Comics Lowdown: A meme story with a ‘fine’ ending

Plus: Fred Perry, Michael DeAdder, Kelly Sue DeConnick and more!

This Is Awesome: We all know the horror story of Pepe the Frog, who despite creator Matt Furie’s best efforts has taken on an unsavory life of his own. At Vulture, Abraham Riesman looks at a meme story with a happier ending, talking to creator KC Green about how he kept control of his “This is fine” comic, and even made some money off it as it went viral. There’s a lot here that other creators may find useful, plus it’s just fascinating to see the backstory of such a well known meme.

Editorial Cartoons: Fred Perry, who was slated to replace Michael DeAdder as the editorial cartoonist for Canada’s Brunswick News Inc., has stepped away from the job because of social media backlash. DeAdder was let go immediately after a cartoon showing Donald Trump playing golf near the corpses of two refugees went viral. BNI denied firing DeAdder because of the cartoon, saying they already had plans to hire Perry, whom they described as a “reader favourite” in a press release. Perry confirmed BNI contacted him before the DeAdder controversy occurred, but he said the amount of blowback he has gotten has simply not been worth it:

I don’t use social media, but person/persons who do have used it to essentially destroy my character and my cartoon work.

All this over a job that pays the same per month as a job at a grocery chain. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Although Perry asked BNI not to run any more of his work, they published one of his cartoons this week.

Creators on Video: If you missed writer Kelly Sue DeConnick’s appearance on the Today Show, you can watch it here:

Retailing: Brooklyn’s newest comic shop, Loot, is located upstairs from a wine bar, has a tastefully minimalist feel and features owner Joe Einhorn’s collection of vintage comics mounted on the walls. It’s also geared specifically for kids, who can buy any comic in the store for $5 or rent an unlimited number for $30 per month. In fact, adults who want to visit the store without a kid in tow have to make an appointment. All the comics for sale come from Einhorn’s collection, so there’s no new comics day. Einhorn was one of the founders of the online retailer Fancy, and he’s not looking to make money off this new venture; Loot has an in-store currency that kids can earn by reading and by making and selling their own comics.” It’s a similar structure to online games such as Fortnite that have in-game incentives and purchases, but in service of a better cause.

Make Mine Marvel: Former Marvel editor Jim Salicrup (now the editor in chief of kids’ graphic novel publisher Papercutz) reminisces about his 20 years at Marvel—and his lengthy career, which actually started when he was just 15.

Podcast Time: Manga creator Junko Mizuno talks about her work on the Lakes International Comics Festival podcast; Mizuno designed the poster for the festival.

Hometown Heroes: Today’s local-paper profile has a great hook: A legally blind cartoonist and a retired psychologist, both nearing 80, team up to create gag cartoons.

A panel by Julie Doucet

Comics Criticism: Former Onion writer Anne Elizabeth Moore talks about her Eisner-nominated book Sweet Little C***: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet.

Comics-Adjacent: Light novels from Japan are becoming a huge category in young adult publishing, but what are they exactly? Manga expert Deb Aoki explains in a Light Novels 101 piece for Publishers Weekly’s comics newsletter, The Fanatic.

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