Love, Image Comics Style: Alex de Campi helms ‘Twisted Romance’ anthology

Katie Skelly, Alejandra Gutiérrez, Carla Speed McNeil, Trungles and more contribute to a new miniseries featuring stories about love.

Image Comics has announced Twisted Romance, a four-issue, weekly miniseries featuring “love gone right, wrong and everything in between” that will run in the most romantic month of the year, February.

“This project is a dream for me,” said writer Alex de Campi. “I’m getting to collaborate with some of comics’ coolest creators and some amazing prose fiction voices. Everything everyone is doing looks so amazing. I’m just giddy that Image basically handed us the reins and said, ‘do whatever you want. This looks cool.’ So, yeah: come February, we’re going to break your heart, fill you with joy, and give you awkward pants feels. Sometimes in same story. Occasionally, even on the same page.”

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Comics Lowdown: Artist OK with defacement of Zunar mural

Also: Moto Hagio returns to the Poe saga, Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez talk ‘Assassinistas,’ and Annie Koyama looks back at her first decade as a comics publisher

Someone has defaced a mural of the Malaysian cartoonist Zunar—but the artist who created the mural is OK with that. “I don’t see it as ruined but as a response, and it does not matter to me who is responding,” said Bibichun, the artist. “It’s in the public domain and it’s for members of the public to consume in their own way.” The mural depicted Zunar with his mouth covered by the flag of UMNO, the dominant political party of Malaysia (and therefore a frequent target of Zunar’s cartoon). Recently, an unknown man painted the flag black. “The piece was a response to the suppression of Zunar’s exhibition at the Penang Literary Festival last year,” said Bibichun. “I’m surprised it took Umno supporters such a long time to respond.” Zunar recently canceled a planned exhibit of his work out of concern that it, too, would be attacked.

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Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters

Plus: Calexit sells out, climate change comics, Adam West as the Dark Knight, Becky Cloonan, Gerald Way, Jay Baruchel’s thoughts on Canadian superheroes and more!

A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”

Wonder Woman gif by Nicole Dirksen

She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:

  • The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
  • 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
  • A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).

The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.

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Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival: A photo diary (of sorts)

Spurred on by an invitation (and offer of free room and board) from festival director Tom Spurgeon, my friend Joe McCulloch I attended the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival, held in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend.

If you want a full blow-by-blow account of our trip, check out the latest episode of Comic Books Are Burning in Hell (shameless plug). What follows however, is a (somewhat) brief photo diary of my adventures.  It was a good time.

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