Comics Lowdown: ‘Love Is Love’ brings in another $51,000 for The Trevor Project

Plus: Tumblr changes its guidelines, November comics sales drop, Olivia Stephens, Sophie Goldstein, Geoff Johns, Kieron Gillen, Todd Klein, more best-of-the-year lists and more!

The Love Is Love anthology published by IDW Publishing and DC Comics continues to raise money for LGBT organizations; earlier this week IDW announced a donation of $51,000 to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. This follows a donation of $165,000 in 2017 to the OneOrlando Fund to assist the victims and families impacted by the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.

“This has so exceeded any of my wildest hopes for the amount of money it could raise and the attention it got,” Marc Andreyko, who organized and curated the anthology, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We were able to give $51,000 to the Trevor Project two years out, when the news cycle is so fast people don’t remember what happened five minutes ago. I’m happy and sad that there is an evergreen quality to this.”

The anthology is currently in its sixth printing, available via online booksellers, comic book specialty retailers and through digital platforms.

Social media: The social blogging platform Tumblr announced changes to their guidelines that ban NSFW “adult content” on their site, effective Dec. 17. With the algorithm to flag offensive content already in place, both Polygon and The Beat point out that many posts without adult content are getting flagged by the site. The Bristol Board, a popular Tumblr blog that shares a lot of comics art, details some posts that have been flagged and shares thoughts on the changes.

Comic sales: Comics sales were down in November, according to ICv2 and the Comichron. John Jackson Miller gave several reasons for the drop, including one less new comics day than November 2017, an overall drop in the number of titles offered and “and increasingly, much of the holiday graphic novel business has moved to October.”

Awards: Olivia Stephens (Alone) and Sophie Goldstein (The Oven) have both been named 2019 Tulsa Artist Fellows.

Awards: As a part of her winning the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for her children’s book They Say Blue, SuperMutant Magic Academy creator Jillian Tamaki shares a new comic with the CBC titled “This Face.”

Interviews: Shazam! writer Geoff Johns talks to Entertainment Weekly about the new series, which launched this week, as well as the upcoming Shazam! movie. “Conceptually I think he’s a perfect character, tonally he’s so unique, his books were so unique, and his world is potentially really unique. I really wanted to see Shazam out there in a much bigger way,” Johns tells EW. “I’ve been trying to get that movie made since 2009 when I was brought on as a consultant. I’ve been pushing to get that movie made, and now David Sandberg has directed an amazing, fun movie that just feels different than anything else that’s out there, from any company. I’m excited for people to see it, but more importantly, I’m excited for Shazam as a character to get out there in a bigger way — in movies, comics, everything. He was one of the most popular superheroes of his time and I think he’s still relevant. I think a kid in over his head with superpowers and magic is never gonna not be a lot of fun. To push it forward and build on it and get it out there in a bigger way is all I’ve been trying to do for a long time, and I hope that character finds a bigger audience because there’s an important message to that character that I think people can relate to, about finding family and building family and opening yourself up to the world.”

Interviews: Kieron Gillen discusses the new Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt series he’s writing for Dynamite Entertainment.

Interviews: The Grio talks to Bryan Edward Hill about what inspired the new Vertigo series American Carnage. “I was very disturbed by the Charlottesville incident and that we still live in an age when that kind of violence could take place. When I get disturbed, I run towards the fear, so I started doing research into white supremacist movements. I really wanted to understand how they got to where they were and not challenge their views because when I see something I think is monstrous, my first question is, how did you become this? No child is born wanting to be a monster. I didn’t know if it would turn into a blog, a TV pilot, or new screenplay, but around that time Vertigo reached out to me to see if I had any ideas for their 25th-anniversary re-launch. I told them I had something probably way scarier than anything they wanted.”

Interviews: Chuck Brown, co-creator of Bitter Root, talks about the comic with the Charleston City Paper.

Interviews: High Country News spoke to Cole Pauls about his comic series Dakwäkãda Warriors. “I wrote Dakwäkãda Warriors for Yukon Indigenous kids, essentially. When I was a child, there was a children’s book called Alsek’s ABC Adventure and Chris Caldwell wrote and drew it. She’s non-Indigenous, but she’s lived in the Yukon the majority of her life, and the Alsek valley is the valley that my hometown is in. It’s an ABC book about these two Native kids, a brother and a sister, and they’re hunting and it’s just the ABCs of the Yukon. So it’s for kids, but as a child it blew me away that there was one children’s book about the Yukon, specifically the land that I was from. I was astonished by it. So when I wanted to make Dakwäkãda Warriors, I kind of wanted to make the same feeling that I had when I read Alsek’s ABCs. I wanted an Indigenous youth from the Yukon – specifically Southern Tutchone, – I want the kids in my hometown to read this book and be like, ‘Wow, I have an identity.’”

Process: Letterer Todd Klein shares how to prepare a comic script for lettering.

Retailers: SFWeekly spotlights San Francisco’s Comix Experience shop and its two graphic-novel-of-the-month clubs, which owner Brian Hibbs says, “It’s literally, right now, the difference between life and death.”

Best of the year: The AV Club has revealed their favorites of 2018, which include Runaways, Giant Days and The Seeds, among others.

Best of the year: I’m really digging the interface for NPR’s Best Books of 2018 page, which includes selections like Sabrina, Bingo Love and Shade the Changing Girl.

Best of the year: The Chicago Tribune’s list of the best books of 2018 includes X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor. “Ed Piskor’s remarkable two-volume distillation of the past 55 years of X-Men history — he boils down decades of soap opera, characters and conflict into a single, Robert Altman-esque narrative — is a study in storytelling, and how the most minor history between family can gain poignance.”

Best of the year: The Guardian’s list of the best books of the year includes perpetual favorite Sabrina by Nick Drnaso. In a separate feature, they asked various authors to share their favorites from 2018, including Chris Ware. He also liked Sabrina.

Best of the year: Four Color Apocalypse’s best of 2018 list includes From Lone Mountain By John Porcellino, Dumb By Georgia Webber and Somnabulance By Fiona Smyth.

Best of the year: Goodreads readers have voted on the best books of the year, and the winner in the graphic novel category is Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson. It beat out Ms. Marvel, Saga and Paper Girls, among others.

Reviews: Greg Burgas looks at the first five issues of Rob Guillory’s Farmhand. “Guillory hasn’t changed his art style too much, which is another reason the book might remind people of Chew – his style is so distinctive that it’s easy to spot, so it makes the comics he works on ‘Rob Guillory comics,’ which in my mind isn’t a bad thing at all. However, he has gotten better – his hatching and inking is better, so that he adds just enough to the characters’ faces to make his expressions work even better than they did on Chew, where they were pretty darned good to start with. His faces are still exaggerated and cartoony, but he uses just enough linework to keep that aspect of them while adding a wider range, which is important in a book like this, which so far isn’t as in-your-face as Chew was. Guillory has learned, over the years, how to use pages very well, so while in Chew he was interpreting someone else’s scripts and I don’t know how much leeway he had in designing pages, in Farmhand, he uses the space very well, as each issue feels packed with content.”

Reviews: Martin Gray breaks down the first issue of DC’s new Martian Manhunter series.

Reviews: Martyn Pedler reviews the latest Hulk series, Immortal Hulk, for The Comics Journal. “This Hulk is a different beast again: one that seeks revenge with a sadistic leer. Bennett and Jose’s art tends to focus on wide eyes, open mouths, and a kind of bubbling hysteria that’d suit an old issue of Eerie. Menace is well directed; the first issue knows to show a frightened face reacting to a loaded gun before the gun itself. The colors by Paul Mounts are muted, ominous greens and ambers. The third issue is the most artistically striking as guest artists come on board to represent shifting points-of-view in varying genres: romance, supernatural, indie, and so on. It’s hardly a revolutionary technique, but it’s the kind of formal playfulness that superhero comics can always use more of.”

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