Pixel Scroll 5/9/20 A Pixel Scroll Title That Turns Out To Have Been Used Before

(1) NOT DEAD YET. Since the cancellation of San Diego Comic-Con 2020 was announced in mid-April the people behind it have been thinking about an online counterpart. This humorous video dropped on May 8.

What it all means has yet to be revealed. However, in April SDCC started posting coloring books and videos with the theme of Comic-Con Museum@Home.

While Comic-Con 2020 has been cancelled (we’ll return in 2021!) and the Comic-Con Museum is currently closed along with the rest of the museums in Balboa Park, we want to welcome you to our newest endeavor: Comic-Con Museum@Home!

We have great plans for this new section of our website. This will be your main source for some amazing Comic-Con Museum content, such as exclusive videos—including past events (Sense of Wonder with Jen Bartel, The Art of Shag, Will Eisner Week), and new video content created exclusively for the Museum@Home program. Plus, we’re proud to introduce our exclusive “Fun Book” series, a regularly scheduled downloadable PDF featuring activity and coloring sheets created by the Comic-Con Museum for various age groups.

For one example – “Comic-Con Museum Celebrates Will Eisner: Life Forces: The Art of the Comics Memoir.“

(2) GNAW, YOU’RE KIDDING ME. The New York Times’ Cathy Weaver says it’s “Time to Check Your Pandemic-Abandoned Car for Rats”.  

You might want to make sure there’s not a rat living (or recently dead) in your car’s engine.

Why are you still reading? Check your car for a rat, I said. That’s the tip. Rats like it in there, and while they could take up residence in a car engine at any time, anecdotal reports (and mankind’s modern if imperfect knowledge of rat behavior) suggest the phenomenon may be occurring more frequently right now.

Three line breaks into this story, it is becoming increasingly clear that the depth of your interest in rats plunges far deeper than basic car maintenance tips. You are a person who seeks to understand rats in a way that rats may not even understand themselves. You want to read the invisible instruction encoded in a rat’s brain that compels him to abandon the deli dumpster where he has spent the majority of his short life and, all of a sudden, carry a leaf and perhaps some twigs into the engine of your Jetta. OK. Here is more rat information…

(3) LEAPIN’ LEPUS. “Juliet Johnson and Peter Capaldi On The Story of Richard Adams’ Watership Down” on YouTube is a promotional video for Black Stone Publishing in which Richard Adams’s daughter, Juliet Johnson, and Peter Capaldi discuss a new, unabridged version of Watership Down which Capaldi recorded to commemorate Richard Adams’s centennial.

(4) SURVIVAL OF THE SFFEST. “Everything I Need To Know To Survive Covid-19 I Learned By Watching Scifi & Horror Movies” is a clever mashup by Evan Gorski and Michael Dougherty.

(5) SOFT RE-OPENING. South Pasadena’s Vidéothèque movie rental business told people on its mailing list they expected to be allowed to reopen for pick-up service today.

Pursuant to County Health Dept provisions (& crossing our fingers), we will re-open Saturday, May 9 from 11am-7pm with front door service & will keep these hours daily.

Please refer to our website vidtheque.com to search for titles 

They included a bunch of movie recommendation lists to stimulate the demand, including Time Out’s “The 100 best horror films – the scariest movies ranked by experts”. Number four on the list is

Alien

The miracle of birth
Talk about above and beyond: Ridley Scott was hired by Twentieth Century Fox to make ‘“Jaws” in space’, and came back with one of the most stylish, subversive, downright beautiful films in either the horror or sci-fi genre. The masterstroke, of course, was hiring Swiss madman HR Giger as the film’s chief designer – his work brings a slippery, organic grotesquerie to what could’ve been a straight-up bug hunt (© ‘Aliens’). But let’s not overlook Dan O’Bannon’s script, which builds character without assigning age, race or even gender – plus one of the finest casts ever assembled.

(6) VIDEO GAME CREATOR. The Strong Museum of Play has received a collection of prototypes and projects from the family of inventor Ralph Baer.

Ralph Baer, known as the father of home video games and the first person to patent the idea of playing a video game on a television, spent more than four decades creating, inventing, and changing the landscape of play. The Strong museum, home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, is pleased to announce that it has received a donation of prototype toys and technologies from Baer’s family that showcase his work and his creative thinking. The items add to the museum’s existing collection of Baer materials, which includes his personal papers and one of his desktop inventing workstations.

…Baer is known for his work in the video game industry, but in addition to creating the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, the first home console machine, Baer led a successful career in toy and handheld electronic game design, creating the matching game Simon and the plush bear TV Teddy, among many other products. This collection includes dozens of items in various stages of development, including a Big Bird Talking Bank, the Video Buddy interactive system, augmented GI Joe rescue set, Super Simon, along with various other pieces or concepts, including talking greeting cards, a twirling carnival ride, modified stuffed animals, and a toy phone. Together, along with the museum’s existing personal papers, they provide a window into Baer’s design process.

“My father escaped Nazi Germany as a child, and he spent much of his life after that thinking differently about the world and trying to introduce more fun and whimsy into it. He was a visionary and creative force who never stopped learning, inventing, and tinkering—even into his 90s,” says Mark W. Baer, his son and the Trustee of the Ralph H. Baer Trust. 

(7) CREATURE FEATURE. Marie Brennan considers “New Worlds: Working Animals” at Book View Café.

…In fact, dogs serve as kind of a template for things we use working animals to do. The tasks of draft (pulling things like wagons or plows), pack (carrying loads directly) and riding came up when we talked about transportation, so I won’t rehash the list of species used in different parts of the world — but I will note that certain animals we can’t domesticate, like zebra and moose, can occasionally be tamed to perform those tasks. This category is where the Industrial Revolution made the most immediate and obvious dent: once we could replace muscle power with steam power and its successors, we no longer needed to keep millions of horses and mules and donkeys and camels and so forth to work for us.

(8) WHAT’S STUFFED INSIDE. NPR’s Jason Sheehan rides the line: “These ‘Little Eyes’ Watch The World Burn”.

Samanta Schweblin is not a science fiction writer. Which is probably one of the reasons why Little Eyes, her new novel (translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell) reads like such great science fiction.

Like Katie Williams’s 2018 novel Tell The Machine Goodnight before it, Little Eyes supposes a world that is our world, five minutes from now. It is a place with all our recognizable horrors, all our familiar comforts and sweetnesses, as familiar (as if anything could be familiar these days) as yesterday’s shoes. It then introduces one small thing — one little change, one product, one tweaked application of a totally familiar technology — and tracks the ripples of chaos that it creates.

In Tell The Machine, it was a computer that could tell anyone how to be happy, and Williams turned that (rather disruptive, obviously impossible) technology into a quiet, slow-burn drama of family and human connection that was one of my favorite books of the past few years. Schweblin, though, is more sinister. She basically gives everyone in the world a Furby with a webcam, and then sits back, smiling, and watches humanity shake itself to pieces.

You remember what a Furby is, right? They were those creepy-cute, fuzzy animal toys that could blink and squawk and sing, dance around and respond to some basic commands. They were toys that pretended (mostly poorly) that they were alive.

Schweblin’s version is called a kentuki. It’s a simple, fur-covered crow or mole or bunny or dragon with cameras for eyes, wheels, a motor. And a person inside. Virtually, of course. Not, like, for real. Because that would be horrifying. And Little Eyes is absolutely horrifying, but not that kind of horrifying….

(9) REDECORATING THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE. ScreenRant tries to explain “Why The Fourth Doctor Had A Second (Original) TARDIS Console Room”.

…In the debut episode of Doctor Who‘s original season 14, The Doctor takes his then-companion, Sarah Jane Smith, to a different, unused console room, and then strongly suggests this place was actually the original hub of the TARDIS. This console room remained The Doctor‘s base for the remainder of the season and was a massive visual departure from what had come before, with wooden panel walls, stained glass windows, and a smaller, cabinet-like console. Unfortunately, the Victorian-style console room only lasted a single season before the white, pimply decor returned. Reports conflict as to whether the wood of the previous set was proving problematic to maintain, or whether incoming producer, Graham Williams, simply wasn’t a fan.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • May 9, 1973 Soylent Green premiered in theatres. It was the last performance by Edward G. Robinson who gets a great death scene here. It starred Charlton Heston and Leigh Taylor-Young. It was directed by Richard Flieschier and produced by Walter Seltzer and Russell Thacher. It was rather loosely based on Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison. Most of the critics at the time generally liked it, and at Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 71% rating among audience reviewers.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born May 9, 1860 J. M. Barrie. For us and for many others he’s the author of Peter Pan.  After that he had a long string of successes in the theater.  He knew George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells.  He joined the Authors Cricket Club and played for its team along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A.A. Milne, and P.G. Wodehouse.  He was made a baronet in 1913. (Died 1937.)
  • Born May 9, 1913 Richard McKenna. His short story “The Secret Place” was a Hugo finalist and won the Nebula.  “Casey Agonistes” (short story) and “Hunter, Come Home” (novelette) are in many anthologies; “Casey” has been translated into French, German, Italian; “Hunter” into French, German, Italian, Romanian; “Secret” into Dutch, German, Italian, Polish.  Cover artist for Volume 3 of the NESFA Press Essential Hal Clement (Variations on a Theme by Sir Isaac Newton).  Best known outside our field for The Sand Pebbles.  (Died 1963.)
  • Born May 9, 1920 Richard  Adams. I really loved Watership Down when I read it long ago so will not read it again so the Suck Fairy may not visit it. Are any of the various Watership animated affairs worth seeing? Reasonably sure I’ve read Shardik once but it made no impression one way or the the other.  Heard good things about Tales from Watership Down and should add it my TBR pile. (Died 2016)
  • Born May 9, 1920 William Tenn. Clute says in ESF that ‘From the first, Tenn was one of the genre’s very few genuinely comic, genuinely incisive writers of short fiction, sharper and more mature than Fredric Brown and less self-indulgent in his Satirical take on the modern world than Robert Sheckley.’  That pretty sums him up I think.  All of his fiction is collected in two volumes from NESFA Press, Immodest Proposals: The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn: Volume I and Here Comes Civilization: The Complete Science Fiction of William Tenn: Volume II. (Died 2010.)
  • Born May 9, 1925 Kris Neville. His most well-remembered work, the “Bettyann” novella, is a classic of science fiction. It would become part of the Bettyann novel, a fix-up of it and “Overture“, a short story of his. He wrote a lot of rather great short fiction, much of which can be in the posthumous The Science Fiction of Kris Neville, edited byBarry N Malzberg (who greatly admired him) and Martin H Greenberg, and more (some overlapping with the first collection) Earth Alert! and Other Science Fiction Tales. He’s not alas wisely available in digital form. (Died 1980.)
  • Born May 9, 1926 Richard Cowper. Writer of some seriously comic genre fiction that Martin Amis loathed. The White Bird of Kinship series is what he’s best remembered for and I’d certainly recommend it as being worth reading.  It appears that all of here are available from the usual digital suspects. (Died 2002.)
  • Born May 9, 1936 Albert Finney. His first genre performance is as Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge. That’s followed by being Dewey Wilson in Wolfen, a deeply disturbing film. He plays Edward Bloom, Sr. In the wonderful Big Fish and voices Finis Everglot in Corpse Bride. He was Kincade in Skyfall. He was Maurice Allington in The Green Man based on Kingsley Amis’ novel of the same name. Oh, and he played Prince Hamlet in Hamlet at the  Royal National Theatre way back in the Seventies! (Died 2019.)

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Immortal words from The Far Side.
  • Bookshelves dominate Grant Snider’s new Incidental Comic.

(13) KEEPING COMIC SHOPS AFLOAT. Shelf Awareness reports money will start flowing from the rescue fund next week: “Binc Distributing $950K to Comic Book Stores”.

Next Tuesday, May 12, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) will distribute more than $950,000 raised by the Comicbook United Fund to comic store owners. The fund was created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by Creators 4 Comics, Jim Lee, DC and Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group. Binc is distributing amounts ranging from $800 to $2,400 to 637 comic book shops across the U.S. and U.S. territories.

The Comicbook United Fund grew out of the Forge Fund, which Oni-Lion Forge established last year with a donation to Binc of $100,000. This year, DC added another $250,000 to the fund. In addition, after the pandemic hit, a coalition of artists, authors, comics creators and other supporters held more than 600 auctions on Twitter, and DC’s Jim Lee began auctioning 60 original sketches in 60 days on eBay, with 95% of sales going to Binc.

In addition to the more than $950,000 that Binc is distributing to comic stores next week, Binc has distributed another $174,786 to 156 comic retail employees and owners to help with rent, mortgage, utilities, food and other necessities during this pandemic

(14) TIME AND TIDE. Wil Wheaton’s latest read is “By request, an HP Lovecraft short story.” Hear him at Soundcloud.

…I love the Cthulhu mythos, but I’m not crazy about Lovecraft’s storytelling. I feel like he spends a lot of time in the high concept and the world building, without ever really going more than skin deep on his protagonists and narrative characters. NB: I haven’t read a ton of Lovecraft, probably six or so short stories, so maybe he has a novel or novella with rich characters and narratives, but I haven’t found it.

None of this is to suggest that he wasn’t brilliantly creative and imaginative, just that his stories aren’t the most satisfying use of my time.

However, hundreds of you have reached out in comments and emails, asking me to narrate something from the Cthulhu Mythos, so today’s RFB Presents is a short, weird, lurid story called Dagon.

(15) OUR DYING EARTH. Tammy reviews “GOLDILOCKS By Laura Lam” at Books, Bones, and Buffy.

Goldilocks has a fantastic premise and uses one of my favorite sci-fi tropes: leaving our dying Earth and striking out to colonize a new planet, in the hopes of saving humankind. And for the first half of the story, it lived up to this promise. But I ended up with mixed feelings, and I felt the first half was way stronger than the second half. Still, I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I’m going to recommend it to readers who love strong female characters and enjoy reading about current social issues. There are some scary events in Goldilocks that really hit close to home (can you say “pandemic”?) which added a lot of tension to the story, but I also felt that Lam made a few missteps with the characters’ choices in some cases.

(16) IN THE BEGINNING. “Supergirl: 10 Things You Never Noticed About The First Episode” at ScreenRant.

… Since so much has happened in the meantime, it’s easy to forget what Supergirl was like in its beginnings when Kara Danvers was still learning how to use her powers and was hoping to figure out how to be a hero. No matter how many times you’ve seen the show’s first episode, you might have never noticed the following 10 details.

Number 10 —

National City

Kara reveals shortly after the beginning of the first episode that she lives and works in National City. The name of the city is a nice easter egg for all fans of the publisher DC comics.

National City doesn’t have its origin in the comics, but by choosing this name for Supergirl’s home, the show’s creators paid homage to DC comics. Before DC was, well, DC, the company’s name was National Comics Publications, hence the ‘National’ in the name of Supergirl’s city.

(17) MASTERPIECE THEATRE. Gideon Marcus is there when That Was The Week That Was goes off the air, and other real news is happening, but no time to waste! This is the magazine with Robert Sheckley’s Mindswap! — “[MAY 8, 1965] SKIP TO THE END (JUNE 1965 GALAXY]” at Galactic Journey.

…And then, having given my report, I’d tie it pithily to the subject at hand, namely the June 1965 Galaxy science fiction digest.  But the fact is, there’s lots to cover and I’m anxious to get it all down while it’s still fresh in my mind.  So, you’ll just have to pretend that I was clever and comprehensive in my introduction…. 

(18) THE FAR FUTURE – 1947. At First Fandom Experience they’ll take you back even further in time where you can see “A Rarity: Tellus News”.

This issue of Tellus News, a “newspaper of the future,” was discovered among a collection of fanzines from the 1940s.  It was mis-categorized because of the cover date: “Sol 23, 1947”

But this hand-drawn fanzine was created in 1932 by Howard Lowe as a vision of what news might look like 15 years hence.  It’s not a copy — it’s an original set of drawings. Rendered in colored pencil, it was likely never reproduced, and as such is a one-of-a-kind artwork….

(19) STAR WARS FOR THE 1 PERCENTERS. Michael Verdon, in the Robb Report story “Why ‘Star Wars’ Characters Are Taking Over the World’s Most Expensive Superyachts” says the British superyacht firm Thirtyc has been putting out Star Wars-related yachts for Star Wars Day on May 4, and Verdon shows how the onepercenters are having cosplay fun with their expensive yachts.

…Seeing a storm trooper and Darth Vader on a million-dollar tender isn’t an everyday occurrence. Neither is catching a glimpse of Princess Leia or Chewbacca driving away on another tender.

At first, the firm received a lot of compliments about their whimsical but highly realistic work. “As it spoke to peoples’ imaginations, they started asking us to use their boats,” says Armstrong. Soon, Star Wars vehicles like AT-AT Walkers and Starfighters appeared on superyacht helipads and rear decks.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Universe” on YouTube is a 1960 documentary, directed by Roman Kroitor and Colin Low for the National Film Board of Canada, which Stanley Kubrick said was one of his inspirations for 2001.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Michael Toman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

Nell Brinkley and E. Simms Campbell Selected to
Eisner Hall of Fame

The Eisner Awards judges have selected two people to be automatically inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame for 2020.

These inductees are pioneering newspaper cartoonist Nell Brinkley (creator of the Brinkley Girl) and African American cartoonist/illustrator E. Simms Campbell (Esquire, Life, Judge, Playboy, and many other magazines).

Nell Brinkley (1886-1944)

Nell Brinkley was an American illustrator and comics artist who was sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Comics” during her nearly four-decade career working with New York newspapers and magazines. Her comics are a luxuriously rendered visual chronicle of woman’s progress over the decades, from her Victorian-era heroines to her Deco-styled independent working women. Her iconic Brinkley Girl, celebrated in song and on stage, surpassed the Gibson Girl in popularity. Her creative legacy can be seen everywhere, from Dale Messick, Ramona Fradon, Marie Severin, and Trina Robbins to sh?jo manga.

E. Simms Campbell (1906–1971)

E. Simms Campbell was an indispensable part of Esquire magazine’s birth in the early 1930s. He established its visual style and invented the original “Esky” character. And, in the words of its founding editor Arnold Gingrich, his full-page color cartoons “catapulted the magazine’s circulation from the start.” Campbell may also be the first African American illustrator not only to break the color line in mass-market publications but to earn widespread public acclaim as well. During his art career, Campbell produced cartoons for a variety of magazines such as LifeCosmopolitan, and nearly every issue of Esquire until his early-1960s hop over to Playboy. He did covers for Judge and The New Yorker and created woodcut-style illustrations for a Langston Hughes young adult novel.

The judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select 4 to be inducted in the Hall of Fame this summer. These nominees are Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Moto Hagio, Don Heck, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Francoise Mouly, Keiji Nakazawa, Thomas Nast, Lily Renée Peter Phillips, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Don and Maggie Thompson, James Warren, and Bill Watterson.

The 2020 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics reviewer Martha Cornog (Library Journal), journalist/historian Jamie Coville (CollectorTimes.com, TheComicBooks.com), author/academic Michael Dooley (Art Center College of Design, Print magazine), novelist/comics writer Alex Grecian (The Yard, Proof, Seven Sons), podcaster/Comic-Con volunteer Simon Jimenez, and retailer Laura O’Meara (Casablanca Comics, Portland, ME).

2019 Manning Award Nominees

Comic-Con International has announced the 2019 nominees for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award.

The Manning Award is presented to a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. It is named for Russ Manning, the artist best known for his work on the Tarzan and Star Wars newspaper strips and the Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book. Russ was a popular guest at the San Diego convention in the 1970s.

The 2019 nominees are:

  • Lorena Alvarez, writer/artist of Hicotea and Nightlights (Nobrow)
  • Ellen T. Crenshaw, artist of Kiss Number 8 (First Second)
  • M. J. Kim, artist of Faith: Dreamside (Valiant)
  • Sumit Kumar, artist of These Savage Shores (Vault Comics) and Ruin of Thieves (Action Lab)
  • Kieran McKeown, artist of Halo: Lone Wolf (Dark Horse)

The nominees were chosen by a panel consisting of board and committee members of Comic-Con International and a San Diego comics retailer. The winner will be chosen by past Manning award winners and Russ Manning assistants. The recipient will be announced during the Eisner Awards ceremony on July 19.

Pixel Scroll 9/11/18 The Pixellist’s Scroll Is Missing

(1) LEVAR BURTON. The good news is: Episode 32 of LeVar Burton Reads features the actor’s voicing of “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon.

(2) FLORENCE. The bad news is, the hurricane is bearing down on Oor Wombat –

(3) DOMINOS START TO FALL. Tampa Bay Online reports: “In wake of San Diego Comic Con trademark case, Tampa Bay Comic Con changes name”.

Tampa Bay Comic Con has changed its name to Tampa Bay Comic Convention.

The change comes less than two weeks after a federal judge in California ordered organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con to pay nearly $4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to San Diego Comic Convention in a trademark infringement suit.

With the award, judge Anthony J. Battaglia affirmed a December 2017 jury verdict that Dan Farr Productions infringed on San Diego Comic Con’s trademarks by operating conventions under the name “Salt Lake Comic Con.”

Tampa Bay Comic Con co-founder Stephen Solomon, a manager at Imaginarium, the company that has run Tampa Bay Comic Con and similarly-branded comic conventions around the U.S. since 2010, confirmed the name change Wednesday after re-branded images appeared on the convention’s social media. Solomon declined to comment on whether that ruling had anything to do with the Tampa Bay Comic Con name change.

(4) SPECIAL CLARION WEST WORKSHOP. Fireside Magazine’s Elsa Sjunneson-Henry will teach a Clarion West One-Day Workshop on “Worldbuilding for Disabled Characters” in Seattle on October 7. Registration info at the link.

The world as it is now, is not what we would call disability friendly. The social model suggests that disability has little to do with one’s medical condition, and everything to do with how society reacts to disability. This class will go over both models of disability (social and medical) and talk about how theories of disability can be used to create your world to include disabled characters. How do magic systems work without creating loopholes to cure disabilities in your setting? How can disability exist on a space station?

This class will help you not only envision the contemporary setting of today with a better understanding of what disabled characters go through, but to create worlds without barriers (or with barriers that aren’t erasure.)

(5) LONDON’S FORBIDDEN PLANET. The Independent expresses its appreciation for Forbidden Planet, celebrating its 40th anniversary: “How cult comic book shop Forbidden Planet changed the way we consume geek culture”.

…Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, American comic books could be picked up in newsagents, often shelved alongside the home-produced titles such as Beano, Misty, Whizzer and Chips, and Warlord.

But while you could generally guarantee that your friendly neighbourhood newsagent would be able to procure for you British comics week in and week out, American titles such as Spider-Man were a different matter. Supply was random and the monthly comics would appear in uncertain quantities, and you could never guarantee that your newsagent would get the following month’s Uncanny X-Men, or even that they would get in any American comics at all….

Today, most towns have a specialist comic shop which works on this model, but one of the most venerable and successful brands is Forbidden Planet, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary and enjoying a position at the top of the market for not only monthly comics but the ever-growing world of geek culture that takes in action figures, toys and collectible movie merchandise.

(6) LE GUIN’S IMPACT. Becky Chambers explains “How The Left Hand of Darkness Changed Everything” at LitHub.

…I wasn’t around when the book made waves in 1969, but ripples remained in 2001, that most futuristic of years. I was in the thick of adolescence, and in a fit of who-cares-about-college rebellion, I’d abandoned Honors English. I was sick of morality tales about brooding men and tragic women, of five-paragraph essays and teachers who didn’t sympathize with my indignation toward how Odysseus treated Penelope. Instead, I enrolled in an elective course: Science Fiction and Fantasy. I walked in there, with my Star Wars notebook and my Star Trek sensibilities and my brain full of role-playing games, and I felt like I’d beat the system. Like I was getting cake for breakfast….

…I soon discovered that elective courses still meant book reports, and my teacher recommended me a title: The Left Hand of Darkness. I still have the copy I bought for class, acquired on a bookstore trip involving my parents’ car and my parents’ money. It’s sitting beside my keyboard now, dog-eared and scarred, full of acid green highlighter. The highlighter isn’t related to the book report. The highlighter came after, as I read the book again and again and again. I can’t say if I’d read any science fiction written by a woman before that point, but I’d certainly never read any science fiction like that. There were no lasers, no damsels, no chosen ones. There was war, yes, but a real war, a war not for the fate of the galaxy but for hatred and fear (things that rang true while living in America in late 2001). There was science, too, but it wasn’t the science of physics or technology. It was the science of culture. The science of bodies. These sciences were every bit as worthy, The Left Hand said, and writing fictions of them was powerful business….

(7) TOLKIEN IN THE FALL. Adam Roberts cannot resist — “J R R Tolkien, “The Fall of Gondolin” (2018)”. In fact, he really doesn’t want to.

…Tolkien’s son Christopher has, over the last four decades, edited eleven thousand (give or take) posthumous volumes of his father’s unpublished writing. The previous instalment in that endeavour, 2017’s Beren and Lúthien opened with him declaring: ‘in my ninety-third year this is presumptively the last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings’. Such presumption evidently proved premature, for here is The Fall of Gondolin (HarperCollins 2018), plumped-up with eight full-colour Alan Lee illustrations and prefaced by Christopher Tolkien’s wryly revisited promise: ‘I must now say that, in my ninety-fourth year The Fall of Gondolin is (indubitably) the last’. This is the end/Beleriand friend/The end.

I didn’t need this book. I bought this book anyway. I already knew the story of the mighty human warrior, Tuor, beloved of the Vala Ulmo (a sea-god, Tolkien’s Poseidon), who travels through a Middle Earth occupied by the forces of darkness under the evil Vala Melko (in essence; an in-the-world Satan) and his armies of orcs, Balrogs, dragons and other nasties….

I still bought it, mind.

What did I buy? (Why did I buy it? Well, duh)….

(8) FAULTY APPEALS TO AUTHORITY. Annalee Flower Horne raises the point that arguments about historical accuracy may be undermined by the historical source they rely on. (Thread starts here.)

(9) 2018 HUGO ANALYSIS. Mark Kaedrin opines about “Hugo Awards 2018: The Results”.

The Stone Sky wins best novel and N.K. Jemisin becomes the first author ever to win three in a row. I have not been a particular fan of the series, but people seem to love these books. Too much misery porn for my liking, which always kept me at an arms length from the characters and story. Forcing myself to read the three books over the past few years (if I’m going to vote, I’m going to read the books; the authors deserve that much) probably doesn’t help. I don’t see why this series in particular deserved the three-peat, but this third book was actually my favorite of the series, so there is that (in fact, the only real baffling winner in the series was the second book, which suffered from clear middle-book-in-a-trilogy problems. I can definitely see why the first and third books won.) The other funny thing about this is that a few years ago, they created a whole award for “Best Series” that could have potentially cut down on the number of sequels in the Best Novel category, but that clearly isn’t happening. Scalzi’s Collapsing Empire came in second, and probably would have been my choice (though I certainly get the criticisms of it, it was a lot more fun and pushed my SF buttons more than most of the other nominees). New York 2140 came in last place, which also matches my preference…

(10) TODAY’S DAY

(11) QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I was continuing to shrink, to become… what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close – the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet – like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man’s own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends is man’s conception, not nature’s. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!”  –  The Incredible Shrinking Man

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 11 – Sharon Lee, 66. She is the co-author with Steve Miller of the Liaden universe novels and stories, as well as other works including the Agent of Change and Great Migration series, and  the author by herself of two mystery novels. They strongly oppose fanfic written in their universe.

(13) COMICS SECTION.

  • Pluto has a long memory at F Minus.

(14) JUSTICE FOR PLUTO. The University of Central Florida weighs in: “Pluto a Planet? New Research from UCF Suggests Yes”.

The reason Pluto lost its planet status is not valid, according to new research from the University of Central Florida.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union, a global group of astronomy experts, established a definition of a planet that required it to “clear” its orbit, or in other words, be the largest gravitational force in its orbit.

Since Neptune’s gravity influences its neighboring planet Pluto, and Pluto shares its orbit with frozen gases and objects in the Kuiper belt, that meant Pluto was out of planet status.

However, in a new study published online Wednesday in the journal Icarus, UCF planetary scientist Philip Metzger, who is with the university’s Florida Space Institute, reported that this standard for classifying planets is not supported in the research literature.

The Daily Mail, in “Pluto SHOULD be a planet: Astronomers claim controversial demotion was based on ‘since-disproven reasoning'”, says this is the cruxof the controversy:

Since Neptune’s gravity influences its neighboring planet Pluto, and Pluto shares its orbit with frozen gases and objects in the Kuiper belt, that meant Pluto was out of planet status.

However, the new study reviewed scientific literature from the past 200 years and found only one publication – from 1802 – that used the clearing-orbit requirement to classify planets, and it was based on since-disproven reasoning.

IBTimes wants the decision overturned: “Planet Or Dwarf? Pluto Incorrectly Lost Planetary Status, Study Suggests”.

Apart from that, the researchers also noted scientists have been using the term planet to describe moons as well, like Jupiter’s Europa or Saturn’s Titan.

“We now have a list of well over 100 recent examples of planetary scientists using the word planet in a way that violates the IAU definition, but they are doing it because it’s functionally useful,” Metzger added.

The researchers added bodies, particularly those like Pluto, should be classified on the basis of their natural properties rather than features that could change – like their orbit.

The Universe Today, in “New Reasons why Pluto Should be Considered a Planet After All”, adds depth:

As an alternative, Metzger and his colleagues claim that the definition of a planet should be based on its intrinsic rather than extrinsic properties (such as the dynamics of its orbit), which are subject to change.  In short, they recommend that classifying a planet should be based on whether or not it is large enough that its gravity allows for it to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium (i.e. becomes spherical). As Metzger explained:

“Dynamics are not constant, they are constantly changing. So, they are not the fundamental description of a body, they are just the occupation of a body at a current era… And that’s not just an arbitrary definition. It turns out this is an important milestone in the evolution of a planetary body, because apparently when it happens, it initiates active geology in the body.”

(15) THE OPOSSUM FACTOR. Matthew Wills makes his case for Pogo being “The Most Controversial Comic Strip” at JSTOR Daily.

During the 1950s, Walt Kelly created the most popular comic strip in the United States. His strip was about an opossum named Pogo and his swamp-dwelling friends. It was also the most controversial and censored of its time. Long before Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury blurred the lines between the funny pages and the editorial pages, Kelly’s mix of satiric wordplay, slapstick, and appearances by Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, J. Edgar Hoover, and the John Birch Society, all in animal form, stirred up the censors.

Taking place in a mythic Okefenokee Swamp, Pogo satirized the human condition as well as McCarthyism, communism, segregation, and, eventually, the Vietnam War. The strip is probably best remembered today for Pogo’s environmentalist’s lament, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

(16) A BIG, SEXY DINOSAUR. A new book, The Dinosaur Artist, delves into the world of commercial fossil hunters, smuggling, and the international implications. Author Paige Williams is interviewed by Becky Ferreira for Vice’s Motherboard (‘The Bizarre True Crime Story Surrounding a ‘Big Sexy Dinosaur’”) about the book and the stories behind it.

Motherboard: What first inspired you to report on Eric Prokopi’s case, first for The New Yorker and now in a full-length book?
Paige Williams: In the summer of 2009, I happened to be home (I’m from Mississippi). I was sitting in a coffee shop reading the Tupelo Daily Journal, my hometown paper, and came across this little news brief about a dinosaur thief from Montana. His name is Nate Murphy, and he’s in the book—just barely.
But I couldn’t believe there was such a thing as a dinosaur thief. I didn’t understand how it was possible or why anyone would want to do it. I really like subcultures and understanding why people inhabit them, and it just seemed like a world that was fascinating and full of authentic characters—people who are aggressively themselves, who are irreverent, and who sometimes break the law, though most of them don’t.
Then, this Prokopi case came along. I liked it because had so many threads worth exploring—the international trade, the Gobi Desert, Mongolian culture and history, New York, Florida, Virginia, Tucson, and Denver, and every fossil zone in between. It just had a lot worth pursuing and following.

(17) A DIFFERENT KIND OF CLASS. No formal registration for this one:

(18) BROUGHT TO YOU BY. The Washington Post’s Christian Davenport says NASA is open to ideas for commercialization, including ads in space and having astronauts make commercial endorsements: “Why NASA’s next rockets might say Budweiser on the side”.

The constant creep of corporate America into all aspects of everyday life — from the Allstate Sugar Bowl to Minute Maid Park — may soon conquer a new frontier.

The final frontier.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has directed the space agency to look at boosting its brand by selling naming rights to rockets and spacecraft and allowing its astronauts to appear in commercials and on cereal boxes, as if they were celebrity athletes….

But during a recent meeting of a NASA advisory council made up of outside experts who provide guidance to the agency, Bridenstine announced he was setting up a committee to examine what he called the “provocative questions” of turning its rockets into corporate billboards the way advertisements decorate NASCAR race cars.

“Is it possible for NASA to offset some of its costs by selling the naming rights to its spacecraft, or the naming rights to its rockets?” Bridenstine said. “I’m telling you there is interest in that right now. The question is: Is it possible? The answer is: I don’t know, but we want somebody to give us advice on whether it is.”

(19) MARVEL. X-Men: The Exterminated #1 arrives this December.

Cable has fallen, and the events of Extermination have left a hole in the X-Men family. What comes next??

In the wake of Cable’s death, his adopted daughter Hope Summers is attempting to deal with her loss – but a dark and terrifying path beckons her, and the X-Men’s own Jean Grey may be her only hope for survival!

This December, CABLE creative team Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler re-team for a special one-shot to say good-bye to the time-traveling, fan-favorite mutant – featuring covers by Geoff Shaw and a special back-up story that celebrates the life of Nathan Summers, from legendary X-Men series writer Chris Claremont!

“This issue is our chance to say a proper farewell to Cable, to honor his legacy, and to really see the immense impact the time travelling mutant had on those closest to him,” said Nadler. “Most importantly, it’s about how the Summers family copes with grief, and the difficulty of forging ahead. The issue is packed with fan favorite X-Men from all different eras, and we’re super excited to be bringing them together, despite the somber occasion.”

(20) BOUCHERCON. Tampa Bay Online’s Colette Bancroft had many kind words to say about last week’s Bouchercon: “It’s no mystery why fans, authors gathered for Bouchercon in St. Petersburg”.

…The 1,500 authors and fans (some from as far away as Japan) were in St. Petersburg for Bouchercon 2018, a.k.a. the World Mystery Convention. The annual gathering (named after influential mystery writer and editor Anthony Boucher) began in 1970 and is now one of the biggest mystery conventions in the world.

This was its first stop in St. Petersburg, with approximately 600 writers of crime fiction and true crime on hand to meet and mingle with fans, with many of the top names in the genre strolling the Vinoy’s halls. The event’s special guests were Mark Billingham, Sarah Blaedel, Sean Chercover, Tim Dorsey, Ian Rankin, Karin Slaughter and Lisa Unger. Other luminaries included Ace Atkins, Lawrence Block, Alafair Burke, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman and Sara Paretsky….

(21) WELCOME OUT-OF-TOWNERS. David Doering found a copy of the pitch made to attendees of the Pacificon (fourth Worldcon) in 1946 to visit the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. He notes, “Remarkably, don’t really need to change much at all to describe what I saw in Freehafer Hall the first time I went in 1985 forty years later. (For all I know, the “infamous” 4E trunk might still be in there somewhere…)”

LASFS OPEN HOUSE

CLUB ROOM OPEN FOR YOUR INSPECTION

That famous mecca for all fen, the LASFS CLUB ROOM, will most naturally be open at all times for the benefit of visiting fen, who will naturally be Interested In seeing this famous j?o?i?n?t? place.

You will see the (In) famous Ackerman trunk, repository of Ghu knows what; the fine library we maintain for the benefit of our members; the very spot where those wonderful (who said that?) meetings are held; the many fine original Illustrations which adorn the walls; that mighty project, Donald Warren Bratton’s cardfile of approximately 10,000 cards cross-indexIng all pro-mag stories and authors, as well as books pertaining to our field.

Indeed, lndeedy, your visit will not be complete until you have visited the LASFS Club Room. However, we think it only fair to warn you you will never be the same again after you have been there — in fact, YOU MAY NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN! So while you are more than welcome, you are also given fair warning in advance!

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In Fern on Vimeo, Johnny Kelly looks at what happens to a grieving widow when her husband dies and is resurrected as a friendly houseplant.

[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Brian Z., Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, David Doering, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Stoic Cynic.]

Pixel Scroll 7/16/18 Now With Bolded Typos

(1) GONE WITH THE YUAN. The most expensive film ever made in China bombed and is already out of theaters. The Hollywood Reporter has the story — “China’s First $100M Film Pulled From Cinemas After Disastrous Opening Weekend”.

In the long lead-up to its release, Chinese fantasy epic Asura was promoted as China’s most expensive film ever made, with a production budget of over $110 million (750 million yuan). So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the film’s producers, which include Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures, decided to take desperate action after the movie opened to just $7.1 million over the weekend.

Late Sunday evening in Beijing, Asura‘s official social media accounts posted a simple statement saying that the film would be pulled from cinemas as of 10 p.m. local time. After landing in theaters with limited fanfare, China’s priciest picture ever would vanish from the scene entirely.

Asura is co-produced by Zhenjian Film Studio and Ningxia Film Group — two of the investors behind the successful Painted Skin fantasy franchise — along with Alibaba Pictures Group and other minority investors.

The statement announcing Asura‘s retreat from cinemas supplied no explanation for the unprecedented move. But a representative from Zhenjian Film, which is credited as lead producer, later told Chinese news site Sina: “This decision was made not only because of the bad box office. We plan to make some changes to the film and release it again.”

Chinese site Sixth Tone tells it this way: “Epic Budget, Epic Fail: Chinese Blockbuster ‘Asura’ Tanks”.

China’s latest fantasy epic, “Asura,” claimed to be the most expensive domestic production to date — but it didn’t even last three days in cinemas.

Six years in the making, the film was planned as the first of a trilogy based on ancient Tibetan mythology. The Alibaba Pictures production promised lush CGI from an award-winning, international team in its depiction of war between two heavenly realms. Marketing campaigns for the film emphasized its budget of $100 million.

But after opening on Friday, the film made a mere $7.1 million over its first weekend. By contrast, “Hidden Man,” a highly anticipated action-thriller by actor and director Jiang Wen, brought in $46.5 million. Meanwhile “Dying to Survive,” a dark comedy about cancer drug smuggling operations, defended its box office lead, racking up $68.5 million on its second weekend and even prompting a spike in online insurance sales.

Aggregate user ratings of “Asura” varied wildly across China’s two biggest ticketing platforms, Tencent-funded Maoyan and Alibaba-owned Tao Piaopiao, earning 4.9 and 8.4 out of 10, respectively. Users of review platform Douban rated the film a miserable 3.1 out of 10.

(2) EFFECTS OF COMIC CON PROLIFERATION. Heidi MacDonald tells Publishers Weekly readers why “In a World of Too Many Cons, San Diego Is Still King”.

An ever-increasing number of comics and pop culture conventions are taxing publishers’ exhibition budgets and turning artists into nomads, on the road signing autographs in a different city or country every weekend….

Indeed, the expanding comics convention schedule is beginning to tax publisher budgets while turning comics creators into a hardened (and often exhausted) group of road warriors who must trek to a different city every weekend.

As more and more events flood the schedule, publishers and creators alike are developing new strategies for dealing with the demands for their time. And the conventions are beginning to evolve, some developing business models to stay above the pack of newly launched shows, while others, including many poorly planned and financed events, are becoming synonymous with disaster, poor attendance, canceled events, and disappointed fans.

“The number of cons has really exploded over the last five years,” says Martha Donato, president of MAD Events Management, which puts on the Long Beach Comic Con every September, along with other shows. “It’s [become] every city, every weekend, all year, globally.”

Even for a location such as Long Beach, Calif., close to many West Coast comics publishers, the competition for guest artists and publisher-exhibitors has become fierce, she says. “A much bigger percentage of our time, energy, and resources are now devoted to getting exhibitors to attend,” she adds. “Talent and their publishers have many more offers than they could ever accept, even if they wanted to.”

Donato’s show gets support from publishers in Los Angeles, including Top Cow and Aspen, but even loyal exhibitors have to pick and choose. “Publishers are facing a deluge of opportunities and they can afford to be choosy,” says Donato. “There’s a lot of saying no.”

(3) RECASTING MUPPETS MOVIES. The most selfless answer is….

(4) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • July 16, 1955 Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe premiered on the small screen
  • July 16, 1958The Fly creeped the heck out of everybody…”Help Me…Help Me.”
  • July 16, 2005 — The 6th book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours.

(5) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born July 16, 1928 – Robert Sheckley
  • Born July 16 – Will Ferrell, 51. Holmes in the forthcoming comedy Holmes and Watson film,  HerculesHappily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildCurious George and The Last Man on Earth series.
  • Born July 16 – Corey Feldman, 47. Genre roles in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series, the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,Tales from the Crypt and The Crow: Stairway to Heaven series to name but a few of his files.
  • Born July 16 – Rose Salazar, 33. Genre work includes American Horror StoryMaze Runner: The Death Cure, and Batman: Arkham Origins video game.

(6) COMICS SECTION.

  • Updating a Kafka classic at Bizarro.

(7) THE TIDE IS IN. Camestros Felapton continues scoping out the Hugo nominees: “Review: The Black Tides of Heaven (Novella) J.Y.Yang”.

As I said above, I found the second half easier to engage with than the first. It focuses more on Akeha, the surpising “spare” half of the twins, who in post-adolesence decides to be confirmed as a male (gender is assigned post-childhood in this world). Fate, prophercy, control and inevitability (whether magical or political) play out as important themes but, again, I think their impact as ideas get lost amid the scale of the story.

(8) IN ORDER. Mark Kaedrin gives his rankings and his reasons — “Hugo Awards: Short Stories”.

In the past five years of reading Hugo nominated short stories, I think I’ve enjoyed about 2-3 of the stories quite a bit. That’s… not a very good batting average. For whatever reason, I always find that this category just fills up with stories that don’t work for me. True, several puppy trolling nominations made the cut, which didn’t help (for example: they nominated SF-themed erotica two years in a row, and then another that was a bad parody of a bad story, etc…), but even the stories I liked weren’t that great. I’ve always chalked that up to this category having the lowest barrier to entry. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time or effort to seek out a bunch of short stories (mostly available for free online too), so the nominations are spread far and wide. There used to be a requirement that a finalist had to have at least 5% of the nominations in order to be considered, which often resulted in a small category because most stories couldn’t clear that bar. So basically, the stories that do make it here rarely have wide appeal. That being said, this year’s nominees are actually a pretty congenial bunch. I don’t actually hate any of the stories, even if a few don’t quite tweak me the way I’d like (even those are pretty good though). I do still find it hard to believe that these are the actual best short fiction of the year, but I’ll take this over the past 4 years’ worth of nominations. However, I do think it’s telling that at least one story on the 1942 Retro Hugos ballot, Proof by Hal Clement, is far better than any of these nominees, which I think says something (I’d have to read/reread a couple of the other 1942 finalists to be sure, but I suspect that ballot is more my speed). Anyway, let’s get to it….

(9) CURRENT EVENTS. And don’t forget this year’s fiction. Rocket Stack Rank hasn’t — “July 2018 Ratings”. Greg Hullender summarizes:

We posted our monthly ratings last night. It was a typical month, with 11 stories recommended (with 4 or 5 stars) out of 72 (expected would be 11 to 13).

We recommended 4 stories from F&SF, 3 from Asimov’s,  2 from Analog had 2. The other two were in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Lightspeed. Over time, the three print and seven online magazines we follow split the recommendations 50/50 (not counting stand-alone novellas or original anthologies), and the print magazines only come out 6 times a year, so this isn’t quite as lopsided as it looks, but it was definitely a good month for the traditional three magazines.

(10) START YOUR COCKY CAREER. This article on “Cocky-gate” also seems to be a great blueprint for how to use Kindle Unlimited to give you a 6-figure salary. Let The Verge tell you about it: “Bad Romance”.

…The fight over #Cockygate, as it was branded online, emerged from the strange universe of Amazon Kindle Unlimited, where authors collaborate and compete to game Amazon’s algorithm. Trademark trolling is just the beginning: There are private chat groups, ebook exploits, conspiracies to seed hyperspecific trends like “Navy SEALs” and “mountain men,” and even a controversial sweepstakes in which a popular self-published author offered his readers a chance to win diamonds from Tiffany’s if they reviewed his new book.

Much of what’s alleged is perfectly legal, and even technically within Amazon’s terms of service. But for authors and fans, the genre is also a community, and the idea that unethical marketing and algorithmic tricks are running rampant has embroiled their world in controversy. Some authors even believe that the financial incentives set up by Kindle Unlimited are reshaping the romance genre — possibly even making it more misogynistic.

A genre that mostly features shiny, shirtless men on its covers and sells ebooks for 99 cents a pop might seem unserious. But at stake are revenues sometimes amounting to a million dollars a year, with some authors easily netting six figures a month. The top authors can drop $50,000 on a single ad campaign that will keep them in the charts — and see a worthwhile return on that investment….

(11) THEY’VE GOT ‘RITHIM. Or you can try this route–sell your old pb’s for hundreds or thousands of dollars each on Amazon. The New York Times has the story: “Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback”.

Even a casual browse through the virtual corridors of Amazon reveals an increasingly bizarre bazaar where the quaint policies of physical bookstores — the stuff no one wants is piled on a cart outside for a buck a volume — are upended. John Sladek, who wrote perceptive science fiction about robotics and artificial intelligence, predicted in a 1975 story that computers might start making compelling but false connections:

If you’re trying to reserve a seat on the plane to Seville, you’d get a seat at the opera instead. While the person who wants the opera seat is really just making an appointment with a barber, whose customer is just then talking to the box-office of “Hair,” or maybe making a hairline reservation …

Mr. Sladek, who died in 2000, is little read now, which naturally means his books are often marketed for inordinate sums on Amazon. One of his mystery novels, “Invisible Green,” has a Red Rhino “buy box” — Amazon’s preferred deal — offering it for $664.

That is a real bargain compared with what a bookseller with the improbable name Supersonic Truck is asking: $1,942. (Copies from other booksellers are as little as $30.) Supersonic Truck, which Amazon says has 100 percent positive ratings, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Ms. Macgillivray, who has published eight novels, said she had been poking around Amazon’s bookstore and was more perplexed than ever by the pricing.

“There’s nothing illegal about someone listing an item for sale at whatever the market will bear, even if they don’t have the book but plan to buy it when someone orders it,” she said. “At the same time, I would think Amazon wouldn’t want their platform used for less than honorable practices.”

(12) READERCON PORTRAITS. Paul Di Filippo shares photos of “Some Members of Fictionmags Attending Readercon 2018 “ at The Inferior 4.

In order of appearance: Ellen Datlow, Fred Lerner, Gary Wolfe, George Morgan, Gordon van Gelder, Henry Wessells, Jess Nevins, Michael Dirda, Peter Halasz, Scott Andrews, Scott Edelman, Sheila Williams, Steve Dooner, Mark Walsh.

(13) ONCE MORE WITH FEELING. And Daniel Dern covered the non-human population at ReaderCon, photographing this “alternative SJW credential.”

An ‘edge-‘og (hedgehog). (Not mine.)

Yeah, the SF context isn’t visible, would you take my word for it?

(14) ICE DELIVERY. NPR tells what it’s like for locals: “Massive Iceberg Looms Over A Village In Greenland”.

The photographs are stunning: a giant mountain of ice towers over a tiny village, with colorful homes reminiscent of little doll houses against the stark, blue-gray landscape.

But for the people living in those houses – that beauty could be life-threatening.

“It’s kind of like, if you lived in the suburbs, and you woke up one morning and looked out, and there was a skyscraper next to your house,” says David Holland, an oceanographer at New York University who does research in Greenland during the summer months. “I’d be the first to get out of there.”

He says that’s why authorities have taken action to evacuate those living closest to the water from the village of Innaarsuit, where the iceberg has parked itself just off the coast. According to the BBC, the village has just 169 residents.

(15) THE IMPORTANCE OF POORFEADING. “Harry, it s***s” — just not quite so badly: “Aliens killed by spelling mistake in 2013 Colonial Marines game”.

An infamously dreadful 2013 Aliens video game is now believed to have fallen victim to the most chilling of threats in the universe: a typo.

Aliens: Colonial Marines was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to terrible reviews.

Many of them mentioned how badly the artificial intelligence (AI) behaved.

But it has now emerged that a single stray “a” in the game’s code may have been to blame.

Videos on YouTube show the game’s AI characters – the aliens and human teammates the player doesn’t control – ignoring threats, shooting wildly at nothing or standing in the line of fire.

(16) EARLY BRADBURY. David Doering has been digging through ancient fanzines and found a curiosity: “Here’s a little gift for you: a verse by Ray Bradbury himself–likely never before reprinted in the history of, well, like poetry or something. And maybe for some reason…”

VERSE OF THE IMAGI-NATION

“TIs a Sinema”
by Ray Bradbury

I think that I shall never see
Flash Gordon as he ought to be.
Midst growls of pain & awful lafter
each Saturday I see a chapter.
I cannot bear to see him more
for he Is really such a bore.

& Tarzan! too, is all so poor:
A shrinking violet demure
who beats upon his frazzled chest
& turns his puss into the west
to roar defiance with…”Fresh fish!
–I think that he’s a lousy dish…

From: Imagination, v. 1, issue 11, whole no. 11, August 1938

[Thanks to David Doering, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, StephenfromOttawa, Brian Z., Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, Greg Hullender, Bill Burns, John King Tarpinian, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Mix Mat.]

Four Named To Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame

Comic-Con International has announced that the Eisner Awards judges have selected four individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2017.

Usually the judges add two people to the Hall, but the number has been doubled this year as part of the Will Eisner centennial celebration – he would have turned 100 on March 6. The judges’ picks are —

Milt Gross (1895–1953)

Milton Gross began his cartooning career in 1915, producing a number of humorous newspaper strips. After serving in World War I, he went on to create strips like Frenchy, Banana Oil, and Help Wanted. His big break came with Gross Exaggerations, a weekly column of prose and cartoons. In 1926 Nize Baby, a book collection of some of these columns, appeared and was an instant hit. Under the same title, Gross began a Sunday page feature in 1927. Other books by Gross include Hiawatta Witt No Odder Poems, De Night In De Front From Chreesmas, Dunt Esk, and the pioneer wordless graphic novel He Done Her Wrong. In 1933, Gross was hired away from the New York World by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, for whom he produced such strips as Count Screwloose of Tooloose, Dave’s Delicatessen, Otto and Blotto, and That’s My Pop! Gross became a celebrity, famous for his cartooning, scriptwriting, radio shows, and columns.


H. G. Peter (1880–1958)

At age 61, Harry G. Peter began drawing Wonder Woman, collaborating with writer William Moulton Marston. Peter started with the Amazon’s first appearance in Sensation Comics in 1941 and continued drawing the feature for close to two decades. Wonder Woman #97, cover dated April 1958, was Peter’s last issue.

 

 

 


Antonio Prohías (1921–1998)

Antonio Prohías is best known for his 30 years of work with MAD magazine on his comic feature “Spy Vs. Spy,” which has been adapted into a series of animated shorts, several video games, a series of live-action television commercials, and a Sunday strip. Prohías’s two feuding spies stand among the handful of comics characters with an immediate, globally recognized iconic meaning. In the late 1940s Prohias began drawing cartoons for the prestigious Cuban newspaper El Mundo. His wordless material enjoyed international appeal, and by the late 1950s he was the president of the Association of Cuban Cartoonists. On May 1, 1960, just three days before Castro gained control of El Mundo and the rest of Cuba’s free press, Prohías fled Cuba for New York City.


Dori Seda (1950–1988)

Dori Seda was one of the pioneers of the autobiographical comics genre in underground comix. She started her career when she was hired by Last Gasp publisher Ron Turner to do the bookkeeping for the company. Her stories were published in several comics and anthologies, including Wimmen’s Comix, Rip-Off Comix, Tits ‘n Clits, and Weirdo. Dori’s only full-length solo book was Lonely Nights Comics. Her work is collected in Dori Stories (1999), which also includes memorial essays by friends. In 1988, Last Gasp established the Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women, whose first (and only) recipient was Carol Tyler.


The judges have also chosen 17 nominees from which voters will select another four people to go into the Hall of Fame this summer. These nominees are Peter Bagge, Howard Cruse, Steve Englehart, Justin Green, Roberta Gregory, Bill Griffith, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Francoise Mouly, Jackie Ormes, George Pérez, P. Craig Russell, Posy Simmonds, Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Rumiko Takahashi, and Garry Trudeau.

2017 Eisner Award Nominees

Comic-Con International has announced the shortlist for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2017. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges composed of Alan Campbell, Rob Clough, Jamie Newbold, Robert Moses Peaslee, Dawn Rutherford and Martha Thomases.

Topping the nominations is Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon), originally published in Singapore. It is a history of Singapore from the 1950s to the present as told by a fictional cartoonist in a wide variety of styles reflecting the various time periods. It is nominated in 6 categories: Best Graphic Album–New, Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia, Best Writer/Artist, Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design….

Besides Sonny Liew, the individual creator with the most nominations is writer Brian K. Vaughan, for Saga, Paper Girls, and We Stand on Guard. Nine creators have 3 nominations each: the previously mentioned Brubaker, Gauld, Phillips, Staples, Takeda, and Thompson, plus Tom Hart (Best Reality-Based Work and Best Writer/Artist for Rosalie Lightning, Best Graphic Album–Reprint for She’s Not Into Poetry), and Erica Henderson and Ryan North (Best Publication for Teens for Jughead and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Best Humor Publication for Jughead).

The judges made two changes to the categories this year. They did not choose any nominees for Best Adaptation from Another Medium, so that category will not be on the ballot. And they divided what was previously Best Webcomic/Digital Comic into two categories, with nominees for webcomic comprising works produced originally to be viewed online, and nominees for digital comic comprising works that use a traditional comic book format available for viewing and/or download as PDFs or similar formats.

Best Short Story

  • “The Comics Wedding of the Century,” by Simon Hanselmann, in We Told You So: Comics as Art (Fantagraphics)
  • “The Dark Nothing,” by Jordan Crane, in Uptight #5 (Fantagraphics)
  • “Good Boy,” by Tom King and David Finch, in Batman Annual #1 (DC)
  • “Monday,” by W. Maxwell Prince and John Amor, in One Week in the Library (Image)
  • “Mostly Saturn,” by Michael DeForge, in Island Magazine #8 (Image)
  • “Shrine of the Monkey God!” by Kim Deitch, in Kramers Ergot 9 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue/One-Shot

  • Babybel Wax Bodysuit, by Eric Kostiuk Williams (Retrofit/Big Planet)
  • Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In, by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
  • Blammo #9, by Noah Van Sciver (Kilgore Books)
  • Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Sir Alfred #3, by Tim Hensley (Pigeon Press)
  • Your Black Friend, by Ben Passmore (Silver Sprocket)

Best Continuing Series

  • Astro City, by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
  • Kill or Be Killed, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • The Mighty Thor, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image)
  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Limited Series

  • Archangel, by William Gibson, Michael St. John Smith, Butch Guice, and Tom Palmer (IDW)
  • Briggs Land, by Brian Wood and Mack Chater (Dark Horse)
  • Han Solo, by Marjorie Liu and Mark Brooks (Marvel)
  • Kim and Kim, by Magdalene Visaggio and Eva Cabrera (Black Mask)
  • The Vision, by Tom King and Gabriel Walta (Marvel)
  • We Stand on Guard, by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce (Image)

Best New Series

  • Black Hammer, by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston (Dark Horse)
  • Clean Room, by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt (Vertigo/DC)
  • Deathstroke: Rebirth, by Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, et al. (DC)
  • Faith, by Jody Houser, Pere Pérez, and Marguerite Sauvage (Valiant)
  • Mockingbird, by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk (Marvel)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

  • Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World, by James Sturm (Toon)
  • Burt’s Way Home, by John Martz (Koyama)
  • The Creeps, Book 2: The Trolls Will Feast! by Chris Schweizer (Abrams)
  • I’m Grumpy (My First Comics), by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random
  • House Books for Young Readers)
  • Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea, by Ben Clanton (Tundra)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

  • The Drawing Lesson, by Mark Crilley (Ten Speed Press)
  • Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)
  • Hilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
  • Rikki, adapted by Norm Harper and Matthew Foltz-Gray (Karate Petshop)
  • Science Comics: Dinosaurs, by MK Reed and Joe Flood (First Second)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • Bad Machinery, vol. 5: The Case of the Fire Inside, by John Allison (Oni)
  • Batgirl, by Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque (DC)
  • Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm (Archie)
  • Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars, by Jessica Abel (Papercutz/Super Genius)
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

Best Humor Publication

  • The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp, by Lee Marrs (Marrs Books)
  • Hot Dog Taste Test, by Lisa Hanawalt (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm (Archie)
  • Man, I Hate Cursive, by Jim Benton (Andrews McMeel)
  • Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, by G. B. Trudeau (Andrews McMeel)

Best Anthology

  • Baltic Comics Anthology š! #26: dADa, edited by David Schilter and Sanita Muizniece (kuš!)
  • Island Magazine, edited by Brandon Graham and Emma Rios (Image)
  • Kramers Ergot 9, edited by Sammy Harkham (Fantagraphics)
  • Love is Love, edited by Marc Andreyko (IDW/DC)
  • Spanish Fever: Stories by the New Spanish Cartoonists, edited by Santiago Garcia (Fantagraphics)

Best Reality-Based Work

  • Dark Night: A True Batman Story, by Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso (Vertigo/DC)
  • Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo, by Sandrine Revel (NBM)
  • March (Book Three), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
  • Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, by Tom Hart (St. Martin’s)
  • Tetris: The Games People Play, by Box Brown (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
  • Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, by Dave McKean (Dark Horse)
  • Exits, by Daryl Seitchik (Koyama)
  • Mooncop, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Patience, by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)
  • Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson (DC Comics)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • Demon, by Jason Shiga (First Second)
  • Incomplete Works, by Dylan Horrocks (Alternative)
  • Last Look, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
  • Meat Cake Bible, by Dame Darcy (Fantagraphics)
  • Megg and Mog in Amsterdam and Other Stories, by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)
  • She’s Not into Poetry, by Tom Hart (Alternative)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Equinoxes, by Cyril Pedrosa, translated by Joe Johnson (NBM)
  • Irmina, by Barbara Yelin, translated by Michael Waaler (SelfMadeHero)
  • Love: The Lion, by Frédéric Brémaud and Federico Bertolucci (Magnetic)
  • Moebius Library: The World of Edena, by Jean “Moebius” Giraud et al. (Dark Horse)
  • Wrinkles, by Paco Roca, translated by Erica Mena (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

  • The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
  • Goodnight Punpun, vols. 1–4, by Inio Asano, translated by JN PRoductions (VIZ Media)
  • orange: The Complete Collection, vols. 1–2, by Ichigo Takano, translated by Amber Tamosaitis, adaptation by Shannon Fay (Seven Seas)
  • The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime, by Toshio Ban and Tezuka Productions, translated by Frederik L. Schodt (Stone Bridge Press)
  • Princess Jellyfish, vols. 1–3 by Akiko Higashimura, translated by Sarah Alys Lindholm (Kodansha)
  • Wandering Island, vol. 1, by Kenji Tsuruta, translated by Dana Lewis (Dark Horse)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old)

  • Almost Completely Baxter: New and Selected Blurtings, by Glen Baxter (NYR Comics)
  • Barnaby, vol. 3, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy, Colorful Cases of the 1930s, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
  • The Realist Cartoons, edited by Paul Krassner and Ethan Persoff (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt & Skeezix 1931–1932, by Frank King, edited by Jeet Heer and Chris Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

  • The Complete Neat Stuff, by Peter Bagge, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
  • Fables and Funnies, by Walt Kelly, compiled by David W. Tosh (Dark Horse)
  • Trump: The Complete Collection, by Harvey Kurtzman et al., edited by Denis Kitchen and John Lind (Dark Horse)
  • U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, by Sam Glanzman, edited by Drew Ford (Dover)

Best Writer

  • Ed Brubaker, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed, Velvet (Image)
  • Kurt Busiek, Astro City (Vertigo/DC)
  • Chelsea Cain, Mockingbird (Marvel)
  • Max Landis, Green Valley (Image/Skybound), Superman: American Alien (DC)
  • Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer (Dark Horse); Descender, Plutona (Image); Bloodshot Reborn (Valiant)
  • Brian K. Vaughan, Paper Girls, Saga, We Stand On Guard (Image)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Jessica Abel, Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars (Papercutz/Super Genius)
  • Box Brown, Tetris: The Games People Play (First Second)
  • Tom Gauld, Mooncop (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Tom Hart, Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir (St. Martin’s)
  • Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Mark Brooks, Han Solo (Marvel)
  • Dan Mora, Klaus (BOOM!)
  • Greg Ruth, Indeh (Grand Central Publishing)
  • Francois Schuiten, The Theory of the Grain of Sand (IDW)
  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
  • Brian Stelfreeze, Black Panther (Marvel)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

  • Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Lion (Magnetic)
  • Brecht Evens, Panther (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Manuele Fior, 5,000 km per Second (Fantagraphics)
  • Dave McKean, Black Dog (Dark Horse)
  • Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)
  • Jill Thompson, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon (DC); Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist (for multiple covers)

  • Mike Del Mundo, Avengers, Carnage, Mosaic, The Vision (Marvel)
  • David Mack, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Hellboy and the BPRD 1953 (Dark Horse)
  • Sean Phillips, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed (Image)
  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
  • Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)

Best Coloring

  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Green Valley (Image/Skybound)
  • Elizabeth Breitweiser, Criminal 10th Anniversary Special, Kill or Be Killed, Velvet (Image); Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta(Image/Skybound)
  • Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
  • Laura Martin, Wonder Woman (DC); Ragnorak (IDW); Black Panther (Marvel)
  • Matt Wilson, Cry Havoc, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Black Widow, The Mighty Thor, Star-Lord (Marvel)

Best Lettering

  • Dan Clowes, Patience (Fantagraphics)
  • Brecht Evens, Panther (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Tom Gauld, Mooncop (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Nick Hayes, Woody Guthrie (Abrams)
  • Todd Klein, Clean Room, Dark Night, Lucifer (Vertigo/DC); Black Hammer (Dark Horse)
  • Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Best Comics-Related Book

  • blanc et noir: takeshi obata illustrations, by Takeshi Obata (VIZ Media)
  • Ditko Unleashed: An American Hero, by Florentino Flórez and Frédéric Manzano (IDW/Editions Déese)
  • Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White, by Michael Tisserand (Harper)
  • The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, vol. 1, edited by Bhob Stewart and J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)
  • More Heroes of the Comics, by Drew Friedman (Fantagraphics)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work

  • Brighter Than You Think: Ten Short Works by Alan Moore, with essays by Marc Sobel (Uncivilized)
  • Forging the Past: Set and the Art of Memory, by Daniel Marrone (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the Ends of Heroism, by Paul Young (Rutgers University Press)
  • Pioneering Cartoonists of Color, by Tim Jackson (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation, by Carolyn Cocca (Bloomsbury)

Best Publication Design

  • The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, designed by Sonny Liew (Pantheon)
  • The Complete Wimmin’s Comix, designed by Keeli McCarthy (Fantagraphics)
  • Frank in the Third Dimension, designed by Jacob Covey, 3D conversions by Charles Barnard (Fantagraphics)
  • The Realist Cartoons, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
  • Si Lewen’s Parade: An Artist’s Odyssey, designed by Art Spiegelman (Abrams)

Best Webcomic

Best Digital Comic

Update 05/03/2017: Love is Love has been added in the “Best Anthology” category. Eisner Awards organizer Jackie Estrada said that the book was originally overlooked due to Amazon listing it as a January 2017 release, despite being on-sale with comic book retailers on December 28, 2016 

Pixel Scroll 1/1/17 The Early Scroll Catches The Pixel

(1) CELEBRATING IN ORBIT. Happy New Year from the International Space Station.

(2) MAKING IT COUNT. Camestros Felapton celebrates a milestone on his blog – “A Thousand Posts of Pedantic Nonsense”.

WordPress tells me I’ve written a thousand posts here. Gosh. [OK, technically some of those are by Timothy but they still have my name on them]

I assume this means I level up and get extra blogging powers.

(3) PERMANENT PARTY STARTS TODAY. Cancer survivor Pat Cadigan has an even better reason to be giddy — “Hi, I’m Not Dead Yet—Hahahahaha, Suck It, Mortality!”

I’m glad to be alive but I can’t help being a little nervous. I have now exceeded the original estimate of the time I had left. I’m not in any way surprised as it’s been obvious for a year that I would. And I still can’t help being a little nervous because, as the kids say, sh!t just got real. I knew I was going to do this. I never believed I was going to do anything else. But it’s no longer something in the future; now it’s put up or shut up: You’re on, kid––careful you don’t trip on your super-hero cape as you make your entrance.

Every day is still going to be a party. Every day is Anything-Can-Happen Day until further notice. Of course, every day is Anything-Can-Happen Day for everyone, not just me. Indeterminacy Are Us. But certain probabilities are a little higher for me and it’s the sort of thing that I can’t help being aware of, sometimes more so than other times.

(4) LIFE CHANGING. Jason Ahlquist “Complexity Makes Suffering Invisible”

In 2016, I saw a child die in the street. That’s not a metaphor. It was a violent crime that actually happened. I haven’t talked about it publicly for two reasons. The first reason was that it didn’t feel right to do so while his family and friends mourned. The second reason was that the event entered into a complex stream of events in my life that have been dramatically changing me. It wasn’t so much that I watched a death; it was that the death was framed by other experiences reacting together on my insides. And all those things took a while to fully catalyze.

(5) YOU’RE FIRED SOME MORE. A dealer and former PCC director who offended management tells Bleeding Cool “What It Looks Like To Get Excommunicated From Phoenix Comicon”

Anabel Martinez used to be a director at Phoenix Comicon and she, as well as other folk, has been critical of Phoenix Comicon’s move to restricting volunteers to those who pay to be member of the Blue Ribbon Army fan society, of which Phoenix Comicon’s Matt Solberg is also a board member.

Martinez says –

Matt will always spin it when people voice concerns. My big critique that got me banned from a convention I love and adore? Being upset that volunteers have to pay for the privilege to volunteer now. He says I stepped down as a marketing director – that was a volunteer gig.

Solberg’s side of things is —

Since her dismissal in 2010 Ms. Martinez has pursued a vendetta against Phoenix Comicon, our staff, and myself. She has increasingly grown vindictive and bullying in her comments and actions. We made a business decision as a privately held company that we no longer need to tolerate her behavior by allowing her to participate within our event. I stand by the letter I sent her which she has posted to social media.

(6) MORE ON ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS. Blogcritics Celina Summers, in “Publisher All Romance Ebooks: Closing Hits New Low In Stealing From Authors”, wants to know where the money is.

The ebook industry has undergone several transitions in the past few years, where authors have become increasingly victimized by e-pirates, vanity presses, and scams designed to keep writers from making money on their intellectual property. Earlier today, December 28, 2016, the industry hit a new low when longtime e-tailer All Romance E-Books (Are), LLC (with its non-romance genre partner Omni Lit) released a surprise notice to its authors and publishers. ARe’s CEO and owner, Lori James, announced that the retailer was closing its doors in three days’ time…

Because let’s be for real here. It’s not like ARe’s owners aren’t paying authors because they don’t have the money for the sales. They do have it. They banked all that cash and are now trying to keep it. And by hanging the threat of filing for bankruptcy out there, the company is attempting to threaten authors into agreeing legally to let them retain that money without future legal responsibility.

While that might be true, it’s probably not true – when businesses go under, the liquid assets generally have already gone into salaries and wages and any operating expenses needed to make the business appear viable up til the bitter end.

(7) SFWA CANDIDATE. Mary Robinette Kowal is running for President of SFWA in 2017.

I’m running for the position of President. For four years, I was privileged to work with an extremely active and committed board, first as Secretary of SFWA and then as Vice President. I stepped down because I believe that new voices are vital to a service organization such as SFWA. But there are still things that I want to see accomplished, particularly trying to find affordable health care for our members.  I feel that after five years off the board, the time is right to run again.

(8) ANCHORS AWEIGH. The 2017 Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat will depart aboard a passenger ship from Kiel, Germany on July 28.

The base price of $1700 covers the full week of intensive seminars, writing exercises, and free writing time, plus meals, double-occupancy lodging on the ship, and a cruise to four different European destinations. (We have arranged for a hotel, breakfast, and transfer to the ship for $150, but staying there is optional.) Attendees will also be invited to attend live recordings of episodes of Hugo award-winning podcast Writing Excuses, hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells.

At sea. Seriously.

Desiree Burch, John Berlyne, Wesley Chu, Aliette de Bodard, Jasper Fforde, Ken Liu, Thomas Olde Heuvelt and Carsten Polzin will also participate.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born January 1, 1929 — Suit actor Haruo Nakajima (Godzilla) is born in Japan.
  • Born January 1, 1938 – Frank Langella.

(10) THAT LOVELY OLD PARTY IN 221B. Sherlock is changing — Variety got it from the horse’s mouth, “Benedict Cumberbatch on How Sherlock Holmes Is Softening”

Is Sherlock Holmes going soft? Benedict Cumberbatch explained to an audience of British grandees in London that his character has been on a journey of enlightenment over the past three seasons of “Sherlock,” and in season four, which premieres on New Year’s Day, audiences will see him humanized further, or as one journalist crudely put it: “He’s slightly less of a d**k.”

“He is becoming slightly more… well, in a very clear way… responsible for his actions,” Cumberbatch explained during an onstage discussion that followed a screening of “The Six Thatchers,” the opening episode of season four.

“But I think he understands that it’s a slow, slow process that began in the very first instance when he met John [Doctor Watson], who supplies the missing piece of that jigsaw that is him. That friendship, that partnership in crime, has been the humanizing element all the way through [the three seasons], and I think he is now becoming more of a human-being.”

(11) CLARKE CENTER. “The Hard Problem: An Audio Voyage”, Episode 3 of Into the Impossible, the podcast of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination, features Kim Stanley Robinson, Adam Tinkle, and Marina Abramovic.

In winter of 2015, the Clarke Center produced a collaborative project with the performance artist Marina Abramovic and the science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson.

The multi-day workshop cultivated a series of interactions between a story that Stan was writing about a multi-generational spaceship heading to another star, and the performance art gestures of Marina’s that are a journey into our inner self. We improvised readings and performance actions to find the ways in which these seemingly diametric experiences touched on the common idea of how we extend our sense of time and space from the moment to the eternal.

Out of this, we created an installation with multiple audio tracks, which was then further developed for the Venice Biennale. We also made a short film, which you can find below, and the audio tracks were mixed and choreographed by Adam Tinkle into the podcast.

 

(12) FISHER BID FAREWELL NEW ORLEANS STYLE. New Orleans’ Leijorettes and Chewbacchus krewes held a parade to honor Carrie Fisher.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, JJ, David K.M.Klaus, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Mark-kitteh.]

Pixel Scroll 12/30/16 Use File 770; It Softens Your Pixels While You Read The Books. You’re Scrolling In it!

(1) OUR NEIGHBOR. It’s official —

A team of astronomers composed of P. Kervella (CNRS / U. de Chile / Paris Observatory / LESIA), F. Thévenin (Lagrande Laboratory, Côte d’Azur Observatory, France) and Christophe Lovis (Observatory of the University of Geneva, Switzerland) has demonstrated that Proxima, the nearest star to the Sun, is gravitationally bound to its neighbors Alpha Centauri A and B. The nearest stellar system to the Earth is therefore a triple star. Proxima is known to host the nearest exoplanet, a telluric planet orbiting in its habitable zone. This discovery implies that the four objects (Alpha Cen A, B, Proxima and Proxima b) share the same age of ~6 billion years.

 

Paul Gilster discusses the discovery at Centauri Dreams.

Now as to that orbit — 550,000 years for a single revolution — things get interesting. One reason it has been important to firm up Proxima’s orbit is that while a bound star would have affected the development of the entire system, the question has until now been unresolved. Was Proxima Centauri actually bound to Centauri A and B, or could it simply be passing by, associated with A and B only by happenstance?

(2) THE REPRESSION INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM. YouTube’s Nostalgia Critic demands to know “Where’s the Fair Use”?

(3) PAYING TO VOLUNTEER. While it’s commonly expected at the conventions I’ve worked that volunteers will be members of the con, this is a new one on me – having to join a secondary group in order to volunteer. “Phoenix Comicon announces changes to volunteering; paid fan group membership required” reports An Engishman in San Diego.

Square Egg Entertainment, the organisation behind Phoenix Comicon, today announced a sizeable change to its practice of staffing – and pooling volunteers for – their three annual events:  Phoenix Comicon, Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest, and Keen Halloween. Square Egg will no longer be staffing these shows with hired hands, instead now filling those roles from the organising committee and paid membership of the Blue Ribbon Army (which originally started out as a fan group for PHXCC, and has subsequently become a social club with 501(c)(7) status).

Members of the Army have to be at least 18 years old and – here’s the kicker for a number of fiscally-minded volunteers – they also do have to become fully paid-up members of the fan group, with membership prices to join starting at $20 per year and going up to $100 per year. That’s right: you effectively have to now pay to become a Phoenix Comicon volunteer.

For what it’s worth, the Blue Ribbon Army leadership isn’t being compensated

Are your board members paid?

All Blue Ribbon Army board members are unpaid volunteers. All financial information, as required by law for a 501(c)7 organization, will be posted.

(4) BOTTOM OF THE GALACTIC BARREL. Love this article title — “15 Star Wars Characters Who Are Worthless At Their Jobs” from ScreenRant.

  1. Storm Troopers – Just Bad At Their Jobs

They just had to be here, as they’re cinematic legends when it comes to utterly failing at your job. Imperial Stormtroopers, as we’re told, are precise. The Empire has access to vast resources, so you’d think its military force would be well up to scratch. Stormtroopers even get a pretty good showing the first time we see them, managing to take over Princess Leia’s ship with only a few casualties. And then almost every time after that we see them, they’re getting destroyed like they put their helmets on backwards and their armor is made of tinfoil….

(5) BILLIONAIRE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS. Three of the “10 Books Elon Musk – ‘Tesla Founder and Billionaire’ wants you to read” are SFF, beginning with –

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Back when Elon Musk was a moody teen growing up in Pretoria, South Africa, he went looking for the meaning of life in the work of grumpy philosophers. It didn’t help. Then he came upon The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which taught him that the hardest part was to properly phrase the question but that once this was done the answer was easy. It changed his whole perspective.

(6) A CRACKED THEORY. Cracked brings all its scholarly powers to bear in “Snow White is a LOTR Sequel: A Mind-Blowing Theory”.  

Mortal man Beren and elf maiden Luthien Tinuviel (of the New Jersey Tinuviels) are forebears of the kings of Numenor and Gondor. Seeing as how the love story of Beren and Luthien echoes through the millennia in their great-great-many-times-great-grandchildren, it comes as no surprise that a similar fate awaits Aragorn and Arwen’s descendant, Snow White.

The family resemblance would only be uncannier if Steven Tyler cast her in inappropriately weird videos during her early teens.

At this point you may be thinking that we’re smoking too much of that pipe with Gandalf, but have you noticed Snow White’s rapport with the birds and beasts of the wild? The way they listen and respond to her?

Doesn’t this suggest a deep connection with nature, as someone with Elvish blood would have?

(7) COMING ATTRACTIONS. Plenty of genre flicks on Film School Rejects’ “The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017”.

…[Our] 52 Most Anticipated Movies list is always a big hit because it operates under a simple premise: if you’re going to see one movie for every week of the new year (and you should), these are the ones on which we’d stake a claim. Because we spend a great deal of time thinking about upcoming movies and an even sadder amount of time researching them, we’re exactly the kind of people who are qualified to give out said advice. Qualified enough to say, with confidence, that these 52 movies are likely to be worth your time. They may not all turn out to be great, but they will be worth seeing and discussing throughout the year….

Beauty and the Beast (March 17)

Neil Miller: If we’re being honest?—?and we are at all times?—?Disney’s live-action parade of remakes is actually turning out to be a better idea in practice than it was on paper. Both Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book gave us an interesting take on their respective stories. Neither was the disaster that many, perhaps out of a dedication to an anti-remake stance, had predicted. This is what gives us further hope for Beauty and the Beast, the success of which will rest mostly on the shoulders of Disney’s live-action effects teams and Emma Watson, both of which have proven track records. Six weeks ago, Disney released a trailer that showed off both of these things in action. The Beast effects that cover up Dan Stevens’ handsome mug look good and Emma Watson looks right at home as Belle. We’re still not sure of those CGI housewear items with anamorphic features, but we’ll see how that pans out in the final product.

(8) DUFF VOLUNTEER. Paul Weimer has announced his candidacy for the Down Under Fan Fund.

(9) REMEMBERING RICHARD ADAMS. In 1843 Magazine, Miranda Johnson, an environment correspondent for The Economist, discusses her grandfather Richard Adams, including how Adams’s experiences fighting in Operation Market Garden in World War II informed the battles in Watership Down, how her family all became characters in her grandfather’s novels, and what happened when Adams had lunch with Groucho Marx.

He also never forgot friends he made during his service. One in particular, Paddy Kavanagh, stuck with him for his fearless defence of the Oosterbeek perimeter as part of Operation Market Garden during September 1944. Paddy gave his life so that my grandpa’s platoon could escape. So my grandfather brought him back in the character of Bigwig in “Watership Down”, who stands alone to defend a tunnel in the rabbits’ new warren. Originally in the story, Bigwig also died. But my mother and aunt protested so much that my grandpa changed the tale. “We said nobody must die,” my aunt recalls, “except for Hazel, because it seemed an important part given his old age.”

(10) HOLLYWOOD MEMORIAL. ULTRAGOTHA found the story and JJ tracked down a photo —

Carrie Fisher doesn’t have a Star on the Walk of Fame, so fans appropriated a blank one and are leaving tributes. Including two cinnamon buns.

(11) WWCD 2017. Redbubble is selling merchandise with the WWCD art and giving the money to charity —

100% of the proceeds will be donated to bipolar disorder through the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: https://bbrfoundation.org/

what-would-carrie-do

(12) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • December 30, 1816 — Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft were married.

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS

  • Born December 30, 1980 — Eliza Dushku
  • Born December 30, 1982 — Kristin Kreuk.

(14) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born December 30, 1865 – Rudyard Kipling

(15) PRINTS IN THE FORECOURT. Filmmaker Roger Corman, a former Worldcon GoH, has been immortalized in concrete at a slightly less well-known theater than you usually think of when it comes to this sort of thing —

Roger Corman may not be a household name, but among movie fans he’s a cult hero.

In October, a tribute was held at the Vista Theatre to celebrate his 62-year career.

The legendary filmmaker was immortalized October 12th in the cement of the Vista’s forecourt with a handprint ceremony, alongside those of Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid; James Bond girl Honor Blackman; special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and Cassandra Peterson—also known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

“I think it’s kind of fun that [my handprints] will be out there forever,” said Corman before burying his hands deep in a patch of cement on the edge of Sunset Drive.

(16) MARS. Charles E. Gannon was part of a Dragon Con panel reported in Space.com“Space Colonies Will Start Out Like the Wild West, Grow Family-Friendly”

Like in the Old West, the goal would be for the colony to become self-sustaining, the panel said. Once a colony could support itself, it would no longer need to rely on materials from Earth to survive. When asked if an organization on Earth could realistically hope to control what was happening on Mars, Davis said, “If they’re still getting their caloric intake from someplace else, yup, you can.” [Poll: Where Should Humanity Build Its First Space Colony?]

Gannon named the biggest challenge facing a colony that aimed to grow independent from the people back home: the supply of volatiles, particularly oxygen and water. The first explorers would need to find a way for colonists to harvest those on the new world, Gannon said.

“If you have to ship those to the colony, it will be both economically and physically dependent and probably never be profitable or really safe,” Gannon said.

Even if an underground colony relied on rocks to shield itself from deadly radiation, it would still need enough water for similar shielding during vehicular missions, he said, making ice harvesting crucial to the colony’s survival.

“There are plenty of other [challenges],” he said. “But this is the minimum ante for long-term self-supportability.”

(17) PLANET NINE FROM OUTER SPACE. NPR tells us “Astronomers Seeking Planet 9 Hope To Soon Catch A Glimpse”.

On the top of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea mountain Thursday, astronomers will point the large Subaru Telescope toward a patch of sky near the constellation of Orion, looking for an extremely faint object moving slowly through space.

If they find what they’re looking for, it will be one of the most important astronomical discoveries in more than a century: a new planet in our solar system.

Technically, a new planet hasn’t been discovered since Neptune was spotted in 1846. Pluto, discovered in 1930, was demoted to “dwarf planet” a decade ago. If a new planet is found, it will be the new Planet Nine.

(18) TRADING INSULTS. Huffington Post’s “Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word”  by Laurie Gough, “Award-winning author of three memoirs…a journalist and travel writer”, begins —

As a published author, people often ask me why I don’t self-publish. “Surely you’d make more money if you got to keep most of the profits rather than the publisher,” they say.

I’d rather share a cabin on a Disney cruise with Donald Trump than self-publish.

The rest of the article carries on in the same condescending tone which so aggravated Larry Correia that he stormed back from a self-imposed internet vacation to write a reply, “Fisking the HuffPo’s Snooty Rant About Self-Publishing” for Monster Hunter Nation. (Gough’s article is quoted in italics. Correia’s replies are bold. Of course they are…)

The problem with self-publishing is that it requires zero gatekeepers.

Nope. The problem with self-publishing is that there are so many competitors that the challenge is to differentiate yourself from the herd. Sure, lots of them are crap (I can say the same thing for tradpub too), but if you find a way to market yourself and get your quality product in front of the right market, then you can make quite a bit of money.  

From what I’ve seen of it, self-publishing is an insult to the written word, the craft of writing, and the tradition of literature.

From what I’ve seen, I’d say the same thing about the Huffington Post.

As an editor, I’ve tackled trying to edit the very worst writing that people plan on self-publishing just because they can.

As an actual editor who gets paid for this stuff, that sentence reads like garbage.

I’m a horrible singer. But I like singing so let’s say I decide to take some singing lessons. A month later I go to my neighbor’s basement because he has recording equipment. I screech into his microphone and he cuts me a CD. I hire a designer to make a stylish CD cover. Voilà. I have a CD and am now just like all the other musicians with CDs.

Only you just described exactly how most real working bands got their start. Add a couple of kids with a guitar and drums, set up in your buddy’s garage, and start jamming. Eventually you will get good enough that you can book some local gigs, and if people like you, they will give you money for your stuff.

Except I’m not. Everyone knows I’m a tuneless clod but something about that CD validates me as a musician.

Nobody gives a crap about “validation”. Validation don’t pay the bills.

(19) MEDIA FAVES. It’s Aliette de Bodard’s turn to bestow Smugglivus year-end cheer at The Book Smugglers.

In media, the most striking thing I watched this year is actually from last year: it was the masterful Doctor Who episode “Heaven Sent”, a tour de force by Peter Capaldi that slowly starts making horrifying sense throughout its length (and that I actually paused and rewatched just to make sure it all hung together — it does and it’s even more impressive on a rewatch). I haven’t had time to consume things from this year: most of my watching has been old things, like Black  Orphan (I can’t believe it took me this long to find out about it, it’s so good, and Tatiana Maslany is just amazing playing all the clones), and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, period mysteries featuring the awesome Phryne Fisher (and her amazing wardrobe).

(20) CATCHING UP WITH CAMESTROS. Doctor Who was on Camestros Felapton’s telly on Christmas — “Review: The Return of Doctor Misterio – 2016 Dr Who Christmas Special”.

In the 2016 Christmas Special, Moffat lays out a gentle Richard Curtis-like romantic comedy but about superheroes and alien brain parasites. No puzzles and an evil invasion plot from the bad guys that echoed both Watchmen and the Aliens of London episode from series 1 of the reboot. A wise choice that made for a funny and light episode.

The episode was not a deconstruction of the superhero genre but played the tropes simply and straight but also at a relatively shallow level. Primarily a play on the Clark Kent/Lois Lane, secret identity, romance angle but with an added play on romantic comedy trope of the woman who somehow can’t see the man she actually is looking for is standing right next to her.

(21) CAMESTROS IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT. Then he dashed out to see the new Star Wars movie – “Review: Rogue One”.

Well, that was fun in a Blake’s 7 sort of way.

What I liked about the film was it had a certain freedom to it. The story has one simple job: by the end of the plot, the plans for the Death Star have to be on a Rebel spaceship pursued by Darth Vader. How to get to point B is undetermined and indeed where point A is to start with nobody knows. Indeed, the film initially is a bit confused about where A is, flitting from one plane to another. However, after some initial rushing around the galaxy, the story comes together.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, captures a nice sense of both bravado and cynicism as the daughter of the man who designed the Death Star. Her emotional journey isn’t complex but given the number of genre films in which people appear to act incomprehensibly it was nice to have a character whose motivations were personal and direct. Her shift from reluctant rebel to a leader of a commando force is shaped overtly and plausibly by plot events.

(23) CAN’T END TOO SOON. By then the year 2016 was just about done – and Camestros designed the most suitable container for its farewell journey.

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark-kitteh, Michael J. Walsh, David K.M. Klaus, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kendall.]  

2016 Eisner Awards Nominees

eisnerawards_logo_2Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2016. The nominees were chosen by a panel of judges.

The biggest news this year is that 49 women have received a record 61 nominations (compared to 44 last year) and are represented in 27 of the 30 categories. In fact, women make up the majority of nominees in seven categories: Best New Series, Best Publication for Early Readers, Best Publication for Kids, Best Adaptation from Another Medium, Best Graphic Album–Reprint, Best Coloring, and Best Academic/Scholarly Work. Those women with the most nominations are artists Colleen Coover (Bandette) and Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Brides of Helheim) with 3 each. An additional four women have 2 nominations each: Erica Henderson (penciller/inker, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Jughead), Lucy Knisley (writer/artist, Displacement: A Travelogue), Marjorie Liu (writer, Monstress), and Sydney Padua (writer/artist, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage).

Best Short Story

  • “Black Death in America,” by Tom King and John Paul Leon, in Vertigo Quarterly: Black (Vertigo/DC)
  • “Hand Me Down,” by Kristyna Baczynski, in 24 x 7 (Fanfare Presents)
  • “It’s Going to Be Okay,” by Matthew Inman, in The Oatmeal, theoatmeal.com/comics/plane
  • “Killing and Dying,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • “Lion and Mouse,” by R. Sikoryak, in Fable Comics (First Second)
Best Single Issue/One-Shot
  • A Blanket of Butterflies, by Richard Van Camp and Scott B. Henderson (HighWater Press)
  • I Love This Part, by Tillie Walden (Avery Hill)
  • Mowgli’s Mirror, by Olivier Schrauwen (Retrofit/Big Planet)
  • Pope Hats #4, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse)
  • Silver Surfer #11: “Never After,” by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
Best Continuing Series
  • Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin (BOOM! Box)
  • Invincible, by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn (Image/Skybound)
  • Silver Surfer, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
  • Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)
Best Limited Series
  • Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy (Image)
  • The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Lady Killer, by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich (Dark Horse)
  • Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions, by Bob Fingerman (Image)
  • The Spire, by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely (BOOM! Studios)
Best New Series
  • Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image)
  • Harrow County, by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (Dark Horse)
  • Kaijumax, by Zander Cannon (Oni)
  • Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image)
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion, by Dominque Roques and Alexis Dormal (First Second)
  • Little Robot, by Ben Hatke (First Second)
  • The Only Child, by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade)
  • SheHeWe, by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch (Lerner Graphic Universe)
  • Written and Drawn by Henrietta, by Liniers (TOON Books)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • Baba Yaga’s Assistant, by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll (Candlewick)
  • Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, by Jessica Dee Humphreys, Michel Chikwanine, and Claudia Devila (Kids Can Press)
  • Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor, by Nathan Hale (Abrams Amulet)
  • Over the Garden Wall, by Pat McHale and Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)
  • Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books)
  • Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Scholastic Graphix)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press)
  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Moose, by Max de Radiguès (Conundrum)
  • Oyster War, by Ben Towle (Oni)
  • SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Humor Publication
  • Cyanide & Happiness: Stab Factory, by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
  • Deep Dark Fears, by Fran Krause (Ten Speed Press)
  • Sexcastle, by Kyle Starks (Image)
  • Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • UR, by Eric Haven (AdHouse)
Best Digital/Webcomic
Best Anthology
  • Drawn & Quarterly, Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary, Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Eat More Comics: The Best of the Nib, edited by Matt Bors (The Nib)
  • 24 x 7, edited by Dan Berry (Fanfare Presents)
  • Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 3, edited by David Petersen (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
  • Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz, edited by Shannon Watters (kaBOOM!)
Best Reality-Based Work
  • The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978–1984, by Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)
  • Displacement: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics)
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, Book 3: 1983–1984, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
  • Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist, by Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics)
  • March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden (Top Shelf/IDW)
Best Graphic Album—New
  • Long Walk to Valhalla, by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (BOOM!/Archaia)
  • Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Dark Horse)
  • Ruins, by Peter Kuper (SelfMadeHero)
  • Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, by Dylan Horrocks (Fantagraphics)
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua (Pantheon)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Angry Youth Comics, by Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics)
  • Roses in December: A Story of Love and Alzheimer’s, by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers (Kent State University Press)
  • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal Omnibus, by E. K. Weaver (Iron Circus Comics)
  • Nimona, by Nicole Stevenson (Harper Teen)
  • Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt, by Rebecca Goldfield, Mike Short, and Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum)
  • City of Clowns, by Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado (Riverhead Books)
  • Ghetto Clown, by John Leguizamo, Christa Cassano, and Shamus Beyale (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Faceless Ghost” and Other Macabre Tales from Japan, adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa (Shambhala)
  • Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Alpha . . . Directions, by Jens Harder (Knockabout/Fanfare)
  • The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez (Fantagraphics)
  • A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet and Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
  • The March of the Crabs, by Arthur de Pins (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
  • The Realist, by Asaf Hanuka (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • Assassination Classroom, vols. 2–7, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ)
  • A Bride’s Story, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)
  • Master Keaton, vols. 2–4, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
  • Showa, 1953–1989: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • A Silent Voice, by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha)
  • Sunny, by Taiyo Matsumoto (VIZ)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Beyond Mars, by Jack Williamson and Lee Elias, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Cartoons for Victory, by Warren Bernard (Fantagraphics)
  • The Complete Funky Winkerbean, vol. 4, by Tom Batiuk, edited by Mary Young (Black Squirrel Books)
  • The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
  • Kremos: The Lost Art of Niso Ramponi, vols. 1 and 2, edited by Joseph P. Procopio (Picture This/Lost Art Books)
  • White Boy in Skull Valley, by Garrett Price, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Frank Miller’s Ronin Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman (Graphitti Designs/DC)
  • P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mystery and Other Stories Gallery Edition, edited by Daniel Chabon (Dark Horse)
  • The Puma Blues: The Complete Saga, by Stephen Murphy, Alan Moore, Michael Zulli, Stephen R. Bissette, and Dave Sim (Dover)
  • Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library, vols. 3–4, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
  • Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales, edited by Craig Yoe (IDW)
Best Writer
  • Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards (Image), Men of Wrath (Marvel Icon), Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Thor (Marvel)
  • John Allison, Giant Days (BOOM Studios!)
  • Ed Brubaker, The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition (Image)
  • Marjorie Liu, Monstress (Image)
  • G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Best Writer/Artist
  • Bill Griffith, Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist (Fantagraphics)
  • Nathan Hale, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (Abrams)
  • Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (Pantheon)
  • Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree, vol. 3 (Fantagraphics)
  • Noah Van Sciver, Fante Bukowski, Saint Cole (Fantagraphics)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Michael Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art Ops (Vertigo/DC)
  • Cliff Chiang, Paper Girls (Image)
  • Erica Henderson, Jughead (Archie), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)
  • Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
  • Nate Powell, March, Book Two (Top Shelf/IDW)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
  • Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Tiger and Love: The Fox (Magnetic Press)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Carita Lupattelli, Izuna (Humanoids)
  • Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
  • Tony Sandoval, A Glance Backward (Magnetic Press)
Best Cover Artist
  • David Aja, Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch (Marvel)
  • Rafael Albuquerque, Ei8ht (Dark Horse), Huck (Image)
  • Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn (DC)
  • Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
  • Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
Best Coloring
  • Laura Allred, Lady Killer (Dark Horse); Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art OPS (Vertigo/DC)
  • Jordie Bellaire, The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They’re Not Like Us, Zero (Image); The X-Files (IDW); The Massive (Dark Horse); Magneto, Vision (Marvel)
  • Elizabeth Breitwiser, The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, Velvet (Image)
  • John Rauch, The Beauty (Image); Batman: Arkham Knight, Earth 2: Society (DC); Runaways (Marvel)
  • Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Frankenstein Underground, Hellboy in Hell, Hellboy and the BPRD, (Dark Horse); Sandman: Overture, Twilight Children (Vertigo/DC), Captain America: White (Marvel), Space Dumplins (Scholastic Graphix)
Best Lettering
  • Derf Backderf, Trashed (Abrams)
  • Steve Dutro, Blood-C, Midnight Society, Plants vs Zombies (Dark Horse)
  • Lucy Knisley, Displacement (Fantagraphics)
  • Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Kevin McCloskey, We Dig Worms! (TOON Books)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
  • Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
  • Comic Riffs blog by Michael Cavna, washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/
  • Hogan’s Alley, edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan’s Alley)
  • Jack Kirby Collector, edited by John Morrow (TwoMorrows)
Best Comics-Related Book
  • Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, by Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics)
  • King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, by Martha Fay (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, by Paul Levitz (Abrams ComicArts)
Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, edited by Frances Gateward and John Jennings (Rutgers)
  • Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan, edited by Mark McLelland et al. (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Graphic Medicine Manifesto, by M. K. Czerwiec et al. (Penn State University Press)
  • Superheroes on World Screens, edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis (Harvard University Press)
Best Publication Design
  • Beyond the Surface, designed by Nicolas André, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
  • The Eternaut, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
  • Eventually Everything Connects, designed by Loris Lora, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
  • King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, designed by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
  • Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, designed by Chip Kidd (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Sandman Gallery Edition, designed by Graphitti Designs and Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti Designs/DC)

Named for comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 28th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels.

The 2016 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of journalist/reviewer Brian Doherty, comics writer/editor Danny Fingeroth, retailer Jason Grazulis (BSI Comics, Metairie, LA), librarian Jason M. Poole (Webster Public Library, Webster, NY), Comic-Con International board member Natalie Powell, and academic/scholar Carol Tilley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote on the awards. The voting deadline is June 17. The winners will be announced on Friday, July 22 at Comic-Con International.

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman for the story.]