Awards | Discussion continues about the 2009 Harvey Award nominations, which contained more than a few surprises. Xaviar Xerexes looks at the positive — webcomics and works that began online are well-represented — as Johanna Draper Carlson considers how to fix a nomination process that many agree is broken. She also labels accusations of ballot-stuffing as “misguided”: “It’s not about stuffing — which generally implies a surfeit of questionable votes — it’s about a lack of participation giving those few professionals who do bother to submit nomination lists disproportionate power to affect the results.”
That brings us to events referred to online yesterday, most notably by cartoonist Evan Dorkin: Gemstone Publishing’s domination of the ballot in 2007 and 2008 when, by my quick count, the company’s books received 19 and 15 nominations, respectively. Travis Seitler, former art director for Gemstone’s Disney comics, popped up at The Beat to solve the mystery, such that it is: “For both 2007 and 2008, everyone at Gemstone Publishing was given pre-filled ballots (typically leaving one or two blank spaces for our own personal choices) to sign and send in. Nobody was required to submit the ballots (I didn’t either year; mostly because I was disgusted by the scheme), but I’m sure we still had two- or three-dozen nearly identical ballots sent for both of those years.” [The Harvey Awards]
Publishing | Ada Price looks at what effect Diamond Comic Distributors’ new order minimums have had on direct-market publishers and retailers. [PW Comics Week]
Creators | The Xeric Foundation has announced the latest round of grant recipients: Joe Boruchow, Stuffed Animals: A Story in Paper Cutouts; Adam Bourret, I’m Crazy; Timothy Godek, !; Adam Hines, Duncan the Wonder Dog; and Joshua Smeaton, Haunted. [press release]
Creators | Cartoonist Leo Baxendale, creator of The Bash Street Kids, recalls The Beano and the British comics industry in the 1950s. [Times Online]
Creators | Hellboy creator Mike Mignola says he’s ready to ease back in to writing and drawing: “There’s only so much that another artist can do with your story, but when you’re in charge of the whole thing, there’s a whole world of possibilities you can do. Yeah, I’m very excited about it.” [Sci Fi Wire]
Creators | Writer Justin Gray discusses his background, the industry and DC’s Jonah Hex. [Cinematical]
Creators | Arion Berger talks with Joseph Patrick Larkin about Arcade of Cruelty. [Express Night Out]
Creators | Brian Heater kicks off a two-part interview with Minty Lewis, the artist behind P.S. Comics. [The Daily Cross Hatch]
Creators | “23 Ways for a Comic Artist to Survive and Thrive in Any Economy.” [Optimum Wound]
Editorial cartoons | J. Caleb Mozzocco considers the theological questions raised by cartoons commenting on the death of Michael Jackson. [Every Day Is Like Wednesday]
Comics | Ben Morse counts down his choices for the definitive Batman comics. [The Cool Kids Table]
Art | Rian Fike launches an extensive study of Alphabets of Desire, by Alan Moore and Todd Klein. [Full Body Transplant]
A rundown of today’s comics-related events.
Bellflower, Calif. | Metropolis Comics hosts Bongo Comics’ Bill Morrison, Tone Rodriguez and Batton Lash for Free Donut Day from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Details here.
Los Angeles | Batman and Robin writer Grant Morrison will sign from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd. Before the signing, horror writer Clive Barker will host a conversation with Morrison. Details here.
Santa Clara, Calif. | John Layman will sign copies of Chew at Illusive Comics & Games from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Details here.
Santa Monica, Calif. | Bad Kids Go to Hell writers Matthew Spradlin and Barry “Bazza” Wernick will sign at Hi De Ho Comics from noon to 8 p.m. More details here.