Characters | Puerto Rican superhero La Borinqueña will make her debut in her own comic this fall, but she made an advance appearance on a float at the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York last weekend. Creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez wanted to create a heroine who embodied both a classic superhero look and Puerto Rican iconography. And she will have dark skin: “It’s a 2016 approach to creating an image. Meaning that, as a Latino creating an image that represents Latinos, she’s not going to be whitewashed, like a telenovela actress. She’s not going to be the trigueña that’s going to be the nanny, or the maid, in the background. She’s going to be in the forefront. There’s room for all of us, but there’s a necessity to represent all of us as well.” The comic will debut at the Café con Comics event in New York later this year. Miranda-Rodriguez and Run-DMC member Darryl McDaniels are co-founders of Darryl Makes Comics!, but they have not decided whether La Borinqueña will be published by them or another publisher. Either way, a cut of the sales will go to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade organization’s scholarship program. [New York Daily News]
Passings | New Yorker cartoonist and cover artist Anatol Kovarsky has died at the age of 97. Born in Moscow in 1919 to a wealthy family, Kovarsky moved with his family to Poland after the Russian Revolution and lived in Warsaw till he graduated from secondary school. After that he went to Vienna, where he studied economics to prepare to join his family’s leather business, but he ditched that to attend the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. He and his family escaped from Paris after the Nazis invaded, traveling to Casablanca and then emigrating to the U.S. He enlisted in the army and was a cartoonist for Stars and Stripes and other military publications, and he was with American troops in Normandy and at the liberation of Paris, which he depicted in cartoons for Yank. After the war he continued studying art and divided his time between cartooning and painting. In addition to about 300 cartoons for the New Yorker, his body of work includes a collection of his cartoons, Kovarsky’s World, and illustrations for a number of books. [New York Times]
Creators | Van Jensen discusses his creator-owned comic Cryptocracy. Pete Woods is the artist, and the story is their own take on conspiracy theories: “We kind of talked about it, like, ‘What if “X-Files” was told from the perspective of the Cigarette Smoking Man?'” Jensen said. [Omaha World-Herald]
Creators | In a radio interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jack Ohman talks about the challenge of his job, which is to distill complex current events into a single frame: “Good cartoonists can kind of have those tragedies happen and interpret them in such a way that is enlightening and tasteful simultaneously. It’s a lot easier to do the Donald Trump as buffoon cartoon than it is to do the kid walking into a church in Charleston and shooting eight people cartoon.” [KALW]
Comics | The Malaysian publisher Keropok Comics will publish three comics in English by creators who made their names on social media: Office Survival, by Michael Chuah; Like That Also Can, Ah: #ProblemsEverywhere, by Nixon Siow, and The Potato Couple, by J&Y Productions. “The market for local English comics has grown tremendously with Keropok Comics carving a niche for itself by publishing webcomics which have collectively sold more than 100,000 copies,” said Keropok Comics founder Daniel Khong. [Malay Mail Online]
Digital Comics | Apple is partnering with the digital comics platform Madefire to publish its App Store Review Guidelines as a digital comic. [9 to 5 Mac]
Digital Comics | Matt Kim looks at vertical-format digital comics, such as those purveyed at Stela, Webtoon, and Tapas, which are easy to read on a mobile device. [Inverse]
Conventions | Rob Salkowitz calls out three convention trends he’d rather not see: Semi-pro fan artists on Artists Alley, cosplayers who charge for photos, and cons that prioritize profit over the fans’ experience. [ICv2]
Exhibits | Peter Kuper discusses a retrospective of his work, “Outside the Box,” which covers everything from his Spy vs. Spy cartoons for MAD Magazine to his more serious graphic novels such as Ruins. [Brooklyn Paper]
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