up the sad truth about racism and American pop culture.
Fans of color and writers of color demand a wider frame of reference for the popular genre.
- 2019 Feb 05
'Battle Angel Alita' Film Opens in Feb.
Written by James Cameron, directed by Richard Rodriquez and starring Rosa Salazar and Mahershala Ali, Alita: Battle Angel, the much-anticipated live action/CGI film adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s cult manga classic, opens February 14.
Comics, Graphic Novels on Kickstarter
Comics continue to thrive on the crowdfunding platform. In 2018 Kickstarter raised $15.3 million to successfully fund a variety of comics and graphic novel projects, an increase of 27% over 2017 and success rate of 70%.
Harlem’s Black Comic Book Festival
Library Journal provides a detailed account of the exhibitors, programming and lively atmosphere at the recent Black Comic Book Festival, an annual and fast-growing weekend library comics convention focused on African American fans and creators, held at the historic Schomburg Center in Harlem.
St. Mark’s Comics to Close
The "OG" of downtown Manhattan comics shops, St. Mark’s Comics is closing its doors after 36 Years. Store owner Mitch Cutler said 36 years of working 90 hours a week is enough.
- 2019 Feb 04
Marlon James Spins a Tale of Tales
In conversation with PW, novelist Marlon James breaks down the writing process and literary legacy of his newly released epic fantasy work, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first book in his Dark Star trilogy and a self-described African reimagination of Game of Thrones.
- 2019 Feb 01
Rumiko Takahashi Wins French Grand Prix
Rumiko Takahashi, creator of such manga classics Ramna ½, Inuyasha, and Maison Ikkoku, and one of the most acclaimed manga artists in Japan, was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix award at the recent Angoulême International Comics Festival. She is only the second women (and second manga artist) to win the French prize.
- 2019 Jan 11
Comics and Graphic Novels of 2019
Hotly anticipated titles from such stars as Neil Gaiman will be joined by fresh work from new talents including Julie Delport and Emily Carroll.
- 2018 Nov 07
Comics Breathe Diverse Life Into Canon
How a new wave of graphic novels is revitalizing classics and pushing diversity.
- 2018 Oct 02
R.L. Stine to Pen New GN Series
The 'Goosebumps' author, a comic book creator in his early years, will debut an original graphic novel series, 'Just Beyond,' for Boom! Studios.
- 2018 Aug 31
A loose confederation of tweeters and YouTubers has made it their business to complain about leftist politics ruining their favorite medium: comics.
- 2018 Aug 22
Accused Comics Publisher Strikes Back
Small-press comics publisher and cartoonist Cody Pickrodt, accused of sexual harassment and other charges, has filed a defamation lawsuit.
Koepp Heads to the Book World
David Koepp, the screenwriter for 'Jurassic Park,' has sold publishing and film rights to his new book 'Cold Storage,' to be published by Ecco.
- 2018 Aug 21
Eve Ewing Heads to Marvel
The academic, poet, and playwright will pen an upcoming Marvel series starring the superheroine Ironheart.
- 2018 Jul 26
Nick Drnaso on 'Sabrina'
The author of the first comic to make the Man Booker longlist speaks out after his nomination.
- 2018 Jul 23
Comics Publishers Look to Streaming
Hoping to reverse flagging interest and competition from digital entertainment, the comics world is creating its own digital platforms.
- 2018 Jul 19
Comic-Con 2018 Looks Toward Justice
The biggest pop culture convention in North America is spotlighting social justice and political issues this year.
- 2018 Jul 06
TNC's Captain America, Annotated
This month, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes the helm of the Marvel Comics series. He breaks down where he’s taking the Star-Spangled Avenger.
- 2018 May 04
Free Comic Book Day Returns to the Bay
Free Comic Book Day, to be held tomorrow, was founded 18 years ago in the Bay Area by Flying Color Comics retailer Joe Field.
- 2018 Apr 13
Go Behind the Big Business of Comics
Ahead of the New York Comic Con, the show’s founder explains how the comic books industry "outperforms the stock market."
- 2018 Mar 14
Students Speak Out
With the support of authors Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume and Gene Yang, CBLDF and NCAC team to publish a comic book that teaches students how to exercise their free speech rights.