Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel was surprised, and none too pleased, when Donald Trump Tweeted one of his cartoons—with some unauthorized alterations. The original cartoon, which was published in January, was a play on the “Trump train” trope, showing a Trump-branded locomotive with a donkey plastered on the front. (Varvel was careful to note that the donkey is “resisting” the train but not being flattened by it: “No cartoon donkeys were killed in the making of this cartoon,” he said.) Trump retweeted another version that replaced the donkey with a CNN logo, added a line about “fake news,” and cropped out Varvel’s signature.
Trump Tweeted it just days after a white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing activist Heather Heyer; Trump deleted the Tweet a few hours later. “We don’t know who altered Gary’s original cartoon but we’re looking into it,” said Jeff Taylor, editor and vice president for news of the Indianapolis Star and IndyStar.com. “The cartoon was altered without anyone’s knowledge or permission at the Star.”
Retailing: Tramp’s Comics & Games of Regina, Saskatchewan, is closing down, and the story that owner Christopher Roberts has to tell sounds like a cautionary tale for retailers everywhere:
On his GoFundMe page, Roberts wrote he was “utterly unprepared” for running a business, overspending on stock items and buying the wrong advertising. When things got tight, Roberts said he clung to the hope that the store’s situation would improve. Things only got worse.
Unable to get help from banks, Roberts said he turned to private lenders and took out high-cost loans.
“At first, things seemed okay, but as more time went on, it became clear that the payments were more than the store could bear,” wrote Roberts.
The GoFundMe campaign had a goal of $60,000, but so far it has raised just over $3,000. Roberts had worked in the store, which is the oldest comics shop in Saskatchewan, before purchasing it in 2014, after the previous owner decided to retire.
Attention, enfants! BDs! Humanoids, which publishes European graphic novels, is diversifying its line with children’s comics and a new imprint, Slice of Life, that focuses on stories for LGBTQ readers. They are kicking off the children’s books with Gregory and the Gargoyles, a very French fantasy story, and The Magical Twins, by writer/filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and artist Georges Bess. They also have a Halloween book coming next month. Slice of Life will be heavier reading: The first title, Tom Tirabosco and Pierre Wazem’s The Retreat, will be published in September to coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Feminist examination: With the recent tell-all post by Kai Cole which questioned her ex-husband’s feminism and activism, Bleating Heart Press is asking for submissions that examine and critique the work of Joss Whedon for an anthology called We Told You.
‘We Told You’ will look at the decades of intersectional feminist critique, and just plain disbelieving anger, that has existed alongside the narrative of Joss Whedon, perfect male feminist. Essays will include close examinations of particular works and recurring trends (waifish, emotionally vulnerable heroines; misogynistic nerds as author avatars; the racist underpinnings of Firefly), as well as his legacy as a producer and celebrity male feminist.
We Told You will include original and reprinted essays, comics and illustrations by Claire Napier (Women Write About Comics), Angel Cruz (The Learned Fangirl), Veronique Emma Houxbois (Comicosity), C.P. Hoffman (BookRiot) and more.
Essays, comics, and original illustration pitches for this project are being accepted until August 29. More details can be found here.
Interviews and Profiles
Work in Progress: In a radio interview, German creator Hannah Brinkmann discusses the graphic memoir she is working on, which deals with her family in post-World War II Germany.
Busy Man: Keith Knights has a very busy schedule: his three weekly comic strips: The K Chronicles, (th)ink, and The Knight Life, his illustration work on Jake the Fake Keeps It Real, and his upcoming graphic novel, I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator. He then talks about anything, like his political and satire comics, politics like Donald Trump and being a home owner in California.
Awards and Accolades
Stan the Man: Stan Lee was honored by actors and writers in a two-hour tribute, Extraordinary Stan Lee, hosted by Chris Hardwick and beamed out to over 150 movie theaters nationwide.
Roundups, Reviews, and Commentary
Rawther Interesting: Eloise at the Museum, an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society and a 2015 documentary examine the work of Hilary Knight and how he contributed to the character of Eloise in a series of books written by Kay Thompson about a world-weary six-year-old girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel.
Praise: Insha Fitzpatrick loves Carly Usdin’s Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 and wrote a detailed review on Geek.com. “You find yourself wanting to know them all better, and also wanting to become friends with all of these characters.”